Young Adult Fiction I’ve read and you may like to too?

The Hate You Give – Angie Thomas (USA)
“This is Angie Thomas’ debut novel and was published in 2017. The book was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.”

Cuz – Liz Van Der Laarse (NZ)
“Cuz is like a New Zealand Hatchet” – David Riley
“Cousins thrown together into this Fiordland survival situation, relying on each other’s skills and knowledge to get out alive.” – Wendy Bamber

Pōrangi Boy – Shilo Kino (NZ)
“Twelve-year-old Niko lives in Pohe Bay, a small, rural town with a sacred hot spring and a taniwha named Taukere. The government wants to build a prison over the home of the taniwha, and Niko’s grandfather is busy protesting. People call him pōrangi, crazy, but when he dies, it’s up to Niko to convince his community that the taniwha is real and stop the prison from being built. With help from his friend Wai, Niko must unite his whanau, honour his grandfather and stand up to his childhood bully.” – booksforkids

Shooting Stars – Brian Falkner (NZ)
I couldn’t put this down.
“Egan Tucker is fifteen and has been in hiding his entire life.
He has never known television, the Internet or even electricity.
He has never seen hot and cold running water or a flush toilet.
His food comes from the forest or the stream, not from a supermarket.
The boundaries of his world are the hills that surround the tiny valley he calls home.
But Egan’s life is about to change.
Forced to leave his home, he must venture out into a world that is unlike anything he has ever known.
He is not ready for this world.
And the world is not ready for Egan.” – goodreads

Flight of the Fantail – Steph Matuku (NZ)
“A busload of high school students crashes in bush in a remote part of Aotearoa New Zealand. Only a few of the teenagers survive; they find their phones don’t work, there’s no food, and they’ve only got their wits to keep them alive. There’s also something strange happening here. Why are the teenagers having nosebleeds and behaving erratically, and why is the rescue effort slow to arrive? To make it out, they have to discover what’s really going on and who or what is behind it all.” – huiabookshop

The Nature of Ash – Mandy Hagar (NZ)
Winner of LIANZA Young Adult Fiction Award 2013. Shortlisted for NZ Post Children’s Book Awards 2013, this story is a real page turner. Set mostly in Wellington | Whanganui-a-Tara, New Zealand | Aotearoa, in a dystopian future, where unemployment is at a peak due to the selling of state owned assets which finds lower socio economic Chinese enslaved in NZ and working now Chinese owned dairy farms (located in Aotearoa), the products being exported directly to this superpower China. In one goodreads review Adele comments: This is a cracker read. Disturbingly real, set in Wellington (home for me) and Whanganui New Zealand, Mandy has painted a scenario that’s blisteringly plausible and uncomfortably real. Excellent writing.
Catalogued as Dystopian Fiction, alongside Adventure & Mystery. Explores complex families, mental health, disability, homophobia among other ideas.

The Outsiders – SE Hinton (USA)
Shamefully? hadn’t read this text till now. A 1960s American classic written as a debut novel by SE Hinton, when young adult fiction wasn’t a thing (yet). Coined as a coming of age text, what I thought could work well about studying this classic is the novel is slim, helping get any of those ‘reluctant readers’ over the line. A tale of desperation, sacrifice, loyalty, courage and compassion – I found it difficult to put down, over the summer holidays. Male teen characters. Gang culture. Camraderie, loyalty and brotherly love. Explores neglect and abuse also.

The Boy and the Back of the Class – Onjali Q. Rauf (UK)
Try not to let the cartoon drawing of the boy with a backpack deter you, perhaps focus on the ‘Blue Peter Book Awards shortlist’ sticker on the front cover instead. Starring a nearly 10 year old as the protagonist, this story is set mainly in a school, with a caring Teacher Mrs Kahn and a group of what starts as 4 friends, and soon becomes 5 when another joins the back of the class, We finally learn the boy with the ‘lion’ eyes is a refugee, and that his new friends want to help him reunite with his mum and dad, left behind somewhere in Europe. A story about bullying, racism, ethics and bravery – I can imagine using this text in the classroom. The only thing I’m not sure about, is with what age…Maybe year 6/7, possibly even year 5. Dyslexic friendly publishing.

Uncomfortable conversations with a black boy – Emmanuel Acho (USA)
An adaptation of ‘Uncomfortable conversations with a black man’ I can imagine this text being read by an accomplished year 10 reader OR year 11+. Emmanuel Acho based both books on this viral video series:

Photo credit: Ngā mihi, Zani Izzuddin – Unsplash

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