Not to brag, but here at CMP, we’re kind of kids’ books experts. We round up the best of the best lists every year, keep taps on the new releases, and share all kinds of YA book recommendations for parents. Which is why I was so happy when I saw that Time had just published a List of the Top 100 YA Books of All Time for 2021.
Wow, bold move, Time!
Yes, many of these are classics you’ll recognize from your English classroom — fondly or not — ahem, Lord of the Flies. But the panel at Time, — made up of of incredible authors we’ve written about here, like Elizabeth Acevedo, Kacen Callender, Jenny Han, Jason Reynolds, Adam Silvera, Angie Thomas and Nicola Yoon — clear made some excellent choices when they constructed the list.
While of course you’ll find Anne of Green Gables and Little Women right at the top (the list is chronological after all), their picks for the best 100 YA books definitely skews toward newer titles that reflect the more diverse, inclusive society we live in today.
In fact, 50% of books on the list are from the last decade; and quite a few titles were written by immigrant authors, LGBTQ writers, and writers of color.
What a wonderful resource for those of us who’ve already read all of the older titles and want to discover something new.
This post contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission from certain purchases to help support the work we do at no additional cost to you. While some of our readers prefer to purchase these books online, we also encourage you to support your community’s independent booksellers and visit your local library.
Related: The best children’s books of 2020: All the award winners to read with your kids in 2021.
The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar
I love that so many books in this list address important social justice issues, especially since I see this spirit of activism in so many of our teens today. I also appreciate that the panel deliberately chose Y.A. authors who share the identities of their main characters (for example, Black authors writing Black characters, or ). You can read more about how Time’s panel came up with the list here.
Whatever Y.A. book your teen or tween is looking for in their next read — a fun escape, a relatable hero, or a compelling challenge — I think you can find it on Time’s Y.A. book list.
Is this amazing list in a printable format somewhere? TIA