Who Doesn’t Love a Good List?: Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults
Now that the dust is beginning to settle after this yearâ€™s exciting 2014 Youth Media Awards, we can start to dive into some of the other meaty hard work that committees finalize during ALA Midwinter: the YALSA Selected Book & Media Lists. I am one of those people that absolutely love a list. I like to see what I have read (gloat), what I have on hand to read (a little more gloating), and what I have overlooked (panic). I know, you just raised your hand with a â€œme too!â€ We tend to run in packs. And like me, it is hard not to see each list as a challenge, moving all those unread titles to the top of our to-read lists.
Leading up to the awards we have all the review journals best-of lists of the recent year and a slew of predictions of which books will walk away from January with shiny new medals. This is always great talk that highlights the past yearâ€™s cream of the crop. Still, after each year wraps up, I have to wonder, â€œwhich of these titles are going to stand the test of time? What are going to become teen favorites with some staying power?â€
That is why I always look forward to seeing what will be on the â€œPopular Paperbacksâ€ list, because these are the lists that I know are going to be teen favorites, and mostly already are. I know that these will appeal to a wider reading audience than some of the actual award winners, and will be what I use most with in my work with teens at my library. Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults (PPYA) booklists and Top Teen are so valuable because:
- These are the books that appeal to readers of all levels– struggling, reluctant and voracious.
- These are the books that help build a lifelong love of reading.
- These are the lists I want to share with friends and co-workers who arenâ€™t necessarily immersed in the YA publishing world. Theyâ€™re a great way to get started.
With each yearâ€™s new lists of particular themes or genres, I take time to review past PPYA lists to be reminded of gems on former yearâ€™s themes. When themes get updated, like this years GLBTQ list, it is exciting to see how much new quality work has come out as it builds on previous listsâ€™ fantastic and vetted titles.
In 2011 PPYA started doing a Top Ten from the amalgamation of the yearâ€™s lists, and as you do your Hub Reading Challenge, you are going to want to fill in your gaps with some of these titles as I know, like me, there are titles you are asking yourself, â€œYeah, why havenâ€™t I read that one already?â€
Enjoy these lists. Use these lists. These are some of the best of whatâ€™s out there from the last few years, and theyâ€™re titles youâ€™ll have fun with– because these are the titles that are really about reading for pleasure.
-Danielle Jones,Â currently reading Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith