Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Mind-Bending Mysteries and Thrillers for Teens: A Programming and Readers' Advisory Guide

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Mind-Bending Mysteries and Thrillers for Teens: A Programming and Readers' Advisory Guide

Article excerpt

Mind-Bending Mysteries and Thrillers for Teens: A Programming and Readers' Advisory Guide. By Amy J. Alessio. Chicago: ALA, 2014. 152 p. Paper $50 (ISBN: 978-0-83891204-1).

Teen librarian and lifelong mystery lover Amy J. Alessio draws upon her years of experience with teens to create this themed guide for readers' advisory and programming. This books lists 179 different titles from both YA and adult literature, and although the majority of the titles are fiction, nine nonfiction and true crime books are also cited. The author notes that this book should not be considered "a comprehensive overview of all teen mysteries" (viii); instead, she crosses genre boundaries to seek out less rigidly defined works with similar elements and appeal.

The first part of the book focuses on readers' advisory, and entries are coded into six main subgenres: "Realistic Mysteries," "High-Tech Whodunits," "Thrillers," "Fantastic and Paranormal Mysteries," "Mysteries in Time and Place," and "Romantic Suspense." These subgenres are then further divided into more specific topics, under which many titles are cross-referenced. Entries contain grade level, awards received, and a descriptive annotation. Each subgenre category also includes two book-talking examples, suggestions for covert marketing, and interviews with prominent authors. The three appendixes list "Titles and Series by Subgenre," "Titles and Series by Author," and "Mysteries in Graphic and Illustrated Novel Formats. …

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