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I love reading YA but am running out of good books! I would really love to find some new ones, as I have seem to have read almost every book by my favorite YA authors lol. So help me out with this, esp. if you have some great YA books on your shelves!
If it's secular... then I like fantasy... you know, fairies, elves, dragons, stuff like that. Not big on books all about wizards and magic (i.e. Harry Potter) -or- I like a book with a strong female character (ie.e The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi or Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene) don't like girly -girls or things like Babysitter's Club, high school based series and things like that.
BUT if you know of some great Christian YA authors.... I'm not very picky at all! As long as it's not a gushy romance or something too girly... I'll read almost any Christian YA books. My favorites tend to be sci-fi, mysteries, supernatural thrillers and just plain odd ones lol. My favorites authors in this area: Frank Peretti, Sigmund Brouwer, Gilbert Morris, people like that.
Please give me some suggestions!
If you're looking for a good Christian fantasy series, try the Binding of the Blade series by L. B. Graham. The first one is called Beyond the Summerland. They are not a heavy magic fantasy series like Harry Potter. I have really enjoyed them, and am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my copy of the fourth book!
I hope you find some great books!
I have quite a few young adult books. Anything I have under teen/children I will do a special on. The details are in my profile if you are interested. I didn't read many of them. I pick a lot of books up at FOL sales and thrift stores.
If you like fantasy, and strong female characters, I highly recommend Tamora Pierce. She has written:
The Lioness Quartet: Alanna, the first adventure ~ In the hand of the Goddess ~ The Woman who rides like a man ~ Lioness Rampant
The Immortals Quartet: Wild Magic ~ Wolf-Speaker ~ Emperor Mage ~ Realms of the Gods
The Protector of the Small Quartet: First Test ~ Page ~ Squire ~ Lady Knight
These all take place in the imaginary land of Tortall. Alanna, in the first series, pretends to be a boy in order to train as a knight. The second series features Daine, a young girl who has a magical gift when it comes to animals (LOTS of mythical creatures in this one!). The third series features Kel, a young girl who is able to openly train for knighthood, thanks to the ground broken by Sir Alanna, the King's Champion.
She has also written two books about Alanna's daughter: Trickster's Choice and Trickster's Queen.
Now, having said all that, I have NONE of them on my bookshelf! (My daughter would KILL me!) <grin>
I posted before, but I would also like to recommend the Dragonkeepers Chronicles, by Donita Paul. They are about a girl named Kale in the fantasy land of Amara, who discovers that she is a dragon keeper, meaning she has a gift for finding and raising dragon eggs. The first book is called Dragonspell. It is a Christian fantasy series. It seems to fit your criteria very well. I hope you will try either them or the Binding of the Blade series. Enjoy your reading!
I have been reading the books about Gemma Doyle by Libba Bray. They do have some magic but it is not the Harry Potter style stuff. You could also try Gennifer Choldenko, Andrew Clements, Sharon Creech, or Lois Lowry They all write something different but they are great story tellers
You just can't miss Susan Cooper's Over Sea Under Stone series, set in England, winds english mythology around several child hero's.
And Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword is amazing.
In a different vein but wonderful as well, McKinley's Rose Daughter. It's a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast story, but so terrific!
Last Edited on: 7/6/07 2:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
I've posted this in several places, but thought you migth read here, first!
My teen just joined Battle of the Books Club and Competition and we have a list of the books they will be reading this upcoming school year. I've read some of them and the ones I read are all excellent.
(If you are looking for great YA books, in varied genres, you might find this list valauble.)
If you have any of these and you want to swap with me, especially before the school year gets going too far, please PM me with the titles and perhaps I can request from you!
Link to NC's Ballte of the Books for info
A christian author of contemporary fantasy is Bryan Davis.
I just read the first book and it is extremely good.
Some other authors our family loves are: Kathryn Lasky (Guardians of Ga'hoole), Brian Jacques (Redwall), Orson Scott Card (Ender series), Margaret Peterson Haddix (Shadow Children), Cornelia Funke (Inkheart Trilogy), Gail Carson Levine (Ella Enchanted etc.), and Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl)
I hope this helps!
Last Edited on: 8/2/07 10:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
You like books about strong women? I won't mention Inkspell again, then.
Have you tried the Enchanted Forest Chronicles books? It has dragons and fire witches and stuff, and a few wizards I admit, but they're the bad guys and not so interresting. The first book is about a Princess who doesn't want to be a Princess so she goes to live with a dragon. Patricia C. Wrede is great. She is constantly challenging the norms in this particular genre. There's a cool scene where the heroine tricks a djinn...anyway, look into it.
If you want something unusual, try Un Lun Dun by China Mieville. It's another one of those that challenges the norms in the fantasy genre. It's about this awesome chick named Deeba who finds out that her friend is prophesized to save a strange mirror city called UnLondon that is made of the trash and unwanted things that the city of London produces. However when her friend is incompacited, she decides to do her friends job for her. It's pretty a pretty awesome take on the quest story if you're into that.
