My friend Katie at The Amateur Librarian posted recently about NPR’s list of 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels and, well, you know I’m a sucker for a list of books, so I had to comment! I’m surprised by the number of these I’ve never heard of, and also by the number of these that seem to be extremely recent. A few also seem to be not quite what I’d classify as “teen novels” (Jodi Picoult?). I am pleased, however, with the inclusion of a few minority writers. My beloved English professor, Dr. Sprayberry, would be bouncing off the walls excited to see Sherman Alexie and Sandra Cisneros on the list.

Somehow I can’t remember exactly what I loved when I was a teenager (not that it was that long ago), but I feel like many of these weren’t even out until I was in college! Katie pointed out that the list may be skewed by the fact that it was based on internet voting and some authors campaigned hard to make it on the list.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the list with my annotations.

  • means I’ve read at least 1 book of the series ! means I’d like to

    means I read it for school

  • means I particularly enjoyed it ~ means I disliked it

Top 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels

+*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

8. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

9. Looking for Alaska, by John Green

+10. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

+*11. The Giver (series), by Lois Lowry

12The 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

17. The Princess Bride, by William Golding

#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

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

+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 (reading right now)

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

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

+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 Stephanie Perkins

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

+*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

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

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

93. The House of the Scorpion, by Scott Westerfeld

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

For a girl who’s a voracious reader to have only read 21 of the supposedly best teen novels ever, I’d have to say I think the list is off! How many of these have you read? What would you add or subtract from the list?

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman