Here are a few of my favorites, in no particular order.
1.When the Stars Threw Down Their Spears (Goblin Wars Series) by Kersten Hamilton. Wow, do I love these books. Read my interview with the wonderful Kersten Hamilton from this blog on Dec. 20. It’s YA, and has plenty of interest for adults as well, but it’s appropriate for a young YA as well.
2. Warrior Heir (Heir Chronicles) by Cinda Williams Chima. An updated War of the Roses, set on the edge of Appalachia in southeastern Ohio, and Great Britain as well.
4. Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera) by Jim Butcher. Classic high fantasy (if you prefer urban fantasy, try his Dresden Files series). These are written for adults, but fit the YA market perfectly.
5. Magic Street by Orson Scott Card. This is written for adults, but I think it suits the YA crowd too. As usual, Card has great younger characters.
6. Graceling (and companion novels) by Kristin Cashore. An interesting premise in an even more interesting world, with a dash of romance thrown in.
7. Demon King (Seven Realms Series) by Cinda Williams Chima. It’s not a coincidence that my list has two series by this author. This one is set in a fantasy world with lots of court intrigue and a strong female protagonist.
8. Jack, the Giant Killer by Charles De Lint. An oldie but goodie for urban fantasy, with great scenes of the Wild Hunt.
9. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card. Another repeat by a favorite author. I haven’t seen the movie, but the book’s great with fantastic young characters and a classic twist at the end.
10. Assasin's Curse (and sequel Pirate's Wish) by Cassandra R. Clarke. A very fun read with pirates, assasins and a bit of romance.
11. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, (Chronicles of Narnia) by C.S. Lewis. Okay, so this makes eleven, and it's both too young and too old for YA, but...If by some slim chance you haven’t read these, read them before you do anything else.