Young adult literature is usually characterized by having a young protagonist, a limited number of characters, few subplots, a compressed timespan, and a positive resolution. Here is your Top Ten Young Adult Reads list.
- Holes by Louis Sachar
(children books (Ages 9-12), children books, literature and fiction, teens)
"Holes is the story of Stanley Yelnats sent to Camp Green Lake, a juvenile detention center in the desert, where he is forced to dig one five foot wide by five foot deep hole each day. The story flashes back and forth between the an ill-fated love story of an interracial romance set in Wild West times; the history of Stanley’s own family curse started by his great-great-grandfather; and Stanley’s own struggle with the rigged social structure of the boys of Green Lake."
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone by J.K. Rowling
(children books (Ages 9-12), children books, sci-fi, children books series)
"As if the storyline really needs to be repeated anymore. Rowling used this tale of magic to magically change the entire reading world. The Sorcerer’s Stone started it all, but be sure to read the rest that follow. Rowling just seems to get better with age."
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
(children books, sci-fi, teens)
"Set in the future, in a time where there is no crime, disease, or pain, Jonas, a 12-year-old, is selected to become the next Receiver of Memories, where he learns that the utopian world he’s lived in may not be as perfect as he had thought. Lowry creates a biting emotional tale that cannot easily be forgotten in possibly the greatest work of futuristic fiction since the days of Orwell."
- The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
(children books, adventure, sci-fi, children books series, teens)
"In The Golden Compass, the first of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, he deftly crafts a captivating alternate universe in which his Lyra Belacqua does battle with the evil that tends to exist in these sorts of stories. Lyra finds herself teamed up with the Gyptians who set a course for lands North to rescue their stolen children. The other players on Lyra’s team include a hot-air balloon pilot from New Denmark and Iorek Byrnison, an armored polar bear outcast from his Nordic home."
- House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
(adventure, children books, sci-fi, science, teens)
"A seemingly immortal druglord named El Patron created Matt as a clone of himself. Though Matt is hardly his first clone used for “spare parts,” he is the only clone in the world that has not been turned into a brainless slave as is the law. His freedom of thought was meant to be a gift from El Patron, but it winds up being a curse. Tortured as if he were an animal by the others in the family, when El Patron arrives for a visit Matt is feared and treated as royalty."
- Monster by Walter Dean Myers
(children books, sci-fi, teens)
"Myers has always had a knack for writing gritty, realistic novels of life on urban streets, but Monster, with its completely unique format and unbiased tone, is his finest achievement to date. Narrated by 16-year-old aspiring film maker Steve Harmon, who is on trial his role in the murder of a convenience store worker, the text goes back and forth between his scribbled journal and the events in the courtroom written screenplay-style by Steve himself."
- The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1) by Lemony Snicket
(children books (Ages 9-12), children books, adventure, children books series, teens)
"Though adored by children around the world the Snicket books are often more appreciated by adults who eat up all the slightly sick, twisted, and truly lovable unhappy stories they contain. Following the trials of three orphaned siblings who can’t seem to find a lick of good luck, Snicket, in his role as the lecturing narrator, serves up a perfect (though thoroughly addicting) blend dry wit and sarcasm. If you read one book be ready to read them all."
- The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
"This fantasy set in Venice stole the hearts of readers around the world. It is the tale of two runaways who find safe harbor amongst a gang of thieving children. As an eccentric detective tries to hunt them down, the self-proclaimed “Thief Lord,” the leader of the gang, takes on his biggest heist, leading towards the discovery of some very magical things. Never a dull moment, Funke has created a sure fantasy classic."
- Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson by Louise Rennison
(children books, children books series, literature and fiction, teens)
"If Bridget Jones was writing her diary at the age of 14 it might sound similar to Georgia’s story, though it’s hard to imagine Jones being half this hysterical. Renningson creates a memorable character who is as lovable as she is quirky, feisty, and true to her hormones. (For those not in the know, Angus is Georgia’s cat, Thongs are “stupid underware” that just “go up your bum as far as I can tell” and Full Frontal Snogging is kissing with all the trimmings.)"
- Feed by M.T. Anderson
(sci-fi, children books, teens)
"Though Feed hardly has a sci-fi feel, since the novel is told entirely in teenaged slang, its futuristic story centers around the internet. In Anderson’s world, internal “Feeds” are placed into people’s heads at birth, revolving their entire lives around the rush of advertisements and messages shooting between their brains. The teens have no time to speak in complete sentences, as they dangerously follow split second trends in search of some unknown, and never found, form of happiness."