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Read Harder Challenge #17: Girl Mogul, Read Harder Challenge #18: The Lost Coast & Read Harder Challenge #19: Hole in My Life

Posted about 3 months ago by Jennifer Deuell

Prompt #17: A business book

Girl Mogul, by Tiffany Pham (founder and CEO of Mogul), is a must read for all teen girls who are destined for greatness!

In Girl Mogul, Pham not only recounts her own rise to entrepreneurial success, but also outlines how other girls, too, can be successful.  She does this through short, yet powerful chapters with titles like “Awakening Your Awesomeness” and “Rising Above (AKA Later, Haters).”  In them, readers will find themselves inspired by Pham’s own words as well as words of her mentors and role models.  You’ll also find tips, tricks, and activities to help you take those first steps toward success.

I found this a super fun read and easily accessible to variety of teens.  The best part of all is that Pham reiterates over and over again that there is no “one size fits all” roadmap to success, nor is there a “one size fits all” recipe for amazingness.  ALL girls are beautiful.  ALL girls are awesome.  And ALL girls have the ability to achieve greatness.  How powerful is that message??

In my opinion, we need more books like this for teens, not just for girls but for everyone!

Here are some other suggestions that will satisfy this prompt:

Steve Jobs: Insanely Great by Jessie Hartland

Company of One by Paul Jarvis

The Code : Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America by Margaret Pugh O’Mara

Make it Rain! : How to Use the Media to Revolutionize Your Business and Brand by Areva Martin

This is Not a T-shirt : A Brand, a Culture, a Community — a Life in Streetwear by Bobby Hundreds

Drive-thru Dreams : A Journey through the Heart of America’s Fast-food Kingdom by Adam Chandler

Merchants of Truth : The Business of News and the Fight for Facts by Jill Abramson

This is Marketing by Seth Godin

Also, here are Book Riot’s suggestions for this prompt.

Prompt #18: A novel by a trans or nonbinary author

I really, really wanted to like this book.  The premise of The Lost Coast, by Amy Rose Capetta, is six queer witches living among the redwoods doing their magical thing.  Sounds awesome, right?!  I love that the publisher put out a book with some f/f loves stories. There was also a lot of diversity among the cast of characters with many of the witches coming from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, as well as a spectrum of sexual orientations. 

One thing the author did well in the Lost Coast is she brought to life the foggy, lush, and mystical scenery of California.  Unfortunately, this book fell completely short for me in every other way.  The narration switched a lot between characters which made it hard to keep up with, especially because the characters weren’t well developed and didn’t have unique voices (in my opinion).  Also, the plot really dragged. This was a book about witches and I wanted some really cool magic throughout. I did not get it. There was some good action toward the end of the book but it was too little too late for me.

Here are a few other suggestions:

The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Anders

Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson

The Merry Spinster by Mallory Ortberg

Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finley Boylan

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

If I was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Here are Book Riot’s suggestions.

Prompt #19: A book of nonviolent true crime

Let me start out by saying that Hole in My Life, by Jack Gantos, has been nominated for quite a few awards.  So, while I was not really a fan, many people are. I looked on Goodreads at some of the reviews and people were using words like “profound” and “insightful” to describe the book.  I thought the opposite.  

Here is a story about a teenage boy who finds himself in a lot of trouble when he tries to smuggle drugs into the country and distribute them on a pretty significant level.  The journey he takes while in possession of the drugs almost has a Hangover feel where the author just keeps getting himself into more and more trouble with little to no awareness of the severity of his actions.  And although he goes to jail, he seems to avoid many of the really awful things that go on there by pure chance.  

I won’t tell you the end but that too seemed a little too wrapped up in a pretty ribbon.  The book is a memoir, so I guess what happened is what happened. But I just don’t feel like there was much growth for the author, even though that was the whole premise of the book.  #sorrynotsorry

Here are a few other suggestions:

Catch Me if You Can by Frank Abagnale

Provenance : How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art by Laney Salisbury

The Great Pearl Heist by Molly Caldwell Crosby

Flawless : Inside the Largest Diamond Heist in History by Scott Andrew Selby 

The Map Thief by Michael Blanding

My Friend Anna : The True Story of a Fake Heiress by Rachel DeLoache Williams

Finally, here are Book Riot’s suggestions.



About the Author

Jenn Deuell is the Young Adult Coordinator with Richmond Public Library. She is a native of Fredericksburg, VA but has lived in Richmond for long enough that she now considers it home. She loves all things YA and can usually be found curled up at home with a good book (rainy day or not). Her other hobbies include traveling and spending time with family, including her three rescued pit bulls.

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