Review ♦ The Ultimate Teen Book Guide

About the Book

Stuck for something to read? Whether you’re searching for a book to blow your mind and change your life or just a light read for the beach, The Ultimate Teen Book Guide is the perfect place to start.

This book includes recommendations from teen reviewers and your favorite authors – more than 700 books total – from true classics to must-read cult fiction, from the top award winners to up-to-the-minute bestsellers. Prepare to be inspired! Whether you like fantasy, horror, chick lit, graphic novels, sci-fi, or crime, there’s something for everyone.

You’ll also find special features written by expert authors – like E. Lockhart on books about love and relationships, and Patrick Jones on short and gripping books – plus Top Ten Lists by genre and the results of our Top Ten Surveys.

Each rave review comes with suggestions for what to read next, so with more than 1,000 recommended books total, you’ll never be without a book again!

My Thoughts  
I’ve always been addicted to lists, and being a book lover and voracious reader, books about books that contain lists are like heaven for me. I’ve seen, read and own lots of these books like 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, Book Lust, etc. But the only ones I came across that were specifically geared towards teens seemed to highlight the most obvious choices and weren’t all that informative. The Ultimate Teen Book Guide is exactly what I wanted. Not only does it contain the more traditional choices of reading recommendations for kids aged 12 and up, but it also features books that were originally written with adults in mind but that would be incredibly valuable for younger readers.

My own situation is that I have a thirteen year old son who came home from school, extremely upset because his teacher wouldn’t allow him to read his choice of book during independent reading time – every morning for 30 minutes the students must sit at their desks and read a book that they’ve chosen themselves for enjoyment reading. My son was told that it was an inappropriate book for his age, his grade and reading in general. He was reading Michael Crichton’s Next. After taking the book away from him, the teacher suggested he read a Goosebumps or Geronimo Stilton style book – I was shocked! My son read those books when he was about six years old. Anyway long story short I met with the teacher explained that there was so much that he was learning from the Crichton novels – he was spending hours looking up information on stem cell research, evolution, biology, genetic medicine – and I asked what he could possibly learn from the chapter books suggested to him. Also by making all the students in a class read according to the lowest students reading level, it’s only discouraging reading for some. My belief is that age range guides on books are only a guideline – they are not the bottom line – all kids are different and some will read below and others above.

By including adult titles and how they could be positive reading experiences for teens The Ultimate Teen Book Guide impressed me immensely! But along with that, I found this guide to be a treasure for myself. While reading it – and yes I read it front to back in a day! – I compiled quite the list of books I haven’t read before, both kids and adult reads. Each book gets a review style blurb from one of many different people that took part in creating this book, along with a related reading recommendation box which was really neat. It’s hard to describe exactly so I took some photos of the different page styles found throughout the book.

Click on any of the pictures to get a larger view.

This picture shows how the majority of the book is laid out. Something I liked was that the books are presented in alphabetical order by title – which gives it a nice mixture of authors, genres, levels and topics.

Then there is a whole section devoted to Subject lists. This would be really handy if you were looking for specific themes.

And the other thing I really liked was these 2 page spreads that were scattered throughout the book. The one I chose highlights the best in Graphic Novels, but there were many other types of reading spotlights as well.

My final thought – The Ultimate Teen Book Guide is a perfect treasure, and since it wouldn’t be very nice of me to keep the libraries copy, I fully intend to order one of my own :P
About The Editors

DANIEL HAHN is a writer, editor, and translator. He also works regularly with Shakespeare’s Globe and Human Rights Watch. He lives in Brighton, on the south coast of England.

LEONIE FLYNN us a librarian at a small private elementary and middle school in North London, where she spends most of her time reading, persuading kids to read, writing (about reading), and writing (about other things).

SUSAN REUBEN has been editing children’s books for 10 years and now co-owns a freelance editorial and design business. She lives with her husband and son in England.


Title: Ultimate Teen Book Guide
Editors: Hahn; Flynn; Reuben
Book Genre: Reference
Book Type: Hardcover 432 pages
Publisher: Walker Young Readers
Publication Date: December 2007
Other Reviews 
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© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.


Kerry said...

This looks really good. I've put a reserve on a copy at my library.

Mo from Unmainstream Mom Reads said...

Great job for talking to your son's teacher :) I can't believe the teacher had the audacity to say your son couldn't read Michael Crichton. He's thirteen and obviously bright, and for him to have to read a Goosebumps book is ridiculous. He'd be bored. Why are some teachers afraid of the really smart students?

When I was thirteen, I was checking Stephen King and Dean Koontz out of the school library with no issues, but times change I guess. It seems like people at schools are getting more conservative & inflexible as the years go by.

This reminds me of my little niece. She's 8 and in 3rd grade. She's at a 6th grade reading level, and bored with all age/grade level appropriate books, but the school refuses to let her read books with a higher reading level. Schools suck sometimes.

Belle said...

Wow, what a great review. I'm going to get this next time I'm shopping online!

Bybee said...

Although I don't have any teenagers, I'd be interested in this book! Love the layout.

I hate teachers, which is complicated by the fact that I am one. But the lion's share of them seem hell-bent on squeezing all the delight out of reading.

Chris said...

Oh no! This is a book that I REALLY don't need, lol...but I do want it ;)

Rhinoa said...

Like you I like lists! I also really like YA books so this looks like just my thing. I like the graphic novel section you showed, I will keep an eye out for it.

naida said...

great post joanne :) I like that you posted pictures.
this does sound very good.

p.s. I gave you an award

Karen Beth said...

I am new to your blog and am enjoying your thorough reviews! Way to go talking to your son's teacher. What happened after you confronted her?

the_young_dude said...

I saw this in a bookstore but somehow skipped the "book" part.. I thought it was a self-help book for teens... I feel so silly!

Care said...

stunned and saddened that a teacher sug'd Goosebumps over Next. but was saved into laughter at Bybee's comment. Good for you for talking with her.

Jessica said...

Thanks so much for this review! I am gaining a teenage stepdaughter next month, and I've been desperately looking for ideas for books to read with her.

Ladytink_534 said...

I just love list books! I may just have to order this one :)

Darla D said...

I need to get my hands on this one!

Zibilee said...

Oh my! This is just the book I have been looking for for my two reading teenagers. I am going to make sure to get a copy of this. Thanks for posting this, it's an incredible find for me!

Anonymous said...

This looks cool. But I don't think I'll dare.

Anonymous said...

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