Thursday, January 21, 2010

YA Titles that did not make one of "the lists"

As most of us are well aware, the Cybils short lists are out, and most of the other major awards for the year have been announced. Some great titles (I am currently reading Marcelo in the Real World at work and Mare's War at home, and boy does THAT make for some weird dreams), but as many others have pointed out, there are countless other books worth reading. Today, Kelly at YAnnabe (who looks just like my OB, which will no doubt also figure into tonight's crazy-pregnant-lady dreams), is hosting The Best YA Books You Haven't Read. Warning before you click there, my TBR list grew exponentially as soon as I started reading!

It's a great idea, though, and since I totally missed this week's Retro Tuesday post, I'm happy to have a chance to make up for it. In no particular order, here are some YA books I think everyone should read, but which you may not have heard of:

1. Many Waters by Madeleine L'Engle - anything by her, actually, especially for 'thinking' girls. This particular one is the fourth in the Wrinkle in Time series, and many fans of the first book don't even know this one exists.

2. Spinners by Donna Jo Napoli - we are all familiar with the author, but this is one of her lesser-known books, and it got mixed reviews. Some felt the ending wasn't up to snuff, I thought it was more realistic. Perhaps those who didn't like it felt that way because it wasn't what they were hoping for - although I'm not sure what ending could have made everyone happy.

3. Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu - this is one of those flash-in-the-pan books that I think got a lot of attention for a brief time and then disappeared off the radar. A fascinating book, I loved it so much I even named one of my sugar gliders Zahrah (which gives you a hint as to the special talent she discovers). I also loved the Hitchhiker's Guide reference somewhere in the latter half, which no one around me got. Sigh.

Hmm...now I'm drawing a blank, and I know there are many more. Tell you what, let me head home and add more tomorrow - home is where I keep the books that are out of print, rather than bring them to the library and run the risk of them disappearing:) In the meantime, check the link above to find what others are recommending (but clear your calendar first, you're going to be busy!)

12 comments:

  1. Wow, I havent read any of these. Will have to remedy that!

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  2. I loved Many Waters when I read it as a teen!

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  3. Let me know how those YA/OB dreams went. ;) Now I want to see a picture of this doctor so I can compare! Sounds like the makings of a YA novel: Girl organizes blog blitz. Participant says she looks like her OB. Girl finds out OB is her long-lost twin...

    Great list, not too long, not too short!

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  4. after Zahrah the Windseeker (which won the Wole Soyinka Prize last year and is being turned into a graphic novel) came The Shadow Speaker which just won the Parallax Award last WEEK! Okorafor has her first adult novel coming out in June called Who Fears Death and another YA from Penguin books coming out in 2011. The girl's been getting awards like crazy. Hardly a "flash in the pan" (do you even use google? Do you have any friends who read outside the box??? And dude, Zahrah got like NO attention when it first came out! What are you talking about? It's been gradual). And I'm not saying that just because she's a good friend of mine, either, ;-). I showed her your comment and she laughed. Her website is nnedi.com, look at it.

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  5. Down, girl! Out of all the YA books in the world it made my top 3, didn't it? I understand it has won awards, but I've had to push it here. The Shadow Speaker, which I also enjoyed, has been much more popular. If people around here have somehow missed out on Zahrah, then people elsewhere (like the first poster) probably have as well. If either of you has a problem with a tiny bit of added publicity, I can certainly take it off the list.

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  6. Wooooow. Some people are really passionate about having every little piece of info correct (even if you were paying the book and author a HUGE compliment)!

    And for the record, I had never heard of Zahrah until you recommended it...and I would consider myself rather well-read in the YA department!

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  7. Ooh and I loved Marcelo and Mare's War! Both deserved Cybil's nods, but I didn't get my way.

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  8. I haven't read any of these, though I THINK I have a copy of Many Waters somewhere. Totally adding Zahrah the Windseeker to my TBR list!

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  9. I haven't read these either--thanks for adding some to the pile!

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  10. I have read most of Madeleine L'Engle's books. I even own 'Many Waters' but have yet to read it. I have added several of the others to my overflowing TBR pile. Thanks. I love your site.

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  11. I haven't read any of these--my TBR list just went up!

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