Caroline the Future Librarian

Caroline Davis | LIBR 265-10 | SJSU | Wrenn-Estes

The Ultimate Teen Book Guide

Title: The Ultimate Teen Book Guide
Editors: Daniel Hahn, Leonie Flynn, and Susan Reuben
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Date: December 2007
ISBN-13: 978-0802797315

Summary: Are you looking for something to read but need help finding it?  The Ultimate Teen Book Guide is here to help!  Dozens of contributors, from avid teen readers to well known authors, have contributed over 700 reviews of great books for young adults to read.  The reviews are arranged in alphabetical order by title, so it’s easy to look up specific books.  Each book has a suggested reader age (from 12+ to 16+), a short synopsis of the book, and every single review has similar titles to recommend, so if you enjoyed the reviewed book you have an idea of what to read next.  In addition to being a great source for finding books to read, there is also lots of information on popular genres, written by the experts – young adult authors.  There are even top ten lists of recommended books within each genre.  With this guide next to you, you’ll never again have trouble finding something to read!

Critical Evaluation: I wish I found this book earlier in the semester – it really has great suggestions in a variety of genres, and the age guidelines are helpful for knowing whether a book is appropriate for an older teen audience.  The read alikes suggestions that accompany each review would be really helpful if there was a book I loved and wanted to read more like it.  I think having this guide in a library collection would be great both for kids to check out, but also for librarians to use as a resource for helping teens pick books.  I did notice that many of the books were adult crossovers – in other words, they are novels originally written for adults that had become popular with young adult readers – such as The Lovely Bones and Black Hawk Down, so the guide doesn’t exclusively include books written for a young adult audience.  My worry about this book is that it will become dated – at this point it has some recent titles, but since it was written three years ago it has already missed some great new books.  It would be great if a resource like this could be available online and frequently updated.

Reader’s Annotation: With over 700 reviews of great reads, The Ultimate Teen Book Guide will make sure that you never again have trouble finding a book to read!

Editor Information: “Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor, and translator.  His writing includes a history book about a zoo, called The Tower Menagerie, which is a slightly odd kind of book.  As an editor he has worked with Leonie and Susan on this award-winning series of Ultimate Book Guides (a set of three that began in the UK) about reading for young people, and with several other people on lots of other reference books about many other things.”

“His recent translations include two Angolan novels and the autobiography of Brazilian soccer player Pelé.  He also works regularly with Shakespeare’s Globe and Human Rights Watch.  Daniel lives in Brighton, on the south coast of England.” (Biographical Information from The Ultimate Teen Book Guide)

Genre: Non-Fiction

Curriculum Ties: English, Reading

Booktalking Ideas:
1) Is it helpful to have a guide like this to choose books to read?
2) Do you prefer to read within certain genres or do you like to try all kinds of books?
3) When you read a good book, do you like knowing what titles will be similar?

Interest Age: 12 and older

Challenge Issues: None

Challenge Defense Ideas: This book has no apparent challenge issues, but if a challenge comes up:

• Become familiar with the book and its content.

• Refer to the collection development policy of the library, if none, see here to develop one right away.

• Refer to reviews available for viewing on

• Try to get reviews of the book from teens who have read it.

Selection: I chose to include this guide because it is a resource geared specifically for teens (well, or anyone who loves reading YA lit) and would fit in with a young adult collection.


May 10, 2010 - Posted by | Books |

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