The Top 100 Teen Books. Maybe.

In Children's by Dennis Abrams

By Dennis Abrams

What are the best-ever teen novels?  NPR asked, and over 75,000 listeners responded.  Here’s the top fifteen:

15.  His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman

14.  Anne of Green Gables (series), by Lucy Maud Montgomery

13.  The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton

12.  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (series), by Douglas Adams

11.  The Giver (series), by Lois Lowry

10.  The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

  9.  Looking for Alaska, by John Breen

8.  Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

7.  The Lord of the Rings (series) by J.R.R. Tolkien

6.  The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

5.  The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

4.  The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green

3.  To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

2.  The Hunger Games (series), by Suzanne Collins

1.  Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling

The list, perhaps naturally, tilts toward the new vs. classics, with the number one choice, the Harry Potter series, probably no surprise to anyone at all.  There were, though, a few surprises.  The author with the most titles on the list?  John Green, whose popularity among young readers is apparent with a startling five.  The oldest title to make the list?  Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1883 classic, Treasure Island (closely followed by Jack London’s The Call of the Wild, and Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables.  But where’s Tom Sawyer?  Little Women?  Or, one of my personal favorites, Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time?  (She’s represented at #63 with A Ring of Endless Light, but…come on…)

Of course, lists like this aren’t really “definitive” – they’re meant to stir up debate.  So what would make your list of the “best-ever teen fiction?”  Let the debate begin!

See the entire list here.

About the Author

Dennis Abrams

Dennis Abrams is a contributing editor for Publishing Perspectives, responsible for news, children's publishing and media. He's also a restaurant critic, literary blogger, and the author of "The Play's The Thing," a complete YA guide to the plays of William Shakespeare published by Pentian, as well as more than 30 YA biographies and histories for Chelsea House publishers.