List of the Week: 60 must-read #UKYA books


As a Brit, I’m always on the lookout for good #UKYA reads. It’s such an uplifting experience to read a book set in a town that reminds me of home, with characters who speak and act like people I know – or even just to read a book written by an author whose events I can travel to!  The #UKYA community is small but mighty, and especially in recent years, there’s been an amazing outpouring of fantastic books from British authors. These 60 books published in the U.K. are must-reads for #UKYA lovers!

13-minutes-sarah-pinborough13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough
Publisher: Gollancz
Release date: February 18th 2016
I was dead for 13 minutes. It wasn’t an accident and I wasn’t suicidal. They say you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but when you’re a teenage girl, it’s hard to tell them apart.

all-of-the-above-juno-dawsonAll of the Above by Juno Dawson
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Release date: September 1st 2015
Toria Bland arrives at her new school in a crazy whirl of worry, exam pressure and anxiety over fitting in. Things start looking up when Toria meets Polly, who’s the coolest girl that Toria has ever seen.

am i normal yet holly bourneAm I Normal Yet? (The Spinster Club #1) by Holly Bourne
Publisher: Usbourne
Release date: August 1st 2015
All Evie wants is to be normal. She’s almost off her meds and at a new college where no one knows her. She’s even going to parties and making friends. There’s only one thing left to tick off her list…

the amulet of samarkand jonathan stroudThe Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus #1) by Jonathan Stroud
Publisher: Corgi Children’s
Release date: October 8th 2004
When magician Nathaniel musters the strength to summon the 5,000-year-old djinni Bartimaeus, he plunges into a situation more dangerous and deadly than anything he could ever imagine.

angus-thongs-and-full-frontal-snogging-louise-rennisonAngus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson #1) by Louise Rennison
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release date: January 1st 1999
Follow Georgia’s hilarious antics as she tries to overcome the dilemma’s that are weighing up against her, and muddle her way through teenage life and all that it entails.

the art of being normal lisa williamsonThe Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Release date: January 1st 2015
David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he’s gay. The school bully thinks he’s a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth – David wants to be a girl.

asking for it louise o'neillAsking For It by Louise O’Neill
Publisher: Quercus UK
Release date: September 3rd 2015
Photos show exactly what happened to Emma on the night she can’t remember. But sometimes people don’t want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns town heroes.

blood red road moira youngBlood Red Road (Dust Lands #1) by Moira Young
Publisher: Marion Lloyd Books
Release date: June 2nd 2011
In a lawless future land, where life is cheap and survival is hard, Saba has been brought up in isolation. When her twin brother is snatched by mysterious black-robed riders, she sets out to rescue him.

black dove white raven elizabeth weinBlack Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Release date: March 5th 2015
Seeking a home where her children won’t be held back by ethnicity or gender, Rhoda brings Em and Teo to Ethiopia. But their lives are shattered by war, and Em and Teo are drawn into the conflict.

city of masks mary hoffmanCity of Masks (Stravaganza #1) by Mary Hoffman
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release date: September 21st 2002
Lucien is seriously ill but his life is transformed when an old Italian notebook gives him the power to become a stravagante, a time traveller with access to an alternate 16th century Italy.

code name verity elizabeth weinCode Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Release date: February 6th 2012
11th October 1943. A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One has a shot at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

counting stars keris staintonCounting Stars by Keris Stainton
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Release date: September 3rd 2015
Six ‘friends’, one flat, big dreams… what could go wrong? When Anna leaves school and moves to Liverpool, she feels like her life is beginning. But although her new life is fun, it’s also overwhelming.

the creeper man dawn kurtagichThe Creeper Man by Dawn Kurtagich
Publisher: Orion Children’s Books
Release date: July 14th 2016
To Silla and her little sister, Nori, Aunt Cath’s country house feels like a safe haven. But slowly, ever so slowly, things begin to unravel. Every day the surrounding forest inches slowly towards the house.

