Top 10 Unsuitable Books for Teenagers

Patrick Ness, author of the wonderfully tense The Knife of Never Letting Go, has selected ten books that are entirely unsuitable for teens but perfect to read when people say you are far too young to read them.  One wonders how many more teens would be reading if they just got a few inappropriate books in their hands!

Here is his list:


The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

The Stand by Stephen King (this and everything else by King were a huge part of my teen reading habits)

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace


Beloved by Toni Morrison

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

Dracula by Bram Stoker


Middlemarch by George Eliot

Maul by Tricia Sullivan

Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins

Unrecommended by Unnamed – the place to put those all those books that YOU read as a teen but now think that teens are WAY to young to read.  Yeah, I can relate to Ness’ Flowers in the Attic reference…

Depressed? Try Reading a Book!


Image by Canonsnapper

A study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine shows that teenagers who listen to more music than other teens are more likely to experience major depression.  The study had 106 participants, 46 of which had major depressive disorder.

The top quarter of teens who listened to the most music were 8.3 times more likely to be depressed than the teens who feel into the lower quadrant of music listening.  Interestingly, though researchers expected to see a similar result, television watching did not have the same connection to depression.

Here is the reading part:

The top quarter of teens in the study who read the most, including not only books but magazines and newspapers, were one-tenth as likely to be depressed as those in the lower quadrant who read the least. 

The question is whether music or depression came first and also whether reading or not being depressed came first. 

Review–Planting the Wild Garden by Kathryn O. Galbraith


Planting the Wild Garden by Kathryn O. Galbraith, illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin

This lovely book moves from the steady and deliberate planting of seeds by farmers to the ways that seeds are planted in nature.  The seeds sweep along the in the wind.  They are dropped by birds eating from the seed heads.  They pop and snap to new places.  They are carried on the coats of animals.  They are planted by squirrels hiding them for winter.  Told in a poetic voice with images that evoke nature in all of its beauty, this book is one to be treasured.

Galbraith’s writing is leisurely and lovely, lingering on each of the moments that spread seeds across nature.  She explains each instance in detail, offering noises, specific plant names, and building moments that readers themselves can feel and be in for a bit.  She also skillfully blends in animals in each setting, bringing it further to life.

Halperin’s style works very well with this subject matter.  She plays with light and dark, draws the animals and plants described in the text.  Through her fine-lined and gently colored images, nature comes to life.  One of her most successful pages is early in the book, capturing the movement of the wind in colors and lines.

A natural, lovely look at seeds and planting in the wild, this book is a gorgeous tribute to wilderness.  Appropriate for ages 4-7.

Reviewed from copy received from Peachtree Publishers.

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