Books for the Younger Crowd Part 3

This is part three of my my top recommendations for folks reading in the classical young adult range. Most of these are speculative fiction (with a few classics thrown in for good measure). These books have a level of on screen violence and physical relationships that you’d see on the television or in a PG film.  Not all of these are marketed as young adult.  I only list the first book in a series, because it’s a good idea to make sure you like book one before picking up all of them.

Author’s name is at the top. 
Book title (only the first in a series will be listed)
– Notes or description preceded by a hyphen
Another book, maybe
– Another description

Tamora Pierce 
Alanna
– Sword and sorcery. First book of the Song of the Lioness quartet, and really the best place to start all your world of Tortall reading (there are three 4-book quartets, a 2-book set, and a trilogy that take place in this world). The magic is interesting, the characters feel real, and there is well done ethnic and religious diversity. Lots of coming of age and finding your path in these books.
Wild Magic
– Sword and sorcery. Takes place in the same world as Alanna, but you don’t have to have read those to enjoy these. The main character is the child of a god and a human and has magic allowing her to speak with animals.
Sandry’s Book
– High fantasy-ish. The first book in the Circle of Magic quartet and the larger connected Magic Circle collection.  This set follows four kids who have unusual magic.  They are all very different characters, coming from various walks of life.  Again, diversity is well handled here.  The character Tris starts of prickly and unlikable.  Over the course of the series we learn to like her, but she stays prickly, which I think is excellent (she doesn’t have to change who she is). Great self discovery books.
Young Warriors: Stories of Strength
– Collection of short stories edited by Tamora Pierce featuring strong female characters.

Continue reading Books for the Younger Crowd Part 3

Books for the Younger Crowd Part 2

This is part two of my top recommendations for folks reading in the classical young adult range. Most of these are speculative fiction (with a few classics thrown in for good measure). These books have a level of on screen violence and physical relationships that you’d see on the television or in a PG film.  Not all of these are marketed as young adult.  I only list the first book in a series, because it’s a good idea to make sure you like book one before picking up all of them.

Author’s name is at the top. 
Book title (only the first in a series will be listed)
– Notes or description preceded by a hyphen
Another book, maybe
– Another description


Nina Kiriki Hoffman
A Fistful of Sky
– A girl from a magic family doesn’t get her magic until very late, and then it’s the power of curses.
A Stir of Bones
– Some teens make friends with a lonely ghost.

Continue reading Books for the Younger Crowd Part 2

Books for the Younger Crowd Part 1

This is a list of my top recommendations for folks reading in the classical young adult range. Most of these are speculative fiction (with a few classics thrown in for good measure). These books have a level of on-screen violence and physical relationships that you’d see on the television or in a PG film.  Not all of these are marketed as young adult.  I only list the first book in a series, because it’s a good idea to make sure you like book one before picking up all of them.

Author’s name is at the top. 
Book title (only the first in a series will be listed)
– Notes or description preceded by a hyphen
Another book, maybe
– Another description


Douglas Adams
 A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
– Science fiction, humor. This is the first in a series. I read this when I was 12.
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
– Science fiction, humor. This is the first in a series unrelated to the more famous Hitchhiker’s Guide and frankly an underappreciated gem.

Continue reading Books for the Younger Crowd Part 1

Graphic Novels for the Younger Crowd

Graphic novels are a ton of fun to read, even if you’re an accomplished reader, and they can make some stories accessible and appealing to struggling readers.  These are my top recommendations for graphic novels for folks reading in the classic young adult range. These have a level of on screen violence and physical relationships that you’d see on the television or in a PG film. I only list the first book in a series, because it’s a good idea to make sure you like book one before picking up all of them.

Author’s name is at the top. 
Book title (only the first in a series will be listed)
– Notes or description preceded by a hyphen


Vera Brogsol
Be Prepared
– Autobiography of a Russian-American summer camp experience.  The main character is the daughter of a Russian immigrant, and she has heard about the wonders of camp for years.  When she finally gets to go to Russian summer camp, it’s not quite as she expected. How will she survive? How will she make friends

Continue reading Graphic Novels for the Younger Crowd