Shelf Discovery

Status: Bookseller Picks

Lizzie Skurnick's new book muses over all those teen/young adult books we all just read to tatters.  Spanning over one hundred years of YA - Laura Ingalls Wilder, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Louisa May Alcott, Lois Duncan, Judy Blume, Madeleine L'Engle, Beverly Cleary, Katherine Paterson, Joan Aiken, Paul Zindel, Robert Cormier - Skurnick's essays, and those by contributors such as Meg Cabot, Laura Lippman, and Jennifer Weiner, cover approximately one hundred beloved books, and, just like our favorites, this book is very, very hard to put down.  There's a little something for every type of reader, too.  Did you carry Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret with you everywhere?  Shiver through the pages of Girl With The Silver Eyes or Stranger with My Face?  Did you stand fiercely behind Meg from A Wrinkle in Time or Kit from Witch of Blackbird Pond?  Or did you swipe your older sister's/babysitter's copy of Forever...?  Then Shelf Discovery is the perfect book for you.  It might even introduce you to a book or two that escaped your teenage eyes at the time - Skurnick champions In Summer Light by Zibby Oneal, a book that is currently out-of-print (and can be had used).  If you haven't read the majority of books covered in Skurnick's pieces, get yourself to the nearest library or bookstore and start reading with Shelf Discovery to point the way!  Shelf Discovery is a winding trek back through the library trips and under-the-cover-with-flashlight reading sessions of my childhood and adolescence; I enjoyed every minute of it and I now have a towering list of books to re-read (I have to dig them out of my parents' basement first). 

Categories: nonfiction, teens
by QueenofZone2 on ‎08-12-2009 10:45 AM
My copy of "Shelf Discovery" now looks as loved as my copies of the books Skurnick discusses.  She is hilarious.  She points out common themes, like someone discovering psychic powers or a trip to the library that results in finding the one book that has all the information the characters will need to solve the problem by the end of the book.  This book made me feel 12 again (admittedly not that hard to do).  How great to have a fun "conversation" with someone who seems like your older sister's BFF about the books you both grew up on.  "Shelf Discovery" is as universal in appeal as the books it discusses.  I even spent over $150 on used books finding the out of print titles discussed!

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