Best Books for Teens: YA Books
When I was at KidLitCon 2010 (a blogging conference for those who are passionate about children’s literature thus including children’s librarians, teachers, moms –ok, I was the sole mom blogger, authors and publishing houses) a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that most of the authors there were either MG (Middle Grade) or YA (Young Adult). After hearing so much news on the death of picture books, I thought to myself, ” Isn’t this strange how picture book sales are plummeting but Young Adult books are on the rise?” So when waiting in the long lunch line, I asked those around me who turned out to all be Young Adult authors why this was the case. The answer: adults. Adults are reading YA books on droves. Think Twilight series.
That makes total sense to me. When I was in junior high, my friends and I went from Newbery books too, of all things and I’m a little embarrassed to talk about it, Harlequin Romances. We’d race through stacks of them in a week and share them amongst ourselves before returning them to the public library. There were these 5 standard plots as I recall; all ridiculous but none more ridiculous than the woman being forced to marry the tall, handsome, super-wealthy guy in order to pay off her father’s debt. OK, that was one of my favorite plots.
Now we have Young Adult literature. It’s like Harlequin Romances, just better and without repetitive plots. Where was YA lit back in the ’70s? Did I miss that shelf at the library or was it still in its infancy? The plots are, bear with me, a version of the Harlequin romances. Right? Vampire, werewolves, a wolf that turn to boys … anyway, I am on board with Young Adult and I am excited to read all of these books! What are your favorite YA books? You don’t have to be a teen to have an opinion!
The 2010 Teens’ Top Ten are:
1. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
This is book 2 of the wildly popular series, The Hunger Games.
2. City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
3. Heist Society by Ally Carter
4. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
I met Maggie at KidLitCon 2010. She was the keynote speaker and what a delight she is in person. Not only is she funny as hell, but she’s probably one of the most creative people on the planet with a really inspirational “can do” attitude. You should follow her on Twitter or Facebook to interact with her. Did you know she was a professional artist (colored pencil mostly of horses) before coming up with this idea for a book about a boy/wolf? That because the NY Times #1 best seller Shiver. She signed my copy of Shiver which, when I asked attendees which book of hers should I buy out of the three on the table, all were in agreement that it should be Shiver. I read a portion of it so far and it’s good!!
5. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
6. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
7. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
8. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
9. Fire by Kristin Cashore
10. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
According to YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten websitehttp://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/teenreading/teenstopten/teenstopten.cfm):
Teens’ Top Ten is a “teen choice” list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year! Nominators are members of teen book groups in fifteen schools and public libraries around the country. Nominations are posted on Support Teen Literature Day during National Library Week, and teens across the country vote on their favorite titles each year. Readers ages twelve to eighteen will vote online between Aug. 23 and Sept. 17; the winners will be announced in a webcast featuring WWE Superstars and Divas during Teen Read Week.
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.