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Young Adult notes

Recently finished a re-read of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, to refresh my memory for the movie. After that climactic cemetery scene, I couldn't help thinking we need a new bumper sticker: "Fear Lord Voldemort's expository dialogue skills!" ...But seriously, I enjoyed the book very much, and will re-read Book 5 next (only seems right, with Book 6 so near its release date).

As I've said before, it's a good sign for my choice of writing material lately that I actually enjoy reading teen lit. (Or it's a sign that I have a low IQ; you decide.) Will take other suggestions of Young Adult fiction for my reading list, so as to Get To Know The Industry. Modern/new books, preferably. And, yes, I've already read the His Dark Materials trilogy. Good stuff.

Unrelated postscript: There's an eight-foot-tall foxglove* in our backyard. Do you suppose the state fair has a foxglove category? 'Cause I think I could win the blue ribbon.

*Digitalis sp. Source of the heart medication of the same name. Poisonous. Do not eat.



( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 14th, 2005 04:39 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't exactly call this 'young adult' fiction since it's socially/politically complex and war-bloody, but you've read George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire installments to date, no? Some of the best fantasy out there.

There's also, uh...
Anne McCaffrey's Pern/Dragonsinger/Dragonsong series - some might call it adult, but I was enthralled with it as a young teen
Roger Zelazny's Amber series (parts I and II)
Piers Anthony's Incarnate and Xanth series - I'd say the Xanth stuff is juvenile-ishly fun in its obvious word-plays, and the Incarnate clunkily text-heavy but dealing with serious good-and-evil stuff
Jun. 14th, 2005 04:40 pm (UTC)
The Dragonsong/singer/drums trilogy were YA, while the overlapping main Pern trilogy was adult. The Menolly books have more obviously adolescent themes (one SF directory disparaged them as horsey books with dragons). I enjoyed them, though.
(no subject) - mollyringle - Jun. 14th, 2005 06:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
YA: "it's all coming back to me now". - integreillumine - Jun. 14th, 2005 09:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: YA: "it's all coming back to me now". - mollyringle - Jun. 15th, 2005 10:28 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: YA: "it's all coming back to me now". - mollyringle - Jun. 15th, 2005 10:25 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 14th, 2005 04:39 pm (UTC)
I assume you already know about Diane Duane (I tend to like her early books better than the later ones, but none of it's bad).
Jun. 14th, 2005 06:04 pm (UTC)
Didn't know about her, actually. *adds to Amazon list* Cool.
Jun. 14th, 2005 06:09 pm (UTC)
Well, I only have experience in the fantasy category of YA fiction, but I recommend Garth Nix's Sabriel the sequels are not as good, in my opinion, but worth reading anyway for the snarky sidekick animals and the worldbuilding, which is pretty cool. I can't remember if you've ever mentioned reading Diana Wynne Jones...most of her work that I've read I've enjoyed, bu my favorite is (and always will be) Howl's Moving Castle. It seems like I should have this huge list of good YA titles, since I spend a good bit of time in the YA section, but I am coming up pretty dry, probably because I often wonder what makes the book YA instead of just plain old sci-fi/fantasy. Oh! And if you didn't read The Giver in school, that's good, too. And A Bridge to Terebithia in the not-so-fantasy category.
Jun. 15th, 2005 10:29 am (UTC)
I remember Terebithia - so sad! Am curious about Howl's Moving Castle, especially with the Miyazaki film now out. Sounds like a good one.
Jun. 14th, 2005 06:43 pm (UTC)
Don't miss Diana Wynne Jones' Archer's Goon and Fire and Hemlock. Her book Hexwood is also good. The difference between her and other fantasy writers is that she doesn't tie everything up for you neatly at the end. You have to really stretch your head to try to figure everything out.

(A very few thoughts, no spoilers, about Archer's Goon are here: http://www.livejournal.com/users/terrylj/51452.html

I sometimes forget which friends are in which fandoms, so ignore all the rest of the HP-related stuff in that post if you're not into that.)

