April 27th, 2005


Favorite SF/F YA

I can't remember if I've asked this before, or not.

If you had to name your top 3, or 5, or even 10 favorite sf/f novels meant for young adults, which would you choose? Which of those do you consider Classics?

I'm not counting adult books read as a kid, but ones generally shelved for children/young adults.

My favorites, which I would also consider classics:

1. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
I've heard arguments that "talking animal" stories aren't fantasy, but if they aren't, I don't know what is. This is not only one of my favorite kids' books, it's one of my favorite books of all time. I cannot even tell you how many times I've read this book. Though I haven't reread it recently. Hmmm. Maybe it's time.

2. The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis
Yeah, it's a series, not a single title. It's my list. My personal favorites are The Magician's Nephew (the first one I read) and Prince Caspian, with The Horse and His Boy a close third. But I read all of them over and over.

3. Have Spacesuit, Will Travel, Robert A. Heinlein
The first science fiction book I ever read, and then I read it again, and again, and again. Ordinary, intelligent kids enter into wild adventures. You can't get more classic than that.

4. The Riddlemaster of Hed trilogy, Patricia A. McKillip
A profound experience on my incipient sense of literary style when I first read them, and again on subsequent readings.

5. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle
When I first read this, again I remember being aware of the prose style, and knowing this book was something special. The interconnections between her various books fascinated me for a long time.

6. The Dark is Rising sequence, Susan Cooper
These were a big wow; I found The Dark is Rising first, and it blew me away.

7. The Earthsea trilogy, Ursula K. LeGuin
I can't believe I almost forgot these; probably because I've reread them more as an adult.

And, not necessarily classic, but favorites of my youth:
Dragonsinger, Anne McCaffrey
Pure wish-fulfillment fantasy. Though it's really sf, at base level.

The Beast Master, Andre Norton
See above. Horses in space!

I will no doubt be adding to these lists as more titles occur to me.