Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Jill's ABC Reading Challenge

Jill Williamson is a chocolate loving, daydreaming, creator of kingdoms. She writes weird books for teens in lots of weird genres like, fantasy (Blood of Kings trilogy), science fiction (Replication), and dystopian (The Safe Lands trilogy). Find Jill on FacebookTwitterPinterest, or on her author website.

I'm hard at work on my edits for Project Gemini (Mission League, book 2), which is supposed to come out June 1, so I'm having trouble keeping up with life. I had planned to write a blog post about research, but my husband gave me a different idea. An idea that I thought would take less time and thought for my overtired brain.

Wrongo. This post, sadly, took me all night. Still, it was a good idea, and I appreciate my husband's help.

But that's okay. It's really all the letters N, Q, and Us faults, anyway.

But here's what happened. I decided to challenge myself and any who would like to participate, to an ABC Reading Challenge! I have made a reading list for the alphabet, and I'm going to try and read all these books this year. Like I said, I had a lot of trouble with N, Q, and U. If I had a library I could run down to, I'm sure I could have found something. Alas, I had to rely on Google to help me, which is why I ended up with those classics on the list. I also tried not to read more than one book by any author.

So here is my list! I'll check back in with you in a year to let you know if I succeeded in reading all these. Most of them were already in my To Read pile. A few I had in my Amazon.com shopping cart. And then there was N, Q, and U... *sigh*

A- Alanna by Tamora Pierce
I just recently discovered Tamora Pierce, and I've never read any of her books. So I'm excited to dig in. I bought this one to read out loud to my daughter. (Other "A" books I recommend: Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer, Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore, Airborn by Kenneth Oppel, Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.)

B- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I've heard so many people rave about this that I finally bought it. (Other "B" books I recommend: Beauty by Robin McKinley, The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket, The Blue Umbrella by Mike Mason.)

C- Cinder by Marissa Meyer
I just wanted to read this ever since I saw the cover. I just want to see what it's like. I think the idea was brilliant. (Other "C" books I recommend: City of Ember by Jeanne Duprau, The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon---there is some swearing and adult situations in this book, so it's not for everyone. But the story is told through the eyes of an autistic teen boy, and the voice is absolutely incredible. I was spellbound.)

D- Dune by Frank Herbert
I've always wanted to read this. But it's SO THICK! But I found it at a thrift store for .50, so it's in the To Read pile now! (Other "D" books I recommend: The Door Within by Wayne Thomas Batson, Divergent by Veronica Roth, Dracula by Bram Stoker, Delerium by Lauren Oliver.)

E- The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
I had this book in my hand at a thrift store. I swore I bought it, but I can't find it anywhere in my house. So maybe I didn't buy it. Which was dumb. All that to say, I've never read a Robert Jordan book, and I want to start with book one. (Other "E" books I recommend: Emma by Jane Austen, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, Eragon by Christopher Paolini.)

F- Feed by M. T. Anderson
Found this one at a thrift store as well. It's been on my shelf almost three years now. I think it's time. (Other "F" books I recommend: Failstate by John Otte, Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter by R. J. Anderson, Fablehaven by Brandon Mull.)

G- The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
I've heard so many good things. I'll have to check it out from the library. (Other "G" books I recommend: The Giver by Lois Lowry, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.)

H- Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
My mom told me to read this. I've been curious ever since. (There are a million amazing books that start with H. In fact, if you don't know what to name your book, maybe something with H? It seems to spark bestsellers. Other "H" books I recommend: Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, Holes by Louis Sachar, Hoot by Carl Hiaasen, The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.)

I- Intervention by Terri Blackstock
This has been in my Amazon cart for three-ish years as well. And I really needed a letter I. (Other "I" books I recommend: Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder, Isle of Swords by Wayne Thomas Batson.)

J- Jerk, California by Jonathan Friesen
A few years back, someone told me to read Jonathan Friesen's books. So I bought this one and the sequel. And they've been sitting for years. Waiting for my attention. (Other "J" books I recommend: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton.)

K- The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
This is one I've heard a lot about. So, I'm curious. (Other "K" books I recommend: Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen, The King of Attolia (book three) by Megan Whalen Turner. Be sure to read The Thief (book 1) and The Queen of Attolia (book 2) first.)

L- Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
I've had this book for ages. It's super thick. I'm a little scared, but I think I need to give it a go. (Other "L" books I recommend: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving.)

