Hey! Quick apology before your regularly scheduled post… in that the posts have not at all been regularly scheduled. My life has been a garbage dump lately, in that I’ve been both very stressed and very busy. So really sorry about that. Back to the books.
A question on Books on the Nightstand… last week now (oops) was asking for adult books for young readers. And immediately I thought– oh! I was that kid!
When I was young, I skipped YA books entirely. I went directly from middle grade to adult when I was in middle school. So around the age of eleven. My parents weren’t exactly paying attention to what my sister and I were reading and were probably just pleased we read a lot. Subsequently, I’m crap at recommending YA novels because in the grand scheme of all the books I’ve ever read, YA make up only a handful. But adult books for young readers? That’s something I can handle.
Unfortunately, because I’m at college and not home, I can’t physically look at my library and had to go off my Goodreads. So most of the books on this list I read in the last four or so years, but fortunately I realized that my taste hasn’t changed much.
In my opinion there are two great types of books for an advanced young reader: books written for young audiences with universal appeal, and adult books with children as the main characters. You might notice Harry Potter is not on the list, because everyone should read them and it’s pointless to list something so obvious. You’ll also notice a lot of Neil Gaiman.
Books Written For Young Audiences with Universal Appeal
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
- Coraline by Neil Gaiman
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness (also a lot of Patrick Ness)
- The Princess Bride by William Goldman
- The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
- The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
PLUS: For the most part, classics are pretty tame if they aren’t too difficult. Especially books often read in highschool, like To Kill a Mockingbird and Lord of the Flies.
Adult Books with Young Characters
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
- Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead
- We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon
- Tigerman by Nick Harkaway
- A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (nonfiction)
- The Essays of E.B. White by E.B. White (essay collection)
- The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
- The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien (seriously, my sister read this when she was young)
- The Metamorphosis by Kafka
- Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman
- The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro