8 Must-Read Young Adult/Middle Grade Authors

If you were to ask what I do for my life, the answer would be writing and reading. I have to limit myself from going to my public library, because I end up taking WAY too many books than I can handle to read. I start to cry when I walk into Barnes & Noble. Yeah, it's bad. Anyway, here are some of my favorite young adult and middle grade authors!

1. Rick Riordan If you haven't read the Percy Jackson
series, you are missing out. I know, I know, it seems weird for a 17-year-old to tell you to read about a kid in middle school, but trust me, Riordan writing is universal to all teenagers, and younger kids. And he makes Greek mythology interesting!

2. Sara Shepard You've seen the show, you've seen the clothing line, and now, you can read the books! I can visibly remember when my parents informed my siblings and I that we needed to read older books. Lo and behold, Pretty Little Liars found its way into my life. Reading the books will get you more insight about all the characters, and the horrors that are buried within Rosewood (do you see what I did there?).

3. Ellen Hopkins I'll just tell you up front, Ellen Hopkins is the Goddess of Free Verse poetry. She has convinced me that poetry is enjoyable. (Sorry Shakespeare, I'm just not feeling your sonnets.) In addition to creative writing style, she also tackles extremely tough issues in her novels, some of which include drug addition (Crank, Fallout, and Glass), abuse (Burned) and teen prostitution (Tricks).

4. Kristin Elizabeth Clack On the topic of free verse poetry, let's talk about Kristin Elizabeth Clark. With her debut novel Freakboy, Clark discusses the topic of sexuality, and the struggles of being in the wrong body. I cannot wait to see what this author will be publishing next!

5. R.J. Palacio This woman is simply wonderful. Her debut novel Wonder tells the story of a boy named Auggie Pullman, and his life. Auggie was born with a facial deformity. Now, as a fifth grader, he's decided he wants to go to school. Told in different viewpoints, readers understand just how incredible Auggie Pullman is. This is an author you need to keep on your radar.

6. A.S. King Can I just say how much I loved Reality Boy? It's the story of Gerald Faust, a young child star who is known for his signature move--taking a crap. Yup, the cameras ate that one up. King has won multiple awards for her writing, including the Printz Honor. Her other phenomenal books include: Ask the Passengers, Everybody Sees the Ants, Please Ignore Vera Dietz, and many more.

7. David Levithan Oh, man. This guy deserves every bit of your attention. Whether Levithan is writing about love, relationships, or a book in the form of dictionary entries, he grabs the readers attention, never letting go. I guarantee that you will enjoy any of his novels, no matter the subject. Did I mention the fact that he wrote a book with John Green (Will Grayson, Will Grayson)?

8. Kiera Cass I'll mention my favorite romance author, Kiera Cass. In her Selection series she discuses the journey of an average teen, competing against thirty-four girls, at the chance to marry a prince. Sounds awesome right? Except that America Singer already has a love at home, waiting for her (Aspen). Throughout each book, we see the growth and decline of her love for Prince Maxon and Aspen. Who will she pick? Sadly, we won't know until May. Until then, pick up her first two books! Think of this series as The Bachelor meets The Princess Diaries.

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