13 Young Adult Writers (often forgotten)

These days, what with Harry Potter and the ten million vampire books, we tend to forget about storytellers from decades past.  So, if your teen-reader (or you, for that matter) are looking for something to add to that book-list, here are some authors you might want to consider:

  1. Ursula K. Le Guin
    • Anyone who follows my blog had to know this name was coming.  She’s the queen of literary science fiction and fantasy.  Try The Wizard of Earthsea or The Left Hand of Darkness.
  2. Lloyd Alexander
    • Three cheers for sword-and-sorcery!  The Book of Three is Tolkien for kids, and Vesper Holly was my childhood idol.
  3. Willo Davis Roberts
    • My first exposure to thrillers came in the form of The View from the Cherry Tree. Don’t miss it!
  4. Diana Wynne Jones
    • Oftentimes Ms. Jones is considered the forerunner to Harry Potter, and clearly J.K. Rowling was influenced by this fellow British lady.  Howl’s Moving Castle (my favorite!) has even been made into a film by Hayao Miyazaki.
  5. Lois Duncan
    • Once I knew I could handle my terror, I took a step up form Roberts (#3) to the Mistress of YA Horror.  You’re no doubt familiar with the titles I Know What You Did Last Summer or Killing Mr. Griffin, but may I suggest Locked in Time as another great?
  6. William Sleator
    • Amazing, amazing, amazing science fiction author.  His books Interstellar Pig and Green Futures of Tycho remain high on my list of thrilling sci-fi.
  7. Tamora Pierce
    • My first introduction to sword-and-sorcery fantasy and strong heroines was Pierce’s Wild Magic, and after that, I was hooked.  I’ll remain a devoted fan to all of her series for life.  (Oh, Brenna, you are so Alanna and I am so Daine.)
  8. Anne McCaffrey
    • Speaking of strong heroines, McCaffrey’s Pern series is teeming with them.  Dragonsong and Dragonflight are amazing.  (Ahem, Brenna, you are definitely Lessa and I am definitely Menolly).
  9. Patricia C. Wrede
    • She’s the Queen of hilarious fantasy, I still love reading Sorcery and Cecilia and Dealing with Dragons.  More strong heroines!
  10. Susan Cooper
    • Epic enemies and epic quests fill the pages of The Dark is Rising sequence.  These books are steeped in mythology and adventure.
  11. John Christopher (a.k.a. Samuel Youd)
    • The first post-apocalyptic book I encountered was The White Mountains.  No mind-controlling-aliens for me, thanks, but bring on the rebellions!
  12. Madeleine L’Engle
    • She taught me lessons about life, family, and love.  A Wrinkle in Time dabbled in science fiction while A Ring of Endless Light dabbled in death and adolescence.  Before I visited Antarctica, I made sure to reread Troubling a Star.
  13. Mary Stewart
    • I’m not sure these qualify as young adult, but I’ve no doubt a teen can handle these.   Stewart tackled gothic thrillers (Nine Coaches Waiting and The Moon-Spinners are still some of my favorites) and Merlin (don’t miss The Crystal Cave).

Get thee to a library!  And, above all, enjoy!