24 September, 2022

Bookriot posted a great piece on the mild controversy surrounding NPR’s  “100 Best Teen Novels.”

NPR narrowed their 235 candidates and opened the votes to more than 75,000 readers. “The results of the poll were fairly predictable (assuming for the moment you’ve heard of John Green), but the most interesting part of the process was the decision to disqualify some nominated novels for either being not mature enough (Laura Ingalls Wilder, for example) or too mature (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, for example).

A panel of experts decided which nominated works didn’t quality as ‘teen novels,’ and this seems to me antithetical to the spirit of the project. If you are going to ask the public at large what the best teen novels are, why impose limits on their responses?

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the omitted titles: A Wrinkle in TimeA Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Ender’s Game,  Watership DownMy Side of the Mountain, Where the Red Fern Grows, and The Little House books.”

It’s a move that isn’t setting well with most bloggers or readers and one that seems to questions readers’ “sense of what qualifies as a teen novel” which should “supersede expert opinion. Opinion polls by their nature exist outside of expert opinion, often to the good.”

See the full list here and check out some of NPR’s selections in the following. What do you think, LitStackers? Do you agree or disagree with the list? We want to hear from you!

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