All About Adolescent Literacy

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

As technology permeates all aspects of our lives, it's not surprising that high-tech gadgets, plot devices, even formats, increasingly appear in teen lit, and not just in the science fiction genre.

Little Brother

Little Brother

Age Level: 14-16

In near future San Franciso, 17-year-old Marcus, also known as w1n5t0n (or Winston), is running from the Department of Homeland Security after he is detained under suspicion of participating in a terrorist attack. Marcus and his friends are using technology to further their cause.

My So Called Digital Life: 2,000 Teenagers, 200 Cameras and 30 Days to Document Their World.

My So Called Digital Life: 2,000 Teenagers, 200 Cameras and 30 Days to Document Their World.

Age Level: 14-16

Using the immediacy of digital photography, a California high school teacher asked his students to document their school life with words and pictures.

Smartbomb: The Quest for Art, Entertainment, and Big Bucks in the Videogame Generation

Smartbomb: The Quest for Art, Entertainment, and Big Bucks in the Videogame Generation

Age Level: 16-18

This readable non-fiction title is an anecdotal history of the explosion of popularity of the gaming industry. From the giant videogame expos of today to the labs of MIT over 50 years ago, this series of essays adds texture to our knowledge of videogames.

The Secret Blog of Raisin Rodriguez

The Secret Blog of Raisin Rodriguez

Age Level: 9-12

When Raisin moves across the country, she keeps her friends back in California updated with a blog. Since no one in the East will ever see what she's writing, she can be frank about how she feels. But it doesn't take long for her to get discovered.

The Gospel According to Larry

The Gospel According to Larry

Age Level: 12-14

Wise beyond his years, Josh turns his personal slights into an anti-consumerism website that takes the world by storm. Many plot points are far-fetched, but the message comes through loud and clear. The audiobook, read by actor Jesse Eisenberg, is also a good choice.

TTYL

TTYL

Age Level: 14-16

Among the first novels told entirely in IM, this teen novel is a fast-paced read in a unique format. Three female friends use IM as their primary mode of communication, relating frank discussions about sex and drinking.

Snail Mail No More

Snail Mail No More

Age Level: 9-12

Following their more traditional epistolary novel, P.S. Longer Letter Later, the authors re-team for another book, told in the immediacy of email rather than "snail mail." All the usual tween subject matters (parents, siblings, friends, school) are on display, while the email format allows the characters to speak for themselves.

The Boy Next Door

The Boy Next Door

Age Level: 16-18

Melissa Fuller, a New York City gossip columnist, lives a life filled with shopping, man troubles, and frivolity. But when her elderly neighbor is attacked, Melissa assumes responsibility for the woman's pets, with help from the neighbor's playboy nephew. Or so she thinks. This novel is written entirely in emails.

Feed

Feed

Age Level: 14-16

In this society your brain cyberfeed provides an endless stream of information, entertainment and advertising. When Violet’s feed is disrupted, she’s cast adrift and everyone is forced to examine the power of the feed in his/her life.

One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies

One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies

Age Level: 12-14

When Ruby's mother dies, she must move to California to live with her movie-star father, who she doesn't really know. Though, she's determined to hate her rich famous father and she misses her old life in Boston, she comes to accept her new life.