The Center for Children's Books


Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Speculative Fiction for Young Adults

Recommended and annotated by Karin Thogersen


Pierce, Tamora. Lady Knight. New York: Random House, 2002, 416p.

Keladry, the Lady Knight, is on a mission to find and defeat a very evil man. Waylaid by her duty to the Crown, Keladry becomes the commander of a fort of refugees in this final chapter in the "Protector of the Small" series.

Nix, Garth. Lirael, Daughter of the Clayr. New York: Harper Collins, 2001, 436p.

This is the second book in a unique fantasy series involving benevolent necromancy. Lirael struggles to discover her true identity and calling.

Wrede, Patricia. Dealing with Dragons. San Diego, California: Magic Carpet Books, 2002, 240p.

Princess Cimorene hates everything about being a princess. When her parents try to marry her off to stymie further unprincesslike antics, Cimorene does the only thing any self-respecting princess can do: she gets abducted by a dragon.

Hughart, Barry. Bridge of Birds. New York: Ballantine Books, 1990, 288p.

Li Kao and Number 10 Ox set out on an epic journey across an ancient and fantastical China in search of a cure for some village children who have been poisoned.

Tepper, Sheri S. Beauty. New York: Doubleday, 1991, 412p.

A bittersweet retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story, with a critical look at what the future holds. Tepper manages to imbue all of her works with conscience and responsibility.

McKinley, Robin. The Hero and the Crown. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1984, 288p.

Funny, wry, and self-depreciating Aerin is a first sol (princess) trying to find her place in a country where no one looks like her or knows what to make of her.

Baker, E.D. The Frog Princess. New York: Bloomsbury 2003, 200p.

Princess Emeralda is such a klutz that she can't even kiss an enchanted frog back into a prince. When her kiss backfires, she finds life as a frog can be quite rewarding.

Sleator, William. Parasite Pig. New York: Dutton Children's Books, 2002, 192p.

In the intergalactic race to win the Piggy only Barney knows what winning really means. A goofy, entertaining sequel to Interstellar Pig

Card, Orson Scott. Ender's Game. New York: Tor Books, 1994, 324p.

Ender is the best of the best, the brightest, the bravest, the most compassionate. He's only 6 years old, and he's going to save the world.

L'Engle, Madeleine. A Wrinkle in Time. New York: Yearling Books, 1973, 240p.

Meg's father has been missing for months, having mysteriously disappeared while working on something called a "tesseract." With the help of her brother and some new found otherworldly friends, Meg sets out to rescue him.

Adams, Douglas. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. New York: Ballantine Books, 1995, 224p.

Arthur Dent, a very ordinary British gent, has what is quite possibly the worst day of his life when his house and home planet are scheduled for demolition on the very same day.

Anderson, M.T. Feed. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Candlewick Press, 2002, 240p.

Titus lives in the future, in an over-marketed, technologically complicated world - all of which is embedded in a biological uplink, the "feed." Feed manages to be both funny and disturbing.

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