I found Empty Pages to be both fascinating and poignant, a wonderful combination of ingredients for young adult readers (ages 12 and up).
Jasper is a teenager whose parents don’t have much to say to him other than to criticize. In fact, they don’t have much to say to each other, either. As if that weren’t enough, Jasper’s grandfather, the only family member who really loves Jasper and is supportive, has been moved to a nursing home in poor health.
The family visits to the grandfather tend to turn into arguments between Jasper’s parents, but after they (finally!) leave, Jasper and his grandfather share some very special moments. Their relationship deepens as Jasper takes to visiting by himself after school. As part of these visits, Grandpa begins to read to Jasper from his friends war diary, and stories of war time valor and struggle come to life in ways that change Jasper’s life and hopes.
The ending is a surprise that is both exhilarating and heart opening. Discover it for yourself (after your teen has finished it).