YA Series Insiders were kind enough to share their answers with us. Their new website just launched this week and they are having a HUGE giveaway, so make sure you check it out if you haven't yet!
Later this week, the Adventures in YA Publishing contributors will share what books they are most thankful for. Stay tuned!
I am most thankful for Twilight. No matter if you read the book, loved it or hated it, Twilight gave YA the boost that it needed and I think that a lot of books were published afterward because of the success of Twilight. The series proved that people of all ages read YA.
I recently reread the stand alone YA thriller ESCAPE FROM EDEN, by my critique partner, Elisa Nader, and I'm thankful because Elisa's lush prose and deep understanding of her character's emotions - plus her relentless pacing - really inspired me to push my own writing during my most recent pass on THE NOTORIOUS PAGAN JONES.
The YA series I'm most thankful to have read recently is the DIVERGENT series by, of course, Veronica Roth. I came a bit late to this series because I'd thought I'd had my fill of dystopian for awhile, and then pow! The first book hit me between the eyes right from the start. It made me feel like I wasn't alone in believing that labeling people is a way to control them.
I can only name ONE book? This is a hard question! I guess I'd have to pick RAMONA FOREVER by Beverly Cleary. It's the first book I read on my own. My parents used to take turns reading a chapter to me every night before bed, and one evening I was so eager to find out what happened next that, as soon as my mother left, I tiptoed across the room, grabbed the book off my desk, and stayed up late, reading under the covers. My parents had no idea until they started reading to me the following night, and I interrupted them to say I'd already finished that part. Until RAMONA FOREVER, I'd loved books, but I hadn't been a "reader." From then on, I read everything I could get my hands on.
I have to say BEAUTIFUL CREATURES by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. That was the book that reminded me how much I love southern gothics, with all their quirky characters, luscious settings, spooky atmosphere, and haunting tragedies. I couldn't stop thinking about the world of Beautiful Creatures, so I had to write my own southern gothic. That is the book that became BEHOLDEN, the first book in my HEIRS OF WATSON ISLAND trilogy that's being published by Simon Pulse next year.
Wow. How can anyone pick just one? I am thankful for YA as a genre itself. The enormous range of books within Young Adult allows for so much potential, both from a writing and a reading standpoint.
A near impossible question! Every book that I’m really thankful for has touched me in a different way. But The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak is way up on that list because I recall my mind being blown, like, “You can do that??”
Wow, it's so hard to narrow it down to one! The Harry Potter series (while technically not quite YA) were the books that inspired me to write for young people, and books like the Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot are what made me want to specifically write YA. I will always be thankful for these books because they put me on the path to becoming the author I am today.
I get teary eyed every time I read Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, It is definitely one of my all-time favorite books. It reminds all of us of the power of unconditional love and how as we grow older, the roles between parent and child sometimes blur and become reversed. It teaches the valuable lesson of how love begets love.
Kimberley Griffiths Little
Since I started writing a REALLY, REALLY long time ago, long before the current decade of trilogies and paranormal and sci-fi fantasy, I would have to say that the Young Adult books of Richard Peck were the most inspirational to me and changed the way I looked - and wrote children's literature. At the very first writer's conference I attended eons ago, Richard Peck was there and was magnificent, brilliant, and encouraging. He later blurbed my middle-grade novel, The Healing Spell, (Scholastic, 2010) and I was so thrilled I burst into tears!
Some of Richard Peck's early novels were ground-breaking in the 1980s and 1990s and gained him instant recognition in the YA community: Are You in the House Alone?, Remembering the Good Times, the first YA book about teen suicide, Don't Look and it Won't Hurt, about a girl who gets pregnant and has to decide whether to keep her baby, and Unfinished Portrait of Jessica, about a girl whose father leaves the family and she blames her mother instead.
I have to say...Twilight. *ducks thrown objects* Hear me out! Without that book, YA wouldn't have had the boost it did. Twilight, no matter anyone's opinion on it, helped a LOT of kids get into reading who wouldn't have otherwise. We all owe a lot to that book, and I'm thankful for it!