Series for Readers Age 10 – Young Adult
Series for Readers Age 10 – YA
There is nothing better than using the school holidays as a chance to become totally immersed in the world of a brilliant book series! I remember reading John Marsden’s iconic ‘Tomorrow When the War Began’ series during one Christmas holidays (in my twenties!) and never wanting the holidays to end. I LIVED in those books. I KNEW Ellie. I WAS Ellie.
If you have readers from 10 years – young adult in your life I highly recommend the following series. Some are for an older audience and I have marked them as such – use your discretion of course – some readers are ready for ‘older’ books, some are not. If you would like books aimed more at readers 10-12, check out my ‘Year Six Book Club’ posts here.
Click on titles of series or cover images to add these books to your home, school or library collection.
I have also been asking my Year Six students this week to write lists of their fav books of 2014 (on old library card catalogue cards!) and some series have come up time and time again including; ‘The Hunger Games’; ‘Skulduggery Pleasant’; ‘Mortal Instruments’; ‘Divergent’; ‘Mosquito Advertising’ and ‘Tomorrow When the War Began’.
‘Hidden’ series (10+) by Lian Tanner
Short-listed, Aurealis Awards, Best Children’s Book, 2013. Petrel is an outcast, the lowest of the low on an ancient icebreaker that has been following the same course for three hundred years. In that time, the ship’s crew has forgotten its original purpose and broken into three warring tribes, the Cooks, the Officers and the Engineers. Everyone has a tribe except Petrel, whose parents committed such a terrible crime that they were thrown overboard, and their daughter ostracised.
But Petrel is a survivor…
‘The Mapmaker Chronicles’ (9+) by A.L. Tait
I anticipate big things for this series. My inteteview with the author is here. ‘Race to the end of the world’ is the first book in ‘The Mapmaker Chronicles’ adventure trilogy. The King is determined to discover what lies beyond the known world, and has promised a handsome prize to the ship’s captain who can bring him a map of the whole globe. To do that, they’ll need mapmakers – and 14-year-old Quinn is shocked to be one of the chosen. While his older brothers long for adventure, Quinn is content with a quiet life on the farm, but when word of his special talent gets out, he has no choice but to pack his bags and join the mismatched crew of slaves and stowaways on board the Libertas. Nobody knows what lies off the edge of the map (dragons? sea monsters?), but Quinn discovers that it’s a lot more than anyone bargained for…
‘The Samurai Kids’ series (9+) by Sandy Fussell
The ‘Samurai Kids’ series has remained eternally popular in whichever library I have worked in. I’ve worked in a co-ed school, a boys school and now a girls school and I know that this series has remained a favourite. I had a teacher at my current school become quite obsessed with these a few years ago – proving once again that good literature totally transcends publisher imposed age ranges. Niya Moto is the only one-legged samurai kid in Japan, famous for falling flat on his face in the dirt. The one school that will accept him is the Cockroach Ryu, led by the legendary sensei Ki-Yaga. He may be an old man overly fond of naps, but Ki-Yaga is also known for taking in kids that the world has judged harshly: an albino girl with extra fingers and toes, a boy who is blind, a big kid whose past makes him loath to fight. A warrior in his time, Ki-Yaga demands excellence in everything from sword fighting to poetry. But can the ragtag Cockroaches make the treacherous journey to the Samurai Trainee Games, never mind take on the all-conquering Dragons? In a fast-moving, action-filled tale that draws on true details of feudal Japan, Niya finds there’s no fear they can’t face as long as they stick together — for their friendship is more powerful than a samurai sword.
‘The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness’ (9+) by Michelle Paver
Thousands of years ago the land is one dark forest. Its people are hunter-gatherers. They know every tree and herb and they know how to survive in a time of enchantment and powerful magic. Until an ambitious and malevolent force conjures a demon: a demon so evil that it can be contained only in the body of a ferocious bear that will slay everything it sees, a demon determined to destroy the world. Only one boy can stop it – 12 year old Torak, who has seen his father murdered by the bear. With his dying breath, Torak’s father tells his son of the burden that is his. He must lead the bear to the mountain of the World Spirit and beg that spirit’s help to overcome it. Torak is an unwilling hero. He is scared and trusts no one. His only companion is a wolf cub only three moons old, whom he seems to understand better than any human. Theirs is a terrifying quest in a world of wolves, tree spirits and Hidden People, a world in which trusting a friend means risking your life.
‘Ranger’s Apprentice’ series (9+) by John Flannagan
I met John Flannagan when the first book in this series was released – before it took the literary world by storm. A series had not suckered me in for quite some time…and when these started…I couldn’t get enough. I was working at a boys school at the time – and I pretty much had to read each new title overnight as there was such a long waitlist for them! John Flanagan’s bestselling ‘Ranger’s Apprentice’ adventure series originally comprised twenty short stories, which John wrote to encourage his twelve-year-old son, Michael, to enjoy reading. The series has come a long way since then. Now sold to more than twenty countries, the series regularly appears on the NYT Bestseller List and has been shortlisted in children’s book awards in Australia and overseas. John, a former television and advertising writer lives in Sydney.
The ‘Jamie Reign’ series (9+) by P.J. Tierney
Jamie Reign was born twelve years ago, on the first day of the Chinese Year of the Dragon. This supposedly auspicious start in life hasn’t been much use to him, living a loveless existence with his abusive father, Hector, on a salvage boat. Jamie’s mother Mayling died on the day he was born.
