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Topic: YA: Have You Ever Read A Book....

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Subject: YA: Have You Ever Read A Book....
Date Posted: 11/23/2008 1:46 AM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2008
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Have you ever read a book you really enjoyed and didn't know it was classified YA until after you were done? If yes, name the title and share why you enjoyed it.

Have you ever reluctantly picked up a YA not expecting much and was pleasantly surprised? If yes, name the title and share why you were surprised.


Date Posted: 11/23/2008 11:57 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
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Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff was amazing, one of the most moving books I've ever read, and its a YA book.  Its about 2 young women from really poor backgrounds, one girl works as a babysitter for the other girl's two kids.  They both start out with assumptions about each other and about what they're capable of, but as they get to know each other they bring out strengths in each other that neither knew they were capable of.  It was an amazing book.

Date Posted: 11/23/2008 12:33 PM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2005
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Lots of times in my over 50 years of reading!  Some truly "Hidden Gems"!!!

Date Posted: 11/23/2008 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2008
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If yes, name the title and share why you enjoyed it.


You're great at keeping the good read hidden. I did ask for specifics though. lol



I read Make Lemonade and I didn't have great expectations. I really liked the format; great for my reluctant readers. Good storyline. The writing was competent but I wasn't personally wowed by it but I am impressed with its appeal. I intend to read the sequel.

Date Posted: 11/23/2008 6:46 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2008
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I recently read "Wee Free Men" and "Hat Full of Sky" to my kids. We all enjoyed it greatly. I first read them because I love Terry Pratchett and will try reading just about anything he has written. Many of his juvenile books have not been to my taste but these 2 set in the Disc World about a young witch (9 in the 1st book and 12 in the second) were fabulous.

Having young pre-teen boys in the house I am better at suggesting books for boys. Mine usually like Science Fiction/Fantasy or mysteries with a bit of history , science or biography. Send me a PM if these are genre you might be interested in.

Date Posted: 11/23/2008 8:30 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,538
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My niece really, really, really wanted me to read her favorite book Dove Song (she was 11 at the time)  I thought "oh, great, some teeny bopper book".  I read YA sometimes but I'm always leery because they can sometimes be too simplistic or sappy.  I do read books with my nieces and nephew so it's not the first YA book I've read as an adult.

Anyway, this book had me on th edge of my seat.  It's about a brother and sister whose father left for Vietnam.  Their mother has mental problems and goes over the edge.  They end up in a new town with no friends and raising themselves.  They are terrified of someone taking them away and so they hide their mother's problems and cope on their own.

It was deeply moving and emotional. 

Two others I was pleasantly surprised at were Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli and Tuck Everlasting (forget the author's name) 

Last Edited on: 11/23/08 8:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/23/2008 8:57 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2008
Posts: 573
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I need suggestions for boys because I have nephews. Working with girls all the time makes it easy to forget about the guys. I'll be asking in the future and thanks for the post.


Great post. Will check that out. My neice is no longer interested in reading. My sister and I are stumped.

Date Posted: 11/24/2008 7:08 AM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 15,930
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I hadn't read any YA since I was a YA, until I finally broke down and started the Harry Potter series.  I loooooved it so much, I immediately went to the bookstore and bought the next two that were out at the time.  So that book is what started me adding YA books to my TBR!

I just finished the 3rd book in the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead and loved it - that's a really good series.  I'm not a huge fan of the Twilight series...  I've read the 1st two, and I'm not sure I'll keep reading it.

I also loved The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - this is one of my all-time favorite books.

Date Posted: 11/24/2008 9:53 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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In passing I heard a great review for The Book Thief. So, while I was waiting for my kids during a Summer Reading program at the library I looked for the book. I was a bit surprised to find the book was in the YA/teen section of the library. I decided to check it out anyway and was so glad it did. A GREAT book! Difficult subject matter but what a humanizing story . . . it really made me consider how hard the Germans had it too during the war and how many did not agree with Hitler's agenda. And, the narrator . . . interesting and original way to portray the story.

Date Posted: 11/24/2008 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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A Mango shaped space-this book brought me to tears, it was not the fact you did not know that something was going to happen, there were clues all through the book and even the title gives it away. But I still bawled my eyes out. Not many adult books have ever done that too me.

I read alot of YA books, I love alot of them, easy to read, usually short and has a strong plot. I recommend YA books to my patrons what want something lighter to read in say a romance or even a mystery. 

But I pretty much will read anything no matter where it is classified,  J, YA or Adult, if the story appeals to me I will read it.

Date Posted: 11/24/2008 6:35 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
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LaTonya, I just read a terrific YA horror series by Darren Shan, Cirque Du Freak.  It's a 12 part vampire saga that can be quite intense at times, but it would definitely appeal to boys.  I've included a link to a review of each book in the series.  Definitely better for 10 year olds and up; I loved it and I'm 47. :-)


If your nephews aren't horror fans, Margaret Peterson Haddix has a great series, The Shadow Children, that they might enjoy.  I'm a huge fan of anything she writes and her books have wide appeal for both boys and girls. 

Date Posted: 11/24/2008 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2008
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Thanks Sandy,

I was just asked about horror, intense books and vampire books last night. I've heard about Cirque Du Freak  a few times now. Will have to add them to our wish list.

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 11/24/2008 8:21 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson.  Excellent book!   I found out it was YA after I got it from here, but it's very good.  I expected it to be more simplistic in style.  I'm not really sure what makes it YA except the protagonist is a YA.

ETA: Witch Child by Celia Rees - ditto the above.


Last Edited on: 11/24/08 8:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: YA- The Boy on the Black Horse by Nancy Springer
Date Posted: 11/25/2008 3:56 AM ET
Member Since: 9/18/2008
Posts: 398
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I love horse stories and since many of them are YA, I end up reading a lot of YA.  One of my favorites and one my 14 year old son liked reading a few years ago (he was about 12) was The Boy on the Black Horse by Nancy Springer.  It's about a girl who befriends a homeless boy who it turns out is homeless because he stole an abused horse and ran away.  Characters are very realistic and it's a good read. 

Anything by Nancy Springer is usually really good.

Most of the stories by Will James or Glenn Balch are wonderful YA.  They are not necessarily written for YA but are age appropriate as they are usually adventure type stories featuring cowboys, or coming of age in the old west.

My 14 year old son is currently reading the Ender's Game series by Orson Scott Card.  He loves this series but it is a bit more mature.  There is a YA serise of Star Wars books that he really enjoyed as well.  The Pendragon series is another one.  He likes the RL Stine horror stories and CS Lewis Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter books....

That's all I can think of for now. 


Date Posted: 11/26/2008 8:34 AM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 15,930
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Another great book by  Laurie Halse Anderson (who wrote Fever 1793) is Speak  - I highly recommend it!

Date Posted: 11/26/2008 9:48 AM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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I read Speak in one sitting! Haven't had a chance to read Fever 1793 but my DD raves about it.

Subject: YA Books
Date Posted: 11/26/2008 9:51 AM ET
Member Since: 8/7/2008
Posts: 10
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I second "The Book Thief".  My husband and book club loved it also. 

Date Posted: 11/26/2008 6:53 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,774
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Holes by Louis Sachar. His other books are nowhere near as good though.

Anything by Chris D'Lacey, but especially his Fire Dragons series.

Anything by Jenny Nimmo.

The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer.

Date Posted: 11/28/2008 6:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Fabulous book and I think it was the relative simplicity of the book that made it so powerful.

Date Posted: 11/28/2008 9:18 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2008
Posts: 573
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Can you tell me a little why these books surprised you?