books with compelling young narrators

i was thinking of books that are not only, or predominantly, YA or children books. also, there are books with multiple narrators, some of whom are kids, but i think it would be better to keep this list for books whose only/main narrator(s) is/are kid(s). finally (i know!), i was thinking of books in which the narrator is young at the time of the narration, not a now-adult narrator who recounts his/her young years.
1

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3.82 avg rating — 1,187,497 ratings
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3.81 avg rating — 2,924,578 ratings
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3.97 avg rating — 397,949 ratings
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4.32 avg rating — 6,868,562 ratings
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4.08 avg rating — 242,038 ratings
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4.13 avg rating — 1,947,316 ratings
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3.98 avg rating — 1,034,380 ratings
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14

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3.69 avg rating — 2,420,980 ratings
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15

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3.58 avg rating — 197,523 ratings
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16

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3.76 avg rating — 248,012 ratings
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17

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4.08 avg rating — 192,654 ratings
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18

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4.09 avg rating — 70,373 ratings
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19

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4.01 avg rating — 601,390 ratings
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20

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3.95 avg rating — 97,318 ratings
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20

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4.30 avg rating — 2,752,024 ratings
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22

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4.05 avg rating — 2,548,572 ratings
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23

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3.90 avg rating — 658,586 ratings
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24

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3.71 avg rating — 87,751 ratings
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25

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4.06 avg rating — 50,027 ratings
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26

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 374,067 ratings
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27

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4.06 avg rating — 754,247 ratings
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28

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4.04 avg rating — 89,456 ratings
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29

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4.38 avg rating — 32 ratings
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30

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3.61 avg rating — 141,845 ratings
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31

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4.06 avg rating — 220,685 ratings
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32

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4.14 avg rating — 132,104 ratings
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33

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4.01 avg rating — 99,281 ratings
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34

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3.92 avg rating — 63,640 ratings
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35

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3.85 avg rating — 49,261 ratings
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36

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3.82 avg rating — 156,405 ratings
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37

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3.89 avg rating — 15,749 ratings
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38

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3.94 avg rating — 40,785 ratings
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39

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3.74 avg rating — 8,647 ratings
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40

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4.28 avg rating — 88 ratings
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41

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3.65 avg rating — 44,538 ratings
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42

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3.88 avg rating — 8,467 ratings
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43

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4.18 avg rating — 90,037 ratings
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44

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3.96 avg rating — 176,052 ratings
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45

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3.98 avg rating — 96,848 ratings
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46

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3.83 avg rating — 11,612 ratings
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46

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3.64 avg rating — 60,085 ratings
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48

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4.08 avg rating — 1,101,328 ratings
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49

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3.66 avg rating — 22,283 ratings
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50

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4.06 avg rating — 104,387 ratings
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50

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3.94 avg rating — 78,567 ratings
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50

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3.92 avg rating — 805,803 ratings
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53

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3.87 avg rating — 44,275 ratings
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54

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4.13 avg rating — 1,902 ratings
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55

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4.08 avg rating — 52,446 ratings
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56

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4.08 avg rating — 3,071 ratings
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56

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3.47 avg rating — 56,179 ratings
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56

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4.10 avg rating — 1,804,449 ratings
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59

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4.15 avg rating — 593,981 ratings
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60

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4.05 avg rating — 6,557 ratings
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61

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3.83 avg rating — 245,007 ratings
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61

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3.36 avg rating — 1,041 ratings
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61

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4.41 avg rating — 838,811 ratings
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64

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3.80 avg rating — 47,925 ratings
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65

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3.62 avg rating — 5,522 ratings
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66

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3.68 avg rating — 13,448 ratings
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67

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4.01 avg rating — 365 ratings
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67

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3.30 avg rating — 545 ratings
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67

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3.73 avg rating — 13,457 ratings
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67

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3.03 avg rating — 245 ratings
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67

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4.33 avg rating — 3 ratings
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67

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3.80 avg rating — 34,723 ratings
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67

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3.40 avg rating — 20 ratings
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67

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3.63 avg rating — 19 ratings
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67

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3.73 avg rating — 37 ratings
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67

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3.71 avg rating — 798 ratings
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67

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3.85 avg rating — 8,547 ratings
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67

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4.03 avg rating — 1,062 ratings
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67

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4.08 avg rating — 198 ratings
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67

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3.82 avg rating — 11 ratings
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67

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 26,445 ratings
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67

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 23 ratings
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67

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3.93 avg rating — 49,304 ratings
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67

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3.75 avg rating — 124 ratings
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67

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3.88 avg rating — 420 ratings
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67

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3.87 avg rating — 150 ratings
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67

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4.11 avg rating — 122 ratings
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67

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3.97 avg rating — 119 ratings
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67

