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Friday, September 21, 2018

Nominations Needed: What's The Best Classic Young Adult Book (or series) Not Written by a Cis Het White Man

We need your nominations: what is the best young adult book or series from before 2000 written by a woman, POC, or member of the LGBTQIA+ community? 

Please follow this link if you're wondering why this poll has some particular limitations.

*rips that page out and throws it away*  

Okay, whatever you thought was going on with our poll is not going on.

Forget that.

Just erase it from your mind.

Men in Black flashy thingie yourself. Tell yourself there was a kick ass post that day and you totally loved it…about swamp gas. (Not swamp ass—though maybe a PSA to writers about swamp ass might be useful and um….ANYWAY.)

We just were NOT getting the kind of nomination love we need to run a poll. 

I don’t know if I worded it too weirdly or it was the timing or the day or what but now we’re going to do the really real post. CLASSIC YA. (Classic as defined by before 2000).

The Rules

  1. Please note the diversity requirements above. 
  2. This poll is for fiction written before 2000. (That means the copyright must be 1999 or before.) 
  3. As always, I leave the niggling over "YA" to your best judgement because I'd rather be inclusive. If you feel like The Joy Luck Club is young adult, I will furrow my brow, make an "Erm?" noise, and shrug. (Though you may need to show your work in order to get the seconds you'll need to make the poll.) I'll only throw them out if they get super ridiculous. 
  4. You may nominate two (2) books or series. If you nominate three or more I will NOT take anything after the first two books on your list.  (I will, however, consider a long list to be "seconds" if someone else nominates the other books.)
  5. You may (and absolutely should) second as many nominations of others as you wish. Also stop back in and see if anyone has put up something you want to see go onto the poll. This one is going to have fierce competition. Second titles (and possibly thirded and fourthed titles) will be the ONLY ones going on to the polls.
  6. Put your nominations here. I will take nominations only as comments and only on this post. (No comments on FB posts or G+ will be considered nominations.) If you can't comment for some reason because of Blogger, send me an email (chris.brecheen@gmail.com) stating exactly that, and I will personally put your comment up. I am not likely to see a comment on social media even if it says you were unable to leave a comment here. 
  7. You are nominating WRITTEN young adult fiction, not their movie portrayals. If you thought Flowers in the Attic was a great movie, but you didn't really care for the book, then that shouldn't be your nomination.
  8. This is probably well known by vets of this blog by now, but there will be no more endless elimination rounds. I will take somewhere between 8-20 best performing titles and at MOST run a single semifinal round. So second the titles you want even if they already have one. (Yes, I guess that would make them thirds, fourths, etc...) The competition on THIS poll is going to be FIERCE so please come back and second, third, fourth, and twenty-fifth everything you want to see go on to the poll.


  1. The Forbidden Game Trilogy (Individual titles for this trilogy/series are: The Hunter, The Chase, and The Kill and were originally published in 1994) by L.J. Smith. While her Vampire Dairies series is more well-known, it was her later series that were more mature and better plotted. The Forbidden Game, particularly, has one of the the most beautiful and tragic endings of this author's young adult works.

  2. Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce

  3. The Flowers in the Attic series by VC Andrews beginning 1979 and continuing with Petals on the Wind; If there be Thorns; and then Seeds of Yesterday. She died in 1986 at the age of 53 from breast cancer. The later books were written by a ghost writer under her name.

  4. Harper Hall trilogy By Anne McCaffrey

    Dragonsong (1976)
    Dragonsinger (1977)
    Dragondrums (1979)

  5. Animorphs! Written by Kate Applegate. They started in the 90s, and for the first half of the run, every single book ended up on the NYT Bestseller list. Later books go into serious territory about the costs of guerilla warfare, PTSD, and the moralities of civil conflict. Amazing series.

  6. Replies
    1. Great book, but published in 2017, so not eligible for the poll.

  7. "The Changeover" by Margaret Mahy. This was published in 1984 by one of my favourite New Zealand authors

  8. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (plus sequels Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkiban)
    by JK Rowling.

  9. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede (published 1990, 1991, 1993, and 1985).

  10. L'Engle's Time Quintet (Wrinkle in Time) series

  11. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

  12. I wanted to nominate books for the poll but I don’t want to log in with my google account.

    I want to also second the Anne McCaffrey Harper Hall trilogy.

    The Book I want to nominate is L.J. Smith’s Nightworld series. 1996- today. Last book of series is unpublished. It’s wish fulfillment of teenage romance but the world of vampires, witches, and werewolves that she sets up is striking and fascinating. I always wished she went into more detail about it.

    [Chris's note: Only the first nine volumes "count" on this poll, but that's probably enough. :-p ]

  13. I nominate the Knight and Rogue series by Hilari Bell. All the best parts of a knight errant tale plus buddy story with lots of fun medieval derring-do and mischief. I myself have read only the first three books in the series, but my sister swears by the entire series.

  14. "The Nine Days Queen" (Karleen Bradford, 1989) sparked my lifelong love of historical fiction.

    "Dragonwings" (Laurence Yep, 1975) was one of my first literary experiences with immigrant culture and institutionalized racism, and was fairly fundamental to my sociopolitical development.

    Ugh there are so many others, but those two are among the ones that I still have on my bookshelf to this day.

  15. The Rowan (The Tower and the Hive series) by Anne McCaffrey

  16. The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper.

  17. Thi Immortals series by Tamora Pierce!

  18. Two of my favourites from childhood, probably not going to get any seconds but...

    Playing Beattie Bow by Ruth Park
    Invitation to the Game by Monica Hughes

  19. Someone having trouble with blogger:


  20. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (who was most likely queer as hell, too)

  21. The Lioness Quartet, The Immortals quartet, and Circle of Magic Quartet by Tamora Pierce.

  22. I read and loved Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin as a young adult.

    Also Dragonsong was ace, I'm gonna find a copy of that to reminisce.

  23. I would like to nominate The Darkangel series (The Dark Angel, A Gathering of Gargoyles and The Pearl of the Soul of the World) by Meredith Ann Pierce, 1982

  24. The Ear, The Eye and The Arm

    by Nancy Farmer

    billed as a children's sci-fi, but i certainly felt i should have been a young adult reading it (sexual references and violence, however simple the language or fantastic the characters).

  25. Nominating the Pit Dragon Chronicles by Jane Yolen.