Friday, February 19, 2010

Canadian Teen Picks

I got an interesting e-mail today from (which is, for those who might be unaware, a bookselling chain similar to the U.S.'s Barnes & Noble... it even has the in-store Starbucks). The e-mail linked to a list of 50 books, favourites from a group of 1000 Canadian teens. I thought some of the choices were quite interesting. The top 10 were:

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
  2. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
  3. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
  4. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
  5. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  6. Going Bovine by Libba Bray
  7. Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
  8. Eragon by Christopher Paolini
  9. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
  10. Holes by Louis Sachar

I found the list intriguing. I have a feeling some of the titles ended up on the list simply because they're new and popular (and fresh in the readers' minds). However, the inclusion of some older titles (such as The Outsiders and Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl at #19) shows that teens are still reading and enjoying some of the older "classic" books. Lord of the Flies, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Hobbit also made the list.

I don't really understand #1 (I didn't enjoy the last Harry Potter book; the first three titles in the series are the best, in my opinion). I think I understand #2; it's probably partially a backlash against Breaking Dawn, which a lot of people hated... but I'm not sure why Eclipse would have beaten out Twilight as a favourite. I can't speak for #5, as I haven't read either of those books yet... but it's interesting that the second book was picked over the first. Was Catching Fire really better than The Hunger Games? Or was it just fresher in the reader's mind?

I can't really remember what I was reading when I was a teen. I don't think I read that much. I've always enjoyed reading, but when I had to read so many god-awful, boring books for school, I tended not to want to pick up any other books. (During my first year of university, I kind of went on a reading blitz. I read a ton of stuff... mostly classics, if I remember correctly. I was kind of like a dehydrated man in the desert who'd finally found a water source!) So while I couldn't really tell you what my list of top books would be if I'd actually made it as a teen, I could probably make a pretty good list today of books that I wish I could have read back then:

  1. Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones
  2. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
  3. A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb
  4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  5. Trader by Charles de Lint
  6. Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery
  7. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  8. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  9. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  10. The Giver by Lois Lowry

Oh, and there are so many more...

What would be your top 10 books to recommend to teens?


  1. Harry Potter
    Hunger Games
    Mortal Instruments
    Morganville Vampire (for your vamp needs)
    His Dark Materials
    Gemma Doyle trilogy
    Anyhting by Sarah Dessen
    The Luxe
    Percy Jackson

  2. I always go to classics if I'm gonna compile a list for teens. One's like Jane Eyre and Little Women would be on the top of my list. However if it is someone who just doesn't really get into reading I think I'd look at what they like and then suggest from there. Once they enjoy it, I bet they will start compiling a list of their own.

    Great post (even tho I cheated and didn't list 10) ;)

  3. I really need to think about this but for now:
    All of the books Terry Pratchett has written. :)

    I need to read Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith asap, my mom keeps telling me it's very good.