crow moon anna mckerrowCrow Moon (Crow Moon #1) by Anna McKerrow
Publisher: Quercus
Release date: March 5th 2015
Danny discovers he is stunningly powerful. And when he falls for Saba, a gorgeous but capricious girl sorceress, he thinks maybe the witch thing might not be such a bad idea…

crush eve ainsworthCrush by Eve Ainsworth
Publisher: Scholastic
Release date: March 3rd 2016
Love hurts … but should it hurt this much? Anna’s boyfriend Will wants her to be perfect. Anna’s world is closing in. But threatening everything is a dark secret that not even Will can control…

the declaration gemma malleyThe Declaration (The Declaration #1) by Gemma Malley
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release date: May 5th 2008
In the year 2140, it is illegal to be young. Children are all but extinct. The world is a better place. Longevity drugs are a fountain of youth. But children born outside the law live as Surplus.

deeper-than-blue-jill-hucklesbyDeeper than Blue by Jill Hucklesby
Publisher: Orchard
Release date: January 1st 2007
Amy is the fastest 13-year-old freestyle swimmer in her county, but when her life takes a dramatic tumble turn one day, to survive she must swim as she has never swum before.

the-demons-lexicon-sarah-rees-brennanThe Demon’s Lexicon (The Demon’s Lexicon #1) by Sarah Rees Brennan
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release date: June 2nd 2009
Nick and his brother, Alan, are always ready to run. Their father is dead, and their mother is crazy. She’s no help in protecting any of them from magicians who use demons to work magic.

finding audrey sophie kinsellaFinding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: Doubleday Children’s
Release date: June 9th 2015
An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized.

the fire sermon francesca haigThe Fire Sermon (The Fire Sermon #1) by Francesca Haig
Publisher: HarperVoyager
Release date: February 23rd 2015
Four hundred years in the future, the Earth has turned primitive following a nuclear fire that laid waste to civilization and nature. Though the radiation fallout has ended, every person is now born with a twin.

geek girl holly smaleGeek Girl (Geek Girl #1) by Holly Smale
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
Release date: February 28th 2013
When she’s spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. And as her old life starts to fall apart, will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?

the ghosts of heaven marcus sedgwick uk paperbackThe Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick
Publisher: Orion Books
Release date: October 2nd 2014
The spiral has existed as long as time has existed. It’s there when a girl walks through the forest, the moist green air clinging to her skin. There far into the future as Keir Bowman realises his destiny.

girl missing sophie mckenzieGirl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release date: December 1st 2006
Lauren has always known she was adopted but when a little research turns up the possibility that she was snatched from an American family as a baby, suddenly Lauren’s life seems like a sham.

i'll be home for christmasI’ll Be Home for Christmas by various #UKYA authors
Publisher: Stripes
Release date: September 22nd 2016
The UK’s top Young Adult authors join together in this collection of new stories and poems on the theme of home. GBP1 from the sale of every book will be donated to Crisis, the national homelessness charity.

incarceron_book_coverIncarceron (Incarceron #1) by Catherine Fisher
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
Release date: May 3rd 2007
A young prisoner, Finn, has haunting visions of an earlier life, and cannot believe he was born in Incarceron. Outside, Claudia, daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, is trapped in her own prison.

in the dark in the woods eliza wassIn the Dark, In the Woods by Eliza Wass
Publisher: Quercus Children’s Books
Release date: April 21st 2016
Castley’s world is rapidly expanding beyond her strict religious upbringing. There is a future waiting for her if she can escape her father’s grasp, but Castley refuses to leave her five siblings behind.

the knife of never letting go patrick nessThe Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1) by Patrick Ness
Publisher: Walker
Release date: May 5th 2008
In Prentisstown everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts. In a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden — and Todd must run for his life when he discovers it.

the lie tree frances hardingeThe Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Release date: May 7th 2015
Faith has a thirst for science and secrets that the rigid confines of her class cannot supress. And so it is that she discovers tales of a strange tree which, when told a lie, will uncover a truth.

lobsters tom ellen lucy ivisonLobsters by Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison
Publisher: Chicken House
Release date: June 5th 2014
Sam and Hannah only have the holidays to find ‘The One’. Their lobster. Instead of being epic, their summer is looking awkward. But fate is at work to bring them together. And in the end, it all boils down to love.

london belongs to us sarra manningLondon Belongs to Us by Sarra Manning
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Release date: June 2nd 2016
Sunny’s always been a pushover. But when she’s sent a picture of her boyfriend kissing another girl, she’s got to act. What follows is a mad 12-hour dash around London to get her romantic retribution.

