Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Top Ten Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught YA Fantasy 101

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

School is in session and we are talking YA fantasy!

Daisy's Picks

1. Graceling by Kristin Cashore: I LOVED this book! If I was ever to teach a class on YA fantasy, this would definitely be on it. It's got all the thing I love: a strong heroine who falls in love with a boy, but doesn't let this define her, like in so many novels, AMAZING worldbuilding and just characters to root for and an evil to destroy. If you haven't read it, you really should.

2. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende: I'm not entirely sure if this falls into YA or MG, but I feel like this is such a classic and also one of my favourite books ever and everyone should read it. It's got so much heart and one of my favourite quotes about being a reader.

3. Crown Duel & Court Duel by Sherwood Smith: I feel like this duology is somewhat lesser known, but it's a beauty. I LOVE Meliara, how she fights for what she believes in and I also totally shipped the lovestory.

4. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab: because this is so much different from the others I've added to this list, it's got that fairytale feeling that I love! I feel like this is fantasy at its purest and The Near Witch has some of the most beautiful writing I've ever come across.

Julia's Picks

5. The Lion, the Witch, and the Waredrobe by C.S Lewis: For my first pick, I think I would have to take my students down a more classic YA fantasy path, coincidentally where it all began for me. I think C.S Lewis creates a vivid world where we could explore some common themes in YA fantasy, and since it is a classic it would work as a good gateway book.

6. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman or Stardust by Neil Gaiman: I can't decide which book I would want them to read, but I think it would be super important to look at Gaiman's work. Again it is pretty accessible to the non YA or Fantasy reader, and his words just weave of the page and into imaginations.

7.  Across the Universe by Beth Revis: Finally I think I would want to bring Beth Revis' work into the fold to get to sort of the current trends in YA. Not only do I think this is a good work exemplifying the modern YA fantasy genre, but it also is a good pick for a mixed gendered class as each chapter has a POV of either the main female or main male character. This is a fantasy/sci-fi mix too so we can go into "what is the difference between the two". So fun!

Lauren's Picks

8. Tin Star by Cecil Castellucci: I really loved this book. It's fantasy and science fiction and has a main character that embodies every characteristic that the plot calls for. I think this book would show readers how to really branch out into the fantasy genre.

9. A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston: This is a new book, but dang. DANG. I loved every aspect of this book. There are so many fantasy elements that the author seamlessly wove together to make the perfect storm of a book. 

Jamie's Pick 

10. The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas -- It just gets better and better and just gets more epic!


  1. Yes Graceling and Throne of Glass

  2. I LOVE Crown Duel. I haven't read it in ages but it's such a fun duology. Great list!

    My TTT: http://rachelwritesthings.blogspot.com/2015/08/top-ten-books-that-would-be-on-my.html

  3. I need to read The Throne of Glass series to see why everyone loves it so much!

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  5. Great picks! I haven't read all of them, but I'll get around to it!

    I did the "worldbuilding 101" or I tried to: http://bookishloveaffair.blogspot.dk/2015/08/top-ten-tuesday-30.html

  6. Some fantastic picks here! Love a good fantasy and just added some to my TBR.
    Cora @ Tea Party Princess

  7. I never read about those books but I would like to read it.
    Have a nice day


  8. Fantastic list! (See what I did there?) I just picked up a copy of Crown Duel at a library sale for my classroom. I think the only book I'd insist on adding to your course is The Hobbit. LOTR is too dense for an intro course, but The Hobbit is much friendlier, and Tolkein is so important in the development of fantasy. Oooh, and maybe George MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin.

  9. I've only read Stardust from this list, jesus i gotta start reading more.

    The Throne of Glass is a priority.

    My top ten tuesday

  10. I like the mix of classic and contemporary fantasy books. I took my own syllabus-writing a little bit too seriously. But this week's prompt was really fun!

  11. Those are all great books I should check out. I agree with/my favorites are number 5 and 10.

  12. The Neverending Story is a really good choice. Such an imaginative book! (I also really liked Momo by the same author.)

  13. I just want to say, after reading several posts, that this is a terrific topic. I think you should recycle it at a later time. People are being so creative with their course titles, and I am finding so many new books and niches!

  14. If I taught YA, I would teach all Kristin Cashore's books. Also, I have taught a class where we read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe!

  15. Wow, tricky one this week! I went for World Building 101. The best part of opening a new fantasy book for me is taking a good look through the map and imagining all these weird and wonderful far away lands!

    Here's my TTT.

  16. Great lists! I have been wanting to red Graceling for a long time! I also have A Thousand Nights and I am hoping to get to it soon! I'm so happy you really enjoyed it!

  17. I absolutely adore Sherwood Smith and especially the Crown Duel and Court Duel. You have some definite musts that I would've had on my list for various writing classes. Great list and great topic! My TTT focused on short stories.

  18. The Lion, the Witch, and the Waredrobe is a perfect book for this syllabus!

  19. I have the Never-ending story on my list as well! I think that there just not enough people knowing and reading and loving that story. For some reason i got so excited seeing it on Daisy's list! :)


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