Anna Shinoda

A Few of my Favorite YA Reads

Since my tweet a few days ago about NPR’s Best Ever Teen Novels, a few of you have asked about my favorite teen novels.  I have a lot of favorites, but if I were to be forced to chose my top ten off the top of my head, in this one moment (because in five minutes I might change my mind), this is what they’d be (in no particular order): House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, Kit’s Wilderness by David Almond, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Looking for Alaska by John Green, how i live now by Meg Rosoff, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, Stop Pretending by Sonya Sones, out of my mind by Sharon Draper, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon,  Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli.  Some of these might be considered mid-grade novels, but I decided to include them regardless.  Now your turn… tell me a few of your favorites in the comments below!

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14 thoughts on “A Few of my Favorite YA Reads

  1. Dear Ann,
    What about John Galsworthy or Washington Irving, or maybe Fedor Dostoevsky? 🙂 They are my favourite classical authors. I know, that’s not easy reading for some people but I like their creations! I hope, you read Dostoevsky who was born at my Motherland – Russia.

    I like John Green and Neil Gaiman books too. They are great writers! But some years ago I read one book which amazed me… Then I was only fifteen years old. But I cried a few days from it. It was the book of one modest Russian writer of the twentieth century, I am sure in the United States and in Europe nobody heard about him . But after reading of his book, I decided to be author too.

    I’m making my first serious teen novel right now but I’m not sure that in Russia it will be successful. It’s difficultly to creative person to live here. Especially eighteen-year person as I…Because in 21-st century not everyone here understand psychological novels. Most of people likes a simple plot and ease of understanding of the book, but they aren’t able to look more deeply in this plot. It sadly to understand that people, probably, grow stupid over time.:(

    But I am glad that there are such magnificent people and writers as you. 🙂 Well, I’m sure your future novel will be amazing!
    With love from Russia.


  2. devilbearbec on said:

    I’m currently rereading all my Neil Gaiman books – his writing is always something I can come back to. My favourite will always be the book he wrote with Terry Pratchet, ‘Good Omens’ it has a nice British feel to it 🙂
    On a similar theme, I also highly recommend Terry Pratchet’s disc world books, specifically the ones about the character Death.

    I found the Twilight books to be addictive reading, though that doesn’t make them good, nor do I feel Bella is a strong, possitive female young women should look up to…though as it’s fanfiction became fifty shades of grey perhaps we can see why.

    Harry Potter will always have a place on my book shelf, kindle, dvd collection and audio books on my ipod (for powercuts) – they make me feel better when I need to curl up on the sofa under a duvet.

    I read most of the above books in my twenties, as a young teenager I mostly read the Sweet Valley High series and on picking one of those us recently realised how out dated it was. As an older teen my friends and I would read Christopher Pike horror stories, they were mildly scary enough before branching into Stephen King.
    I first read Pride and Prejudice at 15 and absolutly loved it. My friend had to read it for her English Literature class, I loved it so much I did all of her homework!


  3. YoMarquesLP on said:

    I gotta say the Harry Potter series and The Hobbit are among my favorites. Thanks for sharing some of your favorites with us 🙂


  4. wjmccardle on said:

    The Hunger Games trilogy got me interested in reading more YA novels. From there, I picked up The Book Thief, which was amazing and I’m currently reading Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. I like how the author incorporates visual elements, in this case photographs, to help tell the story. The Invention of Hugo Cabret was similar in its graphic novel elements, but I had a hard time getting into that one.


  5. To answer a few questions:
    Yes, I’ve read the Harry Potter series and absolutely loved it! Can’t wait until my kids are old enough to read those together… consider the series added to my list of favorites.

    I have read the Twilight series and felt that they were a fun read.

    Thanks for sharing your favorites. I’ve added the ones I haven’t read yet to my long list of books I want to read!


  6. I am not sure if this is really a teen novel, but I did read it in middle school when I was 14. I LOVE Watership Down. It’s my all time favorite Novel next to The Outsiders, and The Bean Trees. I also enjoyed watching the movie, and wonder how this movie was even made for little kids with how the deaths of many animals were portrayed.


  7. i read harry potter til the end…a lot of fantasy there…do you read too?


  8. Uhm…since English is not my language I do not know any of them 🙂 sorry, I’m also more into political books. But my students read a Mexican author called Carlos Cuauhtemoc Sanchez, he has easily understandable readings for teens and preteens, and there is a Colombian writer who caught my attention, Camilo Cruz, his book The Cow is very interesting to read, is a self-help book but is good, although I don’t know other works by him, I think he’s living in the U.S.
    By the way right now I’m Google searching all the books you mention, and it’s your fault..haha XD


  9. “Speak” from Laurie Halse Anderson is great, and I also loved “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”, both books that deal really well with serious issues.
    Another great book I’ve seen in the voting’s list is “To kill a mockingbird”. Definitely one that really impressed me when I’ve read that.
    Like all German kids, I’ve read a lot of YA-novels about the Holocaust in school, and other than Anne Frank’s Diaries, there are two novels that I still have to think about now. One is Hans Peter Richter’s “Friedrich” and the other one is “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” by John Boyne. Another good book that I’ve read in school, is Morton Rhue’s “The Wave”.
    Other than that, I’ve read tons of Fantasy books. I loved Gaiman’s “Coraline” and I think that the Harry Potter series is one of a kind. I doubt anyone can write a better Young Adult Fantasy novel!
    Other great Fantasy novels are the Inheritence Trilogy by Paolini, the Hunger Games and the Night Watch Pentalogy by Lukyanenko (which made me realize how stale the western Fantasy genre can be).
    Also, since I am a kid, I’ve been reading Stephen King novels (no, my parents didn’t allow that, my brother gave them to me) and I’m still a huge fan of his works, but I guess you can’t consider them to be YA novels ;-D
    As you can see, I have way too many favourite books and I bet that I will remember another 10 after I’ve submitted this comment.


  10. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is just perfect! * -*
    Hey, just one question: what do you think of Twilight? Have you read?


  11. evooba on said:

    I actually had a school project based on “The Curious Incident of the Dog In Night-Time”. We had to like write down a summary of the plot and the conclusions we got from reading the book as long as a review of the boom itself. Seemed more like chore back then but thinking about it now, things like that motivate kids to actually read books. It was a good one 🙂


  12. I grew up reading book series and novels by Meg Cabot. The Princess Diaries is still one of my favorites.


  13. Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones 🙂
    I read it multiple times as a teenager and still have it on my list of favorite books.

    Aside from that, my mom and I used to read the same things ever since I was 13 or 14, usually thrillers or Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles or the Felidae series by Akif Pirincci and stuff like this. On birthdays and Christmas, we almost always gave each other books and then switched then, as soon as we were through with them. I moved out almost 7 yrs ago, but I’m still not really used to not sharing books with her anymore, since we’re living quite far away from each other :/


  14. I love Stargirl too, but also the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld 🙂


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