1) Ann M. Martin, for writing the Babysitter’s Club. When I discovered these books in the first grade, after not being much of a reader for the past couple of years (I did know how, I just didn’t like it), I started to love it!
2) Francine Pascal! Later in Elementary school, I really loved the Sweet Valley books, and in about sixth grade I read the whole Fearless series. This was a big chunk of my reading back then!
3) Tamora Pierce.
4) Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. She was fourteen when she published her first book. I really love her books, but it’s more than that. She showed me that it’s possible to actually write, and write well, as a teenager! Before reading her books, I thought writing was something grown-ups did.
5) JK Rowling. I don’t think she’s the most awesome writer ever. I do love the books, though. And I think Harry is a major reason for this “golden age of YA lit,” so I’d love to thank her for that! I am also very impressed with how well thought-out even the most complex parts of the (complex) plot are.
6) Lisa Klein, for Ophelia. I wrote a gushing review, and I absolutely can’t get enough of this book. It definitely in my top 5, maybe my all-time favorite.
7) Gail Carson Levine, for writing some of the most awesome heroines ever in kid lit!
8) All of the other authors whose books I adore: Brent Hartinger, Meg Cabot, Bennet Madison, Garret Freymann-Weyr, Stephenie Meyer, Rachel Cohn, David Levithan, Scott Westerfeld, Cecelia Ahern, Pat Murphy, Curtis Sittenfeld, John Green, Sarah Dessen, Clive Barker, Isabel Allende, Maureen Johnson, Mary Hoffman, Gloria Whelan, Justin Somper, Rick Riordan, John Marsden, Sarah Grace McCandless, Eoin Colfer, Lara Zeises, Meg Rosoff, Margaret Petersen Haddix, Pam Munoz Ryan, Jerry Spinelli….
Yeah, so that last one makes it more than eight. They’re all great, though!