School Is In Session For This Top Ten Tuesday — A Little Twist on the Topic!


Top Ten Tuesday, asย  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: I did a twist on this weeks topic which was Top Ten Books You’d Pair With A “Required Reading” novel ORย  Top Ten Books I’d Make Required Reading…but I decided that I’m going to make my “required reading” if I taught a class called YA For Adults 101 — a primer course in introducing YA-adverse adults (or adults who just don’t know where to start) to help them put their toes in the YA water. I’d also help dispel any and all myths those people have of YA books (aka bad writing, its only romance, it’s all Twilight, etc.)



Check them out:
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell * Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick * The Book Thief by Markus Zusak * Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein * Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan * Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta * The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater * Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson * The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson * If I Stay/Where She Went by Gayle Forman

So tell me…which books would YOU add if you taught this class? Some of these are my own personal recs that have WORKED and some are recent ones that I’m going to push on my friends who are newbs to/wary of YA lit! I’d love some of YOUR recs! Agree/disagree with any of my picks?

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Love the selections! Especially The Book Thief!

  2. I’m reading The Book Thief right now and I have to agree. I think it would have a good home in a classroom and provide some really fun discussions/debates.

    My TTT

  3. I agree with all of them except for The Book Thief. I really feel like I was the only person in the world who hated that book.

  4. I would without a doubt require The Scorpio Races as an example of determination. I would also require Everybody Sees the Ants.

  5. Great list Jamie! I love the way you set up your list for this week’s topic ๐Ÿ™‚ I think it’s becoming a general consensus that The Book Thief should be made mandatory reading in school ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Nice twist! There is still a lot of snobbishness out there about YA and I definitely think this list would go a long way to correcting that. Maybe you should make it a printable for people to give to friends who haven’t quite joined the YA party yet! ๐Ÿ˜›

    Here’s our TTT: two girls, one suitcase

  7. Haha I love how you twisted the topic! Even though, I’ve only read If I Stay from your list. But I will read the rest! Someday.

  8. Scorpio Races is a great choice for Adults.

    I’d add Every Day by Levithan.

  9. I’m not participating in this week’s TTT, because I really couldn’t come up with titles…. Oops. BUT: I added every single one of your titles to my TBR. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m actually kind of a YA newbie and I DO think everything is like Twilight or The Hunger Games…

  10. Great list! I really want to read Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock and Jellicoe Road. Almost everything I hear about them is great. I think I might add The Book of Broken Hearts to your list. I just love it so much and I think it has great adult crossover potential.

  11. My friend is actually taking a class sort of like this right now! It’s all about how awesome YA lit can be and they’re reading books like The Hunger Games and Harry Potter, but also some John Green and she mentioned Code Name Verity, too! She’s read most of them already since she had to live with me for three years, but I think that this is such a great idea and wish I could have taken it (I’ve never read Harry Potter)!

  12. I changed up today’s topic, too. Instead of pairing required reading with today’s contemps, I chose my top 10 contemps I’d have in my classroom (since ya know.. I plan to have one of those very, very soon!). Speak and Jellicoe Road made my list as well. I think you’d approve of a few more on there too.. Lola? Golden? Perks? hehe

  13. Yep, yep, I think this would be an excellent class! Some people just don’t like YA, but I think one should at least expose them to GOOD YA first, before they make up their minds. I’m reading Code Name Verity right now and loving it (in an this-is-awfully-terrifying kind of way).

  14. I actually haven’t read anything from this list yet, but most of them are on my to-read list. This only means that I should really hurry and catch up! :))
    My Top 10 Tuesday
    Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

  15. I’ve heard so much about Elanor and Park, I should really just buy it by now. Anyway, I added The Fault in Our Stars specifically. Talk about a book that puts life into perspective. Man…

  16. Great choices. I would probably add Rose Under Fire to round out the whole Elizabeth Wein thing. Just One Day, The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Fault in Our Stars have worked for people I know in the past. Also, the Jessica Darling series is pretty great for adults…

  17. I love your take on this list, Jamie. I also love so many of the books you’ve put on it!! I would definitely recommend The Book Thief and Two Boys Kissing to just about anyone. But I did lend Eleanor and Park on my friend who forgot a book one weekend when we went up to Boston and she wasn’t so impressed, so that made me sad. (But I had nothing else to lend her >.<) I think when I recommend YA books to non-YA people, I try to be careful. I pick to their sensibilities and hope for the best. So if I had to go back and do it again, I'd probably lend my friend something a little less… cute? Maybe something a little more serious? I'd have to really think about it because, even though my friend isn't ANTI-YA, I know she's not so into it and I don't want her to ever stop casually asking me for recommendations every now and again.

