Angela and I both have a great love for Young Adult literature, so I was glad she asked me to share some of my favorite YA characters today. Some of mine might date me a little bit, but they’re still great characters!
Princess Cimorene is the heroine of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede. She was the first character that really made me fall in love with young adult literature. What I loved about her was that she was strong and brave even when everyone else thought she was the most unprincess-like princess in the world. She didn’t fit in with the rest of her family, and she decided to go her own way. Become a Dragon’s princess. She even made it impossible for a prince to rescue her! She really was someone I looked up to and wanted to be like.
The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney was the first book I read as a young adult that really dealt with some heavy issues. Imagine finding a picture of yourself on a missing child advertisement? Janie’s character was so real and you couldn’t help but connect emotionally with her fear and anger and confusion. Her story really opened my eyes.
The Chrestomanci Series by Dianna Wynne Jones might fall more into Middle Grade, but the line between MG and YA was hazy back in my day. What I loved about Christopher Chant was that even though he was often facing incredibly strange and dangerous situations, he always kept a pretty upbeat attitude. He brought humor to some crazy tight spots. My favorite of all the Chrestomanci books is The Lives of Christopher Chant.
Kit and Nita
Kit and Nita are the main characters of the Young Wizards Series by Diane Duane. I picked up So You Want to be a Wizard at the local book store and was immediately fascinated. These two characters played off each other so well. The “magic” is very scientific in this series, and I was always sucked in by watching them try to puzzle things out together when serious consequences hung in the balance. They were such a great mix of struggling young teens trying to figure things out and half-grown adults carrying a lot of responsibility.
Another of Diana Wynne Jones characters makes my list. I’m a big fan, if you couldn’t guess! Sophie is an unknowingly special young woman in Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle. She has no idea what abilities she has, but her natural compassion and kindness drew me in right away. You can’t help root for her as she’s flitting around, stuck in Howl’s castle, trying to help him and set things right.
Bruce Coville’s The Unicorn Chornicles is an amazing series, and Cara Hunter is the main character you meet for the first time in Into the Land of Unicorns. She’s fairly young in this first book, but you won’t find a braver, more determined young woman. I remember reading this book when I was young and being absolutely drawn in by her strength and tenacity.
Yes, I know most of these books were written in the 80s and 90s, but great literature never has an expiration date. If you haven’t heard of these characters, go to your library or find a copy on Amazon. These are some of my most treasured books from my teen years. I still have copies of every one of these, and I’m now sharing them with my kids.
You can get your copy of Wicked Glory and the rest of the series here:Wicked Hunger is FREE on most platforms.
Kindle/Amazon: Wicked Hunger, Wicked Power, Wicked Glory
B&N: Wicked Hunger, Wicked Power, Wicked Glory
Smashwords: Wicked Hunger, Wicked Power, Wicked Glory
iTunes: Wicked Hunger, Wicked Power, Wicked Glory
Kobo: Wicked Hunger, Wicked Power, Wicked Glory
About the Author
DelSheree Gladden was one of those shy, quiet kids who spent more time reading than talking. Literally. She didn't speak a single word for the first three months of preschool, but she had already taught herself to read. Her fascination with reading led to many hours spent in the library and bookstores, and eventually to writing. She wrote her first novel when she was sixteen years old, but spent ten years rewriting and perfecting it before having it published.
Native to New Mexico, DelSheree and her husband spent several years in Colorado for college and work before moving back home to be near family again. Their two children love having their cousins close by. When not writing, you can find DelSheree reading, painting, sewing and trying not to get bitten by small children in her work as a dental hygienist. DelSheree has several bestselling young adult series, including "Invisible" which was part of the USA Today Bestselling box set, "Pandora." The Date Shark Series is her first contemporary romance series.
Connect with DelSheree Online