Celebrating Young Adult fiction by UK authors

La Jongleuse chooses her Top 10 UKYA novels


The blogger knows as Jongleuse chooses her Top 10 books. 

1) Siobhan Dowd A Swift Pure Cry

Simply one of the most beautiful, heartbreaking books in any genre I’ve ever read.

2) Julie Bertagna Exodus and sequels

Julie Bertagna has deservedly cropped up on many best of YA lists. Her post-global warming trilogy spanning generations and continents, as well as being exquisitely written, is a great adventure story.

3) David Almond, My Name is Mina

Prequel to Skellig, but not like any other prequel you’ve read. Anything and everything by David Almond is worth reading.

4) Meg Rosoff, There is No Dog

How I live Now is Meg’s best-known book, but I loved this quirky tale of a teenage boy playing God, delivered, as usual, in Meg’s precise, beautiful prose.

5) Terry Pratchett, The Wee Free Men and sequels

What to say about Sir Terry? If you’re a fan of fantasy, humour and metaphysics in equal quantities, the Tiffany Aching series is a brilliant place to start, although most of his output is eminently YA suitable anyway.

6) Anthony McGowan, Henry Tumour

Funny, sad and outrageous.

7) Celia Rees, Witch Child

This one really pushed the boundaries of historical fiction, away from bodice-rippers to something darker and more thought provoking.

8) Kevin Brooks, Naked

Brooks’ writing is taut and clever. Being (only just) old enough to remember punk first time round I loved this book about a teen punk rock star and her involvement with a young man who has a troubled past. Anything by Brooks is worth reading, however.

9) Jan Mark, They do things differently there

Jan Mark is not much read these days (sadly I think this one’s out of print) but she was outrageously talented. This story of two girls who invent an alternative world (Stalemate) in their boring New Town is brilliantly original.

10) Scarlett Thomas, The End of Mr. Y

Not marketed a YA but older teens would adore this weird, heady fantasy with heavy literary pretensions. I love the idea of the Alex awards in the USA where non-YA books are rewarded for being great teen reads.

Author: K

YA writer. Voracious reader. Feminist. Home educator. Addicted to tea and Twitter.

5 thoughts on “La Jongleuse chooses her Top 10 UKYA novels

  1. Loved ‘There is No Dog’ myself. It’s so quirky it just grabbed me and I especially loved how God was obsessed with a rubenesque female character. So refreshing to 1) be able to use ‘rubenesque’ to describe someone in a review and 2) have a female character I don’t have an instant cookie cutter ‘slim build’ image of.

    God made an awesome manic horny teenager and I wish I could think of a way to describe the whole debacle with God’s pet and his mum properly so as to really make clear how much of a good fun read this book is!

    This was the first book of Rosoff’s I’d read and I really want to go and read the others now – did you know ‘How I Live Now’ is being made into a film?

    • Yes-the film sounds amazing! S
      orry so late to reply but I’d read HILN next, then Just in Case then The Bride’s Farewell. Was lucky enough to hear Meg reading an extract of her latest novel recently, sounds wonderful and intriguing…

  2. Thanks for the mention, Jongleuse!

  3. Fab pick for They Do Things Differently There – a wonderful, and sadly underrated, book.

  4. Thanks for comments everyone and to Keris for giving me the opportunity! Can’t wait to see the final UKYA top 10 picks!