Author Julie Bertagna chooses her Top 10 favourites:
In no order whatsoever, these are just the tip of a very big iceberg…
For Twihards needing a fix of vampires, werewolves and weird, erotic adventures – Angela Carter did it first and best. Check out The Bloody Chamber and other short stories where young heroines in peril defy what’s expected of them.
Philip Reeve’s stunning streampunk adventures in a post-apocalyptic world, renamed Predator Cities, has an opening line I really wish I’d written: ‘It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea.’
I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith – classic YA territory. A coming of age story set in a dysfunctional family (the father indulging his writer’s block is a brilliant warning about missed chances) yet it’s unique. Strange, dark, funny, quirky and beautifully written, it reduces me to tears every time.
Ostrich Boys by Keith Gray – the aftermath of a teen suicide becomes a crazy road trip that’s laugh-out-loud funny while exploring the emotional fall-out of a group of boys after a friend’s tragic death. Genius.
The Carbon Diaries by Saci Lloyd – diary of a pissed-off teen eco-warrior in a near-future world in crisis.
Philip Pullman’s The Amber Spyglass – the culmination of His Dark Materials is a big, blockbusting love story of two teenagers against the forces of the universe. Bursting with imagination and humanity.
I Am Apache by Tanya Landman – the incredibly powerful voice and story of a young apache girl who becomes a warrior to avenge her brother’s death.
True fairytales are not for fainthearts – Robin McKinley’s Deerskin* is brutal and tender. Spellbinding storytelling.
Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman – a groundbreaking dystopian thriller that turns the world on its head.
Once In A House on Fire by Andrea Ashworth is an unforgettable survival story of a girl in a war zone – her family. For every teen who thinks they’ll never escape.
(*American Robin McKinley has lived and written in the UK for many years so I’m claiming her as ours!)