Help Choose America's Favorite Book.

100 books. 1 winner.

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PBS.org/GreatAmericanRead

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"The Great American Read" is an eight-part series that explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels (as chosen in a national survey). It investigates how and why writers create their fictional worlds, how we as readers are affected by these stories, and what these 100 different books have to say about our diverse nation and our shared human experience.







Some Resources for You

Whether it's rediscovering an old favorite or engaging with a new title, "The Great American Read" encourages people to read as many novels as they can from the top 100 list. We have created some tools to help you keep track of your progress.

Booklet Bookmark
                  Download Booklet                  Download Bookmark











Book It!

Share your story with us. Tell us your favorite book and why in 10 seconds or less. You can also share your story via YouTube. The form below allows for you to provide a link to your video.

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About the Broadcast

"The Great American Read," a new PBS series and multiplatform initiative that celebrates the joy of reading and the books people love, launched with a two-hour premiere episode Tuesday, May 22, at 7 p.m. Hosted by television personality and journalist Meredith Vieira, the program introduced viewers to a list of America's 100 favorite novels selected through a demographically representative national survey. Features included interviews with celebrities, authors, super fans and everyday Americans discussing the way particular books have influenced them and the significance in American popular culture. The series culminates in the Fall 2018 with the finale episode presenting the results of the first-ever national vote to choose America's Best-Loved Novel.

Watch the Trailer E Watch the Premiere E








About the Books

The top 100 book list is based on a public opinion poll, conducted by YouGov.com on behalf of PBS for "The Great American Read," that asked respondents to name their favorite novel. An advisory panel of book industry professionals compiled the results. Each author was represented only once, and series such as the "Alex Cross Mysteries" were included as one entry. The chosen books span five centuries, from "Don Quixote" (1603) to "Ghost" (2016). Authors from 15 different countries are represented, with genres ranging from beloved children's classics such as "Charlotte's Web" to modern best sellers such as "Twilight."







The List

  • 1984 - George Orwell
  • A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
  • A Prayer For Owen Meany - John Irving
  • A Separate Peace - John Knowles
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain
  • The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
  • Alex Cross Mysteries (series) - James Patterson
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
  • Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie
  • Anne of Green Gables - Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • Another Country - James Baldwin
  • Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand
  • Beloved - Toni Morrison
  • Bless Me, Ultima - Rudolfo Anaya
  • The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
  • The Brief Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao - Junot Díaz
  • The Call Of The Wild - Jack London
  • Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
  • The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
  • Charlotte's Web - E. B. White
  • The Chronicles of Narnia (series) - C.S. Lewis
  • Clan of the Cave Bear - Jean M. Auel
  • Coldest Winter Ever - Sister Souljah
  • The Color Purple - Alice Walker
  • The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
  • Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon
  • The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
  • Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes
  • Doña Bárbára - Rómulo Gallegos
  • Dune - Frank Herbert
  • Fifty Shades Of Grey (series) - E. L. James
  • Flowers In The Attic - V.C. Andrews
  • Foundation (series) - Isaac Asimov
  • Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
  • Game of Thrones (series) - George R. R. Martin
  • Ghost - Jason Reynolds
  • Gilead - Marilynne Robinson
  • The Giver - Lois Lowry
  • The Godfather - Mario Puzo
  • Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
  • Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
  • The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
  • Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
  • The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift
  • The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
  • Harry Potter (series) - J.K. Rowling
  • Hatchet (series) - Gary Paulsen
  • Heart Of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
  • The Help - Kathryn Stockett
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy - Douglas Adams
  • The Hunger Games (series) - Suzanne Collins
  • The Hunt For Red October - Tom Clancy
  • The Intuitionist - Colson Whitehead
  • Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison
  • Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë
  • The Joy Luck Club - Amy Tan
  • Jurassic Park - Michael Crichton
  • Left Behind (series) - Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
  • The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
  • Lonesome Dove - Larry McMurtry
  • Looking for Alaska - John Green
  • The Lord of the Rings (series) - J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
  • The Martian - Andy Weir
  • Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
  • Mind Invaders - Dave Hunt
  • Moby-Dick - Herman Melville
  • The Notebook - Nicholas Sparks
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel García Márquez
  • Outlander (series) - Diana Gabaldon
  • The Outsiders - S. E. Hinton
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
  • The Pilgrim's Progress - John Bunyan
  • The Pillars of The Earth - Ken Follett
  • Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
  • Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
  • Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier
  • The Shack - William P. Young
  • Siddhartha - Hermann Hesse
  • The Sirens Of Titan - Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Stand - Stephen King
  • The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway
  • Swan Song - Robert R. McCammon
  • Tales of The City (series) - Armistead Maupin
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston
  • Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
  • This Present Darkness - Frank. E. Peretti
  • To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
  • The Twilight Saga (series) - Stephenie Meyer
  • War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
  • Watchers - Dean Koontz
  • The Wheel of Time (series) - Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
  • Where the Red Fern Grows - Wilson Rawls
  • White Teeth - Zadie Smith
  • Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë
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About the Voting

