Monday, August 20, 2007

RIGHT BOOK RIGHT TIME – 500 great reads for teenagers

Agnes Nieuwenhuizen Allen & Unwin NZ$40

AGNES NIEUWENHUIZEN is Australia’s leading expert in teenage literature. By the age of 10, Agnes read in three languages and spoke another two. She studied French and German at the University of Melbourne and, after having 3 children, returned to university to study English Literature and then graduate studies in children’s literature.
As a teacher of French, English and English as a Second Language, Agnes learned that even reluctant students responded to story, so she read aloud to students of all ages and abilities and encouraged them to choose what to read.
In 1991 Agnes established the Youth Literature Project to promote reading to teenagers. Agnes has coordinated the Youth Literature Days of the Melbourne Writers Festival and was awarded the Dromkeen Medal for services to youth literature.
Agnes retired in 2005 and lives near Melbourne with her husband John, an award-winning book translator. They have six book-loving grandsons, and books are a favourite feature in their family dinner table discussions.

And for my money she has done more to foster literature and literacy than anyone else in this part of the world. She is, and has been much of her adult life, a tireless campaigner for the cause and I will take this opportunity to salute her and express my wonder and admiration at her huge contribution to the cause of children’s literacy particularly during the years when she established and ran the Youth Literature Project.

Here is her creed:

“Read! Read! Read! Read for pleasure, for thrills, for escape, for ideas.
Read books that make you laugh and cry and wonder and think.
Read for yourself and not for others.”

And now in her so-called retirement she brings us this wonderful new book
with 500 books to satisfy every type of reader, whatever their tastes, interests or mood,
The lively and accessible Right Book Right Time is broken into broad categories including Action, Adventure & Crime, Extreme & Edgy, When you want to Laugh, War and Conflicts and Not Such Ordinary Lives.
Many international titles, as well as favourite classics, are included, along with breakout sections of fascinating articles and helpful lists like Grand Love Stories, More books like…, and Earlier books about….

With easy to use stepping stones, links and detours, Right Book Right Time will provide a satisfying reading trail for teenagers and I have no doubt will prove to be an indispensable guide for their parents, librarians and teachers..

One of my teacher friends told me yesterday the book was worth its weight in gold to her.

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