All About Adolescent Literacy

All about adolescent literacy. Resources for parents and educators of kids in grades 4-12.
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TV Tie-ins

Even as the Internet absorbs more of teens' attention, TV remains a constant presence. Read-alikes can be a good "in" to expand reading horizons, and there are even TV-tie ins of show like Hannah Montana and the Simpsons, so fans may enjoy reading about their favorite characters.

Alive: the Story of the Andes Survivors

Alive: the Story of the Andes Survivors

Age Level: 16-18

This plane crash adventure story concerns the Uruguayan rugby team whose plane crashed in the mountains. Forced to do whatever they needed to survive, they turn to cannibalism to stay alive. This ultimate story of survival is still compelling several years later. Fans of the TV show Lost will enjoy this title.

The Big Empty

The Big Empty

Age Level: 12-14

Like the TV show Lost, in this dystopian series, there are a few people left to start a new society. In this case, after a virus kills of much of the population, the survivors are under a military dictatorship, and also like Lost, weird experiments are going on.

Friday Night Lights : A Town a Team and a Dream

Friday Night Lights : A Town a Team and a Dream

Age Level: 16-18

This non-fiction account of a West Texas town's obsession with high school football was the basis of the movie and the television show.

Knights of the Hill Country

Knights of the Hill Country

Age Level: 14-16

This book about an Oklahoma high school football team is perfect for sports loving guys. The sports scenes are vivid as is the depiction of a small town where the high school sports team is the center of the universe. Fans of the TV show Friday Night Lights will enjoy this title.

The Notebook Girls: Four Friends, One Diary

The Notebook Girls: Four Friends, One Diary

Age Level: 16-18

The real-life diaries of four New York teens read like episodes of Gossip Girl or The Hills and show that teen lit is more realistic than many adults want to imagine. The girls write candidly about their vulnerabilities and their mistakes.

Better than Yesterday

Better than Yesterday

Age Level: 14-16

Four friends in an elite boarding school learn the truths about each other. Schneider wrote this when she herself was in high school, but it's a much better read than many other Gossip Girl-ish books.

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Age Level: 16-18

A fascinating read about what happens to bodies donated to science. Devoted fans of CSI and Bones will enjoy reading about how corpses can yield clues that help solve crimes.

The Christopher Killer: Forensic Mystery #1

The Christopher Killer: Forensic Mystery #1

Age Level: 14-16

Cameryn's father is the county coroner, which means Cameryn gets a chance to be his intern. The action heats up in this CSI-like thriller, as she gets more involved in the investigation.

JLA: The Ultimate Guide to the Justice League of America

JLA: The Ultimate Guide to the Justice League of America

Age Level: 9-12

Part of DK's set of ultimate superhero guides, this volume features the superhero team the Justice League, complete with back stories, trivia,and big beautiful pictures. Meet the original Heroes.

Runaways, Vol. 1

Runaways, Vol. 1

Age Level: 12-14

Six teenage friends discover that their parents have superpowers, but they're using them for evil, not good! It's teen angst meets Heroes. Can the kids work together to defeat their parents?

The Complete Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook

The Complete Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook

Age Level: 16-18

This compilation of the worst-case scenario books that were a phenomenon in the late 90's will be all new for today's teens. Learn how to avoid an animal attack, or escape an avalanche — perfect for wanna-be Survivor contestants.

Surviving Antarctica: Reality TV 2083

Surviving Antarctica: Reality TV 2083

Age Level: 14-16

In the future, reality TV, like Survivor is not only entertainment but education as well. Several teenagers go to Antarctica to relive the Scott expedition. Is the danger real or for television?

Hardwear: Jewelry from a Toolbox

Hardwear: Jewelry from a Toolbox

Age Level: 14-16

Like the style challenges on Project Runway, this book takes unusual objects (items found in a hardware store, like washers, bolts, etc.) and turns them into attractive jewelry. Even beginners will find projects at their level.

Breakfast at Bloomingdales

Breakfast at Bloomingdales

Age Level: 14-16

All Cat wants to do is design a clothing line for Bloomingdales. So with nothing more than a sewing machine, a little bit of money, and a dream, she heads to Manhattan. The story is completely implausible, but it's a great fairy tale for Project Runway fans.