Young Adult Fiction! discussion

The Classroom-(gen. discussion) > What is your favorite YA novel? and Why

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message 1: by Autumn Skye (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:52AM) (new)

Autumn Skye (cuddlebot) | 17 comments Mod
yay!! first discussion!

message 2: by Lara (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:52AM) (new)

Lara | 6 comments My favorite young adult novel has got to be To Kill a Mockingbird. I love the nostalgic settings and the timeless sense this book has. It reminds me of childhood and the lazy days of laying in the grass imagining who my neighbors really are. It's a classic!

message 3: by An (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:54AM) (new)

An | 7 comments disclaimer: painkillers from the surgery are making me less eloquent than i'd like to be.

I'm going to say that TheGiver is probably ONE of my favorite YA stories.

i remember reading it in 8th grade and being blown away.
it did a really good job of making the reader think. the whole concept of explaining color to someone really got to me, it was one of the aspects of the story that made me realize how much we take for granted.

message 4: by Autumn Skye (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:54AM) (new)

Autumn Skye (cuddlebot) | 17 comments Mod
I'm actually really glad you added some books, i couldn't seem to get up the motivation to do it!

message 5: by Lara (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:57AM) (new)

Lara | 6 comments I took a Young Adult Lit class a few years ago and found it extremely fascinating! Of the genre, I found that the innocence and simplistic plots lead reaaders into a sometimes macabre sense of what is going on. I certainly enjoyed novels such as Til We Have Faces, by C. S. Lewis, which follows the story of Cupid and Psyche. Another story I loved was The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath.

message 6: by Erika (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:57AM) (new)

Erika | 1 comments My all-time favorite is The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, although I do like some of the more substantial young adult books (The Giver, To Kill a Mockingbird, etc). The comedic timing is just perfect, and it's just effortless. It made me laugh out loud so many times!

message 7: by jacky (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:59AM) (new)

jacky I love a lot of YA titles (Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Giver, Feed, Before We Were Free, Harry Potter), but I would have to say that Just as Long as We're Together by Judy Blume is my favorite because it was the book that branched me from reading children's books to reading young adult books. I really connected with the characters in the book and it made me want to read more.

message 8: by An (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new)

An | 7 comments i can't believe i for got about this one... but oh man did i love Skinny Bones when i was in fifth grade!!

message 9: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:01PM) (new)

Laura (laurahogan) | 16 comments I bet I'm older than any of you, and I still love reading YA books. I'd far rather read them than romance novels or other things that lots of adults aren't embarrassed to read.

My very favorite YA is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which I re-read every year. (To be honest, I'm not really sure it's a YA, but anyway.) Same goes for To Kill a Mockingbird -- not sure it was actually written for young adults but I love it. I also love Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.

Never read The Giver but so many people list it as a favorite that I'll have to check it out.

message 10: by Diane (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:02PM) (new)

Diane (dianes) I have to say that The Giver is my favorite YA book- I think I've read it at least 5 times. I also went to a Lois Lowry author visit and enjoyed hearing her speak about The Giver, Gathering Blue, and The Messenger. I like them all, but The Giver is still my favorite.A close second would be The Gospel According to Larry by Janet Tashjian.

message 11: by Jessica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:03PM) (new)

Jessica I do annual re-readings of To Kill A Mockingbird, and find myself seeing things more from the perspective of Atticus than I used to. Scout is such a wonderful point of view for a young person, and I think that's the amazing appeal of this book to multiple generations.

As a YA, one of my favorite books was The Silver Crown by Robert C. O'Brien. It's a pretty dark story of a girl who finds a silver crown under her pillow on her birthday, the same day her house burns down and she must run from menacing agents. She ends up at a rather fascistic institution where she and her crown are needed. What I loved about this book was that Ellen's games of pretending to live in a forest turn very, very real for her, and in a way her games have been preparing her for real adventure all along. It too me a long time to track down a copy, but I have one now, and I love it just as much as I did then.

message 12: by Jane (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:03PM) (new)

Jane (mamacita) | 1 comments Oh, my, YA Lit has been around for much longer than most of you think! The fabulous Beany Malone series was begun back in the early forties, and the superb Elizabeth Enright's stories are even older!

What about Nancy Drew, or the even better Judy Bolton? Hardy Boys? Bobbsey Twins?

Anne of Green Gables, and all the other books and series by L.M. Montgomery? (My favorite series is the one featuring Emily!)

Check out some of the older books the very minute you can. Most libraries have discarded them, but that's a shame. Many of them are being re-published now, but be sure you get the original version, not the watered-down politically-correct nonsense.

