So I’ve been thinking a LOT about Young Adult Fiction lately, probably because I’m really looking forward to the possibility of working with teens in a public library next year. This got me thinking about what books I really loved when I was coming into my own as a reader. I chatted up one of the YA librarians at the library yesterday, and I felt really dated inquiring about some of my old favorites. But she did confirm that some teens are still actually reading these old-timer classics. Anyway, I just wanted to mention some of them here for posterity:
|The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death by Daniel Pinkwater
Walter and Winston set out to rescue the inventor of the Alligatron, a computer developed from an avocado which is the world’s last defense against the space-realtors.
|A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Meg’s father mysteriously disappears after experimenting with the fifth dimension of time travel. Determined to rescue him, Meg and her friends must outwit the forces of evil on a heart-stopping journey through space and time.
|The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander
Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper of Prydain, volunteers to assist in the destruction of the dreaded Black Cauldron, the chief implement of the evil powers of Arawn, lord of the Land of Death.
|Matilda by Roald Dahl
Matilda, a brilliant, sensitive little girl, uses her talents and ingenuity to seek revenge on her crooked father, lazy mother, and the terrifying Miss Trunchbull, her wicked headmistress, and save her beloved teacher, Miss Honey.
|Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Stargirl changes Mica High School forever.
|Dealing With Dragons by Patrica C. Wrede
Bored with traditional palace life, a princess goes off to live with a group of dragons and soon becomes involved with fighting against some disreputable wizards who want to steal away the dragons’ kingdom.
|Mariel of Redwall by Brian Jacques
The mousemaid Mariel achieves victory at sea for the animals of Redwall Abbey, fighting the savage pirate rat Gabool the Wild, warlord of rodent corsairs.
|A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony
At age 25 Bink was exiled from the magic land of Xanth because he had no magic spell that was observable to his people. But both the good genie and the magic wall chart insisted that he did. How could he prove he had magic?
|From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
Having run away with her younger brother to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, twelve-year-old Claudia strives to keep things in order in their new home and to become a changed person and a heroine to herself.
|Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield
In this story, three orphan girls vow to make a name for themselves and find their own special talents. The adopted sisters take dancing and stage training, one to become an actress, the second a ballerina, and the third an aviatrix.
…so I hope these books are still being loved somewhere, by someone. They’re oldies but goodies, and they are in my thoughts as I embark on my new YA reading list!
if youre going to play redwell you might as well throw in some wheel of time!
i have a fondness for ‘wrinkle in time’ series because it was my first exposure to four dimensions.
Haha, I would throw in some WoT, except that I have a hard time thinking of that as specifically “Young Adult” fiction ; )
I didn’t really realize how much fantasy I read as a young teen until I started throwing this list together. It kind of makes the whole wizard / vampire phenomenon in current YA fiction make a little more sense to me. Who doesn’t want superpowers when they’re 14???
I know, I wasnt going to mention it for that reason – theres nothing specifically teen about it. But you know what? As much as I was a fan, I cant really see recommending them to anyone but young adults. A lot of it IS adolescent super power fantasy, with less practical themes about overcoming adversity and more sexual tension and vaporizing evil guys.
For some reason I was thinking you werent really a fan of WoT, but you did use the name ‘berelain’ when we first met, so I guess you at least read them ; )
I AM kind of surprised at all the fantasy you read too! Its too bad you have such a chip against scifi, because enders game really deserves a nod here too.
I am intrigued by this stargirl book~! Q