What is the best YA novel of all time? Round two
Welcome to EW.com’s YA novel bracket game. The field is down to 32 young adult books in our March-Madness style tournament that will determine which you think is the best of all time. Round two begins now.
In a stunning round one upset, Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series beat Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga. Others advancing include Little Women, Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.
Check out the full bracket and vote in round two below. Polls close on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.Little WomenThe HobbitAsk any young reader to name her literary role model, and chances are she’ll point to Jo March — headstrong, hot-headed heroine modeled after Alcott herself. But there’s more to Little Women than Jo alone; Alcott’s domestic tale is truly absorbing, complete with one of American literature’s most devastating deaths. –Hillary BusisThe landmark fantasy novel that launched a million quests, dragons and dwarves optional. Not as bleak as grown-up successor-epic Lord of the Rings, the tale of Bilbo Baggins thrills and chill kids of all ages. — Darren FranichA Tree Grows in BrooklynThe Catcher in the RyeThis stirring coming-of-age novel follows the indomitable Francie Nolan as she tries to overcome the poverty and alcoholism weighing down her family. — Stephan LeeThis high-school reading list mainstay that is widely considered one of the best novels of the 20th century is probably most referenced for its relatable teenage narrator, Holden Caulfield. The go-to hero for alienated, rebellious teens, the novel is among the most-challenged books in the world for its references to homosexuality and copious profanity. — Erin StreckerTo Kill a MockingbirdA Wrinkle in Time seriesA shortlist of great American novels would be incomplete without Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coming-of-age tale, which revolves around scrappy tomboy Scout Finch. The novel’s setpiece is a racially-charged trial that Scout is almost too young to understand — though her retrospective recollections of it are anything but childish. — Hillary BusisA trippy combination of cerebral science-fiction, dark fantasy, planet-hopping adventure and spirituality, L’Engle’s original Wrinkle in Time also introduced Meg Murry, a cool-nerd female protagonist in a dude-heavy genre. Time constructed an elaborate cosmos, which L’Engle explored throughout the farflung later books. — Darren FranichThe OutsidersThe Earthsea CycleImmortalized in the 1983 Francis Ford Coppola film adaptation, this dramatic coming-of-age tale about gang rivalry is still challenged today for its violence. Even so, the novel’s been a mainstay on middle and high schools’ required reading lists since hitting shelves nearly half a century ago. — Shirley LiThe six-part series, starting with A Wizard of Earthsea, immerses readers in Le Guin’s complex world of power and knowledge. Fans of Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings should give this a try. — Stephan LeeGo Ask AliceThe Princess BrideOriginally promoted as nonfiction, Go Ask Alice is the diary of an unnamed 15-year-old girl detailing her struggles with drug addiction. After its publication, psychologist Beatrice Sparks claimed to have authored the book based on the real diary of one of her patients. Fact or fiction, the book went on to become a made-for-TV movie in 1973 with William Shatner. — Breia BrisseyHello. This is a Renaissance era-inspired fairy tale of true love and adventure. You will fear the Dread Pirate Roberts and cheer for Buttercup and Westley. Prepare to read. — Shirley LiTuck EverlastingThe Chocolate WarWinnie Foster befriends a family that lives forever by drinking from a special spring. Soon she must choose whether she wants to become immortal like the Tucks or live a normal life that will inevitably end. It spawned two film adaptations, one in 1981 starring Margaret Chamberlain and in 2002 starring Alexis Bledel. — Jennifer ArellanoThe Chocolate War follows Jerry Renault, a young teen who’s just lost his mother and now finds himself in the middle of a high school war with a secret society. The controversial novel found its way onto multiple lists of banned/challenged books and was made into a movie in 1988. — Samantha HighfillThe House on Mango StreetEnder’s GameTold through a series of vignettes, Mango Street follows Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina girl looking to escape the hardships of her Latino neighborhood. Cisneros won the American Book Award for the novel in 1985. — Breia BrisseyCard is better known now for his controversial/hysterical opinions, and the Ender’s franchise has been sequel/prequelized into irrelevance. But that doesn’t lessen the impact of Card’s original book, a tense and thrilling novel of ideas. — Darren FranichThe Giver QuartetThe Harry Potter seriesEven if you read this Newberry-winner in middle school, this story of a utopian world and the 12-year-old boy chosen to learn the truth about it has probably never left your mind. — Stephan LeeAn orphaned wizard attends a magical boarding school, makes friends, casts some spells and learns he is the one who must defeat bad guy Voldemort. Alongside a bunch of unforgettable characters — Snape! Hagrid! Sirius! Dumbledore! Harry goes from an 11-year-old child to a 17-year-old man and, along the way, teaches us a bunch of lessons