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.