Feature Shelf #28: The Rebellious Youth Edition

Rebellion, it seems, is a rite of passage. So here are five books about teenagers who rebel in various ways.

Hey there. Welcome to Feature Shelf, a series that provides book recommendations based on theme or title suggestions. This is the last Feature Shelf for this school year and it was created with the help of Mr. Buteau again, inspired by his reading of Boot Camp by Todd Strassser, which made an appearance in the Conformity Edition. I am the (book) supplier and this is Feature Shelf #28: The Rebellious Youth Edition.

Rebellion, against parents, against authority, against the status quo, is a rite of passage for teenagers. On the shelf I’ve got five books about teens who rebel in some way.

In Destroy All Cars by Blake Nelson, James Hoff’s rebellion comes in the form of railing against the consumeristic culture he sees around him. But he and and his ex-girlfriend have very different ideas about how this rebellion should be carried out. James wants things done on a grand scale – destroying cars and taking down oil companies, while Sadie, practically, wants to build things like bike paths. And therein lies the conflict.

Larry, from The Gospel According to Larry, is the pseudonym of Josh Swenson. Josh is a prodigy whose ambition in life is to make the world a better place. Josh’s alter ego posts sermons on line preaching anti consumerism, much like James Hoff. Except that Larry became incredibly popular, so much so that people try to find out who was behind the Larry phenomenon, at which point, what happens?

In Box Out by John Coy, main character Liam Bergstrom’s rebellion comes in the form of standing up for what he believes is right. He’s just joined his school’s varsity basketball team, which was something he wanted, but he disagrees with the practice of and expectation that the team prays together before practice. Other boys who disagree let it go to remain part of the team and Liam has to decide which is more important, basketball, or standing up for what he believes in.

In Unwind by Neal Shusterman, teenagers rebel against the government to shut down the camps that would dismember them and redistribute their body parts for not being the kind of people that valued in the society, rendering them what’s called “alive in a divided state.” This is the first book in the Unwind Dystology.

And last, I must include the piece on teenage rebellion, one you may very well read in your English class if you attend secondary school in the United States, one that, if you look up “teenage rebellion” on Wikipedia, you’ll find listed along with the movie The Breakfast Club… I’m sure you guessed what it is since the cover’s right next to me which, I’ll admit, made all this build-up utterly ridiculous: Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. Now, this isn’t a young adult novel – it wasn’t written in a time when young adult novel was a way of classifying books, but it is about a kid who fails out of his fourth boarding school and, since it’s Saturday and he’s not supposed to be home until Wednesday, holes up in New York and spends a lot of time irritated with people.

Thus endeth this episode of Feature Shelf. I hope you found something on it that piques your interest. If not, and you’d like to request your own Feature Shelf, leave me a comment anywhere you might find me on the internet and I’ll plan it for next season, which will start up again in August and sport a different color backdrop, just for fun. Thank you for watching Feature Shelf #28, the Rebellious Youth Edition. I am the Supplier wishing you happy reading. don’t forget to be awesome.

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