Tuesday, 7 January 2014

34 UKYA(ish) Books You Should Read But Probably Haven't

Classic Children's/YA returns next week, but first, after a couple of posts on Twitter, I got to thinking what would be my absolute favourite books of all time by UK authors? And what are the books that not enough bloggers are talking about? I was surprised to find there was a significant overlap, so here - either because they're a bit older, or because they seem to be flying under the radar - are 34 recommendations.

Edit: I restricted it to books either currently in print or at least available on Kindle (explaining the lack of my beloved Drina series and of The Chalet School in Exile, amongst others.)

Thanks go to LH Johnson, Faye, Debbie and Sue Ransom and her daughter for giving me feedback on what counted as 'under the radar'. (There are a few borderline calls, generally made by looking at number of ratings/reviews on Goodreads as a very rough estimate of popularity amongst bloggers - I know several bloggers who love The Bone Dragon, but it's one of those books that EVERYONE should read rather than just quite a few people. Susie Day's staggeringly great Pea series seems to have less bloggers raving about it than her also-wonderful YA books, as well. And I'm pleased that quite a few teens today still love I Capture The Castle, for example, but anyone who hasn't read it needs to do so NOW!)

As ever, comments would be awesome! (Unless you're trying to sell me whatever 50% of my recent commenters have been trying to sell me, in which case, not today thank you.) For those not trying to sell stuff, how many have you read? Any you particularly agree/disagree with? What would be on your list?

Autumn Term Antonia Forest classic children's
Clever Polly series Catherine Storr classic children's
Dark is Rising sequence Susan Cooper classic children's
Five Children And It E Nesbit classic children's
I Capture The Castle Dodie Smith classic children's
Jennings series Anthony Buckeridge classic children's
The Snow Spider Jenny Nimmo classic children's
Mike series PG Wodehouse classic children's
The Dark Behind The Curtain Gillian Cross classic children's
Trebizon series Anne Digby classic children's
Tulip Touch Anne Fine classic children's
Whispers in the Graveyard Theresa Breslin classic children's
Dougal Trump series Jackie Marchant MG
For The Record Ellie Irving MG
Life, Death and Gold Leather Trousers Fiona Foden MG
My Big Fat Teen Crisis Jenny Smith MG
Pea's Book series Susie Day MG
Black Sheep Na'ima B Robert YA
Daylight Saving Edward Hogan YA
Debutantes series Cora Harrison YA
Have A Little Faith  Candy Harper YA
Heroic Phil Earle YA
In Bloom Matthew Crow YA
Lottie Biggs trilogy Hayley Long YA
Love in Revolution BR Collins YA
My Family and Other Freaks Carol Midgley YA
St Thomas's books  Simon Packham YA
Tarzan series Andy Briggs YA
The Bone Dragon Alexia Casale YA
The Summer of Telling Tales Laura Summers YA
The Things We Did For Love Natasha Farrant YA
Weirdos vs Quimboids Natasha Desborough YA
Lost Art Of Keeping Secrets Eva Rice Adult but teen characters
Coming Home Rosamunde Pilcher adult, but characters teens for part.


  1. Elinor Lyon's books- reprinted by Fidra - a severely underrated author

  2. I'm going to make myself unpopular and suggest that I Capture the Castle is overrated. There I said it.

    On a more positive note, I think that The Bone Dragon will pick up more readers once it's in paperback - I know that's what I'm waiting for and teens often don't splash out on hardbacks if they don't know the author.

    Also, yes The Tulip Touch is the most searingly brilliant and disturbing order of YA and everyone who thinks they know this age range should read it.