A Mixture of Old and New

December 18, 2009

Yep, that’s right. I’m taking you back to the stuff we grew up reading. The stories I couldn’t keep my hands off of.

These books are the reason why I write today. I couldn’t tell you how many times I read Gallow’s Hill in high school. I’m pretty sure my school librarian thought I’d steal it one day.

And Blood and Chocolate? Definitely an inspiration for my werewolf novel now. Ms. Klause knew how to write werewolves. Loved her other books too.

I’m choosing three winners. First place gets Shiver and Blood and Chocolate.


Second place gets Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and Gallow’s Hill.


Third place winner will receive R. L. Stine’s Collector’s Edition of Goodnight Kiss 1 and Goodnight Kiss 2.

So, my friends, my contest to you is a mixture of old and new. I know we all like to be in the know with the latest YA craze in books, but let’s not forget the ones that started it all.


To enter: leave a comment about your favorite YA book growing up. Contest ends December 31st.

P.S. – Thanks to all who stopped by my blog to vote for this contest. 🙂



  1. Though it is considered children’s books, my inspirations for writing growing up is the Harry Potter series. It has its flaws, but I wouldn’t be writing if it weren’t for HP.

    Another series that is I read and re-read growing up is Patricia C. Wrede’s Mairelon the Magician duology: it’s the root of my love for all things Regency and Victorian England.

  2. Shiny new contest! Yay!

    I think my favorite young adult books growing up were (and don’t laugh) the Fear Street ones. Yes, it’s true. But I didn’t read a whole lot for pleasure when I was in jr. high and high school, so I have an excuse. : -P

    Oh, and ditto Harry Potter.

  3. And dumb me didn’t even realize R.L. Stine was a prize! Yay for respect for the Stine!

  4. I loved loved loved The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and the Ramona series! They pretty much characterized what I read during my childhood. Also – the American Girl series. I LOVED Samantha, haha .

  5. “Forever” by Judy Blume truly has to be one of the books that started it all for YA. I remember being so afraid I’d get into trouble for reading that book back in 7th grade — but when my mother found it, we actually had a great discussion about all kinds of issues “Forever” brought up. For instance, she thought Michael, the main squeeze in the book, was a jerk, and I was shocked at first, until she explained why. Conversations like that are ones I hope to have with my own daughters someday.

  6. I agree with the American Girl books. In third grade, I read one a day, but still I think the book that really made me want to write more than anything is the stereotypical answer–Harry Potter.

  7. Lovely choices, Becca!
    Most of my books were MG books since I really didn’t get into the hype of reading YA until about four years ago.
    I grew up with Harry Potter, following them since I was 11. There were a lot of books in between that I loved. House of the Scorpian and The Giver were fantastic. They made me love dystopian before I even knew what the word meant. Brilliant, unique stories.

  8. My favorite books growing up were the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. Those were the first YA books I read.

  9. I can’t even remember some of the titles I went through in junior high, but the books I loved always had some sort of strange element about them. Witches, ghosts, time-travel, danger, secret gardens.

    Lois Duncan was the creepiest, freakiest, master at all things paranormal. I don’t remember Gallows HIll, but I do recall the one where the MC was doing Astral Projection and someone else took over her body. She had to watch this ‘ghost’ talking to her boyfriend and family. Yikes!

    Many a walk home from school, or dreaded bus ride home from school, was spent with one of these novels clutched in my hands. It was simply wonderful, that’s all.

    • The Lois Duncan book where the MC does astral projection is my favorite of hers, too. I can’t remember the title, either — but I’ll never forget that book! You’re right — she is the master of all things paranormal for YA. Jeni

  10. Oh! I forgot to mention my absolute favorite!!!! Ghosts I Have Been, by Richard Peck. That book had me afraid to go asleep at night, thinking I’d wake up on a sinking Titanic. I love, love, loved that book like crazy.

  11. MAN, I wish I could win. I’ll answer anyway – Harry Potter. JK is a freakin’ genius. 😀
    – Jamie

  12. I don’t actually recall reading a lot growing up other than those books I was forced to read for school. BUT, I definitely remember R.L. Stine. I thought I was such a rebel for reading them for some reason. Now, I can’t read about ghosts and stuff, because it scares the crap outta me. But then, oh, I loved them!!!

    Great books, Becca!!!! What a great contest!

  13. This probably shows how old I am, but I loved, loved, loved Judy Blume books growing up. My favorites: Are you there God, it’s me Margret, Deenie, Iggy’s house, Tiger Eyes, Then again maybe I won’t,and my all time favorite, Blubber. Judy Blume was the best for young girls growing up and helping with those awkward transitions into adolescence. As for older, YA books, I loved all of S.E. Hinton’s stuff. By the time I got into high school I was all about adult books so I’m glad that I’ve gotten back into the YA arena to find some more recent gems. YA has gotten better than adult literature in so many ways.

    • Great contest, Becca! I was in love with the Sweet Valley High and Fear Street books. HOWEVER, I read “Washington Square” by Henry James at least 10 times, so I’d say that was my absolute favorite book. I’m not too sure if that can be considered YA,though. 🙂

  14. My favorite ya books growing up started from harry potter, and led to sarah dessen books especially the book the truth about forever. this a wonderful book. i also fell in love with the sisterhood of the traveling pants, me and my twin sister even made a pants of our own for fun. a great series that was fun to read!! Thanks for the giveaway!

  15. my favorite YA books growing up were more young reader than true YA. i was a HUGE fan of the Babysitter Club books. I didnt start reading true YA books till i was in my 20s.


  16. Blubber by Judy Blume was one of my faves growing up.

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