Best Young Adult Books of All Time

We’re living in a golden age of young-adult literature, when books ostensibly written for teens are equally adored by readers of every generation. In the likes of Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen, they’ve produced characters and conceits that have become the currency of our pop-culture discourse—and inspired some of our best writers to contribute to the genre. To honor the best books for young adults and children, TIME compiled this survey in consultation with respected peers such as U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt, children’s-book historian Leonard Marcus, the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, the Young Readers Center at the Library of Congress, the Every Child a Reader literacy foundation and 10 independent booksellers. With their help, we’ve created all-time lists 10 Best Young-Adult Books


The Darkest Minds, by Alexandra Bracken

What it's about: After living through a disease that killed most of the world's children,16-year-old Ruby finds herself wielding a dangerous power. Together with a group of misfit kids in the same boat, she escapes the camp she's locked in and flees for the East River — which might not be safe as she believes. Top quote: "We'll just have to try to make better mistakes tomorrow." Goodreads rating: 4.30/5


Hopeless, by Colleen Hoover

What it's about: Seventeen-year-old Sky knows Dean Holder is trouble the moment she meets him, but he also sparks new, exciting, and sometimes scary feelings in her. When she gives in to the attraction she tries to deny, she learns that he (and she) are nothing like what people think they are. Top quote: "The sky is always beautiful. Even when it's dark or rainy or cloudy, it's still beautiful to look at. It'll be there no matter what, and I know it'll always be beautiful." Goodreads rating: 4.39/5


The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

What it's about: Every year, in Panem, each of its districts must send two tributes to fight in the Hunger Games — a televised fight to death. When 16-year-old Katniss's young sister is chosen during the name-drawing ceremony, she volunteers to go in her place, and is whisked away to a terrifying fight for survival. Top quote: "You don’t forget the face of the person who was your last hope." Goodreads rating: 4.38/5


The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green

What it's about: Hazel has little hope for her life after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, but when she meets Augustus (in remission) at a cancer support group, their friendship — and then courtship — makes her newly revitalized. Top quote: "As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once." Goodreads rating: 4.36/5


The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

What it's about: During WWII, a young girl named Liesel finds solace in stealing books and sharing them with others — including Jewish refugees her parents are housing. The story is told from Death's point of view. Top quote: "I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right." Goodreads rating: 4.35/5


Clockwork Angel, by Cassandra Clare

What it's about: It's 1878, and Tessa Gray is searching through London's seedy, supernatural underworld for signs of her missing brother. When she finds the demon-slaying Shadowhunters as her only allies, the team sets out to undermine the Pandemonium Club — a dangerous group of vampires, warlocks, humans, and demons planning to rule the empire. Top quote: "'One must always be careful of books,' said Tessa, 'and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.'" Goodreads rating: 4.32/5


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

What it's about: Aristotle and Dante are outcasts who think they have nothing in common — until they meet at a pool and Dante offers to teach Aristotle how to swim. The two become inseparable as their friendship deepens and strengthens, and wrestle with frustrated romantic feelings. Top quote: "I bet you could sometimes find all the mysteries of the universe in someone's hand." Goodreads rating: 4.31/5


Divergent, by Veronica Roth

What it's about: In the dystopian future of Divergent, society is divided into five virtue-based sections. When 16-year-old Tris leaves her family to live among the Dauntless, she finds herself in the middle of an intense and competitive training program, trying to hide her own secrets while uncovering others. Top quote: "We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another." Goodreads rating: 4.30/5


A Court of Thorns and Roses, by Sarah J. Maas

What it's about: When 19-year-old Feyre hunts and kills a wolf in the forest, a dangerous and immortal faerie kidnaps her in revenge. But as she lives with him in this magical (and threatened) world her feelings start to change, and she begins to wonder if she wants to protect her captor after all. Top quote: "Don't feel bad for one moment about doing what brings you joy." Goodreads rating: 4.30/5


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by J.K. Rowling

What it's about: I mean... you know what it's about. A young boy who grows up in an abusive family finds out he is actually a wizard, and arrives at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for a year of danger and adventure. Top quote: "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live." Goodreads rating: 4.40/5