Books for Mature Teens and Adults

Theme: Things My Parents Do Not Know

A Loss For Words - (ISBN: 978-0060914257)

by Lou Ann Walker

The author tells of interpreting for her deaf parents as she grew up. As the oldest of three hearing daughters, she shows great compassion and sympathy. She blanches at her parents’ being treated as less than whole people, but perseveres in her role as interpreter and supporter. In what ways do you assist your parents with gaps in experiences or education?

Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction - (ISBN: 978-0547203881)

by David Sheff

In this honestly told tale, the journalist author traces the story of his precocious child into the world of drugs, addiction, and violence. By the time Sheff begins to be involved with his son’s awful disease, the young man is already in the clutches of drugs. The author wonders how parents can fail to realize the truth of their children’s problems. Although painful to read, this book details the progress of many children who become addicted, from experimental use to dependency to a long recovery process. How should a parent manage the painful things they know about a child’s choices?

Bless Me Ultima - (ISBN: 0446675369)

by Rudolfo Anaya

At his mother’s behest, Mexican American Antonio receives religious instruction before his first communion from a wise older woman, Ultima. Gradually, as he finds himself and his “vocation,” his knowledge and curiosity lead him to a point beyond the normal religious teachings that his parents wanted for him. Ultima proves to be an excellent guide as he explores his religion and others.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - (ISBN: 978-0345505347)

by Jamie Ford

This book focuses on the life of a Chinese immigrant who had befriended a young Japanese woman during WWII. When the hotel where they used to drink cokes uncovers memorabilia from the WWII era, Mr. Lee searches for a beloved jazz album; the memories of his time with Keiko before her forced interment beguile him into looking back at the glorious days of their early relationship. What older pieces of music bring back certain periods of your life? Compare this book to Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese and Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides.

Sister - (ISBN: 978-0307716514)

by Rosamund Lupton

A loving sister, Beatrice uses posthumous letters to collect her thoughts and the facts about who might be the killer of younger sister Tess. As she continues writing and exploring, her own life disintegrates. Her re-creation of her sister’s life and death reveals much about their family as her work becomes an obsession. If you enjoy family sagas and gripping suspense, check this one out!

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time - (ISBN: 978-1400032716)

by Mark Haddon

Despite his autism, 15-year-old Christopher sets out alone to solve the mystery of who murdered his neighbor’s dog with a garden fork. The difficulties of his journey reveal interesting details about what it must be like to be autistic in an unsympathetic world. When the school counselor encourages him to write down the details of his journey away from home, the journal takes on qualities of autism. Each chapter’s title is a prime number, and each day-- to Christopher -- has its characteristic color. Have you had the experience of associating your moods or daily feelings with the color spectrum? What other non-verbal clues could you use in your own journal to tell each day?

Txtng: The Gr8 Db8 - (ISBN: 978-0199544905)

by David Crystal

Parents confused by the words your children use while texting, will enjoy this clear explanation of the “logic” of its language. Rather than presenting texting as a hodgepodge collection of hits and misses, the author explains that texting is a real language with structure and origins. Hopefully, after reading this, you will feel better educated about what your children are doing on their phones!

Goodbye Columbus - (ISBN: 978-0679748267)

by Philip Roth

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden - (ISBN: 978-0805089264)

by Joanne Greenberg

On the Edge of Deaf Culture: Hearing Children/Deaf Parents - (ISBN: 978-0966515213)

by Thomas Bull

Activities for this Theme

Do you need help understanding text, chat, and other internet terms?

Not sure if your child has a drug problem?