YA Friday: NPR Tells Us Which Kid Lit is Best

I’m kind of confused on why NPR is rating children’s literature, but rate they did. They came out with a “scientific” list of the top 100 young adult books of all time. I’m still scratching my head. Shouldn’t they be broadcasting the European debt crisis on BBC and pondering the makings of a gunman on All Things Considered? Whatevs.

Then all the book writers had something to bitch say about it. The Atlantic applauds the NPR list for being dominated by female authors and protagonists but manages to put down the reasons why we all love the genre so much. (It’s not that simplistic, and we’re not “adverse to nuance.”) The Guardian ponders why Diana Wynne Jones is all the way down at number 36. And one of my favorite websites, Forever Young Adult, complained that there was’t enough Meg Cabot while John Green got five nods–and why did NPR think Lord of the Rings is YA?

Best-of lists always stir controversy, and that’s probably what NPR intended. They got a lot of attention, and who doesn’t love getting some of that? But my point is that NPR’s opinion is this week’s big book story, and I’m not complaining. I’m always thrilled to see people–adults no less–obsess over young adult literature.

So, how many of the 100 have you read? I checked off 36.

Below, see NPR’s Top Ten YA Novels of all time (with links to Forever YA’s book reviews):

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

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