The 30 Best Young Adult Books of All Time

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The 30 Best Young Adult Books of All Time

E.C. Myers, author of the excellent Fair Coinand Silence of Six series, defines the Young Adult genre as “books [that] generally feature protagonists who are discovering their world and their place in it, usually as individuals. They may be confronting and questioning the things that have always known, including their relationships and their own identity.”

Discovery is key when defining* YA books, as well as the age of the protagonists, who often fall in the 12- to 18-year range. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the best Young Adult fiction of all time. From modern novels that are sure to be classics, like Lies We Tell Ourselves and Pointe, to classics that have inspired scores of readers over the decades, like A Wrinkle in Time and The Outsiders, these books are must reads.

Whether you’re just getting into YA or you’re a long-time reader, you’ll want to add these titles to your shelves. Enjoy browsing through the gallery to view the books listed in alphabetical order by title.

Editor’s Note: When it came time to define what is and what isn’t YA fiction, we excluded some beloved books from the list. You won’t find The Chronicles of Narnia, which is geared toward younger readers, or Harry Potter, whose beginning falls under middle-grade fiction. We recognize that these books and many more are exceptional reads, but they simply did not match our definition.