In honor of National Stress Awareness Day in the U.S., let’s all take a deep breath…and let it out slowly. For many of us, reading is our go-to method of relaxing. Add a blanket and some tea and the trifecta is complete. But for super-sensitive, empathetic readers, reading a story about a character in peril can actually be very stressful. Sometimes it’s good stress: adrenaline, adventure, and new experiences we crave. Other times we are truly worried and fearful, even if we know certain stories need witnesses.
But are there teen reads that don’t cause too much stress — just fun, chill-out books? Every person’s own comfort reads fall into that category, of course, and “beach reads” tend to skew toward chick lit. Here, I offer a few titles I consider to be low-stress without being too personal or chick-lit-esque:
Hope Was Here, by Joan Bauer (2001 Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults). Hope moves with her aunt to Mulhoney, Wisconsin to take over a small diner, but finds the owner’s not quite ready to go — in fact, he’s about to run for mayor.
Seedfolks, by Paul Fleischman (1998 Best Books for Young Adults). Thirteen voices tell the story of a vacant lot transformed by an urban garden.
Those of you familiar with the lives of the employees of the Pawnee Parks Department know how they feel about the Pawnee Public Library. The presence of Ron Swanson’s crazy ex wife, Tammy, doesn’t help to mend the fences between these two village departments. However, I would like to believe that this rivalry between the parks Department and the library would in no way hinder Leslie Knope and staff in their love of reading. I mean, obviously they would probably have to get their books through Amazon or a bookstore so as not to encounter Tammy. Let’s see what books the Parks Department would read!
Leslie Knope – Leslie is a very powerful woman who strives at excellence in everything she does. When I think about Leslie, I immediately think of Frankie Landau-Banks. In 2009 Printz Honor bookThe Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart, Frankie orchestrates a mission to infiltrate The Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, an all-male secret society on her school campus, of which her boyfriend is a member. Of course, being a member is not enough for Frankie’s ambition. Instead, she starts to design school pranks and directs the Bassets in carrying them out. Frankie is definitely a teen Leslie would be proud of if she were a citizen of Pawnee. Another title that I would set aside for Leslie is Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer. Bauer’s story includes a mayoral race in a small town. When Hope moves to the small Wisconsin town from a fairly big city, she does not expect to get caught up in the situations of her new home. However, when the owner of the diner she works at decides to run for mayor against a corrupt politician, Hope jumps into local politics with both feet. Bauer’s book combines two of Leslie’s loves: politics and diners. Continue reading What Would They Read?: Parks and Recreation
Springtime is when love is in the air. New relationships are blooming, the warmer weather drives people outdoors and puts everyone in a better mood, and it just seems like the perfect time to fall in love…
But what happens when you don’t want to fall in love? When you just want to snarkily smirk at those silly people holding hands and picking flowers? How do you avoid, nay how do you embrace the idea that falling in love is just not for you..?
Well, one good way is to read books about love gone wrong. Luckily, teen lit is filled with excellent examples of books about all the ways love can be so harmful to your well-being. From bad breakups to unrequited crushes, check out the list below if you want to fall in love with a bad romance!
The Tear Collector by Patrick Jones
Cassandra comes from a long line of vampire-like creatures who need human tears to survive rather than blood. Cassandra is very good at collecting tears by being the shoulder for her friends to cry on, and even volunteering as a grief counselor. However, Cassandra is growing tired of her life and wants to be human, especially when she begins to fall in love with Scott.
If you are hanging around The Hub, chances are you’re a reader. And if you love to read, statistically speaking, you probably had a mom, or some other motherly figure, who read to you when you were small. (I know, I know, lots of you are screaming that it was your dad. This is Mother’s Day. Wait your turn.) So if you are still looking for a last-minute Mother’s Day gift, why not show your appreciation by introducing her to a YA mom as fabulous as she is? Just match Mom’s style to one of the titles below, each with one of the best mothers in YA and plenty of adult appeal. You may need to include a box of tissues!
For the Mess-with-My-Kid-and-I’ll-Take-You-Down momâ€”Divergent by Veronica Roth (2012 Teens’ Top Ten winner). It’s no secret that adults everywhere are devouring this series, especially since the movie came out, but fierce mothers will have a particular appreciation for Natalie Prior. Butâ€¦butâ€¦Tris’s mom is Abnegation, isn’t she? The picture of selflessness, she supports her children’s choices and wants what is best for them, even if it means watching them walk out of her life. But threaten one of her kids, andâ€¦let’s just say a whole other side of her comes out.