I really enjoy the visual impact a word cloud makes. A quick glance gives you the main idea of a bunch of data and a bit more study lets you see the details. I was so impressed with this word cloud I found at the end of last year that I tracked down the person who made it and asked if we could feature it on The Hub. This year, I decided to make my own Wordle, featured above, including a wider variety of end of the year lists chosen based on those lists that I encountered during my typical wanderings around the Internet and that would influence my collection development choices. The variety of lists I included gives this cloud some density, bringing together a large selection of the best and most talked about books of the year. Clearly the title that is overwhelmingly on everyone’s mind this year is The Fault in Our Stars. Click the image for a bigger, more sharable version.
Information on the lists I used is included after the jump.
- School Library Journal’s Best Books of 2012 included books for children and teens on one list. I included only those books recommended for middle school and high school students in the Wordle.
- Kirkus Reviews listed the Best Teen Books of 2012.
- Publishers Weekly included young adult fiction on their best children’s fiction list. Picture books were listed separately. As with School Library Journal, I included only the titles that were aimed at teens.
- The YALSA Teens’ Top Ten is announced in October during Teen Read Week, and thus includes titles published in 2011 as well as the first half of 2012. It is still a solid barometer for the best-loved books and authors of the year. In some instances, sequels and books by the same author that appear on the Teens’ Top Ten made some of the year’s best lists. Divergent is on this list, while Insurgent was on several year-end best lists. Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races is on the Teens’ Top Ten, and her newer book The Raven Boys is on several of the Best of 2012 lists.
- The New York Times Book Review includes young adult books in their own category on the Notable Children’s Books of 2012 list.
- I included the 2012 Top Ten list from Reading Rants, a blog by middle school librarian and book reviewer Jennifer Hubert Swan, as I feel this blog is an indespensible resource for collecting the best teen books. It was interesting how much the Reading Rants list both echoed popular titles from the year (The Diviners, The Fault in Our Stars, and Ask the Passengers) and included things that were not included anywhere else (Wild by Cheryl Strayed, Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne).
- The Goodreads Choice Awards are based on votes by readers; according to GoodReads 1,156,852 votes were cast. Books for teens were divided into Young Adult Fiction and Young Adult Fantasy categories. I included the top twenty titles of each here, the first page of results for each list.
- TIME Magazine‘s Top Ten Fiction Books included two young adult titles: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne Valente. It was interesting that this list did not group books into age categories.
- Amazon.com’s Editor’s Picks Best Books of 2012 for Teens included 20 titles, while Barnes & Noble’s Best Teen Books of 2012, selected by booksellers, included 30 titles, the longest list I included in this Wordle.
For more analysis of the best teen books of 2012, including some great graphs, check out Kelly Jensen’s post 2012 Best of Lists by the Numbers.
– Erin Daly, who loved Days of Blood & Starlight so much that she is feeling wistful and indecisive about which one of the Morris Nominees to start for the Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge
— Erin Daly