Click here for some authors we’ve talked to about their books and their process.

And click below for some recommendations from some authors we trust.

 

Daniel Handler

is, most famously, the author of A Series of Unfortunate Events.  He also plays a mean accordian.

  • The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily
  • This book contains fierce battles, a magic wand, illegal gambling, a sea serpent, many ghosts and a werewolf, although the werewolf in the book doesn't really appear in the book. This has been my favorite book since I was a tiny brat, and now that I am larger I try to make everyone read it.

  • The Headless Cupid
  • This is another lifelong favorite of mine, about a poltergeist, which is either an invisible ghost throwing things around or somebody pretending to be an invisible ghost throwing things around.

  • Danny, the Champion of the World
  • Everybody knows Roald Dahl, but you might not know this book, which is not only a great suspense story but teaches you several methods of hunting pheasant illegally, which your parents have probably not taught you. Another thing you might not know about Roald Dahl is that if you go online you can take a virtual tour of the disgusting hut in which he wrote his books.

  • How I Live Now
  • This starts out as a pleasant summer story about spending time with one’s cousins and then suddenly gets pretty scary.

  • Running Wild
  • This book is even scarier. It might be too scary for you. It is about some nasty, nasty children. I don't really like to think about this book, which is probably why I've read it three times.

  • Halloween Party
  • OK, this book isn't nearly as scary. It's just about a young girl who gets murdered while bobbing for apples. Agatha Christie is fun to read because there's always a mystery, and often there's a list of characters in the front in case you start getting confused.

Peter Brown

is an illustrator and a writer.  Probably best know for his books about a dog named Chowder.  But he’s working on plenty of new books right now.

  • I can't overemphasize how perfectly James Marshall balances sweetness and absurdity in these stories.

  • Everyone Poops
  • Everyone Poops is a continuous source of 'inspiration.

  • James and the Giant Peach
  • Witty dialogue, fantastical adventure and a wonderfully dark sense of humor seem to effortlessly flow from Roald Dahl's pen.

  • This series is perhaps the most unique, thoughtful, and provocative fantasy I’ve ever read.

  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  • I was mesmerized by the way Verne describes the science and logic of the world in which this story takes place.

Michael Buckley

  • The Outsiders
  • S.E. Hinton
  • A timeless story of outcasts versus the privileged. Exciting and heartbreaking — Hinton should be applauded for understanding the mind of a guy so well.

  • All Star Superman Books 1 and 2
  • Frank Quitely
  • Lex Luthor finally finds a way to kill Superman and the Big Blue Boy Scout prepares for his death with a shocking ending no one could have seen.

  • Lord of the Flies
  • William Golding
  • A ship full of children from an all boys' school crashes on the beach of a deserted island. Unfortunately, it isn't long before the kids stop working together and break up into tribes with dark and deadly results.

  • Pinocchio
  • Carlo Collodi
  • Most people have seen the movie but few have read the book and that’s a shame. Pinocchio is a walking nightmare and hilarious.

  • The Graveyard Book
  • Neil Gaiman
  • An adaptation of the Jungle Book but instead of a boy being raised by wolves, he's reared by ghosts in an abandoned cemetery. It's chilling and dark, yet a powerful lesson on how a boy becomes a man.

Jason Reynolds

JASON REYNOLDS is crazy. About stories. After earning a BA in English from The University of Maryland, College Park, he moved to Brooklyn, New York, where you can often find him walking the four blocks from the train to his apartment talking to himself. Well, not really talking to himself, but just repeating character names and plot lines he thought of on the train, over and over again, because he's afraid he'll forget it all before he gets home. When I Was the Greatest is his debut novel. His next, The Boy in the Black Suit, comes out in 2015. He's also the co-author of (in our opinion) the criminally-overlooked poetry/art hybrid memoir My Name is Jason. Mine Too.: Our Story. Our Way.

From his website: "Here's what I know: I know there are a lot - A LOT - of young people who hate reading. I know that many of these book haters are boys. I know that many of these book-hating boys, don't actually hate books, they hate boredom. If you are reading this, and you happen to be one of these boys, first of all, you're reading this so my master plan is already working (muahahahahahaha) and second of all, know that I feel you. I REALLY do. Because even though I'm a writer, I hate reading boring books too."

  • The Young Landlords
  • Walter Dean Myers
  • It's a brilliantly gritty story about a bunch of kids who get swindled into taking over a slum building. Super creative, yet totally feasible in New York City.

  • Kira-Kira
  • Cynthia Kadohata
  • The story takes place in the sixties in the segregated south. Black people know where they stand. White people know where they stand. But what about a Japanese family?

  • Noggin
  • John Corey Whaley
  • Smart and hilarious story about a young man who is dying and his parents decide to cryogenically freeze his head. A few years later, he's back from the dead. And he's still in high school.

  • The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey
  • Walter Mosley
  • One of the gems that flew under the radar because Mosely is so prolific. But it's a sweet, yet biting story about an elder man, Ptolemy Grey, suffering from dementia.

  • Erasure
  • Percival Everett
  • It's a weird book about a stuffy writer and his hatred for the industry. His frustration with his agent wanting him to write a "sellable" book pushes him to pen "street fiction" just as a middle finger to the corporate publishing structure. Madness ensues, and it's downright hilarious.

Jeff Zentner

Jeff Zentner is a guitarist and songwriter and the author of the starkly beautiful debut YA novel The Serpent King (our full review here).

 

  • The First Time She Drowned
  • Kerry Kletter
  • "An absolutely gorgeous, lyrical, and unflinching story about a girl escaping from under the thumb of a toxic mother and living her own life."

  • How to Hang a Witch
  • Adriana Mather
  • "A delightfully spooky, twist-turny, and gripping mystery set in a haunted present-day Salem, Massachusetts."

  • The Love That Split the World
  • Emily Henry
  • "A beautiful and romantic time travel story set in small-town Kentucky."

  • Kids of Appetite
  • David Arnold
  • (out in September) "A hilarious, quirky, and warm story about murder, first love, and families of choice."

  • Everything, Everything
  • Nicola Yoon
  • "A sweet and swoony story about a girl who's allergic to the world."

  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
  • Becky Albertalli
  • "A hilarious, warm, and wise coming-out and coming-of-age story."

  • More Happy Than Not
  • Adam Silvera
  • "A heartbreaking story about a young man running from his own memory."