My Favorite Young Adult Novels

Most definitions of young adult literature do little more than identify the genre’s intended audience and its major characters as ranging anywhere from ten to twenty-five years old, which is a little like defining a short story as a story that is short. With that simplistic understanding in mind, I thought I’d make a list of my ten favorite young adult novels of all time.

10. R.A. Nelson’s Days of Little Texas

9.   Ruta Sepetys’s Between Shades of Grey

8.   Thomas Wolfe’s I Am Charlotte Simmons

7.   Melissa Bank’s The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing

6.   Yann Martel’s Life of Pi

5.  Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief

4.  Harper Lee’s  To Kill a Mockingbird

3.  Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

2.  J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye

1.  Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine

I have an obvious preference for the classics but a growing interest and respect for more contemporary works. For what it’s worth, I’d highly recommend each of the above titles for readers of all ages.

2 thoughts on “My Favorite Young Adult Novels

  1. I find it interesting that “To Kill a Mockingbird” is considered YA. I totally agree – but it contradicts the ongoing battle stating that YA lit isn’t as good as fiction, isn’t “literature.” Um, what would you call “To Kill a Mockingbird!” It’s genius! Anyway…I’ve read all of those but numbers 1 and 10, and definitely agree. They’re fantastic.


    • Hey Lauren, I’d highly recommend “Dandelion Wine.” You might find it a little dated and maybe even on the verge between MA and YA, but there’s always been something magical about that book for me. I don’t know many others who recommend it as highly as I do. I think, because it’s so different from Bradbury’s typical Sy-Fy fare that it has flown under many people’s radar. If you do read it, remember it’s of a different era and has a much more traditional structure and requires a more patient reader than today’s YA. Thanks for reading and commenting.


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