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100 Best Teen Novels Ever - per NPR

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Steerpike, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I can't say I agree with the list, though it is interesting:

    I don't like Potter and Hunger Games at the top. To Kill a Mockingbird is a good pick. I don't consider Dune or The Lord of the Rings to be 'teen' novels, though they acknowledge in the story that's a tough call to make.

    The fact that Eragon makes it on any list of books that is not meant to ridicule said books is unfortunate.

    Kristin Cashore should be higher up.

    For those who hate Twilight, it beat out Pratchett, Ursula K. LeGuin's Earthsea books, Dune, Garth Nix's Abhorsen books (which should be much higher on the list), and Howl's Moving Castle (which should also be higher on the list), among others.

    Enjoy!

    Your Favorites: 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels : NPR
     
  2. danr62

    danr62 Sage

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    Ugh, and His Dark Materials is on there too.
     
  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Except that's a good series :)
     
  4. danr62

    danr62 Sage

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    Guess I didn't agree with the whole ideology behind it.
     
  5. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Whether I agree with the ideology of a book doesn't impact my enjoyment of it. I know for a lot of people, it is a big consideration. I enjoyed His Dark Materials and all of the Narnia books, and I think it is safe to say they are fairly well opposed philosophically :)
     
  6. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    NPR confuses the hell out of me.

    In what way are "To Kill a Mockingbird", "Fahrenheit 451", "Dune" or "Lord of the Flies" teen novels?

    Just because a book has teen-aged characters, it doesn't automatically make it a "teen" novel.

    This list is idiotic.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
  7. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Interesting comment about To Kill A Mockingbird, Reaver. Just the other day I read comments by Flannery O'Connor stating that it was a good "children's book," but that all of the people buying it didn't realize they were buying a children's book. I haven't read that book since freshman year of high school, so I'd have to take a look at it again to really get a handle on whether I'd consider it a kid's book. I think it was probably put on the list primarily due to Scout's young age as the POV character (and I remember her being way too damn smart for how old she was supposed to be).
     
  8. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    Here are some facts about To Kill A Mockingbird and why whoever made the list and Flannery O'Connor are idiots:

    Atticus is appointed by the court to defend Tom Robinson, a black man who has been accused of raping a young white woman, Mayella Ewell.

    It focuses on six-year-old Scout Finch, who is the narrator (and who is most definitely WAY TOO SMART FOR HER AGE).


    There's no way that this is a children's story. Should it be read by 9th graders? I don't think so. I believe that the subject matter in this book is too adult in nature for 14 year old kids. But this is my opinion. I read The Catcher in the Rye when I was in 9th grade and thought it was the dumbest book I ever read.

    I still think it's pretty dumb. I don't get what the controversy is about. And Mark David Chapman claiming that this book is what inspired him to kill John Lennon? Really? Chapman is nothing more than a psychopath who has an extensive history of severe mental illness.

    But I digress...

    I'll reiterate my earlier point: Just because a book has teen-aged characters, it doesn't automatically make it a "teen" novel.
     
  9. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I like Flannery O'Connor quite a bit. I think it is too bad she died so young. I did find her statements about To Kill and Mockingbird to be a bit odd. I think she was already dying of lupus at the time it was published, and maybe she was a bit bitter and/or jealous about another female southern author receiving so much notoriety on a first novel.

    In any event, I did read To Kill a Mockingbird in 9th grade, and I liked it. I should probably get a copy of it and read it again, though. I'm sure I'd still enjoy it.

    I agree that Scout is not portrayed as a six-year old, regardless of her stated age in the book. Here's an interesting question - if anyone were to write a story with a six-year old protag who acted like Scout and put it on a writing forum, it would probably be roundly criticized as having an unrealistic viewpoint character. So, has Harper shown that the art is more important than such considerations?
     
  10. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    Well, come to think of it, although the story is fictional, Ms. Lee is writing it as a sort of memoir, adding some elements of her own life and perhaps projecting some of her adult sensibilities into Scout. I wonder if I would do the same if I were writing a similar story with a child protag.

    Most likely I would. How about you?
     
  11. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    If I were writing an adult story with a child protagonist, I would do it. Even in my kids book, where the protag is seven years old, there are events and observations that probably aren't completely in line with that age group. I tried to keep it close.

    But I'm a firm believer that artistic desire trumps this sort of thing. Same with POV, tenses, show v. tell, and just about any other mechanical aspect of writing. The artistic requirements trump those things.
     
  12. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    Farenheight 51 and LOTR are "Teen" novels? Eragon is worthy of note? This list is bogus.
     
