TeenSpace by Kay Mercer

'Sup Teen Space?

New and recommended reads for young adults

The Girl with the Louding Voice. Abi Dare
Nigerian born teenager Adunni dreams of becoming a teacher. However, at fourteen she is sold into marriage and becomes the third wife to a much older man who wants a son. Adunni is mistreated by the senior wife and she flees the village and her enforced marriage only to end up enslaved to a rich family in the city. She has a strong spirit and she never loses hope  that she will achieve the education she so desires. 

This is an inspiring story that highlights the plight of many young women who suffer exploitation, loss of freedom and never have the opportunity to follow their dreams. While sometimes heart-breaking, this is a very worthwhile read.


Crank Palace. James Dashner
This novella is part of the Maze Runner series and it is probably best to read after the completing the first three books. 

There is a virus, the flare, that has been sweeping through the earth for some years. This virus which attacks the brain slowly drives sufferers mad, and eventually kills them. Newt has contracted the flare virus but he has not told his friends. He doesn't want them to witness his deterioration so he writes a note to them and then secretly leaves. He is now forced to live with others who are afflicted with the disease. Will he be able to achieve his one last goal before he finally succumbs to the madness; that of writing his story in the hope that it might one day be of help to someone else?

This is is wonderful series and although this is a sad story it is an excellent read.


Words on Bathroom Walls. Julia Walton
This novel, which has recently been made into a movie, is written in diary form. Adam suffers from schizophrenia which is being treated with medication and therapy. He refuses to speak at his therapy sessions but instead communicates through his journal entries. Adam is about to start at a new school and his new friends have no idea about his illness. What is more his new girlfriend is also unaware of his schizophrenia. How is he going to navigate the future and will he find acceptance when his secret is revealed?

This is a well-written story that does not evoke pity but rather gives the reader an insight into what it is like to live with hallucinations and doubt as to what is real and what is not real.


Image by: Kay Mercer

White Lies Maori Legends and Fairytales. Falstaff Dowling-Mitchell
Pete (Petera) and his best mate John (Hone) love rugby. In fact, they’re both going to be All Blacks one day. All the men in Pete’s whānau were rep players, starting in the under 14’s team which the boys have trials for coming up. The only thing stopping Pete is fear... and Wiremu, a mean bully who smashes anyone in his way. 

Everything seems like it’s going wrong. Mum’s left dad, John‘s getting thinner and weaker, and Wendy, the new school principal’s annoying daughter, wants to be their friend and hang out. Worse, her dad wants to stop the school from doing kapa haka! But when the worse thing ever happens, things have got to change - and it’s up to Pete to do it. 

You’ll laugh and cry and cheer with this self-published book. A fabulous debut. Publishers will be kicking themselves. Brilliant read for 12-years-old +