Voting is open and continues throughout the summer, leading up to the grand finale in October 2018. Over the summer, viewers will be able to vote here at this website and through hashtag voting via Facebook and Twitter using #GreatReadPBS. In the fall, viewers will also be able to cast their vote toll free by phone and through SMS texting.

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Learn more about how to vote







There are so many adventures to find in books! If you’re looking for ideas or a book you haven’t read yet, PBS KIDS has drawn together a list of books we think are pretty great. We’ve sorted our recommendations into lists of books you can read aloud to your kids, read along with your kids, and books that are fun for kids to read on their own.

Ages 2 and Up

  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault
  • Dragons Love Tacos, Adam Rubin
  • Press Here, Herve Tullet
  • Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Mo Willems

Ages 3 and Up

  • Harold and the Purple Crayon, Crockett Johnson
  • Curious George, H.A. Rey and Margaret Rey
  • Madeline, Ludwig Bemelmans
  • Alligator Pie, Dennis Lee
  • Stellaluna, Janell Cannon
  • Z is for Moose, Kelly Bingham
  • No, David!, David Shannon
  • Jazz, Walter Dean Myers
  • Leo: A Ghost Story, Mac Barnett (Ages 3-9)

Ages 4 and Up

  • Olivia, Ian Falconer
  • Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type,
  • Doreen Cronin
  • The Lorax, Dr. Seuss
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,
  • Judith Viorst (Ages 4-9)

Ages 5 and Up

  • Invisible Boy, Trudy Ludwig

Ages 6 and Up

  • Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, Paul Fleischman
  • My Brother Charlie, Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete

Ages 2 and Up

  • Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
  • The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats
  • The Day the Crayons Quit, Drew Daywalt
  • Interrupting Chicken, David Ezra Stein
  • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Laura Joffe Numeroff
  • Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, Bernard Waber

Ages 3 and Up

  • Corduroy, Don Freeman (Ages 3-5)
  • Green is a Chile Pepper: A Book of Colors, Roseanne Greenfield Thong (Ages 3-5)
  • Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match/Marisol McDonald no combina,
  • Monica Brown
  • Pinkalicious, Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann
  • I Want My Hat Back, Jon Klassen
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein
  • The Secret Footprints, Julia Alvarez
  • Hello, Rock, Roger Bradfield
  • Two is Enough, Janna Matthies

Ages 5 and Up

  • Lowriders in Space, Cathy Camper
  • The Stories Julian Tells, Ann Cameron
  • Salsa Stories, Lulu Delacre

Ages 6 and Up

  • The Tale of Despereaux, Kate DiCamillo

Ages 4 and Up

  • The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss
  • May I Please Have A Cookie?, Jennifer E. Morris
  • Hop on Pop, Dr. Seuss
  • Go, Dog. Go!, P.D. Eastman
  • Bark, George, Jules Feffer
  • Diary of a Wombat, Jackie French
  • Library Lion, Michelle Knudsen
  • Pete the Cat, I Love My White Shoes, Eric Litwin

Ages 5 and Up

  • Hi! Fly Guy, Tedd Arnold
  • My Name is Yoon, Helen Recorvits
  • Tales for Very Picky Eaters, Josh Schneider
  • We Are in a Book, Mo Willems

Ages 6 and Up

  • The Princess in Black, Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
  • Nate the Great, Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
  • The Adventures of Captain Underpants, Dave Pilkey