Monday, November 28, 2011

When One Book Isn't Enough

Believe it or not, every single one of the favorite teen books in this year's Summer Reading Program was part of a series. This is a great time to be a fan of YA series -- there are so many excellent ones coming out, and the library has a great selection! So if you're going to be bored over winter break, or forced to head off on a holiday trip, why not grab a series or three to keep you entertained?

If you loved Harry Potter, give Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain a try! Think Harry Potter's life started out rough? Imagine if he'd been a lowly Assistant Pig-Keeper, who got all muddled up in magic, battles, royalty, and epic quests! Start with The Book of Three.

If you liked the dragons in Eragon, here are a couple of recommendations: Patricia Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles starts with Dealing with Dragons. Great strong female main character, too! If you'd like a more sci-fi take on dragons (okay, "giant lizards," whatever!), maybe you'd enjoy Jane Yolen's Pit Dragon Chronicles, about a young boy on a prison planet where dragons are real...and they fight in pits. One day, he steals a baby dragon to hide in a secret oasis. Start with Dragon's Blood, and if you get addicted to the twists and turns of the plot, and seedy prison-planet details of this strange new world, you can finish the original trilogy in a few days. If you can't get enough, a fourth book was recently added to the universe.

Want a more mysterious fantasy? Try this, CSI: how can a detective hunt invisible killers? Tamora Pierce's Circle Opens series starts with Magic Steps. She's written quite a few other fast-paced, fun YA fantasy series, if you like her style!

If historical fiction is more your thing, check out Anna Godbersen's Bright Young Things series, where two teenagers go off to seek their fortune in the New York City of 1929, or her Luxe series, also set in the Big Apple, but right at the turn of the 19th century.

For something a little more offbeat, with a weird-inventions kind of steampunk feel, Tanith Lee has written a few great YA series, including the Unicorn series that starts with Black Unicorn.

Last but not least, if you liked The Hunger Games, you might want to check out John Marsden's Tomorrow series, starting with Tomorrow, When the War Began. It combines life-and-death excitement with survival in an Australia invaded by an unnamed neighboring country, and stars teenagers who'd been on a camping trip who are forced to become guerrilas.

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