looking-for-jj-anne-cassidyLooking for JJ by Anne Cassidy
Publisher: Scholastic
Release date: Feburary 13th 2004
Three children walked away from the cottages on the edge of town toward Berwick Waters. Only two of them came back. But Alice Tully knows exactly what happened that spring day six years ago.

lorali-laura-dockrillLorali by Laura Dockrill
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Release date: July 2nd 2015
Looking after a naked girl he found washed up under Hastings pier isn’t exactly how Rory imagined spending his sixteenth birthday. But more surprising than finding her is discovering where she has come from.

the lost and the found cat clarkeThe Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke
Publisher: Quercus
Release date: July 2nd 2015
When six-year-old Laurel Logan was abducted, the only witness was her younger sister. Faith’s childhood was dominated by Laurel’s disappearance – until 13 years later, a young woman is found.

maggot-moon-sally-gardnerMaggot Moon by Sally Gardner
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Release date: September 6th 2012
On the other side of the wall there is a secret. And the devil. And the Moon Man. And the Motherland doesn’t want anyone to know. But Standish Treadwell sees things differently than his neighbours.

more than this patrick nessMore Than This by Patrick Ness
Publisher: Walker Books
Release date: May 1st 2014
A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies. Then he wakes, naked and bruised and thirsty, but alive. How can this be? And what is this strange deserted place?

mortal engines philip reeveMortal Engines (Mortal Engines #1) by Philip Reeve
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release date: November 16th 2001
In a world where ‘traction cities’ trawl the globe hunting smaller towns, Tom and Hester have been thrown out of the city of London and left stranded and starving in the middle of nowhere.

the next together lauren jamesThe Next Together (The Next Together #1) by Lauren James
Publisher: Walker
Release date: September 3rd 2015
Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again, century after century. Each time, their presence changes history for the better, and each time they fall in love, only to be separated.

the night itself zoe marriottThe Night Itself (The Name of the Blade #1) by Zoe Marriott
Publisher: Walker Books
Release date: June 20th 2013
When Mio Yamato furtively sneaks the katana out of her parent’s attic to liven up her Christmas party costume, she has no idea of the darkness she is about to unleash on modern day London.

northern-lights-philip-pullmanNorthern Lights (His Dark Materials #1) by Philip Pullman
Publisher: Scholastic
Release date: July 1995
When Lyra’s friend Roger disappears, she and her dæmon, Pantalaimon, determine to find him. The ensuing quest leads them to the bleak splendour of the North, where armoured bears rule the ice.

noughts and crosses malorie blackmanNoughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses #1) by Malorie Blackman
Publisher: Corgi Children’s
Release date: January 15th 2001
Sephy is a Cross – a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a Nought – a “colourless” member of the underclass who were once slaves to Crosses. In their world, Noughts and Crosses don’t mix.

the novice taran matharuThe Novice (The Summoner #1) by Taran Matharu
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
Release date: May 5th 2015
When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained.

one sarah crossanOne by Sarah Crossan
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Release date: August 27th 2015
Grace and Tippi are conjoined twins. They would never imagine being apart. For them, that would be the real tragedy. But something is happening to them. Something they hoped would never happen.

over-sea-under-stone-susan-cooperOver Sea, Under Stone (The Dark Is Rising #1) by Susan Cooper
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
Release date: 1965
On holiday in Cornwall, the three Drew children discover an ancient map in the attic of the house that they are staying in. It is the key to finding a grail, a source of power to fight the Dark.

pantomime laura lamPantomime (Micah Grey #1) by Laura Lam
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Release date: February 5th 2013
Gene’s life resembles a debutante’s dream. Yet she hides a secret that would see her shunned by the nobility. Gene is both male and female, and she displays unwanted magical abilities.

paper-aeroplanes-dawn-o-porterPaper Aeroplanes (Paper Aeroplanes #1) by Dawn O’Porter
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Release date: May 2nd 2013
It’s the mid-1990s, and fifteen year-old Guernsey schoolgirls, Renée and Flo, are not really meant to be friends. But Renée and Flo are united by their dysfunctional families, and an intense bond is formed.

