My top 10 YA novels
People are starting to post the top 10 lists they submitted to Persnickety Snark’s Top 100 YA Novels poll. I promised to share my list, and here it is.
- Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
- Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block
- Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
- If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson
- The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
- Long May She Reign by Ellen Emerson White
- Sabriel by Garth Nix
- My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger
- The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
- Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine
Coming up with the top five was easy, once I got over the Sloppy Firsts vs. Second Helpings and The Thief vs. The King of Attolia angst I discussed a couple months ago. These are the same books, in the same order, from my top 10 list for the Practically Paradise poll.
Long May She Reign wasn’t on that list, but the more I thought about it, the more I felt I needed to put it somewhere on my new list. It’s an amazing book, one that had me compulsively turning pages even though it’s basically about going to college and the beginning of the protagonist’s first semester there, making friends, meeting a guy, and going to class. Okay, and the protagonist is the (female) president’s daughter, who is still recovering from being kidnapped and tortured. I love how Ellen Emerson White makes readers root for Meg without ever pitying her, despite the aforementioned kidnapping and torture (which originally happened in the previous book in the series, for those who are wondering). The fact that it’s almost 700 pages long and I *still* wanted more sealed the deal.
So Sabriel, My Most Excellent Year, and The House of the Scorpion all got bumped down a spot from their place on the Practically Paradise poll. My Most Excellent Year is kind of the oddball on the list, it’s so happy and positive and cheerful. But as Melissa said (it’s also on her list, yay!), “It’s one I can see rereading as a comfort read over and over again, and never growing tired of the characters or the story.” Yes, exactly.
Broken Soup comes in at #10. I think this was the hardest spot to fill, knowing that I could only pick one more book and there were a couple more I’d love to include on a Top YA Fiction list. I thought about Barry Lyga’s Boy Toy, Deb Caletti’s Honey, Baby, Sweetheart, and E. R. Frank’s America. But ultimately, when I thought about which book I’d most regret not picking, it was Broken Soup.
And some stats, because I liked how Adele broke down her list:
American authors – 7
Australian authors – 2
British authors – 1
Contemporary – 7
Fantasy – 2
Science Fiction – 1
First read when I was a teen – 1
First read while in library school – 4 (no, none were assigned reading)
First read as a librarian – 5
Published in the 1980s – 1
Published in the 1990s – 2
Published in the 2000s – 7