Time magazine publishes list of “100 Best YA Books of All Time”

The magazine said it weighted the list “heavily toward the recent past.”


What are the best YA books of all time? Time magazine asked the question and delivered a list of 100 books in response.

The list, published Wednesday, features titles from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games to Firekeeper’s Daughter
by Angeline Boulley and classics like Little Women and The Catcher in the Rye. Time employed a panel of YA authors to help curate the list. Elizabeth Acevedo, Kacen Callender, Jenny Han, Jason Reynolds, Adam Silvera, Angie Thomas and Nicola Yoon worked alongside Time staff writers and editors.

Books were considered for their artistry, originality, accessibility of mature themes, emotional impact, critical and popular reception and influence on YA literature.

Time published a similar list in 2015. Books from the Harry Potter and Twilight series, among others, are notably absent from the new list. In an explanation of how the list was curated, Time said it acknowledged the emphasis on diversity and promotion of marginalized voices that’s been prominent among the YA community in recent years and said it weighted the list “heavily toward the recent past, with more than 50% of the books on the list having been published in the last decade.”

Time additionally stated, “Just as one thread of political discourse in the U.S. began to more explicitly acknowledge groups long marginalized and disenfranchised by everything from policy to pop culture, the success of these books pushed many publishers, educators, parents and readers to think critically about what they had long considered staples of YA literature—the books they’ve forever told kids will help them understand the world. What were the underlying messages of those books? Who were they written for? And whose voices did they leave out?”

Here’s a full look at the books that made Time’s list. You can also view the list in its entirety on Time’s website:

Little Womenby Louisa May Alcott
Anne of Green Gablesby L.M. Montgomery
A Tree Grows in Brooklynby Betty Smith
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girlby Anne Frank
The Catcher in the Ryeby J.D. Salinger
Lord of the Fliesby William Golding
To Kill a Mockingbirdby Harper Lee
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweilerby E.L. Konigsburg
A Wizard of Earthseaby Ursula K. Le Guin
I’ll Get There. It Better Be Worth the Tripby John Donovan
Are You There God? It’s Me,Margaret.by Judy Blume
A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ but a Sandwichby Alice Childress
Foreverby Judy Blume
Tuck Everlastingby Natalie Babbitt
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cryby Mildred D. Taylor
A Swiftly Tilting Planetby Madeleine L’Engle
The Westing Gameby Ellen Raskin
Homecomingby Cynthia Voigt
The House on Mango Streetby Sandra Cisneros
Weetzie Batby Francesca Lia Block
The Giverby Lois Lowry
Ella Enchantedby Gail Carson Levine
Holesby Louis Sachar
If You Come Softlyby Jacqueline Woodson
Angus,Thongs and Full-Frontal Snoggingby Louise Rennison
Monsterby Walter Dean Myers
Speakby Laurie Halse Anderson
Stargirlby Jerry Spinelli
The Princess Diariesby Meg Cabot
A Step from Heavenby An Na
Rainbow Boysby Alex Sanchez
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsby Ann Brashares
Before We Were Freeby Julia Alvarez
Feedby M.T. Anderson
Persepolisby Marjane Satrapi
How I Live Nowby Meg Rosoff
Code Talkerby Joseph Bruchac
Elsewhereby Gabrielle Zevin
The Book Thiefby Markus Zusak
The Lightning Thiefby Rick Riordan
American Born Chineseby Gene Luen Yang
Copper Sunby Sharon Draper
Tyrellby Coe Booth
Gracelingby Kristin Cashore
The Hunger Gamesby Suzanne Collins
Ship Breakerby Paolo Bacigalupi
Akata Witchby Nnedi Okorafor
Daughter of Smoke &Boneby Laini Taylor
Legendby Marie Lu
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universeby Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Code Name Verityby Elizabeth Wein
Every Dayby David Levithan
Me and Earl and the Dying Girlby Jesse Andrews
The Fault in Our Starsby John Green
If You Could Be Mineby Sara Farizan
March: Book Oneby John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell
Brown Girl Dreamingby Jacqueline Woodson
I’ll Give You the Sunby Jandy Nelson
Nogginby John Corey Whaley
The Crossoverby Kwame Alexander
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Beforeby Jenny Han
An Ember in the Ashesby Sabaa Tahir
Dumplin’by Julie Murphy
Everything,Everythingby Nicola Yoon
March: Book Twoby John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell
More Happy Than Notby Adam Silvera
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agendaby Becky Albertalli
Six of Crowsby Leigh Bardugo
Salt to the Seaby Ruta Sepetys
Scytheby Neal Shusterman
The Sun Is Also a Starby Nicola Yoon
We Are the Antsby Shaun David Hutchinson
When the Moon Was Oursby Anna-Marie McLemore
Allegedlyby Tiffany D. Jackson
American Streetby Ibi Zoboi
Dear Martinby Nic Stone
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughterby Erika L.Sánchez
Long Way Downby Jason Reynolds
The 57 Busby Dashka Slater
The Hate U Giveby Angie Thomas
The Marrow Thievesby Cherie Dimaline
We Are Okayby Nina LaCour
When Dimple Met Rishiby Sandhya Menon
A Very Large Expanse of Seaby Tahereh Mafi
Children of Blood and Boneby Tomi Adeyemi
Darius the Great Is Not Okayby Adib Khorram
The Astonishing Color of Afterby Emily X.R. Pan
The Poet Xby Elizabeth Acevedo
Frankly in Loveby David Yoon
Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Meby Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
Like a Love Storyby Abdi Nazemian
Petby Akwaeke Emezi
With the Fire on Highby Elizabeth Acevedo
The Black Flamingoby Dean Atta
Felix Ever Afterby Kacen Callender
Stampedby Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
The Henna Warsby Adiba Jaigirdar
We Are Not Freeby Traci Chee
You Should See Me In a Crownby Leah Johnson
Firekeeper’s Daughterby Angeline Boulley
Saul Marquez founded Bookstacked in 2014 and serves as the site's Editor-in-Chief. He primarily covers news for Bookstacked. He also co-hosts Bookmarked: A YA Book Podcast.

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