slightly OT: Children's and YA Lit

Ian W. Riddell iwriddell at
Thu Sep 18 10:09:01 EDT 2003

I agree with Charlie that is a great list.

"Frindle" is by Andrew Clements. I'd also recommend his "The Landry 
News". He started losing me with "The School Story".

I can't leave off without recommending Louis Sachar's "Holes", which 
won the Newbery award a few years back. Fantastic book! One of my 
all-time favorites. Funny, witty, suspenseful, touching.


On Thursday, September 18, 2003, at 02:39  AM, Gili Bar-Hillel wrote:

> Ooh, please don't limit us to email, I'd like to read other people's
> responses as well, and yes, if you would be so kind as to compile a 
> list as
> we go along...
> Here are some of the books and authors that I remember most from the 
> piles
> and piles I've read for Israeli publishers. AFAIK all these books are 
> from
> the last five years:
> Jaqueline Wilson is a big name in the UK, though relatively unknown in 
> the
> US. While I don't tend to like the type of books she writes (girls with
> problems in modern setting), I think she pulls it off particularly 
> well.
> "The Illustrated Mum" was the one that bowled me over, I also 
> recommend "The
> Suitcase Kid" and "Double Act" of the ones I've read
> Morris Gleitzman is big in Australia right now, and I liked his books
> "Sticky Beak" and "Blabbermouth". Haven't read any of the others.
> The only David Almond I read was "Skellig", which I found hauntingly
> beautiful but very grim
> "Pobby and Dingam" by Ben Rice (Australia), I'm not sure is classified 
> a
> children's book, I would actually call it a short story, but I 
> recommend it.
> Tim Wynne-Jones is Canadian, his "The Maestro" was masterful, "The Boy 
> in
> the Burning House" I did not like that much but those are the only two 
> I've
> read
> "Witch Child" by Celia Rees, mock historical diary of a young girl who 
> flees
> England because of a witch hunt and ends up in Massachusets... the 
> first in
> a series, haven't read the next book, "Sorceress"
> You've probably come across Jerry Spinelli, the only book of his I 
> read was
> "Loser" which I thought was wonderful but couldn't understand why it 
> would
> be classified a children's book.
> "The Exiles" don't remember by whom. Starts slow but grows on you like 
> a
> fungus. The family in this book reminds me a bit of "Time of the 
> Ghost" sans
> creepiness. I think there's a whole series of these.
> "Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging" I found entertaining, though 
> some
> of the jokes are a little offensive to homosexuals and even Jews... 
> it's the
> first in a series, I didn't have the patience to read much further. 
> Author
> is Louise Rennison
> "Frindle" was a lot of fun, as was "School Story" to a lesser degree. 
> Don't
> remember the author, American.
> Then, some of the better in-your-face reality books I read were "Speak"
> (about rape), "Stick Figure" (about Anorexia), "Bad Girl" (about 
> juvenile
> delinquency). Can't remember the names of any of these authors, all 
> were
> women, all American. "Yellow Blue Bus Means I Love You" about a Russian
> immigrant in an American prep school was pretty good, dont' remember 
> the
> author of that either.
> I did not like the latest E.L. Konigsburg, "Sticks and Stones" or 
> something
> along those lines, can't remember why, just that I didn't
> However, I liked very much "The Midwife's Apprentice" and I know the 
> same
> author has written newer books, I'd look for them.
> If you'd like to read a good Israeli book that's been translated into
> English, look for "The Island on Bird Street" by Uri Orlev. This is 
> the only
> older book on this list, probably first published around when "Charmed 
> Life"
> came out, but it's the only Israeli book that I know has been 
> translated and
> that I've read and can absolutely recommend.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-dwj at [mailto:owner-dwj at]On Behalf Of
> Laurie Puszczewicz
> Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2003 3:02 AM
> To: dwj at
> Subject: Re: slightly OT: Children's and YA Lit
> Hi everyone
> A brief de-lurk to ask for some advice.  I am taking a children's and 
> YA
> lit class this seemster, and one of our semester-long assignments is an
> ideal yet daunting one: read as many children's and YA lit books as we 
> can
> (focusing primarily on those published in the last 5 years).  There 
> are no
> other restrictions.  Wonderful, yet overwhelming.  Just from being on 
> the
> list, I have a long list of sci-fi/fantasy books to choose from, but I 
> am
> a little less sure about what to choose from other genres.  Since we 
> are
> such a well-read bunch, I thought I would solicit some subjective
> opinions.  I am looking both for books you find worthy of reading and
> those you might have found problemtaic in some way, since those are 
> often
> interesting too for their own reasons.  I also know we have several 
> people
> on the list who teach children's and YA literature who have mentioned 
> rom
> time to time books they have taught.  Additionally, there are so
> many people on the list who are not from the US, and I would be
> really interested in suggestions of  authors from your countries (if of
> course I can get their books in the US).  Please feel free to email
> me directly, so that the list doesn't get clogged, although if there is
> interest, I would be happy to compile a list of the responses I get and
> post them in one email to the list.
> Thanks in advance.
> Laurie
> lpuszcze at
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