  18. Agree with this list. The Book Thief was the first book I thought of when I read you list’s name. I believe the book was initially written for adults. While working at a independent children’s book store, we sold just as many to the parents as the kids.
    Also agree, every John Green should be read. I especially liked An Abundance of Katherines, Looking for Alaska and of course, The Fault in Our Stars. Oh, also, Will Grayson, Will Grayson with David Levithan. Okay… just read them all.
    But I would add Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) with charming illustrations by Maira Kaiman. Clever concept and exceptional female voice (for a male author) that will resonant with adults.
    And I would recommend North of Beautiful by Justina Chen. The adult female characters grow just as much as the teen protagonist, and it’s an excellent travel log to China.

  19. Awesome list! I’d definitely add Thirteen Reasons Why. And Perks of Being a Wallflower. And The Giver! I actually did a similar post to this last week for another book-related link-up:

  20. Great twist on the topic. I’d add The Hunger Games in to your list, and All Our Yesterdays, which I recently finished and thought was magnificent.

  21. I haven’t heard of quite a few of your choices but I’d be all for John Green! I haven’t tried any of his stuff yet but I hope to soon!

    My TTT

  22. I’ve not read much YA, so this would be a list for me rather than anything I could add to ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. I really want to read code name verity!

  24. I love your twist on the topic Jamie (and wasn’t PicMonkey’s latest school kit just in time, haha? I had a blast with it!). You picked some really great books, favourites in the YA community that definitely have crossover appeal!!!

    I NEED to go buy a copy of Two Boys Kissing. Can’t wait to read it!

    My TTT list.

  25. This is a most excellent post. I think everyone should just be given a copy of The Book Thief so that everyone can read. Have you seen the trailer for the movie yet? It looks like it’s going to be a pretty good translation of book to film.

  26. Such a great twist on the idea! And so glad to see Two Boys Kissing and Speak on it, such great examples of good YA literature!

  27. I like how you reworked this topic. I took a YA Lit class in grad school. I took three lit classes: Children’s Lit, YA Lit, and Multicultural Lit for children and teens. I liked them all, but my favorites were probably Children’s and Multicultural. Not because I don’t love YA, because obviously I do. But we didn’t get a lot of choice on what we were supposed to read.

    Anyway, I like your suggestions. I would probably include some science fiction (even though I hate sci-fi) and probably something a little more paranormal to round out the genres. But I think you picked great books!

    I’m trying to remember the books we had to read. Here are some:
    The Golden Compass
    Blood and Chocolate
    Ender’s Game
    On Mango Street (I think that’s the title)

    Oh gosh, I can’t remember what else. We had to read a lot. Of course, this was back in 2007, so there are a lot more books out now.

  28. Your list is INCREDIBLE. Such good taste! ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Love your selection! I need to read The Book Thief soon. It’s been on my shelf for far too long unread.

  30. I would totally sign up for your class if those are the required reading in class, Jamie, I swear! I can already imagine the questions that will arise or the super-fun discussion/debate situation the class is going to have ๐Ÿ˜€
    And I agree with Amy @ Bookgoonie, Every Day by David Levithan should be added to that list, it’s a really, really great YA book that more people should read.

  31. The Age of Miracles. for sure.

  32. The Book Thief made my list too! I love your graphic! May I ask what you use to make your pictures?

    My TTT:

  33. I love this list, especially Code Name Verity, The Sky is Everywhere, The Scorpio Races, The Book Thief, If I Stay and any John Green book. I just think kids would be so much more likely to fall in love with reading if they were letting them read better, more modern books in school.

  34. Oooo. Great topic. Sad I missed this one. ๐Ÿ™

  35. Trying to figure out PicMonkey will be my goal when I finish with my review archive. You know, in three years. X_X

    Yay! A person who loves John Green. The people who don’t like him have every right to, but they’re SO judgmental when I say I love his books. Like, you do realize you’re being JUST as pretentious as you hate John Green for being, right? Let me love them. Also, I like pretentious writing a lot of the time, thus also Two Boys Kissing. Sorry for the random rant, but sometimes I feel like the blogosphere hates me for legitimately loving his writing.

  36. As an adult and a fan of YA novels I think I would be an excellent teacher for this class seeing that I have come across plenty of YA books that have made me roll my eyes and question the YA genre in general. There are so many gems out there you just have to find them. I think a fantastic YA crossover book that both my daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed is โ€œThe Riddle of Pragueโ€ by author Laura DeBruce First and foremost the book is extremely hard to put down; the plot will catch your interest almost immediately as young Hana Silva travels to Prague with the obligation of reclaiming her family home โ€œThe Rockery.โ€ Little does Hana know this seemingly straightforward task leads her on a life-changing adventure to find the elixir of immortality. The book is full of twists and turns and the the main characters are well-rounded and entertaining. Hana Silva is a smart teenage girl with a witty sense of humor (my daughter connected with her instantly!). We were also excited to find that this is book 1 in the โ€œQuicksilver Legacy Seriesโ€ so the adventure continues with โ€œThe Temple of Paris.โ€ I thought the author did a fantastic job at transporting me to Prague and keeping my interest and my teenage daughterโ€™s interest (not an easy thing to do!). Highly recommend