I majored in Children's and YA Literature. I'm far older than anybody else here, I'm sure, and YA is still what I read more than any other genre.

message 13: by Rileyann (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:03PM) (new)

Rileyann Maloney | 3 comments My favorite has to be Twilight by Stephenie Myer. I loved the ways that she veiwed the charators

message 14: by Jessica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:04PM) (new)

Jessica >>>I'm far older than anybody else here, I'm sure,

I'd say! Your profile says you're 100!!!

message 15: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:05PM) (new)

Laura (laurahogan) | 16 comments It does not! You're confusing me with Patrick Lopez!

message 16: by Eliana (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:05PM) (new)

Eliana fat kid rules the world was awesome!!! you guys should read it. flush was good too!!!

message 17: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:05PM) (new)

Laura (laurahogan) | 16 comments Oh, the phrase "Fat Kid" reminds me of the really excellent YA "One Fat Summer," by Robert Lipsyte. (There was a sequel, but I never got around to reading it.) I read One Fat Summer half a dozen times when I was a kid. Lipsyte is a really nice guy, too.

message 18: by Jessica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:05PM) (new)

Jessica Laura:

Jane is 100. You, my dear, are a spring chicken of no more than 97.

message 19: by Alexis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:06PM) (new)

Alexis (alexismargaret) How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff has to be my favorite that I've read as an adult. My favorite as a teen was Lois Duncan's Daughters of Eve.

message 20: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:07PM) (new)

Laura (laurahogan) | 16 comments Oh my god, I actually found Daughters of Eve so dreadful and offensive that I stole it from the Englewood Public Library in New Jersey so that no young minds would be tainted by it. Yes, I know it was wrong, and I wish I felt guiltier about it.

message 21: by Alexis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:07PM) (new)

Alexis (alexismargaret) Laura, I admittedly have not read Daughters of Eve in since I was about ten or eleven (seventeen years), so I'm pretty sure I would have different feelings about it now. However, I did LOVE Lois Duncan's books. I'm curious what you thought was so offensive? I don't remember much about it...

message 22: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:08PM) (new)

Laura (laurahogan) | 16 comments Oh, I totally loved Lois Duncan’s books in general. I think I read Killing Mr. Griffin around six times, and the last time was when I was in my 30s. Also loved, um, I don’t quite remember the name, I think it was Summer of Fear. (Didn’t care for The Twisted Window, which I thought was dumb.)

Daughters of Eve, though, I found offensive because it was a straight-up anti-feminist screed. (I first read when it I was 23 or 24, btw.) The plot, as I remember it, is that this woman teacher, who’s your run-of-the-mill man-hating, ugly, radical feminist lesbian, takes over the girls’ club and indoctrinates them all with her evil philosophy, turning them all into man-hating harpies just like her. Only one girl – one of the pretty ones, of course – is able to stand up and say, “No! No! Men are not all bad! There are good men!” and they shout her down. One of the girls winds up murdering her father with a cast-iron skillet. Does she do this because he beats her mother, putting the mother in the hospital, and threatens to beat and rape the daughter now that the mother isn’t there to kick around any more? Nope -- it’s because she’s been corrupted by feminism!

The moral of Duncan’s story is that feminism is not only a hateful philosophy, leading to irrational manhating and probably lesbianism too, but also to patricide. That book was the most irresponsible, twisted piece of shit I’ve ever read. Issues much, Lois?

message 23: by Jessica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:08PM) (new)

Jessica I really need to go back and read the Lois Duncan's I read Back When. I recall being quite into Summer of Fear, or whatever, but never read Daughters of Eve. I'd have remembered that.

message 24: by Alexis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:13PM) (new)

Alexis (alexismargaret) I've been gone for a few days so I just got Laura's response. Wow. That's really interesting because all I remember about Daughters of Eve was that the girls in it start a feminist group--which was unheard of where I grew up and seemed totally cool to me. Also, that the girls fought back against a date rapist (?). The teacher becoming a psycho & turning it into a cult just seemed par for the course Lois Duncan... Of course, I was ten, and it was a long time before I read any feminist criticism, so I'm sure I'd have a different view now. If it makes you feel any better, I grew up to be a card-carrying feminist, so it didn't taint my young mind at all.

message 25: by Ronni (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:13PM) (new)

Ronni | 2 comments I think my favorite would have to be STAYING FAT FOR SARAH BYRNES, because I think it's a beautiful expression of friendship, and I think everyone years for a friend who is as loyal as Eric is to Sarah. Also, I e-mailed Chris Crutcher about the book and what it meant to me, and I got a lovely response back, so that didn't hurt.