Also, have you read anything by Patricia McKillip? Her books can be found in both the adult and the YA section. They are more traditional than contemporary fantasy, and I had difficulty with them at first because I am a fast reader. I swallow books whole. You have to make a deliberate effort to slow down and read her every sentence carefully, because otherwise you're reading along and reading along and reading along and WHAM someone is DEAD ON THE GROUND and you didn't even realize that a fight started two pages ago.

I like the Riddle-Master trilogy--The Riddle-Master of Hed, Heir of Sea and Fire, and Harpist in the Wind. Those are older; she's got much newer stuff out, stand-alone books which you could test to see if you liked them. They might not be the style you want to write in, but they might be good to just read for fun.

I think Diane Duane's So You Want to Be a Wizard series has already been mentioned. It was started in...something like 1983, or '85, but she's come out with new books in the past few years, so the last few are definitely modern.

There's Susan Cooper The Dark is Rising series, from the late '70's--early '80's. And I'm assuming you have read everything Terry Pratchett ever wrote. :)

Jun. 15th, 2005 10:30 am (UTC)
Cool - good list! That'll keep me busy a while. :) And though I haven't read all of Pratchett's stuff, I have certainly read a fair sampling. Quite charming and fun.
Jun. 15th, 2005 05:22 am (UTC)
As far as fantasy goes:

Annette Curtis Klause
Vivian Vande Velde
Joyce Sweeney
Tamora Pierce
Meredith Ann Pierce
Victoria Hanley
Karen Cushman
Jun. 15th, 2005 10:30 am (UTC)
Will look 'em up - thanks!
Interesting how most people are assuming sci-fi/fantasy by "YA"...
(no subject) - libation - Jun. 16th, 2005 09:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mollyringle - Jun. 16th, 2005 01:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - terrylj - Jun. 16th, 2005 07:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mollyringle - Jun. 17th, 2005 01:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 15th, 2005 10:35 am (UTC)
YA reader from way back
Oh, teen lit by the right authors has it all over adult fiction. YA works seem to have better stories, and give me more of the stuff what I looks for in a book. Plot, characterization, approachable style, excitement, that sort of stuff. Yet people look at me funny--"Isn't that a *kids' book*?" That ever happen to you?
I can heartily recommend everything Diana Wynne Jones ever wrote, but especially "Dogsbody". What with the recent boom in YA fantasy, most of Jones's books are available in stores again. (Ooh, kids these days have it so easy. Why, I remember when I had to get all DWJ's books on interlibrary loan and it took THREE WEEKS to arrive and... ^_^)
Meredith Ann Pierce has also been recommended. I'd look for "The Darkangel" trilogy.
Yours ever,
April the Lurker
Jun. 18th, 2005 05:01 pm (UTC)
Re: YA reader from way back
Yeah, I don't even try to talk to people about reading YA, unless I already know they'll understand. :) Sounds like I'll definitely have to look up D. Wynne Jones. Thanks for the recs!
Jun. 21st, 2005 11:23 am (UTC)
Have you read Kevin Crossley-Holland's Arthur trilogy? I've only got the first one so far, but it looks great. Have heard nice things about his other stuff, too.
Jun. 27th, 2005 01:45 pm (UTC)
Haven't, no... may need to look into that. I do have a soft spot for the Arthur legend, in some moods.
Jun. 25th, 2005 10:21 pm (UTC)
Some of these have been mentioned, others not. Pretty much all F&SF because that's what I read.

Pierce, Tamora. Two different worlds full of stuff, three tetrologies and a duology in one and two tetrologies in the other. Start with Alanna: The First Adventure for the first and with Circle of Magic: Sandry's Book for the other. The second group is a little "younger" than the first.

Duane, Diane. As recommended above: the first in the series is So, You Want to be a Wizard.

Pratchett, Terry. Most of his Discworld stuff is adult, but he has 3 YA Discworld books (The Amazing Maurice, Wee Free Men, and Hat Full of Sky and two non-Discworld YA trilogies. The Johnny Maxwell trilogy starts with Only You Can Save Mankind and the Carpet People trilogy starts with Truckers.

Cooper, Susan. As above. Start the sequence with either Under Sea, Over Stone or The Dark Is Rising; read both of those before going on to book 3, Greenwitch.

