Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
Previous Top Ten Tuesday Topics
- February 1: Books with Character Names In the Titles
- February 8: Love Freebie
- February 15: Books Too Good To Be Reviewed Properly
- February 22: Dynamic Duos
- March 1: Books I Enjoyed, but Have Never Mentioned On My Blog
- March 8: Books With Your Favourite Trope/Theme
- March 15: Books On My Spring 2022 TBR
- March 22: Books With an Adjective in the Title
- March 29: . 21st Century Books I Think Will Become Classics Someday
I enjoyed last week’s topic so much, I chose to extend it into this week, but with a specific YA focus. As an English teacher, I do try to keep up with YA releases and the Carnegie Medal; and as a reader, I have enjoyed YA literature immensely for the sheer fun and joy and playfulness that many writers exploit for a YA audience, but also for the beauty and seriousness of the themes and ideas explored in them. I may not have been a Young Adult for a long, long time now – and on occasion I doubt whether I can adult very well – but I don’t see a time when I will not proudly read YA!
A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness
Conor has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don’t quite seem to be working. But tonight is different. Tonight, when he wakes, there’s a visitor at his window. It’s ancient, elemental, a force of nature. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth. Patrick Ness takes the final idea of the late, award-winning writer Siobhan Dowd and weaves an extraordinary and heartbreaking tale of mischief, healing and above all, the courage it takes to survive.
Chaos Walking, Patrick Ness
Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in a constant, overwhelming Noise. There is no privacy. There are no secrets. Then Todd Hewitt unexpectedly stumbles on a spot of complete silence. Which is impossible. And now he’s going to have to run…
Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd and Viola once again face their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately imprisoned and separated from Viola, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor’s new order. And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode…
Three armies march on New Prentisstown. The New World is at war. Todd and Viola are caught in the middle, with no chance of escape. How can they hope to stop the fighting? How can there ever be peace when they’re so hopelessly outnumbered? And if war makes monsters of men, what terrible choices await?
Pet, Akwaeke Emezi
There are no more monsters anymore, or so the children in the city of Lucille are taught. With doting parents and a best friend named Redemption, Jam has grown up with this lesson all her life. But when she meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colours and claws, who emerges from one of her mother’s paintings and a drop of Jam’s blood, she must reconsider what she’s been told. Pet has come to hunt a monster, and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption’s house. Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but also to uncover the truth.
Julia and the Shark, Kiran Millwood Hargrave
My name is Julia.
This is the story of the summer I spent living in a lighthouse.
The summer I almost lost my mum, and found a shark older than trees.
Don’t worry though, that doesn’t spoil the ending …
Julia has followed her mum and dad to live on a remote island for the summer – her dad, for work; her mother, on a determined mission to find the elusive Greenland shark. But when her mother’s obsession threatens to submerge them all, Julia finds herself on an adventure with dark depths and a lighthouse full of hope…
Cuckoo Song, Frances Hardinge
When Triss wakes up after an accident, she knows that something is very wrong. She is insatiably hungry; her sister seems scared of her and her parents whisper behind closed doors. She looks through her diary to try to remember, but the pages have been ripped out.
Soon Triss discovers that what happened to her is more strange and terrible than she could ever have imagined, and that she is quite literally not herself. In a quest to find the truth she must travel into the terrifying Underbelly of the city to meet a twisted architect who has dark designs on her family – before it’s too late . . .
The Lie Tree, Frances Hardinge
Faith’s father has been found dead under mysterious circumstances, and as she is searching through his belongings for clues she discovers a strange tree. The tree only grows healthy and bears fruit if you whisper a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, will deliver a hidden truth to the person who consumes it. The bigger the lie, the more people who believe it, the bigger the truth that is uncovered.
The girl realizes that she is good at lying and that the tree might hold the key to her father’s murder, so she begins to spread untruths far and wide across her small island community. But as her tales spiral out of control, she discovers that where lies seduce, truths shatter . . .
The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas
Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.
Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice.
The Book Thief, Marchus Zusak
It is 1939. In Nazi Germany, the country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier – and will become busier still.
By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed forever when she picks up a single object, abandoned in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, and this is her first act of book thievery. So begins Liesel’s love affair with books and words, and soon she is stealing from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library . . . wherever there are books to be found.
But these are dangerous times, and when Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, nothing will ever be the same again.
