Famous Young Adult Authors

When it comes to the young adult genre, these authors are legendaries. They’ve produced memorable and timeless classics that generations of teenagers and adults love and praise. So, who are these famous young adult authors? In this article, we’ll talk about these YA authors, including their most iconic and must-read YA novels. 

Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott is one of the most famous female authors. She is best known for penning stories with strong, self-reliant, independent female protagonists. 

Besides creating the best young adult book Little Women, and other literary creations, Louisa was a social pioneer. When the government granted women bonds, tax, and school suffrage, she was the first woman to register in Massachusetts. 

She also convinced her publisher to publish Harriett Hanson Robinson’s Massachusetts, which was a critical part of the 1881 Woman Suffrage Movement.

Must-Read Book: Little Women 

Little Women

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“Little Women” tells the story of the four sisters – Amy, Jo, Meg, and Beth – growing up, finding love, and being happy despite their struggles. With the recent loss of the family’s fortune, the girls bravely support themselves and do their best to keep their household standing.

Meg Cabot

Cabot’s most famous work is The Princess Diaries, which became a Disney film with the same namesake. Aside from The Princess Diaries, Cabot also had great success with other young adult novels, including the Mediator series, the mystery series Heather Well, and Avalon High. 

Must-Read Book: The Princess Diaries

The Princess Diaries (Princess Diaries, 1)

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The Princess Diaries is a great YA book, especially for readers who enjoy light but inspirational novels. It follows the life of Amelia “Mia” Thermopolis, a teenage New Yorker who discovers she is part of Genovia’s royalty. 

As Mia struggles to balance the two different worlds and stay true to herself, she reminds us of the power of staying connected to who you truly are. The story is humorous and relatable, with entertaining and heart-warming scenes. 

J.K. Rowling 

British author J.K Rowling is also one of the most famous young adult writers, especially in the fantasy genre. She has taken the world by storm with the Harry Potter seven-volume series, which has been translated into approximately 80 languages

Forbes has reported J.K. Rowling to be the second highest-paid author in the world, with her fortune not only coming from book sales. Her profit also comes from Universal Studios’ attractions and many other projects.

Must-Read Book: Harry Potter Series

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

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The Harry Potter series is filled with magic and wizardry that adult and young readers. The seven-part series follows the life of a boy named Harry Potter, a young wizard, and his best friends, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, as they overcome various challenges while attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. 

Nicola Yoon

Jamaican-American YA author Nicola Yoon is known for penning the  New York Times best-selling novel Everything and The Sun is Also A star. 

Nicola is also an award-winning author, receiving accolades like the Michael L. Printz Honor Book and Steptoe Award. She was also a finalist for the National Book Award. Nicola started Joy Revolution, an imprint at Random House Children’s Books, with her husband, David Yoon. It focuses on sharing romance stories lived by people of color.

Must-Read Book: The Sun Is Also a Star

The Sun Is Also a Star

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This romantic tale follows Daniel Bae and Natasha Kingsley as they fall in love in a serendipitous race against the clock. Fate brings the two together on Natasha’s last day in the United States before she returns to her native Jamaica. 

Ten years later, another serendipitous meeting happens, and they are finally reunited. 

Angie Thomas

Mississippi-raised Angie Thomas started a career as a young rapper. Although her music career didn’t take off, she is among today’s most famous YA authors. 

Thomas’ debut novel, The Hate U Give, is an award-winning novel and #1 New York Times bestseller. It was followed by a second novel, On the Come Up, which became a bestseller too. There is even a movie adaptation. 

Must-Read Book: The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give

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The Hate U Give follows Starr Carter, a teen that lives between two contrasting worlds – a poor neighborhood and a wealthy high school. After witnessing the violent death of her best friend by a police officer, she stands up for social justice and finds her voice in the community. 

Veronica Roth

Another famous young author you should check out is Veronica Roth. She is known for the bestselling Divergent trilogy, which has sold more than 32 million copies globally. Not surprisingly, Divergent was made into a film shortly after. 

 Roth’s career skyrocketed soon after she wrote her first novel while attending Northwestern University. Some of her awards include the 2011 Goodreads Choice Award for Favorite Book for Divergent and the 2012 Best Goodreads Author for another one of her novels, Insurgent.

Must-Read Book: Divergent Series

Divergent (Divergent Series, 1)

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Imagine living in a dystopian world on the brink of war. Divergent follows the story of a young woman named Beatrice “Tris” Prior in a society divided into assigned factions. Tris doesn’t belong to any of them and  soon discovers she is a “Divergent.”  

Much like most young adult fiction novels, Roth’s YA Divergent series revolves around self-identity, friendship, and sacrifice. 

Suzanne Collins

You have probably heard of or watched The Hunger Games starring Jennifer Lawrence. But did you know that it is based on Suzanne Collins’  books?  

