Category Archives: Young Adult

Deadly lizards, delinquent boys, a sinister warden and a whole lot of HOLES feature in Louis Sachar’s acclaimed YA novel

When Stanley Yelnats gets caught holding a celebrity’s stolen sneakers which have just fallen on him out of the sky, he knows that it’s because of the family curse acquired by his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather. Stanley is sent to Camp Green Lake, … Continue reading

Posted in 10 years and up, 20th Century, 20th Century YA, Adventure, American, Coming of Age/Rites of Passage, Family Drama, Fiction, Light Fiction, Novel, YA Classic, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A powerful book about growing up and making sense of the world that I first read while I was growing up: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I first read Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird in year 10 and it was the first really decent book I got to read for high school english (the junior syllabus really wasn’t inspiring – in year 8 we had … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century, 20th Century Literature, American, Classic, Coming of Age/Rites of Passage, Fiction, General adult audience, Novel, Uncategorized, YA Classic, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mansfield Park: A mature but, for us, challenging novel by Jane Austen

Of all Jane Austen’s heroines, Fanny Price of Mansfield Park is surely the least appealing, the most ‘foreign’ to our age. Unlike Emma’s assertiveness and Lizzy’s humour, Fanny’s combination of self-effacement and moral conviction are at odds with modern core … Continue reading

Posted in 18th Century, British, Classic, Fiction, General adult audience, Novel, Novel of Manners, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bucketlists and marriages of convenience: The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery uses a bunch of tropes before they were popular

The Blue Castle was L.M. Montgomery’s only book written for adults and my favourite of her non-Anne books. Really the only difference between it and her young adult novels is that the heroine is 29 and unmarried teen pregnancy is … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century, 20th Century Light Fiction, Canadian, Fiction, General adult audience, Light Fiction, Novel, Romance, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Perelandra by C.S. Lewis: A Christian novel that grips thoughts, feelings and will

I found Out of the Silent Planet slow to get into but ultimately intriguing, enjoyable and thought provoking. In contrast, Perelandra, the second in C.S. Lewis’s Cosmic Trilogy, gets quickly into the action, was mesmerizing, suspenseful and thrilling by turns, … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century, British, Fantasy, Fiction, General adult audience, Novel, Speculative Fiction, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Slow to Start but Ultimately Intriguing: C.S. Lewis begins his theological speculative fiction trilogy with Out of the Silent Planet

How would humans respond to other intelligent life if we found it on another planet? How might such life differ from us? How might we react to such differences? How might several such species coexist peacefully on a single planet? … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century, British, Fantasy, General adult audience, Speculative Fiction, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What would you do if your parent left you and your siblings in the car and never came back? That’s the start of Homecoming, a classic YA novel by Cynthia Voigt

The first in the Tillerman series, Homecoming follows the four Tillerman children after they are abandoned by their mentally ill mother in a car park. When she doesn’t come back they set out to find other relatives several states away. … Continue reading

Posted in 11 years and up, 20th Century YA, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Take themes of bureaucracy and greed, add non-stop word-wit and shellfish-references, throw in the waning of magic and a very old dragon and you have The Last Dragonslayer: teen fantasy Jasper Fforde-style

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde is a story about magic, dragons and red tape. After reading it I concluded that my ideal pet would be a quarkbeast (no fur, funny-looking, loyal and affectionate, not exactly huggable but still better … Continue reading

Posted in 13 years and up, Contemporary YA, Fantasy, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones is a YA fantasy book. I knew it was a winner as soon as I saw that it has chapter titles like “In which Howl expresses his feelings with Green Slime”. It follows … Continue reading

Posted in 13 years and up, 20th Century YA, British, Fantasy, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder is the last of the Little House books that Wilder completed and also my favourite. At the end of Little Town on the Prairie Laura received her teaching certificate. Now Laura has … Continue reading

Posted in 10 years and up, 20th Century YA, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment