Books to keep you (and your teens) reading this holiday season

Maggie Stiefvater knows a thing or two about inspiring teenagers to read. While she may look more like the high school audience she writes for than their parents, The Wolves of Mercy Falls author has been capturing the minds of young adult readers with her enchanting tales of urban fantasy since 2008.

With her newest novel Blue Lily, Lily Blue (the third installment in her mesmerizing and wildly popular The Raven Cycle series) set to be one of the most requested books for teens this holiday season, we thought we’d ask Maggie for her expert opinion on how to keep kids reading during winter break.

This is Maggie’s Stiefvater’s list of great YA to hook your teen into a book—stories that not only keep a teen’s attention but also create ravenous readers—compelled to consume an author’s entire catalogue.

  1. Tales of Outer Suburbia, by Shaun Tan: A lovely collection of illustrated short fiction, whimsical, honest, and bright-eyed.

  2. Out of the Easy, by Ruta Sepatys: a satisfying and cinematic historical set in New Orleans.

  3. Revolution, by Jennifer Donnelly: a genre-leaping novel which is sort of about French time travel and mostly not.

  4. Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein: a twisty-character-driven WWII novel with great friendships.

  5. Keturah & Lord Death, by Martine Leavitt: a perennial favorite of mine, with one of my favorite conceits — Death personified.

  6. Fiendish, by Brenna Yovanoff: her latest supernatural offering is steeped with Southern humidity and creepiness.

  7. Beware the Wild, by Natalie Parker: speaking of Southern humidity and creepiness, this debut novel about swamp magic is a good follow-up to Fiendish.

  8. Skellig, by David Almond: This classic is a brief mouthful of hope and myth and atmosphere.

  9. Someday this Pain Will Be Useful To You, by Peter Cameron: I’d never missed a character like I’d miss a real person until I finished this book; it literally changed the way I wrote.

  10. Fire & Hemlock, by Diana Wynne Jones: I know I always recommend this one, but DWJ was a huge influence on me as a teen writer, and this Tam Lin retelling is one of her best teen offerings.


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