When this list was published two days ago it provoked a somewhat hostile response on Twitter. The main gripes were 1) the books were not current novels in need of promotion and 2) they were all American rather than UK publications.
I liked the list (compiled by the Independent’s culture correspondent Clemence Michallon, best known for her interview with Liam Neeson in which he made a controversial unprompted revelation) because it threw up a few titles that were new to me and that as a result I will look out for.
The reflex response of those who got in a steam about it arises from a mindset that would like all coverage of children’s and young adult books to be favourable copy about recently published UK titles. The argument goes as follows: Coverage of children’s/YA books in the national press is so limited that there is no justification for doing anything but put a favourable spotlight on books newly published here in the UK.
The 15 books recommended by Michallon:
- All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
- Luna by Julie Anne Peters
- Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
- Hold Still by Nina LaCour
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
- History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
- This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
- When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
- Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
- Forever by Judy Blume
- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
- Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
- The Sun is Also a Star Nicola Yoon