Everybody Else Is Doing It – So Why Can’t I?

Booklists, Food For Thought

If that was a reason to do anything – man would our society be in trouble. It seems that, recently, best book lists have been springing up left and right. From ALA/YALSA to note-worthy blogs *, everyone is grabbing a piece of the pie. Can I be honest? I want some pie too!! That’s why I, one day too hastily thought “if everybody else is doing it, why can’t I?” 

Let’s weigh the facts: the “everybody else’s” have read extensively (probably more than I have), they are authority figures that have a great wealth of understanding of the books, they have composed this book list with thought and detailed attention, and truthfully (probably) they have had more experience than myself in creating a list.  My rationale on the whole thing: It seemed fun…and simple. It was one of those moments that I said “Self – how hard could this be?!?” 

Self quickly realized it was a lot harder than it looked – it’s not just choosing at least 100 books, its choosing at least 100 Young Adult Books. It’s not just about listing all of my favorite YA books, but it’s about coming up with my own set of guidelines that constitutes what I think makes up a great YA book. Let’s just say: it’s a lot more than what I had originally thought. 

I went through my memory banks and realized that, even though I’ve read a lot of YA material – there were books I loved but just don’t feel they were worthy enough to put on a list. There were others that I felt screamed best YA book! 

The following is a list of books that I feel could possibly be contenders to go on the list. Loud and clear: THESE BOOKS ARE IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER! They are listed on a first come first serve basis, or the titles I remembered from the top of my head. 

Bliss by Lauren Myracle
Looking For Alaska by John Green
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks by E. Lockhart
The Absolute True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexi
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Alive and Well in Prague, NY by Daphne Grab
Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson
Jinx by Meg Cabot
Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
Becoming Billie Holiday by Carole Boston Weatherford
City of Ember Jeanne DuPrau
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Madapple by Christina Meldrum
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
Flowers for Algenon by Daniel Keys
Coraline by Neil Gaiman

I am looking for three to four partners in crime – people who can lend a hand to create a totally rocking 100 Best Young Adult Book list. 

* For your added enjoyment here’s some other best YA book lists I found:

 NPR, Library Journal, Yannabe.com, and Semicolon Blog   .