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Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

*Wuthering High: A Bard Academy Novel* by Cara Lockwood - young adult book review


Wuthering High: A Bard Academy Novel
by Cara Lockwood
Young adult 272 pages MTV Books July 2006 Paperback    

Getting through high school can be hell, especially when you’re forced to study a bunch of obsolete literature by dead authors nobody cares about. But what if you were stranded at a remote, creepy boarding school where fictional characters roamed the halls? What if your teachers were the ghosts of those forgotten about authors, who are there to do penance for killing themselves by teaching to a bunch of bratty teenagers whose only knowledge of classic literature comes from the film versions of their books?

That is the premise of Cara Lockwood’s Wuthering High, a new young adult novel published by MTV books. You didn’t know that MTV has their own line of books? Well, they do, and this one is everything you would expect from a book put out by music television. It’s hip, light, and likely to engage young readers with even the shortest of attention spans. However, it also has oodles of references to classic literature, and it’s clever and well-written to boot. Teen readers are likely to enjoy the main character, Miranda, who has been banished to Bard Academy as punishment for totaling her father’s car and running up his credit card bill. Miranda is like any teenager; she has struggles with her family while she confronts issues like peer pressure and the search for her own identity. Yet somehow she manages to handle any conflict that comes her way with strength and a touch of heroism.

Wuthering High is likely to appeal to adults as well. Anyone who considers themselves a writer or a book lover will appreciate Lockwood’s tribute to literature and the people who create it. It should come as no surprise that Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights and Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre receive special attention in this book. When the characters of Heathcliff and Mrs. Rochester come to life, they create havoc for everyone at Bard academy. The funniest part, however, is not so much their actions as the reaction of modern teenagers to the spurned lovers from these famous 19th-century novels.

Lockwood has created a novel that is at once entertaining and educational, and I strongly recommend that parents buy it for their teens to read and enjoy. However, before you give it to them, sit down and read it yourself. Not only will you have a quick, enjoyable read, you will also get a brush-up lesson on famous authors. Read it first – then look up the answers to anything you realize you don’t know about literature. That way, when your kids come to you questions after reading Wuthering High, you can impress them with your knowledge.

Wuthering High is a perfect summertime read, and it just might get your teen excited for English class in the fall.
Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

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  Laurel Osterkamp/2006 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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