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Adult Books for Teens

Librarians often ask for recommendations of adult titles that their teen patrons will enjoy. These adult titles are in-house favorites at Macmillan, and are perfectly appropriate and accessible to teens. Mix it up by giving them a taste of reading choices that they won’t find on the young adult shelves.
MAKE YOUR HOME AMONG STRANGERS by Jennine Capó Crucet

A “heartfelt first novel” with “sharp cultural observations and terrific dialogue.” New York Times Book Review

“Here, perfectly articulated through Lizet, is the experience of being a first-generation child of immigrants in America… But above all, in Lizet’s story, we have a thrilling, deeply fulfilling journey of a young woman stepping into her own power.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“While Crucet’s bildungsroman is specific to Cuban American Lizet Ramirez and her quest to find out who she is amid the cacophony of life in the United States, it succeeds on such a universal level that she could easily be a coming-of-age poster child.”Booklist, starred review

“Told largely in flashback by an older and wiser Lizet, this coming-of-age story achieves a wry and wistful tone. Debut novelist Crucet depicts with insight and subtlety the culture shock, confusion, guilt, and humiliations of the first-generation college student.” Library Journal

WEIGHTLESS by Sarah Bannan

“In this finely crafted debut, Bannan skillfully delivers a tale of modern-day bullying… Bannan’s provocative novel will stay with readers long after they finish it, and should be an especially effective read for teens.” —Publishers Weekly

“Raises haunting and urgent questions regarding personal responsibility and the culture of bullying in the age of social media.” Booklist

“Bannan’s first novel takes a skillfully nuanced approach to the high school mean girls drama plot. No easy emotional pull of championing vindication for a victim here; expect instead to experience the unease of tangled intentions and perceptions that leave no clear answers while offering deep insights.” —Library Journal

BLANKETS by Craig Thompson

“In telling his story, which includes beautifully rendered memories of the small brutalities that parents inflict upon their children and siblings upon each other, Thompson describes the ecstasy and ache of obsession (with a lover, with God) and is unafraid to suggest the ways that obsession can consume itself and evaporate.” New York Times

“Thompson’s evocation of high-school romance manages to be both romanticized and clear-eyed. His visual mastery shows in fluid line work, assured compositions, and powerful use of solid black areas and negative space. Weighing in at nearly 600 pages, this is a genuine graphic novel, with a universal appeal that suits it for any collection.” —Booklist, starred review

THE ARAB OF THE FUTURE: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984: A Graphic Memoir by Riad Sattouf

“As the very young Riad Sattouf navigates life in Libya, France, and Syria, he gets a serious education in the mysterious vectors of power that shape not just the political world, but the intimate sphere of his own family. With charming yet powerful drawings and vivid sensory details, Sattouf delivers a child’s-eye view of the baffling adult world in all its complexity, corruption, and delusion. This is a beautiful, funny, and important graphic memoir.”
—Alison Bechdel, author of FUN HOME

“This snapshot of Middle Eastern countries in perpetual unease bears witness to the complexities of cultural conflict as well as the resilience of people just trying to live, perhaps coping by accepting misinformation simply to keep up hope. A solid read for students of culture clash and international affairs, high school and up.” —Library Journal

STILL LIFE LAS VEGAS by James Sie

“An astonishing mix of word and image, humor and heart.” —Gene Luen Yang, Michael L. Printz Award-winning author of AMERICAN BORN CHINESE

“Sie’s debut novel is an often mesmerizing look at grief and coming of age.” —Publishers Weekly

“The stories are haunting, a quality that is beautifully captured by artist Choi’s interpolated graphic-novel chapters that expand and complement the text. Sie’s first novel is richly imagined and beautifully written with a well-realized setting and memorable characters. Together they make for an altogether auspicious debut.”
—Booklist

FALLEN LAND by Taylor Brown

“This bleak, harrowing account of a young couple’s journey in General Sherman’s wake describes the ‘fallen land’ with wrenching detail, in language both lyrical and heartbreaking. Much like Charles Frazier’s COLD MOUNTAIN in style, subject, and mood, but also as evocative of the nineteenth-century American landscape as Karen Fisher’s A SUDDEN COUNTRY, this is a masterpiece that deserves a full serving of accolades.” —Booklist, starred review

“Like McCarthy’s Border Trilogy or Frazier’s COLD MOUNTAIN, this is American literature at its best, full of art and beauty and the exploration of all that is good and bad in the human spirit.”Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Brown’s expressive language captures the harsh realities of the South at the time. A nail-biting journey from first page to last.” Library Journal, starred review

“This is a Civil War odyssey in the tradition of Charles Frazier’s COLD MOUNTAIN and Daniel Woodrell’s WOE TO LIVE ON, written in a vernacular that resurrects the era and fully brings alive Callum and Ava’s adventures on the road. At the center of the story is the couple’s growing love for each other, which powers the story to a suspenseful ending and a satisfying epilogue.” —Publishers Weekly

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