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The Ultimate '90s YA Book Canon

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    There's one problem with dubbing anything the "best" or "ultimate collection" of its kind: No one in the history of time (or, at least, the internet) is ever in total agreement about what belongs on the list.

    Fair 'nuff, right? The assessment is entirely subjective, no matter how unbiased we fancy ourselves to be. Pandering to different tastes — especially when we're talking about popular entertainment — makes an already difficult task infinitely less possible. Add to that the fact that there are thousands of different ways to judge, say, a book.

    Which is all to say: It's impossible to create a definitive collection of anything that will please everyone. But that doesn't mean we're done trying. Here at R29, we've had a lot of conversations about which titles should go on the list of best '90s YA books. Some hard choices were made; some tears have been shed — specifically when we realized that we couldn't include the entirety of The Baby-Sitters Club. (Ditto on all the Goosebumps books. Sorry, guys.) But in the end, we landed on 11 works that we truly feel define life as a kid in that glorious decade.

    And yes, that meant including one title that was technically first published in the '60s. Gird your loins about it. Without further ado: our hard-won, heavily contemplated list!

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  2. Photo: Courtesy of Scholastic.

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  3. Photo: Courtesy of HarperTeen.

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  4. Photo: Courtesy of Puffin.

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  5. Photo: Courtesy of Delacorte Books for Young Readers.

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  6. Photo: Courtesy of Random House Bullseye.

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