M- The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart and Carson Ellis 
I've heard so many good things. I bought this, and it's been patiently waiting its turn. (Other "M" books I recommend: The Maze Runner by James Dashner, Maximum Ride by James Patterson, Matilda by Roald Dahl, Mansfield Park by Jane Austen, Magyk by Angie Sage.)

N- Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
I've heard of Neil Gaiman, but haven't read any of his books. But this book starts with an N. So I'm going to give it a go. Plus it's spec fiction, so that can't be all bad, right? (Other "N" books I recommend: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, Number the Stars by Lois Lowry  )

O- Owlflight by Mercedes Lackey
I've never read Mercedez Lackey, who is a mega-famous fantasy author. I was in desperate need of an O book and I found this one under my bed! I know. It's scary to be a book in my house. (Other "O" books I recommend: On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson, Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot---which is the book the musical Cats came from.)

P- Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
My husband bought this at the Scholastic book fair four years ago and read it. Then I put it on my shelf and never touched it again. And I've always wanted to read it. (Other "P" books I recommend: The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot, The Princess Bride by William Goldman, The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis.)

Q- Quentin Durward Sir Walter Scott 
I have no desire to read this book, and, frankly, if I'm going to fail this reading challenge, this is likely the place. I was desperate for a Q book. So very desperate. But there were some nice things said online that this might have been one of his best books. So, who knows? I might be pleasantly surprised. (Other "U" books I recommend: The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner, but read The Thief by her first, as The Queen of Attolia is boo two.)

R- Redwall by Brian Jacques
Yes, it's true. I've never read a Brian Jacques book. I've owned the first two since Luke was two, so that's been nine years. It's long past time, don't you think? (Other "R" books I recommend: The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet by Stephanie Morrill, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan.)

S- The Spirit Well by Stephen Lawhead
This is the third book in the Bright Empires series. I got it from the Amazon Vine program and need to review it. So, yeah... (Other "S" books I recommend: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.)

T- This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
(Other "T" books I recommend: To Kill a Mockingbird by by Harper Lee, The Time Traveler's Wife by by Audrey Niffenegger, The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. And in case you didn't notice, I really like The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner and the other books in that series as well. Tuck Everlasting might also be enjoyable, though I've never read it.)

U- Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe 
Here was another desperate search for a U book, but I've always wanted to read this one. I never had it assigned to me in school. So I'm assigning it to myself. Plus I was able to get it free on Kindle. Bonus! (Other "U" books I recommend: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld! Too bad I'd already read this...)

V- The Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers
My friend gave me this book for Christmas almost ten years ago. I've tried to start reading it twice, and failed! Yet so many people rave about this series. I will read this book. It will happen. Finally. (Other "V" books I recommend: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis.)

W- White Oleander by Janet Fitch
When I was on my book tour with Bill Myers, he told me to read this book. He "assigned" it to me so that I would notice the authors beautiful way with words. He said that it's not a clean book, and  that it's not a feel good book. So I'm not sure what I've gotten myself into here... (Other "W" books I recommend: A Walk to Remember by Nicolas Sparks, Watership Down by Richard Adams.)

X- Xenocide by Orson Scott Card
This is the third book in the Ender's Game series. But it started with an X, you see? I'm not going to be able to read this one unless I read Speaker for the Dead, book two. So this book might get me in trouble too. (Other "X" books I recommend: I have no idea! LOL An X-men comic, maybe? In fact, I have no recommendations for X, Y, or Z. I was pretty thrilled to come up with the books I came up with!)

Y- Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay
I've heard lots about this author and have always been curious about him. This probably isn't his most popular book, but it's a Y and I'm going to read it! Boo-yah!

Z- Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien
I've had this book since my Alaska school visits when a librarian gave it to me when I told her I was thinking of writing a steampunk novel. She also gave me Airborn by Kenneth Oppel, which is a fabulous book. But Z for has been sitting all this time. I was so happy to find it on my shelf because I needed a Z!

Have you read any of these books? Do you have any recommendations? Especially for letters N, Q, U, X, Y, and Z?


  1. I've read Uncle Tom's Cabin a year or two ago, and it was amazing! Granted, as older books go, a bit slow in spots, but never dull.

    1. I know what you mean about older books feeling slow, Ashley. I'm glad it's not dull, though. :-)

  2. I absolutely *adored* The Goose Girl! The Book Thief was pretty good too; I really liked the POV in that one. I tried reading This Lullaby, but it just didn't click with me...

