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100 Best Young Adult Novels

Looking for some great Young Adult reads? Check out this list of recommendations of 100 of the Best Young Adult Novels, stretching from classics like Judy Blume’s Forever, J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, and William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, up to contemporary hits, like Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

[See how Time Magazine assembled this list for 2021, and how it differs from a similar 2015 list…and why!]

Fantasy | Dystopia/Apocalypse | History, But Interesting | Mystery/Detective
Romance/Relationships | Lived Experience | Stories About Trauma
Magical Realism | Coming of Age | Science Fiction


Fantasy

A Wizard of Earthsea
by Ursula K. Le Guin
(j Le Guin / YA PB Le Guin) (1968)


The Giver
by Lois Lowry
(j Lowry / YA Lowry) (1993)


Ella Enchanted
by Gail Carson Levine
(j Levine / jPB (Series) Levine) (1997)


Six of Crows
by Leigh Bardugo
(YA PB Bardugo) (2015)


The Lightning Thief
by Rick Riordan
(j Riordan / jPB (Series) Riordan) (2005)


Akata Witch
by Nnedi Okorafor
(YA Okorafor-Mbucha / YA PUB Okorafor) (2011)


When the Moon Was Ours
by Anna-Marie McLemore
(YA McLemore) (2016)


An Ember in the Ashes
by Sabaa Tahir
(YA Tahir) (2015)


Daughter of Smoke & Bone
by Laimi Taylor
(YA Taylor / YA PB (Series) Taylor) (2011)


Children of Blood and Bone
by Tomi Adeyemi
(YA Adeyemi) (2018)


Graceling
by Kristin Cashore
(YA Cashore / YA PB Cashore) (2008)



Dystopia/Apocalypse

The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
(j Collins / YA Collins / YA PB Collins) (2008)


The Marrow Thieves
by Cherie Dimaline
(YA PB Dimaline) (2017)


Legend
by Marie Lu
(YA Lu / YA PB Lu) (2011)


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by M.T. Anderson
(YA PB Anderson) (2002)


Scythe
by Neal Shusterman
(YA Shusterman / YA PB Shusterman) (2016)


How I Live Now
by Meg Rosoff
(YA Rosoff / YA PB Rosoff) (2004)


Lord of the Flies
by William Golding
(Golding) (1954)



History, But Interesting

Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of WWII
by Joseph Bruchac
(j Bruchad / YA Bruchac / YA PB Bruchac) (2005)


The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak
(Zusak / YA PB Zusak) (2006)


Code Name Verity
by Elizabeth Wein
(YA Wein / YA PB Wein) (2012)


We Are Not Free
by Traci Chee
(YA Chee) (2020)


Copper Sun
by Sharon Draper
(YA PB Draper) (2006)


Salt to the Sea
by Ruta Sepetys
(YA Sepetys) (2016)


March: Book One, Two and Three
by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell
(Biography Lewis / YA PB (Graphic Novel) Lewis) (2013-2016)


Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
by Anne Frank
(940.548 F85ar / Biography Frank / B F84911) (1947 – various other editions with additional content in later years)


Persepolis
by Marjane Satrapi
(741.5 Sat) (2003)


To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
(Lee) (1960)



Mystery/Detective

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mr.s Basil E. Frankweiler
by E.L. Konigsburg
(j Konigsburg / jPB Konigsburg) (1967)


The Westing Game
by Ellen Raskin
(j Raskin / jPB Raskin) (1978)


Allegedly
by Tiffany D. Jackson
(YA Jackson / YA PB Jackson) (2017)


Firekeeper’s Daughter
by Angeline Boulley
(YA Boulley) (2021)



Romance/Relationships

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
by Jenny Han
(YA Han / YA PB Han) (2014)


Everything, Everything
by Nicola Yoon
(YA Yoon / YA PB Yoon) (2015)


Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
by Jesse Andrews
(YA Andrews / YA PB Andrews) (2012)


The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green
(YA Green / YA PB Green) (2012)


Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging
by Louise Rennison
(j Rennison) (2000)


Every Day
by David Levithan
(YA Levithan) (2012)


If You Come Softly
by Jacqueline Woodson
(libraries only have in electronic formats) (1998)


I’ll Give You the Sun
by Jandy Nelson
(YA Nelson / YA PB Nelson) (2014)


Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me
by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
(YA PB (Graphic Novel) Tamaki) (2019)


Forever
by Judy Blume
(Blume / YA PB Blume) (1975)


The Henna Wars
by Adiba Jaigirdar
(YA Jaigardar) (2020)


Simon vs. the Home Sapiens Agenda
by Becky Albertalli
(YA Albertalli / YA PB Albertalli) (2015)


Felix Ever After
by Kacen Callender
(YA Callender) (2020)



Lived Experience

American Born Chinese
by Gene Luen Yang
(j Yang / YA PB Yang) (2006)


