It’s time for teen readers to get out the vote for YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten list! The Teens’ Top Ten list is a “teen choice” list where the teens nominate and choose their favorite books from the previous year.
The titles on the 2012 nominations list were chosen by members of teen book groups in fifteen schools and libraries across the country. Voting begins today, August 15th, and runs through Saturday, September 15th. The winners will be announced in a special webcast during Teen Read Week, which takes place October 14-20.
The Teens’ Top Ten List has been going strong ever since its inaugural year in 2003. Inspired by Emily’s Printz Winners by the Numbers post, which, in turn, was inspired by Kelly’s “Best Of” Lists by the Numbers post, let’s take a look at the Teens’ Top Ten winners chosen over the past five years and see if we can spot any trends or changes — and maybe even predict a few winners for this year’s list.
Right away, I noticed that there’s one graphic novel nominated this year: Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge. The rest of the nominations are in traditional prose format. There haven’t been any graphic novels on the Teens’ Top Ten lists in the past five years — or ever, actually. The only title that comes close is Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, which made the list in 2008, but I consider it to be a traditional book that happens to be heavily illustrated, rather than a graphic novel. If Page by Paige makes this year’s list, it will definitely buck the format trend.
Breaking this year’s nominations list down by genre, we can see that science fiction leads the pack with seven titles — which comes as no surprise in light of the success of The Hunger Games and the subsequent rise of dystopian science fiction in YA. The contemporary realistic and paranormal genres both make a strong showing with six titles each. Strangely, none of the nominations fall into the category of a traditional mystery. (Ilsa J. Bick’s Ashes or Ransom Rigg’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children might be considered paranormal mysteries — but since I had to choose one genre for each title, I decided the paranormal elements of those titles puts them into the category of paranormal. Genre certainly is a subjective thing!)
Comparing the genre breakdown of the 2012 nominations with the winners of the past five years, it’s clear that the top three categories remain steady: science fiction, contemporary realistic, and paranormal. Science fiction seems to have overtaken the popularity of fantasy this year. Although there were no mystery titles on this year’s list of nominations, mystery books have made a strong showing in the past. Potentially bad news for the two historical fiction titles nominated this year: there have been no historical fiction titles on the Teens’ Top Ten lists over the past five years.
Debut Authors vs Established Authors
A solid portion of the nominations list is made up of debut authors — not quite half, but nearly that.
It’s encouraging to see teen readers giving attention to first-time authors. Even so, the previous 5 years show that while debut authors garner recognition from readers, established authors tend to dominate the lists of winners after all. This year’s nominations list features several authors who have been voted onto previous years’ lists of winners, including Meg Cabot, Sarah Dessen, Lauren Myracle, and John Green.
Sequels vs Stand-alones
What fares better in the votes: sequels or stand-alone titles? Remember, this is a teens’ choice award, and it stands to reason that teen readers would enthusiastically vote for books from series in which they’re already invested. For that reason, we may tend to see more sequels on the Teens’ Top Ten list than on award lists chosen by committee.
But clearly the teens are open to embracing books outside their favorite series, too: the number of stand-alones and series openers strongly outweighs the number of sequels voted onto the list.
This year matches up to the trend of the previous five years: only two of the nominated titles for 2012 are sequels; the rest are stand-alone books or first in a planned series.
Based on previous lists of winners, the 2012 Teens’ Top Ten list will probably be dominated by books from the science fiction, contemporary realistic, and paranormal genres. I predict a particularly strong showing in science fiction compared with the past years. This year’s list will likely be composed of mostly stand-alone and series opener titles. The lone graphic novel nomination may shake things up in the format department. We’ll probably see several debut authors make the list, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see repeat appearances from YA superstars like John Green and Sarah Dessen.
What are YOU hoping to see on the list?
Be sure to check back for the Teens’ Top Ten List winners during Teen Read Week!
— Allison Tran, currently listening to the audiobook of Rotters by Daniel Kraus
You may also like:
Latest posts by Allison Tran (see all)
- The Monday Poll: Assign a YA Lit Title for Summer Reading - August 10, 2015
- Wrapping Up the 2015 Hub Reading Challenge - August 9, 2015
- The Monday Poll: Summer Vacation - August 3, 2015