Friday 16 August 2013

Guest Blog: Julie Berry’s Top Five Teen Reads

We invited children's author Julie Berry to write a guest blog about her top 5 teen reads - Julie accepted the invite and here is her blog ...

"Distilling a lifetime of amazing reads into a top five list makes my head swim! So many titles have shaped the genre and changed the world, and I couldn’t begin to choose the definitive five. Instead I chose to highlight the five teen titles that affected me the most because I loved them completely. They transported me. They’ve stayed in my heart ever since. I’m an author today because of how deeply these books got under my skin. 

I realize bending the assignment this way is a bit of a cheat. Sit tight; the cheating is just beginning. 

'The Witch of Blackbird Pond' by Elizabeth George Speare (1958). It’s been years since I’ve read this – hmm, time for a read down memory lane! 'All the Truth That’s in M'e might be seen as a bit of an homage to this well-beloved classic. Not that I was thinking so consciously at the time that I wrote it, but looking back, it’s clear this touchstone title influenced me. 


'Keturah and Lord Death' by Martine Leavitt (2006). This story combines impossible romance and a startling premise with lulling, homey, nostalgic storytelling. It’s masterful, and oh, what a heartthrob! This was nominated for a National Book Award in the US. It’s so well-worth hunting down and reading. 



'The Perilous Gard' by Elizabeth Marie Pope (1974). This book doesn’t have the name recognition it deserves. Castles, fairies, kidnapping, underground caverns, and horrifying rituals – it has it all. Historical fiction that’s deeply archetypal, a dual hero’s quest. Is it fantasy? Is it psychodrama? You, the reader, must decide. I love, love, love this book. 



'Beauty' by Robin McKinley (1978). (And let’s cheat and throw in 'The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown' while we’re at it.) I have numerous journal entries from my junior high years, filled with ecstatic raptures of joy at Beauty’s existence in the world. I follow Robin McKinley on Twitter. One day I hope to meet her to tell her what her books meant to me. I hope my gushing won’t annoy her.


 'The Hobbit', and 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien (1937—1954). Do I dare call this teen literature? I think I do, whether it’s cheating or not. I re-read the entire saga every Christmas. I know its flaws like I know my own: it’s long. It’s heavy on landscape. Too many orcs to count. It’s half-written in Elvish. Women scarcely appear and only a handful do anything interesting. Nevertheless, always and forever, Tolkien’s will be the fantasy epic, and Middle-Earth will be a regular tourist stop for me."


A huge thank you to Julie for taking the time to write a blog for us, we hope you enjoy it as much as we have!

Julie's new book ‘All The Truth That’s In Me’ is out at the end of August, read on to find out more about it ...


‘All The Truth That’s In Me’
By Julie Berry
Published by Templar Publishing, 31st August 2013
RRP £10.99 (hardback)
ISBN 9781848779143

Judith can’t speak. Ever since the horrifying trauma that left her best friend dead, and her without her tongue, she’s been an outsider in her community of Roswell Station. All Judith can do is silently pour out her feelings to the love of her life, the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember – even if he doesn’t know it – her childhood friend, Lucas.

But when Roswell Station is attacked, longburied secrets come to light, the cruel become kind, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence or recover her voice, even if what she has to say might change her world and the lives around her, forever.

Highly recommended for readers aged 12+

You can find out more Julie Berry and her work at
You can find out more about 'All The Truth That's In Me' at Templar Publishing's website
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