Radical Reads: 101 Young Adult Novels on the Edge
- Publish Date: 2002-06-14
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Joni Richards Bodart
Radical young adult fiction can be edgy and raw, which is why young adults who read it find it to be very relevant to their lives. Teens struggling with issues in today's society can often recognize themselves and identify their problems in the fictional lives they read about. There are no easy answers or pat endings in these books. They often are accused of being dark, gritty, and bleak because they deal with subjects like incest, teenage pregnancy, dysfunctional families, gangs, prejudice, violence, drugs, or other complex problems. Central characters can be quite mature and multidimensional and plot lines are complex. These books break boundaries in various ways, from the challenge they present to the reader to the voice they give to their young protagonists. Radical YA fiction is frequently more complex and better written than many adult bestsellers.
Bodart, long known as the reigning queen of booktalking, has identified 101 engaging, tough, and well-written books and presents them in a way that will help the librarian defend their presence in the library or classroom, the parent who wants to know what their child is reading, and the teen who is looking for a Rad Read. Naturally, there is a booktalk to pique interest and give away just enough of the story. Entries also include character lists and sections on subject areas and major themes. Bodart also provides a number of booktalk and book report ideas. Her section on risks will alert adults to mature themes, while her section on strengths will help defend these books against their critics. The author has also included awards won and a section of book reviews, which will be useful for both adult and student.
All the books listed are accessible to readers of middle school ability and up. This is truly a multipurpose book from an expert who knows her stuff and essential for any library serving a teen audience and handy for parents as well.