NPR’s List of Top 100 Young Adult Novels

In August 2012, NPR posted the top 100 teen books. At that time I’d only read 25% of them. Of the rest, some were already 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 best 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.

I will note that this list is based on popularity within a very specific community—the online community of NPR listeners/readers. This is not very representative of quality or diversity within YA fiction and should not be taken as such.

Updated 10/2013: I’ve gotten my percentage read over 33%, which feels like a good accomplishment in the last year. Next on my list are some obvious holes, like Sarah Dessen and Tamora Pierce.

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling

2. The Hunger Games (series), by Suzanne Collins

3. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

4. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green

5. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

6. The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

7. The Lord of the Rings (series), by J.R.R. Tolkien {but I’ve see the extended director’s cut of all the movies many, many times, so I don’t feel the need to read}

8. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

9. Looking for Alaska, by John Green {review}

10. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

11. The Giver (series), by Lois Lowry

12. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (series), by Douglas Adams

13. The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton

14. Anne of Green Gables (series), by Lucy Maud Montgomery

15. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman

16. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky  {review}

17. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman

18. Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

19. Divergent (series), by Veronica Roth 

20. Paper Towns, by John Green

21. The Mortal Instruments (series), by Cassandra Clare {I’ve only read the first in the series}

22. An Abundance of Katherines, by John Green

23. Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes

24. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher

25. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon

26. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson

27. Twilight (series), by Stephenie Meyer

28. Uglies (series), by Scott Westerfeld

29. The Infernal Devices (series), by Cassandra Clare {review)

30. Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt

31. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie

32. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (series), by Anne Brashares

33. The Call of the Wild, by Jack London

34. Will Grayson, Will Grayson, by John Green, David Levithan

35. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous

36. Howl’s Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones

37. Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli

38. A Separate Peace, by John Knowles

39. Vampire Academy (series), by Richelle Mead {review}

40. Abhorsen Trilogy Old Kingdom Trilogy (series), by Garth Nix

41. Dune, by Frank Herbert

42. Discworld Tiffany Aching (series), by Terry Pratchett

43. My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult

44. The Dark is Rising (series), by Susan Cooper

45. Graceling (series), Kristin Cashore {review of Graceling {review of Bitterblue}

46. Forever…, by Judy Blume

47. Earthsea (series), by Ursula K. Le Guin

48. Inheritance Cycle (series), by Christopher Paolini

49. The Princess Diaries (series), by Meg Cabot

50. The Song of the Lioness (series), by Tamora Pierce

51. Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson

52. Delirium (series), by Lauren Oliver

53. Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins

54. Hush, Hush Saga (series), by Becca Fitzpatrick {I’ve only read the first in the series}

55. 13 Little Blue Envelopes, by Maureen Johnson

56. It’s Kind of a Funny Story, by Ned Vizzini

57. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy (series), by Libba Bray

58. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs

59. The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros

60. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury

61. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier

62. Just Listen, by Sarah Dessen

63. A Ring of Endless Light, by Madeleine L’Engle

64. The Truth About Forever, by Sarah Dessen

65. The Bartimaeus Trilogy (series), by Jonathan Stroud

66. Bloodlines (series), by Richelle Mead

67. Fallen (series), by Lauren Kate

68. House of Night (series), by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast {I’ve only read the first in the series}

69. I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith

70. Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlsit, by Rachel Cohn, David Levithan

71. Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver

72. Unwind, by Neal Shusterman

73. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle

74. The Maze Runner Trilogy (series), by James Dashner

75. If I Stay, by Gayle Forman {review} 

76. The Blue Sword, by Robin McKinley

77. Crank (series), by Ellen Hopkins

78. Matched (series), by Allie Condie

79. Gallagher Girls (series), by Ally Carter

80. The Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale

81. Daughter of the Lioness Tricksters (series), by Tamora Pierce

82. I Am the Messenger, by Markus Zusak

83. The Immortals (series), by Tamora Pierce

84. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles (series), by Patricia C. Wrede

85. Chaos Walking (series), by Patrick Ness

86. Circle of Magic (series), by Tamora Pierce

87. Daughter of Smoke & Bone, by Laini Taylor  {review}

88. Feed, by M.T. Anderson

89. Weetzie Bat (series), by Francesca Lia Block

90. Along for the Ride, by Sarah Dessen

91. Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (series), by Louise Rennison

92. Leviathan (series), by Scott Westerfeld {review}

93. The House of the Scorpion, by Nancy Farmer

94. The Chronicles of Chrestomanci (series), by Diana Wynne Jones

95. The Lullaby, by Sarah Dessen

96. Gone (series), by Michael Grant

97. The Shiver Trilogy (series), by Maggie Stiefvater

98. The Hero and the Crown, by Robin McKinley

99. Wintergirls, by Laurie Halse Anderson

100. Betsy-Tacy Books (series), by Maud Hart Lovelace

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8 thoughts on “NPR’s List of Top 100 Young Adult Novels

  1. Well, I’ve only read 24 of them, but some of those included on the list seem a bit fishy to me. I don’t consider “Flowers for Algernon” or anything by Ray Bradbury to be YA, and there’s way too much John Green on this list, in my humble opinion. And then others that I would DEFINITELY consider classics are nowhere to be seen! E.g., what about “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis? I’m one of the only people I know who’s read all 7! *sigh*

    1. I’m in 9 grade and last year, in 8 grade, we read Ray Bradbury. I would consider him to be a YA writer. I enjoyed reading his books. We read the Halloween Tree and the one with the tattooed man. This year we are reading 451 Fahrenheit.

      1. I checked it out in celebration of Banned Book Week. We’re videotaping teens reading from their favorite challenged title at the library this week, and one of my teen book club girls picked SPEAK and horrified I hadn’t read it! Will let you know what I think. Judging from the beginning, I’m going to like it!

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