I'm 39 and currently transitioning from being a children's librarian to adult, and it's been a little rough. I don't miss the kids so much, but I REALLY miss the books!

message 26: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:13PM) (new)

Laura (laurahogan) | 16 comments Can you sneak back into the children's area? I would.

And now I feel even more guilty about Daughters of Eve, as you grew up to be a good feminist, Alexis. Maybe I'd better anonymously send a new copy to the Englewood Public Library. Though I'm sure they replaced it in the last 18 years sometime, so maybe I'm off the hook.

My recollection of the scene you're talking about (yep, I am embarrassed that I remember this) is that the guy blew off one of the girls after he had asked her to the prom and she was crushed, so the girls all ambushed him, cut off all his hair so he was bald (in the 70s and 80s it was Not Cool to be bald, but now no one would even care because so many guys shave their heads), and wrote "PIG" and stuff on him so that he was embarrassed to be seen in public.

message 27: by Nephyr (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:23PM) (new)

Nephyr (friendlytoanimals) | 6 comments To all ya'll who reviewed Speak and gave away the core plot premise in your reviews. I really wish you hadn't. I read it based on your reviews, but was sad to realize that the author did not intend for me to know what I knew until oh, half way or two thirds of the way through. I expect more out of book lovers.

message 28: by Jessica (thebluestocking) (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:45PM) (new)

Jessica (thebluestocking) (jessicaesq) I LOVE YA books! I'm still reading them even though I am quite grown up. I just read The Book Thief this week. I'd recommend it to everyone.

As a teen, I read pretty much everything I could get my hands on YA or otherwise. Some of my favorites were Just As Long As We're Together, and The Giver, as well as Harriet the Spy and James and the Giant Peach. I still read Harriet the Spy every so often.

Of course, the Twilight series is one of my recent favorites, too.

message 29: by Meaghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:46PM) (new)

Meaghan (meggilyweggily) | 11 comments My favorite YA novel -- my favorite novel, period, is definitely "I am the Cheese" by Robert Cormier. You will all soon learn that I am obsessed with Robert Cormier and worship him as a god.

message 30: by Melissa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:51PM) (new)

Melissa | 3 comments Another fan of The Giver here. I've read it several times and am looking forward to sharing the love with my seventh graders this year.

Also, L.M. Montgomery.

message 31: by Melissa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:51PM) (new)

Melissa | 3 comments How can anyone post just one favorite?

Adding Skelling by David Almond.

message 32: by Rosemary (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:51PM) (new)

Rosemary I love THE ORNAMENT TREE by Jean Thesman!

When my children were all at home, we read aloud long after they could each read to themselves. My girls and I especially enjoyed Joan Lowery Nixon's YA mysteries and historicals (The Ellis Island trilogy, the Orphan Train quartet, etc.). I had the pleasure of getting to know Joan through a writing group in Houston, and one day took my daughters out of school to have lunch with one of their favorite authors. I also wrote a profile article about Joan for Mystery Scene Magazine. A few months before the article was to run, Joan died of cancer, and MSM ran the article as a tribute to her fine work. She was committed to creating heroines who figure a way out of their problems. I felt her influence when writing my first YA, and still appreciate the way her many novels entertain and empower young readers.

message 33: by J-Lynn Van Pelt (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:00PM) (new)

J-Lynn Van Pelt | 25 comments Mod
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. It is a fantastic story about gifted children who are recruited to literally save the world. It is an amazing tale of loyalty, leadership and love. Plus, there are companion novels and sequels and the author writes a new short story in the Ender universe once a month on his website.

message 34: by Nephyr (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:01PM) (new)

Nephyr (friendlytoanimals) | 6 comments oh yeah, I LOVED Enders Game! And the sequels too. Thanks for the reminder, I need to re-read those.

message 35: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:02PM) (new)

Laura (laurabenson) | 2 comments the Giver is amazing. Elsewhere is another book that just amazed me as well.

message 36: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:02PM) (new)

Laura (laurabenson) | 2 comments Yes, I'm another Laura. I'm 39 years old and LOVE YA literature. I've read so much lately I'm buzzing! I'm currently on a Scott Westerfeld jag. His books are amazing. I'm reading the Sequel Uglies. Pretties. LOVE this series so far.

I really enjoyed Libba Bray's books. The first one took me a while to get into, but into it I got.

My husband had me read Ender's Game and that book was amazing.

Now if I could only get my 17 yo daughter to read YA:)

message 37: by Jessica (thebluestocking) (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:13PM) (new)

Jessica (thebluestocking) (jessicaesq) I'm trying to read all of the Newberry Award-winning books, and I just finished The Witch of Blackbird Pond. That is now high on my list of YA favs.

message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

i second this!

message 39: by Meaghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:45PM) (new)

Meaghan (meggilyweggily) | 11 comments My favorite novel, period, is Robert Cormier's I am the Cheese. I mean it sincerely when I say that book changed my life forever. I was also really wowed by Markus Zusak's The Book Thief. I was utterly overwhelmed by the beauty of its tragedy.

message 40: by Tiff (new)

Tiff (tiffe) | 3 comments My all-time favorite is Goose Girl by Shannon Hale.
I remember when I read it, I couldn't stop thinking about it. The story even infiltrated my dreams at night! It was just incredible. I felt like it had everything any reader could want...action, suspense, romance, drama, fantasy. Ah. I have to read it again.

I also adore The Giver...although it is not pure YA to me, as I've booktalked it to 5th graders in the past.

The Book Thief is also in my top YA books. Incredible.

I will try to stop now...

message 41: by Kim (new)

Kim | 35 comments Okay, so I should probably pick my own novel Songs for a Teenage Nomad because I feel a little disloyal not picking it, but I would really have to second the Robert Cormier novel I am the Cheese mentioned above - that was just such a wonderful book and I read it at a point in my life where it was really necessary. My novel has been compared to Perks of Being a Wallflower, which is a YA book that I'd never read until recently and that definitely goes on the top ten list. I also loved Stargirl and What Happened to Lani Garver, but now I'm not answering the question's too hard to only pick one.

message 42: by Jenna (new)

Jenna | 8 comments I know, I have read the Goose Girl like 12 times (no joke) and each time it makes me smily so dumbly, I just can't stop!

message 43: by Jenna (new)

Jenna | 8 comments We like good books

message 44: by Julie (new)

Julie Gerstenblatt | 2 comments I'd have to say The Giver and Speak are two of my favorites, but I read a ton of YA so it's hard to choose. Love Fat Kid too, and Book Thief. Anyone else read "Diary of a Part Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie? Awesome. Love the voice, the style, the illustrations. Cutting edge stuff. Check it out if you haven't yet. I also love:
Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Munoz Ryan
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita
The Lightening Thief series by Rick Riordan
The City of Ember series by Jeanne DuPrau
These titles are for younger YA fans, really middle school stuff.

I have heard great things about Dairy Queen but haven't gotten to it yet. Am reading The Wednesday Wars for a YA book group I'm in and will let you know what I think.

I'll stop there for now.

message 45: by Tiff (new)

Tiff (tiffe) | 3 comments Hooray! I'm happy someone else loves GG as much as I do. I think Shannon Hale's YA stuff is GREAT but I don't think she is mentioned enough.

message 46: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth There is a great book called Sorcery and Cecilia by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. It is written as letters between two cousins who are debuting in Regency England. But this is also a mystery and a fantasy. Each author writes as one of the girls.
I have aready read it twice but I just discovered they wrote 2 more books together that I want to read; but i need to reread this book again first.

My favorite book growing up was Juniper by Monica Furlong. It was the first fanasy book i ever read and I still own a copy of it. It is about a Cornish Princess who is sent to learn Magic in case her parent's do not have a son to take the throne.

message 47: by Ken (new)

Ken Jgerstenblatt -- Speak and The Giver are wise choices.

I read the first 20 pp. of Diary of a Part-Time Indian and they left me cold. Dairy Queen was OK. It's a slow start (my 8th graders who stick with it like it, but no one is ga-ga over it).

I reviewed The Wednesday Wars, so I won't go over it all again here.

Goose Girl the girls are liking!

message 48: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra Elisabeth, I really enjoyed Sorcery and Cecelia. I recently learned there are two sequels. I've read the 2nd book and enjoyed it, haven't read the third yet.

I first "discovered" Patricia C. Wrede with her Lyra novels (fantasy), the first is Daughter of Witches. I really loved those.

message 49: by [deleted user] (new)

My favorite YA book would have to be Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. I love the way she does Bella's charater. Bella's just a normal girl (in ways). She's a klutz (like me), she blushes even when she tries not to (like me), she loves to read (hey, just like me also), and she's kinda in love with a vampire (oh, shoot! Not like me).

message 50: by elissa (new)

elissa (librarianbodyworkerelissa) | 16 comments Jgerstenblatt~I love PART-TIME INDIAN, too! It's on my 2007favorites shelf, along with a bunch of other books that came out last year that I love.

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