Christian books...well, I did read this book once called the Book of the Dun Cow about animals a rooster and animals who are at war...it was pretty interesting
If you haven't read Madeleine L'Engle books, you should check her out. The "Time Quartet" is great. It includes A Wrinkle in TIme, Swiftly Tilting Planet, Wind in the Door, and Many Waters. (Hope I got all of those right!) And the series about the Austin family is excellent, too. The first one is Meet the Austins and I recommend you read it first. I loved them in high school and recently read a bunch of them again, 30 years later, and loved them just as much.
I agree with Frohike! HADDIX is top notch! ALL of her books are great! Shadow series, House on the Gulf, Running out of Time!
I'm a mom and have just discovered this YA author for my kids!
Last Edited on: 8/28/07 2:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld, Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George, and Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima for fantasy. YA fiction: Scrambled Eggs at Midnight by Brad Barkley and Razzle by Ellen Wittlinger.
I also like children's fantasy and recently enjoyed The Sisters Grimm series. I love Enchanted Forest Chronicles (Patricia Wrede), Frog Princess series (E. D. Baker), and the Charlie Bone series. Wrinkle in Time and This Time of Darkness (H. M. M Hoover) are long-time favorites.
These are some great authors and books to check out. Bill Meyers, Brandilyn Collins "Eyes of Elisha", And the Left Behind series for kids is for adults also. Great authors and books that are can't put down reads. Also, Randy Alcorn, Ted Dekker.
I second Tamora Pierce. She also has another set of books set in Emelan, these are more magic based but have strong female role models.
The Circle Quartet: Sandry's book, Tris's Book, Daja's book, and Briar's book
Then the Circle Opens: Magic Steps, Street Magic, Cold Fire, and Shatterglass
Then The Will of the Empress and Melting Stones.
These books follow three girls and a boy who don't know they have magic through learning about the magic and growing up. The Circle Quartet is when they are about 12. The Circle Opens is when they are about 14 and are training their students and traveling. The Will of the Empress is when they are about 18? and come back together and travel to Sandry's relatives. Melting Stones is coming out in a couple days and is a book especially written for Full Cast Audio and will not be available in a printed form for another year.The magics are thread based/ weaving and sewing, weather magic/wind and lightning, metalmagic/smithmagic, and plant magic.
Vivky Jo gave a very great summary of Tamora Pierce. (She has a new book coming out a year from now, I can't wait!!) She does focus on heroine girl characters, though it is a fantasy realm. It shows how tough it can be for any girl in a tough situation growing up. All of her characters have distinct personalitys.
Another series I recommend is the Golden Compass series by Phillip Pullman. Again, there is some fantasy and it's a little controversial towards religion (though not anti-religion, but it does attack the flaws of a church making rules on their own not based on actual rites from a higher power). The main character is a brat of a girl who grows up in a hard time not even knowing if she can trust her parents. I think it's abosolutely an amazing series. A plus is that the first movie is coming out in December!
Hope I helped a little!
The only author I can think of who hasn't been mentioned is Wayne Thomas BAtson. He writes Christian action and adventure thrillers. My kids loved his books.
I would second (or third or fourth :)) Frank Peretti, Bryan Davis, L.B. Graham, Madeline l'Engle, and Bill Myers.
Oh here is another author of Christian adventure books. Jerry Jenkins. He has many other series than just The Left Behind Kids.
I would also recommend the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, and the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. I would have never thought I would like either of them, but a friend gave the first one in the series to my son & I decided to give them a try. I actually went out and bought the rest of both of the series new, because I didn't want to wait long enough to put them on my WL. I NEVER do that!
I highly recommend The Chronicles of Chrestomani by Dianna Wynne Jones. They sound right up your alley! Its not christian reading, but the stories are really good. Its two volumes, but each volume has 2 books. All the stories are interconnected, but have different characters. Its fantasy, which I am generally not a fan of, but I enjoyed these so much that I lent them to my best friend so she would read them. She loved them too, and now they're on my bookshelf for you to enjoy!!!
Hope you'll check them out!
If you're looking for something supernatural/sci-fi that's a bit "odd", then you might like Wild Animus by Rick Shapero. It's on my bookshelf, if you'd like to take a look.
I just ordered from Amazon - haven't read it yet, but heard great things about Kiki Strike, by Kirsten Miller
Ananka Fishbein, a seventh grader at an expensive New York City school, likens her life to flavorless mush. But when she wakes up one Saturday morning and finds that the small park across the street has become a sinkhole, her decision to explore it transforms her existence. She meets the mysterious Kiki Strike, and subsequently the group of girls (each with a particular talent) who call themselves the Irregulars, and they embark on an adventure that involves exploring the Shadow City, a series of tunnels under Manhattan. The identity of Kiki, along with the motives of the mysterious individuals the Irregulars suspect are planning to attack the city, are the mysteries at the heart of the story. Miller pulls readers in immediately and takes them on a series of twists and turns, culminating in a thrilling climax complete with international politics and intrigue. If a 12-year-old can be a hard-boiled detective, Ananka Fishbein is one. Her narration is fresh and funny, and the author's unadorned, economical, yet descriptive style carries her character through with verve. There are deft portrayals, with personalities artfully revealed through dialogue. The chapter endings are punctuated with selections from Ananka's guidebook on essential skills. Often placed so as to advance the story, they include How to take advantage of being a girl. Kiki Strike celebrates the courage and daring of seemingly ordinary girls, and it will thrill those who long for adventure and excitement while they impatiently await the next installment