Barry Lyga

Barry  Lyga

Called a “YA rebel-author” by Kirkus Reviews, Barry Lyga has published seventeen novels in various genres in his eleven-year career, including the New York Times bestselling I Hunt Killers. His books have been or are slated to be published in more than a dozen different languages in North America, Australia, Europe, and Asia.

After graduating from Yale with a degree in English, Lyga worked in the comic book industry before quitting to pursue his lifelong love of writing. In 2006, his first young adult novel, The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl, was published to rave reviews, including starred reviews from Booklist and School Library Journal. Publishers Weekly named Lyga a “Flying Start” in December 2006 on the strength of the debut.

His second young adult novel, Boy Toy, received starred reviews in SLJ, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus. VOYA gave it its highest critical rating, and the Chicago Tribune called it “…an astounding portrayal of what it is like to be the young male victim.” His third novel, Hero-Type, according to VOYA “proves that there are still fresh ideas and new, interesting story lines to be explored in young adult literature.”

Since then, he has also written Goth Girl Rising (the sequel to his first novel), as well as the Archvillain series for middle-grade readers and the graphic novel Mangaman (with art by Colleen Doran).

His latest series is I Hunt Killers, called by the LA Times “one of the more daring concepts in recent years by a young-adult author” and an “extreme and utterly alluring narrative about nature versus nurture.” The first book landed on both the New York Times and USAToday bestsellers lists.

Lyga lives and podcasts near New York City with his wife, Morgan Baden, their nigh-omnipotent daughter, and their preternaturally chill son. His comic book collection is a lot smaller than it used to be, but is still way too big.

If you're an author and you want an excuse to have a good time while also meeting some of the best librarians and fans in the world, I have one piece of advice: Hie thee to the Teen Book Festival! There's nothing quite like the excitement and enthusiasm of the readers in Rochester, whipped into a frenzy by Stephanie Squicciarini and her crack squad of volunteers. TBF means lots of fans, great publicity, and rock star treatment that we authors probably don't deserve...but will happily lap up! Barry Lyga

Not sure which books to read? Let our TBF authors tell you which ones they recommend! Visit our Resources page, then scroll down to "TBF One Book Recommendations". You will also find a more complete list of books by each author under TBF Book List.

Hocus Pocus: The Flash (Book 1)

Hocus Pocus: The Flash (Book 1)
Middle School, 9781419728156
Recommended for teens

Race into action in this all-new original adventure based on the hit CW TV series, The Flash! In a timeline where Flashpoint never happened, The Flash (aka Barry Allen) must face a mysterious villain who can control the minds and actions of citizens. But when Hocus Pocus, as he calls himself, takes control of Barry, it’s up to Team Flash to help the Scarlet Speedster before he’s forced to do the unthinkable. Written by New York Times bestselling author Barry Lyga, this is one adventure fans of the TV series won’t want to miss!

Johnny Quick: The Flash (Book 2)

Johnny Quick: The Flash (Book 2)
Middle School, 9781419728655
Recommended for teens

Based on the hit CW TV show, this second title in The Flash middle-grade series follows Barry Allen as he continues his mission to protect Central City from the sinister Hocus Pocus—but this time, a new evil lurks beneath the city streets . . . Written by New York Times–bestselling author Barry Lyga, this brand-new, original adventure builds upon the world of The Flash. This is one fans won’t want to miss!

I Hunt Killers: Jasper Dent (Book 1)

I Hunt Killers: Jasper Dent (Book 1)
Suspense, 9780316125830
Recommended for teens

Jasper "Jazz" Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say. But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could—from the criminal's point of view. And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod. In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

Game: Jasper Dent (Book 2)

Game: Jasper Dent (Book 2)
Suspense, 9780316125857
Recommended for teens

In an effort to prove murder didn’t run in the family, Jazz teamed with the police in the small town of Lobo’s Nod to solve a deadly case. And now, when a determined New York City detective comes knocking on Jazz’s door asking for help, he can’t say no. The Hat-Dog Killer has the Big Apple–and its police force–running scared. So Jazz and his girlfriend, Connie, hop on a plane to the big city and get swept up in a killer’s murderous game.

Blood of my Blood: Jasper Dent (Book 3)

Blood of my Blood: Jasper Dent (Book 3)
Suspense, 9780316198714
Recommended for teens

Jazz has been shot and left to die in New York. His girlfriend, Connie, is in the clutches of Jazz's monstrous father, Billy--the world's most notorious serial killer. And his best friend, Howie, is bleeding to death on the floor of Jazz's new home. Somehow, these three must rise above the horrors and find a way to come together in pursuit of Billy. But then Jazz crosses a line he's never crossed before, and soon the entire country is wondering: "Like father, like son? Who is the true monster?" From New York City to the small town of Lobo's Nod, the chase is on, and this time, Jazz is the hunted, not the hunter--while Billy Dent lurks in the shadows. And beyond Billy? Something much, much worse. Prepare to meet...the Crow King.

The Secret Sea

The Secret Sea
Science Fiction, 9781250072832
Recommended for teens
Recommended to read before TBF

Twelve-year-old Zak Killian is hearing a voice. Could it be a guardian angel? A ghost? No, that’s crazy. But sometimes the voice is so real. . . . It warns him of danger. One day Zak is standing on the subway platform when the tunnel starts to fill with water. He sees it before anyone else. The voice warns him to run. His friends Moira and Khalid believe this is more than a premonition, and soon all three find themselves in an alternate universe that is both familiar and seriously strange. As Zak unravels the mystery behind the voice, he faces decisions that may mean the end of their world at home―if they can even get home!

Book Talks

When we asked our authors what they were or might have been voted in HS, Barry answered I can't put my hands on my yearbook at the moment, but I do remember being named one of the "Brain Trust.".

Other Fun Facts

  • Both of my kids have looked frighteningly like Astro Boy at certain points in their lives.
  • I wrote an entire trilogy in less than 10 months.
  • My wife and I have written a novel together - it should be out in 2018!
  • I eat peanut butter and jelly almost every day.
  • I've owned a bunch of computers, but have used the same keyboard for almost twenty years.
  • If I were a superhero, I would be Tired Man, with the power to never get quite enough sleep.
  • If you can only read one of my books in time for TBF, it should be The Secret Sea because it combines so many elements of what I love to write about: science fiction, magic, fantasy, friendship, horror, mystery...it's all in there!
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