Tag Archives: teen

Favorite Historical Books, #1

I think I’m going to divide my favorite history books into three sections for you: 1) ancient history, 2) medieval and renaissance history, and 3) 1700-and-later. More or less. 😉 You know I’m not always very precise…

So here’s the Ancient History Favorites randomly within each category:

Juvenile & Young Adult

Great Myths & Legends, by Childcraft

A Single Shard, by Linda Sue Park

Mara, Daughter of the Nile, and The Golden Goblet, by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, by Grace Lin

Deborah, by H.B. Moore

Behold Your Queen, by Gladys Malvern

Hercules and Other Tales from Greek Myths, by Olivia E Coolidge

Mark of the Thief series, by Jennifer A Nielsen

Alphabet of Dreams, by Susan Fletcher

Nobody’s Princess series, by Esther M. Friesner

The Bronze Bow, by Elizabeth George Speare


The Miracle of Freedom: Seven Tipping Points That Saved the World, by Christ Stewart (crosses time periods) (non-fiction)

Researching History for Fantasy Writers, by Dayle A. Dermatis (non-fiction)

The Whole Armor of God, by David C. Belt (non-fiction)

The Robe, by Douglas C. Lloyd

The Lance of Kanana, by Harry Willard French

The Donkey’s Gift, by Thomas M. Coffey


It seems I need some recommendations for good historical fiction in the pre-medieval time period! So, tell me, all you historical readers— what do you recommend? 😀

Happy reading,
M. C. Lee

Mystery Books

I like mysteries, though I prefer the kind without gore. In fact, my second book is a fantasy/mystery mash-up (but we aren’t talking about that today). Here are some of my favorite mysteries. I’ve sorted them by approximate age group, but otherwise they are in random order.

Juvenile (there’s cross over between here and YA)

Robert Newman’s Case of… series, which has loose ties to Sherlock Holmes (but is better) (I had to buy these second-hand because I was borrowing them too often)

The Case of the Marble Monster, by I.G. Edmonds

Sammy Keyes series, by Wendelin Van Draanen (until the last one)

Brixton Brothers series, by Max Barnett

The Puzzle Book & Mathemagic, Childcraft

The Mysterious Benedict Society series, by Trenton Lee Stewart

Echo Falls series, by Peter Abrahams

The early Box Car Children books, by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Cat Royal series, by Julia Golding

The Happy Hollisters series, by Jerry West

Encyclopedia Brown series, by Donald J. Sobol

A Murder for Her Majesty, by Beth Hilgartner

Young Adult

The Agency series, by Y.S. Lee

Enola Holmes series, by Nancy Springer

The Thief, by Megan Whalen Turner

Knight & Rogue series, by Hilari Bell

Montmorency series, by Eleanor Updale

Rhiannon, by Vicki Grove

Too Much Information, by Dale Britton

Blossom Culp series, by Richard Peck

The Golden Goblet, by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

Trixie Belden series, by Julie Campbell  & Kathryn Kenny (it’s hard to get your hands on the later ones)

Stranje House series, by Kathleen Baldwin

Samurai Detective series, by Dorothy Hoobler

The Star of Kazan, by Eva Ibbotson


The early Aunt Dimity books, by Nancy Atherton (the late ones aren’t BAD, just a little duller)

Meg Langslow series & Turing Hopper series, by Donna Andrews (who really should finish the Turing series! *hint hint*)

Sherlock Holmes series, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Frank Shaw series, by John D. Brown (I’m afraid I could never finish his fantasies)

The Falconer’s Knot, by Mary Hoffman

Mrs. Pollifax series, by Dorothy Gilman

Sacred Ground, by Mercedes Lackey

The Lady & the Highwayman, by Sarah M. Eden

The Cuckoo’s Egg, by Clifford Stoll (true story)

Mary Russell series, by Laurie King (IMO, the best new Sherlock Holmes series for adults)

This Just In, by Kerry Blair

Brother Cadfael series, by Ellis Peters (also a TV series which isn’t bad)


So, did anything look interesting to you? What is your favorite mystery?

Happy sleuthing,
Marty C. Lee

Funny Books

Just for the fun of it, I’m declaring March to be Comedy Month. Well, right here on my website, anyway. So here’s a list of books I found to be amusing. (Some of them have made it on other lists.)

Children’s Comedy

The Skippy-Jon Jones series, by Judy Schachner

Pigeon series, by Mo Willems

Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp Monster, by Mercer Mayer (if you can read it with an accent, it’s a great touch)

Juvenile Comedy

The Great Brain series, by John D. Fitzgerald (based on true stories, no less…)

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, by Barbara Robinson

Pippi Longstocking series, by Astrid Lindgren

Ramona series & Henry Huggins series, by Beverly Cleary

The Case of the Mistaken Identity, by Mac Barnett

The True Meaning of Smekday, by Adam Rex (so, so much better than the movie)

Teen Comedy (the line between Juvenile & Teen can be iffy, so feel free to pull from both categories)

Goldfish, by Nat Luursema

Chickens in the Headlights, by Matthew Buckley (also based on true stories)

Homer Price series, by Robert McCloskey

Howl’s Moving Castle series, by Diana Wynn Jones

The Girl Who Invented Romance, and Hit the Road, by Caroline B. Cooney

Romeo and Juliet–Together (and Alive!) at Last, by Avi

Janette Rallison

Enthusiasm, by Polly Shulman

Adult Comedy

The List, by Melanie Jacobson

Phule’s Company series, by Robert Asprin (content warning: adult content)

