Lorie Ann Grover says: "When Colleen asked for a book recommend for What a Girl Wants, I went back and scrolled through my goodreads. What have I read this past year, that I'd want to place in the hands of a teen girl? There are so many books! Certainly every readergirlz main feature and postergirlz recommended read. But what rises to the top for me, personally? I've chosen three:
Justina Chen's North of Beautiful because every girl should be challenged to discover her own definition of beauty. Teen girls will identify with Terra as she charts her path away from her constraining, abusive father. They will cheer when she finds truth and beauty through art, and she gathers insight through her new friend Jacob. The beautifully crafted sentences and rounded characters will hold readers with hope and call them to find their own north of beautiful.
Laura Resau's Red Glass is my second recommend. With rich, beautiful language, readers will join Sophie on her journey into Mexico during a summer road trip. An eccentric cast, cultural diversity, and a hint of magical hope infuse this work which will expand the scope of teen girls today. Whether they be touched by the Bosnian war refuge or the six year old Mexican boy who has crossed the U.S. border illegally, the readers' experiences and empathy will be broadened.
And Beth Kephart's House of Dance is my third recommend. The lyrical beauty of Beth's prose just may incite teen readers to reach out to an older generation. As Rosie is charged with tending to her grandfather dying of cancer, she uncovers the life that he loved. Through ballroom dance instruction, Rosie's confidence blossoms until she can stand and give back herself. The sense of community and family love found in this gentle journey will resound in teen readers.
So there are three books of hope, I just realized. As I say to teen readers, "There's hope. Look." (Loose Threads, 2002)"
Colleen Mondor: Oh Justina Chen! Oh Beth Kephart! Can I say how much I love their books? Justina's Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies) remains one of the funniest and most normal books I've read in ages. And yet it is anything but typical it's just that any reader can see themselves in Patty's frustrations. And Beth's Nothing But Ghosts is a revelation, plain and simple. Such gorgeous writing and such a light touch when it comes to family drama and romance and coming-of-age. A book to sink into!
Colleen went on to say:
"And Lorie Ann Grover. Well, good grief, where to begin with my friend Lorie Ann. She writes for teens and toddlers and she is (in my mind) the beating heart of the readergirlz. When I grow up, I will be as powerful and talented and compassionate at Lorie Ann. She makes my world better."
And I say:
Colleen, I'm in awe of all you accomplish and provide the literary community. AND your amazing love and sacrifice for your family is inspiring. Seriously. Inspiring. Thank YOU! xox