Thursday, December 8, 2011

Top 5 Must Read YA & MG Books

I've mentioned it on Twitter--Everyone I know is getting books this year for Christmas. AND, most of those books have (or will be) purchased at The Tattered Cover here in Denver (my favoritest book store ever!) But here's the other thing, almost all the books I've purchased for the teens and adults in my life are YA or MG. Many of these people do not typically read this age group.

Now I haven't completely disregarded what I know to be their  reading proclivities. I've simply taken into account what books typically line there shelves and then thought long and hard about what genre within the YA/MG branch of lit would most likely be highly enjoyable for them. For example, my 78 year old grandfather loves Wilbur Smith--I purchased him The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. My grandmother loves historical romance = The Luxe by Anna Godbersen. My thoughts are that these books will be a fun alternative to their usual fare but still very close.

So I was browsing and thinking my way through Tattered Cover's YA and MG section tonight and I'm wondering, what are the staples of the YA and/or MG book world? If you had to recommend 5 books from each age range, what would you choose? Let's assume the Twilight saga is a given because regardless of if you are a fan or not, I think it's hard to argue that this series is NOT a must read for anyone looking to explore the depth and breadth of YA books on the shelf (even if it's just to know what all the hubbub is about.) So...

What are the top 5 must read YA books?

Top 5 MG must reads? (AND, no mentions of anything Harry. That, like Twilight, is a given.)



  1. I don't think I'd choose books that were just released with big buzz. I'd look at the past 5-10 years and see which books are still in print. For example, a staple of MG is Holes by Louis Sachar.

  2. Oh, "Ella Enchanted" by Gail Carson Levine! I've loved it for so many years--always worth a re-read. There was a middle grade series of books--"The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks" by Nancy McArthur--that I read part of when I was younger. I read the first book so many times as a kid. "James and the Giant Peach" by Roald Dahl. "The Enchanted Forest Chronicles" by Patricia C. Wrede. "The Prydain Chronicles" by Lloyd Alexander. Some really old books by Alexander Key that I adored were "The Forgotten Door," "Escape to Witch Mountain," and "Return from Witch Mountain."

    I also love "Dragon's Bait" and "A Well-Timed Enchantment" by Vivian Vande Velde. For those who might be inclined to creepy, I'd say "Coraline" by Neil Gaiman. Ack, there are so many!

  3. P.S. The Hunger Games is my big, popular YA pick right now.

  4. My list is ever changing. Some books I fell in love with this year are BETTI ON THE HIGH WIRE, PAPER TOWNS, LOOKING FOR ALASKA, THE EVOLUTION OF CULPURNIA TATE, and BEFORE I FALL. Of course on of my favorite MG books of all time is TUCK EVERLASTING. That must be included in any list!

  5. Man - this is HARD.

    Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler
    Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
    Looking for Alaska by John Green
    The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
    The Summer Series by Jenny Han
    Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelley

    Okay. That was six. AND I only hit the YA Contemporary category, lol.
    Have fun compiling your list, but your wishlist will end up with a LOT more than five :D

  6. I really loved Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. Loved it.

    I also loved Before I Fall, Divergent, Carrie Ryan's Forest of Hands and Teeth (and the other 2 in the series as well)