Brown Girl Dreaming
by Jacqueline Woodson
(j818 Woo / YA PB (Non-Fiction) Woodson) (2014)


Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
by Mildred D. Taylor
(j Taylor / jPB (Series) Taylor) (1976)


Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You
by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
(YA 305.8 AfrYr) (2020)


The Crossover
by Kwame Alexander
(j Alexander / jPB (Series) Alexander) (2014)


The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives
by Dashka Slater
(YA 364.155 Sla) (2017)


The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas
(YA Thomas) (2017)


Dear Martin
by Vic Stone
(YA Stone / YA PB Stone) (2017)


I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
by Erika L. Sanchez
(YA Sanchez / YA PB Sanchez) (2017)


The Black Flamingos
by Dean Atta
(YA Atta) (2020)


Rainbow Boys
by Alex Sanchez
(libraries only own in electronic formats) (2001)


I’ll Get There. It Better Be Worth the Trip
by John Donovan
(libraries only own in electronic format) (1969)


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
by Benjamin Alire Saenz
(YA Saenz / YA PB Saenz) (2012)


If You Could Be Mine
by Sara Farizan
(libraries only own in electronic formats) (2013)



Stories About Trauma

Speak
by Laurie Halse Anderson
(YA Anderson / YA PB Anderson) (1999)


The Poet X
by Elizabeth Acevedo
(YA Acevedo / YA PB Acevedo) (2018)


We Are Okay
by Nina LaCour
(YA Lacour / YA PB Lacour) (2017)


A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But a Sandwich
by Alice Childress
(not currently in the Lincoln City Libraries’ collection) (1973)


More Happy Than Not
by Adam Silvera
(YA Silvera / YA PB Silvera) (2015)


Monster
by Walter Dean Myers
(YA PB Myers) (1999)



Magical Realism

The Astonishing Color of After
by Emily X.R. Pan
(YA Pan) (2018)


Pet
by Akwaeke Emezi
(YA Emezi / YA PB Emezi) (2019)


Tuck Everlasting
by Natalie Babbitt
(j Babbitt / jPB Babbitt) (1975)


Long Way Down
by Jason Reynolds
(YA Reynolds / YA PB Reynolds) (2017)


Elsewhere
by Gabrielle Zevin
(libraries currently own only in E-audiobook format) (2005)


Weetzie Bat
by Francesca Lia Block
(YA PB Block) (1989)


Holes
by Louis Sachar
(j Sachar / jPB Sachar / jPB (Series) Sachar) (1998)



Coming of Age

Little Women
by Louisa May Alcott
(various call numbers in adult, young adult, and juvenile collections) (1868)


Dumplin’
by Julie Murphy
(YA Murphy / YA PB Murphy) (2015)


Like a Love Story
by Abdi Nazemian
(YA Nazemian / YA PB Nazemian) (2019)


A Very Large Expanse of Sea
by Tahereh Mafi
(YA Mafi / YA PB Mafi) (2018)


Homecoming
by Cynthia Voight
(j Voight) (1981)


Anne of Green Gables
by L(ucy) M(aud) Montgomery
(various adult, young adult, and juvenile call numbers) (1908)


The Princess Diaries
by Meg Cabot
(YA PB (Series) Cabot) (2000)


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
by Betty Smith
(Smith) (1943)


The House on Mango Street
by Sandra Cisneros
(Cisneros) (1984)


Stargirl
by Jerry Spinelli
(j Spinelli / jPB (Series) Spinelli / YA PB (Series) Spinelli) (2000)


Tyrell
by Coe Booth
(not currently in the Lincoln City Libraries’ collection) (2006)


The Sun is Also a Star
by Nicola Yoon
(YA Yoon / YA PB Yoon) (2016)


Darius the Great is Not Okay
by Adib Khorram
(YA Khorram / YA PB Khorram) (2018)


The Catcher in the Rye
by J.D. Salinger
(Salinger) (1951)


American Street
by Ibi Zoboi
(YA Zoboi / YA PB Zoboi) (2017)


A Step From Heaven
by An Na
(j An) (2001)


Before We Were Free
by Julia Alvarez
(j Alvarez) (2002)


The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
by Ann Brashares
(j Brashares) (2001)


You Should See Me in a Crown
by Leah Johnson
(YA Johnson) (2020)


With the Fire on High
by Elizabeth Acevedo
(YA Acevedo / YA PB Acevedo) (2019)


When Dimple Met Rishi
by Sandhya Menon
(YA Menon / YA PB Menon) (2017)


Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret
by Judy Blume
(j Blume) (1970)



Science Fiction

Noggin
by John Corey Whaley
(YA Whaley) (2014)


A Swiftly Tilting Planet
by Madeleine L’Engle
(j L’Engle / jPB Series L’Engle) (1978)


Ship Breaker
by Paolo Bacigalupi
(YA Bacigalupi / YA PB Bacigalupi) (2010)


We Are the Ants
by Shaun David Hutchinson
(YA Hutchinson) (2016)