And yeah, I realize most of this is Middle Grade fiction but it still blows away Twilight. I probably missed something. So I'll take suggestions from the late 70s to mid 80s (my childhood years).
  1. The Girl with the Silver Eyes
    She could move things with her mind! And she finds others who also have special powers! And they all have silver eyes! All because their moms took an experimental prenatal drug! Why the hell has the CW not made this into a TV show yet?
  2. The Westing Game
    If Clue & The Usual Suspects had a clever little child with intelligent wordplay. Also the protagonist's nickname is Turtle! Also there were Asian major minor characters in the book. Just random Asian folks for no specific reason. This was huge to me as a kid growing up (even if they did run a Chinese restaurant).
  3. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
    Was it just me or did everyone that read this book want to run away to New York and live in the Met?
  4. Where the Red Fern Grows
    That ending. Sorry, I have something in my eyes right now...
  5. A Wrinkle in Time
    I know it has those vague Christian undertones but that's beside the point. It has witches, interplanetary & dimensional travel, mind control and a good vs. evil plotline that is epic. Plus you have the ugly duckling protagonist, her clearly Asperger (before that diagnosis was given to every quirky kid character) brother and the popular kid jock. There's a reason it's a classic.
  6. The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe
    Yeah this one has even more overt Christian themes (spoiler alert: Aslan is Jesus!) but still the book stands the test of time. What child doesn't want to randomly wander into a foreign magical land then have to fight an evil snow queen? Plus it inspired The Magician's trilogy by Lev Grossman.
  7. Mrs. Frisby & the Rats of NIMH
    Yeah, I know they made a beloved animated movie based on it. But really, read the book. It's so much better. Though in retrospect, thinking about the super intelligent rats, it totally reads as a propaganda piece FOR animal testing, as the rats get smarter because they were experimented on. I'm not sure how I feel about that now that I made that connection.
  8. Are You There God, It's Me Margaret
    This was the proto-chick lit book. I'll be honest and say I have more memory of all my female friends reading it and loving it than reading it myself. I remember that it had something to do with the protagonist getting her period. I think. But I felt obligated to put it in here because it's Judy Blume. Who I highly respect. Also it's way better than Twilight.
  9. Flowers in the Attic
    This probably not YA. I don't care. I read it in junior high so it fits the bill even though the subject matter was insane! I mean talk about a dysfunctional family. Incest! Child abuse! Evil mom! Even more evil grandma! Creepy twin siblings with no discernible personalities! I couldn't put it down. Then VC Andrews basically repeated herself with every other book she wrote. Even when she's dead she continues to write from the great beyond, the same story with different character names.
  10. Sorry I know this list is super old, but I had to add in "The Outsiders," it rocked my teenage world.
    Suggested by @loriatx