YA literature

Young adult literature is probably my favorite kind of book to read.  It’s fun, accessible, and– if you’re a picky reader like I am– it’s incredibly well written.  Here’s a list of some of my all-time favorite YA lit.

1) Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
2) Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
3) The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
4) Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
5) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
6) Ordinary People by Judith Guest
7) Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
8) Bridge to Terabithia by Kathleen Patterson
9) Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
10) The Pigman by Paul Zindel

… and so many more (Saving Francesca, Finnikin of the Rock, The Sky is Everywhere, Tuck Everlasting, The Secret Garden …)!  Do you like YA lit?  What are your favorites?  Have you tried writing YA lit before?  What are the critical elements to include in any YA story?

6 thoughts on “YA literature

  1. Sounds like an awesome list to me! I know that you’ve brought up a couple of those before, and I definitely want to read them at some point.
    I might add the Lost Books series by Ted Dekker (though Chosen was my favorite), The Veritas Project books by Frank Peretti, and maybe the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I know the last ones aren’t as well written, but I think it fits the first-person present-tense narrator.

  2. In writing YA lit, though, I’ve heard that if you write it any differently than adult literature, it will turn out badly. The themes that you write about just need to be more palatable or of interest to a younger generation. The writing itself shouldn’t change, in my opinion. If you do that, you end up with second-rate lit for a demographic who might not like reading in the first place.

  3. Love this list! I agree with everything (probably because you introduced me to half of them, haha), and would add “Ella Enchanted” by Gail Carson Levine and “A Corner of the Universe” by Ann M. Martin. I honestly don’t remember much of the latter, except that it was powerful, “I Love Lucy” played a pivotal role, and it shook me to the core (in a good way). I haven’t read #6 or #10 from your list, so I’ll check those out soon! I haven’t attempted writing YA lit, but what I’ve appreciated about the YA lit I’ve read is the writing style. The authors don’t “dumb down” their plot, vocabularly, etc., just because of the audience. I’ve also noticed that YA lit is incredibly lyrical (in general), more so than most adult fiction. (What does that say about us?…)

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