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Top Ten Books On My Classic YA Lit 101 Syllabus
I love this topic! I could focus on one genre, but where’s the fun in that? Not so fun, though, was trying to keep the list relatively short, because there are so many books I could go with. And I may have expanded the definition of classic to include books that I think should be YA classics…a lot of them are relatively recent, but it’s so hard to picture YA without them!
- Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. This book is the first one I thought of, and while any book by Anderson would do well, I think if I had to pick one, it would be Speak. Wintergirls and The Impossible Knife Of Memory would be be other two choices if I had time to do more than one Anderson book.
- Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. This is the book that got me into YA, and it did make dystopic novels huge.
- Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. This is a huge YA book (denying that would be weird, in my opinion) and it’s hard to deny its impact.
- Harry Potter. You can’t have a class on classic YA without Harry Potter on the syllabus!
- A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle. Meg is such an awesome character, and there’s adventure and mystery and it’s so full of awesome, and how could you not have it on a classic YA syllabus?
- Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. The way the story is told would make for interesting discussion, and it’s loved by a lot of people (like the rest of the list) but it’s classic YA historical fiction.
- The Giver by Lois Lowry. It’s a classic YA dystopia. It was dystopia before it was cool. And I can’t imagine YA without this book.
- Between Shades Of Grey by Ruta Sepetys. I loved Lia’s story, and even though it’s come out in the last few years, it’s a classic story of overcoming some horrible circumstances.
- Ash by Malinda Lo. This is a totally awesome re-telling of Cinderella, and so deserving of being called a classic.
- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. It’s such a good coming-of-age story centering around a life-changing book, and I really think
Honorable Mentions: The Book Thief (couldn’t finish it, but I also had Code Name Verity & Between Shades Of Grey on my list and didn’t want a ton of WWII-era books), If I Stay and The Fault In Our Stars (there were too many other books that I’d rather have on the list), Meg Cabot (Princess Diaries are totally awesome) and Sarah Dessen (I haven’t read her, but I know a lot of have read her and love her books, which is why she’s close to being on the list, but not quite there)