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A Nonfiction Column
By Willie Elliott

Surely You Can Find Something To Read in All of This

I ran upon a book entitled 500 Great Books for Teens by Anita Silvey in our local library.

At first I thought it would just be a another reading list, but this was much more. The books are listed in twenty-one categories:

  1. Adventure and Survival
  2. Autobiography and Memoir
  3. Edgy
  4. Trendsetting Novels
  5. Fantasy
  6. Graphic Novels
  7. Historical Fiction
  8. Horror, Ghost, Gothic
  9. Humor
  10. Information
  11. Many Cultures, Many Realities
  12. Plays
  13. Mystery and Thriller,
  14. Poetry and Poetic Novels
  15. Politics and Social Conscience
  16. Realistic Fiction
  17. Religion and Spirituality
  18. Romance
  19. Science Fiction
  20. Short Stories
  21. War and Conflict

The author also includes the following chapters: Beyond the 500: Additional Titles of Interest, Books by Geographic Location, Books by Historical Time and Recommended Audio Books. There is also a very helpful index.

Two surprises came to my mind: the number of books I have read and the number of excellent books that I have yet read. While is say for teens, there are a large number I would also consider for adults. Every adult needs to read To Kill a Mockingbird and Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl.

Sometimes we have mistaken ideas about certain books. For example, I have always thought Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury was a science fiction book, but it turns out it is a collection of short fiction connected by place (Green Town, Illinois. This information intrigued me to the point that I now want to read the book.

I checked on several of the books and they are available on both/or Amazon.com or Half.com at reduced prices.

This is a book that should be available to all teen students either as their own copy or a library copy. There is something for everyone in this book.

After reading through the book at random, the thought came to my mind: so many books so little time.


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