by Susan Cooper
This is my all-time favourite book. When I was eleven, my school librarian (who I'm still in touch with!) told me it was her desert island book. I was given my first ever gift certificate a few weeks later, and I immediately bought a copy. I've read it over and over since then - most years, in fact. This book made (and makes) me feel like magic and hidden worlds could be around the corner in my everyday life, if I look in the right places.
by Arthur Ransome
If we're talking about books that formed me as a young reader, this has to be at the top of the list. This series is about a group of children who holiday each year in the Lakes District of England, and armed with nothing but their imaginations, become pirates, explorers, scientists, polar adventurers and more. Reading these books, I grew up mapping my neighbourhood, and thanks to very tolerant parents, camping in my backyard for weeks on end. I have the map from this book on the wall from my writing office, right beside the map of Vallen from my own book.
by Jules Verne
My dad gave me this book for Christmas when I was eleven. I wasn't seen again until December 27th, and when I reemerged, everything was different. This is the first time I remember understanding what science fiction was, and the idea that such adventures could be had in my own world without any magic required was mind-blowing to me.Buy Book
by Margaret Mahy
This book is - and I intend this as the highest compliment - utterly ridiculous. It's a rip-roaring adventure about a couple of siblings called Huxley and Zaza, featuring a wicked industrialist and a cat as the head prefect of their school. This book taught me that it's absolutely allowed to be silly and funny in your writing - and that you can be more than a little bit subversive, while you're at it.
by Robert C. O'Brien
Oh, I had this on audiobook, and I listened to it over and over and over, until my cassette tape finally wore out! My mum had to record the relevant section of the book onto a fresh tape for me. This book is smart and complex and full of ethical dilemmas, but never at the expense of developing characters you care deeply about, and a story that won't let you go. Mrs Frisby is one of the reasons I strive to tackle big questions inside compelling stories.
About Amie Kaufman
Amie Kaufman is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of young adult fiction, including the Elementals series, Unearthed, and the Starbound trilogy, coauthored with Meagan Spooner; and the Illuminae Files trilogy, coauthored with Jay Kristoff. Her multi-award-winning work has been described as "a game-changer" (Shelf Awareness) and "out-of-this-world awesome" (Kirkus Reviews). Raised in Australia and Ireland, Amie has degrees in history, literature, law, and conflict resolution. She took howling lessons from a wolf expert while preparing to write this book. She lives in Melbourne with her husband, their rescue dog, and an extremely large personal library. Read more at www.amiekaufman.com.
Latest book from this author
by Amie Kaufman
From New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman comes an electrifying new series about a brother and sister who must harness their powers and find their place in a sharply divided world. Everyone in Vallen knows that ice wolves and scorch dragons are sworn enemies who live deeply separate lives. So when twelve-year-old orphan Anders takes one elemental form and his twin sister, Rayna, takes another, he wonders whether they are even related. Still, whether or not they're family, Rayna is Anders's only true friend. She's nothing like the brutal, cruel dragons who claimed her as one of their own and stole her away. In order to rescue her, Anders must enlist at the foreboding Ulfar Academy, a school for young wolves that values loyalty to the pack above all else. But for Anders, loyalty is more complicated than obedience, and friendship is the most powerful shapeshifting force of all.Buy Book