A couple of bloggers are getting together over here to celebrate less popular or obscure young adult books, and so I also decided to contribute a list of YA books that I have enjoyed over the years that other people may not have heard of.The rule for obscurity is to appear in the libraries of less than 500 people on Librarything. While these 10 books are not my top ten books of the genre they are some of the least known. (Although I did cheat with two where they appear in a little over 500 personal libraries...)
Behold the list:
1. The Last April Dancers by Jean Thesman
This is my all time favorite book to this day. I'd read a few books by this author that I liked (also on this list) and I found this one by her in a far-off library. I needed to have it, but it was out of print. I spent a few years before the internet was popular tracking this book down in used bookstores around the country. Sometime in the early 90s I filled out one of those book cards that some used bookstores have where they'll contact you if they find a book you're looking for - I think I was visiting D.C. at the time. I did mean it when I said I was looking cross-country for this book - I went to California, Washington, Massachusetts & DC among other places scouring bookstores everywhere - and a couple of years later, I got a response back from one of the cards. I loved the book already, and having to work so hard to get my own copy made it even more special. She was my favorite author growing up.
Everytime I read this book it means something different to me and I can never articulate how. Read it, I promise it's good!
2. Appointment With A Stranger - Jean Thesman
I think this is where I discovered my liking for supernatural romances (different from paranormal). It featured the poem "The Listeners" by Walter de la Mare, who was already my favorite poet at the time.
3. Fire & Hemlock - Diana Wynne Jones (952 > 500, but I love it)
A recommendation from one of my LJ pals - I loved it, and doubly so when I recognized the Tam Lin tale, which is one of my favorites. It was also my first Diana Wynne Jones book.
4. The Wind Singer - William Nicholson (1st in the Wind on Fire trilogy)
A dark and peculiar dystopic fantasy. It made a strong impression on me and I should probably take that as a sign to reread it.
5. The Beginning Place - Ursula K. Le Guin
Most readers of this LJ already like Le Guin, but her two YA books don't get a lot of mention. There are a lot of things to like in this book.
6. The Rain Catchers - Jean Thesman
Not usually my style, but this one caught me, and I already liked the author. I think my love of books that emphasize storytelling as a subject started here.
7. Nameless Magery - Delia Marshall Turner
I remember finding this book interesting when I read it a few years ago but the details have been lost in the fuzz of my brain. I'll have to put it on the reread pile when I get the companion book. It was vaguely slashy.
8. The China Garden - Liz Berry
A recent read that I enjoyed. It has supernatural overtones and a labryinth at its heart. Some narrative issues, but, well, nothing is perfect.
9. Cattail Moon - Jean Thesman
This was also one of my favorite books as a child. I read it many times over the years, until one day when I reread it as an adult I realized I had completely misinterpreted the ending! How, I had no idea, but it was such a shock! More supernatural overtones, yay!
10. The Changeover - Margaret Mahy
This was also recommended to me by a (different) LJ pal. A solid supernatural romance.
Wow, I didn't even realize how many of these books qualify as supernatural romances. What can I say? I know what I like and stick to it :)