Skip to main content

Five young adult authors you should know

The genre is awash with great fiction writers, but this crop really deserve teachers' attention, writes this YA fan

News article image

The genre is awash with great fiction writers, but this crop really deserve teachers' attention, writes this YA fan

Everyone always thinks of The Hunger Games or Twilight when young adult fiction is mentioned. Either that or the writer John Green is the first name to people's lips. 

But YA is a diverse and exciting genre that has much more to offer. As a fan of these books, I have singled out five writers I think every teacher should be aware of. Please feel free to add to the list in the comments!  

1. Holly Bourne

British author Bourne has won plaudits from teens and adults alike for her willingness to examine uncomfortable topics, mental health in particular. Her best-known work, Am I Normal Yet?, tells the story of one girl's battle with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Unfailingly funny and moving, Bourne captures the difficult reality of being a young person in a confusing world.

2. Cassandra Clare

Her six-strong series, The Mortal Instruments, was a bestseller in the US, with the first book, City of Bones, adapted into an action blockbuster in 2013. Clare's dark modern fantasy is winning fans across the world. She is currently working on the third instalment in the sequel series, Queen of Air and Darkness, to be published in December.

3. Nicola Yoon

Jamaican-American author Nicola Yoon is best known for her renowned 2015 novel, Everything, Everything, which was turned into a film of the same name last year. The follow-up, The Sun is Also a Star, is an offbeat love story about what happens when science and fate collide. Yoon's works are sure to interest older readers looking beyond the traditional boy-meets-girl. 

4. Alwyn Hamilton

Hamilton’s first book, Rebel of the Sands, was released in 2016, winning praise for its high-concept desert adventure. The sequel, Traitor to the Throne, was published last year to glowing reviews and the third part of the trilogy, Hero at the Fall, came out in February. Definitely one to watch.

5. Markus Zusak

Many will remember Zusak’s smash-hit novel, The Book Thief, which tugged at the world's heartstrings with its moving account of life in wartime Germany. Fewer are familiar with his other novels, though. His fiery fantasies, such as The Underdog, Getting the Girl and I Am the Messenger, will delight YA readers. 

Elliot Douglas is a student at the University of St Andrews

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you