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Peter Reynold’s story of Jerome, a logophiliac young man, is one of the few books out there that delights in language. Though many children’s books are written beautifully, relatively few are about words themselves. (A major wonderful exception is 2014’s The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus.)  In Reynolds’s story,  however, Jerome collects scraps with words on them, finding joy in each syllable and multi-syllable word. He is a reader reading and his pleasure in words is mirrored by those who read of his vocabularistic adventure.
We’re living in a golden age of young-adult literature, when books ostensibly written for teens are equally adored by readers of every generation. In the likes of Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen, they’ve produced characters and conceits that have become the currency of our pop-culture discourse—and inspired some of our best writers to contribute to the genre. To honor the best books for young adults and children, TIME compiled this survey in consultation with respected peers such as U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt, children’s-book historian Leonard Marcus, the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, the Young Readers Center at the Library of Congress, the Every Child a Reader literacy foundation and 10 independent booksellers. With their help, we’ve created two all-time lists of classics: 100 Best Young-Adult Books and 100 Best Children’s Books. Vote for your favorite in the poll below.
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