    I really want to read Cinder, but I haven't gotten around to buying it quite yet. :)

    What about The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins? I've heard that those were good, but I've never actually read any of them... One of my friends told me about a book called Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Prisig that I kind of want to read.

    This is a fun list! I don't know if I'll be able to do this or not, but I hope that you enjoy it!


    1. I have not read those other Suzanne Collins books, Abigail. I'll have to look at them someday.

    2. Yes! Yes! Read The Underland Chronicles! That series is on my list of Top Ten Favorite Series Ever. (And Hunger Games isn't, so, you know, go figure...)

    3. I put book one in my cart. :-)

  3. I may or may not have done this little silent-happy-clap every time I saw one of my favorite books on the list of recommendations. xD

    You are going to love Howl's Moving Castle. I know I did. And then I had to read the rest of the series and loved it too. They're amazing and funny and absolutely perfect when you're miserable and need to be cheered up. You'll also like Redwall, I'm sure. Brian Jacques's books are amazing, and I'm hoping to reread the entire Redwall series over the summer. (I have a ginormous summer reading list . . . I have no idea if I'll get through the whole thing.)

    Good luck with your reading! If I come up with any N,Q,U,X,Y, or Z recommendations, I'll be sure to let you know.

  4. I loved Goose Girl! And the rest of the Books of Bayern.

    I do want to warn you though, that Alana has three affairs with men she's not married to during the course of that series, and I believe the first starts in ALANA (I could be wrong). Just so you know.

    I haven't read any of the other books, but I've heard some of them are good!

    1. Really? Alana is a middle grade book about a girl who wants to be a knight. Same book you're talking about???

      Did not see that one coming...

    2. Yes, the same book. And I didn't see it coming either when I read it a few years ago. Then when I realized what was going on I was like "WHAT??? No, that can't be right..." But, sadly it was.

      Other than that, I did like the books. Alana is an great character, but seriously lacking in some moral responsibility. I just looked at Wikipedia to see when the affairs start, and I think they're in later books (as I recall I didn't realize what was going on until half way through book three, but I should have gotten it before then) but the way one of the male characters finds out she's female in the first book is all her clothes disappear.

      So, you might want to preview-read this one before you read it to your daughter.

    3. It starts in book two. And I'm not sure if younger readers would even understand what's going on because it isn't descriptive or anything, but still, maybe not the best choice for someone younger.

      Like Lily said, she is a great character, and the supporting characters are amazing too. It doesn't start with an A, but if you want a more appropriate Tamora Pierce series the Circle of Magic series is good :)

    4. Greeeaaat. *rolls eyes* Okay, I'll look into that other series sometime. Thanks!

  5. You will love the Book Thief! I read that last year and was pleasantly surprised as I am not one much for contemporary young adult fiction. It felt as though I was reading classic historical fiction. And Uncle Tom's Cabin is a MUST read.

  6. So here are some books on either my TBR pile or already read pile that work for the letters you had a hard time with. Most are historical fiction with some fantasy and such.
    I found a Q!! It is Quest for the King by John White, I loved that book. It is the 5th in the series but that I remember does not have to be read in order.

    U- Unrivaled by Siri Mitchell and Francine Rivers' entire Lineage of Grace novella series start with U's, An Unlikely Suitor by Nancy Moser
    N-No Way Out by Susan Sleeman and The New Recruit ;), Noah Primeval by Brian Godawa
    Y- Yellow Rose Bride by Lori Copeland, Yahshua's Bridge by Sandi Rog,

    1. I haven't read Yellow Rose Bride, but I read her book about a girl whose sister and future brother-in-law died and the girl was rescued by a Navy ship. Don't remember the title, but I loved the book, and it's one of a few romances from my preteen paperback-romance-binge that I actually remember. (Most that I read during that phase I recognize a few names, the cover, maybe the title or one or two scenes, but I might as well have just read an Amazon summary or seen a book trailer. That one I actually remember reading haha)

    2. Thanks! I'll mark those down. :-)

  7. Oh! I love the Redwall books! I am smack dab in the middle of the series right now and thoroughly enjoying myself : )

    1. I've read them all except for the latest one, The Rogue Crew. They're fantastic, and I'm glad you're enjoying them! :)

  8. I've heard Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand is really good. I suppose it's nonfiction, but people really seem to love it.

