The Who, What, When, Where and Why


What it is for teens:

A group of booklists for teens out there who need a good read, but are wondering if there’s life after Judy Blume and Brian Jacques.

What it is for grown-ups:

A website featuring out of the ordinary booklists for teens, written by Jennifer Hubert (that’s me!) and designed by Andrew Mutch that has been an online presence since 1998. In May 2007, Andrew transformed the original website into an interactive blog, where teens can not only respond to my reviews but write their own. Reading Rants also exists as a book for adult professionals who work with teens. Visit Amazon to order a copy.

What it ain’t and never will be:

A source for adults who work with teens where they can find complete book ordering information or age level book recommendations. If you want that kind of info, you can book me for a professional workshop. I believe that teens can and should read anything that they want to or feel that they are ready for, and I don’t want to color that intuition by recommending books by age level. I know parents, teachers and librarians read this site and enjoy it and I am SO grateful that they do and that they pass it along to their teens, but this site is FOR TEENS. It is written TO TEENS. So adult readers, please don’t ask me for age-level lists. Teen readers, you can ask me anything you want, except…(see below).

A book report service for teens who haven’t read the book by the night before the report is due and think that I will dash off a quick summary for them. Please don’t ask me, or I might just have to use your email address to track you down and inform your teacher!

Where do you get your suggestions?

These suggestions are just books that I love, both as a librarian and a teen — because I read some of these books when I was a teen! I would also like to take suggestions for books and book list ideas from teens who read this blog. You can leave your suggestions and opinions through the comments section anywhere on the site. Or you can email me: I’d love to hear from you!

If you are an author or publisher, and would like to submit your book to Reading Rants for review consideration, please send it care of:

Jennifer Hubert
Little Red School House/LREI
272 Sixth Avenue
New York, NY 10014

PLEASE understand that submitting a book for review DOES NOT GUARANTEE a posted review on the Reading Rants site. Please DO NOT send me follow-up emails asking when I plan to review the book you have submitted or it will not only go to the bottom of the pile, but probably to the nearest used-book seller.

*Please note that I do not review self published works in either paper or electronic form. I am a member of Netgalley, and am open to review requests of  e-books from that site.*

Why are you posting these lists?

Because I love working with teenagers and I love it when they find a book that speaks to them.

Because I love being the person responsible for giving a teen a book that speaks to them.

Because I LOVE Young Adult literature, and I LOVE being a librarian.(I know, it’s kind of geeky, but I don’t even care, I LOVE it!)

Because I think the level of teen literature has not only risen in the past ten years or so to rival literature that is written for adults, but has, in many cases, surpassed it in quality and scope.

Because some of my most favorite authors, like Emily Frank, Libba Bray, Chris Crutcher, Adam Rapp, Sarah Dessen, Laurie Halse Anderson, David Levithan, Blake Nelson, Sharon G. Flake, Susanna Vance, Melvin Burgess, Sonya Hartnett, Walter Dean Myers, and Randy Powell use their amazing talent to write for a teen audience, and wouldn’t I hate like heck to miss one single word of their amazing stuff?

A Final Note to my Readers — Not all of these titles will necessarily be found in the Young Adult or Teen section of your local library or bookstore. That’s okay, as a teen, you know what adult books you like. You’re not just limited to the Teen section. Browse around! Help your parents figure out what to read next.

My bio: All the secrets are revealed here!

21 Responses to “The Who, What, When, Where and Why”

  1. Sue Raboy says:

    Congrats on 10 years

  2. Elissa says:

    The new look is excellent, and I second Susan’s congratulations!

  3. Stacey says:

    I always check you site before I read a YA book!

  4. Cindy says:

    I love the new look! Great job…your reviews are always right on 😀

  5. Trina says:

    cool new look. i find most of the teen books i read on here.

  6. Arlene says:

    I found this website by accidentally stumbling across it when I was surfing the web and have to say that it is incredible. I enjoy reading books and haven’t been able to find many books until now. I suggest reading Bottled up by Jaye Murray. Also books by the authors Sarah Dessen or Ellen Hopkins.

  7. Kate McCarron says:

    I’ve been a fan since the beginning – LOVE the new site!

  8. doug says:

    Have been using this site for 5 years and it has proved to be a super source for teachers to meet the needs of students- Now I need a favor- my grandson is on a gifted IEP and the teacher has run out of Reading Material for Him he is in 5th grade- need help and ideas thanks

  9. Jen Hubert says:

    Hi Doug,


    good luck and thanks!

  10. Michaela says:

    Most of the books I read is on this website and it is always so helpful.
    THANX! 🙂

  11. Cindy L. says:


    Congratulations on your FIRST 10 years! Long live young adult literature!

  12. Nicky says:

    I am a high school English teacher and was told of your site from our local librarian in town. What a great resource! Every Friday my students and I do a reader’s workshop, where we talk about great books and spend some time reading. I will definitely show them this site next week! Thanks for all of the great info 🙂

  13. Angela says:

    Ok, I have fallen in love with your blog…I am a youth lib at a publi library, and I love your booklists! Congrats on the wonderful work!

  14. Lizza says:

    I am 15 and a huge geek for books. I was running out, and am so glad that I found this site. Keep it up 😀

  15. […] Swan, J.H. (2007, Mar 5). The who, what, when, where and why. Message posted to […]

  16. Imani Davis says:

    This website is so awesome!I wanted something new to read really badly, so, me being a library addict,went on my library’s young adult page and searched around for links to book recommendation sites. I checked all of them, and Reading Rants is absolutely the best. Thanks for putting up such great reviews! 🙂

  17. Myrna Velez says:

    Jen moderated a YA book discussion at Bookfest this year and was terrific. So glad I was able to participate and meet in person the person who writes on this wonderful blog. It is full of treasures!

  18. McKay says:

    omgosh! i love it !!! i have been trying to find a website like this since i started to read adult authors lol i was like 9! now i can find teen books that i LOVE!

  19. You’re providing a great service to YA librarians, teachers and parents. But most of all TEENS! Brava!
    And, of course, you are a blessing to authors who are seeking reviews, like me:-)) My novel, I Was Shipwrecked on the Andrea Doria! The Titanic of the 1950s is on its way. Thank you for the possibilities.

  20. KevinTran says:

    Nice post

  21. My most remembered books from my teen years were To Kill A Mockingbird and Dracula, though I was an avid reader. I loved Robert Heinlein but most of those are dated now. One of my favorites from the eighth grade was Jim Briger by Shannon Garst.

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Jen Hubert Swan
Librarian, Book Reviewer,
Reading Addict