Skip To Content

    These 21 Young Adult Books Were Popular In The '90s And Are Still Relevant Today

    From Cousins to The Face on the Milk Carton.

    Whether you grew up then or want to connect to past protagonists, nobody can deny that the '90s were a big time for Young Adult novels. These popular picks from that time now give modern readers a glimpse into the era.

    1. Finding My Voice by Marie G. Lee, 1992

    Purple book cover with illustration of an Asian American teen girl on the right side

    2. The Not-So-Star-Spangled Life of Sunita Sen by Mitali Perkins, 1993

    Orange and blue background with title text in center top; with two half photos of a teen girl in jeans and a tank and a traditional Sari

    3. Cousins by Virginia Hamilton, 1990

    Close up photo of two Black teen girls smiling with title text above and author name below

    4. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, 1990

    Book cover shows a photo of a girl with a gray tree obscuring her face

    5. Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen, 1998

    Photo of a glass jar with three butterflies flying around it; pink title text below and author name above

    6. Who's to Blame (Sweet Valley High #66) by Francine Pascal, 1996

    Vintage book cover shows red title text and illustration of a teen girl

    7. A Time to Die (One Last Wish #1) by Lurlene McDaniel, 1992

    Book cover shows blond teen girl with autumnal leaves surrounding her and title text on bottom left corner

    8. A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket, 1999

    Blue spine and yellow background with an illustration of main characters on the cover with title text below

    9. If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson, 1998

    Updated 2010 book cover with illustration of the two main characters in a pile of leaves and flowers; title text in swoopy green font

    10. The Face on the Milk Carton by Carolina B. Cooney, 1990

    Book cover shows shadow of a girl against an old fashioned milk carton with title text above and author name at bottom

    11. Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff, 1993

    12. Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix, 1999

    Book cover shows close up of a girl in a tiara with author name at top in blue and title text in black and white cursive script and a tagline that reads "Happily never after..."

    13. The Skin I'm In by Sharon Flake, 1998

    Close up photo of a Black teen girl, yellow title text at top and author name at bottom

    14. The Bride by D.E. Athkins, 1996

    Illustration of a ghostly bride with red eyes and title text in morbid black font above

    15. Girl, A Novel by Blake Nelson, 1994

    Black and white photo of a girl with bold pink title text at top of cover

    16. Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy by Sonya Sones, 1999

    Book cover shows blurry self portrait of a woman holding a camera at top with title text in bold letters and author name below

    17. A Cage of Butterflies by Brian Caswell, 1992

    Book cover shows a purple detailed butterfly wing covering the entire page with a smaller box print of a bald headed person with a yellow butterfly over their eyes; title text in small red font with author title above in white font

    18. Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson by Louise Rennison, 1996

    Book cover shows protagonist Georgia and pet cat sitting on a green couch; title text in bold font on top of cover

    19. A Song for Summer by Eva Ibbotson, 1997

    Book cover shows a sepia filtered picture of a girl holding a flower with title text in bottom right corner

    20. Toning the Sweep by Angela Johnson, 1993

    21. The Giver by Lois Lowry, 1993

    Book cover shows photo of an elderly man with title text in orange script and a burned section of the book in lower left corner

    What's your favorite YA book from the '90s?