Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - All-Time Favorite Authors

TTT is a weekly meme hosted by Broke and Bookish. This week's theme is - all-time favorite authors.

Ha! I can't believe I actually looked ahead for this week! I'm glad I did because I have a huge list of favorite authors, many more than ten. I decided that my all-time favorite list would consist of authors whose book or books tore my heart out of my chest. That narrowed it down but there were still more than ten. I chose five women and five men and here they are alphabetically.

Sherman Alexie: I have lost track of how many times I have read Alexie's only YA offering, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. I have read it both with my eyes and with my ears and sob each and every time. I can think of no other book that brings me from hysterical laughter to sobs in a heartbeat. I heard a few years ago that there was a sequel in the works. I would love to revisit Junior. Recently, the book was name the most banned book in America. I heard the author tweeted that he was proud to be the author of the most banned book.

Laurie Halse Anderson: I was working as an aide in a school library shortly after Speak won a Printz Honor when the librarian asked me to do her a favor and read the book. An eighth grader had written a book report on it and her teacher was concerned. I told the teacher, the librarian and the principal that Speak should be mandatory reading for all eighth graders. Her historical fiction, Fever, 1793 and Chains were astounding. Twisted was riveting, as was Catalyst

M.T. Anderson: It took me several tries to get into Anderson's National Book Award Finalist, Feed. Once I did, I was so very scared because the possibilities seemed so real. With each passing year and the "improvement" in technology, I often think about how prescient the book was. I am totally creeped out when I visit an online store only to have it pop up in the ads of my social media feeds seconds later. A few years later, Anderson won the National Book Award for the brilliant, The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol. 1: The Pox Party. This is historical fiction at its very best.

Matt de la Peña: I have written often how de la Peña's books gut me. We Were Here and Mexican White Boy are seared into my memory. This is an author who sublimely explores the emotional landscape of young males. 

Sarah Darer Littman: Talk about gut-wrenching, I've read only one book by Littman and am reading her latest now; but both pack a wallop. Want to go Private was one of the most provocative, uncomfortable books I've ever read. 

Chris Lynch: The first Lynch book I read was Inexcusable, which was a 2005 National Book Award Finalist. It is a tad mature for most of my population but I do have it on the eighth grade only shelf and believe it might be as important to read as Speak is. Mind blown. His Vietnam series is just heartbreaking. And, his upcoming Hit Count (May 19, 2015) tackles an important issue in high school athletics. 

Melina Marchetta: I have to work really hard when reading Marchetta's books. No whipping through them reading with half a mind. The layering, character development, worldbuilding and rich language are all things to marvel whether reading her realistic fiction or fantasy.

Walter Dean Myers: Children's literature lost giant this past summer. Walter Dean Myers, one of the bravest, honest writers out there, wasn't afraid to experiment. He's done it all - poetry, picture books, biographies, a memoir, middle grade and YA. His 1999 book, Monster, won the inaugural Printz Award and was a National Book Award Finalist. I really enjoyed his biography of Muhammed Ali and found his memoir, Bad Boy, so touching; but it was Fallen Angels that brought me to my knees emotionally.

Barbara O'Connor: I've written before that Barbara O'Connor is the perfect middle grade writer. Her books are not long and yet each one packs such an emotional wallop. I have enjoyed every one of her books. They are each quite different. I have to say, though, my heart will always belong to the very first O'Connor book I read, The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis. "Drip. Drip. Drip." (sob!)

Sarah Weeks: is another versatile author. She has written picture books, early chapter books and middle grade fiction. She first came on my radar with So B. It. Oh my. This is one of my go-to books for tweens who crave sad. 

Honorable mention:
Gennifer Choldenko
Lisa Graff
Suzanne LaFleur


  1. It brings me so much joy to see Marchetta on so many lists this week. Great list!
    My TTT https://jazminjade.wordpress.com/2015/04/21/top-ten-tuesday-favourite-authors/

  2. Great choices. Sherman Alexie and Laurie Halse Anderson are some of my favorites as well.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  3. Alexie and Marchetta, amazing authors. Great list.