Here are five more YA books that I have not only personally seen kids reading, but that I have also had kids voluntarily choose to read for a special project, when they quite literally had any book at all from which to choose. That’s quite the recommendation, if you wondered.
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. Artemis Fowl is a teenage criminal mastermind. Behind his shenanigans, though, is a purpose. He’s looking for his missing father. He manages to capture a fairy and attempts to negotiate terms with their underground world. In case you wondered, only romantic humans think there are leprechauns. No, it’s really the Lower Elements Police Recon (LEP Recon.) These are some of the best YA books going, and they’re also available in some pretty stunning graphic novels.
Savvy by Ingrid Law. Everyone in Mibs Beaumont’s family has a savvy, a special magical power that shows up when they turn thirteen. One brother can create hurricanes, and the other electricity. Mibs is almost thirteen, and she can’t wait for her savvy to appear. Then, on the day before her birthday, her father is in a terrible accident. Now all she wants is a savvy that can save him.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner. This is series is currently being filmed, so kids are wanting to read the books, too. A lot of folks think making a movie causes kids NOT to read a book, and I suppose that’s true for some. For many others, it just piques their interest. Thomas wakes up in a cage, remembering nothing except his name. He enters into a survivalist world of only boys. The boys are trying to find a way through the giant maze adjacent to the glade in which they live. Then, one day, a girl arrives in the cage, and everything changes. I found a good deal at Half-Price Books and bought the whole series of four.
Rules by Cynthia Lord. Twelve-year-old Catherine’s desire to be normal is hampered by her autistic little brother and how her family’s life seems to revolve solely around him. Catherine, who really does love her brother, nevertheless devises a litany of rules for David to keep him from embarrassing her in public. Then she meets a new boy who is confined to a wheelchair and who communicates through a book of pictures. Catherine learns that “normal” can be any number of things. This story is told with poignance, humor, and love.
Being by Kevin Brooks. During a routine medical procedure, doctors discover that Robert is full of junk, quite literally. Robert hears them discussing the tubes, plastic, and metal in his gut and realizes that they mean to cut him open for research. He escapes, and with the help of new thief friend, sets off a journey to discover who—and what—he really is. I ordered this one from my classroom last week, and it’s already arrived. Now I’m wondering if I should give it to my student or read it myself first.
I’m looking forward to exploring these books with my students and reading the ones I haven’t read yet. Some of these were books my kiddos had checked out from the library and will need to return in few weeks. They were very surprised when I flipped open my iPad and one-clicked those babies right then and there. I figure, if it’s a book a kid is choosing of their own volition, then it’s a book I want on my classroom library shelves anyway!