One of the most glorious moments of becoming a published author is finally seeing your book on a shelf. One of the most glorious moments of being a reader, though, is having someone else’s magic words in your bookcase. Whether the magic comes from the person who wrote it, the inscription inside it, or the content itself, we all have those books we treasure especially strongly. Here are 15 fabulous YA authors sharing theirs, but warning: you are about to experience some serious book envy.
My most prized possession in my YA collection is a copy of Annie on My Mind that the late, great Nancy Garden signed for me. She had read my first and called it an “important book” and encouraged me to keep writing. Sometimes when I feel like giving up I read the inscription and cry a little.
–Sara Farizan (Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel)
A couple years ago, I got to meet and spend some time with Stephen Chbosky. We talked books and movies and family, and the whole thing was completely surreal; afterward, he signed my copy of Perks with “Here is to Mosquitoland!” He was every bit the gentleman I’d hoped he’d be, and that signed copy of Perks will always have a prominent place on my bookshelf.
–David Arnold (Mosquitoland)
Hardcover $108.00 | $120.00
The most prized book in my YA collection is my box set of The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, which may be a bit young for YA, but those are the books that made me dream and made me be a writer. And that specific set was one of the last gifts of my grandmother before she passed, so it’s definitely a treasure on my shelf.
–Beth Revis (Across the Universe)
My most prized is Lee Kelly’s City of Savages—it was the first time a critique partner had a book published and after having walked through so many steps of the process together, seeing the book on the shelf was pure magic.
–Kelly Loy Gilbert (Conviction)
The most prized possession in my YA collection is a signed Diana Wynne Jones—because Diana Wynne Jones is funny, full of feelings, and makes magic seem real—everything I love. It was given to me by an old boyfriend, which shows romance may be fleeting (he is but a distant though fond memory) but book love is forever. 😉
–Sarah Rees Brennan (Lynburn Legacy series)
Hands down, my UK special editions of Harry Potter are my most prized YA possessions. I only have the first four, but they’re gorgeous—gilded pages, cloth covers, silk ribbon…magical in and of themselves. I got them ages ago, before internet shopping was all that popular, and remember that it was a bit of a hassle to get them over here. I’ve never cracked them open, which says a lot, since all my other versions of HP are ragged with wear.
–Alex Kahler (The Immortal Circus)
Paperback $8.99 | $9.99
My most prized YA is A Great and Terrible Beauty, by Libba Bray. I even remember the day I bought it. I was in high school, browsing the growing YA section, and the cover stopped me. I knew I loved fantasy but I couldn’t really get into some of the traditional stuff. Reading about teen girls set in Victorian England, plus magic, plus a mysterious hot Indian boy. It was everything I ever wanted. I’ve reread it countless times. It changed the way I looked at stories about young girls and magic.
–Zoraida Cordova (The Vicious Deep)
My most prized possession on my YA shelf is my early signed edition of The Princess Diaries, because it was one of the first YA books I ever bought, and the one that made me want to write for teens.
–Elizabeth May (The Falconer)
Probably my signed copy of the first Toby Daye book by Seanan McGuire. I fangirled out so hard the first time I met her in Disney, I forgot to get her to sign my copy of Feed (under her other name, Mira Grant). It took me over a year and a half to cross paths with her again.
–Hillary Monahan, (Mary: The Summoning)
Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming is my most prized possession in my YA collection. The story is a memoir of the life of Jacqueline Woodson as a young child growing up in South Carolina and her move to New York City. Through this story told in verse, Woodson takes the specifics of her life and gives them a universal spin that everyone can relate to. A truly powerful must-read that should be in everyone’s YA collection.
–Aisha Saeed (Written in the Stars)
What’s your most prized YA possession?