Cory Doctorow's latest book, "Little Brother" is currently number nine on New York Times top ten best sellers of children's chapter books. Good on him! I liked what I had heard about it from BoingBoing.net and on Wil Wheaton's blog and I plan on reading it when I finish "Overclocked".
When I read the NY Times description of "Little Brother," it gave me a bit of a laugh: "A teenage hacker takes on the government after a terrorist attack turns America into a police state." That is a heavy topic for young adult fiction. Though reading the synopsis of some of the other top ten books surprised me further. "Tweak" is "a memoir of a teenager’s methamphetamine addiction." "Thirteen Reasons why" is summed as follows: "before committing suicide, a girl sends explanatory audiotapes to 13 people." This is much meatier stuff than I grew up reading. I was scared I'd get in shit if I brought books like this home. "Why can't you read nice books" my mother would wail.
Moving on, I see that "Indian Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" is full of" "Archaeological derring-do; a movie tie-in." Fair enough. but hold your ponies. "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian" is a tale where "The Pevensies return to Narnia; a movie tie-in." This is listed as a paperback, which should remove the possibility of the list being on of those dumbed down picture books that are in fact move tie-ins.
C.S. Lewis did not pen "a movie tie-in." I haven't even read any of the Narnia series beyond "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" and have several philosophical differences with the author, but I don't think his work should be summed up as mere movie tie-in, no matter how good the films are.