Young Adult Fiction! discussion


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message 1: by Jessica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:05PM) (new)

Jessica Interestingly, the group member list here looks heavily female. Certainly most of the YA fiction that I know and love is primarily oriented to girls, except for sci-fi/fantasy, which isn't my strong suit anyway.

But now I'm the mother of two boys (still little, but the older one is now reading) and I'm wondering what classic and new titles are out there that he has to look forward to, and I can explore.

message 2: by Autumn Skye (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:05PM) (new)

Autumn Skye (cuddlebot) | 17 comments Mod
YA fiction does seem a little chick heavy, but i assure you there are tons of books suited for boys as well. A lot of it Is sci-fi/fantasy. other than that classics like catcher in the rye are great for boys too.

my boyfriend is always telling me that his favorite books were by christopher pike. also, since your sons are young there will be plenty of new titles to look forward to!

message 3: by Autumn Skye (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:05PM) (new)

Autumn Skye (cuddlebot) | 17 comments Mod
oooooh, also, once they get into chapter books, i can't push goosebumps enough! i'm pretty sure i read ALL of those when i was little. they're easy to read, they're entertaining, and they keep you reading.

also, choose your own adventure books are really fun!

message 4: by Jessica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:05PM) (new)

Jessica Oh god, I loved those choose your own adventure books! We used to read those together during rest time at camp.

message 5: by Alexis (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:06PM) (new)

Alexis (alexismargaret) Check out M.T. Anderson--he's a favorite at the book store where I work. The fabulous thing about him is that he's written books for children, middle readers, and young adult. He writes great male and female characters, so while boys can get into them, they're not full of male/female stereotypes.

Another one that my coworkers have been talking about is Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney.

Also: David Levithan, Chris Crutcher, Daniel Pinkwater, Robert Cormier, Jack Gantos...and if your son is just starting to read, there are actually some really good new first chapter books out there, too. Try Trolls Go Home by Alan MacDonald, or Cornelia Funke's Ghost Hunters.

message 6: by Suzanne (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:08PM) (new)

Suzanne | 3 comments I saw MT Anderson speak at NYPL's Book Fest last spring. He said he writes for the kind of adolescent he was--geeky and weird. It was an engaging speech.

Diary of a Wimpy kid is hilarious!

message 7: by Patty (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:11PM) (new)

Patty | 4 comments I love Walter Dean Myers as a YA author for boys. Fallen Angels, a Vietnam War book, is one of my favorites. It is very graphic and realistic, and the characters are likeable. I used it with an all male high school book group. The boys loved it and even liked it better than the graphic novel we read, American Born Chinese. We had a very profound discussion; their comments and reflections blew me away.

message 8: by Boyd (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:13PM) (new)

Boyd | 17 comments I'll second Walter Dean Myers. I'll also add Neal Shusterman who is somewhat fantasy, but in a way that's very grounded in reality. Gary Paulsen has probably turned more reluctant male readers on to reading than any other author. His most famous book is Hatchet. Pete Hautman's Rash was great, and all of my students seem to like all of his books. Gordan Korman's Son of the Mob is extremely popular at our school. Edward Bloor's Tangerine is also a good read. Depending on their age and interest as well as your desire to expose them to more mature content, I'd go with some of the new "rock and roll" books like Heavy Metal and You, Born to Rock, and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist.

I teach 11th graders, and most of my curriculum this year is based on reading books of their choice. As such, I've been reading and will continue to read a lot of young adult fiction throughout the coming year. I've created a bookshelf on my site for young adult/high interest reads which I'll continue to add to. Currently my homepage here is a mess without any in depth reviews, but I'll try to add more as I get time.

message 9: by Cat (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:14PM) (new)

Cat | 5 comments I'll third Walter Dean Myers:). Also Chris Crutcher, Christopher Paul Curtis and Gary Paulsen. For older teens, I LOVE Markus Zusak.

message 10: by Ronni (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:14PM) (new)

