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Sunday, April 06, 2014

Under Scrutiny, Teen Learned Defiance From 'President's Daughter'()  

April 6, 2014 Years after she first read and adored Ellen Emerson White's series of young adult novels, author Tova Mirvis still finds herself wondering, "What would Meg Powers do?"


Sunday, March 09, 2014

For A Sheltered Teen, 'Thorn Birds' Was A Much-Needed Eye-Opener()  

March 9, 2014 Therese Walsh knows Colleen McCullough's famous novel — which contains not just sex, but sex with a priest — might not be "appropriate" for teens. But, she says, it's the perfect sort of dangerous.


Sunday, February 02, 2014

A Suburban Teen Saw The Sparkle Of 'Edie' — But Not The Pain()  

February 2, 2014 In her early teens, author Megan Abbott felt trapped in her quiet community. She yearned for a life of glamour and art — like the one she found in a biography of Edie Sedgwick. When she grew up, Abbott realized just how much she'd misunderstood about the woman she'd idolized.


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Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Young Seminarian Found Comfort In 'Giovanni's' Melancholy ()  

December 28, 2013 When author Chris Abani was a boy, he was miserable at Catholic seminary and he felt like an outsider in his own family. One summer break, at home in Afikpo, he discovered James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room. The tragic, taboo love story made young Abani feel that at last he'd found someone who understood how out of place he felt in his own life.


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Sunday, December 08, 2013

When Parents Refused To Talk, Angelou Explained Sex — And Healing()  

December 8, 2013 In Roshi Fernando's upper-middle-class childhood home, conversations about sex were taboo. But at 13, already a survivor of sexual trauma, she needed answers. Fernando turned to Maya Angelou's autobiographical I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and, in its pages, found comfort and strength.


Sunday, November 03, 2013

Amid 'Satanic' Panic, One '80s Teen Discovered Rushdie's Charms()  

November 3, 2013 In 1980s Arkansas, everyone was abuzz with Satan-paranoia. In the middle of the chaos, a teenage Scott Hutchins came across Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses. What he found wasn't demonic at all — instead, it was an eye-opening, complex narrative about sad failures, washed-up movie stars and wrecked marriages.


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Sunday, October 06, 2013

'Spell'-Bound By A Goofy Book — And Later, United By It()  

October 6, 2013 Long before they met, fell in love, got married and became co-authors, Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston both read A Spell for Chameleon. The first novel in Piers Anthony's "Xanth" series is a silly book, full of corny jokes. But for teenage Melissa and Michael, it was a winking glimpse into the world of adult relationships.


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Saturday, September 21, 2013

For Shy Girl, Poe's Rapping And Tapping Inspired More Than Fear()  

September 21, 2013 As a child, author Koren Zailckas was an introvert with numbed emotions. When her fourth-grade teacher, "Mr. Cool," assigned the works of Edgar Allan Poe, she was horrified. Murder? Torture? How inappropriate! But the terrifying stories and poems transformed her: she says they scared her into life.


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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Braving Both Napoleonic France And Teenage Angst With Aplomb()  

August 25, 2013 Annemarie Selinko's Desiree, a novel about a silk merchant's daughter who almost married Napoleon, was the first book that author Fiona Maazel ever read with excitement. What book turned you into a reader? Tell us in the comments.


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Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Gut-Punch Of Sadness In James Joyce's 'Dubliners' ()  

July 21, 2013 Author Kevin Maher laughed off the Dubliners as a 12-year old, yet one line stayed with him. It was that line that convinced him to go back to the stories, discovering a love of James Joyce in the process.


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  • Books
  • PG-13: Risky Reads

About PG-13: At 13, you crave the adult stuff — the drama, the relationships, the mind-blowing ideas — even if you're not ready for adulthood. "PG-13" presents authors discussing the books that transformed and matured their teenage minds.