Click here for some authors we’ve talked to about their books and their process.

And click below for some recommendations from some authors we trust.


Jeff Zentner

Jeff Zentner is a guitarist and songwriter and the author of the starkly beautiful debut YA novel The Serpent King (our full review here).


  • The First Time She Drowned
  • Kerry Kletter
  • “An absolutely gorgeous, lyrical, and unflinching story about a girl escaping from under the thumb of a toxic mother and living her own life.”

  • How to Hang a Witch
  • Adriana Mather
  • “A delightfully spooky, twist-turny, and gripping mystery set in a haunted present-day Salem, Massachusetts.”

  • The Love That Split the World
  • Emily Henry
  • “A beautiful and romantic time travel story set in small-town Kentucky.”

  • Kids of Appetite
  • David Arnold
  • (out in September) “A hilarious, quirky, and warm story about murder, first love, and families of choice.”

  • Everything, Everything
  • Nicola Yoon
  • “A sweet and swoony story about a girl who’s allergic to the world.”

  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
  • Becky Albertalli
  • “A hilarious, warm, and wise coming-out and coming-of-age story.”

  • More Happy Than Not
  • Adam Silvera
  • “A heartbreaking story about a young man running from his own memory.”

Peter Brown

is an illustrator and a writer.  Probably best know for his books about a dog named Chowder.  But he’s working on plenty of new books right now.

  • I can't overemphasize how perfectly James Marshall balances sweetness and absurdity in these stories.

  • Everyone Poops
  • Everyone Poops is a continuous source of 'inspiration.

  • James and the Giant Peach
  • Witty dialogue, fantastical adventure and a wonderfully dark sense of humor seem to effortlessly flow from Roald Dahl's pen.

  • This series is perhaps the most unique, thoughtful, and provocative fantasy I’ve ever read.

  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  • I was mesmerized by the way Verne describes the science and logic of the world in which this story takes place.

Tony DiTerlizzi

is the illustrator of The Spiiderwick Chronicles, The Spider and the Fly, Ted, and many more.  He uses his powers for good.

  • Peter Pan and Wendy
  • J.M. Barrie's classic has surly pirates, bloodthirsty native Americans, a hungry crocodile, feisty faeries and flying kids with weapons . . . what more could you ask for?

  • Watership Down
  • Richard Adams takes you on an incredible quest from a home colony that’s completely eradicated to Shangri la. One the way, there are monsters, villains, allies, oh, and a fascist leader trying to seize the hero's new home . . . and its all told with rabbits. You read that right — rabbits.

  • The Mouse and the Motorcycle
  • Mouse buddy + toy motorcycle = Awesome!

  • The Lorax
  • In my mind, this one of Dr. Seuss’s undisputed classics. Sadly, we need the Lorax now more than ever.

  • Lafcadio: The Lion That Shot Back
  • One of Shel Silverstein's lesser known titles, but one of my all-time favorites. Actually, I learned about this one when my younger brother read it for school and had me help with his book report. It is one of those stories that you will always remember.

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."

Jason Reynolds

JASON REYNOLDS is crazy. About stories. After earning a BA in English from The University of Maryland, College Park, he moved to Brooklyn, New York, where you can often find him walking the four blocks from the train to his apartment talking to himself. Well, not really talking to himself, but just repeating character names and plot lines he thought of on the train, over and over again, because he's afraid he'll forget it all before he gets home. When I Was the Greatest is his debut novel. His next, The Boy in the Black Suit, comes out in 2015. He's also the co-author of (in our opinion) the criminally-overlooked poetry/art hybrid memoir My Name is Jason. Mine Too.: Our Story. Our Way.

From his website: "Here's what I know: I know there are a lot - A LOT - of young people who hate reading. I know that many of these book haters are boys. I know that many of these book-hating boys, don't actually hate books, they hate boredom. If you are reading this, and you happen to be one of these boys, first of all, you're reading this so my master plan is already working (muahahahahahaha) and second of all, know that I feel you. I REALLY do. Because even though I'm a writer, I hate reading boring books too."

  • The Young Landlords
  • Walter Dean Myers
  • It's a brilliantly gritty story about a bunch of kids who get swindled into taking over a slum building. Super creative, yet totally feasible in New York City.

  • Kira-Kira
  • Cynthia Kadohata
  • The story takes place in the sixties in the segregated south. Black people know where they stand. White people know where they stand. But what about a Japanese family?

  • Noggin
  • John Corey Whaley
  • Smart and hilarious story about a young man who is dying and his parents decide to cryogenically freeze his head. A few years later, he's back from the dead. And he's still in high school.

  • The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey
  • Walter Mosley
  • One of the gems that flew under the radar because Mosely is so prolific. But it's a sweet, yet biting story about an elder man, Ptolemy Grey, suffering from dementia.

  • Erasure
  • Percival Everett
  • It's a weird book about a stuffy writer and his hatred for the industry. His frustration with his agent wanting him to write a "sellable" book pushes him to pen "street fiction" just as a middle finger to the corporate publishing structure. Madness ensues, and it's downright hilarious.