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Find more Booklist Editors' Choice
Drawn from the many adult books published during 1995, the following titles have been selected by contributing reviewers Sue-Ellen Beauregard, Karen Simonetti, Mary Marks, Merri Monks, and Candace Smith, along with members of the Booklist Books for Youth editorial staff, as top choices for teenagers’ personal reading. More complete information on audience appropriateness, theme, and content can be found in previous reviews in the Booklist Adult and the Adult Books for Young Adults sections.
Brotherman: The Odyssey of Black Men in
America. Ed. by Herb Boyd and Robert L. Allen. Ballantine, $27.50 (0-345-37670-6).
In a strong anthology of fiction, memoir, essay, and poetry, black men in America speak about who they are, where they come from, and how they see the future.
Chong, Denise. The Concubine’s Children: Portrait of a Family Divided. Viking, $21.95 (0-670-82961-7).
Chong gives voice to the Chinese immigrant experience in an epic tale of her grandmother’s life.
Day, David. The Search for King Arthur. Facts On File, $24.95 (0-8160-3370-6).
With fabulous illustrations and informative maps, Day’s anthropological study, based on history and legend, presents a romantic, illuminating portrait of King Arthur and his magical kingdom, Camelot.
Feelings, Tom. The Middle Passage: White Ships/Black Cargo. Dial, $45 (0-8037-1804-7).
This impressive, visually haunting picture story, consisting solely of black-and-white illustrations, chronicles the inhumane conditions endured by enslaved Africans on their voyage to America.
Ganor, Solly. Light One Candle: A Survivor’s Story of Holocaust Demons and Japanese Heroes. Kodansha, $23 (1-56836-098-3).
Ganor offers a riveting and remarkable account of his experiences as a Lithuanian Jewish teenager suffering ghetto life, the concentration camps, and death marches before being liberated by Japanese Americans.
Hockenberry, John. Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs, and Declarations of Independence. Hyperion; dist. by Little, Brown, $24.95 (0-7868-6078-2).
A paraplegic since his college days, journalist Hockenberry writes candidly about himself and his career in a gritty, thought-provoking, unforgettable account of a full life.
Houle, Marcy. The Prairie Keepers: Secrets of the Grasslands. Addison-Wesley, $20 (0-201-60843-X).
Field biologist Houle delivers a passionate, compelling description of a unique environment in her record of her six-month study of hawks on a vast Oregon prairie.
Obama, Barack. Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. Times, $23 (0-8129-2343-X).
Obama’s wry, lively autobiography charts his search for identity as a black American, a quest that took him from the side of his white mother to the Kenyan tribe of the father he barely knew.
Osserman, Robert. Poetry of the Universe: A Mathematical Exploration of the Cosmos. Doubleday/Anchor, $18.95 (0-385-47340-0).
For the mathematically inclined, this challenging, copiously illustrated book about geometry is a genial, enlightening invitation to study and learn.
Salzman, Mark. Lost in Place: Growing Up Absurd in Suburbia. Random, $22 (0-679-43945-5).
In a gentle, totally delightful memoir of his freewheeling Connecticut youth, Salzman recalls his growing up as a slightly eccentric teenager and remembers the people who helped shape his life.
Thornton, Yvonne S. The Ditchdigger’s Daughters: A Black Family’s Astonishing Success Story. Birch Lane, $19.95 (1-55972-271-1).
A close-knit family and a visionary father are at the heart of Thornton’s inspiring story of her childhood and the father who cajoled, encouraged, and bullied his five daughters into escaping poverty.
Von Drehle, David. Among the Lowest of the Dead: The Culture of the Condemned. Times, $25 (0-8129-2166-6).
Von Drehle conducts an intriguing, eye-opening examination of the death penalty, exploring not only the controversy but also the people, the policies, and the issues.
Alexie, Sherman. Reservation Blues. Atlantic Monthly; dist. by Publisher’s Group West, $21 (0-87113-594-9).
The language is strong and the humor sometimes dark and bitter, but teens will be drawn to the rock-music background and the believable characters who play together in Thomas Builds-the-Fire’s Indian rock band.
Bakker, Robert T. Raptor Red. Bantam, $21.95 (0-553-10124-2).
Paleontologist Bakker takes readers back in time for a richly detailed, exciting glimpse at a year in the life of a female velociraptor, Raptor Red.
Banks, Russell. Rule of the Bone. HarperCollins, $22 (0-06-017275-4).
Kicked out of his home for stealing from his mother to support his drug habit, a teenage boy decides to track down his father in Jamaica. A tough, poignant journey into adulthood, written in an authentic teenage voice.
Kenney, Charles. Hammurabi’s Code. Simon & Schuster, $22 (0-671-89697-0).
A reporter’s dogged pursuit of corruption, even after the subject of his inquiry has been murdered, reveals some fascinating secrets in a dynamite mystery that genre fans will savor.
Rigbey, Liz. Total Eclipse. Pocket, $22 (0-671-79579-1).
In this can’t-put-it-down puzzler, a romance-besotted astronomer attempts to prove that his beautiful lover is innocent of a brutal double murder.
Rosenthal, C. P. Elena of the Stars. St. Martin’s, $18.95 (0-312-13482-7).
On the brink of young womanhood, naive, self-involved Elena is forever transformed when she visits her grandfather at his beautiful, remote Wyoming ranch. A beautifully written, ultimately disturbing novel.
Uyemoto, Holly. Go. Dutton, $18.95 (0-525-93779-X).
As Japanese American college student Wil prepares to turn 21, she takes stock of her life and searches for a secure place in her extended family.
Verdelle, A. J. The Good Negress. Algonquin, $19.95 (1-56512- 085-X).
Thirteen-year-old Neesy rages quietly over family obligations while longing for “white people’s” education in this touching, pithy novel.
Watson, Larry. Justice. Milkweed Editions, $17.95 (0-312-85783-7).
Just as involving as Watson’s earlier book about the Hayden family, Montana 1948, this prequel is a powerful, bewitching tale of love, generations, and family secrets.
Willey, Elizabeth. A Sorcerer and a Gentleman. Tor; dist. by St. Martin’s, $23.95 (0-312-85783-7).
In a splendid sword-and-sorcery yarn that mixes magic and romance, a charming sorcerer following his own code of honor finds himself in the midst of a royal power struggle.
Young, Jim. Armed Memory. Tor; dist. by St. Martin’s, $21.95 (0-312-85766-7).
Twenty-first-century Americans work to avert a virus that will transform the population into killer, sharklike creatures. A chillingly imaginative sf novel.
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