NPR released its Top 100 Teen Books list yesterday, which I just happened to see this morning on Flipboard on my phone. The list was compiled from more than 75,000 ballots and a finalist list of 235. In conjunction with the final list, I thought I’d give you links to my reviews of books on the list that I’ve read:
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
- The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
- The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
While looking at the list, I have to say, for the most part, I was going, “check, check, check” in my head, but found myself thinking, “Something’s missing, but I can’t quite put my finger on what.” I did remember reading somewhere that a few books were cut because of their violence and had this confirmed when I read this blog post about the nomination process.
The judges cut Ender’s Game for the same reason — Ender himself is young, but the book’s violence isn’t appropriate for young readers.
I have to say that I disagree and as my wife would say, “I call shenanigans.” Why include The Hunger Games then? Sure, Katniss is a teenager, but Primrose is 12, barely a “young adult.” If anything the violence in Ender’s Game is more implied than actual (at least to the viewpoints of the children who don’t know what’s going on at first), whereas in The Hunger Games the violence certainly is actual.
However, like I said, for the most part, I agree with the list or understand why the books that are there are there…even if I haven’t read them (which are many of them). It’s just that for some reason, I wanted more…I guess I was looking to NPR to be more Book Riot when really it’s just NPR.
To follow what else I’m reading (not just books, but articles from magazines, newspapers, etc.), see my What I’m reading shelf on my supplemental blog, Still Unfinished.
So what do you think of NPR’s list? Any surprises on what’s there or what’s not there?