about love, kindness and bravery. The pop culture phenomenon spanned seven books and eight blockbuster films. — Erin StreckerThe Perks of Being a WallflowerThe Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants seriesPerks of Being a Wallflower follows Charlie through his high school experience via letters he writes to an anonymous stranger. The heartfelt tale was made into a movie starring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson in 2012. — Samantha HighfillThe five-book series follows the lives of friends Lena, Tibby, Bridget, and Carmen, who stay in touch throughout high school and college by sharing a single pair of jeans. Brashares’ book was adapted into a movie in 2005 and a sequel in 2008 starring Alexis Bledel, Blake Lively, Amber Tamblyn, and America Ferrera. — Jennifer ArellanoThe House of the ScorpionThe Inheritance CycleAbout a young clone named Matt who seeks his own fate and humanity, this sci-fi epic not only won a bevy of awards, including the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, but also created a menacing and unforgettable dystopian world. — Shirley LiAn epic fantasy series about teen boy, Eragon, and his dragon, Saphira, as they attempt to overthrow an evil King in the fictional land of Alagaësia. In 2006, a film version featuring Jeremy Irons and John Malkovich of the first novel was released, and the four-book story concluded in 2011. — Erin StreckerBlanketsThe Crank TrilogyThis autobiographical graphic novel details Thompson’s first love and his struggles with his family’s Evangelical Christian beliefs. In 2004, Blankets nabbed three Harvey awards and two Eisner awards, both given out for achievements in comic books. — Breia BrisseyHopkins’ series tracks high school junior Kristina Snow’s gradual transformation from honor student to methamphetamine-addicted teenage mother. Her vivid imagery and free-verse narrative are visceral, disturbing, and ultimately unforgettable — especially after learning that Kristina is based on the author’s own daughter. — Hillary BusisThe Uglies seriesNick & Norah’s Infinite PlaylistTally Youngblood lives in a post-apocalyptic world where your looks determine your social class. The four-book series begins with Tally eager for her sweet sixteen, as it’s the age at which all citizens must go through extreme plastic surgery to become part of the ‘Pretty’ class. — Jennifer ArellanoWhen Norah asks Nick to pretend to be her boyfriend, the pair of them set off on a journey to try and find their favorite band’s secret show, along with Norah’s best friend. The romantic novel was made into a film with Michael Cera and Kat Dennings in 2008. — Samantha HighfillThe Book ThiefThirteen Reasons WhySet in Nazi Germany and narrated by Death, Thief details a young girl’s relationship with her foster parents and the events that follow after they take in a Jewish refugee. A movie adaptation starring Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, and newcomer Sophie Nélisse hits theaters Nov. 8. — Breia BrisseyIt begins with suicide and only gets darker, but Asher’s bestseller is more than just a teen-drama wallow. Exploring the tale of Hannah Baker through a series of recordings she sent to her friend Clay, Thirteen Reasons Why forms a humane portrait of a tormented teenager. The kind of book that might actually save lives. — Darren FranichThe Mortal InstrumentsThe Hunger Games seriesThe sixth and final book won’t hit shelves until May 2014, but the fantastical series about Clary Fray and her race of demon hunters (a.k.a. Shadowhunters) has already inspired an equally popular prequel series (The Infernal Devices) and a movie starring Lily Collins. — Breia BrisseyThere’s a reason that Collins’ dystopian tale inspired a seemingly infinite army of post-apocalyptic imitators: It’s just that good. Brave, poverty-hardened Katniss Everdeen becomes an unlikely revolutionary when she volunteers to compete in the 74th Annual Hunger Games; the rest is blockbuster franchise history. — Hillary BusisThe Maze Runner seriesThe Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogyThe first novel is a page-turner, with its unsettling plot about teenagers trapped in an unsolvable maze, and whose every move is monitored. The series only gets more intense throughout the trilogy, which has also led to a prequel and a film adaptation in the works. — Shirley LiGrace often loves to watch the wolves in the woods. One day she meets a boy named Sam who seems awfully like the wolf who saved her when she was a little girl. Shiver was named one of ALA Best Books for Young Adults and Amazon Top Ten Books for Teens. — Jennifer ArellanoThe Divergent trilogyThe Fault in Our StarsCurrently being made into a feature film, Divergent takes place in a future dystopian Chicago, where all citizens fall into one of five categories. But when Tris discovers that she cannot be categorized and is considered ‘divergent,’ she chooses to be initiated into the brave faction of society, a process that might be more difficult than she first imagined. Luckily, she has Four, her hot, older love interest to help her along. — Samantha HighfillIn this heartbreaker, teens Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters meet in a cancer support group and fall in love. Prepare for tears and a trip to Amsterdam to meet Hazel’s favorite author, the reclusive Peter van Houten. A film version, starring Shailene Woodley, hits theaters next summer. — Erin Strecker