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.

 

Michael Northrop

Michael Northrop is a writer living in New York City, author of three YA novels: Gentlemen, one of the American Library Association/YALSA’s Best Books for Young Adults; Trapped, an ALA/YALSA Readers’ Choice List selection, an Indie Next List pick, and a Barnes & Noble Must-Read for Teens; and Rotten. His first middle grade novel, Plunked, was named one of the best children’s books of the year by the New York Public Library. His writing has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Sports Illustrated Kids, McSweeney’s, Weird Tales, and many other places. His latest YA novel is Surrounded by Sharks. You can find him on the internet here

 

  • Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal
  • Ben Macintyre
  • “Fantastic World War II nonfiction: a high-stakes British spy thriller that just happens to be true.”

  • Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made
  • Stephan Pastis
  • “Hilarious, endearing, and includes a polar bear - what more do you want? This book made me wish I could draw (or at least doodle really well).”

  • Tales of H.P. Lovecraft
  • H.P. Lovecraft
  • “Lovecraft’s stories are profoundly weird, insanely good, and they changed horror writing forever, and for the better (which is to say, weirder).”

  • Rumble Fish
  • S.E. Hinton
  • “A short, tough book that hits hard and leaves a mark. Not as famous as The Outsiders, but it had just as big of an impact on me. It was the first novel I reread when I decided to write YA.”

     

  • A Separate Peace
  • John Knowles
  • “Darn near perfect: a little masterpiece that quietly tackles the big questions.”

Adam McCauley

There are too many incredible books to list, but these come to mind first for me as important in my own upbringing.  I was basically steeped in Tintin as a child, basted by Oz and Tolkien, troubled by Jansson, tickled by Asterix and taught by Lear.  It wasn’t until High School that I saw Codex Seriphinianus, and I was thrown irrevocably into the world of illustration for good.

Alison DeCamp

Alison DeCamp is the author of My Near-Death Adventures (99% True!), as well as a former teacher and current booksller at Between the Covers bookstore in Harbor Springs, Michigan. 

"I have a daughter and a son, I've taught middle school and high school and worked at a bookstore. These are all books I love, can sell, and that my children loved as well."

  • Across the Nightingale Floor, Tales of the Otori, Book 1
  • Lian Hearn
  • Kind of a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fantasy set in an alternate Japan where people can have superpowers. It's really well-done fantasy.

  • Knucklehead
  • Jon Scieszka
  • A fantastic graphic novel about Jon's boyhood in Flint, Michigan, where my husband is also from. It's funny and real and mostly funny.

  • Out from Boneville, Boneville Series, #1
  • Jeff Smith
  • These are so imaginative, innocent, and creative. I am a big fan of smart graphic novels and how they make us think.

  • The Eddie Dickens Trilogy
  • Philip Ardagh
  • There's a stuffed stoat in these books. I'm not even sure what that is, but do I really need to say more?

  • The Willoughbys
  • Lois Lowry
  • Same Lois Lowry as THE GIVER, but a completely different kind of story, one where the kids are super smart and the adults need to get a clue.

  • Winger
  • Andrew Smith
  • My 16 y.o. has read and reread this book about a 14 y.o. rugby player. It's a story about all the confusion that's part and parcel of growing up while simultaneously injecting humor and love and redemption into the entire mix.

  • Nicholas
  • Jean-Jacques Sempe
  • Nicholas is irreverent and slightly naughty and a bit clueless but always funny.

  • How They Croaked, The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous
  • Georgia Bragg
  • (by Georgia Bragg & Kevin O'Malley)

    Just like the title says, this is a book about how famous people died. But really it's a history book.

  • We Were Liars
  • E.Lockhart
  • I read this book in three hours. Granted, I told my family I wasn't feeling well so they actually left me alone for that amount of time, but I devoured this book. There's an unreliable narrator and a shocking ending and a slew of open-ended questions that we still argue about in our house.

Jon Skovron

Jon Skovron is the author of Struts and Frets, Misfit, and most recently, Man Made Boy. His short stories have appeared in anthologies such as Defy the Dark, GRIM, and the forthcoming Apollo's Daughters.

The first three suggestions here are for younger readers, suggested by Jon's sons, Logan and Zane, aka the SkovBros.

The next three books are for somewhat older readers, suggested by Jon.

 

 

  • The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
  • Tom Angleberger
  • "It's a mystery with a lot of Star Wars jokes and funny pictures. And at the end of each book, it shows you how to make a different Star Wars character."

  • How to Grow Up and Rule the World, by Vordak the Incomprehensible
  • Vordak T. Incomprehensible
  • "It's about a super villain. And it's funny. There should be more books about funny super villains."

  • Bunnicula
  • James Howe
  • "It's about a vampire rabbit who sucks the juices of vegetables. My dad liked this book when he was a kid. It's still good."

  • The Pawn of Prophecy
  • David Eddings
  • "Swords, sorcery, spies, gods, adventure, and humor. I'm not sure what else you need. This is the first book in The Belgariad series, which hooked me on reading forever."

  • White Cat
  • Holly Black
  • "Mafia gangsters with magic."

  • I Hunt Killers
  • Barry Lyga
  • "The son of a serial killer catches serial killers. Not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach."

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.