NPR’s Top 100 “Teen” Novels: What Do You Think?

Time for a group participation post! Check out the list and make your comments (favorites, disappointments, surprises… whatever you want to include).

For me: I was pleased (but not surprised) that Harry Potter and Hunger Games were the top two.

I was pleased (and surprised) that, after 50 years, To Kill a Mockingbird managed the #3 spot.

I was pleased (and surprised) that the Divergent series beat Twilight by a healthy margin.

I was disappointed not to see Jane Eyre or Pride and Prejudice (maybe not seen as “targeted” at teens like the others, but the heroines are the right ages.)

Other books I wish had been on the list: Christy (Catherine Marshall) and The Cuckoo’s Child (because my cousin wrote it and it is set at my Grandma’s house).

Hoping to hear from others.


  1. I’m pleasantly surprised at the number of books on that list that I’ve already read. And many of the grittier ones (a la Go Ask Alice) my sister’s read and I’ve (so far) chosen not to. I looked at their justification for not including some books– for instance, they decided that Pride and Prejudice was universal rather than YA, but let Cather in the Rye slip through–and I suppose it makes sense. I’m a little less happy that so many Sarah Dessen books made the list. I’ve enjoyed a few of her books, but they seem to me to be more pulp fiction than long-lasting books. But oh well. “My Sister’s Keeper” was a pleasant surprise; that book is really amazing.

  2. It’s a pretty good list. There seems to be a lot of variety. There are a few that I personally didn’t like (Catcher in the Rye) but I understand why it’s on there – seems to still be something that teens feel like they “have” to read.

    Some seemed to be taken straight from a required list for students and I wonder if that was something they considered when they made the list. Others definitely are books that teens like and would want to read if they haven’t already.

    I’ve read quite a few but I do miss seeing at least one Austen on the list. I was a teen when I first read Pride and Prejudice and loved it. And I’m surprised there aren’t any L’Engle books on the list. Are they considered too young?

  3. L’Engles books were considered too young according to the explanatory blog post that was linked in the beginning.

  4. As much as I did fall in love with Jane Austen’s novels as a teen, I completely have no issues with them not being considered “Teen” – same with Jane Eyre…

  5. Carol Eshleman says

    I had the opposite experience with Austen. I was totally into mystery and fantasy lit as a teen…. with a hearty helping of Poe… and I just couldn’t stomach Austen. I didn’t learn to appreciate her until I was much older. I actually remember being sixteen and pitching Pride and Prejudice across the room several times while doing summer reading. I just wanted to backhand her characters! Now Pride and Prejudice is my favorite of her novels… go figure!

  6. It’s wonderful to see The Blue Sword and The Hero and The Crown on there. I haven’t read those in ages…but where is The Neverending Story? And The Wind in the Willows? Someone’s toying with the ballots; that must be it…

  7. Perelandra says

    Four series by Tamora Pierce?? No Andre Norton at all?? Outrageous! But I was delighted to see Garth Nix, Robin McKinley, and Lois Lowry recognized.

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