Top 10 Young Adult Authors (according to a young adult herself)
Young adult fiction, much like children’s literature, might seem like an easy option for a first time writer. After all, younger people are not going to care so much about how well-researched, well-written or well-developed your work is, right? Wrong. My personal top ten young adult authors all avoid these pitfalls, and have crafted works that sustained me through my teenage years, and still resonate with me today.
10. Michael Morpurgo
This British author primarily writes for children, but it is his works aimed at older audiences that are the most intense. His book War Horse, uniquely told from the point of view of a horse during the First World War, has been adapted for film and stage. By drawing on his own upbringing and experiences, Morpurgo creates worlds that are both lyrical and personally real.
9. Marcus Zusak
Narrated by Death, Zusak’s ‘The Book Thief’ spans generations and often skips back and forth throughout the narrative, it sounds more like a post-modern, adult work than something aimed at a younger generation. Combined with fascinating and sympathetic characters, however, young adults and beyond have been dying know what happens to Liesel Meminger and the rest of the residents of Himmel Street.
8. Michelle Paver
This author is well known for her highly-successful ‘Chronicles of Ancient Darkness’ series, set in Bronze Age Europe. Paver brought this primeval world to life by visiting Scandinavian forests and studying the ways of today’s hunter-gatherer tribes, creating a world that you can almost see, touch and smell.
7. Sophie Mckenzie
Author of works such ‘Girl, Missing,’ Sophie Mackenzie writes crime thrillers aimed at teenage girls. Her main success in writing comes from both her punchy, suspenseful narratives and seemless integration of relevant themes such as relationships, identity and bullying – face it girls, resistance is futile.
6. Neil Gaiman
Author of both adult, young adult and graphic novels, Gaiman’s eclectic style has a sturdy fanbase in his native England and abroad. His young adult works, such as ‘Coraline,’ (adapted into a successful animated film in 2009) and ‘The Graveyard Book’ place magic, danger and original characters within the context of our own, mundane world.
5. Malorie Blackman
Children’s Laureate from 2013-14, Malorie Blackman is the author of books such as ‘Pigheart Boy’ and the ‘Noughts and Crosses’ series. Her works explore family and race relations with believable characters and situations that are often not far removed from reality.
4. Cornelia Funke
This German born author has works such as ‘Inkheart,’ ‘The Thief Lord’ and ‘Dragon Rider’ to her name. While other authors on this list may incorporate contemporary issues into their fantasy, Funke just writes pure escapism. And that ain’t no bad thing.
3. David Almond
This author’s most famous work is his first, ‘Skellig,’ which tells of a boy who finds a mysterious being in his family’s new house. Almond takes a deceptively simple idea and explores what happens when the spiritual and material combine, creating something both real and wonderfully uncanny.
2. Geraldine McCaughrean
Audacious enough to write a sequel to ‘Peter Pan,’ McCaughrean has written over 160 books for children and young people. Her informal style has brought worlds as varied as Song Dynasty China and medieval England to life.
1. Eva Ibbotson
This late author rightly deserves the first spot. From journeys down the Amazon to an agency that hires out ghosts, Ibbotson truly understood what is most important in young adult literature – a sense of humour. No matter what you are writing, it is essential for all young adult authors who wish to make my Top 10 Young Adult Authors list. Nothing bores like self-proclaimed seriousness.