Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted over at The Broke and The Bookish, and this weeks theme is:
Top Ten Books To Read If Your Book Club Likes _______________ (if your book club likes historical fiction, inspiring stories, YA books, non-fiction, controversial books to debate about, or pick a specific book).
To fill in the blank here, I decided to go for ‘an underdog’. I’ve always found this an interesting concept because almost everyone you talk to will say they ‘root’ for the underdog when the occasion arises. So here are ten books I’d recommend if my book club wanted books about an underdog.
1. The Magician’s Apprentice by Trudi Canavan
Tessia is a young woman whose skills are undervalued by those around her. When she discovers her magical potential and begins learning how to use it, she transforms from an underdog to a talented magician. And it’s excellent to read.
2. The Magician’s Guild by Trudi Canavan
Like Tessia, Sonia is an underdog with magical talent. As the first magician of raw power to come from outside the guild, she is hunted down by magicians with training and experience, but manages to evade their grasp for long periods of time.
3. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
You might argue that Amani is too fiery to be an underdog, but she’s surrounded by men that don’t value her and a family that doesn’t want her, so I’d say she’s pretty well placed in the underdog category. Against the odds, she manages to escape the confines of her town and find friends who care for her.
4. Jakob’s Colours by Lindsay Hawdon
As a young boy trying to make it through the holocaust, Jakob is the definition of an underdog. He’s so young that it seems unlikely he’ll survive, but against the odds he does, and manages to see joy in the broken world while he’s at it.
5. Pump Six and Other Stories by Paolo Bacigaloupi
Pump Six is a collection of short stories rather than a novel, but nearly all of the protagonists in each story are underdog’s in some way, and each manages to overcome the adversity facing them. Some in creative ways, and some in dark and sinister ways.
6. The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho
Santiago travels from his home in Andalusia to Egypt in search of treasure, with few belongings and blind faith. Without knowing what the treasure is it seems unlikely he’ll find it, but against the odds, he finds things even more valuable.
7. Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve
When Tom leaps down the garbage shute and out of the mechanical travelling city of London after a girl he barely knows, he basically bestows underdog status upon himself. Stranded off-city with little knowledge of how to survive in the outside world, it looks like things will turn deadly for him, but with courage and a little luck, he might just make it.
8. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
The titular character of this novel – the boy who Bruno meets on the opposite side of the fence – is certainly an underdog. He’s young and kind, and we find ourselves hoping against hope that he’ll survive the war.
9. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Having been subjugated and controlled by men for most of her life, Celie is an underdog we immediately root for. When she triumphs – and she does frequently – it’s wonderful to read.
10. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Despite the odds being stacked against Meira – her kingdom was left desolate and the ruler of another kingdom is hunting her group – she fights to help others and to save her friends. And everyone loves a fighter.
So that’s my top ten books to read if your book club likes an underdog! Let me know what you think of the choices and what you chose for this week’s theme!