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Teen Lit is Cool...and Varied

  by Jeanne Duffey for Parent + Family
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Here’s good news. Teens are still reading books, and it’s considered a cool thing to do.

That’s according to the Springfield-Greene County Library’s youth services coordinator, Nancee Dahms-Stinson, herself a mother of two teenage daughters. At the Library Center alone, the Library District’s major resource facility, teens checked out more than 3,628 books in the past couple of months.

“Teen literature has burst right open in the past five years,” says Dahms-Stinson. “There are more choices of genre, more authors with exceptional writing ability and many more formats.”

She says there’s been a radical change in styles, formats and presentations in young adult fiction. “We have graphic novels, books written in diary format, e-mail format, books written with different narrators. There’s a lot of creativity.”

Teens are like adults—they have varied tastes, so the publishing industry has responded with more nonfiction titles, too. “There are more nonfiction books for the teen audiences that are not homework-related,” said Dahms-Stinson.

“There are all kinds of do-it-yourself books, books exploring how to make a difference in community, books about adapting to differences that teens face in social and physical development.”

The best way to find books specifically written for teenagers, she says, is to go to the TeenThing page from Specifically formatted for the young adult reader and monitored and compiled by the library’s teen librarians, TeenThing is all about reading suggestions. Click on “Booklists” and you’ll find American Library Association-recommended titles and other lists such as “If You Like Harry Potter. . .” Another good link is “Book Corner,” listed first under InfoSpots. TeenThing is the place cool teens go to find cool reading.


Waves,” by Sharon Dogar

“A Swift Pure Cry,” by Siobhan Dowd

Epic,” by Conor Kostick

The Falconer’s Knot,” by Mary Hoffman

“Bad Tickets,” by Kathleen O’Dell

-Jeanne Duffey is Community Relations Director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District.
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