Children's Author
Young Adult Novelist

Michelle D. Kwasney

For Teens

Some things have changed a lot since I was a teenager. Like the fact that you had to stand and physically walk across the living room to change the TV channel. And there were twelve stations max, that matched the twelve numbers on the dial – IF you were lucky enough to get them all. But a lot of things haven’t changed. It’s just as hard being a teenager today as it was in the seventies when I grew up. Maybe harder.

As a teenager, I always felt like I was on the outside, looking in. That’s probably why I write YA fiction, to create characters that might help provide the kind of connections I found myself looking for. It’s affirming to see reflections of ourselves in the books we read—our lives, our loves, our fears and idiosyncrasies and dreams. I’ve always connected strongly with books. They've opened doors, introducing me to people I would never meet, ideas I might never have been exposed to, stories both like and unlike my own life. Sadly, there wasn’t such a thing as “young adult literature” when I was a teenager, but now I make up for what I missed.  I’m constantly reading.

Below, I've listed some of my favorite novels. Most are edgy, raw, intense, and emotionally charged. Some are heartbreaking and made me cry. Others gave me goose bumps. A few made me want to shake my fists and scream. But they are ALL beautifully written.

Click on any title for more information, or to order a copy through Or, better yet, request a copy at your local independent bookseller.

Favorite YA Novels:

The Adoration of Jenna Fox, by Mary E. Pearson
Before I Die, Jenny Downham

Lessons from a Dead Girl, Jo Knowles
Endgame, Nancy Garden
Story of a Girl, Sara Zarr
Harmless, Dana Reinhardt
Such a Pretty Girl, Laura Wiess
Teach Me, R. A. Nelson
Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson
Breathing Underwater, Alex Flinn
Cut, Patricia McCormick
The Skin I’m In, Sharon Flake
The Misfits, James Howe
Dancing on the Edge, Han Nolan
Rules of the Road, Joan Bauer
Hard Love, Ellen Wittlinger
Hush, Jacqueline Woodson
True Believer, Virginia Euwer Wolff
Luna, Julie Anne Peters
After, Francine Prose
Inexcusable, Chris Lynch

Middle-Grade Novels:

Rules, Cynthia Lord
A Crooked Kind of Perfect, Linda Urban
The Higher Power of Lucky, Susan Patron
The Liberation of Gabriel King, K. L. Going
A Mango-shaped Space, Wendy Mass

Recommended YA Websites:

Teen Faze:
Teen Read Week:
Y Read?:
Teen Link:
NYPL Books for the Teen Age:
Reader’s Club:
Teen Zone:
Teen Angst Books:
Teen Acceptance Issues:

If you have a favorite book or website you’d like to recommend, email me!