Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Young Adult to Adult and back again...

I was one of those kids who was always in the wrong section of the library. At eight, you are not supposed to be asking for a book on botany from the adult reference librarian, and at twelve, you get strange looks browsing Stephen King in adult fiction! I guess that is why I find the line between adult and young adult books very fluid--who's to say what appeals to people of any age?

Here are two recent adult books that I recommend for teens; the first is for lovers of suspense and mystery and the second is a most unusual blend of science fiction and fantasy. The Lock Artist, by Steve Hamilton, is the story of Michael, an 18 year old lock-picking whiz kid with a crazy past and a criminally certain future. The chapters alternate between glimpses of a bizarre childhood trauma and his present-day life as an increasingly skilled criminal "boxman", one of many slang terms you learn for a safecracker! Toss in a decent romance and plenty of unforeseen plot turns and you have a great read for any age. Among Others by Jo Walton is the story of Morwenna, a 15 year old lonely, disabled student in an English boarding school (but this is NOT a girl version of HP). Like the first pick, this author weaves together the past and the present, revealing dark memories of Mori's childhood with present day journal entries of great sci-fi and fantasy books that sustain her. Her journey includes new friends and old enemies, but I won't give away the details of the final confrontation with her ambitious, black magic obsessed mother. You will have to go there yourself!


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