Is Encyclopedia Brown Young-Adult Literature?

By Francesca Duffy — July 19, 2012 1 min read
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The passing of Donald J. Sobol, the author of the popular Encyclopedia Brown series, prompted the editors of Flavorwire to dig up some of their favorite book series and post their version of the 10 greatest young-adult series of all time.

The cultural news site included The Time Quintet, the Redwall Series, The Earthsea Cycle, and the Artemis Fowl books among their top picks, but excluded The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and The Hunger Games because, according to the editors, they’re already “so well established” and don’t need to be on a “list like this...”

Commenters eagerly posted their own picks that weren’t listed, such as Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and Little House on the Prairie, among others.

A discussion in the comments section is also taking place on whether or not some of the series that Flavorwire listed actually qualify as young-adult literature. One reader posted, “YA is for teen readers. If your teen is reading Encyclopedia Brown and A Series of Unfortunate Events, I hope it’s to his younger brother.” Another added, “I think the YA genre in general is pretty wishy-washy. The rule of thumb, however, is that for a book to be YA the protagonists of the novel are YAs (age 12-17). That would probably knock out Encyclopedia Brown ... "

What’s your take on this? And what books would you include in your top 10 young-adult books list?

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.