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Stuff for the Teen Age

Teen Summer Reading Spotlight on Reality (a.k.a., Nonfiction Books)

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If you enjoy weird mysteries and separating truth from fiction, then you'll definitely enjoy Dead Strange: The Bizarre Truths Behind 50 World-Famous Mysteries by Matt Lamy.

This book covers different topics from alchemy to zombies, and the author discusses the difference between the myth and the reality of each topic. Along the way you'll learn about mysteries like Area 51, Easter Island, ESP, the Loch Ness Monster, Men in Black, and poltergeists. And hey, if you learn how to prepare for a zombie apocalypse in the meantime, would that be such a bad thing?

If you enjoy learning about spies, their dangerous adventures, and their amazing gadgets, then you should check out The Dark Game: True Spy Stories by Paul B. Janeczko.

Janeczko describes this book as "...a history of spying as it affected the United States from the Revolutionary War through the Cold War and into the end of the twentieth century." That means that when you read this book you'll discover how spies throughout history used both hi-tech and low-tech methods to find and transmit information, including invisible ink, secret codes, "dead drops," wiretaps, surveillance satellites, and even laundry hanging on clotheslines. You'll also learn how different famous people throughout history, including George Washington and Harriet Tubman, created spy networks to help their causes.

If you love reading and want to try creating characters and plots of your own, then you should definitely read Spilling Ink: A Young Writer's Handbook by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter.

In this book, the authors share valuable advice about first drafts, revisions, journaling, dialogue, suspense, and dealing with dreaded writer's block. They also give lots of examples along the way, so you'll be able to see exactly what they mean by writing in different voices, or how to revise a boring story and turn it into an awesome one. Writing is one of the best things you can do, and it's also one of the most challenging things that you can do. That's why when the authors want you to try something yourself, they'll DARE you to do it. Are you ready to take the challenge and become a better writer?

Be sure to visit summerreading.org to sign up for the summer reading club where you can keep track of the books you read during the summer, review the stuff you're reading, create lists, earn badges, and design your own avatar! Check out the teen summer reading list for even more book recommendations that will make you laugh, make you think, and keep you on the edge of your seat.

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