January 16, 2009

Book Review: The Best Teen Writing of 2008

Posted by at 6:14 am in Reads | Permalink

By mid-January, I've had it with all the "best of the year" lists that start circulating sometime around November. From "best movies" to "best music" to "best moments in sports," I am officially over it by the time the new year hits. 

Until this year, when one type of list changed my outlook. The Best Teen Writing of 2008, presented by The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, is a compilation of poems, memoirs, short stories, nonfiction work, and more — all created by kids in grades 7-12. See, every year the Alliance runs the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, where teens from all around the country submit their work for consideration. Some of them are awarded locally, while a select few then go on to win national recognition. Last year, over 100,000 pieces of visual and literary art were submitted! The best of the best made their way into The Best Teen Writing of 2008!

Last year's winning entries make for a captivating read. An impressive 41 teen winners are represented in the book, and there's truly something for every type of reader. Short stories invoking ostriches! Slam poetry! I found the whole world in its pages, as I was drawn in by memoirs about cabins in Utah, skiing in Chile, cats in Jerusalem, and holidays in Spain. 

Chuck Palahniuk (author of Fight Club) wrote a moving introduction for The Best Teen Writing of 2008, all about snakes and spiders, tricking readers, and making use of disasters (trust me — you need to read it for my summary to make sense!). But the real beauty in reading this book is realizing that it's entirely, completely, wholly the words of teenagers — their stories, fears, predictions, and pleas. It's their lives, but it's ours for the reading.

— Morgan, Scholastic Staffer

  1. Yumbolla

    My Dad got me this book, and I have been hooked. I haven’t been able to get my hands on 2009, but that is alright. I read 2008 straight through, I read every part at least three times. I have read it so much that the cover is in definate danger of tearing right off. That’s alright, it’s well loved. I think one of my favorite authors in there would be Vivian Troung. I like her poetry, I like the stories. My favorite part of that book is that I like to read other teen authors.

  2. maxie doodles

    That was a really good book and i think it is cool that u wrote a book and got it published.i always wanted to write a book and get it published but i never got to. you are the coolest i loved the book u wrote bye bye bye

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