It's almost a cliche at this point to say that teen fiction isn't just for teens anymore. Just last year, the Association of American Publishers ranked Children's/Young Adult books as the single fastest-growing publishing category. Which is why we were only a little surprised to see the tremendous response that came in for this summer's Best-Ever Teen Fiction poll. A whopping 75,775 of you voted for your favorite young adult novels, blasting past the total for last year's at, dare we say it, warp speed. And now, the final results are in. While it's no surprise to see Harry Potter and the Hunger Games trilogy on top, this year's list also highlights some writers we weren't as familiar with. For example, John Green, author of the 7567 hit, appears five times in the top 655. Selecting a manageable voting roster from among the more than 6,755 nominations that came in from readers wasn't easy, and we were happy to be able to rely on such an experienced.
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But deciding what does and doesn't count as a young-adult novel isn't an exact science. If you're surprised not to see some of your favorite books among the winners, you might want to look at this, which describes the thinking behind the tough calls. Summer, like youth, is fleeting. But the books we read when we're young can stay with us for a lifetime. Here's hoping that when the school bell rings in a few short weeks, it will find you engrossed in just such a memorable read, selected by the NPR audience.
Enjoy. (For your convenience, here's a, and here's a list of the. )The adventures of Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, and his wand-wielding friends at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry, Ron and Hermione must master their craft and battle the machinations of the evil wizard Voldemort and his Death Eaters. In the ruins of a future North America, a young girl is picked to leave her impoverished district and travel to the decadent Capitol for a battle to the death in the savage Hunger Games.
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But for Katniss Everdeen, winning the Games only puts her deeper in danger as the strict social order of Panem begins to unravel. Author Harper Lee explores racial tensions in the fictional tired old town of Maycomb, Ala. , through the eyes of 6-year-old Scout Finch. As her lawyer father, Atticus, defends a black man accused of rape, Scout and her friends learn about the unjust treatment of African-Americans — and their mysterious neighbor, Boo Radley. Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few more years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis.
But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at the Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten. Bilbo Baggins, a respectable, well-to-do hobbit, lives comfortably in his hobbit hole until the day the wandering wizard Gandalf chooses him to take part in an adventure from which he may never return. With the author's death, the classic novel about young Holden Caulfield's disillusionment with the adult world and its phoniness will only rise in popularity — and controversy, since it is a favorite target of censors, who often cite profanity and sexual references in their efforts to ban the book. Tolkien's seminal three-volume epic chronicles the War of the Ring, in which Frodo the hobbit and his companions set out to destroy the evil Ring of Power and restore peace to Middle-earth. The beloved trilogy still casts a long shadow, having established some of the most familiar and enduring tropes in fantasy literature.
In a far future world, television dominates, and books are outlawed. The totalitarian regime has ordered all books to be burned by firemen, whose job is to start the fires rather than stop them. But one fireman begins to see the value of the printed word. Sixteen-year-old Miles' first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by the search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash. Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel — a young German girl whose book-stealing and storytelling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.
In the future, society has eliminated discord, converting everyone to Sameness. In three linked stories, Jonas, destined to hold memories of the time before Sameness Kira, an orphan with a twisted leg and healer Matty must discover the truth about their society and restore emotion, meaning and balance to their world.