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Reading Lists

Feel free to read as many of these books as you can by the start of the program, but please read at least one that you have not already read. Additional books can be read at any point during the program.

Authors with an asterisk (*) will be teaching at the 2017 Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference. 

We also encourage you to read books written by Your Novel Year® faculty, and to revisit this list during the course of the program for reading recommendations.

Recommended Reading

Laurie Hasle AndersonWintergirls
Paolo Bacigalupi*Ship Breaker
Stephen ChboskyThe Perks of Being a Wallflower
Suzanne CollinsHunger Games
Sarah DessenThe Truth About Forever
John GreenLooking for Alaska
S.E. HintonThe Outsiders
Malinda Lo*Ash
Walter Dean MyersMonster
Benjamin Alire Sáenz *Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Jerry SpinelliStargirl
Scott WesterfieldUglies

Your Novel Year Faculty Book List

Bill Konigsberg*

  • The Porcupine of Truth
  • Openly Straight
  • Out of the Pocket

Elana K. Arnold

  • Infandous
  • What Girls Are Made Of
  • Sacred (#1)
  • Splendor (#2)
  • Burning

James Blasingame

  • Stephenie Meyer: In the Twilight (Studies in Young Adult Literature)
  • Books That Don’t Bore ‘Em: Young Adult Literature for Today’s Generation
  • Gary Paulsen (Teen Reads: Student Companions to Young Adult Literature)
  • Teaching Writing in Middle and Secondary Schools

 Martha Brockenbrough

  • The Game of Love and Death
  • Devine Intervention
  • The Dinosaur Tooth Fairy
  • Things That Make Us [Sic]: The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar Takes on Madison Avenue, Hollywood, the White House, and the World

 Sharon G. Flake

  • Unstoppable Octobia May
  • Pinned
  • You Don't Even Know Me: Stories and poems about boys
  • The Broken Bike Boy and the Queen of 33rd Street
  • Bang!
  • Who Am I Without Him?: Short stories about girls and the boys in their lives
  • Begging for Change
  • Money Hungry
  • The Skin I'm In

 Karen Harrington

  • Mayday
  • Courage for Beginners
  • Sure Signs of Crazy
  • Janeology

 Varian Johnson

  • The Great Greene Heist
  • To Catch a Cheat: A Jackson Greene Novel
  • My Life as a Rhombus
  • The Return (Spirit Animals: Fall of the Beasts, Book 3)
  • Saving Maddie
  • Red Polka Dot in World Full of Plaid

 Kimberley Griffiths Little

  • Forbidden (Forbidden, #1)
  • Banished (Forbidden, #2)
  • The Time of the Fireflies
  • The Healing Spell
  • When the Butterflies Came
  • Circle of Secrets
  • The Last Snake Runner
  • Enchanted Runner
  • Breakaway

 Barry Lyga

  • The Secret Sea
  • I Hunt Killers
  • Blood of My Blood
  • Game
  • Boy Toy
  • The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl
  • Unsoul'd
  • Goth Girl Rising
  • Archvillain #1
  • Archvillain #2: Mad Mask
  • Archvillain #3: Yesterday Again
  • Hero-Type
  • Wolverine: Worst Day Ever
  • Mangaman
  • Lucky Day

Lish McBride

  • Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (Necromancer, #1)
  • Necromancing the Stone (Necromancer, #2)

Amy K. Nichols*

  • Now That You're Here (Duplexity #1)
  • While You Were Gone (Duplexity, #2)

 Sheila O’Connor

  • Keeping Safe the Stars
  • Sparrow Road
  • Tokens of Grace
  • Where No Gods Came

 Jean Rabe

  • Maquesta Kar-Thon
  • Dawning of a New Age (Dragons of a New Age series)
  • Day of the Tempest (Dragons of a New Age series)
  • Eve of the Maelstrom (Dragons of a New Age series)
  • The Silver Stair (Bridges of Time series)
  • Downfall (the Dhamon Saga)
  • Betrayal (the Dhamon Saga)
  • Redemption (the Dhamon Saga)
  • The Lake of Death (Age of Mortals series)
  • The Rebellion (The Stonetellers series)
  • Death March (The Stonetellers series)
  • Goblin Nation (The Stonetellers series)
  • Red Magic (a Forgotten Realms: The Harpers series)
  • Secret of the Djinn (Endless Quest series)
  • Night of the Tiger (Endless Quest series)
  • Sands of Deception (Endless Quest series)
  • The Finest Creation (Finest Trilogy)
  • The Finest Choice (Finest Trilogy)
  • The Finest Challenge (Finest Trilogy)
  • Aftershock (a Shadowrun novel)
  • Return to Quag Keep
  • A Taste of Magic
  • Fenzig's Fortune
  • Dragon Mage

Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference Faculty Book List - Young Adultt

Paolo Bacigalupi

  • The Doubt Factory
  • The Drowned Cities
  • Ship Breaker

Cheryl Klein 

  • The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults

Malinda Lo

  • Ash
  • Huntress
  • Adaptation
  • Inheritance

Benjamin Alire Sáenz

  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
  • Last Night I Sang to the Monster
  • He Forgot to Say Goodbye
  • Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood