In thinking about this I came up with five names immediately and decided that they were the only ones I wanted to list. Adding others would be just me trying to get the number up to 10, which is unfair when these are the ones I truly and deeply feel deserve more recognition.
Megan Whalen Turner
The following for her books is growing, and that is a wonderful thing to see, but it is not yet nearly as large as it should be. She is a phenomenal story teller, the best currently writing books of any genre/age category in my opinion. It is just not right that her books are not more well known and that none of them since The Thief have won a major award.
Wilson's books are truly extraordinary. He has one stand alone novel, one trilogy, and half of a series currently out in the world of MG fiction. He also writes adult theology/philosophy books that are wonderful. His current MG series, the Ashtown Burials, is a tale of myth and adventure that is as exciting as they come. He is gifted with the rare talent of being able to construct exciting plots, develop his characters well, and write brilliant prose.
I love Anderson's books. All of them. I can not figure out why her Faery series is not being published in the US past the first two books, because they are SO GOOD. I order them from England so I can read them. They are that wonderful. (I don't do this for any other author. If it's not in print in the US I just shrug and move on. Not with her books though.) I am happy to see that Ultraviolet an Quicksilver have gotten such lovely attention here in the US, but it is still far far less than they deserve. Read her books more, people.
I adore Reese's Above World trilogy. It is inventive, exciting, adventurous and full of great characters you can love and relate too. Her world is fully realized and all the people in it fascinating. Furthermore these books have been a huge hit with every child whose hands I've put them in from ages 8-13. These books should be mentioned, book-talked, and listed by everyone.
Barnhouse has a way of weaving mythology into historical fiction that is nothing short of brilliant. Her novels reflect their time period perfectly while making it completely acces
sible to the modern reader. She creates characters you can love and, as an added benefit, her books are great for exposing kids to Norse myth and the epic poem of Beowulf.
In writing up this post I have realized that all of these authors have something in common. They write books that straddle that MG/YA line in many respects. Books that 5th graders can read and enjoy. Books that teens can read an enjoy. Books that adults can read and enjoy. Books that are actually perfect for that 7th-9th grade range. For some reason those books NEVER get the respect they deserve nor the attention. These writers are writing extraordinary books though and EVERYONE should be reading them.