Staff shares favorite young adult books

Posted: Jul. 11, 2014 2:29 pm Updated: Aug. 8, 2014 3:15 pm

In anticipation of our 125th anniversary celebration, the staff of the Quincy Public Library has shared its favorite books encompassing all genres and age levels. This week we move from children's books to young adult favorites. The teen book scene is exploding and attracting reluctant readers in droves. There are many new authors to choose from in a variety of genres, as well as best-selling adult authors who are including younger readers in their collected works, even adding a young adult element to some of their popular series.

"If I Stay"

The top young adult pick is Gayle Forman's "If I Stay." Mia had a great life until it all came to a sudden stop. One moment she's in the car with her family. The next she's looking down on the horrible wreck of their car. Her parents are dead, her little brother is critical, and Mia? She's in a coma, and her injuries are life threatening. She is completely aware of what has happened to her family and her own situation, but it is up to her to decide whether to stay in her current existence. While she is deciding and family and friends rally around her in support, Mia's life is shown through a series of flashbacks and memories. Emerging onto the escalating young adult book scene only four years ago, this book is a perennial favorite because it stays in the minds of readers. Have tissues at the ready.

"The Blue Sword"

Angharad "Harry" Crewe is an orphan. All she knows about life changes when she is sent to the desert country of Damar, which is shared by the Homelanders and the secretive and magical Hillfolk. Finally Harry feels like she is home and is content with her life. Then her quiet life is once again uprooted when she is abducted by the Hillfolk King who knows more about Harry and her past than Harry does herself. She is thrust into a strange land, ignorant of the language, and is being trained to fight in a war all the while told she is the only one who can save the country. Robin McKinley created a heroine to cheer for in "The Blue Sword" -- a timeless classic as well as a Newbery Honor title.

"Torn Away"

"Torn Away" by Jennifer Brown will resonate with local readers. The book's central character, Jersey Cameron, was born and raised in the Midwest. Like many native Midwesterners who have never experienced nature at its worst, Jersey didn't pay much attention to the drama concerning tornado warnings. Nothing ever happened in her town until it did, with devastating results. In a matter of minutes, her town is decimated. Her mother and little sister are killed; her home is gone. Her stepfather is paralyzed with grief and sends her to live with family she doesn't know. With everything in her life displaced, Jersey drifts into uncertain territory with complete strangers. In the face of her tragedy, Jersey builds a new life with a new family and decides to move forward, one step at a time.


Imagine when your mother was carrying you, she was given a sonogram and told she was having a boy. Imagine her shock at being told she gave birth to a girl instead. Imagine living with the knowledge that your mother believes you to be a monster and truly hates you, so much so that she attempted your murder when you were only a child. Now imagine believing all of your life that someone kidnapped the real Everly boy and left a girl in his place. If you can imagine that, you have stepped into the life of Wendy Everly. Enter the magical world of the Trylle as Wendy tries to make sense of her bizarre life. "Switched" by indie author Amanda Hocking is the first novel in this bestselling series, and the book that started the self-publishing revolution.

All of these books are available for checkout at the Quincy Public Library if you have a current Quincy or Tri-Quincy Area Public Library District card. Reciprocal borrowing cards from other area libraries will be honored as well. You may also place reserves on library materials and check your patron record online at

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