It’s Teen Read Week from October 9-15! (Never heard of it before? Me either! I just learned about it and I think it’s AWESOME!) So awesome, I thought it deserved a little blofrankenstein-2ggy time.

Therefore, in honor of Teen Read Week, I thought it might be fun to highlight some authors you may not have realized were mere teenagers when they wrote their now super famous books.

Mary Shelley (1797 – 1851). Shelley wrote Frankenstein when she was just a teenager and completed work on it at the ancient age of 19. It was first published a year after. Her story gives me serious underachiever anxiety. As a teen girl (yes, a female) in the 1700s, Shelley wrote and published a book that would go on to become a classic and influence countless future young minds. If you weren’t impressed with her before, my guess is you are now!

outsidersS. E. Hinton (1948 – ). Hinton started writing The Outsiders at 15. But, to be fair, she did most of the work when she was a much older and wiser 16-year-old. Her novel is credited with changing young adult fiction by showing a grittier, more realistic teen experience. Just shows you that young people can do amazing things.

If you want to learn more about The Outsiders, here are a few great articles.

As a side note, there is also a 1983 film version of The Outsiders, which stars many iconic movie stars before they were famous, including Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise and Diane Lane.

anne-frankAnne Frank (1929 – 1945). Anne Frank wrote her diary starting on her 13th birthday. For over two years she chronicled her life while hiding in an attic during the German occupation of the Netherlands. The book was published posthumously in 1947, when she would have been about 18. Much can and has been said about this work. I will just say that it is a powerful piece that should be read by all young adults and not-so-young adults.

If you want to get more information on Anne Frank, see this link – http://www.annefrank.org/

Maseventeethureen Daly (1921 – 2006). Now, admittedly I’ve never read the Seventeenth Summer. But it’s an iconic book credited with establishing the young adult genre. Apparently, Daly started writing the book when she was just 17-years-old.  She also won the O. Henry Award for the short story “Sixteen” while still in high school. Throughout her life, she worked as a journalist and wrote for numerous high profile newspapers and magazines. Quite an accomplished lady!

eragonChristopher Paolini (1983 – ). Paolini started writing Eragon when he was just 15. While I haven’t read this one either, it’s a well known YA novel and should be on any list about teen authors. The first book spawned an entire series and also spent countless weeks on best seller lists. I believe Paolini even drew the art for the original cover. Is this guy amazing or what? A major movie adaptation of Eragon came out in 2006. Not too bad for a book written by a 15-year-old.

As another side note, I would also like to point out that most of the people on this list are also all girls. (Go women!)

If you want to see lists of current published teen authors, check out some of these links

Or if you want to learn more about Teen Read Week, check out the website here: http://teenreadweek.ning.com/

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