Here is my Top Ten List of Underrated Books for Kids and Teens:
- The Roman Mysteries by Caroline Lawrence – picture Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys in Ancient Rome – a great series, but I don’t hear much about it here in the U.S. They made it into a popular TV show in the U.K.
- The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins – obviously, everyone went totally crazy for her series The Hunger Games but this earlier middle-grade series seems to get overlooked. Our whole family loved it (we read it aloud).
- Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes Courter – I always felt this stunning YA memoir about foster care didn’t get enough attention when it came out.
- Lionboy trilogy by Zizou Corder – this amazing middle-grade series about a boy who can communicate with lions kept my whole family rapt, but I didn’t hear much buzz about it.
- Things Not Seen and its sequels by Andrew Clements – Clements’ popular books for younger kids get lots of attention, but we also loved this foray into teen fiction about a boy who wakes up one morning to find himself invisible.
- Alabama Moon by Watt Key – one of our family’s all-time favorite middle-grade read-alouds. A local bookstore owner told my husband about it; otherwise, we hadn’t heard of it before or since.
- The Cronus Chronicles by Anne Ursu – Percy Jackson gets all the attention, but Ursu’s fabulous middle-grade series about two teens who get caught up in the affairs of Greek gods are action-packed, exciting, and sprinkled with a great sense of humor.
- The Mystery of the Third Lucretia by Susan Runholt – I loved this first book in a new mystery series with teen girl detectives tangled up with international art thieves. Perfect for girls who love (or who’ve outgrown) Nancy Drew.
- Icecore and Goldstrike by Matt Whyman – exciting, techno-thrillers for teens that my son, husband, and I all loved, but I didn’t hear much else about them.
- Boom! By Mark Haddon – this hilarious British sci-fi adventure from the author of the adult novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time kept our whole family laughing through a very long day stuck in traffic.
So, those are my picks. How about you? What are your favorite underrated books for kids and teens?