Top Young Adult Books, Ever?

Josie Leavitt - July 27, 2012

I love NPR. I listen all the time and it’s been really heartening how much time they’ve devoted to children’s books this year. There are kids’ book appearing in their summer reading lists and now there is a monster list of Best-Ever Teen Novels. The list is vast and wide-ranging, with many of my favorite authors, some glaring omissions and a lot of really interesting books.
While I’m not normally a fan of these sorts of “pick the best ever” lists, this one intrigues me because it’s on National Public Radio and it’s a young adult list. I have noticed that more and more adults are reading YA. I even blogged about it. But to have NPR have a massive contest about the best YA is a wonderful thing. It just reinforces to me that YA is being read by a wide range of people. Clearly most of the people who submitted titles and who will vote are adults (I know some kids are precocious, but how many teenagers actually listen to NPR?). This makes me so happy.
I think every adult should read at least one or two new young adult novels a year. This year it’s been an absolute pleasure to sell Daughter of Smoke and Bone to adult women this summer. They come back as soon as they’re done, clamoring for the sequel just like the kids do. ¬†They are surprised at how good it is and how much they enjoyed it, some often expressing, “I thought it was just a kids’ book.” Ah, the beauty of being a reader is that any book can be read and, hopefully, savored.
So, go vote for your favorites, go to your local bookstore and grab a young adult novel and enjoy!

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