Time magazine released its list of the 100 best young adult books ever, with time-tested classics and critically acclaimed recent works making the cut.
The books were selected by a panel of YA authors composed of Elizabeth Acevedo, Kacen Callender, Jenny Han, Jason Reynolds, Adam Silvera, Angie Thomas, and Nicola Yoon. The list replaces one the magazine published in 2015, which had been criticized for its lack of diversity.
“What we didn’t know then was how drastically the category—what it represents, who it serves and whose voices it centers—was about to shift,” the magazine wrote, pointing toward recent books that tackle social justice themes.
The new list contains some old standbys—Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird—but also more recent books like Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming, Adam Silvera’s More Happy Than Not, and Traci Chee’s We Are Not Free.
Some of the authors on the list celebrated their books’ inclusion on social media.
Omg!! Is Julia now in the literary “CANON”??— Erika L. Sánchez (@ErikaLSanchez) August 11, 2021
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter: 100 Best YA Books of All Time | TIME https://t.co/oqK2qkwgWO
And Akwaeke Emezi wrote, “Anyway, @TIME just listed PET as one of the 100 best YA books of all time so here’s to Jam—a Black trans girl cherished by her community—and to a future where prisons and police are abolished.”
Anyway, @TIME just listed PET as one of the 100 best YA books of all time so here’s to Jam—a Black trans girl cherished by her community—and to a future where prisons and police are abolished 🍾🥂🙌🏾https://t.co/9h4THTtB0t pic.twitter.com/zIt0FOocwS— akwaeke emezi (they/them) (@azemezi) August 11, 2021
Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.