Top 10 Books That Take Place in New York
Shop Indie Bookstores 1. Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems
I love this book. I also love how I discovered it. I was in the Barnes & Noble on Court Street in Brooklyn. I was having a pretty crappy day dealing with the disability people in the Department of Ed office across the street and I escaped to the bookstore for a little unwinding before I set out for my journey home. I ended up in the children's section where this book caught my eye. I had never heard of it before. I was surrounded by strangers - children and their parents - and I couldn't stop myself from smiling from ear to ear and laughing out loud. Knuffle Bunny will forever be my Brooklyn book love. I didn't buy this book that day, but I did buy myself a brand new copy of the next book on my list!
Shop Indie Bookstores 2. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
This is probably the first book I ever read that took place in New York City. There were so many reasons why I related to this book and fell deeply in book love with it and its New York backdrop was definitely one of them. The world was so real to me and so unlike those that I was reading about in other books.
Shop Indie Bookstores 3. The Pigman by Paul Zindel
Reading this book just plain freaked me out. It didn't just take place in New York City, it took place in STATEN ISLAND! That's really where I live. While it has been so long that most of the story escapes my memory these days, I will never forget reading "Staten Island Zoo" or "Clove Lakes Park" in the print of a truly legitimate book that I was reading and thinking, Whoa! We matter.
Shop Indie Bookstores 4. The Dead and The Gone by Sarah Beth Pfeffer
This is the second book in a trilogy (Books one and two do not have to be read in order) that I absolutely loved. The moon comes too close to Earth, wreaks havoc on our weather and we are thrust into a survival situation. While book one is written from the prospective of a girl somewhere else n America, The Dead and The Gone dealt with the calamity of my own city under this natural disaster. I LOVED THIS and I need to read this book again sometime soon!
Shop Indie Bookstores 5. The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan
While Percy and the Half-Bloods do travel all over the country, home base is in New York. Camp HalfBlood is in Long Island and Olympus is smack dab in the middle of Manhattan. Riordan has helped me find magic and myth on the streets of my city.
Shop Indie Bookstores 6. The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins
Similar to Percy, Gregor and his family spend most of their time seemingly apart from New York, but the fact is - they are under it. I haven't finished reading the entire series yet, but I already know the next time I am in Central Park that I need to watch my back for any creatures coming out of the entrance to the Underland found there!
Shop Indie Bookstores 7. The Gunslinger by Stephen King
My husband and I argued over this one as he continued to say, "The Gunslinger takes place in an alternate universe!" Yes. This is true, but its attachment to "our world" is in New York. Just like Gregor and Percy, this series gave me the sense that my city holds secret doorways every way just waiting to whisk me off to someplace mysterious!
Shop Indie Bookstores 8. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
I love how this book captures a New York I never knew. The New York of my ancestors. This is really such a beautiful book that captures a culture, a time, and a place I have no right to feel nostalgia for.
Shop Indie Bookstores 9. The Godfather by Mario Puzo
As half of my family is Sicilian-American, I loved every setting of this book! Just like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, I felt like this book gave me a sense of my city's history and, perhaps what some of my family saw as they grew up here and traveled here from Sicily.
Shop Indie Bookstores 10. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I reluctantly add this book to the list because, to be honest with you, I don't love the book. However, as I reflected upon my choices to write about today, I realized that the one aspect of the story I loved was the setting. I found myself daydreaming away about Long Island, the city, Gatsby's travels in between and, again, what my hometown must have looked like once upon a time...
Do you have any favorite books that take place in your hometown?
What about favorite books that take place in mine - New York City? Which ones am I missing?