New books to read this autumn for your teenage students
Today we suggest that you look at the books of various genres that will resonate with your audience.
Reading something more than just short adapted texts always makes your English lessons more exciting and productive. Every once in a while, we prepare a list of books that might be interesting for your students.
«101 Ways to Conquer Teen Anxiety: Simple Tips, Techniques and Strategies for Overcoming Anxiety, Worry and Panic Attacks» by Dr Thomas McDonagh and Jon Patrick Hatcher
This is probably the most relevant and helpful book nowadays. That’s why it’s the first one on the list. This is a practical guide for adolescents on how to recognize and manage anxiety disorder. Anxiety cannot be left unattended, otherwise, it will begin to control our actions, affect our motivation and thus relationships with other people.
Anxiety is not a weakness. To control it, we have to work with the anxiety disorder directly — not avoiding the problem, but gradually changing the behaviour model and identifying the trigger that provokes the panic state. To do this, you need to see a specialist, but first, you can share your concerns with your parents or friends. Openness and awareness are the best companions in this situation.
The authors of the book provide the reader with many ways to deal with anxiety on their own. These tips will be especially helpful for teenagers (not only teenagers, by the way) during a lockdown.
By the way, here is a short video with the tips on how to fight anxiety during a pandemic. I bet that will help not just your students but all of us.
«The Poet X» by Elizabeth Acevedo
Xiomara is 15 years old, and this is her life in the form of poems: her religious mother, guys whistling as Xiomara passes by, her best friend, her twin brother, misunderstanding and first love.
Xiomara’s experiences are familiar to everyone who has faced stereotypes and clichés, who has thought that the world is completely deaf to their pain and their open wounds. At such moments, some people find consolation in the company of friends, others try getting into a relationship, while Xiomara chooses street poetry and the power of her words. Her phrases are significant, her thoughts are important which means that now she is able to change the world around her.
You can listen to the audiobook excerpt and enjoy those life-approving poems together with your students.
«A Pinch of Magic» by Michelle Harrison
It’s a wonderful book that tells us no curse and no magic can stop a heart that desires adventure and freedom.
13-year-old Betty and her sisters are locked on a dreary island because of the horrifying family curse. As soon as they cross the border of the city, all the women in the family will die at sunset. The writer has created a dark setting where all hope for a better tomorrow seems to die, but in those hopeless circumstances, teenagers learn to be kind and to forgive others.
The sisters get to know each other and family history better, they even arrange a jailbreak for a stranger. Intrigued? We bet your teenage students will be hooked up as soon as they open this magical book.
Additionally, you can suggest your students to watch a book review made by young and fun vlogger Val.
«On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous» by Ocean Vuong
This is a profound confession of a son to his mother. This is such a personal and honest story that reading is like watching someone’s life. You are going through all the good and bad days together with the author.
The novel uncovers so many important subjects: growing up, socialization, the clash of different worlds, love, faith and despair. Behind the curtain of words, sentences and pages, there is more than just a story, there is life.
The book is structured in an unusual way: it starts with a letter, then we come across some stories from the author’s past. At one point, all those little stories and changes of a subject might seem unrelated to the narrative, but eventually, we find the connections, and the puzzle starts to come together as a whole.This book will evoke turbulent emotions in readers’ hearts and deep thoughts in their mind. Here you can listen to the author reading the beginning of the book by himself. “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” is his debut novel and it has won the 2019 New England Book Award for Fiction.
«Caging Skies» by Christine Leunens
This novel has recently become amazingly popular thanks to a feature movie Jojo Rabbit directed by Taika Waititi. The movie is the adaptation of the book although it doesn’t exactly follow the novel’s plotline. Here is the trailer:
This is a powerful novel about how ideology is born, and what a terrible crash it collapses with when a person learns that the world is not just black and white.
In the book, we meet Johannes Betzler, born in Vienna in 1927. After the Anschluss, when Austria becomes part of Nazi Germany, he goes first to the Jungfolk, then to the Hitler Youth, and with the outbreak of the war, he brings shells to the anti-aircraft gunners. So, imagine his shock when he finds out that his parents are hiding a Jewish girl in their house…
Christine Lenens wrote an incredibly moving story of growing up, in which what seems at first a noble mission, turns into painful imprisonment in a cage facing the fear of loneliness and confusion. The book tells us that books should be read, not burned, games outdoors should not turn into a brutal competence for leadership, and there should never be a place for racism and discrimination in our world.
«Principles for Success» by Ray Dalio
This book is quite different from all the other books mentioned here. It’s a non-fiction book in which the author shares with us his principles for success. The first thing you really need to learn is to accept reality and mindfully assess your capabilities, says the narrator. How to balance risk and reward, tame ambition and become a successful leader? These are the important questions of the 21st century.
By reading this book, teenagers will find some really important answers and hopefully follow the principles to become successful in their lives.
On YouTube, you can find 8 short episodes explaining each of the principles described in the book. Have your students watch them and discuss the summary.