Infographic: 56 Young Adult Books That Adults Will Love

Have you heard? YA books are so hot right now. Sure, you’ve plowed through Harry Potter, and The Hunger Games, The Fault in Our Stars, and Divergent, but by no means should you stop there. Here are fifty-six stellar stories that will captivate audiences well over the age of 18.   SHORT STORIES:   Eight Plus One (Cormier): A collection of nine brilliantly moving short prose stories that deal primarily with family issues.   145th Street (Myers): A colorful array of characters inhabit this collection of inter-connected stories that all take place on the same city block.  ROFLing:   Schooled (Korman): A boy raised on a hippie commune goes to public school for the first time after his grandma gets in an accident.   Beauty Queens (Bray): A plane full of teen beauty pageant queens crashes on a deserted island. Silly and fun.     <3 <3 <3:   Eleanor & Park (Rowell): A tender story about a delightfully quirky and unlikely couple whose romance buds on the school bus. While romantic, charming, and humorous, it also wrestles with more serious issues like substance abuse, racism, sexual harassment, bullying, domestic violence, and interracial dating.   Dante & Aristotle Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Saenz): Two teen boys cultivate a  strong friendship as they also weather the storms of family drama, sexuality, racial identity, and peer pressure.   YOUNG LADIES IN THE MIDDLE EAST:    Persepolis (Sartrapi): A neo-classic graphic novel memoir that shares a coming-of-age story against the Islamic Revolution in Iran.    The Breadwinner (Ellis):  Eleven year-old Parvana has to dress up as a boy to provide for her family in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.   WWII:   Code Name Verity (Wein): A page-turning spy novel featuring two female protagonists.   Maus I: A Survivor’s Take: My Father Bleeds History (Spiegelman): In this graphic novel, the cartoonist narrator’s father shares of his experiences in Nazi Germany.   UNDERRATED CLASSICS:    The Bronze Bow (Speare): A ragtag group of underdog revolutionaries in first-century Judea seek to overthrow Roman rule. Action-packed.   Up a Road Slowly (Hunt):  This beautifully written story follows protagonist Julie as she grows up under her aunt’s care. Arguably one of the best YA books of all time.   NOVELS IN VERSE:    Bronx Masquerade (Grimes): Written from multiple points of view, this novel examines the transformational power that spoken word poetry has on a group of high schoolers living in the Bronx.  The House on Mango Street (Cisneros):  This critically acclaimed modern-day classic is a series of poetic vignettes about Latina growing up in Chicago.  DYSTOPIAN:    Delirium (Oliver):  This novel is set in a futuristic United States that forces all 18 year-olds to undergo a procedure that prevents them from falling in love. A few days before she is scheduled for her own procedure, protagonist Lena begins to fall for a mysterious young boy named Alex.   The Handmaid’s Tale (Atwood):  This classic feminist tale is a must-read. The story takes place within a strict theocracy where women – and their bodies – are controlled by government powers. Chilling.   BEFORE THEY BECOME MOVIES:    Paper Towns (Green): Quentin goes on an epic road trip in search of his childhood best friend Margo after she suddenly disappears. Slated to hit theaters Summer 2015, you can follow @JohnGreen on Twitter for updates and pics from the film set.  Why We Broke Up (Handler):  Artsy Min dated Ed-the-jock and it didn’t end so well. This clever book is a highly entertaining account of their relationship. The film adaptation is currently in production now, reportedly starring Hailee Steinfeld of True Grit fame.  IMMIGRATION:    Inside Out & Back Again (Lai): This award-winning novel follows Ha and her family as they move from Vietnam to Alabama in the early 1970s.   Cuba 15 (Osa): As half-Cuban, half-Polish Violet approaches her quinceañero, she begins to learn more about her family roots.  ADVENTURE/THRILLERS:    The House of the Scorpion (Farmer): A dark, futuristic tale of drug lords, genetic cloning, and survival. This book is a well-deserving winner of the highly-coveted National Book Award, the Newberry Honor Award, and the Printz Honor Award.   I Am the Messenger (Zusak): After nineteen year-old Ed stops a bank robbery from occurring, anonymous coded messages start showing up in his mail. These messages set him on a series of assorted missions scattered throughout the city. The person behind the messages remains a mystery.  POLITICAL OPPRESSION:   Taste of Salt (Temple):  A haunting depiction of life in the slums of Haiti. Djo and Jeremie are brought together by real-life figure priest-turned-political leader Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide.   In the Time of the Butterflies (Alvarez): Four sisters in the Dominican Republic in the 1960s under Trujillo’s dictatorship get involved in a secret plot to overthrow the government.  SEXUAL ASSAULT   13 Reasons Why (Asher): When Clay receives a collection of cassette tapes in the mail, he is shocked to discover that they are a recording of his former crush who had committed suicide two weeks prior. She explains that there are 13 reasons why she decided to kill herself and he is one of them. A highly compelling look at bullying, sexual assault, depression, and guilt.     Speak (Anderson): When she calls the cops at a big summer party summer before her freshman year, Rachel is socially ostracized. This book offers an honest depiction of the evil and destructive nature of rape culture and the courage it takes to speak out against it. CANCER:    Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie (Sonnenblick): Steven leads a life similar to most typical middle school boys. That is, until his five year-old brother is diagnosed with leukemia. Both heartfelt and humorous.   Under the Mesquite (Garcia McCall): Lupita moved with her family from Mexico to a Texas border town at age six. Adjusting to the new language and culture is difficult at first, but not nearly as challenging as receiving the news that her mom has uterine cancer. Garcia McCall weaves a  beautiful semi-autobiographical tale about a family, immigration, faith, Mexican culture, and resilience in the face of hardship. BULLYING    Wonder (Palacio): Auggie has a facial deformity that has, up until this point, kept him from going to public school. Written from the perspective of several different characters, this book is, as the author herself has said, a “meditation on kindness.”   Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass (Medina): A realistic drama about a Latina girl in Queens who becomes the target of one of the toughest girls in her school.  SUBSTANCE ABUSE:    Crank (Hopkins): A harrowing account of one teen girl’s descent into a deep, dark crystal meth addiction. Written in the form of poems, this story will stick with you.  The Spectacular Now (Tharp): Perhaps one of the most artfully crafted YA narrators of all time, Sutter Keely knows how to have a good time by HS standards but when he starts hanging out with Aimee, a self-conscious social “nobody,” he starts to realize that his actions and decisions—and his chronic drinking—affect others.  INCARCERATION:    Hole in My Life (Gantos): In this memoir, critically acclaimed young adult author Jack Gantos recounts his experiences in a drug smuggling ring and the consequential prison time that ensued.  Monster (Myers): 16 year-old aspiring filmmaker Steve Harmon is on trial for murder. In a series of flashbacks and courtroom and jail scenes, Steve tells his story in the form of a movie script. Myers is subtle and ambiguous in all the right places.  MENTAL ILLNESS   It’s Kind of a Funny Story (Vizzini):  When 16 year-old Craig becomes suicidal, he spends five memorable days in the mental hospital.     The Impossible Knife of Memory (Anderson): Hayley tries to get a fresh start when she and her Iraq War Vet dad move back to her hometown, but his PTSD makes the quest for stability difficult.  GANGS:    Romiette & Julio (Draper): A modern-day spin on the Shakespeare classic. Romiette is black and Julio is Hispanic and a local gang disapproves of their interracial relationship. Scorpions (Myers): Jamal is pressured to become a leader in the Scorpions gang and gets in over his head. Myers is a masterful writer and this book is one of his best.  POVERTY:    Forged by Fire (Draper): Gerald endures much growing up with in a single-parent home with a mom battling addiction. As he gets older, he struggles to protect his sister – and himself – from his abusive step-father.   True Believer (Wolff): LaVaughn is growing up in a neighborhood where going to college is more of the exception than it is the norm. But she has her heart set on higher education. In the meantime, there are boys and friends and family issues to deal with.  Winner of the Printz Honor Award.  DEATH:    The First Part Last (Johnson): Bobby never thought he would be a single parent by the age of 16. But he is. This book is a short-but-sweet depiction of one teen’s struggle to grieve a loss and be a good father.   Many Stones (Coman):  A year after Berry’s sister Laura was murdered in Capetown, South Africa, she and her estranged dad travel there to attend a memorial service. Their trip is characterized by grief, forgiveness, and reconciliation.  RACISM:    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Alexie): A frank and funny story of a Native American teen’s experience going to a mostly white school located far from his home on the reservation.   American Born Chinese (Yang): Jin Wang is the only Chinese American student in his school. This complex story told in graphic novel form examines the painful effects of stereotypes and the difficult work of self-acceptance.   BULLYING    Wonder (Palacio): Auggie has a facial deformity that has, up until this point, kept him from going to public school. Written from the perspective of several different characters, this book is, as the author herself has said, a “meditation on kindness.”   Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass (Medina): A realistic drama about a Latina girl in Queens who becomes the target of one of the toughest girls in her school.  ART:   GO: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design (Kidd):  A brilliantly accessible manual on the elements of design, complete with do-it-yourself assignments.  Chuck Close Face Book (Close): Close’s autobiography is one-of-a-kind: following an interactive Q&A format, he tells of his battles with face blindness, dyslexia, and near-paralysis. He also describes his techniques in a  surprisingly compelling manner. WOMEN’S HISTORY:   Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream (Stone):  Known as the Mercury 13, this group of women fought to make their way into the male-dominated world of NASA in the 1960s. This book recounts their triumphs and failures while providing broader historical insight into the women’s liberation movement.   Wheels of Change: How Women Rode Their Bicycles to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way) (Macy): This artfully-crafted book  examines the role the bicycle played in female empowerment in the late 1800s. Featuring a plethora of pictures and other primary documents, Wheels of Change is an interesting look at how this one object helped bring about lasting social change.  CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT:   March: Book One (Lewis):  A moving account of the Civil Rights movement written in comic book form from the perspective of Senator John Lewis.   We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March  (Levinson): In May of 1963, thousands of children took to the streets of Birmingham advocating for desegregation. They faced physical torment, jail, and verbal abuse for this cause and this book tells their courageous story.  U.S. History:   The President Has Been Shot! (Swanson):  At its core, this book is a thorough play-by-play of the events surrounding JFK’s assassination. Swanson provides a captivating, seamless account of one of the most tragic events in our modern nation’s history.   Bomb: The Race to Build – And Steal – The World’s Most Dangerous Weapon  (Sheinkin): A fascinating look at the development of the atomic bomb. This is a surprisingly exciting tale of intrigue, espionage, sabotage, and power.  MEMOIR:   Brown Girl Dreaming (Woodson): Renowned YA author Jaqueline Woodson tells of her experience as a young African American girl in the 1960s and 1970s. This award-winning autobiography is written in a series of free verse poems.    Blankets (Thompson): This  beautifully-drawn graphic novel details Thompson’s struggles with sibling rivalry, religious convictions, and love lost.