Ronni | 2 comments No one has mentioned Chris Lynch, who writes great YA for boys, mostly sports themed. Some of them are very intense, but GOLD DUST is great and was not nearly as violent as some of his other titles. It's about the friendship between an avid Boston Red Sox fan, and a boy from Dominica, and how baseball helps them forge a friendship

message 11: by Alexandra (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:37PM) (new)

Alexandra Well, my YA "boy" leanings are heavy on sci fi/fantasy, fortunately or unfortunately? My suggestions:

The White Mountains, John Christopher - sci fi, 1st in a trilogy (with a later prequel called When The Tripods Came). Absolutely a must read in my opinion :)

The Book of Three, Lloyd Alexander - fantasy, first in a series.

Mystery of the Witches' Bridge (or The Witches' Bridge), Barbee Oliver Carleton - mystery.

Gregor the Overlander, Suzanne Collins - fantasy, 1st in a series.

Midnight for Charlie Bone, Jenny Nimmo - fantasy, first in a series.

The Cay, Theodore Taylor - I guess the best classification for this one would be adventure.

An old boyfriend of mine's alltime childhood favorite was Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls. Warning - the end is a tear jerker.

message 12: by Shawn (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:38PM) (new)

Shawn Hello,

I'll speak up for the boys YA literature. I'm in my 40's so these will be dated, but they all fall into the realm of literature I enjoyed as a youth and also as a man.

Starting with the real classics, you can explore R.L. Stevenson, including "Treasure Island", "The Black Arrow", "Kidnapped", and depending on the age of the boys, "Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde".

"Robin Hood", my version is by Paul Creswick.

"20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" by Jules Verne.

"Peter Pan" of course.

"The Last of the Mohicans" by James Cooper. His novels are falling out of favor it seems. Perhaps they don't portray the current politically correct views, but I think they are still worthwhile reading for boys.

Moving up in time to the 20th century (1930's and 1940's), I enjoyed works of Arthur Ransome tremendously. His series starts with "Swallows and Amazons", and continues from there. They are a delight for boys and girls I think.

There are some obscure 1950's juvenile authors I enjoyed tremendously, including Dean Marshall and Elisabeth Kyle. Marshall's "The Invisible Island", and "The Long White Month" are great. The latter works for both boys and girls, as do the works of Kyle. "Holly Hotel", or "Lost Karin" would be a good place to start with Kyle.

I've left off all fantasy and science fiction references here, per your request. That is a very rich area for youth literature for boys though.

I'm sorry I can't refer you to modern authors -- but I'm sure others here are doing that. I just thought I'd share some of what I consider to be classics of juvenile literature (and a few authors who are being forgotten by the masses, but deserve to be read).



message 13: by Ken (new)

Ken Haven't read word for word every post, but scanning them I miss the name of Carl Deuker. Boys who love sports and loathe books like such books as his new one, GYM CANDY (about a kid -- no, not Roger Clemens -- who tried steroids to help his h.s. football game).

Other popular Deuker fare: HEART OF A CHAMPION and HIGH HEAT (both baseball) and RUNNER (running, but mostly a mystery/thriller).

The new Rick Riordan series on Greek Gods is pretty hot right now. It starts with LIGHTNING THIEF.

John Coy's first YA novel, CRACKBACK, is doing well, too. Football and not too complicated = great for middle school aged boys who are reluctant readers.

War books boys love = SOLDIER X by Don Wulffson and SOLDIER BOYS by Dean Hughes.

Oddly, Chris Crutcher (whose stuff I love) doesn't go over great with younger readers. I think he's one of those authors who appeals more to adults and kids who are already readers or who think fringe like he does.

message 14: by bjneary (new)

bjneary | 36 comments Runner by Carl Deuker is not to be missed either- a real thriller. Also David Lubar's Dunk & Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie are good reads. Gordon Korman has good books too. Christopher Paul Curtis and Paul Volponi are good guy authors too.

message 15: by Katy (new)

Katy K. (twilightlover) | 2 comments I know a lot of guys who said they've read THE HANG MANS CURSE and loved it. Im not really sure who its by.

message 16: by Cat (new)

Cat | 5 comments Also, David Almond. Kit's Wilderness, Skellig.

