Listening is a great way to experience a story.

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Here are some recommendations from some guys we trust.

Patrick Jones

is the undisputed Light Heavyweight Champion of All-Things-Wrestling-In-The-Library.  This is his Book / Fight Club List: Ten best for teen boys about things in the ring.

  • Becoming the Natural, My Life In and Out of the Cage
  • There are many UFC biographies out, so it's who you like. I'm an old guy; I like the old guy.

  • Headlock
  • A novel about a teen breaking into wrestling while wrestling with some problems of his own. The author is a Ric Flair fan (whooo!).

  • Lion’s Tale, Around the World in Spandex
  • There's a lot of wrestling biographies out there, but Y2J's is probably best of the newer ones probably because he takes himself the least serious of all the squared circle scribes.

  • Mondo Lucha A Go-Go, The Bizarre and Honorable World of Wild Mexican Wrestling
  • Filled with photos of these masked Mexican wrestlers, this is a must to understand the history and scope of pro wrestling.

  • Octagon
  • Nothing but photos of UFC fighters through all stages of their careers. From the founders like Ken Shamrock to the modern kings of eight-sided cage, a wonderful way to browse the history of UFC.

  • Title Shot, Into the Shark Tank of Mixed Martial Arts
  • The book follows the author's journey to become a MMA fighter. He thought training for the Army was hard work. Welcome to the cage.

  • Warrior Angel
  • The 4th novel of a series that started in the 1960s still punches hard with hard punches and harder choices.

  • Whole Sky Full of Stars
  • A quick little read about a young man trying to earn money, and respect, by winning a boxing tournament.

  • Why I Fight, A Novel
  • The gritty covers lets you know the story inside is a tough one about a young man searching for himself, one fight at a time.

  • WWE Encyclopedia
  • You get photos, lists, more photos, and more lists. As JR would say, "Business is about to pick up."

Mo Willems

  • The Complete Peanuts
  • Charles M. Schulz
  • The gold standard of comic strips. Fun for everyone; except Charlie Brown, who seems a little down on his luck.

  • The Complete George and Martha
  • James Marshall
  • Lessons learned include: just because you've got a best friend doesn't mean you have to pour pea soup in your shoes. I try to re-read this before I start making new book.

  • The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
  • Bill Watterson
  • When Hobbes is wise, Calvin is a stinker. When Hobbes is hungry, Calvin is in trouble.

  • Go, Dog, Go!
  • Philip D. Eastman
  • A dog party in a tree? Wait for me, I’ve got to get my hat!

  • Cul De Sac, This Exit
  • The best comic strip you've never heard of. Alice and her family walk in the footsteps of Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes, only sideways.

  • Children at Play, A Cul-de-Sac Collection

Michael Northrop

Michael Northrop is a writer living in New York City, author of three YA novels: Gentlemen, one of the American Library Association/YALSA's Best Books for Young Adults; Trapped, an ALA/YALSA Readers' Choice List selection, an Indie Next List pick, and a Barnes & Noble Must-Read for Teens; and Rotten. His first middle grade novel, Plunked, was named one of the best children's books of the year by the New York Public Library. His writing has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Sports Illustrated Kids, McSweeney's, Weird Tales, and many other places. His latest YA novel is Surrounded by Sharks. You can find him on the internet here

 

  • Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal
  • Ben Macintyre
  • "Fantastic World War II nonfiction: a high-stakes British spy thriller that just happens to be true."

  • Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made
  • Stephan Pastis
  • "Hilarious, endearing, and includes a polar bear - what more do you want? This book made me wish I could draw (or at least doodle really well)."

  • Tales of H.P. Lovecraft
  • H.P. Lovecraft
  • "Lovecraft's stories are profoundly weird, insanely good, and they changed horror writing forever, and for the better (which is to say, weirder)."

  • Rumble Fish
  • S.E. Hinton
  • "A short, tough book that hits hard and leaves a mark. Not as famous as The Outsiders, but it had just as big of an impact on me. It was the first novel I reread when I decided to write YA."

     

  • A Separate Peace
  • John Knowles
  • "Darn near perfect: a little masterpiece that quietly tackles the big questions."

Jarrett J. Krosoczka

  • Where The Wild Things Are
  • Three words: "The Wild Rumpus!" It doesn't get much better than that!

  • James and the Giant Peach
  • This book has everything — adventure, bugs . . . and a giant peach!

  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle
  • When I was a kid, I wished that I had a mouse who could ride a motorcycle. And now that I'm a grown-up, I still do!

  • The Chocolate Touch
  • I’m a huge chocolate fan, but this book sure made me think twice about what I wished for!

  • The Celery Stalks at Midnight, Bunnicula
  • A cute bunny that sucks vegetables dry? Yikes! These books kept me at the edge of my seat.

  • Fudge-a-mania
  • Start with a Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and read all the way through the books until you get to Double Fudge. These books are hysterical and relatable!

David Yoo

  • The Last Picture Show
  • Although it takes place in a tiny, dusty Texas town that's nothing like the New England town I grew up in, this is easily my favorite coming-of-age story, ever, period.
  • Then Again, Maybe I Won’t
  • Given the fact that I asked for a pair of binoculars for Christmas (for "bird watching"), too, this was the teen novel that spoke to me when I was 13.
  • The Postman Always Rings Twice
  • My favorite noir writer, this is one of the best plotted stories, ever, in my opinion, with one of the most satisfying endings to a story to boot.
  • Rats Saw God
  • This was the first recent(ish) YA novel that got me excited to write about teens, because it made me think I was reading about, well . . . me.

  • Rosemary’s Baby
  • This horror story is just about perfect in every way, and I've read it maybe 50 times in my lifetime. The movie's one of my favorites, too.
  • Franny and Zooey
  • A decidedly strange little novel that for the life of me I can't quite describe why it's one of my favorites, but it just is.