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I know that Gabaldon is still putting books out in this series, but I am focusing solely on the first book. I've only read the first three due to the length of each book, but there is something about the original that always has me re-reading my favorite parts. I even have it on ebook, audiobook, and in paper form.
2. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
Considered by many to be one of the best historical romances ever! I don't know if I would rank it that high, but it is still extremely enjoyable and seems to have real staying power. I just hope romance fans never forget about the wonderful adventures of Jessica Trent and the dastardly Lord Dain.
3. Beauty by Robin McKinley
I read this book in middle school and it started my fascination with fairy tale retellings. McKinley's re-imagining of the Beauty and the Beast story is one of my long-time favorites and I hope future readers are given the opportunity to check it out.
4. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Another childhood favorite! This classic historical fiction tells the story of the resistance against Nazi Germany by the people of Denmark during World War II. This is an easy read that children can get sucked into...and I know from experience since I used this for an extended lesson while student teaching. My mentor teacher emailed me (two years later) and says that those kids still talk about this book.
5. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher
This entry could basically be for any of Chris Crutcher's books. I love the way that he writes about significant issues that effect teens and provides realistic characters young adult readers can relate to. The slang might seem a bit outdated at times, but I think the messages are universal and will be important for years to come.
6. Persuasion by Jane Austen
My favorite Austen novel! The maturity of this book really stood out to me and I feel like Anne Elliot is a wonderful role model for girls of all ages. Plus the romance is extremely sweet and Wentworth's letter never fails to make me sigh with happiness!
7. Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce
Pierce has written many fantasy series, but this one is my personal favorite. I love strong, warrior heroines and Alanna definitely fits the bill. I really admired her determination to be a soldier and how she strove to keep her identity as a female a secret. Her adventures were some of my favorite middle school memories and I hope they still remain popular.
8. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Pretty obvious answer, but I hope we never forget this one. The lessons it teaches are relevant regardless of the time period. Plus I feel it is always important to understand where we came from so we can avoid the mistakes of the past.
9. The Secret Garden/A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
I'm cheating a bit with this answer, but it is my list. These two books were classics during my elementary days and I don't hear much about them now. I just hope young girls are always reading these two entertaining and sweet stories about growing up and learning more about oneself.
10. Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
I'm ending the list with a very obvious answer! All the press from Rowling's newest book brought back tons of memories of this series and how much it has meant to me and other readers around the world. I hope we never forget these stories and what they did for literature as a whole.