Recommendations by Laura M

National Youth Week happens from May 1 to 7 every year and is an incredible opportunity to celebrate youth in the community. This year presents many challenges – how can we encourage youth to get involved in activities such as recreation, drama, sport, dance, art and volunteerism while abiding COVID-19 protocols?

So, I’ve decided to highlight some books in the Young Adult collection that have been turned into feature films. Perhaps they will inspire a book and movie club youth in your lives might want to pursue this week? It could be something they do online with friends or perhaps even with parents in the comfort of your home.

Don’t forget that the Library offers a Teen Reviewers program (which will be re-opening it registration at the end of June), there are regular crafting programs offered for teens and adults throughout the year and teens are welcome to join the year-long Reading Challenge (to read or listen to one book from 12 specific categories before midnight on December 31, 2021). 


The Hate U Give book jacket coverThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The hate u give is about sixteen-year-old Starr Carter, who witnesses the fatal police shooting of her childhood friend. The death becomes a national headline, causing all sorts of public reaction. As the only witness, Starr knows the truth of what happened, but speaking up could endanger her life.

Both the book and the film deal with race and racism. They also convey messages about standing up for your beliefs, being proud of yourself and speaking honestly.


Scene from The Perks of Being a Wallflower filmThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

This is a coming-of-age story about 15-year-old Charlie who is coping with first love, the suicide of his best friend and his own mental illness as he begins his freshman year of high school. Charlie moves between becoming fully involved in his life and backing off entirely – pushing him to balance on the fringes of life.


Scene from The Book Thief filmThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Death tells this story which takes place in 1939 Nazi Germany. Liesel find a book by her brother’s graveside, and her life takes a turn – she learns to read, discovered the power of words and begins stealing books from Nazi book burnings.


Scene from The Fault in Our Stars filmThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Sixteen-year-old cancer patient Hazel is forced by her parents to attend a support group. There she meets Augustus, who is currently in remission. They agree to read each other’s favourite books and a close friendship, and love, takes root.


Scene from Love, Simon filmSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

This is a funny and moving coming-of-age, coming out story. It follows the online relationship between Simon and “Blue” – an unidentified classmate who is also gay and hasn’t come out. But, when one of their emails falls into the wrong hands, Simon’s sexual identity is threatened to be revealed.
The movie based on this book is called Love, Simon.