Read me: The top 10 young adult books
It’s World Book Day this week (Thurs, 3 Mar). Muddy Oxon/Bucks is running this lovely feature collated by Books and Ink in Banbury, so I thought I’d steal it for Kent teens and adults alike (55 per cent of YA readers are actually adults).
So if you’re despairing of young fingers prodding tablets and want to redirect their energies, or fancy a gander yourself, here’s some good reads for firing up imaginations.
The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
The new and final Hunger Games film was hot over Christmas and if there are any teens out there that haven’t already read and enjoyed the books, now is the time to get them a set of these. The series is brilliant and fast-paced and once they’ve got their nose stuck in one of these they’ll will be putting everything on hold until they’ve finished them!
I am Malala (Teen Edition) by Malala Yousafzai
I would love everyone to read this book. Malala has re-written her story for her peers (originally published last year in a different version). This is the story of the girl shot by the Taliban for standing up for education for girls. It’s a really important and powerful book, yet Malala tells her story with great warmth and personality; a brilliant inspiring piece of writing.
The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner
Another film-related series in our Top 10. These are great books and if teens have seen the films and loved them I highly recommend they read the books too. The first book opens with action and keeps up the pace.
The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
This is an excellent transgender novel about fourteen-year-old David, who has been born into the wrong body. This is a very human and unforgettable story and is highly recommended for all teens.
The Last Summer of Us by Maggie Harcourt
Another popular teen read this year has been this story of three best friends embarking on a road trip that will change their lives for ever. No 16 year old will want to miss out on this hugely evocative novel – a story of friendship, regret, loss and hope.
Hope in a Ballet Shoe by Michaela & Elaine DePrince
This is the incredibly inspirational story of Michaela DePrince, orphaned by the civil war in Sierra Leone. As a young child she is sent to an orphanage struggling to cope with war and famine and by the age of five has seen her favourite teacher murdered by rebels. But Michaela’s story is all about hope and the future. She was adopted into an American family and has worked hard to fulfil her dreams – at the age of 20 she is now an international ballet star. This is another book that everyone should read – you will laugh, you will cry and you will be left with an over-riding sense of hope for the future.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
The Rest of Us Just Live Here is another excellent novel from one of our best young adult writers at the moment, Patrick Ness. This is a story of the transition from school to university and is a very good coming-of-age. It’s not entirely set in this world – vampires, prophecies and end of the world scenarios are blended into a contemporary novel setting.
Sisterland by Linda Newbery
Reissued in a new edition this year is this masterpiece of multi-layered storytelling by Linda Newbery. Hilly’s grandmother, Heidigran, comes to live with the Craig family but as she becomes increasingly affected by Alzheimer’s disease, her family is turned upside down by revelations that emerge from her memories of life during the Second World War. Had me hooked from the first page.
Game Changer by Tim Bowler
A gripping thriller for those who like their books fast-paced and edgy. Life is hard for Mikey. He’s frightened of open spaces and would much rather curl up in his room and avoid the world outside. So going to a noisy, public place is a big deal – but with his sister Meggie by his side, it should be safe. And Mikey is determined to overcome his fear. But Mikey witnesses something terrible and the gang know where he lives…
The Door That Led to Where by Sally Gardner
Sixteen-year-old AJ Flynn has finished school with only one GCSE when he finds a key mysteriously labelled with his name and date of birth. But it’s a key to a door that leads to where? AJ steps through and finds himself in the embroiled in a murder mystery in 1830s London. Time travel, smuggling, arsenic poisoning – what’s not to like?!
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