Each title here was an important step in the growth of young adult literature. They are listed in order of publication; Seventeenth Summer is often thought to have been the first "young adult" book. Other books. like The Catcher in the Rye, were published for adults but widely read by teens.

  • Daly, Maureen. Seventeenth Summer. (1942)
  • Salinger, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye. (1951)
  • Golding, William. The Lord of the Flies. (1954)
  • Knowles, John. A Separate Peace. (1960)
  • Hinton, S. E. The Outsiders. (1967)
  • Head, Ann. Mr. & Mrs. Bo Jo Jones (1968)
  • Cormier, Robert. The Chocolate War. (1974)
  • Myers, Walter Dean. Fallen Angels. (1988)
  • Block, Francesca Lia. Weetzie Bat. (1989)

For a history of YA lit, read:
Cart, Michael. From Romance to Realism: 50 Years of Growth and Change in Young Adult Literature.