paper butterflies lisa heathfieldPaper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Release date: June 30th 2016
June’s life at home with her stepmother and stepsister is a dark one – and a secret one. Not even her father knows about it. But then she meets Blister, and recognises the tiniest glimmer of hope.

pirates celia reesPirates! by Celia Rees
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release date: October 6th 2003
Nancy is sent to live on her family’s plantation in Jamaica. Disgusted by the treatment of the slaves and her brother’s willingness to marry her off, she and one of the slaves, Minerva, run away and join a band of pirates.

the-poison-garden-sarah-singletonThe Poison Garden by Sarah Singleton
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release date: May 5th 2009
Thomas has inherited a magical box from his dead grandmother. When he sees a ghostly vision of his grandmother, she tells him to find the person responsible for her death and save her mysterious garden.

the potion diaries amy alwardThe Potion Diaries by Amy Alward
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release date: July 2nd 2015
When Nova’s princess is poisoned by her own love potion, the city’s alchemists are entered into a deadly, high-profile quest to find a cure. But can Sam save their crumbling reputation?

radio silence alice osemanRadio Silence by Alice Oseman
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
Release date: February 25th 2016
Frances has always been a study machine with one goal, elite university. But when Frances meets and befriends Aled, the shy genius behind her favourite podcast, she discovers a new freedom.

raven's gate anthony horowitzRaven’s Gate (The Gatekeepers #1) by Anthony Horowitz
Publisher: Hodder
Release date: January 26th 2007
When Matt Freeman gets into trouble with the police, he’s sent to be fostered in Yorkshire. It’s not long before he senses there’s something wrong with his guardian: with the whole village.

remix non prattRemix by Non Pratt
Publisher: Walker Books
Release date: June 4th 2015
Kaz is still reeling from being dumped by the love of her life… Ruby is bored of hearing about it. Time to change the record. Three days. Two best mates. One music festival. Zero chance of everything working out.

the-ruby-in-the-smoke-philip-pullmanThe Ruby in the Smoke (The Sally Lockhart Mysteries #1) by Philip Pullman
Publisher: Scholastic
Release date: March 19th 1999
When her dear father is drowned in suspicious circumstances in the South China Sea, Sally is left to fend for herself in the smoky fog of Victorian London. Though she doesn’t know it, Sally is in terrible danger.

salvage-keren-davidSalvage by Keren David
Publisher: Atom
Release date: January 13th 2014
Before she was adopted, Cass Montgomery was Cass Jones. When her adopted family starts to break down, a way out comes in the form of a message from her lost brother, Aidan.

she is not invisible marcus sedgwickShe Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick
Publisher: Orion Books
Release date: October 3rd 2013
When their father goes missing, Laureth and her younger brother fly from London to New York and must unravel a series of cryptic messages to find him. The complication: Laureth is blind.

the sin eaters daughterThe Sin Eater’s Daughter (The Sin Eater’s Daughter #1) by Melinda Salisbury
Publisher: Scholastic
Release date: February 24th 2015
Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, no one speaks to her. No one even looks at her. Because Twylla isn’t a member of the court. She’s the executioner.

skellig-david-almondSkellig by David Almond
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
Release date: August 11th 1998
Unhappy about his baby sister’s illness and the chaos of moving into a new house, Michael retreats to the garage and finds a mysterious stranger who is something like a bird and something like an angel…

the square root of summer harriet reuter hapgoodThe Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Release date: May 5th 2016
Gottie H. Oppenheimer is losing time. Literally. When the fabric of the universe around her seaside town begins to fray, she’s hurtled through wormholes. Gottie’s past, present and future are about to collide.

stolen lucy christopherStolen by Lucy Christopher
Publisher: Chicken House
Release date: May 4th 2009
It happened like this. I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him. This is my story.

unspoken sarah rees brennanUnspoken (The Lynburn Legacy #1) by Sarah Rees Brennan
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release date: September 13th 2012
Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. Her life is in order, despite the voice in her head. But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

Join our YA newsletter:

No spam guarantee.


About Author

Lucy Nisbet

Lucy is an English teacher-in-training and a self-confessed book nerd. She often buys more books than she can reasonably afford or possibly have time to read. Her Hogwarts letter is now several years too late, but she’s sure it’s just gotten lost in the post.

Comments are closed.