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Something Old, Something New: The Inner Lives of Teen Boys featuring Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas and Perfectly Good White Boy by Carrie Mesrobian

Something Old: Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas

In my early days as a YA librarian, one of the first books I saw “go viral” if you will, was Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas. Early YA was often thought of primarily as “coming of age” or “problem novels”, and they focused on an intimate examination of the inner lives of teens as they wrestled with real world problems. When Rats Saw God came out, it spoke to teen readers in very real ways and this book was passed from teen to teen to teen. Teens would come in asking for it by name. And it was stolen numerous times, much like the works of Ellen Hopkins are, and each time I replaced it because it was so popular I couldn’t not have it on my shelves.

Publisher’s Description:

“For Steve York, life was good. He had a 4.0 GPA, friends he could trust, and a girl he loved. Now he spends his days smoked out, not so much living as simply existing.

But his herbal endeavors — and personal demons — have lead to a severe lack of motivation. Steve’s flunking out, but if he writes a one-hundred-page paper, he can graduate.

Steve realizes he must write what he knows. And through telling the story of how he got to where he is, he discovers exactly where he wants to be….”

Karen’s Thoughts:

Rob Thomas went on to become the creator of the Veronica Mars series, which if you know anything about that series you know that Thomas writes wise, witty and often searing characters – this is no exception. Originally published in 1996, I still hear readers of YA lit talking a lot about this title that features a teenage boy just trying to get through his senior of high school with a broken heart. Which makes it a perfect older YA pairing for the very new . . .

Something New: Perfectly Good White Boy by Carrie Mesrobian

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