Alexander, Lloyd. He's got a lot of YA stuff, but the ones I'm familiar with are the Chronicles of Prydain. The Book of Three is the first. There was a rather dreadful Disney movie, named after the second book, The Black Cauldron, using mostly plot from the first book and mangling it badly. The books are much better.

Eager, Edward. Half Magic is the first book.

L'Engle, Madeline. A Wrinkle in Time is the first book, but I always skip it and go on to A Wind in the Door because the protagonist in the first p!sses me off beyond the bearing of it. So if she annoys you, move on - later books are better. She also has another, non-fantastic YA series, that I couldn't tell you where to start with.

Montgomery, L. M. Both the Anne books (start with Anne of Avonlea) and the Emily books (Emily of New Moon).

Jones, Diana Wynne. In addition to the books named above, the Chrestomanci books are fun. (The Lives of Christopher Chant or Charmed Life are good places to start.)

Ransome, Arthur. These aren't fantasy. The first book in the series is Swallows and Amazons and it goes on another 11 books afterward. Children sailing and playing in the Lake District in England in about the '30s. Great fun.

McKinley, Robin. Most of hers is YA, some Newberry Award winning. The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword are in the same world; the others are stand alone. I'd recommend anything with her name on the cover. (Not for this project but for your own edification, don't miss her adult fantasy Sunshine.) And her Robin Hood retelling, The Outlaws of Sherwood, is the one that my brain insists is canonical.

Aiken, Joan. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase and sequels.

Wrede, Patricia. Four books with Dragon in the title, starting with Dealing with Dragons. Also, she and Caroline Stevermer had a letter-writing game turn into two books, Sorcery and Cecelia, or, The Enchanted Chocolate Pot and The Grand Tour. Also, Wrede's Mairelon the Magician and Magician's Ward. The four for which I gave titles are all in Napoleonic England (and Europe) with magic in. (The pairs each go together and are book-sequel pairs; although the universes are very similar I don't think they're all in the same one)

Tepper, Sherri. The Books of the Great Game. I think they've been repubbed in omnibus, but the individual nine books are unobtanium.

Alcott, Lousia May. Again, non-fantasy. Especially the sequences starting respectively with Little Women and Eight Cousins.

Heinlein, Robert A. Many of his shorter works are juveniles.
Jun. 27th, 2005 01:54 pm (UTC)
Wow! I'll be needing to come back to this post for reference again and again, I see. :) These all sound very tempting.

I did read the L'Engle series way back in childhood, but barely remember much. May need to re-read them at some point.

And I definitely remember Little Women. *obligatory sigh of happiness and poignancy* I woulda married ya, Laurie. I woulda.
(no subject) - jerusha - Jun. 27th, 2005 08:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jerusha - Jun. 28th, 2005 10:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mollyringle - Jul. 8th, 2005 07:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 15th, 2005 04:28 pm (UTC)
I think you enjoy teen lit because the writing flows more than, say Tolstoy. I second the nomination of Anne McCaffery, but I think her Acorna series is more true to the YA name tag. The end of the series gets pretty rotten but the first 2 or three of the books are pretty good.

Christopher Stasheff's series about Wizard Matthew are very good, though hard to find and heavy on the Christian allegories. (They take place in kind of an alternate universe mideval idea)

Anything by Ursula LeGuin she writes in many genres and her essays on writing sci-fi and fantasy are entertaining and informative. I heart A Wizard of Earthsea it's very different and much better then the movie the Sci-fi Channel made of it

Gail Carson Levine fleshes out and rewrites fairy tales fun and inventively (Ella Enchanted) they are supposed to be for ages 8 and up so I guess they fall into kiddie lit but they are such a romp

A few more of the books I still reread and love: Julie of the Wolves, Jacob Have I loved by Katherine Paterson, Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman, and Running out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix.
Feb. 7th, 2006 08:22 pm (UTC)
Feb. 10th, 2006 07:27 pm (UTC)
Good thread--thanks!
Jun. 12th, 2006 12:54 am (UTC)
If you're looking for fantasy, try any and all of Tamora Pierce's stuff. Good fun.
( 32 comments — Leave a comment )