Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Underrated Books

09 Aug

It’s Tuesday again and over at The Broke and the Bookish that means it’s time for another Tuesday Top Ten! This week’s topic is my personal choices for the Top Ten Underrated Books. This was a tough one as most of the books I’ve read lately have received a lot of love/awareness, so be prepared for some older titles on the list.

1. Troubling A Star by Madeline L’Engle. Most everyone has read, or at least heard of, A Wrinkle in Time, which is arguably her most famous work. However, I’ve always been partial to her less well-known stories about the Austin Family. I read Troubling A Star when I was in fifth grade and it’s been one of my favorite books ever since.

2. The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley. I’m constantly amazed at how many of my friends who devour fantasy books have never read this one. In this book McKinley has written one of my favorite fantasy heroines of all time. Aerin with her fiery red hair and her stubborn determination won me over almost immediately. It’s a must read for anyone who appreciates fantasy and strong female leads.

3. The Pit Dragon Chronicles by Jane Yolen. I first read this series when I was in middle school and I recently re-discovered it in my Children’s and YA Lit class. Jane Yolen is an amazing storyteller and the story she weaves of a boy who raises a dragon from a tiny hatchling is sure to tug on your heartstrings.

4. The Thirteenth Child by Patricia Wrede. This book is often described as Harry Potter/LOTR meets Little House on the Prairie and I think while that gives a god set up, it doesn’t quite do the book justice.

5. The Red Headed Princess by Ann Rinaldi. I am a sucer for anything that is set in Tudor England and this was no exception. Rinaldi is a master of the historical fiction genre and her rendering of Princess Elizabeth is pitch perfect. Rinaldi allows us t follow her from a tiny 3-year-old child to a woman who steps into the role of a Queen. Just as with her loyal subjects your love for this red-headed princess grows along with her.

6. Fire by Kristin Cashore.The companion book to Graceling and while I enjoyed Graceling immensely, I found that I liked Fire far better. However, I feel that it is often overlooked in favor of Graceling and I’d love it if more people gave it a chance!

7. Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ocklar. I feel like Sarah’s word (at least among people I’ve talked to) often seems overlooked in favor of Jennifer Echols or Sarah Dessen. This book was touching and engaging as, despite what the titel says, it focuses more on the friendship between two girls than it does on the boys they meet. This is also a recently banned book, so maybe that will spur you on to pick it up!

8. A Matter of Magic by Patricia Wrede. I love historical novels and in this book Patricia Wrede accomplished the outstanding task of blending the historical and the magical. The characters fit perfectly both into the grim world of London and a world where magic is commonplace. The magic was perfectly woven in and nothing felt contrived or out of the ordinary.

9. The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan. I feel like so many people dismiss these books as simply a rip-off of Harry Potter and then don’t take the time to read them. However, these books are unique and magical in their own way and deserve to stand on their own and be appreciated for the world Riordan brought to life.

What are you favorite underrated books? DO you agree or disagree with my choices? Let me know in the comments, I’m curious to hear what everyone thinks!


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20 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Underrated Books

  1. Rawra

    26 September, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    The only thing that suprised me about this list was Percy Jackson. I never thought it was a knock-off of Harry Potter, and I’ve never really heard anyone who has said that. Then again, I don’t read many reviews of books, because I find that they might accidentally sway me towards not reading it. I usually read them afterwards. I completely agree though. It’s a great read, and people shouldn’t judge it compared to other books.
    I haven’t heard of many of the other books, but I have heard of some of the authors. I’ll give them a try.
    My top underrated or overlooked book is Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, the sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They’re both by Roald Dahl. It’s a great read, and I don’t think that many people have ever read it.

  2. sosaysthewhale

    10 August, 2011 at 9:03 am

    I wanted to like The Thirteenth Child! I wanted to adore it; the premise sounded awesome and the whole world she had set up was so neat. I don’t know what happened.. I’m debating whether or not to try out the sequel. Hopefully some of the questions I had are answered in that book.

    • sosaysthewhale

      10 August, 2011 at 9:04 am

      That said, I’m pleased to see it listed!

  3. Daniela

    9 August, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    I loved Graceling, but I never got around to reading Fire, oops. I’m pushing it up my to-read list.

