Ahhhh, the YA Transition. There’s this slightly awkward stage of reading that usually hits people somewhere between 12 and 15. Where the transition from picture to chapter books can be done quickly, almost like ripping off a band-aid, the transition from YA lit to books written solely for adults happens so much more slowly and painfully. Not nearly enough is done in schools to help students transition from reading books written primarily for them, to books written for an older demographic. Why anyone put Romeo and Juliet in my hands and age 14 and asked me to read Act I without any kind of introduction is beyond me. I had no idea what iambic pentameter was, nor did I know where to find Verona on a map. I wish I had help making the transition from The Face on the Milk Carton to Lord of the Flies (ugh), but as it were, I was on my own.
A love of reading might not be enough to carry everyone through their middle and high school years. There’s a lot more studying going on, and a lot of reading because you have to, not reading because you want to. I owe these books listed everything. It’s because of them that I’m still reading. The categories are new this time around, YA Books, and Books. You know, just regular, grown-up books.
Peaches, by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Chains, by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Silent Boy, by Lois Lowry
Day of Tears, by Julius Lester
What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
Confessions of a Closet Catholic, by Sarah Darer Littman
Elsewhere, by Gabrielle Zevin
I Kill the Mockingbird, by Paul Acampora
Little Altars Everywhere, by Rebecca Wells
I’m a Stranger Here Myself, by Bill Bryson
The Kite Runner, by Kahled Hosseini
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, by Mark Haddon