A book questionnaire

We have the results of the latest poll: How does your family feel about scary books? Your answers were as follows:

We don't read them
54 -- 51.4%

We read some but not others
32 -- 30.5%

13 -- 12.4%

We read them together
4 -- 3.8%

They're for parents only
2 -- 1.9%

Number of Voters: 105

And now for something a little different . . .

Instead of a poll, we have a questionnaire this time. Please put your answers in the comment section!

1. What's your favorite novel?
2. What are some of your preteens' or teens' favorite novels? (If you're not a parent of any kids in this age group (10-18), you can use your grandchildren, godchildren, students, or any other teens or preteens in your life.)
3. What are some of your family's favorite books to read together? (If you're not a parent, you can use books you read with your parents when you were growing up.)
4. When you look at today's Young Adult literature, what are some of your greatest concerns?
5. Have you recently given any YA novels as gifts? If so, which ones?
6. Are there any particular YA novels that you'd like us to consider reviewing?
7. In what ways could Youth Reads be more helpful to you?


1. My favorite is Belisarius Series but that is an epic not a novel(it really is, though the first glance would make you think it is another pleasant but unremarkable display of geek-militarism) and it is also NOT fit for teens; at least not until they reach appropriate age although it has Eric Flint's but in a way quite worthy notion of "good family values". It has shocking descriptions of promiscuity and sexual abuse(the later mostly to highlight how evil the bad guys are) but most of the heroes are loyal and loving members of families. Thus it is better saved for someone of age to separate wheat from chaff. My favorite novel I am not sure of.

2. NA

3. I remember reading LOTR together. But probably the Herriot books worked better because Herriot is more suited for collective reading. The complex plot and worldbuilding from LotR requires solitude to dig into. Oh yes and we did read parts of Watership Down if I remember. We didn't do much collective reading as a family and each of us developed their tastes separately.

4. Honestly, I don't know.

5. no

6. The Emperor's Winding Sheet by Jill Paton Walsh, about a boy caught up in the Fall of Constantinople.

7. NA
Hi Bethany -- sorry for any confusion. I saw both of your comments in the system, and since there were some differences between them, I went ahead and put them both up. Thanks for your suggestions. I've mentioned McKinley's "Beauty" on this site before, on one of our Recommended Reading lists, and I plan to review "Pegasus" and its sequel whenever that sequel finally comes out.

Abby -- we reviewed "The Fault in Our Stars" last May. Here you go:

Thanks so much, everyone, for your helpful answers!
How strange, somehow both my first draft of my first comment, which I thought had been lost and my second, revised, longer comment have mysteriously been posted. I am both bethany e. and Bethany E. but anyway, to continue:

5. I haven't recently given any novels as gifts, but I let my friend borrow "Beauty"by Robin Mckinley. If I had to pick a genuinely romantic, supernatural alternative to give to a young teenage girl, it would be that book. McKinley also writes a vampire novel that is vastly superior to Twilight, but "Sunshine" has a few "adult" scenes in it so would be better fit for an older audience. I didn't read it until college.

6. Again, showing my bias, but I think you should consider reviewing some post-Narnia, pre-Twilight/Harry Potter YA fantasy. Authors like Patricia Mckillip, Patricia C. Wrede, Robin Mckinley, Lloyd Alexander, Susan Cooper, and Diana Wynne Jones. Several of these authors have been around for quite some time and are still quite prolific today, and they are more worthy of consideration, in my mind, than the latest wanna-be Stephenie Meyer or JK Rowling.

7. I actually somehow have been missing Youth Reads all this time -- I only just discovered it when Gina posted about needing people to answer this questionnaire. I'll probably be better able to answer question seven after I spend a bit more time reading through some of the posts. I'm really excited by what I've seen so far, however. I like to see this genre get some serious attention.
1. Lord of the Rings.
2. Watership Down, Little Women.
3. Alice in Wonderland, David Copperfield.
4. Inclusion/acceptance/glorification of the immoral contemporary culture.
5. No.
6. None come to mind.
7. N/A.
1. Three of my most favorite: Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons, and Middlemarch by George Elliot. Narnia and LOTR are givens, but the 3 former are my favorite stand-alones.
2. I'm a twenty-something who has a shelf full of children's and YA books next to my Dickens and Austen and Bronte and George Elliot. I believe what Lewis said: A book worth reading in only in childhood is not worth reading at all (maybe not the exact quote, but close enough :) I love almost anything by Diana Wynne Jones, a British children/young adult fantasy writer who's been around for much longer than JK Rowling. JK Rowling is the poor man's Diana Wynne Jones. Some of my other favorite YA/kids books include "Beauty" by Robin Mckinley, "The Chronicles of Prydain" by Lloyd Alexander, The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper, and, just so it's not completely fantasy, "The Truth about Forever" by Sarah Dessen.
3. My mom read the Chronicles of Narnia to me when I was young. The Horse and His Boy was always my favorite.
4. The YA section is being overtaken by supernatural Twilight knock-offs that are typically of a lesser quality than the original. This is very sad. Also, while I mildly enjoyed Harry Potter, I resent the fact that many other, much better YA fantasy authors are overlooked due to Rowling's popularity. Yes, I'm bitter. ;)

I'll finish the rest of the questions in a separate comment
1. Howl's Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones. Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia are sort of givens, but if I have to pick a stand-alone it would that.
1. Probably the Chronicles of Narnia, but Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and The Fault in Our Stars both rank pretty high as well.
2. I'm a teen myself. Favourite novels of mine include The Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, The Fault in Our Stars, & Harry Potter (among others). I also really enjoyed The Hunger Games trilogy, though I wouldn't count it among my favourites.
3. As a kid my family read the first Narnia book together, and we also read a ton of missionary biographies up until I was in my early teens.

6. I'd love to see you review The Fault in Our Stars. It really encapsulates some of the heart of this broken, hopeless, searching-for-meaning generation.

Note: A link on this page does not constitute an endorsement from BreakPoint. It simply means that we thought that the linked news item or opinion piece would be of interest to Christian parents of teens and preteens.