Last year, one million books were given away as part of World Book Night. That was awesome. What's more awesome is that this year the public are going to get to choose exactly which books get given away!
We think it would be excellent if a young adult book made it into the nation's top ten – we don't even care if it's not one of ours, we would just love to see tons of people of all ages reading the kind of book that we are proud to publish!
To get involved, all you need to do is sign-up at www.worldbooknight.org and list your favourite books. This closes on the 31st August, so there's about a month to make up your mind.
To give you some inspiration, we've asked a whole bunch of our authors to tell us what their favourite YA book (or books!) is and why they love it. We have a mini-series of posts coming up so keep your eyes peeled. For now, here are the Team Atom choices – we all picked something old and something new:
Sam – Editorial Director
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: Judging by the blurb on the back you might not think this novel of four sisters growing up in the American Civil War is a page-turner. You would be wrong. Hearts are broken, lives are in jeopardy, hair is singed! It also has the very important life lesson that moving to New York City with nothing but a pen, a manuscript and a stubborn streak is a good move for any young woman. A true YA feminist classic.
Harry Potter by J K Rowling: I, quite shamefully, came to the Harry Potter (or HPotts, as I call him because we’re tight like that) series quite late in life. This meant, however, that I could read all seven magical novels back to back, only breaking for minor things like work and food and texting my little sister that she would have definitely been in Slytherin.
Lots of people have written, far more eloquently than I could hope to, about how fantastic this series is, how much it meant to them growing up alongside Harry, Hermione and Ron or how wonderful it was to be able to dive into the world of Hogwarts alongside their kids. But as someone who neither was 8 nor had an 8-year-old when I first picked up HPotts 1: The Philosopher’s Stone, I can only appreciate what an immersive, emotional, and completely addictive world J.K. Rowling created over the seven books. Brilliant all.
Kate – Assistant Editor
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith: Cassandra is the most authentic and charming of protagonists. She is naïve without being ditsy, caring without being patronising, clever without being a bore, and most of all she’s making her way clumsily through life with such heartfelt gratitude for everything she’s experiencing that you can’t help but adore her. This is my comfort book; one that I know inside-out, and probably the one that most made me want to find a job in publishing. If you don’t think that it’s practically perfect, I’ll be very surprised…
Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison: I dare anyone not to find this laugh-out-loud funny. It had me giggling embarrasingly loudly into the pages in public places and everything was so relateable to 13-year-old me that teendom suddenly felt a lot more bearable. Plus, I love the word SNOG, so Louise gets a mountain of brownie points for getting that onto the front cover.
Gina – Marketing
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton: I cannot count the number of times I read this book when I was a teenager. I do not have enough fingers, toes, limbs combined to even come close. A total modern classic and S.E. Hinton wrote it when she was just 17. There’s also a pretty good film version starring very, very young Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe and the late (and much missed!) Patrick Swayze.
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer: Well this is horribly obvious of me but I pick Twilight. It’s a great love story (and Stephenie is a lovely author), it gave the world R-Patz and Taylor Lautner’s abs AND it kickstarted a whole new genre of YA publishing and it’s the reason I came to work for Atom. All of which make it pretty special to me.
Rose – Publicity
Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery: Anne (with an e!) is a brilliant creation. Dreamy, imaginative, caring, stubborn, with a fiery temper but really quite vulnerable; her story absolutely transported me. Set on a rural Canadian island, it’s an incredibly atmospheric world – but it’s Anne and Gilbert’s love story that I love the most. From the first moment when he pulls her pigtails in class and she retaliates by cracking a writing slate over his head, to their eventual marriage and five children (six books later!), it is a classic and enduring romance.
The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan: Alan and Nick Ryves are brothers on the run, constantly having to move around England to protect their insane mother from a coven of evil magicians who bargain with demons… other than that it’s actually pretty tricky to talk about this one without giving away the twist at the end! But I love it because of the main characters – I knew I would just from the dialogue on the first page. Funny but actually very dark, the ending leaves you with an unsettled feeling but desperately wanting more.