Monday, January 14, 2013

January is Mentoring Month

January is mentoring month, so today I offer up a list of books in which teens are mentored, or mentor someone else. With some tutoring thrown in, because sometimes the line is hazy.


My Life as a Rhombus by Varian Johnson. Focusing on school in her efforts to get a scholarship, Rhonda is a math tutor after school. She doesn't like tutoring popular girl Sarah, but when she recognizes that Sarah is pregnant, Rhonda must deal with her conflicting emotions over the abortion she had a few years prior.

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen. Ella is a scholarship student at a fancy private school. She has her friends, but is largely invisible, but she's getting tutored in French by Alex, the most popular boy in school. As the sessions turn to more than conjugating verbs, Ella wonders if the relationship could ever work.

Come Fall by A. C. Bauer. This one is for the younger end of YA. When Salman Page starts at a new school, his designated buddy is Lu. Lu's been lonely since her best friend moved away. With another student, the three form their own group, on the edges of junior high society. Little do they know that they are caught in a war between Titania and Oberon and Puck is left to keep the peace.

Kick by Ross Workman and Walter Dean Myers. When 13-year-old Kevin crashes a car, he's assigned a mentor to steer him right. Sergeant Brown quickly realizes there's more going on than Kevin is letting on. As the trust between them grows, the truth starts to come out. Teenage Workman wrote the chapters narrated by Kevin and Myers wrote the chapters narrated by Brown.


Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford. When their grandmother (Almighty) threatens to cut the Sullivan family off unless an offending party writes a full confession, each Sullivan sister writes out what she thinks she did. One of my favorite parts was the subplot was one sister's disastrous attempts at being a math tutor and the sage advice she gets from her tutee--the kind that only a 5th grader can give.

Cashay by Margaret McMullan. Life in Cabrini Green was hard enough before Cashay's younger sister was killed in drug-related violence. When the grief causes her mother to start using again, Cashay is assigned a mentor--a white stockbroker who needs to learn how to let people in.

Homeboyz by Alan Lawrence Sitomer. When Teddy's sister is killed as an innocent bystander, he enacts a revenge plot on the gangsters that shot her. When Teddy gets caught, but the gangster's don't, he's put on house arrest and given many hours of community service. While Teddy finds an unofficial mentor in his supervising officer, he's also assigned to tutor a young boy who wants to join the gangs.

Tutored by Allison Whittenberg. Wendy and Hakiam come from different worlds and have very different goals in life, but when they meet at the tutoring center, sparks fly.


Easy by Tammara Webber. Jacqueline is having a hard time adjusting to college. She's been dumped by her long-term boyfriend and is failing econ. Soon she's torn between her econ tutor (that she only knows via email) and the mysterious loner dude that sits in the back of class.

Act Like You Know by Stephanie Perry Moore. In this third installment of the Beta Gamma Pi series, the sisters are worried about Alyx's hard partying. When her falling grades mean she might lose her scholarship, she gets tutored by a hot grad student who, in return, wants her to be in the play.

What are your favorite titles with mentoring or tutoring?

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