Book Review of Eight Teenage Appropriate Novels

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Jade Green by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (2001)
Casual readers will transform into “all-night readers” once they get their hands on this book. Packed with murder, false assumptions, family secrets, some romantic moments, and loads of chilling suspense and cliffhangers, Jade Green by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor will capture and engage its young adult audience as this book flies off the shelves. Readers experience its thrilling creepiness along with main character Judith, 15, an orphan who recently moved into her uncle’s house in the late 1800s. Soon, after hearing about a mysterious Jade Green who died there, strange occurrences begin happening to Judith. She brought a green object... which her uncle deliberately told Judith not to do. Now, she suffers the intolerable consequences. Naylor excellently crafts the supernatural scenes of a haunting hand while still reinforcing the plot. Just like something haunts Judith, this gothic romance will haunt readers as well. Naylor, a Newberry Award-winning author, has written over 100 books. Jade Green has been banned in the US because of sexual content for a low readability level, 5.6. Although Judith fears the hand of Jade Green, in the end, this hand does not present the danger, cousin Charles does. Fourty-year-old Charles continuously inappropriately looks at and touches Judith. He attempts to rape and kill her at the novel’s end, just as he admits he did to Jade Green. Jade Green’s hand stops Charles by choking him. Although this incident may seem inappropriate for this age, it fits seamlessly into the novel’s plot as a whole and touches delicately on sexuality and rape, particularly within the family. Rape direly needs recognition in young adult literature and this book addresses it delicate...

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...As soon as readers start the novel, they face a wonderful depiction of child psychology, the relationship between a servant and master, and deep characterization as Hosseini expertly paints characters who dealing with trauma and difficult memories. While the book was banned for a “rape scene in graphic detail” and “vulgar language,” this book will widen the perspective of narrow-minded Americans and will provide a way for those who feel culturally misunderstood to relate to these characters. The rape scene only adds to the all-too-real horror and pain that has captured the reader and has characterized the two friends so well. It is beyond worth the read and beyond worth putting on a shelf. This will engage the Afghani culture in Columbus, OH as Village Bookshop will be one of the few bookstores to provide so many culturally diverse, yet amazingly captivating, books.