Collins began her career as a television writer in 1991 for children’s programs. Her first New York Times best-selling series was Gregor the Overlander, and she continued writing books until publishing The Hunger Games in 2008. This became one of her most famous pieces of work.

Must-Read Book: The Hunger Games Series

The Hunger Games Trilogy: The Hunger Games / Catching Fire / Mockingjay

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The dystopian novel by Collins, The Hunger Games, is set in the futuristic nation of Panem. Every year, they hold “The Hunger Games,” in which two kids (one girl and one boy) from 12 districts are forced to compete in deadly televised battles. 

The protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, volunteers to take her sister’s place. Together with Peeta Mellark, the male tribute from the same district, they outlasted the other tributes and won the game. However, in book 2, Catching Fire, they are forced again to compete in a special edition of the deadly match. And this time, they are now involved in a growing rebellion, with Katniss seen as the face of the rebellion. 

In book 3, Mockingjay, Katniss participates in the rebellion but is conflicted with ethical and personal dilemmas. 

John Green

Known most commonly for his novel, The Fault in Our Stars, John Green is a #1 New York Times bestselling author who has sold more than 45 million copies worldwide. John received the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award. Three years later, he won the Edgar Award

With a passion for free education, John started a YouTube Channel called Crash Course. His popular channel has hundreds of millions of views.

Must-Read Book: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars

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This young adult fiction novel that brings together literature, love, and grief in a relatable story. The protagonist, Hazel Grace Lancaster, is a young 16-year-old girl who has cancer. She falls in love with Augustus Waters, who also has cancer. Together, they share their struggles with the disease while entertaining themselves with their love for literature. 

Nic Stone

Nic Stone strives to create stories that have diverse characters. She grew up around different cultures and backgrounds, and along with her time in Israel, she developed unique life experiences.

Stone is best known for her first novel, Dear Martin, which has been translated into six languages. It also won William C. Morris Debut YA Award in 2018. 

Must-Read Book: Dear Martin

Dear Martin

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The award-winning Dear Martin tells a story about Justyce McAllister, an honor student who has a scary encounter with the police. Although he has left his dangerous neighborhood behind, he struggles with the hate and ridicule shown by his new peers. 

Out of his tough experiences, Justyce is inspired to write a letter to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., thus the title of the novel Dear Martin. He strives to live like Dr. King instead of spiraling into a vicious cycle of hate. 

Stephen Chbosky

Aside from being an American novelist, Chhosky is also a film producer, director, television producer, and screenwriter. Chbosky is mostly known for the 1999 novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a captivating coming-of-age story about a teenager named Charlie.

Must-Read Book: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

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In The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Charlie is the main character whose life is lived from the sidelines. That is until two witty classmates, Sam and Patrick, become his mentors. His two newfound friends encourage Charlie to let go of his fears and enjoy life. This connection sparks Charlie’s passion for writing.

The next obstacle Charlie faces after achieving his new confidence is facing the departure of his dear friends going off to college. The story promotes tolerance and inclusivity as Charlie blossoms despite his social challenges.

Lois Lowry

Lois Lowry has written various books, including The Giver Quartet. She is known for dark subject matters, complex themes, and dystopian stories. She also won various awards, including the Newbery Medal in 1990 for Number the Stars and in 1994 for The Giver.

Must-Read Book: The Giver Series

The Giver Movie Tie-in Edition (Giver Quartet, 1)

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The Giver introduces a young boy named Jonas. He lives in a world where sadness and crime don’t exist. However, people are assigned professions and partners. At age 12, he must carry out his given role for the rest of his life. 

With his yearning to be an individual and choose his destiny, Jonas opposes the norm and protects his freedom of choice.

Markus Zusak

Australian young adult author Markus Zusak started his writing career at 19, publishing “The Underdog.” Since then, he has written other novels, including “Fighting Ruben Wolfe” and “Getting the Girl. 

However, his best-known work is historical fiction The Book Thief, which won many awards, including the Kathleen Mitchell Award and the Michael L. Printz Honor, among many others. 

Must-Read Book: The Book Thief

The Book Thief

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The Book Thief revolves around humanity and all its facets – death, cruelty, kindness, and the powerful impact of words. It follows Liesel Meminger, a young girl who lives with her foster parents. As World War II intensifies, Leisel realizes the atrocity of the Nazis. She finds solace and the will to survive through her love of books.

Sarah J. Maas

Like many other YA authors on this list, Sarah J. Maas is also a New York Times bestselling author. She is known for the 7-part series Throne of Glass, which has sold over eight million copies and was published in 36 languages. 

Must-Read Book: Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass

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 In Throne of Glass, 18-year-old Celaena Sardothien is a trained assassin who has killed hundreds and is serving a life sentence. Captain Westfall offers her freedom in exchange for a huge sacrifice, the Kings championship.

If you have already read Throne of Glass, make sure to check our list of books like Throne of Glass.

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