Tween the Lines: Challenging Reading for Pre-Teens
June 2003 | Vol. II - No. 6
Tween the Lines: Challenging Reading
By Karen Mendez Smith
While 8-14 year olds donít really like to be categorized as Tweens, publishers
find this in-between age group packs considerable buying power. Some new
titles for fall should appeal to kids who have outgrown Dr. Seuss, but
arenít quite ready for Michael Crichton.
Sun and Shadow
From Dial Press comes A COOL MOONLIGHT by Angela Johnson,
the story of a girl who cannot be touched by sunlight. Also in the shadows
is R. L. Stineís DANGEROUS GIRLS (HarperCollins), an
older novel about twin girls soon to become vampires.
Keeper of the Night
Love and Death
Abuse in teen relationships is the subject of FAULT LINE
by Janet Tashjian (Henry Holt). KEEPER OF THE NIGHT by
Kimberly Willis (Holt) captures a young womanís struggle to shelter her
family after her motherís suicide. In THE WRONG ONE (Houghton
Mifflin), a girl and her brother move from Brooklyn to Massachusetts after
the death of their father. Set in Virginia in the 1900s, FLYING
SOUTH (HarperCollins) tells the story of a girl who copes with
her fatherís death as well as the political tumult of the 1960s.
Health and Wealth
Good advice abounds in ITíS A GIRL THING: GET HEALTHY
by Mavis Jukes and Lilian Wai-Yin Cheung (Random House/Crown). Life in
a New England prep school is seen through the eyes of a boy from Harlem
in THE BEAST: A NOVEL by Walter Dean Meyers (Scholastic
History and Mystery
The Japanese invasion of Alaskaís Aleutian Islands during WWII is the
setting for ALEUTIAN SPARROW by award-winning author
Karen Hesse (Simon&Schuster/McElderry). A boy who must leave his family
to find safety when the Sudanese War reaches his village is the hero of
YEAR OF NO RAIN by Alice Mead (Farrar, Straus, Giroux).
Writer's Bio: Karen Mendez Smith has been involved
in children's media for over twenty years as a literary agent, writer,
and creator of animated television and film. Co-founder of Satori Organics
and M/Path Press, she is a parent to eight children and five incredible
grandchildren (and counting).