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25 August 2006


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Megan McCafferty's Jessica Darling books. I recommend them to everyone I know.


A guy came in yesterday to buy _I am the Messenger_ and when I said it was incredible he asked if there were any other "Don't misses." So I asked if he'd read _How I Live Now_ and when he said no, I said "Go down stairs right now and get it."

You could add _Fly By Night_ to the list too.


I still need to read I am the Messenger. Not to mention The Book Thief. Maybe this weekend.

And am I just being really sensitive, or was that article a bit patronizing?

Liz B

True Confessions of a Heartless Girl by Martha Brooks

Little Willow

Great list! The only two here that I didn't care for personally were How I Live Now and King Dork, and the only two I haven't read yet but have intended to forever are A Northern Light and Sorcery and Cecilia.

His Dark Materials is amazing. Nothing, nothing like it.

Have you read the Young Wizards series by Diane Duane?


I loved Whirligig (by Paul Fleischman)so much that it hurt. But it is so short and such a quick read that I don't know if most adults will think it is worth buying (but I guess that's what libraries are for, eh?)


Depending on one's point of view, you're either really good or really bad for my To Be Read pile. ;)

How have I made it to the ripe old age of 26 w/o reading The Chocolate War?

Personally, I think adults will enjoy King Dork more than teenagers, but I'm just pulling that opinion from my wazoo, I don't know any YAs who've read it.


For fantasy: Garth Nix, Megan Whalen Turner, Jonathan Stroud, and Rick Riordan. For YA, I totally third, or fourth Meg Rosoff, and I will add that Martha Brooks in general is awesome. Ack, this is hard because the idea of not wanting to read YA blows my mind! I also think that Me and the Blondes by Teresa Toten is pretty amazing. And I haven't met an adult yet who hasn't enjoyed the Alice books by Susan Juby.


Oof. How could I forget _Whale Talk_?


Ooh. Me, too. I'm thinking Hartinger's Grand & Humble, too.


One of the best war books I have ever read is Kipling's Choice. I reviewed it last year at Bookslut - it is about Rudyard Kipling's son and by extension, all the young upper class men who fought (quite happily at first) in WWI. It's just staggering and heartbreaking and an excellent war novel for readers of any age.

I second King Dork and suggest Love, Cajun Style for readers looking for another Divine Secrets of the YA YAs type title. And I have Here There Be Dragons by James Owens going up in my September column. It is for all fantasy fans - big time. Tolkien readers in particular will love this one.

And I'm sorry - but what fantasy reader could have possibly missed His Dark Materials?

Jen Robinson

Wow! Lots of great suggestions. I especially agree with Twilight, The Golden Compass, How I Live Now, and The Book Thief. I would also add Dana Reinhardt's A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life, Kenneth Oppel's Airborn, and Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin. I really have to read King Dork and Sorcery and Cecilia.

Thanks for starting this list. I think that it will be a big hit with people. I have a list of children's books that I think that adults will like, with some young adult stuff mixed in, in my sidebar, but this is much more focused.


They're out there -- usually the same people who think the YA section is comprised of Lurlene McDaniels (barf), Go Ask Alice (baaaaarf) and Garfield (baaaaaaaaaaaarf).

And thanks for the war story recommendation -- that's an area where I am hideously ignorant.


"Born Confused" by Tanuja Desai Hidier. I remember reading this 400 page book and thinking it seemed like it would be better appreciated by adults.


Oh, good call, MR. That's a great one.


I'm not a very mature adult, but man do I love the Louise Rennison Georgia Nicolson (Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging) books. I wait for new volumes of those like other grown-ups wait for the Booker Prize shortlist. And, incidentally, I totally think Georgia should end up with Dave the Laugh.

Liz B.

I should be doing this with my reading journal and not just from memory. I second the Megan Whalen Turner; and add Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve for SF fans; Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist.

And OK I just pulled out the journals:
33 Snowfish, Adam Rapp
Dust, Arthur Slade
Fire Eater, David Almond
No Shame, No Fear by Ann Turnbull
The Haunting Of Alaizabel Cray, by Wooding
Under the Wolf, Under the Dog by Rapp
Sammy & Juliana in Hollywood, by Saenz
Light Years by Tammar Stein
The Order of the Poison Oak, by Hartinger
A Room On Lorelei Street, by Pierson
Stained, by Jennifer Richard Jacobsen
Anything by Francesca Lia Block
Black Juice by Lanagan
Libba Bray's books
Daniel Half Human
Sky by Roderick Townley
The Queen of Cool by castellucci
I'd Tell You I Love You, But The I'd Have to Kill You by Carter
The Faery Reel ed. by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

It was very hard not including every author and book I love, but instead just thinking, what has crossover appeal?


Anything by Scott Westerfeld, but especially _So Yesterday_ and _Uglies_.

The reprints of Sylvia Louise Engdahl's books, especially the Children of the Star triology.

_The Schwa Was Here_ by Neal Shusterman

_3 NBs of Julian Drew_ by James Deem

_Shadow of a Hero_ by Peter Dickinson


I agree with the ones on your list that I've read, especially How I Live Now, Looking for Alaska, and King Dork. Add me as another vote for Megan Whalen Turner. And if no one else has mentioned Summerland, throw that on there. Stretching a bit farther back, there's Cynthia Voigt - I couldn't get into the Tillerman books as a kid but I appreciated them much much more as an adult.


I saw these mentioned on another site, and thought them worth repeating here:

Paul Zindel's
- The Pigman
- The Undertaker's Gone Bananas

Carl V.

Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris is great.

Tithe by Holly Black

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo is a powerful book to read as an adult. Deep stuff there.

All of Shannon Hale's books are excellent.


I just posted at length on my blog today about Charles Butler's DEATH OF A GHOST, another one to add to your list. Wonderfully sophisticated language and use of myth.

Frank Portman

Sorry for the multiple trackbacks, Leila. It happens every time I update, apparently. Great list, and thanks for including me.


I agree with Carl V. Shannon Hale's books are among our adult book club's all-time favorites.

I have really enjoyed Nancy Farmer's The House of the Scorpion and A Girl Named Disaster.

Richard Peck's books (A Long Way from Chicago and A Year Down Yonder) make me laugh until I cry.

Adam S.

Where the hck is It's Kind of a Funny Story and Dairy Queen? Those were awesome YA books.


Oh, good call.


Good list particularly King Dork and Philip Pullman His Dark Materials series (don't stop at The Golden Compass! there are three!) I nominate

Angus Thongs series (getting better each time)
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants


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