2021 Best Fiction for Young Adults

2021 BFYA Top Ten

The 2021 Best Fiction for Young Adults list is now available!

The full list consists of 85 titles selected from 124 official nominations, which were posted and discussed in blog posts on The Hub. From that list, and after receiving teen feedback during a virtual session in early January, the team created a short list of the top ten titles.

In addition to the full list, the blogging team chose the following titles as its top ten titles:

  • Be Not Far from Me by Mindy McGinnis. Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins. 2020. $18.99. ISBN: 9780062561626.
  • Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. Swoon Reads/Macmillan. 2020. $17.99. ISBN: 9781250250469.
  • Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo. HarperTeen/HarperCollins. 2020. $18.99. ISBN: 9780062882769.
  • Deeplight by Frances Hardinge. Amulet Books/ABRAMS. 2020. $19.99. ISBN: 9781419743207.
  • Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson. Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins. 2020. $17.99. ISBN: 9780062840356.
  • More Than Just a Pretty Face by Syed M. Masood. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Hachette. 2020. $17.99. ISBN: 9780316492355.
  • Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko. Amulet Books/ABRAMS. 2020. $18.99. ISBN: 9781419739828.
  • This Is My America by Kim Johnson. Random House Books for Young Readers. 2020. $17.99. ISBN: 9780593118764.
  • We Are Not from Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez. Philomel Books/Penguin Random House. 2020. $18.99. ISBN: 9781984812261.
  • What I Carry by Jennifer Longo. Random House Books for Young Readers. 2020. $17.99. ISBN: 9780553537710.

The suggestion form for the 2022 Best Fiction for Young Adults list is open. If you’d like to suggest a title to the blogging team for consideration as a nominee, please fill out the form.

A very big thank you goes out to the members of the Best Fiction for Young Adults Blogging Team for all the hard work, time, and effort they put into creating the list. The members are: Coordinator, Allie Stevens, Calhoun County Library, Hampton, AR; Heather Christensen, Portales High School Library, Portales, NM; Michael Fleming, Juanita High School Library, Kirkland, WA; Laura Giunta, Garden City Public Library, Garden City, NY; Stephanie Johnson, Union County Public Library, Monroe, NC; Amanda Kordeliski, Norman Public Schools, Norman, OK; Lisa Krok, Morley Library, Cleveland, OH; Jodi Kruse, R.A. Long High School Library, Longview, WA; Shelbie Marks, Del City Library (Metropolitan Library System), Oklahoma City, OK; Kali Olson, The Blake School, Minneapolis, MN; Karen Stevens, Somerville Public Library, Somerville, MA; Andrea Vernola, Kalamazoo Public Library, Kalamazoo, MI; and Emily Walker, Lisle Library District, Lisle, IL.

We’d also like to give a special thank you to all the teens who participated in the teen feedback session. Thank you!

What to Do After Your Debut? Keep Writing, Of Course!

The 2021 Morris Award Finalists (shown above) were announced in December, and the winner will be revealed at the ALA Youth Media Awards on January 25. First granted in 2009, the William C. Morris YA Debut Award recognizes the most impressive debut published in Young Adult Literature each year.

With more than a decade of winners to look back on, let’s see which of our former debuts are still impressing readers today.

2010’s Morris Award went to L. K. Madigan’s Flash Burnout. Tragically, the author passed away just a year after receiving the award. The rest of the finalists from that year, however, have continued to contribute to YA in significant ways, perhaps none more notably that Nina LaCour, who went on to win the 2018 Printz Award for We Are Okay. LaCour’s latest novel, Watch Over Me, has been nominated for the 2021 Best Fiction for Young Adults Selected List.

In fact, several names on the 2021 BFYA nominations list were originally finalists for the Morris Award, including 2015’s Jessie Ann Foley, 2016’s Anna-Marie McLemore, 2018’s Nic Stone, and David Yoon in 2020.

Last year’s winner, Ben Phillippe, has been nominated. Both the winner of the 2019 Morris Award and one of its finalists have companion books that were nominated — Adib Khorram with Darius the Great Deserves Better and Tomi Adeyemi with Children of Virtue and Vengeance. And Becky Albertalli, the winner in 2016, is enjoying praise this year for Yes No Maybe So, cowritten with Aisha Saeed.

What about books out in 2021? Morris Award recipients have those, too!

Just released is Concrete Rose, 2018 Morris Award winner Angie Thomas’s follow up to The Hate U Give.

And out in August is In the Wild Light from 2017 Morris Award winner Jeff Zentner.

In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner

The moral of the story is this: no matter which finalist is chosen in 2021, we will look forward to reading them for years to come.

