I have been waiting for this week’s top ten ever since the list was posted in January! There are so many fabulous authors that I want EVERYONE to read! I had to be brutal in the cuts I made! ***Note: These are not in any order. I loves them alls!***
1. Anne Osterlund: I have amazon to thank for “discovering” Anne’s books. I was ordering a book and needed a few more dollars for free shipping. Aurelia was one of the recommended books so I added it. Instant love! When I finished it I knew that I MUST read Academy 7 (even though it was set in space) and I adored that one as well. I’m reading her upcoming release Exile right now and it does not disappoint!
2. Sherwood Smith: If you’re a fan of Tamora Pierce and you’ve not read Sherwood Smith you’re missing out! High fantasy, adventure, a bit of romance and kick butt heroines make her books fabulous! These are definitely books that you don’t want to judge by their covers! I read Court Duel because of a recommendation from Anne Osterlund. As soon as I finished I went to my local bookstore for more but they didn’t carry any more of her YA titles (She also rights fabulous books for adults.) I’ve also read and enjoyed A Posse of Princesses, Once a Princess, Twice a Prince, Wren to the Rescue, Wren’s Quest, and The Trouble with Kings.
3. Sarwat Chadda: I NEED there to be a third book to Chadda’s Billi SanGreal series! I loved both Devil’s Kiss and Dark Goddess (see my review here.) I was able to go to one of Sarwat Chadda and Rachel Hawkins tour stops earlier this month and it was AWESOME! Seriously. the man had the audience acting out scenes with swords and such. Read. His. Books. NOW!
4. Cindy Pon: This woman knows how to captivate her readers! In Silver Phoenix she builds a story that draws you in and won’t let you go! I am thrilled that Fury of the Phoenix releases today! I think I’m going to be too sick to go to work the day it arrives in the mail
5. Melina Marchetta: Yes, she won the Printz award (for Jellicoe Road in 2009) but there are still so many US YA readers who have never heard of/read any of her books. Her stories are so powerful and just beautiful! I absolutely adored Saving Francesca and The Piper’s Son (see my review of The Piper’s Son here and my interview with the author here.) In Australia (where she is from) her book Looking for Alibrandi has won many awards. She also has a fantasy series that starts with Finnikin of the Rock.
6. Jordan Sonnenblick: I read Jordan Sonnenblick’s first novel Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie because we had the playaway in our school library and I used it as an example of how they work. After listening to the first chapter approximately 15 times and cracking up EVERY TIME I had to read the rest! His books do a great job of capturing what it’s like to be a teen… all the changes, decisions, and crazy things you do. Notes from the Midnight Driver has a hilarious incident with an unfortunate lawn gnome and Zen and the Art of Faking It looks at a “new kid” who takes a different approach to trying to fit in. His most recent book, After Ever After, won a Schneider Family Book Award (check out my review here.) It made me BAWL!
7. Rosemary Clement-Moore: I am SO looking forward to her next book Texas Gothic. I thought The Splendor Falls was absolutely gorgeous. The way the author draws you in to the setting and story made me want to start applying for jobs down South. It’s a very lush and haunting story!
8. Saundra Mitchell: I first heard about Saundra Mitchell’s book Shadowed Summer at a seminar about the best of the best books in YA literature. The presenter read a brief section and I was sold! Saundra Mitchell’s words are just so beautiful! As Carrie Ryan said at her recent signing… If I could I would eat her words! The Vespertine has gotten a bit more recognition. I posted a very long gushing review on my love for that book! It has all the elements I adore… mystery, history, fantasy, and romance!
9. Marissa Doyle: The London society in the 1800s, mystery, romance, magic and twin sisters who won’t be bound by convention… how can you go wrong? Bewitching Season and Betraying Season combine these elements superbly! Goodreads says that a third Leland Sisters book is to be published this year but I’ve not found any other info on that. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
10. David Randall: I ordered the first three books in Randall’s In the Shadow of the Bear series my first year in my LMC job (Clovermead, Chandlefort, Sorrel) I don’t recall how I ran across the title but I remember reading a blurb by Tamora Pierce and great reviews from sources I trusted. This was enough to convince me to try it out. It’s definitely high fantasy. There is action, adventure, mystery, secrets and a whole lot of good versus evil. My students and I loved it! We were so sad that the fourth book wasn’t going to be published! Thankfully the author self-published it this year so you can read Ursus to see how the final battle ends!
There were so many more authors that I wanted to include (Carrie Ryan, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson) but I felt that these were the “least recognized” out of them. I hope you’ll give a few a try! If you’ve read any of them what did you think?