Every literary genre has its lesser-known novelists, but being lesser known doesn’t mean being an underdog. Many lesser-known authors produce incredible works that deserve much more acclaim than they receive. I’ve created a list of six underrated authors, who write primarily in the Young Adult genre. This is a list for any bookworm to expand their reading options, but let it be known, this list is just a starting point. There are many more Young Adult authors who deserve extra attention.
1. Sheri L. Smith
While Sheri Smith doesn’t shy away from writing fiction for middle-grade readers, she has some fantastic titles to check out in the Young Adult genre. If fantasy, post-apocalyptic worlds catch your attention, then Orleans will make you fall in love with Smith and you’ll probably want to go check out her other young adult novel Flygirl.
2. Ron Koertge
Ron Koertge is most notable for his poetry. His work is featured in many poetry anthologies, and you’ve likely heard him if you listen to NPR’s “The Writer’s Almanac,” but he also has several titles for adolescents. If you like realistic fiction that is brief and to the point, then go pick up one of Koertge’s novels for teens.
3. Sharon Sant
Hard-working is an inadequate adjective for Sharon Sant. With three fantasy series and two stand-alone paranormal books, she is clearly devoted to her craft. A few works by Sharon are The Sky Song trilogy and The Memory Game.
4. Swati Avasthi
If you like reading novels that experiment with form, then take a look Swati Avasthi’s most recent novel, Chasing Shadows. The novel takes a risk by blending graphic novel and prose. It’s a story that explores senseless violence and mental health, and the illustrations really help bring a level of depth to the issues raised.
5. Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Benjamin Sánez is another author more recognized for his poetry, but he has several young adult titles on the market. The beautiful novel Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is his most recent book for adolescents.
6. Marie Lu
This burgeoning author is best known for her dystopian Legend series. While she is becoming better known in the genre, her carefully crafted novels have stood strong against a slew of other dystopian universes. Plus, if you love book to film adaptations, her Legend series will be the backbone of a movie to be produced by CBS films.
Broadening your reading list beyond what you can easily find in big box stores not only exposes you to diverse literature, but it helps support new artists who work hard and deserve praise.
Who are a few YA authors you wish more people knew about?
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