There’s been some talk in the news in recent months about the trend of adults reading young adult literature. This New York Times article addresses the trend. There is also a blog called Forever Young Adult for adults who read young adult fiction. This trend seems to have really taken off with the Harry Potter series and continued with books like Twilight and The Hunger Games. These books were a gateway into young adult literature for many adults who continue to pick up YA titles. For those who haven’t read these runaway bestsellers or picked up a young adult title in recent years, here are some suggestions of young adult literature that appeals to many adults.
is a young adult fantasy novel first published by Garth Nix in 1995 (two years before the first Harry Potter novel was released). Sabriel is the daughter of the Abhorsen, a necromancer who puts the dead to rest and prevents the restless Dead from returning to Life. When Sabriel receives a message from him while she is away at school in Ancelstierre (where magic does not work), she must return to the Old Kingdom (where magic works) to take up his duties and try free him from where he is trapped in Death. Sabriel is the first in a trilogy, followed by Lirael
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
is the first young adult offering from the talented Sherman Alexie
. Junior is a Native American high school student living on a reservation. He likes to play basketball and draw and is often picked on by other students. He transfers to a different school to try to escape the poverty of the reservation. He starts making friends and joins the basketball team. Junior’s world starts to fall apart partway through the novel as he deals with the realities of reservation life and the death of loved ones. This novel addresses difficult issues such as race and identity and overcoming poverty with humor and grace.
Miranda is a typical high school sophomore and her diary is filled with the typical high school sophomore student concerns. In Life As We Knew It, everything changes, though, when a meteor hits the moon and knocks it off its normal axis. The earth is wracked by tsunamies, floods and volcano eruptions. The weather changes drastically and food and gas shortages abound. Miranda doesn’t focus so much on the death and destruction in her journal as she does on the reality of how much everyday life has
changed and the stresses of living in such an uncertain world.
Taylor Markham is a 17-year old student at Jellicoe Boarding School on Jellicoe Road
where she has lived since her mother abandoned her at the age of 11. She leads the Jellico School faction against the Cadets and the Townies in the teen wars of the Australian countryside. Taylor already questions the role she is playing in this conflict and when her mentor and teacher, Hannah, disappears and Taylor finds her book manuscript and reads it, her questions and doubts only increase in number. This novel is very complex and mixes elements of romance, mystery and realistic fiction to compelling effect.
There are many more wonderful YA titles available at the library. Here are a few more suggestions: