Anita Silvey
My Works
500 Great Books for Teens

Thousands of books for teens are published each year. Now an expert in the field has provided the guide book that everyone has been waiting for. Parents will see what their teenagers are actually reading and then can lead them to excellent choices. Teachers can spot additions to summer reading lists. Booksellers will have a host of suggestions in each genre to offer customers. Librarians can round out collections. Teens can choose their own books.

500 Great Books for Teens is divided into twenty-one sections, including adventure and survival, horror, fantasy, humor, mystery, science fiction, and poetry. Anyone who wants to find some new gems or get reacquainted with old favorites can happily spend hours reading the cogent descriptions.


Silvey has put together contemporary and classic adult and YA titles that meet her criteria for exemplary writing and wide appeal. Familiar groupings such as "Fantasy," "Historical Fiction," and "Mystery" accompany newer subject areas such as "Many Cultures, Many Realities," "Edgy, Trendsetting Novels," and "Politics and Social Conscience." Nonfiction titles, such as Into Thin Air and Young Men and Fire, are included in the "Adventure and Survival" category, and a unique chapter called "Information" contains books such as Undaunted Courage, Nickel and Dimed, and Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story about Brain Science. All Printz Award-winners and honor books are included, as well as some Newberys, Pulitzers, National Book Awards, and other noteworthy winners. In a conversational tone, Silvey introduces each chapter, noting characteristics of the genre followed by a two- or three-paragraph description of each book briefly outlining the plot and other elements such as writing style, themes, and significance to young adult literature. Silvey's classics include Hound of the Baskervilles, Our Town, and To Kill a Mockingbird, but librarians will agree she has a pulse on contemporary titles that will endure, such as The Da Vinci Code, Looking for Alaska, I Am the Messenger, and A Certain Slant of Light. Extras include a time line, geographical location for settings, additional titles for each subject area, and a list of recommended audiobooks.

500 Great Books for Teens
Houghton Mifflin, 2006
ISBN 978-0-6186-1296-3
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