July 24, 2012
Cara Philbin, NPR




To coincide with the youth theme of its 2012 Summer Books package, NPR Books is devoting its annual readers' poll to the 100 best young adult reads of all time. After receiving thousands of nominations from readers, NPR Books - with the help of an expert panel - narrowed the roster to a list of 235 classic and contemporary young adult reads. Voting is now open: view all 235 finalists and vote for the titles you hope will make the top-100 list.

The annual readers' poll is a favorite feature of NPR Books' summer packages. Over 60,000 users voted in last year's Top-100 Science Fiction and Fantasy poll; the Top-100 Science Fiction and Fantasy list has been viewed over a million times. To join this year's fun, readers can visit NPRBooks.org and vote for up to ten titles. Voting will remain open until the end of July. On August 8, NPR Books will publish the Top-100 list.

A panel of YA experts assisted NPR Books in whittling down the countless nominations to a manageable list of 235 titles. Panel members include Pamela Paul, The New York Times Book Review's features editor and children's book editor; Diane Roback, the children's book editor of Publisher's Weekly, who also edits their weekly Children's Bookshelf e-newsletter; Tasha Robinson, book editor for The A.V. Club (part of The Onion); and teacher/librarian Ted Schelvan, chair of the Young Adult Library Services Association's committee to select a list of the best YA fiction. To determine what should make the cut, the panel considered the qualities and themes of each book, as well as what teens voluntarily read. The resulting list includes everything from the allegorical Lord of the Flies, to the classic Anne of Green Gables series, to contemporary hits like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. And for those who can't stand the suspense: yes, The Hobbit made the cut.

All summer long, NPR Books is spotlighting the coming-of-age stories that open our eyes to a world beyond childhood and stick for a lifetime. This year's summer series features everything from round-ups of critics' picks to exclusive excerpts from this season's most anticipated reads. Unique for this year, the PG-13: Risky Reads series features first-person submissions from acclaimed authors (including Jodi Picoult, Abraham Verghese, Lois Lowry, Gillian Flynn and Jesmyn Ward) remembering the books they may have read before they were quite ready - a child peeking into the world of adults. Listeners can also visit the This Is NPR blog to read similar narratives submitted by NPR staff. Local stations and broadcast times are available at www.npr.org/stations.

NPR Books is specifically designed to help a busy audience find great reads. The site combines the best of NPR's on-air interviews and news with original web reviews, recommendations and lists. It includes popular recurring series such as "You Must Read This," in which well-known authors make one, passionate recommendation; the "NPR Bestseller Lists," based on weekly surveys of 500 independent bookstores nationwide; "My Guilty Pleasure," which reveals the books notable writers love but are embarrassed to be seen reading; and "Three Books," in which authors recommend three books on a theme. Summer Books adds to the expanding library of outstanding books coverage at NPR Books - www.NPR.org/books - which generates 4 million page views per month.