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Oh, if anyone has recommendations for relatively easy books targeted at teenage girls, that would be great.  The whole staff here is male (a serious problem acknowledged by all the staff, but unfortunately not by management), and thus are not really too well informed about young adult books targeted at that demographic.  We're mainly interested in getting the kids to read ANYTHING, and thus it pays to cover all the bases.
by Zwackus on Wed Dec 10th, 2008 at 11:04:49 PM EST
I never read a whole lot of that sort of stuff: Enid Blyton's stuff is all that comes to mind immediately. The "Malory Towers" and "St. Clares" series might appeal in a retro-western romantic sort of way.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 11th, 2008 at 01:54:41 AM EST
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Sam tells me "Sweet Valley High" was popular when she was that age.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 11th, 2008 at 02:53:11 AM EST
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I grew up in the '70s and '80s, and haven't worked in a bookstore (and thus seen the trends) since 1993, so my list is, well, oldish.

Much of Magnifico's list, such as the Little House series and books like Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web, would be good considering the language levels in question.

I hesitate to recommend the Sweet Valley High series, but when I worked in bookstores in the late '80s, this was insanely popular, mainly with pre-teens. I'm trying to keep the language level in mind.

Unfortunately, most of what I read as a teenager were comics, horror stories, and VC Andrews novels. Oh, and books about The Monkees. I don't think any of these would be welcome at your school, except for maybe the Monkees books.

I did read Paula Danziger; has anyone mentioned her? The Pistachio Prescription, Can You Sue Your Parents for Malpractice, The Cat Ate My Gymsuit. Also Freaky Friday, by Mary Rodgers.

And back in the realm of general books, Judy Blume's Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great. Both very dated but fun.

Michael Ende's The Neverending Story and T.H. White's The Once and Future King are excellent but involved.

Some nonfiction, such as Edith Hamilton's Mythology, might work.

If subject matter is not a major concern, books such as The Chocolate War, Killing Mr. Griffin, and Ordinary People. The Bell Jar is always good, but again, language level and subject matter....

Students into puns might like Robert Asprin's Myth Adventures series.

by lychee on Thu Dec 11th, 2008 at 02:34:16 AM EST
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Killing Mr. Griffin, and Ordinary People. The Bell Jar is always good, but again, language level and subject matter....

I should also emphasize that these books would be for the older kids, like those getting ready to graduate. Subject matter includes suicide, accidental death, murder.

It's been a long time since I've read The Chocolate War; I don't remember anything particularly shocking about it, but memories fade after 20 years.

by lychee on Thu Dec 11th, 2008 at 02:42:37 AM EST
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Here's two.  Both are historical fiction - I remember reading them at about age 13-14.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George.  It's set in the 1600's in the Massachusetts Bay colony.

Mara Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw - set in Ancient Egypt.

by Maryb2004 on Thu Dec 11th, 2008 at 05:40:22 PM EST
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The Witch of Blackbird Pond! Eek! I loved that book, how could I have forgotten about it?

Also, Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O'Dell.

by lychee on Thu Dec 11th, 2008 at 07:22:17 PM EST
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And of course don't forget the Nancy Drew series.  
by Maryb2004 on Thu Dec 11th, 2008 at 05:41:20 PM EST
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