Yesterday marked the beginning of Teen Read Week, an initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Assocation (YALSA) to raise awareness of–and celebrate!–teen reading. This year’s Teen Read Week theme is “Read Beyond Reality“–a theme that is also right up my alley!
I love young adult literature. I’ve always got at least one YA novel on the go (currently, The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker, and about to start Secret Keeper by Mitali Perkins). Traditionally, I’ve celebrated this week by procrastinating all “non-essential” tasks and replacing them with time devoted to reading YA novels. Since I’m still trying to smooth out my life after the move, however, there aren’t many things that feel “nonessential” these days! Still, I couldn’t just let this week pass by unmarked.
If you’re looking for a way to celebrate, check out ReaderGirlz, a community of readers and writers of books for teen girls. RGz is hosting some fantastic chats with YA authors this week, including Cassandra Clare, author of City of Ashes. Girls can also chat with authors through New Moon Girl Media’s online book club (girls only, please!). And even if you’re not a teen or regular reader of YA literature, consider checking some out this week, or revisiting your old favorites. Below, in no particular order) are ten of my favorite YA novels (not my top ten, as this list is by no means complete!)
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle – A timeless science fiction novel about siblings traveling through time and space to find their father.
- The Realm of Possibility by David Leviathan – A novel in verse that captures dozens of authentic teen voices.
- Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanan – A beautiful coming-of-age novel about seeing beyond assumptions.
- Stargirl by Jerri Spinelli – A reflection on how one out-of-place girl can change the way others see the world forever.
- I Know It’s Over by CK Kelly Martin – The best novel I’ve ever read addressing teen pregnancy, hands down.
- M or F? by Lisa Papademetriou and Chris Tebbetts – A fun retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac in the Internet age–with a queer twist.
- The Uglies Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld – A great sci-fi adventure read, and an even better commentary on our image-obsessed culture.
- The His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman – Beautiful characterization, a fascinating world, and probing questions about science and religion.
- Luna by Julie Anne Peters – A compassionate portrayal of a transgendered teen’s struggle, as seen through the eyes of her sister.
- Please Don’t Kill the Freshman by Zoe Trope – Zoe’s published diary detailing her 9th and 10th grade years–beautiful, crisp writing from a real teen girl.
Will you be celebrating Teen Read Week? Do you have any YA book recommendations? What are/were your favorite teen books? Leave me a comment to let me know!