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Launched from her regular feature column Fines Lines for Jezebel.com, this spastically composed, frequently hilarious omnibus of meditations on favorite YA novels dwells mostly among the old-school titles from the late '60s to the early '80s much beloved by now grown-up ladies. This was the era, notes the bibliomaniacal Skurnick in her brief introduction, when books for young girls moved from being wholesome and entertaining (e.g., The Secret Garden and the Nancy Drew series) to dealing with real-life, painful issues affecting adolescence as depicted by Beverly Cleary, Lois Duncan, Judy Blume, Madeleine L'Engle and Norma Klein. Skurnick groups her eruptive essays around themes, for example, books that feature a particularly memorable, fun or challenging narrator (e.g., Louise Fitzhugh's Harriet the Spy); girls on the verge, such as Blume's Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret or danger girls such as Duncan's Daughters of Eve; novels that deal with dying protagonists and other tragedies like child abuse (Willo Davis Roberts's Don't Hurt Laurie!); and, unavoidably, heroines gifted with a paranormal penchant, among other categories. Skurnick is particularly effective at spotlighting an undervalued classic (e.g., Joan Aiken's The Wolves of Willoughby Chase) and offers titles featuring troubled boys as well. Her suggestions will prove superhelpful (not to mention wildly entertaining) for educators, librarians and parents. (Aug.)
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frequently hilarious omnibus of meditations on favorite YA novels.... Her suggestions will prove superhelpful (not to mention wildly entertaining) for educators, librarians and parents. (Publishers Weekly)See all Editorial Reviews
what a great idea - categorizing, listing and remembering the classics books of my generation's youth. Read morePublished 23 months ago by crabbygirl
Shelf Discovery is a great book for anyone who grew up reading YA in the 1970s and 80s. Lizzie Skurnick writes the Fine Lines column for Jezebel. Read morePublished on October 24, 2010 by Lea Kelley
Now someone needs to write a less US-based version. YA books were so good back then...kids today don't know what they're missing etc. Read morePublished on August 25, 2010 by Rabbit_With_Fangs
For someone, like me, who loves re-reading juvenile and YA lit this book was a real gem. It was fun to get another person's perspective of some of my most beloved books and to... Read morePublished on March 30, 2010 by LibKat
For someone, like me, who loves re-reading juvenile and YA lit this book was a real gem. It was fun to get another person's perspective of some of my most beloved books and to... Read morePublished on March 30, 2010
While Shelf Discovery is an excellent series of essays, I don't think it works as well as a book as it might. Read morePublished on February 26, 2010 by reader
Children of the 70's, rejoice. This is your book.
Skurnick's reviews cover a very particular range of young adult fiction -- books for girls, most written in the '60's... Read more
If you were the type of girl who ate most of the family meals with a book hidden in your lap, to the consternation of your
family members, this will probably be right up your... Read more
Blech. The first 3 or 4 "book reports" in this book were interesting, but after that my interest really waned. Read morePublished on October 7, 2009 by KP