I participate in Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week the theme is Top Ten Things on My Reading Wishlist. I picked ten things I’d love to see more of in young adult and children’s fiction, but you know, not too much because we all saw what happened to dystopia…
More Southern states…
I have a slight fascination with the American South, which likely started with Taylor Swift. I know, I know, I’m sorry. I probably have a completely warped view of what it’s actually like, but if Carrie Underwood and Hart of Dixie are anything to go by, I really need to read a YA novel set in the South. I also cannot think of anywhere else in the US that’s so completely, culturally different to the UK. And so I’m intrigued.
More road trips…
I will be surprised if I don’t see ‘road trips’ on many more lists today! It’s also another alien concept to me because if you have a road trip in the UK, you won’t have to travel very far before you reach Scotland. And then you’ll have to turn around again. I love Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, Picture Me Gone, Paper Towns, The Probability of Miracles – the isolation, the journals, the music, the conversation, the adventure, the diners. I also get car sick, so good luck bringing me along. (I’m also up for more travel).
More boarding schools…
Again, I’ve never attended boarding school. I actually don’t think I would’ve enjoyed it much, but I guess I’ll never know, so I’ll continue to live vicariously through novels set in boarding schools. Looking for Alaska, Night School, Girls at St Clare’s and Malory Towers, New Girl… Apparently, you’ll either have a blast or someone will try to murder you. What’s not to love?
I have voiced my concern many, many times about the lack of Christmas YA. (I also wrote a blogpost: From My Bookshelves / Books for Winter). I’ve read Let It Snow and Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, but then there’s not too much left. Well, Stephanie Perkins has listened to us and My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories will be published in October. David Levithan, Gayle Forman, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor… I. Cannot. Wait.
No, really. I’m serious. If you love dystopia, how can you not be fascinated by North Korea? One of my favourite books is Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea, which is about six people who we know eventually defected from North Korea into China. It’s perhaps a little too premature for a YA novel set in North Korea to appear, but I don’t doubt that it will eventually and I think it’d be an excellent way to educate more people about this secretive country.
It’s no secret that I love beautiful – or, pretty – books. I’d love to see more lovely book covers, elaborate production methods, and generally just more attention paid to book covers. I also think it’s something that’ll become essential (if it’s not already, which I think it is) as more people turn to eBooks. Of course, we all know the story is most important – I don’t doubt that for a second – but I love buying special editions that I want to pick up and flick through, share on Pretty Books, give as a gift or just treasure. From Vintage Children’s Classics to Royal hardbacks, books do not necessarily have to be extravagant to be beautiful.
As a Londoner, I love reading books set in my city. I love it even more when they feel authentic. How about taking a trip to east London? Or jumping on a bus? Or eating a Creme Egg? If it’s set in London, I’ll want to read it. The Day of the Triffids, Londoners, Meant to Be, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Name of the Star… I don’t mind what it’s about.
World War I and II
It’s the 100th anniversary of the First World War this year, so I’m sure loads more books will pop up. I’ve watched Bomb Girls and Downton Abbey. I grew up watching Dad’s Army and I’ve been reading Code Name Verity and Stay Where You Are and Then Leave. I finally picked up Maus last year. It’s a period of history that’s not ready to be forgotten, so I’d love to see it appear in more children’s and young adult fiction.
And also just more middle grade in general (especially contemporary and mystery)
Of course, there’s a ton of middle grade – I just need to discover the books that I’ll love! It was one of my 2014 Bookish Resolutions to read more middle grade this year and I cannot wait to get stuck in. I’ve already read Fortunately, the Milk... and I am currently reading (and loving) Liar and Spy. Who said children’s books are just for children? Not me!
Books about us!
Seeing as you’re reading this, you’re likely a ‘bookish person’ and an ‘internet person’. I’m not saying that these labels have to be all that you are, just that they are likely to be a tiny bit. It’s why you love Fangirl and The Book Thief so much. I love books about the geeky and the nerdy and the bookish and the shy. It’s perfectly fine to be all of these. It’s great, in fact. But it’s just nice to have a book confirm that you’re not the only one.
What would you like to see more of?