dear friend of mine wrote me Monday – she’s got two girls and for next year, they have to list forty books they might consider reading. Since she’s inert as a reader, but I devour books like a wood chipper, she asked if I could come up with some sort of list.
Okay, I couldn’t come up with forty (challenge; can you?). But since they consider a book 150 pages and longer ones count as two books, I might have made the cut. Anyway, below is the response I sent her. See how many of these you’ve read and maybe, if you are curious at all, you should read one or two of them. All are great books that I have enjoyed.
A Hat Full of Sky (Terry Pratchett) – A story of a little girl who learns to be a witch. 300 pages. LeaAnn loved this book
The Mortal Engine series (Philip Reeve). A post-world series about people living on giant cities that rattle around the wastelands. It consists of:
Mortal Engines (300 pages)
Predators Gold (300 pages)
Infernal Devices (300 pages)
A Darkling Plain (500 pages)
Night Flights (180 pages)
Early Retyrement (350 pages) Yeah, my book. But it’s history and it doesn’t have sex or too many naughty words.
Airborn series (Kenneth Oppel) about kids in a slightly different world than ours, ones with airships. Me and my wife have read the first two.
Airborn (about 300 pages)
SkyBreaker (about 300 pages)
StarClimber(about 300 pages)
The Travelling Cat Chronicles (Hiro Arikawa). A young man must find a home for his plucky cat. Told from the cat’s POV. Tearjerker. Maybe 200 pages?
Railsea (China Mielville) – Loved this one, from my favorite steampunk writer for YA, a look at Earth in the future when the entire planet is ringed in train tracks and trains sail around like sailing ships. About 300 pages.
The Diary of a Young Girl (Anne Frank). Yeah, the story of the girl who tried to hide from Nazis. I’m thinking maybe 150 pages.
Eidolon: The Thousand Year Ghost (Jenessa Gayheart) . A YA from a good friend of mine. Another post-apocalypse story. I liked it and it’s about, oh, 200-300 pages.
15 Views of Orlando (collection available through Burrow Press (local publisher). Young adults write about Orlando in all sorts of ways. I did like it but am guessing it’s maybe 150 pages.
Good Omens (Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman) The story of the end of days from the point of view of a reluctant angel and demon who are trying to stop it from happening. Not quite YA, but I loved it all the same. 300 pages.
A Man Called Ove (Fredrik Backman) Yeah ,I know you hated the movie. But it’s a beautiful story about a cranky old man, why he is cranky, and why, inside, he is beautiful and helps change everyone’s lives for the better. 300 pages.
He Gave Me Barn Cats (Maria Santomasso-Hyde). I actually met Maria in her shop up in North Carolina and bought a book. It’s the story of a woman (Maria herself) who is dealing with death after death in her family, and how she overcomes it. Beautiful story. 150 pages?
The Jungle Book (Rudyard Kipling) – not the Disney version, the story of Mowgli amongst the animals, dealing with a tiger sworn to kill him. Guessing 200 pages.
Ready Player One (Ernest Cline) – An interesting YA book set in the near future, when the main kid has to solve a mystery about video games. 200 page?
Shades of Grey (Jasper Fforde ) – Not 50 shades. This is a book that I found very interesting, about a world where people can only see one color each. And your position in society depends on what color you see. Guessing 200 pages.
Space Boy – Okay, this one is a webtoon (a comic) but it’s great for kids. It’s about a little girl and a little boy and the boy has a very strange secret. 350 or so episodes and you can find the first one here:
I mean, a picture is worth a thousand words, right? I’m currently reading it.
Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson) – a classic which I’ve read several times. Pirates. Treasure. A plucky boy hero. What more could you want? Maybe 300 pages?
War of the Worlds (H.G. Wells). I read this when I was about 13-14 and it rocked my world. Imagine living in 1890 in England and you get invaded by unstoppable Martian war machines? 250 pages
Battlefield Earth (L. Ron Hubbard) Ignoring the fact that he’s a lunatic and the movie was awful, this book was a lot of fun to read and pretty easy. If you’re looking to knock off a bunch of “books” at once, this one was a monster at 800 pages.
Watership Down (Richard Adams). Hey, how scary can a book about rabbits be? Um, pretty tense, and very exciting. I’m thinking at least 300 pages, possibly 400.