NPR Books is now taking nominations for the 100 Best Young Adult Novels. Lists like these are always controversial because people feel their favorite book didn't get enough attention (or a disliked title got too much attention) but they are great for discovering great books you might have missed.
And I like their answer for what makes a book YA:
"The question is bound to come up: How do we define a YA novel? There are many answers. Some focus on the typically young protagonists in these books, or the themes they take up of self-discovery and the challenges of youth. Librarians typically peg the age range for young-adult readers at 12 to 18 years. In the end, though, a YA book is any book that is either marketed to or claimed by a youth audience — a circular definition, to be sure. We'll assemble a panel of writers and critics that will make any tough calls we face in the judging."
I'll be posting my nominations to their comments, but first I have to put some thought into it. They don't limit how many you nominate, but you can only comment with five at a time. Hmmm.
My first impulses would be these five titles:
1. Ender's Game
2. To Kill a Mockingbird
3. The Scorpio Races
4. Tomorrow, When the War Began series
5. Lips Touch Three Times
What about you--which YA titles do you think absolutely must be on the list?