And I have been pleasantly surprised to discover that boys like my books, HARLEY, LIKE A PERSON and HARLEY'S NINTH -- they write to me on My Space and Facebook and tell me so. At first I thought they were relating to Evan, Harley's boyfriend, but it turns out they are relating to Harley herself. So there is another myth shattered - that boys won't read books that feature a female protagonist.

I think my female colleagues Ellen Hopkins, Laurie Halse Anderson and Stephenie Meyer also do a good job attracting the male sex:)

message 17: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra Another suggestion, Airborn by Kenneth Oppel

message 18: by Jessica (new)

Jessica These are fantastic suggestions. My 6 year old and my husband are just finishing up The Hobbit, which he loved having read to him, so I have a feeling that a few of the listed books will be good for him even now (Stevenson, Verne, Robin Hood, Peter Pan) to read together, and before we know it, I have a feeling my little bookworm will be into the next category.

message 19: by Aumee (new)

Aumee | 1 comments You could try 'Animorphs', 'Baily School Kids', 'Goosebumps'. I was a total tomboy when I was little and these are my favs.
If they are the shy type, you could also try the 'Great Illustrated Classics' books. They are really fun to read. 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' is also a good read. Enid Blyton has a huge list of books that would apeal to younger boys, like the 'Famous Five' series. The 'Wayside School' stories are ok too.
For little kids, Hans Christian Andersens books are awesome. Beatrice Potter is also a good author to chose from.
If they are older, 'Fearstreet' is a good series too. I know guys who read the 'Hardy Boys' series.
Oh! The Phillip Pullman books, 'His Dark Materials Trilogy', Paolini's 'Eragon' and Garth Nix's 'The Keys to the Kingdom' are all series that you can buy in advance for boys, along with th usual 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Harry Potter'. These books are all very interesting and not at all 'girlie'.
I'm pretty sure guys would like Mark Twain's "Tom Sawyer" and "Huckleberry Finn". And these are just a few of the classics that would appeal to boys.
"Kidnapped", "Treasure Island", "Robinson Crusoe", "Swiss Family Robinson", "David Copperfield", "Tale of Two Cities", "Oliver Twist", "Frankestein", "Around the World in Eighty Days", "The Last of the Mohicans", "Call of the Wild", "White Fang", "The Time Machine", "The Prince and the Pauper", "Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde", "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" ...............................pheew........I'd better stop while I can:D

message 20: by elissa (last edited Jan 15, 2008 05:34AM) (new)

elissa (librarianbodyworkerelissa) | 16 comments I've got 2 boys of my own (9 and 7 at the moment), and I'm also a children's/YA librarian at a public library. There's nothing more popular with first-fifth grade boys than the CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS series by Dav Pilkey. There's also an excellent, fun website about books for guys of all ages, by a children's author (Jon Sczieska). Here's the URL:

My older son isn't a typical "boy reader", but my younger son is, so anything in my readwith_l shelf went over really well. My readwith_jandl, 00s_re-readswith_l, and 00s_re-readswith_jandl are mostly books that I highly recommend. I don't always list age levels, but I'd be happy to answer questions about specific titles.

message 21: by J-Lynn Van Pelt (new)

J-Lynn Van Pelt | 25 comments Mod
Wow! I second Walter Dean Myers, Chris Crutcher, M.T. Anderson and Neal Shusterman--definitely favorites of mine!

I know a lot of people have been listed, but three authors who I love that I'm not sure anyone got to are:

John Green--has two books now which are very different from each other and a great blog

Anthony Horowitz--I love the Alex Rider series and he is very prolific, there is always something new coming out

James Patterson--I know he is an adult writer, but his YA Maximum Ride books are fantastic.

And that is without getting into hard core scifi an fantasy which is super male dominated.

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