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5 Favorite Young Adult Books: From Historical Fiction to High Fantasy

Makiia Lucier | The Children’s Book Review | August 27, 2019

I’ve worked on and off in libraries since I was seventeen years old. Public libraries, academic libraries, and though I now write full time, I haven’t lost the habit of recommending my favorite books every chance I get. Here are five titles, from historical fiction to high fantasy, that I hope you’ll love as much as I do. 


Written by Juliet Marillier

When soldiers murder the last of her family, 16-year-old Neryn journeys to Shadowfell, home to a secret rebellion fighting to overthrow a mad king. Neryn is my favorite kind of hero, the quiet, unassuming kind that no one sees coming.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon

Ages 12+ | Publisher: Ember | 2013 (Reprint) | ISBN-13: 978-0375871962

Through the WoodsThrough the Woods

Written by Emily Carroll

Five deliciously creepy graphic stories make up this collection. Even the titles are creepy. The Lady’s Hands are Cold? Yikes. The artwork is superb and terrifying. Truthfully, I would not read these tales while alone in the house. But I would read them.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon

Ages 14+ | Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books | July 15, 2014 | ISBN-13: 978-1442465961

All the Truth Thats In MeAll the Truth That’s In Me

Written by Julie Berry

Four years ago, two young women disappeared from their village. Two years later, only Judith returned, scarred, an outcast among her neighbors and family. All the Truth That’s in Meis a mystery, a love story, and a coming-of-age tale about her determination to carve a new life for herself. I loved every minute of it.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon

Ages 12+ | Publisher: Speak | August 19, 2014 | ISBN-13: 978-0142427309

White Rose by Kip WilsonWhite Rose

Written by Kip Wilson

That the world will see

and the world will know

and the world





White Rose tells the true story of Sophie Scholl, a young German woman who put her life on the line during WWII, secretly distributing pamphlets that denounced Hitler and encouraged peaceful protest. Kip’s debut, written in verse, was the most stressful, riveting read. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon

Ages 12+ | Publisher: Versify | April 2, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1328594433

THE GOBLIN EMPEROR by Katherine AddisonThe Goblin Emperor

Written by Katherine Addison

When his father and three older brothers are killed in an airship ‘accident,’ Maia, half-goblin, half-elf, is pulled from exile and thrust into the dangerous world of castle politics. And okay okay, this book technicallyisn’t shelved in YA, but it’s one awesome coming-of-age goblin tale, and I think many teen readers would love it.

Order a Copy Now: Indiebound | Amazon

Ages 12+ | Publisher: Tor Books | February 12, 2019 (Reprint) | ISBN-13: 978-1250303790

About Makiia Lucier

Makiia Lucier

Makiia Lucier

Makiia Lucier is the author of historical fiction and historical fantasy for young adults. She grew up on the Pacific Island of Guam and has degrees in journalism and library science from the University of Oregon and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Her debut novel, A Death-Struck Year, was called a “powerful and disturbing reading experience” by Publishers Weekly, and was a finalist for Germany’s top book prize for children,the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis. Her second novel, Isle of Blood and Stone, was inspired by her love of Indiana Jones movies and old, old maps.

She lives with her family in North Carolina. Visit her at makiialucier.com and Twitter: @makiialucier.

Song of the Abyss coverSong of the Abyss (Tower of Winds)

Written by Makiia Lucier

Publisher’s Synopsis: They came in the night as she dreamt, in her berth, on a ship sailing home to del Mar. After, they would be all Reyna thought about: two carracks painted scorpion black. No emblem on either forecastle, no pennants flying above the mainmasts to hint at a kingdom of origin. Never a good sign.

As the granddaughter of a famed navigator, seventeen-year-old Reyna has always lived life on her own terms, despite those who say a girl could never be an explorer for the royal house of St. John del Mar. She is determined to prove them wrong, and as she returns home after a year-long expedition, she knows her dream is within reach. No longer an apprentice, instead: Reyna, Master Explorer. But when menacing raiders attack her ship, those dreams are pushed aside. Reyna’s escape is both desperate and dangerous, and when next she sees her ship, a mystery rises from the deep. The sailors–her captain, her countrymen–have vanished. To find them, Reyna must use every resource at her disposal . . . including placing her trust in a handsome prince from a rival kingdom.

Together they uncover a disturbing truth. The attack was no isolated incident. Troubling signs point to a shadowy kingdom in the north, and for once, the rulers of the Sea of Magdalen agree: something must be done. But can Reyna be brave enough to find a way?

Ages 12+ | Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers | August 27, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-0544968585

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Makiia Lucier, author of Song of the Abyss, selected these young adult books for the list 5 Favorite Young Adult Books: From Historical Fiction to High Fantasy. Discover more articles on The Children’s Book Review tagged with .

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

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