Coming of Age in America

Artwork of a combined American and Philippine flag with family member's shoes

In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month this May, here are some stories about teens' experiences immigrating to America. Teenage years are tough while navigating life and figuring out who you truly are, but that process is made even more difficult when you must leave your home behind for an unfamiliar place with different customs. Immigrating from […]

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Non-Mom Books for Mother’s Day

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Mother's Day tends to bring pink greeting cards and flowery Instagram posts, but sometimes the important women in our lives are not the ones that we call Mom. So here are some books to check out if you're looking for a family that doesn't fit the standard mold. L. M. Montgomery's classic Anne of Green Gables features one […]

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Record Store Day Reads

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The 8th annual Record Store Day will take place this Saturday, April 18 right here in Chicago. Show support for your local record store by adding to your music collection. Some stores in Chicago to check out include: Reckless Records, Record Breakers, Logan Hardware, and Laurie’s Planet of Sound. If you love flipping through records and scouring […]

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Celebrate Teen Literature Day

stack of teen books

I read and talk about teen literature every day, but Celebrate Teen Literature Day is April 16, during National Library Week. Teen lit covers such a large variety of topics and genres that the list of books I want to read grows daily. I'll never be able to read everything, even if I kid myself that I will, but […]

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The Healing Power of Poetry

a purple bench with e. e. cummings' poems written on it

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month?  Some people celebrate by carrying a poem in their pocket to share with others. My favorite experience with poetry was when my English teacher gave each student a bag of words that we arranged to make poems. Little did we know that those words were actually taken from different poems. […]

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The Power of Friends

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Friends see you through everything, the crushes, the family problems, the school drama, but finding one to trust doesn't just happen. It takes time. In The Scar Boys, Harry Jones is disfigured from a childhood accident, so making friends is often a challenge for him. But what eventually helps him out is music and starting a band. Each chapter […]

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Win Tickets To The Divergent Series: INSURGENT


Teens, do you love Insurgent? Now’s your chance to win tickets to see The Divergent Series: INSURGENT before it’s released! All you have to do it take a picture with one of the Divergent Series books and post it on Twitter with #INSURGENTinChicago to be entered to win tickets to the March 16 screening at Navy Pier […]

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New Teen Books at Austin Branch

The Best of the Best in teen books has arrived at Austin. We recommend these titles as some of the best books for high school teens published in 2014. 100 Sideways Miles Call Me by My Name Gabi, A Girl in Pieces I'll Give You the Sun Love Letters to the Dead Poisoned Apples The Strange […]

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Teen Romance for the Hardest of Hearts


I'll be honest, I'm not a giant fan of romance books. I'm not anti-romance, I'd just rather see characters doing something other than daydreaming or moping, or scheming to get a partner. So it's all the sweeter when a book whose primary focus is the development of a romantic relationship catches my attention. And Valentine's Day is […]

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Rethink Gender: Diverse Books for Teens

Photo of pencils in rainbow color order

Currently in the teen writing world, there is a push to see books featuring more diverse characters, themes and narratives. We Need Diverse Books is a grassroots organization dedicated to addressing the lack of books featuring characters with a variety of backgrounds. Think everything from race to income level to family dynamics. According to their mission statement, "We Need Diverse […]

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