Here's the list to choose from:
Richard Adams-Watership Down, 1974
Forest Carter-The Education of Little Tree, 1986
Robin Cody-Ricochet River, 1992
Robert Cormier-I Am The Cheese, 1977
William Goldman-The Princess Bride, 1973
John Gunther-Death Be Not Proud, 1949
Ernest Gaines-The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, 1971
Betty Greene-Summer of My German Soldier, 1973
Thor Heyerdahl-Kon-Tiki, 1950
Ursula LeGuin-A Wizard of the Earth (I think they mean Wizard of Earthsea), 1968
Bernard Malamud-The Natural, 1952
Walter Dean Meyers-Fallen Angel, 1988
Frank McCourt-Angela’s Ashes, 1996
Lucy Maud Montgomery-Anne of Green Gables, 1930s?
Gordon Parks-The Learning Tree, 1989
Robert Newton Peck-A Day No Pigs Would Die, 1972
Naomi Shihab Nye-Habibi, 1997
J.R.R. Tolkien-The Hobbit, 1966
Jules Verne-Journey to the Center of the Earth, 1890?
The average copyright date? 1963! Shoot, most of these books could have been on my reading list when I was a freshman in high school.
Did you notice the one book on this list that really doesn't belong here? It's The Education of Little Tree, which was supposed to be a memoir from someone raised by his Cherokee grandfather, but turned out to be a sham written by a former KKK member and the speechwriter who wore "Segregation now, segregation forever!" for George Wallace. Yes, just the kind of thing I want my kid reading. I would assume it was added to give the list some diversity, but maybe before the hoax was revealed in 1991. You would think someone would have noticed in the intervening 18 years.