Happy Teen Read Week, Niles Teens!
Last month you joined more than 8,000 teens from around the country to choose your favorite books from the past year. Here are the results.
The 2010 Teens’ Top Ten is:
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
Heist Society by Ally Carter
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Fire by Kristin Cashore
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Teens visit www.ala.org/teenread and vote on next year’s theme (Picture It @ your library, Feast on Reads @ your library, or Cloak and Dagger@ your library

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Welcome to the Book Bowl. The Niles Teen Advisory Board christened the Young Adult Fiction Area the Teen Alley. All reviews are welcome! I started the ball rolling with a review of Mockingjay.

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Mockingjay is heartbreaking with its honest portrayal of the cost of revolutionary action against the Capitol. Who are the good guys and who will live or die kept me fixated until I finished. Collins writes with pinpoint precision with the same accuracy that Katniss displays with a bow and arrow.

Mockingjay moves in military precision in drills of brutality, tenderness, calculation, strategy, horror, and heartbreak. Collins’s background as a screenwriter is evident. The fast pacing, the quick settings change and the dialogue are all geared toward the visual. The author makes your care what will happen to all the characters in the trilogy, especially Katniss. Katniss’s humanity serves as a foil to the cold cruelty of the Capitol. Throughout her war weary exploits she wears her sensitivity, independence and vulnerability. The personal conversations and interactions between the characters are brilliantly written.

Collins is no stranger to the horrors of war since her father taught at West Point and served in Vietnam. After a while I thought how does she come up with all these ghastly ideas for evil and torture. In the last heartbreaking disaster, I was reminded of the famous picture from Vietnam with a child on fire from a napalm bomb. Horrific events continue in war after war and Mockingjay follows this realism.

The Hunger Games trilogy, Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, hits hard and after reading all of them I felt stunned. Although I would have favored a few more characters spared, Mockingjay ends the trilogy with a believable conclusion.

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