Apr 24, 2013 — At 19, the heroine of Isabel Allende's florid, frenzied Maya's Notebook is in a tailspin of drugs, prostitution and crime. Sent by her grandmother to hide out with an old friend on an island off Chile, she finds love and redemption. Reviewer Mary Pols doesn't buy it.
Dec 27, 2012 — This year's literary heroines aren't defined by their desire to love or be loved — or even to be especially lovable. Writer and critic Parul Sehgal celebrates five sublimely stubborn women, frequently at odds with themselves and always at odds with their times.
Dec 7, 2012 — Two new biographical studies that read like novels explore the familial relationships that shaped two of the 19th century's most beloved authors. Critic Maureen Corrigan calls Great Expectations: The Sons And Daughters Of Charles Dickens "a Gothic nightmare" and Marmee & Louisa "a romance."
Oct 25, 2012 — In 1880, years before creating Sherlock Holmes, a young Arthur Conan Doyle went to the Arctic as the surgeon aboard a whaling ship. He recorded his adventures in journals full of notes and drawings, which have been published for the first time in a book called Dangerous Work.
Aug 7, 2012 — More than 75,000 of you voted for your favorite young-adult fiction. Now, after all the nominating, sorting and counting, the final results are in. Here are the 100 best teen novels, chosen by the NPR audience.
Jun 29, 2012 — Author Jeff Kinney is a rock star in the middle school literary scene. His Diary of a Wimpy Kid books follow the misadventures of sad-sack sixth-grader Greg Heffley, who just wants to fit in. Kids love the gross-out humor, but librarians and teachers say the books also help them laugh at the indignities of life.
Jun 17, 2012 — Lynn Neary talks to three critics about the books you absolutely shouldn't miss this summer. Critic Laura Miller of Salon.com, says it's a particularly rich literary summer because in election years, publishers release their juiciest books before the fall.
May 31, 2012 — Back in 2009, our interview with author and cartoonist Jeff Kinney sparked the idea for a special NPR book club for kids. So it's only fitting that NPR's Backseat Book Club will read Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Kinney's beloved cartoon staring Greg Heffley, a beleaguered middle-schooler.
Feb 20, 2012 — How much do we read into ourselves when we write a diary? Author Patrick DeWitt recommends the dark, deep journal of a man suffering from a nervous breakdown.
Dec 19, 2011 — Say farewell to prissy princesses. Author Heather Havrilesky recommends three page turners with plucky female protagonists. These satisfying sisters will lift your spirits and open your eyes.