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3.83 avg rating — 3,350 ratings
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67

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3.91 avg rating — 70 ratings
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67

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4.29 avg rating — 7 ratings
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67

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4.11 avg rating — 27 ratings
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67

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 3 ratings
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67

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4.01 avg rating — 128,219 ratings
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67

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 2 ratings
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67

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3.81 avg rating — 56,284 ratings
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67

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3.63 avg rating — 30 ratings
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67

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3.67 avg rating — 14,476 ratings
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67

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3.72 avg rating — 608 ratings
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67

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4.27 avg rating — 75 ratings
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flag this list (?)
201 books · 192 voters · list created January 6th, 2009 by jo (votes) .
22 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


jo 2567 books
350 friends
Wilhelmina 1548 books
331 friends
Dara S. 6254 books
381 friends
Qiana 214 books
126 friends
Jean 2476 books
94 friends
Lindsay 700 books
51 friends
William 1514 books
308 friends
Jeff 240 books
23 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-19 of 19 (19 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Jean (new)

Jean I don't know that it is fair that I voted for The Bluest Eyes. I read it, however my recollection of it is very dim.


message 2: by jo (new)

jo great additions, y'all! i knew you'd come through! how did john grisham get to pass everyone else????


message 3: by Jennifer (aka EM) (last edited Jan 05, 2009 06:22PM) (new)

Jennifer (aka EM) I just added Middlesex, but I think it violates the third criterion! Ooops... :-? (then again, so does Cat's Eye)


message 4: by jo (new)

jo messy democracy: i luv it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


message 5: by Jeff (last edited Jan 05, 2009 06:39PM) (new)

Jeff I'd suggest Andrew Sean Greer's The Confessions of Max Tivoli. I love this novel (which bears an uncanny resemblance to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button). Still, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time is a great choice. Also woth considering: Geoffrey Wolff's The Age of Consent AND Old School, Brady Udall's The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint, Russel Banks' Rule of the Bone, Richard Russo's The Risk Pool, Bobbie Ann Mason's In Country, Jim Shepard's Project X, Richard Price's The Breaks AND The Wanderers, Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides, Sebastian Faulks' Engelby, Walter Mosely's 47, and, for what it's worth, I prefer Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian. That's all for now.


message 6: by jo (new)

jo jeff, why don't you add them? you don't know how to do that or are you just being humble?

(happy new year!)


message 7: by Jeff (new)

Jeff I don't know how to do this. I just tried but failed.


message 8: by jo (new)

jo how sweet. at the top there's a box that says, "find/add books to list." it's for finding/adding books to list. hope this helps!

(i knew you'd be the über-expert!!!!)


message 9: by jo (new)

jo i'm going to read every single one of these books. word.


message 10: by jo (new)

jo i love this list. thank you!!!!

does anyone remember whether Bastard Out of Carolina is a first-person narrative?


message 11: by Jeff (new)

Jeff jo wrote: "i love this list. thank you!!!!

does anyone remember whether Bastard Out of Carolina is a first-person narrative?"


yes it is.



message 12: by jo (new)

jo i find extremely and incredibly sad that i am the only one who voted for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close! what's with you, people????

thanks jeff.


Jennifer (aka EM) don't blame me, blame amazon!! I expect it to arrive in the next shipment....

this list is shaping up quite nicely--great theme, jo!




message 14: by Antoine (new)

Antoine This is a neat list. I feel compelled to point out that Claudius in (the Graves books) is writing as an adult.


message 15: by Miranda (new)

Miranda I love the Book Thief, but it doesn't belong on this list. It has a compelling young main character, as it's told from Death's point of view...


message 16: by Brendan (last edited Jul 25, 2014 05:30PM) (new)

Brendan Most of these books -- including To Kill a Mockingbird -- don't belong here. They are either narrated by adult voices looking back, or in the third person. Black Boy isn't even a novel -- it's a memoir. Written by an adult.


message 17: by jo (new)

jo yeah, it's hard to keep it straight. what i was most interested in was the voice, the young person's voice. some authors do it really wonderfully. if it's an adult looking back they'll have an adult voice, and that is not the same.


message 18: by Megan (new)

Megan Miranda wrote: "I love the Book Thief, but it doesn't belong on this list. It has a compelling young main character, as it's told from Death's point of view..."

Came here to say the same thing...


message 19: by Mary (new)

Mary Alterman Miranda wrote: "I love the Book Thief, but it doesn't belong on this list. It has a compelling young main character, as it's told from Death's point of view..."

Miranda wrote: "I love the Book Thief, but it doesn't belong on this list. It has a compelling young main character, as it's told from Death's point of view..."
thanks for head's up, Brendan. I am heading over to the library now so that I can create my own list of actual young narrators cause that's what I am looking for.


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