    1. That's one of my husband's favorite books!

  9. N....Not Without Courage by T. Elizabeth Renich. It's book 3 of the Shadowcreek Chronicles; a spectacular fictional series set during the Civil War!

  10. So... I love the idea of this challenge. Are you going to read the books in alphabetical order?

    And I've read so many of the books you mentioned! A lot in the other good books part. I love that you gave a shout out to Wayne Thomas Batson TWICE! ;) Also, Shannon Hale and her Goose Girl book (and series) is amazing. You definitely should read it! I've read almost all of The Book Thief, but this was done when my cousin was around for a day, and had it, and at stores. I'm really close to the end but still need to finish.

    Yes, you should definitely read The Mysterious Benedict Society. It's great! (I just picked up the prequel the other day! ;D)

    Peter and the Star catchers is very interesting. Yes, you should read Voice in The Wind.

    I also recommend The Last Sin Eater. That's my favorite Francine Rivers book. :)

    And for book suggestions... Hmm. I suppose you couldn't count Nancy Drew for N? :P For others, The New Recruit, Nightmare Academy by Frank Peretti (It's a sequel but could stand alone,) No Place Like Holmes by Jason Lethcoe (On my TBR list.)

    Q: I haven't read it, but The Quietness by Alison Rattle looks interesting, Quiet Little Woman is a short, good book by Louisa May Alcott, http://www.iblist.com/list.php?type=book&by=&genre=-1&key=Q&next=0

    U: The Unusual Suspects (Sisters Grimm #2. So read #1 first. They aren't dreadfully long. I think you'd like them.) The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall...

    X: ...... :/ http://www.iblist.com/list.php?type=book&by=&genre=-1&key=X&next=0

    Y: Yankee Belles in Dixie by Gilbert Morris (Book two in Bonnets and Bugles,) The Yearling, :/ http://www.iblist.com/list.php?type=book&by=&genre=-1&key=Y&next=0

    Z: Zathura, ...

    Yeah, these things are hard to find!

    One more question, are you only reading books you've never read?

    I think you've inspired my blog post for today. ;)

    1. I agree, Shannon Hale is so talented :)

    2. Yes, I am reading books I've never read. But I'm not going to read them in order. I don't own them all yet, and I have to pace my shopping. lol

  11. This is a really cool idea! I would love to join! :)

  12. I haven't read any of those books ... although I own both Redwall and Peter and the Starcatchers. I need to read them ... I just haven't gotten around to it. Technically, we have Dune, too ... but Mom doesn't want me to read it until I'm married.

    I couldn't think of any "Q" or "X" books, and the only "N" is "The Neverending Story" and "U" would be "Understood Betsy" but ...

    V - "Vale of the Vole" by Piers Anthony, "Vashti and the Strange God" by Gladys Cook, and "The Vision" by Debi Pearl. (Actually haven't read the last one, but I've read some of her other work. Vale is the tenth book in its series.)
    Z - "Zel" by Donna Jo Napoli. Really good.

    You know, I think I'm going to do this. Since I'm currently cataloging all the books we own, shouldn't be too hard for me to keep an eye out for books we own but I haven't read yet (but ought to read)

    1. Ive seen the film version of "The Neverending Story" -- I didn't know it was a book too!

    2. I've seen the first few minutes of the movie ... I want to see the rest, but simply haven't gotten around to it. From what I've read, however, it only covers the first half of the book. So I highly recommend that you find and read it.

      The author's last name is Ende, which I found highly appropriate.

    3. I haven't read the book (I mean to) but I've seen all three movies, and while 2 and 3 were a bit disappointing (a lot of unexplained changes from the first one, including the Childlike Empress's actress), I still loved all of them.

    4. There's three movies! Didn't know that. (adds to long list of movies to track down ...)

    5. It's a fun movie. It came out when I was a little kid. It looks a little cheesy to my kids, who've grown up with CGI movies. But I love muppet creatures. :-)

  13. What a fun idea!

    Howl's Moving Castle! You're absolutely going to love that one. One of my most favorite books there is!

    I just recently read Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld and loved it to death. A very exciting book.

    I've been wanting to read The Mysterious Benedict Society for the longest myself. Hopefully someday I'll get my hands on it.

    Lots of great suggestions here!

    1. You know what? I got my Leviathans mixed up. Leviathan by James Byron Huggins is the one I read recently, the one by Scott Westerfield is one I've been WANTING to read for a long time.

