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31 Days of Teens’ Top Ten: Teens Read Red Moon Rising

Teens’ Top Ten is a “teen choice” list,where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year! Nominators are members of teen book groups in fifteen school and public libraries around the country. Nominations are posted on Support Teen Literature Day during National Library Week, and teens across the country vote on their favorite titles each year. Each day during the month of May, The Hub will feature a post about Teens’ Top Ten. Be sure to check in daily as we visit past winners and current nominees!

*Today’s post is the second written by one of the teens lucky enough to be a part of one of the YA Galley Groups which comes up with the nominations for Teens’ Top Ten.  He is a member of librarian Allie Burke’s YALSA Galley Group, which they’ve named “bookhype.”

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I count myself enormously lucky to have the capability of reading several of this year’s picks for the Teens’ Top Ten. As an avid book reader, the chance to read books before they are even published was so novel to me that I could not resist the temptation. Some of the books in the Teens’ Top Ten Nominations that I will forever hold close include Red Moon Rising by Peter Moore, Drought by Pam Bachorz, Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, and Matched by Allie Condie- not necessarily in that order. Of these, Red Moon Rising is the book I am most fond of and most likely heard to be promoting.

This book stands out for me because it portrays the modern and most talked about genre in a different light. I am, most certainly, speaking of werewolves and vampires. These creatures are made famous because they are illustrated as beautiful with strengths humans could never have, essentially allowing the reader to become lost amongst the pages in a fantastical world. However, in this book, everyone wants to be a vampire, and those who are not, are persecuted daily. Included in this wronged group are the infamous werewolves, who are considered ugly with their numerous scars and facial contortions from their past changes. Every full moon, they are sent to, what can be amounted as, prisons so that the public can be safe. Though filled with good intentions in the beginning, this action has led to the mass murders and mutilations to their kind.  It is only when Danny’s (the main character) whole life is about to change that he begins to notice the brutalities forced upon the werewolves. This story, in my opinion, not only holds a great plot and potential for future books, but it also brings to attention the issue of racism and how it never fully goes away.

Over the years, as I’ve begun to read more each year, I have discovered that my favorite books all tend to have underlying messages much stronger than their plot, such as with Red Moon Rising or with Drought where the lesson learned could be what lengths people will go to, to prevent change. No matter their lesson, all the books I’ve listed, I had trouble putting down for even a second. Even now, months after reading them, I find that the characters continue to stay in my thoughts, and I find I yearn to read them again.

–Blaize Condon

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