    And I’m so, so happy to see the Percy Jackson series on here! I absolutely love it. I remember seeing the movie trailer and going out to buy the first book out of curiosity. I loved it so much, I sped through the rest of the series in a week. So many people disregard this series because they think it’s too juvenile, but man the corny jokes are the best part! I really do think that Riordan is a great writer, though, and I love how he’s reinvented the idea of demigods. I’m currently anxiously awaiting Son of Neptune. October can’t come fast enough!

    • Breaking the Binding

      10 August, 2011 at 10:48 pm

      I’m glad there are so many people that love Percy Jackson! I just gave my sister the whole series to read.

      I’m also anxiously awaiting Oct! I’ve got the book on pre-order already 🙂

  4. bookzilla

    9 August, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    I know what you mean about Fire and Graceling, although I must admit to liking Graceling just a bit more — I connected more with Katsa than I did with Fire. But it’s still an excellent book, and I can’t wait for Bitterblue to come out.

    I used to be one of those people that blew off the Percy Jackson series. I saw The Lightning Thief at a bookstore and dismissed it because I didn’t really like the cover art — it looked pretty juvenile. But then I saw the trailer for the film, and knew I had to see it. Then I loved the movie so much that I went out and bought the entire series and read it in about a week (for the record, the books are better than the film). Mythology has always been really interesting to me, and Riordan is such an amazing writer.

    • Breaking the Binding

      10 August, 2011 at 10:49 pm

      I’m definitely excited about Bitterblue as well, just wish they’d give a release date! I think liked Katsa more as well, but I adored the suopporting characters in Fire more than in Gaceling.

      • bookzilla

        11 August, 2011 at 7:39 pm

        Many moons ago I heard that Bitterblue was supposed to be released in April of this year. I guess we’re a little past that. Maybe the publisher will grant my Christmas wish and release it then!

  5. Laura

    9 August, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Great choices! Unfortunately I’m one of the few people who read Graceling but still haven’t read Fire yet. I really need to get on that. Oops!

    Here’s my Top Ten:

  6. Lisa

    9 August, 2011 at 10:11 am

    I really enjoyed Fire and Graceling. I think Cashore’s work is original and her heroine’s are fierce. I also really enjoyed The Percy Jackson series.

  7. Sash and Em

    9 August, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Percy Jackson series was so good!

    Check out my Top 10!

    • Breaking the Binding

      9 August, 2011 at 9:41 am

      I adored the Percy Jackson series, blew through all of them in about a week. i’m currently waiting for October 4th to get my hands on “The Son of Neptune” the second book in the Heroes of Olympus series!

  8. Emily @Books and Threads

    9 August, 2011 at 8:51 am

    This is such a great list! I’ve read nearly everything on it (I keep meaning to get around to Fire) and I totally agree with the choices!

    I especially like A Matter of Magic. Wrede does such an excellent job with the Regency-with-magic set up! Another underrated book (I think) along those same lines – and by the same author – is Wrede and Stevemeyer’s Sorcery and Cecelia.

    • Breaking the Binding

      9 August, 2011 at 9:42 am

      I’ve been hearing great things about Sorcery and Cecelia. I’m definitely going to need to pick that up. But first I’m itching to read the second book in the Frontier Magic books, it just came out and I’m trying to wait til payday!

  9. Sam @ The Little Munchkin Reader

    9 August, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Totally agree with the Percy Jackson series!

  10. DJL

    9 August, 2011 at 8:27 am

    I just love your list, so filled with amazing fantastic books! 😀 Although I’ve heard of The Pit Dragon Chronicles I’ve yet to read it, so I believe that is a new edition to my TBR list. Yes, I have read Patricia Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles and I loved it so much. 🙂 I should have added that one to my list, too. Thank you for visiting and for sharing! Happy reading!

    • Breaking the Binding

      9 August, 2011 at 9:43 am

      The PIt Dragon trilogy is amazing. I’ve been recommending that to fantasy lovers since I first read it about 15 years ago. Jane Yolen is amazing and I’ll read just about anything she writes!

  11. Willa

    9 August, 2011 at 8:00 am

    I am definitely going to check out The Thirteenth Child by Patricia Wrede! It sounds like a great book. You can see my list here:

    • Breaking the Binding

      9 August, 2011 at 9:57 am

      The sequel to the Thirteenth Child actually just came out a week or so ago! It’s called “Across the Great Barrier”. I’m excited to read that one as well!


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