My dear friend, Cindy, had asked me to blog about some of my favorite young adult literature. I hadn't even thought of it, but it seems like such a GREAT idea since I love to share my favorite reads. With my husband being a 6th grade language arts/literature teacher, I obviously find out about some great books!! Here are some of my favorites:
1. The Harry Potter series - Hands down still my favorite series, and realistically if you haven't read these already it's unlikely that you will just because I say you should. This is one of the series that I have read and reread; It holds a special place on my bookshelf.
2. The Hunger Game trilogy - Honestly, I hadn't even heard of these books until recently, but I'm surely glad I know about them now. A dark, intelligent, and eerily realistic series, written by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games is another series which will hold the coveted "read and reread" spot on my bookshelf. I was absolutely enthralled with Collins's writing style and her ability to make me feel so deeply for all of the characters. This is one of the few series that has left me wanting to discuss with fellow readers and pose questions that I have come up with since finishing the last book. Fantastic writing and tremendous characters make these a "can't miss" read.
3. The Phantom Tollbooth - I just came across this book, despite the fact that it was written quite some time ago. This is actually a "children's" book, though many of the small wordplay jokes would just sail over a child's head. This is one of those rare books that provides a great amount of magic and wonder for a child, and then provides that same sense of magic when reread as an adult, only for completely different reasons the second time through. Having never read it as a child, I just thoroughly enjoyed the humor, wordplay, and morals that were ever-present in this book. I can't wait to share this with my child when he/she becomes old enough to enjoy it.
4. The Percy Jackson series - I found out about this series because my husband began teaching The Lightning Thief to his 6th graders, (prior to the movie coming out). I read the first one in about two days and then eagerly awaited the second one. It continued this way throughout the series, and I was actually sad to see it all come to an end. This is not a series I will reread, but they definitely deserve a first read through. The books are filled with humor and Greek mythology. It takes an approach that the Greek gods are still around today and have had children with regular humans, thus creating half-blood gods. Percy, the main character, is one, and he faces a whirlwind of challenges throughout the series.
5. Running Out of Time - Tremendous book. Great character development, but mostly it's the plot which carries this book for me. Although I do not own it, I would reread this one. The story follows a young girl who believes that she is living in the 1800s only to find out that she is actually part of a tourist location and the year is really 1996. She is forced into the real world and discovers how scary and wonderful it can be all at the same time. If you've ever found yourself wondering, "What would happen if George Washington suddenly wound up in our age," then this is a must-read for you.
6. The Wednesday Wars - Beautiful story. This book has recently received a lot of acclaim from various websites, but I read it years ago. This is the book that David teaches his 6th grade advanced students each year, and it is a wonderful story of growing up and coming to terms with yourself. It follows a young boy, in the 1960s, who feels that his teacher hates him and feels lost within his own family due to his father's overpowering influence and control. It follows the issues of the time, but it's still quite relevant as the primary focus is of growing up, accepting who you are, and learning that it's ok to walk your own path. A great read for kids and adults alike.
While there are many more young adult stories that I've become enamored with, these are just a few of my favorites. Please comment if you know of any that have earned your praises as well. I love to learn about new literature!