A Night of Blacker Darkness, by Dan Wells

The Donkey’s Gift, by Thomas M. Coffey

And Then You’re Dead: What Really Happens If You Get Swallowed by a Whale, Are Shot from a Cannon, or Go Barreling Over Niagara, by Cody Cassidy

Enchanted, Inc series, by Shanna Swendson


What books have made you laugh hard enough to cry?
Marty C. Lee

Other Favorite YA Books

For genres other than fantasy, here are some of my favorite juvenile and young adult books, in random order:

Mysteries or Spies

The Baker Street series, by Robert Newman

The Case of the Marble Monster, by I.G. Edmonds

Trenton Lee Stewart

Donald J. Sobol

Trixie Belden series

Ally Carter

Samurai series, by Dorothy Hoobler


Seven Daughters and Seven Sons, by Barbara Cohen

Kathleen Baldwin’s Stranje series

Alphabet of Dreams, by Susan Fletcher

Ann Turnbull

The Raging Quiet, by Sherryl Jordan

Marissa Doyle

Contemporary (and recent history)

A Little Princess, by Francis Hodgson Burnett

The Great Brain series, by John D. Fitzgerald

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, by Barbara Robinson

One Hundred and One Dalmatians, by Dodie Smith (like NIMH, I like the cartoon, but the book is so much better)

I Am David, by Anne Holm

The Silent Bells, by William MacKellar

Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites, by Chris Heimerdinger

Caroline B. Cooney

North of Beautiful, by Justina Chen

The House of Sixty Fathers, by Meindert DeJong

Sex Education, by Jenny Davis (not what you’re thinking…)

The Only Alien on the Planet, by Kristen D. Randle

Jennifer L. Holm

Andrew Clements

Y.S. Lee

Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr

Richard Peck

A Death-Struck Year, by Makiia Lucier (1918 Spanish flu)

Her Own Song, by Ellen Howard

Halfway to the Sky, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (Appalachian Trail)


I hope you find something to enjoy. Let me know what you liked, and if you have a suggestion for me, tell me in a comment!

Favorite YA Fantasy Books

Here are juvenile and young adult fantasy books that I really like. Some of them are better classified as beast-tales or science fiction, but I’ll leave them here, anyway, since fantasy is also classified as “speculative fiction.”

Still in random order (some books cross categories):

Fantasy with Princesses, Dragons, or Magic

Patricia C. Wrede

Clare B. Dunkle

The Dragon of Trelian, by Michelle Knudsen

Bartimaeus series, by Jonathan Stroud

Laurence Yep’s fantasies

Abhorsen series, by Garth Nix (quite possibly the only “zombie” books I have ever liked)

Brandon Mull

Elizabeth Haydon

Jane Yolen (also found in adult fantasy)

Dawn Cook

Julie Kagawa’s Fey series

Sheila A. Nielson

Lou Anders

James M. Ward

Elizabeth Kerner

Halfblood Chronicles series, by Andre Norton

Tui T. Sutherland

Jessica Day George

Narnia, by C.S. Lewis

Pamela F. Service

Tamora Pierce

Knee-Deep in Thunder, by Sheila Moon

“Historical” Fantasy (some have a trace of magic)

Hilari Bell

Shannon Hale

Jennifer A. Nielsen

V. Briceland

Mary Hoffman

Megan Whalen Turner

Emily Rodda

Elizabeth Winthrop

Holly Bennett

Gerald Morris

Lloyd Alexander

The Great and Terrible Quest, by Margaret Lovett (one of my “ought to be a movie” books)

John Flanagan

Minnipin series, by Carol Kendall

The Princess and the Goblin (and Curdie sequel), by George MacDonald

Silver Woven in My Hair, by Shirley Rousseau Murphy

The Ordinary Princess, by M.M. Kaye (also my favorite romance, even though it’s a children’s book)

Crown Duel & Court Duel, and the Wren series, by Sherwood Smith

Cameron Dokey

most of Robin McKinley

Gail Carson Levine

Shattered Stone, by Robert Newman

“Contemporary” Fantasy

Brandon Sanderson (also found in adult fantasy and YA sci fi)

Rick Riordan

Sarah Rees Brennan (content warning for younger readers)

George Selden

Susan Cooper

Gregor series, by Suzanne Collins

Diana Wynne Jones

Bethany Wiggins

Shannon Messenger

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (I like the movie, but the book is much better)

“Contemporary” Science Fiction (not all set in current day, but less intense science)

The True Meaning of Smekday, by Adam Rex (SO much better than the movie!)

The Girl with the Silver Eyes, by Willo Davis Roberts

Pamela F. Service

The Giver, by Lois Lowry (but unfortunately not the sequels)

Alexander Key

Charlie & the Chocolate Factory series, by Roald Dahl

Diane Duane (also in adult Sci Fi)

“Heavier” Science Fiction

Have Space Suit–Will Travel, by Robert Heinlein (no, I don’t like all his stuff)

Stephanie Harrington series, by David Weber

Devil on My Back series, by Monica Hughes

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

Alan Gratz

Douglas Arthur Hill

Janet Edwards

Kat Falls

Adrian McKinty

Sylvia Engdahl (sci fi with a fantasy feel)

A Wrinkle in Time series, by Madeline L’Engle

Timothy Zahn’s Dragon series


Enjoy, and feel free to comment if you found something you liked or if you think I’ve misclassified something. 🙂