When Jamie inadvertently summons some fiery orbs from the air to tackle some local bullies, he doesn’t understand that he has tapped into The Way, the universal energy source, and in doing so he sets off a chain of events with unforeseen consequences.
The ‘Mosquito Advertising’ series (9+) by Kate Hunter
Katie Crisp has talent, it’s just that the report card hidden in her room doesn’t show it. School’s out for another year and Katie is set to spend the summer lazing under the sausage tree in the backyard of the only home she’s ever known. So, when she discovers that Parfitt’s Family Soft Drink Company is about to be taken over by a corporate giant, leaving her mum out of a job and them both out of a home, it’s time to finally show everyone what she’s made of.
The ‘Conspiracy 365’ series (10+) by Gabrielle Lord
I love her adult crime titles so I was stoked to see her turn her hand to writing for a younger audience. These books are ACTION packed and brilliant. Gabrielle Lord is one of Australia’s bestselling crime writers for adults. Following the Conspiracy 365 series, she already has plans for another three adult novels and two more young adult books. Research is everything, Gabrielle says. ‘Out of my contacts with experts (who are always far too modest to describe themselves that way) I get not only the fine-tuning necessary for today’s savvy readers, but also wonderful incidents and images that enrich and enlarge my books.’
The ‘Gone’ series (10+) by Phillip Gywnne
Phillip Gwynne has written some of my favourite books for young people and whilst I’ve only read one of these books so far, I’m fairly confident in recommending them! Book One of a high-octane thriller series. Fifteen-year-old Dom is cast out of his comfortable life in the Gold Coast’s Halcyon Grove when he inherits an ancient debt. Now, he has six Herculean tasks to perform…or lose a pound of flesh.
‘Percy Jackson’ series (10+) by Rick Riodan
Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood. I never asked to be the son of a Greek God. I was just a normal kid, going to school, playing basketball, skateboarding. The usual. Until I accidentally vaporized my maths teacher. Now I spend my time battling monsters and generally trying to stay alive.
‘It’s Buffy meets Artemis Fowl. Thumbs up.’ Sunday Times
The ‘Skulduggery Pleasant’ series (10+) by Derek Landy
In the few years I’ve had these in the library, interest has not waned! Meet the great Skulduggery Pleasant: wise-cracking detective, powerful magician, master of dirty tricks and burglary (in the name of the greater good, of course). Oh yeah. And dead. Then there’s his sidekick, Stephanie. She’s… well, she’s a twelve-year-old girl. With a pair like this on the case, evil had better watch out…
‘The Hunger Games Trilogy’ (11+) by Suzanne Collins
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. But Katniss has been close to death before – and survival, for her, is second nature. “The Hunger Games” is a searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present.
‘Tomorrow When the War Began’ (11+) by John Marsden
Somewhere out there Ellie and her friends are hiding. They’re shocked, they’re frightened, they’re alone. Their world has changed, with the speed of a slamming door. They’ve got no weapons – except courage. They’ve got no help – except themselves. They’ve got nothing – except friendship. ‘Tomorrow, When the War Began’ is the first of an enormously popular series that has been translated and published all over the world. It is the book that started the series that became the legend…
‘The Starbound Trilogy’ (12+) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
This was the winner of the Best YA title for the Aurealis Awards in 2013 and deservedly so. A young socialite and a war hero crash on an uncharted planet in this timeless and romantic love story of Titanic proportions. ‘Intense, thrilling, and achingly beautiful…’ – Marie Lu
‘Twinmaker’ series (12+) by Sean Williams
If you could be anywhere in a moment, where would you go? If you could change your appearance in a minute, what would you choose? If you discovered something was very wrong with this perfect world, what would you do? Action and danger fuel this near-future thriller in a fresh take on technology, identity, and the lengths one girl will go to save her best friend.
‘The Mortal Instruments’ (12+) by Cassandra Claire
Sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is an ordinary teenager, who likes hanging out in Brooklyn with her friends. But everything changes the night she witnesses a murder, committed by a group of teens armed with medieval weaponry. The murderous group are Shadowhunters, secret warriors dedicated to driving demons out of this dimension and back into their own.
Drawn inexorably into a terrifying world, Clary slowly begins to learn the truth about her family – and the battle for the fate of the world.
‘Elementals’ series (13+) by Brigid Kemmerer
Four brothers, four powerful elements, and one girl caught in the middle. When Becca Chandler saves Chris Merrick from being beaten up in the school parking lot, she has no idea how dramatically this one action will change her life. Because Chris Merrick is no ordinary guy and neither are his three older brothers. The Merrick boys are Elementals. Hot. Powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death. And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.
‘The Last Girl’ series (13+) by Michael Adams
The end of the world happened quickly. The sun still shone, there was no explosion – just a tsunami-sized wave of human thought drowning the world in telepathic noise as everyone’s inner-most secrets became audible. Everyone’s thoughts, that is, except sixteen-year-old Danby.
The ‘Pandora Jones’ series (13+) by Barry Jonsberg
Pandora Jones wakes in a changed world at The School – a sanctuary for survivors of a plague pandemic. Haunted by terrible dreams, surrounded by traumatic events, Pandora must trust her instincts if she is to stay safe. And her instincts suggest that The School is hiding secrets. The first book in a brilliant YA series by a multi-award-winning author.
The ‘Divergent’ series (14+) by Veronica Roth
In sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior’s world, society is divided into five factions – Abnegation (the selfless), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent) – each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue, in the attempt to form a “perfect society.” At the age of sixteen, teens must choose the faction to which they will devote their lives.