Speaking Volumes: Best-selling authors target young adults

Special to the HeraldNovember 11, 2012 

Jodi Picoult, bestselling author of "My Sister's Keeper" and other contemporary adult fiction has recently collaborated with her high school aged daughter Samantha to create "Between the Lines," a modern day fairy tale in which a loner girl converses with a fictional prince who resides within her favorite book. It's is part of a growing trend among established authors.

Many adults have already been drawn to young adult blockbusters like "The Hunger Games" and the Twilight series. Established authors like James Patterson are now seeking out younger readers. His Maximum Ride series about genetically altered teens, the Daniel X books about an alien invasion of Earth, and his Witch and Wizard series about teens accused of having magical powers have all proved popular.

Inspiration author Richard Paul Evans ("The Letter," "The Christmas Box") created adolescent "Michael Vey: the Prisoner of Cell 25" who similarly discovers secret powers while incarcerated.

Literary authors Joyce Carol Oates and Alice Hoffman also offered titles for teens: "Big Mouth and Ugly Girl" by Oates follows a school investigation into a bomb threat, and in "Green Angel" Hoffman explores a fifteen year old girl's grief over the loss of her family.

Suspense author Harlan Coben's "Shelter" explores the formative years of one of his popular protagonists Mickey Bolitar, while Carl Hiaasen created three teen suspense books about Florida's fragile environment: "Hoot," "Flush," and "Scat."

Popular mystery writer Kathy Reichs, creator of the characters in TV's Bones, offers a trilogy about Temperance Brennan's science-obsessed niece Tory and her friends who call themselves 'the virals' and solve mysteries. "Virals" and "Seizure" are the first two entries in this series. John Grisham this year released his third book, "Theodore Boone: the Accused" about the ongoing cases of a teenaged lawyer.

And romance authors have also hopped on the bandwagon. Candace Bushnell of Sex and the City fame has aged down her characters to the teen years for "The Carrie Diaries" and Meg Wolitzer who offered "Uncoupling" as an adult contemporary story recently switched gears to offer "The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman," a sweet tale of young teens who meet and share their secrets at a Scrabble tournament.

For these and other exciting and interesting reading suggestions please visit your local library today.

Speaking Volumes, written by Manatee County Public Library System staff members, is published each Sunday. Access the library online at www.mymanatee.org/library.html. Kevin Beach is the supervisor of the library's Collection Development Department.

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