All About Adolescent Literacy

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

Believe it or not, the Fantasy genre was a hit with teens even before Harry Potter. Here's a selection of the many subgenres, including urban fantasy, fairy tale retellings. And a great thing about Fantasy books — they're often part of a series, so fans have even more good reading in store.

The Great Book of Amber

The Great Book of Amber

Age Level: 16-18

Often considered one of the greatest fantasy series, the ten-book Amber Chronicles are collected here in one volume. The stories tell of first Corwin, then his son Merlin, and their life on both Earth and its parallel city Amber. Amber is a fully realized world, and the books are fantasy, humor and adventure in one long but compelling package.

Beyond the Deepwoods

Beyond the Deepwoods

Age Level: 9-12

This British import features 13-year old Twig, who was raised as a wood troll but is actually a human boy. The first volume builds the world that comes alive in many future volumes.

Swords : An Artists Devotion

Swords : An Artists Devotion

Age Level: 9-12

An art and informational book for those who like the big fantasy accessory — the sword. This book is great for the budding artist.

Dragonrider

Dragonrider

Age Level: 12-14

Firedrake is a leader on a quest to save the rest of the dragon population, with some help from a boy and a mischievous brownie. The book is long, but a definite page turner, and a great introduction to fantasy for young readers.

A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time

Age Level: 9-12

How the Murray children search through time to find and save their missing scientist father continues to enthrall readers even 50 years after its publication. The author was awarded the Newbery Medal for what has become a classic time travel fantasy.

Castle Waiting

Castle Waiting

Age Level: 16-18

A variety of fairy tales are retold and new fantasy stories created in this graphic novel. Don't be fooled by the subject matter of this beautifully illustrated book, it has a sophisticated storytelling style that is more suitable to older readers.

Stardust

Stardust

Age Level: 16-18

This beautiful contemporary fairy tale was later made into a movie. It features a pair of young lovers — Tristan, who agrees to find the falling star he just spotted, and the girl who agrees to marry him when he does. Tristan's adventures make this a perfect fairy tale for older readers.

Impossible

Impossible

Age Level: 14-16

Lucy was raised by foster parents after her own mother became mentally ill, foster parents who may know more about her past than they've shared. Lucy must solve a puzzle, found in the song Scarborough Fair, to break a curse and save her own sanity. Werlin, known mysteries and thrillers, gives this story a unique touch of fantasy.

Valiant : A Modern Tale of Faerie

Valiant : A Modern Tale of Faerie

Age Level: 14-16

When Valerie runs away to New York and falls in with a group of edgy street kids, it looks like another gritty story about teen angst, but soon we discover that Valerie's companions are using faerie glamour to get high, glamour that they are supposed to be delivering to magical citizens who live throughout the city. And some of those faeries are turning up dead.

Magic or Madness

Magic or Madness

Age Level: 14-16

When Reason's mother goes insane, she is forced to live with her grandmother Esmerelda, who may be the source of her mother's insanity. Reason does her best to avoid contact with Esmerelda, but when she decides to run away her escape takes her from Australia all the way to New York. The book is full of action, a little violence, and is a good entry in the urban fantasy genre.

The Wee Free Men

The Wee Free Men

Age Level: 12-14

Pratchett has written many Discworld books loved by teens and adults alike, but this was his first novel for a younger teen audience. Nine-year-old Tiffany is destined to be a witch, but she's got a lot of learning to do first. Along with the drunken, brawling Nac Mac Feegles, Tiffany sets off to find her brother in this hilarious fantasy adventure.