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.

 

Alison DeCamp

Alison DeCamp is the author of My Near-Death Adventures (99% True!), as well as a former teacher and current booksller at Between the Covers bookstore in Harbor Springs, Michigan. 

“I have a daughter and a son, I’ve taught middle school and high school and worked at a bookstore. These are all books I love, can sell, and that my children loved as well.”

  • Across the Nightingale Floor, Tales of the Otori, Book 1
  • Lian Hearn
  • Kind of a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fantasy set in an alternate Japan where people can have superpowers. It’s really well-done fantasy.

  • Knucklehead
  • Jon Scieszka
  • A fantastic graphic novel about Jon’s boyhood in Flint, Michigan, where my husband is also from. It’s funny and real and mostly funny.

  • Out from Boneville, Boneville Series, #1
  • Jeff Smith
  • These are so imaginative, innocent, and creative. I am a big fan of smart graphic novels and how they make us think.

  • The Eddie Dickens Trilogy
  • Philip Ardagh
  • There’s a stuffed stoat in these books. I’m not even sure what that is, but do I really need to say more?

  • The Willoughbys
  • Lois Lowry
  • Same Lois Lowry as THE GIVER, but a completely different kind of story, one where the kids are super smart and the adults need to get a clue.

  • Winger
  • Andrew Smith
  • My 16 y.o. has read and reread this book about a 14 y.o. rugby player. It’s a story about all the confusion that’s part and parcel of growing up while simultaneously injecting humor and love and redemption into the entire mix.

  • Nicholas
  • Jean-Jacques Sempe
  • Nicholas is irreverent and slightly naughty and a bit clueless but always funny.

  • How They Croaked, The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous
  • Georgia Bragg
  • (by Georgia Bragg & Kevin O’Malley)

    Just like the title says, this is a book about how famous people died. But really it’s a history book.

  • We Were Liars
  • E.Lockhart
  • I read this book in three hours. Granted, I told my family I wasn’t feeling well so they actually left me alone for that amount of time, but I devoured this book. There’s an unreliable narrator and a shocking ending and a slew of open-ended questions that we still argue about in our house.

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."

Micol Ostow

Here are some of my favorite spooky novels (in some cases thrillers or otherwise twisty), and in particular books that influenced me while I was working on Amity!

  • The Haunting of Hill House
  • Shirley Jackson
  • "The ne plus ultimate haunted house story, I like to think of Amity's Gwen as sort of a modern spin on Eleanor, a young woman seeing and experiencing ghostly things, whose mind and perceptions can't be trusted."

  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle
  • Shirley Jackson
  • "A slow-burner filled with atmosphere. Merricat is the platonic ideal of an unreliable narrator."

  • The Shining
  • Stephen King
  • "A suggestible man, prone to violence, isolated in a hotel that exerts evil force over his will... Jack Torrance is to Amity's Connor as Hill House's Eleanor is to Gwen."

  • Tighter
  • Adele Griffin
  • "A modern take on The Turn of the Screw, Griffin draws from chilling source material and makes it her own for today's teen readers."

  • To Die For
  • Joyce Maynard
  • "A dark and twisty thriller (the movie's great, too) that serves up multiple POV's on a platter. I spent a lot of time poring over the many distinct voices of that book."

  • The Maddaddam trilogy
  • Margaret Atwood
  • "Epic and sprawling, boldly visionary, and still she manages to tie all of her narrative threads together by the series' conclusion. To spend ten minutes in that woman's head!"

  • Dangerous Girls
  • Abigail Haas
  • "Pacing, pacing, pacing. Totally un-put-downable."

  • The Amityville Horror
  • Jay Anson
  • "(That one probably goes without saying.)"

  • We Were Liars
  • E.Lockhart
  • "The pages turn and the ending twists!"

Dan Gutman

Anything by Robert Benchley, Woody Allen, Mark Twain, Dave Barry, Roald Dahl, Robert Cormier, Jack Gantos, Peg Kehret, Gary Paulsen, Carl Hiassen, Andrew Clements, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Gordon Korman, Roland Smith, Anthony Horowitz, and some guy named Jon Scieszka.

  • The Invention of Hugo Cabret
  • Genius. The Sgt. Pepper of children's books.

  • Hatchet
  • Still the best survival story.

  • Ball Four
  • This is the book that turned me on to reading. For the first time, somebody wrote like they were having a conversation with me.

  • Yertle the Turtle
  • Or anything by Dr. Seuss. Can’t beat it.

  • Mad Magazine
  • Without it, all intelligent life on Earth would have ceased to exist.

Michael Buckley

  • The Outsiders
  • S.E. Hinton
  • A timeless story of outcasts versus the privileged. Exciting and heartbreaking — Hinton should be applauded for understanding the mind of a guy so well.

  • All Star Superman Books 1 and 2
  • Frank Quitely
  • Lex Luthor finally finds a way to kill Superman and the Big Blue Boy Scout prepares for his death with a shocking ending no one could have seen.

  • Lord of the Flies
  • William Golding
  • A ship full of children from an all boys' school crashes on the beach of a deserted island. Unfortunately, it isn't long before the kids stop working together and break up into tribes with dark and deadly results.

  • Pinocchio
  • Carlo Collodi
  • Most people have seen the movie but few have read the book and that’s a shame. Pinocchio is a walking nightmare and hilarious.

  • The Graveyard Book
  • Neil Gaiman
  • An adaptation of the Jungle Book but instead of a boy being raised by wolves, he's reared by ghosts in an abandoned cemetery. It's chilling and dark, yet a powerful lesson on how a boy becomes a man.