David Almond, in his introduction, calls The Ultimate Teen Book Guide
"a kind of travellers guide" to the many novels for teenage readers as recommended by an impressive array of authors, experts, editors and children. In a better way than any other book guide for teens has so far managed to achieve, it offers up a selection of choices in a more than palatable way for a notoriously difficult readership to please.
This is, therefore, not a book to read from cover to cover--more a volume to be dipped into, read at leisure and in digestible bite-size chunks. The various contributors have often delved into their own experiences to highlight a wide range of possible reads for the discerning older reader, and in doing so have achieved an accessibility, and connection, to its target audience that has perhaps eluded some previous, stuffier tomes.
Celia Rees tells potential readers that The Sterkarm Handshake by Susan Price is a great fantasy, Julia Green relishes her slow appreciation of Sonya Hartnetts Stripes of the Sidestep Wolf, Geraldine McCaughrean describes the splendidly sentimental Discword novel by Terry Pratchett called Monstrous Regiment and Meg Rosoff joins the fanatical following for Madeleine LEngles A Wrinkle in Time. Books from contemporary writers, still plying their trade, and modern classics from previous decades all rub shoulders for the attention of readers of the next generation.
Apart from the Book Recommendations, there are special features about specific genres and a number of poll results with headings like The Book you Couldnt Put Down and the Best Book About Relationships.
No guide like this can ever be all things to all readers, but its a hugely impressive endeavour that should make a difference to any teen reader in a quandary about what to read next who picks it up.
(Age 12 and over)--John McLay
--This text refers to an alternate
" a magnificent compendium" davidbelbin.com (14th January 2006) "Prepare to be inspired!" The Guardian (30th September 2006) " fantastic-infectiously enthusiastic" Achockablog (February 2006) " an indispensable tome for anyone " The Publishing News (4th November 2005) " this is a fantastic resource for teenagers of all ages." "A must have reference book for all teenage readers and their families." --The Good Book Guide (March 2006)