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February 15, 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Romance Fiction for Youth
From picture-book ballad and upbeat gay fiction to YA realism about the dangers of Internet dating, the youth romance genre today reaches well beyond formula. Forget those sweet damsels in distress waiting for rescue. Nobody is passive any longer in the search for love and “happily ever after,” as the titles below, reviewed in Booklist from September 15, 2002, through September 1, 2003, clearly show.
Chan, Gillian. A Foreign Field. 2002. Kids Can, $16.95 (1-55337-349-9).
Gr. 7-10. In a quiet World War II story that combines the intensity of love with the horrors of war, 14-year-old Ellen meets Stephen, a young RAF trainee at her nearby Canadian air base, and their friendship grows and deepens into love.
Fiedler, Lisa. Dating Hamlet: Ophelia’s Story. 2002. Holt, $16.95 (0-8050-7054-0).
Gr. 9-12. Ophelia is in charge in this version of Hamlet, which combines a bit of Shakespeare with romance and a feminist quest. Like Hamlet, Ophelia only pretends to be mad. And for romance fans, Ophelia saves Hamlet in the end, and they live happily ever after.
Fredericks, Mariah. The True Meaning of Cleavage. 2003. Simon & Schuster/Richard Jackson, $15.95 (0-689-85092-1).
Gr. 7-10. High-school freshman Sari is “madly, psychotically” in love with David, a senior at her Manhattan alternative school, and she tells herself they have a secret romance. But her best friend, Jess, isn’t ready for boyfriends, and can’t understand why Sari is drifting away.
Hooper, Mary. Amy. 2002. Bloomsbury, $14.95 (1-58234-793-X).
Gr. 9-12. In a chilling story about the dangers of Internet dating, lonely teenager Amy finds company in Internet chat rooms, and an online romance flourishes with Zed. Their face-to-face meeting, however, is far from idyllic; her recorded statement to the police reveals that he drugged, stripped, and photographed her.
Jackson, Alison. The Ballad of Valentine. Illus. by Tricia Tusa. 2002. Dutton, $16.99 (0-525-46720-3).
K-Gr. 3. “In a cabin, in a canyon, / Near a mountain laced with pine, / Lived a girl who was my sweetheart, / And her name was Valentine.” This picture-book parody of the familiar ballad “Clementine” never loses the romance as an unnamed admirer sends Valentine love notes via homing pigeon, smoke signals (heart-shaped, of course), Morse code, and more.
Levithan, David. Boy Meets Boy. 2003. Knopf, $15.95 (0-375-82400-6); lib. ed., $17.99 (0-375-92400-0).
Gr. 9-12. Paul has always known he’s gay. Now a sophomore in high school, he finally meets-and gets-the boy, Noah, a new kid in town. But, inevitably, boy loses boy, and then, like everything else in this extraordinarily large-hearted, cheerful romance (the first upbeat gay novel for teens) something unpredictable, but deeply satisfying, happens.
Myracle, Lauren. Kissing Kate. 2003. Dutton, $16.99 (0-525-46917-6).
Gr. 7-10. Lissa, 16, has been best friends with beautiful Kate for four years, but everything changes when Kate gets drunk at a party one night and she and Lissa passionately kiss. Lissa is desperate to talk about it, but Kate wants to pretend that nothing happened.
Rennison, Louise. Dancing in My Nuddy-Pants: Even Further Confessions of Georgia Nicolson. 2003. HarperCollins, $15.99 (0-06-009746-9); lib. ed., $16.89 (0-06-009747-7).
Gr. 7-10. In the fourth peek into Georgia Nicolson’s laugh-filled diary, Georgia has chosen Robby the Sex God instead of Dave the Laugh, and lots of good snogging ensues. A hilarious take on teen romance.
Spinner, Stephanie. Quiver. 2002. Knopf, $15.95 (0-375-81489-2).
Gr. 7-12. Atalanta takes a vow of chastity to the goddess Artemis, who has granted her exceptional athletic and hunting abilities. But when Aphrodite steps in, Atalanta falls in love with a beautiful runner and threatens her vow. The feminist slant and comic relief enliven this taut reinterpretation of the Greek myth.
Wild, Margaret. Jinx. 2002. Walker, $16.95 (0-8027-8830-0).
Gr. 9-12. The plot is predictable (an angry girl torments the name-caller she deems responsible for her friend’s death, and then falls in love with him), but there’s surprise in the vivid language of this novel, which is told in a series of short poems about want, need, and love.
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