10 Sinhala Young Adult Novels We Absolutely Loved.

Being cooped up at home for weeks due to COVID-19 curfews actually gave us a lot of time to drown in nostalgia. From old teledramas and advertisements to TV shows and games, we've been noticing a lot of discussions on social media about how cool '90s decade was. 
 
So, after cleaning up a very dusty cupboard full of books from my childhood, I thought of compiling a list of some of the best Sinhala Young Adult Novels we absolutely loved back then. 

Ransirige Sangramaya

This was a story about a young man named Ransiri, who comes to live in Colombo from a remote village in Embilipitiya. Adjusting to city life is no easy task for him; every day it feels like a battle. At the end of the story, it takes him back to his home, where he realises that it's worth holding on to the simplicity that it offers.

Ransirige Sangramaya is one of the many books written by Kulasena Fonseka that we fell in love with. We still remember the mischievous Sirimal in Sirimalge Wikrama, the heroic storylines of Kallanduwe Muthu Kollaya, Somapura Weerayo and Thun Yahalu Wikramaya. 

Soldadu Lamai

W. S Reed's book "The Young Warriors" was translated into Sinhala by Hasantha Srilal Hettiarachchi. This story follows the atrocities faced by the "Maroons" in Africa, who later escaped from slavery. Growing up, they were the heroes of our world.

Nelli Kele Weerayo

Young or adult, thriller stories are quite tempting. This Nelli Kele Weerayo by Nimal Bandara is one such story we loved.

It's based on three scouts who find themselves lost inside Nelli Kele (a forest) for a few weeks, and how they made their way back home after experiencing a series of challenges and hardships of survival. Along with that beautiful storyline, this taught us the importance of teamwork, being tactful and bravery.

Basthiyange Sohona

The author of the popular novels like Gimhanaye Wikramayak and Kammale Donkaaraya, this book by D. M. Karunaratne managed to draw our attention to its storyline while raising our curiosity at every chapter. It's a story about a group of teenagers who finds a standing tombstone of a person named Bastian and solves the mystery around it.

Weeriyawanthayo

Weeriyawanthayo is a story of a bunch of teenagers who acts on stopping an illicit liquor trade in their village. Written by Dr W. Amarakeerthi, it taught us many life lessons, including the value of friends, teamwork and how those two can help us to vanquish any obstacle. 

Dombagala Nidhaanaya

This is probably one of the first books that told us the chilling stories about treasure (nidhaana) hunting and the thun kuludul (the eldest son/daughter who borns into a family where both mother and father are elders in their families) sacrifices related to them. Written by Bhadraji Mahinda Jayathilake, it's a blend of terror, fear and curiosity, which had us hooked from the very first chapter.

Apata Ape Ath

Sunimal and Upali live in the same village, go to the same school, but have very different backgrounds. Upali is a richie rich, while Sunimal's family get by with the money they make from selling wadey

Sunimal is quite good at studies, while Upali is a bit of a bully. They all sit for the Grade 5 Scholarship exam, and surprisingly, Upali manages to get himself into a fancy boys' school in Colombo while Sunimal gets selected to the central collage in the nearest town. However, after a few months, Upali returns home as he got kicked out of the school for not being able to perform well in class. Later on, he reveals that he cheated at the Scholarship exam too, which is how he got a better score.

This lovely story on Apata Ape Ath was written by Denagama Siriwadhane. To be honest, I still remember the drawing of its cover, which was an artwork done by Sybil Wettasinghe.

Wanagatha Lamo

This novel was so popular, that they made a teledrama out of it. Written by Rev. Dr. W. L. A. Don Peter, this is also a story about three boys who end up lost in a forest, their terrifying experiences, and how they survived to make their way back home.

Abhaya Bhoomiya

Back then, there were plenty of novels about how children get abducted to work at dry fish camps. Abhaya Bhoomiya by Ranjith Dharmakeerthi carried one such story.

In here, a boy gets abducted after school, taken to a dry fish camp in Batticaloa/Trinco, and forced to work there. However, in the end, he manages to make a friend in the camp and escape with him by boating their way out of it. Later on, they return with the police to rescue the rest of the children.

Ranaraala

"Ranaraala" by P. B. Senanayake, is based on the book called "Masterman Ready, or the Wreck of the Pacific," written by Frederick Marryat who was a captain in the British Navy. Shipwrecked due to a gruesome storm, the story of how Seagrave family survived on a deserted island with the help of veteran sailor Masterman Ready is truly amazing. It actually reminded us of the popular TV series, the Swiss Family Robinson. 

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