Ten Books That Had An Impact…

I got tagged in a bookish thing on Facebook. You know I can’t resist THAT! But then my response turned into far more than just a status update (my bad) so I’m putting it here, too.

So, here’s a list of ten books that have stayed with me in some way and had an impact on me, including a short description of the affect they had. If you’re looking for a new book to read over the holidays, check this out.

– Where The Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak. – Hands down my favorite book ever; my kids can nearly quote it. I love it for it’s literal meaning, and for the figurative meanings my English degree has allowed me to squeeze from it. Also, I feel like, as a teacher of middle schoolers, I AM A TAMER OF WILD THINGS.

The Giver, Lois Lowry. – I don’t even know where to start with this one because I love it so much. This classic dystopian is the basis by which I judge all other dystopian novels, and Jonas is probably my favorite character in a book ever.

The Fault In Our Stars, John Green. – It’s an instant classic. I laughed, I cried, and I still have a giant book crush on Augustus Waters. It’s a really beautiful story that should be read by teens and adults alike.

Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, Jordan Sonnenblick. – Somehow I discovered this and instantly started making my 7th graders read it. Barnes and Noble now carries Jordan Sonnenblick’s books because I bullied them into it. Seriously. The characters and the story are unforgettable.

Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller. – This book shaped my views on my faith more than any other (except for the Bible, obviously, so calm down). The confession booth scene in this, along with the raw, honest language used to explore what it means to be a Christian, have made me a better thinker and a more intentional and purposeful human being. I also got to meet Donald Miller and it was super cool.

The Truth About Forever, Sarah Dessen. – I’m using this title, probably my favorite of Dessen’s, to represent the whole Dessen-esque genre of teen fiction books that are popular right now, including Jennifer Echols, Stephanie Perkins, Susane Colasanti, and more. They’ve had a big impact on me and my writing.

The Dollhouse Murders, Betty Wren Wright. – The first book I remember actually WANTING to read on my own, and it was super freaky. Really, really freaky. From here, I moved onto Christopher Pike and RL Stine and the Sweet Valley Twins and the Babysitter’s Club, all of which are probably responsible for my current ridiculous reading habit.

The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton. – I actually didn’t read this until a few years ago, and I was surprised how much I liked it… and how much every single one of my students like it each year. It’s timeless; it has truly found a way to “stay gold.” Also, S.E. Hinton tweeted me last spring, which I’m still sort of fangirling over.

Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging, Louise Rennison. – This is the beginning of a ten book series about a group of British teenage girls and their endless quest for boys to kiss. AND THEY ARE SO FUNNY. I’ve laughed to the point of snorts and tears while reading these again and again. They’re also surprisingly tame and appropriate – totally ok for teens to read even though the titles sound all crazy sexual.

How to Save A Life, Sara Zarr. – A really, really beautiful book that alternates between the story of a family adopting a baby and the story of a pregnant teenage girl about to give her baby up for adoption. It’s so very worth reading, and for very personal reasons touched me deeply.

You should most definitely read all the books.

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