10 Adult Authors Who Would Write Great Kids' Books


From Kelley Armstrong to Alice Hoffman, it seems like there's always a new author breaking away from their traditional audience and trying their hand at kid's lit. Now with the amazing news that Elena Ferrante is coming out with one of her own, I started to wonder about the other adult authors who would write amazing children's books. Authors like Carl Hiaasen and Meg Cabot seem to have perfected the art writing for both adults and kids, but what authors haven't tried yet, but should?

When Europa Editions announced that this fall they would be releasing a new children's book from Elena Ferrante, the prolific writer behind the Neapolitan Novels, I nearly squealed with excitement. Ferrante's writing is usually complex and dark, and if her children's book, which is being narrated by the doll from The Lost Daughter, is anything like her other novels, we can only expect more unforgettable characters and, as always, brilliant storytelling. Is it fall yet?

Whenever one of your favorite authors publishes a new book, it's worth getting excited over, but when they decide to write something totally new and outside their comfort zone, that's a different treat entirely. Because everyone seems to be doing it, here are 10 adult authors who would write amazing children's books. Hey, a book nerd can dream, right?

1. Andy Weir

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We already know how well Andy Weir's work translates on screen thanks to last year's box office smash hit, The Martian, but can you imagine how inventive and imaginative of a kid's book he could write? They would be filled with space travel, alien encounters, and science fiction adventures like no one has ever seen.

2. Erin Morgenstern

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I've already said that every fan of Harry Potter should read Erin Morgenstern's adult novel The Night Circus , because her writing is full of magic, just like any good young adult fantasy series should be. If she decided to pen a children's book, it would be one filled with fantastical creatures, enchanting characters, and, most likely, a heartwarming love story. Now, that's the kind of book I want to read.

3. Gillian Flynn

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When you think of Gillian Flynn, you probably think of vindictive lovers, cold-blooded murders, and graphic violence, not children's books, but Flynn would make a great YA author. In fact, she is signed on to publish her first YA novel with Delacorte press, and since the news was announced, fans (myself included) have been anxiously awaiting to see what kind of terror and horror she'll wreak on the lives of teen readers.

4. Lev Grossman

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Lev Grossman's The Magicians trilogy has captured the hearts of adult fantasy lovers everywhere, and readers would be just as excited to read a children's book from him. He already has the hang of writing about magical schools, fierce friendships, and mythical lands, so any fantasy series he would create would charm young adult readers looking for exciting adventures in the unknown. The New York Times has already said that Grossman's book "could be crudely labeled a Harry Potter for adults", so he seems like the perfect candidate to pen the next big YA series.

5. Zadie Smith

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There's a growing trend towards realistic fiction in young adult literature, and what better adult author to give it a try than Zadie Smith? The author responsible for the family saga White Teeth and the experimental novel NW could turn her sharp, critical eye on teen issues and create a smart and poignant novel young adults could relate to. There's nothing this versatile author can't do, including writing for a new audience.

6. Jojo Moyes

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Jojo Moyes may be a adult romance writer, but who says kids and teens don't like love stories? Moyes could create the same kind of pulse-raising, heart-thumping, swoon-worthy love story she always does, only this time, a little more PG-rated. Young readers, and her adult fans, would love to read a sweet, romantic story about love-struck teenagers, first heartbreaks, and young love. Or, at least, this fan would.

7. Dave Eggers

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Dave Eggers is probably best known for his memoir, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, but he's also the author of several fiction novels, humor books, and screenplays. In short, there's no end to Eggers writing talents, so it's only safe to assume he'd be a great children's book author. A dystopian novel, like The Circle , would be right up his ally, and a hit with young adult and adult readers alike.

8. Donna Tartt


Donna Tart's The Secret History brilliantly captures the tumultuous years that accompany early adulthood in college — the ups, the downs, and, apparently, the murders — so what would happen if she decided to look to an even younger age group? Tartt's young adult novel would be emotional, philosophical, and possibly even thrilling. Here's to hoping that someday she decides to write one.

9. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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From her short stories to her novels to her essays, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's writing is not only beautiful and elegant, but powerful and inspiring, too. Young girls (and boys) could benefit from a Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie feminist-forward novel written for them. She easily communicates her values and ideals through her writing, so no matter what story she decided to tell young adults, they'd get a lot more than plot points out of it.

10. Janet Evanovich

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Her heroines are what every teenage girl would love to read: hilarious, smart, driven, flawed and realistic. Janet Evanovich, best know for her Stephanie Plum series, knows how to balance humor, mystery, and action, a skill she could apply to penning a young adult novel starring a teenage detective, a high school love triangle, and more hijinks than any YA mystery novel you've ever read. If only it were real.

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