  13. Aravelle

    Aravelle Sage

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    Ahhhh The Last Unicorn and Weetzie Bat are on it! <3

    Looking for Alaska is marvelous, as is The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Crank, and The Outsiders. I have heard great things about The Book Thief, Miss Peregrine's, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and 13 Reasons Why too. An Abundance of Katherines is good, admittedly. Speak is great for younger readers, but I didn't find it depressing enough.

    I don't know if Harry Potter should be on there; it's for all ages. I agree with what Steerpike said about LoTR and HDM.

    Oh good God, Hush Hush should not be on there, nor should Fallen or The House of Night... *cringes*

    One book that should be on there but isn't is Shine by Lauren Myracle. It's beautiful.
     
  14. ChantyLace

    ChantyLace Dreamer

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    Not a fan of over half the list. Many books on here do not seem suitable for teenagers. While I agree with the Hobbit, LOTR is no where near a "teen-novel". And Twilight? How is it so high on this list, it isn't even well written.

    I'm glad The Outsiders and the Giver series is on here, but just because a book falls into a series does not mean the entire series needs to make the list (notably the Hitch-hiker's guide).

    I do agree HP should be on the top of the list, along with Hunger Games. While these are not simply "teen" books, I think that age range would benefit most from reading them, especially in the sense of reading novels that may spark the interest to read MORE novels.

    The Vampire Academy series was definitely a captivating read, but I would also include the House of Night higher on the list if the VA is that high. House of Night is by far better.

    Overall:
    Polls are not really reliable just because over 70 thousand people voted. Many people who read Twilight have stated, "I don't normally read, but I'm obsessed with this book." Why? Because the book is written for people who don't normally read. Look at the sentence structures in it. Reading a single series, plus the five odd books you're required to from school does not make you informed enough to vote the top teen novels. Which is why novels like To Kill a Mockingbird are there, due to the large amount of people required to read it in class. Top trending books are those turned into movies. I want a poll done of books where people read every one, much like Silver Birch when you are a kid. Then we'll see which books are actually the top "teen" novels.
     
  15. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I disagree that Twilight is for people who don't read. It got some people interested in reading, true, but the vast majority of people I know who are fans (of all ages, from teens to people in their 50s) read all the time. All of the excuses offered for the success of Twilight ignore the obvious answer, which is that Meyer simply told an engaging story that a very large number of people love.
     
  16. ChantyLace

    ChantyLace Dreamer

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    I don't mean to say it's ONLY for people who don't read. I mean it's written in a manor that it will engage even those who do not read. I myself bought and read it. I did not enjoy the story at all, and I'm an avid Vampire Story reader (Been an obsession of mine since I saw the Lost Boys when I was 10). I feel like many people read it because of all the publicity its gotten, but there is a huge debate at all times whether or not it's good.

    I feel like this debate exists because many readers who are seasoned, gave it a shot, but feel it's not exactly well written. The debate on whether or not it is good is completely different. You might think its poorly written, but a good story. But many people don't know focus on that difference and assume if its poorly written, it's bad. That is where the people who think it's bad come from. Those who think it is a good book are those who don't normally read, and who are looking only at the story.

    Now this is a VAST generalization, and I'm not saying it's always true. But think about it, how many people have you asked who give you a two part answer, "I like the story but hate the way it's written." At least in my life, I hardly see people saying that. Instead I hear pleas from both sides, "Twilight is soo good." "Twilight is trash", etc. This leads me to believe most people see what they want to see and aren't really breaking it down. Which is why I feel like it drew in so many people who simply do not read on a regular basis.

    I know I'm generalizing here a lot, it's just how I can possibly make sense of why this debate is so huge. I mean look at a book like The Hunger Games. There really isn't a debate. It's just good, and then some people have their opinions that they did not enjoy the book. No one questions the writing. It's a well written book. Most people don't even question the story, as it's unique and compelling. But there are those that do not enjoy it, everyone has their own tastes, but it has never been this giant debate as to whether or not The Hunger Games is a good book.
     
  17. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I liked Hunger Games quite a bit. I didn't care for Twilight, but more because it's not my type of story than because of the writing. I felt that the writing itself was competent, from a technical standpoint, but certainly not stellar. I've seen a lot worse in published fiction. My main fascination with that book has been at the editorial level. The book lands on an editor's desk. The editor is not only willing to shell out 3/4 of a million dollars on it, but is able to convince the publishing company to do so. What I'd like to know (and what I haven't heard a good answer to) is how the editor 'knew' it was going to be big. Nothing's certain, but you have to be fairly confident in a work to shell out that kind of cash. People say they knew it could be marketed, but that's too easy. There were books of this sort before Twilight and others came later. If you could just market a book into a billion dollar franchise, publishers would do it all the time. It's an interesting case study, that's for sure.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012
  18. ChantyLace

    ChantyLace Dreamer

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    Yea I agree with that. It's really interesting. I suppose they were just cashing in on the Vampire craze, and lucked out.
     
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