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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Call For Submissions: Y.A. Stand Alone Book

The adults-only book with this same title is...
quite different.
What is the best young adult fiction book?

So, a thing happened in these last two days.

On Tuesday, I announced that Y.A. would be the subject of the next poll, and in just these forty-eight hours, I've had about a dozen people tell me how excited they are about the poll, but that they're not sure how on Earth they're going to keep it down to a few submissions.

So I decided to break up the Y.A. polls a bit.

This month we will do Y.A. stand alone books. Next month we will do Y.A. series, and in November we will do Y.A. authors.

September: best stand alone Y.A. book. 

As many, many, many YA books are eventually given sequels it is not necessary that your nomination be a stand alone book, but simply that you are only nominating the one book.

Thus, if you thought The Hunger Games was the best Y.A. book ever, but you thought that Mockingjay was a cash-cow, bullshit, slapped-together, story with contrived premises and shoehorned characters that was easily one of the worst books you've read since White Teeth, you can nominate JUST The Hunger Games.

Also, if you really like a series as a whole (like Divergent), I encourage you to wait until next month when the poll will be Y.A. series.

The definition of "young adult fiction" is pretty elastic. It is not kids books and it is not adult books but it's pretty tough to define exactly where either of those demarcations begins or ends exactly. Even the most iconic and best selling young adult series of all time (Harry Potter) arguably starts out as a children's book (and a case could even be made that Deathly Hollows is an adult book, not a young adult book). So, as usual, I'm depending on you all to use your best judgement in the nomination process.  If you nominate The Tommyknockers or Green Eggs and Ham you obviously missed the point but if you think an advanced Roald Dahl or easy Steinbeck novel is Y.A., I'm not going to argue.

If you feel very strongly about what is or isn't Y.A., you are welcome to open a discussion in the comments but I would ask that you play very nice with the people who have made nominations that you wouldn't. Nothing pours cold water on a possibly awesome conversation like "Clearly you don't even know what Soandso even MEANS..."

The rules:

1- You may nominate two (2) books. (If you nominate more than two books, I take your first two nominations and ignore the rest cause I'm a megalomanic on a power trip who insists you have reading comprehension and follow rules.) If you have "a dozen favorites," I would recommend waiting for a few days to see if some of them don't get nominated by other people first. If you can't possibly limit it down to two books you may try bribing me with sexual favors, but I'm actually pretty picky, so it really helps to look good in a pleated skirt.

2- As stated above, this is about individual books, but they can be books in a series.

3- You can second as many nominations as you like, and in fact, you should. Given the interest in this poll, it is highly unlikely that I will be able to take every nomination, so only the ten or twelve with the most "seconds" will be going on to the poll.

Please don't forget to make your nomination as a comment on this post rather than as a reply on the social media where I cross post the blog. I'll take them from any medium, but you are much less likely to get a second if you just reply to this on G+ or Facebook.

48 comments:

  1. For a friend on FB having trouble commenting:

    "Let the Right One In" (Latte den Ratte Komme In) by John Ajvide Lindqvist,
    "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky.

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  2. "The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963" by Christopher Paul Curtis
    and "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card (sorry)

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    Replies
    1. I second Ender's Game. Even ooky writers can create gold.

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  3. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. (This was considered "too mature" for a 2012 NPR list of YA books, and that decision made me want to clock someone.)

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  4. My nominations are "A Christmas Carol" and "The Wizard of Oz"

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    Replies
    1. I really think Oz is way stronger as a series (the first book was my least favorite).

      But I will second "A Christmas Carol".

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  5. "Elsewhere" by Will Shetterly, and "Rx" by Tracy Lynn.

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  6. Glasgow Fairytale by Alastair D McIver

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    Replies
    1. Yeah this is a good one! Seconded here :)

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  7. My nominations are The Lightening Thief (Rick Riordan's first Percy Jackson book - they're all good but this one shines to me as a great story, well told, and I can almost feel the NYC attitude oozing out of this kid), and Sylvia Engdahl's Enchantress from the Stars.
    Personally I dislike YA as a category but then I've been reading a mix of adult and "YA" books as far back as I can remember. What actually delineates something as a "YA" book? That the main character is under the age of twenty?

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  8. Anne of Green Gables and To Kill a Mockingbird (because they were my favorites and no other reason)

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  9. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

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  10. Interestingly, I have several series I want to recommend and not much in the way of standalone books. All of my series loves do have some books that stand out as the best of the series but I really think they work best within the series. So I will nominate two that are definitely both standalone and which I read when I was myself a "young adult":

    Into The Dream by William Sleator.
    Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robynne McKinley

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  11. Are You There God? It's Me, Margret. by Judy Blume
    The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

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    Replies
    1. I think I want to second BOTH of these, as well as the previous "seconded". These are two stories that really made me think about others' experiences, when I was younger.

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  12. The Girl with the Silver Eyes, Willo Davis Roberts
    Talking to Dragons, Patricia Wrede

    This was hard for me, but I didn't want to wait because I'd forget. I decided to go with two of my favorites from when I was younger that I think hold up, rather than two that I would recommend now.

    I will second Ender's Game and Into the Dream

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    Replies
    1. Seconding The Girl with the Silver Eyes

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  13. The Neverending Story
    Haroun and the Sea of Stories

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    Replies
    1. I second both of those! Haroun and the sea of stories is awesome :)

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  14. I'm gonna go old school here and nominate Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and a favorite from when I was a young adult: Whisper of the Cat by Norma Johnston.

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  15. For some lighter YA - Norby the mixed up robot by Janet & Isaac Asimov :-)

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  16. Johnny and the Dead by Terry Pratchett.

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  17. Seconding Beauty by Robin McKinley and Ender's Game

    Nominating The Thief of Always by Clive Barker

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  18. Oh my goodness, I forgot this book until this minute: The Westing Game. Don't worry; it isn't genre. ;)

    Ooh! I pulled off a colon and a semi-colon in one very short paragraph! Can I have a lollipop?

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