Young adult book series you read as a kid / young adult

and would you recommend them to your own hypothetical kids.
aged 10-13ish I was into:

Harry Potter, would find them annoying and overly long now but was obsessed at the time, in hindsight some good & bad aspects to them.
HDM, these were great obv, have reread them a couple of times since.
was well into the Artemis Fowl series, at least the first few of these were good, quite imaginative and funny
Alex Rider books and some even worse spy series, young James Bond and those ones by Robert Muchamore
Loads of those Darren Shan demon ones, not great but enjoyably violent and gruesome for kids books
Legendeer trilogy by Alan Gibbons. think these were alright, enjoyed the Greek mythology stuff.
Judy Blume Fudge books. might’ve been a bit younger when I read these but they are timeless
Adrian Mole books by Sue Townsend, funny and good
those Philip Ardagh Eddie Dickens books. thought they were hilarious, would probably still find them funny. Great illustrations by David Roberts:

. was also weirdly into those stupid parody books like Bored of the Rings (had never read the original so didn’t know what they were referencing) and Barry Trotter. in general read more than most of my mates but had quite typical teenage boy tastes I think

HDM and Harry Potter were the big ones, was completely obsessed with both.

Adrian Mole.

Other than those I was mostly reading adult books because I’d always had a high reading level when I was at school and I thought I was above reading stuff aimed at teens. I excused HDM and HP with ‘well actually they have very adult themes’ cos I was, and probably still am, a dickhead.



Had/still have every single book from the series (60+), read the whole thing at least 3 times, have many thoughts but mainly I’d think they totally stand up to being read today. Relatively complex relationships, strong female characters, mixed race main cast - basically a watered down Buffy in book form now I think of it

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I remember quite enjoying Bored of the Rings as a young teenager, and also learning a lot from it (fair play to my parents for correcting me when I said something like “it’s really lazy that with Bilbo, they just changed the B to a D instead of coming up with a funny name hahahaha”).

Barry Trotter I seem to remember was borderline incomprehensible and had next to nothing to do with Harry Potter. Not like my own genuinely masterful absurd Harry Potter parodies, based on his cousin Dudley, which I’m genuinely sad have been lost to a bygone hard drive


you went straight from kids books to adult books? wow!
I remember reading Curious Incident when it came out and I was in primary school, guess that’s an adult book but didn’t feel like it cos it had a teenage protagonist

it was properly stupid, just remember it being really crude and me getting off on that

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Pretty much, looking back I’m not sure how much I was understanding but I was committed to the bit. Bellend. Probably missed out on loads of great stuff.

Remember being a fan of Robin Jarvis and waiting excitedly for the third Hagwood book

good thing I didn’t hold my breath eh

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I have a feeling that everything I read as a child/teen would seem quite dated. Except, oddly, the William books by Richmal Crompton. My own kids found them laugh out loud funny like I did.
A bit like Joke, I read mostly adult books from about 12. I was obsessed with detective fiction - Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Ross McDonald and later knock-offs. Read a fair bit of sci fi and fantasy mostly because my mates were into it.
I liked PG Wodehouse, can’t see that being any more dated now than it was at the time. Adrian Mole on the other hand, I’m not so sure about.

oh yeah my nana had some Just William books knocking about, quite funny tbf

His Dark Materials got all the praise but the Sally Lockhart series was also exceptional. Some really dark and adult themes too, even compared with HDM.



And a fair few of those Point Horror books.


oh yeah I loved those too.
them & HDM were the only books I can remember being into with a female protagonist, and still written by a man

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Yeah Sally Lockhart is amazing protagonist and that series has a really strong feminist streak running through it.

Wasn’t a nerd

My favourite series of books as a kid/teen were the Dark is rising sequence by Susan Cooper.

Definitely a Harry Potter type vibe on these, but predates Harry Potter by 20+ years (Young boy discovers he is “the chosen one” and is guided by an old wizard like character to help in an epic race to acquire ancient artifax of great power to battle the dark ones over the course of 5 books but leans more on Arthurian legends and english Folklore).

Over Sea, Under Stone
The Dark is Rising
The Grey King
Silver on the Tree

There was an attempt at making the first book into a film a few years back but it bombed as the film itself was just an aweful interpretation.

I still re-read these from time to time as they hold up well.

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actually read the first couple of Mortal Engines books which had a female main character (also written by a man tho). great concept for a series that. sort of wanna watch the film

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Used to get the Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging books in secret from the library. Thought they were miles better than Adrian Mole but wouldn’t tell anyone I thought that.


Another high level reading wanker here, but there was lots of stuff I loved when I got over that. I loved Harry Potter, the point horror books, the babysitters club books and Jacqueline Wilson’s books. Also the gossip girl ones and the sweet valley high books. I was around 12/13 reading about 16yos and wishing I could hurry up and grow to that amazing glamorous age (which wasn’t amazing or glamorous at all, at 16 I was a quiet nerd who ate apples with a penknife)


I read way more as a kid than I do now, used to bring like 8 books with me when we went on holiday