      Now that I've had my blonde moment of the day I'll be on my way...

    2. I liked Westerfeld's Leviathan. Fun alternate history. I haven't read the Huggins one. I'll have to check it out!

  14. What a great list!!! I'm so glad to hear you love 'The Queen's Thief' series by Megan Whalen Turner. Not nearly enough people know about those awesome books!

    I read 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' this year and was blown away by how wonderful it was. It teaches the message of Christianity SO strongly!

    Plus another 'Z' book is 'Zia' by Scott O'Dell. I haven't read it myself, but it's the sequel to his amazing 'Island of the Blue Dolphins'. I might have to do a list of recommendations from A-Z too!

  15. Jill, White Oleander is beautiful. I love that book. But yeah, not clean and not a feel good read either :)

  16. The first "U" book that pops into my head is Unwind by Neal Shusterman (coincidentally, all of the books in the Unwind trilogy begin with a U, as well, so it could apply to any!). It's a fabulous book--I loved it to pieces. :) Definitely recommended!

    As far as Q...does Quidditch Through the Ages count?! Granted, it isn't really a novel...more like a supplement...but still. :)

  17. You will never regret the Mysterious Benedict Society. And the other two books in the series are grand too!
    Love this idea, but don't think I could handle- erm, my wallet could handle it.

  18. 'Unlocked' by Karen Kingsbury for U.

    'Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze' is a fun historical novel set in China.

    'Queen Sheba's Ring' is another great novel with a historical setting.

    I had trouble finding G, but then I remembered 'The Golden Goblet'. It's an awesome story set in Egypt.

    1. Yay! The Golden Goblet! That book is definitely awesome. While we're at it, Eloise Jarvis McGraw wrote another historical set in Egypt called 'Mara, Daughter of the Nile,' which is my all-time favorite book ever.

  19. Ooo, I just thought of a 'V' Book! 'Veiled Rose' by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. It's the second book in her incredible best-books-ever series, 'The Tales of Goldstone Wood!'

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  21. The Mysterious Benedict Society is a really great book! And I'm currently in the middle of Ender's Game, which I LOVE, so I was happy to see Xenocide up on your list.

    For U, there's Uncommon Criminals which is the second book in the Heist Society series by Ally Carter (I haven't read it but I heard it's good). Other books I highly recommend include Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren and Divergent by Veronica Roth.

    Great idea! This has inspired me to write my own list.

    1. I haven't read any Heist Society books, but I'm an up-to-date fan of her Gallegher Girls series and read the free crossover novella as well. AMAZING! :D Love those books haha!

    2. Me too. I've read all of the Gallagher Girls books...love them!

  22. The Goose Girl and The Book Thief are on my list of my favorite books of all time! Some of these others are on my to-read list, which is like four pages long. Cool post!

  23. I don't know how much you know about Feed, but I heard about it and totally wanted to read it (right up my alley)... until I picked it up in the store and started reading. Really bad cussing in the first few pages. Not sure about your stance on that - or if you knew that already - but I thought I'd leave a heads-up here.

    Also, I love Howl's Moving Castle and the Goose Girl (actually, the whole Bayern Books series! Own them all and have re-read the first two.) I haven't read any of Neil Gaiman's stuff but I LOVE his Doctor Who episodes and have heard good things. I started This Lullaby since Stephanie's always talking about it, but I didn't like all the iffy behavior at the beginning, so I haven't really tried any of Sarah Dessen's stuff since... :P Haven't read Francine Rivers yet either, although I do intend to eventually. I've heard great things plus The Atonement Child was specifically recommended for me by more than one friend.

    1. Oh, and if you want a break from reading sometime, the Howl's Moving Castle is pretty amazing, too. I usually can't stand anime but a friend forced me to watch it and I adore that movie! It's the reason I bought the book in the first place.

  24. EEP! Alanna: The First Adventure was the first YA book I ever read! (Back in Kindergarten, if anybody's curious... Yeah, I was a weird child.) I need to read Howl's Moving Castle, as the movie is incredible (GHIBLIIIIII!!!!!!)... and I need to read The Goose Girl... Oh, and Xenocide, as I have a copy on my bookcase but also need to read Speaker first. I think a part of me is waiting on Speaker/Xenocide as I'm mildly terrified that it won't improve much on the incredible book that is Ender's Game.

