9 Fun Stories for Young Readers by Midwestern Authors
American literature is broad and contains a wide variety of movements, practitioners, and genres. One of the most overlooked regions of the country is the midwest. We take a look at some of the best books coming from that neglected area, with a focus on ones that young readers will be able to fall in love with.
Great Books By Midwestern Authors For Young Readers
- Hunter by Mercedes Lackey
- Unspeakable by Michelle K. Pickett
- The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell
- The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
- Eighth Grade Bites by Zac Brewer
- Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
- The Legend of the Blue Eyes by B. Kristin McMichael
- Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg
- Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
What Is Midwestern Literature?
The Midwest might be the only region of the United States that doesn't have a prominent literary movement associated with it. The northeast has the Harlem Renaissance; the south has Southern Gothic. The west has, of course, Westerns. Here are some examples of great Midwestern authors and their contributions to literature:
|Mark Twain||The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn||Tom Sawyer||Complete Short Stories|
|Toni Morrison||Beloved||The Bluest Eye||Sula|
|Ernest Hemingway||The Old Man and the Sea||For Whom the Bell Tolls||The Sun Also Rises|
|Gillian Flynn||Gone Girl||Sharp Objects||The Couple Next Door|
|Jonathan Franzen||The Corrections||Freedom||Purity|
|Teju Cole||Open City||Blind Spot||Every Day Is For The Thief|
|Sinclair Lewis||It Can't Happen Here||Elmer Gantry||Babbitt|
|Sandra Cisneros||The House on Mango Street||Woman Hollering Creek||Caramelo|
|Richard Wright||Native Son||Black Boy||Uncle Tom's Children|
|Roxane Gay||Difficult Women||Bad Feminist||Ayiti|
|Laura Ingalls Wilder||Little House||Pioneer Girl||West From Home|
|Langston Hughes||Not Without Laughter||The Collected Poems||The Best of Simple|
|Kurt Vonnegut||Slaughterhouse-Five||Cat's Cradle||Mother Night|
Literary History Of The Midwest
Midwestern literature is often described as funny and heartwarming. This makes many of the books that come from this region great for getting into reading. In no particular order, the following is a list of nine fun stories for young readers by authors from the American Midwest.
At the #1 spot is "Hunter," a dystopian novel with a slight touch of fantasy. It blends paranormal myths with reality TV stardom, which is perfect for lovers of young adult novels. Mercedes Lackey explores the cruelty and callousness that exists in humanity. But she maintains a sense of youthful idealism at the core of the story. With the main character standing bright in the middle of darkness, the author creates a protagonist that teens would want to emulate.
Next, at #2 is "Unspeakable." This is a young adult novel about Willow, a high school senior who seems to have it all. However, she is secretly trapped in controlling and abusive relationships. Her life is turned upside down when she meets Brody, the guy she falls in love with. Michelle K. Pickett found a delicate way to tackle the issues of bullying and abuse in a story interwoven with threads of mystery, romance and suspense.
Following at #3 is "The Last Magician." Set in a mysterious gilded age New York City, this complex tale of wizardry and crime by Lisa Maxwell weaves together con games, heists, tricks, alchemy, and magic. It follows Esta's journey into the past to retrieve a book that might free all Mageus from the Brink, a magical barrier. She navigates poverty, deception, and desperation to complete her mission while battling her growing attraction to a man who is on the same quest as her.
Taking the #4 spot is "The Adventures of Captain Underpants." From the creative mind of Dav Pilkey, this is a story about a valiant hero for young readers. A book of great humor and spectacular characters, it is mainly about two talented kids, George and Harold. They become involved in zany misadventures that occur when they accidentally bring to life the greatest superhero in the history of their elementary school. With funny illustrations on every page, it is action-packed and humor-filled.
At #5, "Eighth Grade Bites" is Zac Brewer's first book in a series that successfully combines supernatural dangers with the trials of being a teen. The protagonist, Vladimir, is no ordinary 13-year old. He is an offspring of a human and a vampire. Vlad struggles daily with his blood cravings and his enlarged fangs while trying to negotiate the tribulations of middle school. He deals with bullies, an unrequited crush, teachers, and homework.
Next, at #6 is "Forgive My Fins." This is a fun and fluffy read about Lily, a girl who is half human and half mermaid. She travels from the magical world of Thalassinia to the Florida coast to attend high school. However, living on land is not easy. She faces difficulties adjusting to her new life and newfound love. Tera Lynn Child presents a fantastic, mystical story spun with the joy and pain of teenage infatuation.
Coming in at #7 is "The Legend of the Blue Eyes." The first in a trilogy, this is an intriguing tale about night humans, which are similar to vampires, by B. Kristin McMichael. The story is about Arianna, who is raised as a typical young woman until her 16th birthday. She uncovers that she isn't quite like all the others around her.
At the #8 spot is "Better Off Friends." Elizabeth Eulberg delivers a fresh and fun way to examine the cliche that best friends can never be lovers. This novel amazingly covers the complications teenagers face growing up. It follows the lives of Macallan and Levi, two teens who are dating while keeping other friends at bay. It offers readers a touching, beautiful and heartwarming story of friendship and romance.
Finally, at #9 is "Mistborn: The Final Empire." Brandon Sanderson's extensive worldbuilding and creative concepts make this novel an intriguing tale of love, loss, despair, and hope. With a 16-year-old thief as the main character, this is an extraordinary fantasy that tackles real-world issues. The plot is fast-paced with some twists and turns that will keep readers entertained.