Thinking about some the most memorable YA books I’ve read over the years, I notice there is a heavy Oz slant. To name a few of the stand-out titles:
Finnikin of the Rock – Melina Marchetta
The first in a series dubbed the Lumatere chronicles, this fantasy powerhouse can stand alone. We begin with young Finnikin who hales from Lumatere, a once-great kingdom which been overtaken by usurpers and cursed for the past decade making it impossible to enter or leave. Exiled Finnikin explores bordering kingdoms in search of a way to break the curse- and he finds Evanjalin, a mysterious young woman with the unique ability to â€œwalk the dreamsâ€ of others and she hints that Lumatere’s true heir is alive after all.
It was a challenge for me to narrow down one favorite by Marchetta. I loved 2009 Printz Award Winner Jellicoe Road, Froi of the Exiles (I special ordered a copy from Australia after finishing Finnikin because I couldn’t wait for the US version to be published), Quintana of Charyn, Saving Francesca (Best Book for Young Adults 2005) , and basically everything she has ever written.
I am the Messenger– Markus Zusak (Best Book for Young Adults 2006, Printz Honor 2006)
19 year old taxi driver Ed has been coasting through life with no real sense of purpose– until the day he stops a bank robber and begins to receive mysterious messages in the mail sent on playing cards. This sets Ed off in a series of interconnecting stories which eventually lead him to self-realization. Zusak’s tale is adventurous, enjoyable, sometimes comical, and ultimately unforgettable.
Zusak (2014 Edwards Award Winner) is best known for The Book Thief (Best Book for Young Adults 2007, Printz Honor 2007) which was originally published in Australia as an adult title. The Wolfe Brothers Trilogy is wonderful as well. Continue reading Awesome Australian Authors