The Poet X, Elizabeth Acevedo
Xiomara has always kept her words to herself. When it comes to standing her ground in her Harlem neighbourhood, she lets her fists and her fierceness do the talking.
But X has secrets – her feelings for a boy in her bio class, and the notebook full of poems that she keeps under her bed. And a slam poetry club that will pull those secrets into the spotlight.
Because in spite of a world that might not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to stay silent.
A novel about finding your voice and standing up for what you believe in, no matter how hard it is to say. Brave, bold and beautifully written – dealing with issues of race, feminism and faith.
Salt to the Sea, Ruta Sepetys
The single greatest tragedy in maritime history is the little-known January 30, 1945 sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, a German cruise liner that was supposed to ferry wartime personnel and refugees to safety from the advancing Red Army.
Joana, a Lithuanian with nursing experience; Florian, a Prussian soldier fleeing the Nazis with stolen treasure; and Emilia, a Polish girl close to the end of her pregnancy, converge on their escape journeys as Russian troops advance; each will eventually meet Albert, a Nazi peon with delusions of grandeur, assigned to the Gustloff decks.
The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
Charlie is a freshman. And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.
His Dark Materials, Phillip Pullman
Lyra Belacqua lives half-wild and carefree among the scholars of Jordan College, with her daemon familiar always by her side. But the arrival of her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, draws her to the heart of a terrible struggle – a struggle born of Gobblers and stolen children, witch clans and armoured bears.
Railsea, China Mieville
On board the moletrain Medes, Sham Yes ap Soorap watches in awe as he witnesses his first moldywarpe hunt. The giant mole bursting from the earth, the harpoonists targeting their prey, the battle resulting in one’s death and the other’s glory – are extraordinary. But no matter how spectacular it is, travelling the endless rails of the railsea, Sham senses that there’s more to life. Even if his captain can think only of her obsessive hunt for one savage mole.
When they find a wrecked train, it’s a welcome distraction. But the impossible salvage Sham finds there leads to trouble. Soon he’s hunted on all sides: by pirates, trainsfolk, monsters and salvage-scrabblers. And it might not be just Sham’s life that’s about to change. It could be the whole of the railsea.
Coraline, Neil Gaiman
Coraline has moved to a new house with her parents and she is fascinated by the fact that their ‘house’ is in fact only half a house! Divided into flats years before, there is a brick wall behind a door where once there was a corridor. One day it is a corridor again and the intrepid Coraline wanders down it. And so a nightmare-ish mystery begins that takes Coraline into the arms of counterfeit parents and a life that isn’t quite right.
Can Coraline get out? Can she find her real parents? Will life ever be the same again?
Here Lies Arthur, Phillip Reeve
Gwyna is just a small girl, a mouse, when she is bound in service to Myrddin the bard – a traveller and spinner of tales. But Myrdin transfroms her – into a lady goddess, a boy warrior, and a spy. Without Gwyna, Myrddin will not be able to work the most glorious transformation of all – and turn the leader of a raggle-tagglear-band into King Arthur, the greatest hero of all time.
So many good books there – I have tried to steer away from the obvious, popular series and offer up something perhaps a little less familiar. And which genuinely deal with real themes. The only thing I would say is, please don’t judge Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking trilogy by the very poor film that was made of it!
Upcoming Top Ten Tuesday Themes
April 12: Authors I Haven’t Read, But Want To (Submitted by Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse)
April 19: Bookish Merchandise I’d Love to Own
April 26: Books with [___] On the Cover (Pick a thing (a color, an item, a place, an animal, a scripty font, a sexy person, etc.) and share covers that have that thing on the cover.)
May 3: One-Word Reviews for the Last Ten Books I Read (submitted by Susan @ Bloggin’ ’bout Books)
May 10: Bookish Characters (these could be readers, writers, authors, librarians, professors, etc.)
May 17: Books I Was SO EXCITED to Get, but Still Haven’t Read (bonus points if you tell us how long it’s been since you got them!)
May 24: Book Quote Freebie (Share your favorite book quotes that fit a theme of your choosing! These could be quotes about books/reading, or quotes from books. Some examples are: quotes for book lovers, quotes that prove reading is the best thing ever, funny things characters have said, romantic declarations, pretty scenery descriptions, witty snippets of dialogue, etc.)
May 31: Comfort Reads (Share which books or kinds of books you turn to when you need to escape. You can either share specific titles if you love to re-read, or you could share qualities of books you look for in a comfort read.)