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We’re living in a golden age of young-adult literature, when books ostensibly written for teens are equally adored by readers of every generation.
By the editors of TIME, with reporting by Daniel D’Addario, Giri Nathan and Noah Rayman. Critics Lev Grossman and Richard Lacayo pick the 100 best English-language novels published since 1923—the beginning of TIME. For the books project, Grossman and I each began by drawing up inventories of our nominees.
Filed Under: Articles About Travis JonkerTravis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. In the likes of Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen, they’ve produced characters and conceits that have become the currency of our pop-culture discourse—and inspired some of our best writers to contribute to the genre. 06, 2010Welcome to the massive, anguished, exalted undertaking that is the ALL TIME 100 books list. Once we traded notes, it turned out that more than 80 of our separately chosen titles matched.
Having heard for years that Richard Yates’ Revolutionary Road was one of the great but underappreciated American novels, I searched it out.


He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee.
Combine one part kid's books, one part school librarianship, a splash of absurdity and you get 100 Scope Notes.
To honor the best books for young adults and children, TIME compiled this survey in consultation with respected peers such as U.S. I have spent the months since then pressing it into the hands of anybody who will take it, including yours.
Children’s Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt, children’s-book historian Leonard Marcus, the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, the Young Readers Center at the Library of Congress, the Every Child a Reader literacy foundation and 10 independent booksellers. There were writers we had to admit we love more for their short stories than their novels—Donald Barthelme, Annie Proulx, Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty.
A few titles that seemed indispensable some years ago turned out on a second tasting to be, well, dispensable. Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston’s great story of a black woman surviving whatever God and man throws at her, was not part of the required reading list when I was in school.
With their help, we’ve created two all-time lists of classics: 100 Best Young-Adult Books and 100 Best Children’s Books.


This one is chosen by me, Richard Lacayo, and my colleague Lev Grossman, whom we sometimes cite as proof that you don’t need to be named Richard to be hired as a critic at TIME, though apparently it helps. More common was the experience I had with Saul Bellow’s Herzog, about a man coming to terms with the disappointments of midlife by directing his questions everywhere. Then there was the intellectual massif of Norman Mailer, indisputably one of the great writers of our time, but his supreme achievements are his headlong reconfigurations of the whole idea of non-fiction, books like Armies of the Night and The Executioner’s Song. It left its treadmarks on me even then, but this time his experienced heart spoke to me differently. Powers, Mary McCarthy, Edmund White, Larry McMurtry, Katherine Ann Porter, Amy Tan, John Dos Passos, Oscar Hijuelos—we looked over our bookcases and many more than 100 names laid down a claim.



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