  25. I've read about half of those that you've listed. Obviously, I read a lot. To the point where sometimes I go to the MG/YA section on bookstores when I'm bored and start counting how many books I've read from the shelves.
    I LOVE The Book Thief. How he uses language is absolutely brilliant. And he makes Death a sympathetic character... Amazing.
    I also really liked the Peter and the Starcatchers series.
    The Mysterious Benedict series is an awesome MG series... The characters are well-developed and the plot is good. It gets suspenseful. Even though I read the first book just a few years ago, I did get slightly creeped out by LIVE. (Just because of the whole people-brainwashing-the-airwaves thing. Nothing risqué.)
    I read Uncle Tom last year, and I was surprised. I actually really liked it. It's one of my favorite classics. The writing is clear and concise, and the story's really good.
    That sounds like a really cool idea, Jill. I'll have to try that sometime...
    Thanks for the post!

    Also, Stephanie, I started reading White Oleander, and it's really engrossing. The writing and the story.... Wow. I can't wait to buy it for myself :)

    1. Also, Jill, if you haven't read Fahrenheit 451, I would highly recommend it.
      I read it in school last year, and really liked it. It's one of my favorites.

  26. I've read A, B, K, R and Z. The Book Thief is brilliant!

  27. For the letter N: Never Cry Wolf (I don't know who it's by) some of my classmates had to read it for English and present it.

    Good luck on Uncle Tom's Cabin. I got to page 86 before I got bored with it. Lastly I didn't like Peter and the Starcatchers. Other than that I have read This Lullaby, I really enjoyed that book.

  28. Hey, I've read some of these. I love Alanna and all of Tamora Pierce's books! But depending on how old your daughter is, the second Alanna book might not be appropriate for her...

    And the Book Thief is so so so good. I just finished reading it and it was amazing. I hope you like it!

    Hmm... for N Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro was really good. And all I can think of for Q is Quidditch Through the Ages by J.K. Rowling ;)

  29. N-Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry

    Y-Yellow Star, by Jennifer Roy (don't remember being blown away by this one, but as far as I remember it was okay); Yankee Girl, by Mary Ann Rodman (really enjoyed this one); The Youngest Hero, by Jerry B Jenkins

    U-The Underdogs, by Mike Lupica (middle grade sports story by my favorite sports story author)

  30. "Alanna" is one of my all-time favorite books EVER. You're in for a real treat with that one and "The Mysterious Benedict Society." :D

    I know you didn't ask for suggestions about "W," but I couldn't resist! Our family recently read "Wonder" by R. J. Palacio. Oh. My. Gosh. SOOOOO good. It was wonderful. My brother and I each wrote a review for it here, if you want to learn more. (I'm Thing 1).: http://thing1andthing2revue.blogspot.com/

  31. Love this idea!!

    For N- there's Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis...but it's not out yet. Soon though. ;) It looks SO good.
    For Y - You are a Writer by Jeff Goins is very good. Encouraging. ;) For me anyway!
    OH! For U- there is Unwind by Neal Shusterman...BEST BOOK EVER. XD

  32. I've read the Knife of Never Letting Go. I swept away into the story, couldn't put it down -- but couldn't decide in the end if I liked it or not.

    And, Jill, I can see how this would've taken you all night! Impressive list. :D

  33. The GOOSE GIRL! Sorry, haha. This is such a great idea! I definitely want to make my own now :) Thanks for the idea and the whole long list too! The Attolia series is amazing...just saying. Props for finding a "q" one! You MUST read Redwall! U-Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi Z-Zero Hour by Mark Walden. #6, but it's an amazing series :D U-The Unwanted by Lisa Mcmann?

  34. For N there's Night Watch by Terry Pratchett. It is a comedy but is deep and moving at the same time and is one of my favourites. Terry's an amazing writer, he writes quite clean YA and adult fantasy. For U one could try his Unseen Academicals.
    btw Howl's moving castle is superb!

  35. I love how you gave so many recommendations! I was struggling with I and Q, but thanks to you I'll be doing Isle of Swords and Queen of Attolia (already read The Thief)
    I have a GREAT recommendation for Z
    Check out Zorgamazoo by Robert Paul Weston. It's a fantasy novel told entirely in rhyming couplets. Totally amazing!
    I have a review and book trailer at my blog: http://booksaplentybooksgalore.blogspot.com/2013/01/zorgamazoo.html