Classic YA

Next, let’s start dispelling some of those myths, particularly the ones about YA lit not being “real” literature and it having no place in classrooms by recalling some of the following books, which are in fact considered classics:

(thank you for the summaries!)

Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, 1951 This is the classic coming-of-age novel about Holden Caulfield’s

The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton, 1967 Sixteen-year-old Susie Hinton’s novel about gang war between the Socs and the Greasers is just as relevant today as when it burst on the literary scene to become the first “young adult” novel and to establish a style that came to be called “the new realism.”

The Chosen, by Chaim Potok, 1967 The son of a Hassidic rebel and the son of an intellectual Zionist form a deep, though unlikely, friendship and share adolescence, family conflict and a crisis of faith in the 1940s.

Go Ask Alice, by Beatrice Sparks, 1971 The purportedly anonymous diary of a girl destroyed by drugs is still relevant after all these years.

The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier, 1974 High school freshman Jerry Renault discovers the devastating consequences of refusing to join in the school’s annual fundraising drive and angering the school bullies.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor, 1976 An African-American family stands strong against the harsh racial climate of 1930s Mississippi. (Newbery Award)

I Am the Cheese, by Robert Cormier, 1977 Where is Adam going on his urgent winter bike ride to nowhere? Who is Brint the Interrogator? And why does Amy never answer the phone?

Who says YA has no place in classrooms?


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