Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lucky Number 13

I've been wanting to create this list for awhile now, probably because 13 was an incredibly transitional reading age for me.

I had a slow start as a reader, but as soon as I turned 13, it was like, BAM!, the magic of reading hit me. All of a sudden I was reading picture books, series fiction, literary classics, science fiction, mysteries, books for kids, books for adults, books for babies. If it had words in it, I was reading it.

But my story goes against the norm. As kids move from middle grade to YA books, we often try to force them into books that are too young for their interests or too "classic" for their taste. In fact, many kids (especially boys) just stop reading altogether.

While this list doesn't contain any picture books or books for adults, it is a list of 13 books I wish had been around when I was 13. (That means all of these books have been published in the last 13 years.) There is a mix of books for boys and girls, fiction and nonfiction, fantasy and realism.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

Airman by Eoin Colfer

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

Smiles to Go by Jerry Spinelli

Mudville by Kurtis Scaletta

Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World by Jennifer Armstrong

Phineas Gage by John Fleischman

Hitler Youth by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

10,000 Days of Thunder by Philip Caputo


  1. It's not every day a guy finds himself on a list with Neil Gaiman and Jerry Spinelli. 13 must be my lucky number. :-) Thanks.

  2. so you're the second (or maybe third) person this week to mention Hunger Games and have recommended it. I guess that it's a definate must-read now! Ugh! When am I going to have the time to read it?

  3. I'm instantly putting all of those books on my wishlist! Except for hunger games which I'm already reading.

  4. Kurtis, I've told you before and I'll tell you again, best sports book I read last year.

    Gwen, make time for the book. I promise you'll love it. I promise the same thing for the other books on the list for you, Jenny.