Young Adult books for kids

Are you a great reader? Have you started to outgrow the kids section in your library? Look no further, because here are some suggestions of great books in the young adult section that won't upset your parents too much.

Horror
Cover of Cuckoo SongDo you like doll-eating girls and girl-eating cinema screens? If you answered yes, or if you're just confused, read Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge! Sinister and peculiar but also great friendships and ladies on motorcycles in the 1920s.

If you like clever, weird books then you might also like any of Kelly Link's short story collections, filled with people-eating couches and handbags with entire towns inside.

For something more traditionally creepy try Rhiannon Lassiter's Bad Blood, all about messy families and dealing with step-siblings and oh hey, a doll who likes to play with scissors.

Fantasy
Cover of Book of a Thousand DaysFor a non-traditional zombie story try Erin Bow's Sorrow's Knot, set in a pseudo pre-Columbus America.

The Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale is a retelling of Maid Maleen set in ancient Mongolia (favourite character: 'My Lord' the cat), and Terry Pratchett's Tiffany Aching series is full of sensible witches, insensible Feegles and a lot of humour.

Contemporary
Melina Marchetta and Jaclyn Moriarty are both Australian and write great quirky high school stories. I particularly recommend Saving Francesca and The Murder of Bindy MacKenzie, but Moriarty also has a new series that combines contemporary with fantasy beginning with A Corner of White.

I also have to recommend Annabel Pitcher's My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, which is both hilariously funny and heartbreaking.

Crossover
Cover of The ThiefLastly there are some series shelved in the kids' section which cross over into young adult and are too great not to mention: Hilary McKay's Casson Family series, all about — you guessed it — the Casson family; Megan Whalen Turner's Attolia series (beginning with The Thief) which features lots of intrigue and spying set in a pseudo ancient Greece; and Elizabeth Wein's Aksum books which feature even more spying and intrigue but are set in ancient Ethiopia.

Want more? Check out our list for 'if you like reading young adult books' or fantastic picks from fellow librarian AliReads!

Or if you're looking for something different, leave a comment and I'll put together another blog post. Alternatively Kate de Goldi is available on Booknotes Unbound as the Reading Doctor with some great suggestions all inspired by real questions.

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