The Ranger's Apprentice

Joyce Terry graduated from the McKay School in 1974 with her bachelor's in elementary education and a minor in English. She taught second and fourth grades in the Alpine School District and resides in Woodland Hills, UT. Joyce is currently employed by the Center for Improvement of Teacher Education and Schooling (CITES) at the McKay School of Education.

A few years ago I developed a love for young adult books—mostly fiction. I re-read some of my old favorites such as Island of the Blue Dolphins, Mrs. Mike, A Wrinkle in Time, and The Phantom Tollbooth.

As I enjoyed these old favorites, it dawned on me that many, MANY more had been published and enjoyed since my younger years. I began a quest for a good list of literature that I could begin to acquire and share with my grandchildren.

I work in the McKay School of Education, so I sent an email to faculty and staff asking them to share their favorite young adult book. I ended up with 92 suggestions! Some had more than one favorite, so they named several. Some just simplified things by writing “anything by Sandra Cisneros and Gary Soto.”

Some of the favorites included The Giver, The Count of Monte Cristo, Lord of the Rings, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Gone With the Wind, Holes, and To Kill a Mockingbird.

I enjoy sharing my latest reads with my grandchildren. Currently we are reading The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan. My 12-year-old grandson is on the final book 10. His 10-year-old cousin in Arizona reluctantly agreed to read the first book after hearing his cousin rave about it. He recently called me with excitement and said, “Grandma, you gotta send me book three.”

The Ranger's Apprentice

This series focuses on Will, an orphan living in the Castle Araluen in a medieval-type setting. On Choosing Day, Will is bound as an apprentice to Halt, the most famous ranger in all the lands. During his five years of training, he learns the ranger skills that enable him to battle monsters and human enemies as he serves the king and protects the people of the kingdom of Araluen.