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Check It Out: A book or two parents and teens will like

September 24, 2010|By Heather Hart

Ever since the popularity of children's books such as "Harry Potter," and Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight," it has become more socially acceptable for adults to read children's or young adult fiction. That is a good thing. There are many first-class authors writing for a younger audience and their work should not be ignored by adults. Also, many adult authors, seeing this trend, are capitalizing on the huge potential for finding a new audience and are thus now publishing books with children and teens in mind.

Here are some series that you (and your teens — if they haven't read them already) don't want to miss:

Have you heard of the latest teen book series sensation called The Hunger Games? Suzanne Collins' latest book, "Mockingjay" (released August 2010) concludes the exciting trilogy involving Katniss Everdeen. The books are set in a post-apocalyptic world ruled by the powerful government of "The Capitol." The Hunger Games, televised events where children from each district must fight to the death, were set up to remind the outlying districts who had the power. The characters struggle with survival and humanity in a brutal society. These gripping books have captivated teens — and adults with their compelling circumstances, strong characters and engrossing plots.

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The science fiction series The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld is set in a future dystopian world where everyone is turned "Pretty" through cosmetic surgery on their 16th birthday. Tally Youngblood rebels against her city's authority, runs away to avoid being changed, and challenges the idea that she must conform to the ideals that they want to impose. Descriptions of the society's technology and the snappy vernacular are entrancing. The series includes "Uglies," "Pretties," "Specials" and "Extras."

James Patterson, the well-known mystery author, has created a young adult series titled Maximum Ride. These books chronicle a group of genetically enhanced children (part human/part bird) who are on the run from various enemies. In the first title, "Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment," Max, the leader of the "flock" does all she can to find Angel, the youngest member of the group who has been kidnapped. Along the way Max and the other birdkids find out more about themselves and their purpose. The books are action packed — and are funny to boot!

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