Editors' Picks: YA Novels We'd Read Again

20 classic young adult books

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'Anne of Green Gables' by L.M. Montgomery

"But we asked for a boy," Marilla Cuthbert says when mischievous, red-headed Anne, an orphan, arrives in Avonlea in Montgomery's classic tale about an impulsive girl who proves she's much smarter than she appears. (amazon.com)

'A Wrinkle In Time' by

Meg's father has been experimenting with time travel when he disappears in L'Engle's iconic, wonderfully imaginative sci-fi story. Meg, her brother Charles and their friend Calvin set off on a dangerous outerspace adventure to track him down. (amazon.com)

'Bridge to Terabithia' by Katherine Paterson

Terabithia, a magical kingdom in the woods where Jess and Leslie reign as king and queen, is powered by imagination--until tragedy strikes in this heart-breaking, beautiful tale about the depths of grief and the bonds of friendship. (amazon.com)

'The Catcher in the Rye' by J.D. Salinger

"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them," says Holden Caufield at the start of this once-banned book. (amazon.com)

'The Clan of the Cave Bear' by Jean M. Auel

Set during the Ice Age, Auel's compelling, other-wordly coming-of-age saga follows Ayla, an orphaned girl who is raised by a rival clan. (amazon.com)

'Fahrenheit 451' by Ray Bradbury

Censorship and defiance are the themes in Bradbury's classic novel about a fireman whose job it is to burn books and the houses in which they are hidden. (amazon.com)

'Forever...' by Judy Blume

High schoolers Katherine and Michael can't get enough of each other in Blume's utterly authentic account of first love. (amazon.com)

'The Giver' by Lois Lowry

Lowry's distopian masterpiece, about a society that lives without fear, without choices, without feelings, follows 12-year-old Jonas, who becomes burdened with memories. (amazon.com)

'Go Ask Alice' by Anonymous

The riveting, real diary of a 15-year-old drug addict. (amazon.com)

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Each of the seven books in Rowling's spellbinding series delivers mystery, magic and heart. (amazon.com)

'The Hunger Games' by Suzanne Collins

Collins's thought-provoking young adult novel turned pop culture phenom comments on the perils of reality TV. In what was once North America, one boy and one girl are forced to appear on television in an annual fight to the death, the bizarre terms of a treaty that ended a civil war. (amazon.com)

'Island of the Blue Dolphins' by Scott O'Dell

Elegant and haunting, O’Dell’s classic YA read follows a young Indian girl left behind by her people on an island in the pacific. (amazon.com)

'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe' by C.S. Lewis

'Opening the wardrobe door, she saw several long fur coats hanging up, and immediately got in among them. As she went further in, she noticed to her surprise that the soft furs began to feel rough and prickly, just like the branches of trees." And so begins Lewis's beloved story about four children who discover a magical land trapped in an eternal winter. (amazon.com)

'Little Women' by Louisa May Alcott

The March sisters captivate and inspire in Alcott's story about four sister's growing up in Civil War-era New England. (amazon.com)

'The Long Winter' by Laura Ingalls Wilder

In this book from the Little House series, the Ingalls family moves into town to weather the winter whiteout ahead. (amazon.com)

'Lord of the Flies' by William Goldring

"Maybe there is a beast….maybe it’s only us." Goldring’s must-read high school staple, set on a deserted island, follows the disastrous undoing of a group of British schoolboys who attempt to govern themselves. (amazon.com)

'The Secret Garden' by Fraces Hodgson Burnett

When orphaned Mary Lennox arrives at her uncle's sprawling estate, she's spoiled, sickly and bored—until she discovers the doorway to an overgrown garden and begins to restore it to its original beauty. (amazon.com)

'Stranger With My Face' by Lois Duncan

In this YA thriller, suspense writer Duncan crafts a chilling tale about a young woman who's being stalked by her jealous, long-lost sister. (amazon.com)

'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' by Stephen Chbosky

The cult coming-of-age story about a young man caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. (amazon.com)

'The Westing Game' by Ellen Raskin

In this riveting mystery, 16 people are invited to the reading of Samual Westing's will. They have the chance to become millionaires--depending on how the play a dark, dangerous game. (amazon.com)


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First Published January 24, 2012

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