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  • Writer's pictureGaili Schoen

Two Books to Buddy-Read with the Teen or 'Tween in Your Life

Hi Book Lovers

Recently I've read a couple exceptional books with wide appeal that you might enjoy buddy-reading with your child, grandchild, niece or nephew or perhaps the special young friend in your life.

Hello, Goodbye by Kate Stollenwerck, is a YA, or Young Adult novel, appropriate for ages 12-17. 15-year-old Hailey dreads spending the summer with her 74-year-old grandmother, Gigi, but when they get together they quickly form a tight bond. Gigi gradually tells Hailey her family history which centers around a first edition copy of The Great Gatsby, which she has given Hailey to read, in exchange for reading Hailey's book called Twilight. Hailey's mother doesn't believe her mother Gigi's stories, and is disapproving of Hailey's and Gigi's growing friendship. Gigi teaches Hailey about The Beatles, and lets Hailey drive her car, a 1970 convertible Cadillac Eldorado called Betty. She introduces Hailey to a couple football stars from Hailey's school, Blake and DeMarcus, who become Hailey's friends. Gigi tells Hailey about Gigi's mother Ilsa who had been a Holocaust Survivor, and her father Jack, who had hunted down Nazis in South America to steal back what they had stolen from the Jews: art, jewelry and money. Hailey and Gigi launch into an adventure to Malone, Texas, to find the hideout where Jack stashed the loot.

"The sun is bright and reflects off the endless farmland while we cruise the open road. Gigi's wearing her Jackie O. sunglasses while I flex my Target Ray-Ban wannabes. We're listening to The Beatles' Rubber Soul album. When 'I'm Looking Through' You comes on, with its tambourine and happy beat, we both let loose--me jamming on the steering wheel and Gigi doing her rhythmic clap move."

Hello, Goodbye is a fun, unconventional intergenerational mystery that recounts a fascinating family history, and presents a close, loving, respectful relationship between a grandmother and her grandchild and her young friends.


Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin is written for ages 18 and above. It is about three brilliant college students named Sadie, Marx and Sam, who form a partnership to develop exceptional video games. Their relationships are complicated by the fact that Sadie and Sam have a troubled history with each other. Though I am not a video game enthusiast, I found this book enjoyable and engaging, and the characters authentic and relatable. The story is more about relationships than video games, and about how a trio of friends creates art together in spite of, or perhaps because of their sticky entanglements.

What is a game?" Marx said. "It's tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. It's the possibility of infinite rebirth, infinite redemption. The idea that if you keep playing, you could win. No loss is permanent, because nothing is permanent, ever.”

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow has become extremely popular and I can almost guarantee that the 18+ year-old on your life will love this book.

“This is what time travel is. It’s looking at a person, and seeing them in the present and the past, concurrently. And that mode of transport only worked with those one had known a significant time.”

Hello, Goodbye Paperback, 280 pages; Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow Hardcover 416 pages, Audiobook 13 Hours, 52 minutes


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