Yesterday was primary election day in my state. Our leaders passed one of those controversial picture ID voting laws, which seems ridiculous when turnout is expected at 18%. You’d think those in charge would want to encourage, rather than discourage, participation.
The most important races I can’t vote in because I’m not a registered Republican. There is a Democrat primary for the second district Congressional seat, but I’m not excited about either of the candidates or hopeful that they’ll be able to win in November. For the first time since I’ve come of age, I didn’t vote in the election.
I’ve studied politics. I have a degree in it. This kind of stuff is important to me. So when I’m unmotivated to participate, I know there’s something wrong with the system. Maybe I should be more motivated to make a difference here. Maybe I should move to another part of the country (or outside of it). I’m not sure what the answer is.
When NPR was promoting their quest to find the best teen novels, I followed the coverage, but I didn’t officially cast my vote. I’ve only read 25% of the books that made the top 100. Sure, I could have narrowed down my favorites out of what I’ve read, but it would just be a reflection of my opinions at the moment, rather than a systematic investigation. That’s why I didn’t participate.
In the past, I’ve volunteered to work for my political party, assisting on national and local races. This cycle, I’m feeling rather cynical, and seemed more inclined to read the books I’ve until now neglected from NPR’s list than canvas for politicians I don’t 100% support.
I started a page to keep track of the books I’ve read from NPR’s list. I’ve only read 25% of them. Those are bolded, with links to reviews if they appear on this blog. Most are on my to-read list, but precisely because they are well known, I haven’t been in a hurry to read them. Most of what I’ve been reading of YA novels are new releases so I can know what to recommend to library patrons. The books on this list are already on my radar.
Still, most of them are books I believe I should read, most I want to read, and some I’m even embarrassed to admit I have not read yet. So with no firm deadline, I’m going to set about crossing them all off my list. Certain ones I’m prioritizing over others (we’re reading Perks of Being a Wallflower for teen book club in September, so I’ll get to cross that one off) but I’m still interested in which ones you think I should tackle first.
What are your all-time favorite young adult novels?