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7 authors born in June and their YA books you should buy

  • Enter a world of fantasy, learn about Native American history, or face up to the horrors of Jewish life under Nazi rule
  • This month, our top writers include Anne Frank, Salman Rushdie, and the creator of ‘The Little Prince ‘
Karly Cox |

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Lie back with a book by one of our authors of the month

It seems like having a June birthday leads to extreme creativity: many of our favourite authors born this month made a name for themselves with their fantasy stories. But it’s not all flights of imagination.

June 2 Norton Juster

The Phantom TollboothAlthough primarily an architect, the American wrote a hugely famous children’s book that challenged the idea that young readers shouldn’t confront words or ideas that they didn’t already know. Not everyone praised The Phantom Tollbooth, his fantasy voyage of discovery, in which a bored boy called Milo goes on a Wonderland-like adventure, but it has since become one of the most beloved children’s books due to its wit, wisdom and wordplay.

Buy a copy here.

June 7 Louise Erdrich

Birchbank House #1Erdrich is a Native American author, whose books often explore her heritage. While she is best known for her adult novels, the five-part Birchbark House series is for older children and teens, and follows the life of a young Ojibwa girl in the mid-1800s. If you know nothing about the indigenous people of North America, this is a pretty great place to start.

Buy a copy here.

June 12 Anne Frank

The Diary of a Young GirlThe famous teenage diarist only wrote one book, of course. The Diary of a Young Girl was published two years after her death in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, and remains an essential entry point for many people’s Holocaust education.

Buy a copy here.

June 15 Brian Jacques

Redwall #1The British author is best known for his Redwall stories, a series about a group of brave mice and other good creatures who must defy their peaceful nature when threatened by evil animals who try to invade their home. The vivid descriptions and action sequences make them perfect for Tolkien fans, or anyone who enjoys epic fantasy.

Buy a copy of the first instalment here.

June 19 Salman Rushdie

Haroun and the Sea of StoriesThe British-Indian author is probably best known for his fourth novel, The Satanic Verses (it led to the Iranian leader issuing a legal opinion calling for his death), but he has also written two YA books. Haroun and the Sea of Stories (1990) and Luka and the Fire of Life (2010) both feature the magical realism of his adult books, and offer allegories on real-life issues and the questions we ask as we leave childhood behind.

Buy a copy of Haroun and the Sea of Stories here, and Luka and the Fire of Life here.

June 24 Kathryn Lasky

The Night JourneyThe American author of the Guardians of Ga’Hoole fantasy series has, in many of her books, put herself into the feathers or pelt of a wild animal to tell her stories. But she is also known for her historical fiction. Check out The Night Journey: Rachel thinks that daily visits with her great-grandmother will be a boring duty, until Nana starts reminiscing of her old life in Russia, when Jewish people were forced to join the Czar’s army, or face death, and the daring escape plan she hatched ...

Buy a copy here.

June 29, Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The Little PrinceThe author of one of the best-selling books of all time, the Frenchman was, like the narrator of The Little Prince, a pilot. He flew commercially before the second world war, then on reconnaissance missions during. He disappeared while on such a mission in 1944. While he wrote several books, mostly inspired by his experiences as an aviator, but it is his philosophical novella about a young prince who visits different planets and addresses themes of loneliness and love that remains his best loved publication.

Buy a copy here.