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How do you choose what to read?

I was sharing my goal to read 100 YA fiction books so I could begin to really understand the inner-workings of the genre when my friend (Hi The Other Ruth!) asked me: “How do you choose what to read?”

I rattled off:

  1. My favorite authors that I would love to write like.
  2. A title that strikes me as I peruse the library.
  3. A book that comes in the mail from a generous publisher to review.
  4. Recommendations from Amazon, friends and blogs.

Which made me think about my favorite authors and how it has been awhile since I’ve “checked-in” with them in Cyberspace. I thought you may want to join me . . . happy clicking.

Sharon Creech. Walk Two Moons stole my heart and I was completely enamored by The Wanderer. Her sweet way with words inspires me to write.  Check out her blog, Words We Say: Life and writing, serious and humorous, old and young, past and present: it’s all part of the fabric.

Laurie Halse Anderson. She hooked me years ago with Speak. Then she made me fall in love with historical fiction with Fever 1793 and Chains. I just picked up Winter Girls from the library a few hours ago and I have a feeling I’ll be reading it well into the night. To make her even more amazing, she blogs at Mad Woman in the Forest:  Mumbles, Mutters, and Shrieks.

Jaqueline Woodson. Every single thing I pick up by Woodson I fall in love with. Everything. Her website is no exception.

Markus Zusak. I”m reading The Book Thief right now. I”ll be finishing it tonight (and then reading Winter Girls). It is a work of art. I know I”ll be blogging about this book more. Anyway, I couldn’t wait to find out more about Zusak. Here is his website through Random House. I especially enjoyed this page about his writing life.

I’m sure you know the list could go on, but I”ll stop there. How about you? Who are your favorite authors?



Ruth Ayres View All

Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.

10 thoughts on “How do you choose what to read? Leave a comment

  1. The Book Thief might be my favorite book of all tiime. I’m so jealous that you are finishing it for the first time today!!

    I love James Howe…an anthology called On the Fringe… Sharon Draper, Sharon Flake, Jacqueline Woodson, Katherine Patterson, Lois Lowry… and the picture book FOX is my new favorite read aloud that I’d teach any agegroup!!


  2. Thanks for all of the comments! 🙂

    @ Ashley C. — Absolutely recommendations from students top my list. I have a page in my wn that is just for student book recommendations. Since I carry it with me into every classroom I go I’m able to easily add the titles.

    @ Wanda Brown — My daughter and I just started reading Little House in the Big Woods. And we love Ralph S. Mouse (even if he is a rodent). Thanks for reminding us about these gems. 🙂

    Happy reading everyone!


  3. I love all the current authors already mentioned for YA but I am amazed that still after 30 plus years my students love Ramona and Laura Ingalls Wilder as characters (girls and boys alike). Beverly Cleary and LIW have surpassed the test of time.


  4. I teach kindergarten and use lots of my favorite children’s authors to help students learn about telling a story through illustrations (Mo Willems and David Shannon) and then later with words too. Some of my favorite authors are authors I use for mentor texts. I love Patricia Polocco, Ezra Jack Keats, Cynthia Rylant, Robert Munsch, Mem Fox and lots more!


  5. What about getting ideas from students? Many of the books on my GoodReads “to-read” list are books they have deemed “baller” (or something of the sort). I still want to read my favorite authors, but the kids know where it’s at, too!


  6. Your bookish friend is smiling–and loving to hear how you kept thinking about the question. I am so intrigued by how kids and adults choose what they read, especially when for a specific purpose. As for favorites…I’ll get back to you when the list will fit the comment space! 🙂


  7. I have a lot of favorite authors. It is always a difficult question for me to answer (but one my students ask a lot). They range from books that are very serious to light, fun books. Here are some that automatically pop into mind: Julia Alvarez, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Sharon Creech, Simone Elkeles, Chris Crutcher, Lisa Schroeder…


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