23 of the Most Iconic Young Adult Books of All Time

Young Adult novels capture various worlds making new releases fresh and older novels as nostalgic as ever. Let’s check in on the most iconic novels to date.

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Young Adult books are typically considered a genre for young readers in middle or high school. Though no one frowns upon adults who read the genre, it seems to get dropped for adult fiction or other more “mature” novels. However, no matter your age, you can recall the YA books that shaped your schooling or adolescent experience. They influenced our imaginations and fantasies and even had cultural impacts. (I’m looking at everyone who did the side braid after The Hunger Games movies.) As we reflect on a genre that left a mark on our lives, here is a list of the most iconic young adult novels dating as far back as the 1800s.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1869)

23 of the Most Iconic Young Adult Books of All Time: Little Women
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Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (1908)

23 of the Most Iconic Young Adult Books of All Time: Anne of Green Gables
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Lord of the Flies by William Golding (1954)

23 of the Most Iconic Young Adult Books of All Time Lord of the Flies
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The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (1967)

23 of the Most Iconic Young Adult Books of All Time The Outsiders
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The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (1984)

23 of the Most Iconic Young Adult Books of All Time The House on Mango Street
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The Giver by Lois Lowry (1993)

23 of the Most Iconic Young Adult Books of All Time The Giver
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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (1999)

23 of the Most Iconic Young Adult Books of All Time  perks of being a wallflower
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Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (1999)

23 of the Most Iconic Young Adult Books of All Time Speak
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The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares (2001)

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (2005)

23 of the Most Iconic Young Adult Books of All Time The Book Thief
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Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer (2005)

23 of the Most Iconic Young Adult Books of All Time Twilight
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The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (2005)

23 of the Most Iconic Young Adult Books of All Time The Lightning Thief
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It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini (2006)

23 of the Most Iconic Young Adult Books of All Time It's Kind of a Funny Story
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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (2008)

23 of the Most Iconic Young Adult Books of All Time The Hunger Games
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The Maze Runner by James Dashner (2009)

23 of the Most Iconic Young Adult Books of All Time The Maze Runner
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Divergent Series by Veronica Roth (2011)

23 of the Most Iconic Young Adult Books of All Time Divergent
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The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (2012)

23 of the Most Iconic Young Adult Books of All Time The Fault in our Stars
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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (2012)

23 of the Most Iconic Young Adult Books of All Time Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
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Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (2012)

23 of the Most Iconic Young Adult Books of All Time Shadow and Bone
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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (2015)

23 of the Most Iconic Young Adult Books of All Time Simon vs. The Homo sapiens Agenda
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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (2015)

23 of the Most Iconic Young Adult Books of All Time Six of Crows
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The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (2016)

23 of the Most Iconic Young Adult Books of All Time The Sun is Also A Star
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I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez (2017)

23 of the Most Iconic Young Adult Books of All Time I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
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Many of these novels are now adapted into TV shows and movies, which signal their status in society and in the literary world. Regardless of whether they’re your style, there’s no denying these are some of the most iconic YA books of all time. They’ll be ingrained in our minds for the rest of our lives as stories that shaped pop culture.

For more on young adult content from Bookstr, keep reading here!

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