Needed now more than ever- a guide that includes 500 diverse and current fiction and memoir recommendations for preteens and teens with the goal of inspiring greater empathy for themselves, their peers, and the world around them.
Melissa Hart is contributing editor for The Writer Magazine and creative writing teacher for Southern New Hampshire University's MFA program. She holds a BA in literature from U.C. Santa Barbara's College of Creative Studies and an MFA in creative writing from Goddard College in Vermont. She's the author of the award-winning middle-grade novel Avenging the Owl and two memoirs--Wild Within- How Rescuing Owls Inspired a Family and Gringa- A Contradictory Girlhood. She's based in Eugene, Oregon, and travels frequently around the U.S. with her husband and 12-year-old daughter. www.melissahart.com.
"An essential resource for parents, librarians, teachers, and all who help guide our teens and preteens: the reading list topics speak precisely to the kinds of issues they face every day. Reading fiction and memoir offers them another way to expand their understanding of themselves and develop empathy for others--both of which are vitally important in an increasingly complex world." --Nancy Pearl, bestselling author of Book Lust, librarian, and literary critic "The right book read at the right time can change a life, and that's why Better with Books belongs in every library. Timely, compassionate, and wise, this is a remarkable reference guide." --Katherine Applegate, Newberry Medal award-winning author of The One and Only Ivan "If you're a parent of tweens or teens, or you work with them, Better with Books is an absolute must-have reference book. Essays about important topics, such as body image, mental health, and race, are brimming with personal stories, author interviews, and other helpful information. You'll also find five hundred recommended books for preteens and teens organized by topic, with summaries of each title. This gem needs to be on your bookshelf!" --Donna Gephart, award-winning author of Lily and Dunkin and In Your Shoes "Stories heal, bind, illuminate, and guide us. As an educator always searching for stories to help support and aid my students, I need a guide as thorough and essential as Better with Books. This will definitely sit on my shelf adorned with many Post-it notes!" --An Na, award-winning author of A Step from Heaven and The Place Between Breaths "This book is incredibly insightful, organized, and detailed. Hart delivers a wonderful, diverse series of lists and summaries that would be an excellent addition to any home, library, or classroom." --Peter Brown Hoffmeister, author of the National Book Award-nominated Too Shattered for Mending "Authors write for many reasons, but one of the most important is to let readers know that whatever difficulty they face, they're not alone. Few tweens and teens are willing to expose their vulnerabilities, and that is as it should be. But when they see their struggles in story--when they come upon a character with whom they feel true kinship--their sense of isolation recedes. We live in a culture where differences that should be celebrated are often not. Kids find truth in story, and often they find answers. Better with Books is a comprehensive guide for educators, parents, and anyone looking to find just the right book for a preteen or teen." --Chris Crutcher, award-winning author of Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes and Whale Talk