I’ve spent so much time lately researching reading picks for my kids, stocking their bookshelves with all sorts of award-winning and popular titles, that when it finally comes time to reading myself, I often end up reading one of the books I’ve carefully chosen for…. my boys.

I was almost ashamed to admit how lost I got in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy. I bought and read all three in a single week. I’ve since read many more great YA titles, with a To-Read list that is growing daily.

Not only do I find them completely engrossing, and wonderful to fall into at the end of a long day, I have also recently realized how helpful it is to my older son to know I have read a book he might have questions about or is struggling with.

He’s recently picked up The Hunger Games, and while he is still only early on in the story, he had a number of questions about the plot that I would not have been able to help with had I not read it myself. Not only was I able to help him through some of the more difficult concepts, but because I had read it and he knew I had enjoyed it, he kept stopping his reading to discuss the storyline. It was so wonderful not only to be reading side by side, but also to be sharing and exchanging different thoughts about a book.

As for my younger guy, he struggles a bit with his book reports. He has a few of them due several times throughout the year, and when I’ve read his books myself, I’m better able to guide him through his summary, and help him pick out relevant parts of the plot. And while I cannot quite compare the pleasure I got from reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Geronimo Stilton, to that that I get from Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, I have to admit that Jeff Kinney is hilarious.

Melissa Taylor from Imagination Soup wrote this great article about how YA fiction helps relieve her stress. On her Beyond Her Book blog, Barbara Vey’s post that asked Are YA Books Just for Kids got a huge response, so we are obviously not alone… 🙂

Here are some of the 2010 YA Top Sellers, as posted by Publisher’s Weekly

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Burned by PC and Kristin Cast
The Gift by James Patterson and Ned Rust
Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead
Fang by James Patterson
Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead
Dark Flame by Alyson Noel
Torment by Lauren Kate
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Do you read YA fiction? What are some of the recent titles you have read that you would recommend?