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Top YA Authors Reveal Favorite YA Novels

Over the last year, one of the ways in which Booklist has celebrated #50YearsofYA was by publishing essays from YA luminaries about their love of young adult fiction. As part of the piece, each shared their top YA titles. Their choices are as follows; we’ve linked the author’s name back to their essay and, when possible, their selections to original Booklist reviews. You’re welcome.



Citizen of the Galaxy, by Robert A. Heinlein (1957)

The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. Le Guin (1974)

Empire of the Sun, by J. G. Ballard (1984)

Mona Lisa Overdrive, by William Gibson (1988)






Joseph BruchacJoseph Bruchac

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie (2007)

American Indian Stories, by Zitkala-Sa (1921)

If I Ever Get Out of Here, by Eric Gansworth (2013)

The Lesser Blessed, by Richard Van Camp (1996)

The Surrounded, by D’arcy McNickle (1936)


Susan Campbell BartolettiSusan-Bartoletti

The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath (1963)

Black like Me, by John Howard Griffin (1961)

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, by Carson McCullers (1940)

Letters to a Young Poet, by Rainer Maria Rilke (1929)

A Separate Peace, by John Knowles (1959)


John GreenJohn Green

Hard Love, by Ellen Wittlinger (1999)

Monster, by Walter Dean Myers (1999)

Skellig, by David Almond (1999)

Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson (1999)


A. S. KingA. S. KING

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, v.1: The Pox Party, by M. T. Anderson (2006)

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, by Kirstin Cronn-Mills (2012)

Confessions of a Teenage Baboon, by Paul Zindel (1977)

I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Lives of Girls around the World, by Eve Ensler (2010)

The Marbury Lens, by Andrew Smith (2010)


E. LockhartE. LOCKHART

Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison (1999)

Boxers and Saints, by Gene Luen Yang (2013)

Ms. Marvel: No Normal, by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona (2014)

The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie, by Jaclyn Moriarty (2006)

Tyrell, by Coe Booth (2006)


Patricia McCormickPatricia McCormick

The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier (1974)

I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This, by Jacqueline Woodson (1994)

The Language of Goldfish, by Zibby Oneal (1980)

A Step from Heaven, by An Na (2001)

Tell Me Everything, by Carolyn Coman (1993)


Jason Reynolds

Black Boy, by Richard Wright (1945)

From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun, by Jacqueline Woodson (1995)

Love That Dog, by Sharon Creech (2001)

Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson (1999)

The Young Landlords, by Walter Dean Myers (1979)


Neal ShustermanNeal Shusterman

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak (2006)

Feed, by M. T. Anderson (2002)

The House of the Scorpion, by Nancy Farmer (2002)

Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow (2008)

Lord of the Flies, by William Golding (1954)



Maggie StiefvaterMaggie Stiefvater

Fire and Hemlock, by Diana Wynne Jones (1985)

Keturah and Lord Death, by Martine Leavitt (2006)

Tales from Outer Suburbia, by Shaun Tan (2008)

The Monstrumologist, by Rick Yancey (2009)

Places No One Knows, by Brenna Yovanoff (2016)




About the Author:

Enobong Essien is Booklist's first international intern, coming all the way from across the pond. Her favorite 'procrastinate from studying' activities include: reading, writing, crocheting and taking note of all the ways Americans are different than Brits.

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