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Teen readers are becoming more sophisticated, and a YA (young adult) book must be compelling to reach today's teens. Here are some newly released selections that might appeal to the teen in your life.

STEALING HEAVEN(HarperTeen) by Elizabeth Scott is a riveting story about Dani and her mother, professionals thieves who make their living by robbing homes. Their vagabond criminal lifestyle begins to wear thin on Dani when they travel to a town called Heaven. For the first time in her life Dani begins to make friends and feel part of a community. When her mother insists on robbing the home of Dani's new friends, she questions her mother's values and fights to establish her own sense of identity. Dani is a well-rounded, interesting character. The story is thought provoking and suspenseful. Some unexpected twists make STEALING HEAVEN a page turner.


PAPER TOWNS (Dutton Books) by John Green is told through the eyes of Quentin, a high school boy who becomes obsessed with the whereabouts of his missing neighbor, a girl he has loved since childhood. The journey to locate his missing friend results in Quentin questioning his own values and priorities. The dynamics between the high school boys is authentic and believable. Part mystery, part coming of age saga, this is a truly satisfying read.


IN DEFIANCE OF HITLER, THE SECRET MISSION OF VARIAN FRY(Farrar Straus Giroux) by Carla Killough McClafferty is a perfect choice for any reader who enjoys history or biographies. Varian Fry was an American journalist who risked his life to save Jews from the reign of Adolph Hitler. Some of the individuals he saved included famous artists, writers, and more. The spectacular account of his efforts is details in this well-documented book. While it can be considered a reference book, it reads with the emotion and drama of a well-paced novel.

Teens may be reluctant readers, but the right selection can turn a video-gaming coach potato into a book lover!

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Like A Maccabee - This middle-grade chapter book tells the story of Ben, a 10-year-old boy who is gearing up for a championship soccer game while adjusting to the changes in his family that have occurred since his grandfather moved in. Ben faces challenges at school, including the bully from the opposing soccer team, and frustrations at home.

About Barbara Bietz

Barbara is a writer from Oak Park, California. Her favorite pastime is reading children's books. She enjoys writing for adults and children. Her work has appeared in numerous publications. Visit Barbara's website at www.BarbaraBietz.com and blog - Talking about great kid's books and sharing ideas about writing for kids. http://barbarabbookblog.blogspot.com/
Listen to an Interivew with Barbara Bietz

Some of the books reviewed have been provided by the author or publisher in order to present the most accurate information possible.

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