I am always seeking middle grade and young adult stories with big questions at their centers, irresistible concepts, and unforgettable characters. I like high concept stories or stories that employ great narrative devices, such as the tapes in Thirteen Reasons Why, the keepsakes and epistolary format in Why We Broke Up and the diary formats of Dork Diaries and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I am also always looking for dark psychological suspense and truly scary horror—both in YA and in MG. I want contemporary realistic novels that explore issues of identity, culture and community—conversation starters like The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Wonder, The Fault in Our Stars, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Ask the Passengers, Faking Normal, etc. Other items on the wish list include: historical middle grade fiction such as Gary Schmidt’s Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy;funny contemporary with heart such as David Levithan’s Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares; and stories that play with genre and voice, such as the exceptional works of Nova Ren Suma and A. S. King. Further favorite titles include When You Reach Me, Savvy, Slob, The Secret Tree, The Graveyard Book, We Were Liars, Love Letters to the Dead, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Endangered and of course childhood favorites such as From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Shiloh, Where the Red Fern Grows, My Side of the Mountain, Frindle, Holes, and anything by Roald Dahl (to name just a few). In short, I’m looking for books that wow me—stories that are incredible in both concept and execution.
Peter’s #MSWL on his site.