2021 Great Graphic Novels for Teens

2021 Great Graphic Novels Top Ten

The 2021 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list is now available!

The list consists of 126 titles selected from 145 official nominations, which were posted and discussed in blog posts on The Hub. The books, recommended for those aged 12-18, meet the criteria of both good quality literature and appealing reading for teens. View the full list.

In addition to the full list, the blogging team chose the following titles as its top ten:

  • Almost American Girl by Robin Ha. Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins. 2020. $12.99. ISBN: 9780062685094.
  • Blue Flag by Kaito. 
    • Vol. 1. VIZ Media. 2020. $12.99. ISBN: 9781974713011. 
    • Vol. 2. VIZ Media. 2020. $12.99. ISBN: 9781974713028. 
    • Vol. 3. VIZ Media. 2020. $12.99. ISBN: 9781974713035. 
    • Vol. 4. VIZ Media. 2020. $12.99. ISBN: 9781974713042. 
    • Vol. 5. VIZ Media. 2020. $12.99. ISBN: 9781974713059. 
  • Fights: One Boy’s Triumph Over Violence by Joel Christian Gill. Oni Press. 2020. $19.99. ISBN: 9781549303357. 
  • Go With the Flow by Karen Schneemann, art by Lily Williams. First Second / Macmillan. 2020. $21.99. ISBN: 9781250305725.
  • Guantánamo Voices: True Accounts from the World’s Most Infamous Prison by Sarah Mirk, art by Gerardo Alba, Kasia Babis, Alex Beguez, Tracy Chahwan, Nomi Kane, et al. Abrams ComicsArts / Abrams Books. 2020. $24.99. ISBN: 9781419746901. 
  • The Low, Low Woods by Carmen Maria Machado, art by DaNi. Hill House Comics / DC Comics. 2020. $22.99. ISBN: 9781779504524. 
  • The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen. Random House Graphic / Penguin Random House. 2020. $16.99. ISBN: 9780593125298. 
  • Snapdragon by Kat Leyh. First Second / Macmillan. 2020. $12.99. ISBN: 9781250171115. 
  • Superman Smashes the Klan by Gene Luen Yang, art by Gurihiru. DC Comics. 2020. $16.99. ISBN: 9781779504210. 
  • Wonder Twins by Mark Russell, art by Stephen Byrne.
    • Vol. 1: Activate! Wonder Comics / DC Comics. 2019. $16.99. ISBN: 9781401294649. 
    • Vol. 2: The Rise and Fall of the Wonder Twins. Wonder Comics / DC Comics. 2020. $16.99. ISBN: 9781779501790. 

The suggestion form for the 2022 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list is open. If you’d like to suggest a title to the blogging team for consideration as a nominee, please fill out the form.

YALSA’s portfolio of book and media awards helps strengthen library services for and with teens by identifying quality, age-appropriate resources for librarians and library workers to share with the teens in their communities. Learn more about YALSA’s other book and media lists here.

A huge thank you goes out to the members of the 2021 Great Graphic Novels for Teens Blogging Team for all the great work they put into curating this list. The members are:

Crystal Chen, coordinator, The New York Public Library, Bronx, NY
Erin Durrett, Clinton-Macomb Public Library, Clinton Township, MI
Denise Farley, Dekalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA
Traci Glass, Lincoln City Libraries, Lincoln, NE
Thea Hashagen, Mill Valley Public Library, Mill Valley, CA
Kacy Helwick, New Orleans Public Library, New Orleans, LA
Tina H. Lerno, Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, CA
Matisse Mozer, Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, CA
Mike Pawuk, Cuyahoga County Public Library, South Euclid, OH
Christine Pyles, Euclid Public Library, Euclid, OH
Celeste Rhoads, The American Library in Paris, Paris, France
Shaira Rock, Elmhurst Public Library, Elmhurst, IL
Becky Standal, Longview Public Library, Longview, WA
Isaiah West, Prince George’s County Memorial Library System, Largo, MD

2021 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers

2021 Quick Picks Top Ten

The 2021 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list is now available!

The list of 64 titles is drawn from 81 official nominations, which were posted and discussed in blog posts on The Hub. The list identifies titles aimed at encouraging reading among teens who dislike to read. View the full list.

In addition to the full list, the blogging team chose the following titles as its top ten:

  • Be Not Far From Me by Mindy McGinnis. Katherine Tegen Books. 2020. $18.99. ISBN: 9780062561626.
  • Found by Joseph Bruchac. 7th Generation. 2020. $9.95. ISBN: 9781939053237.
  • Golden Arm by Carl Deuker. HMH Books for Young Readers. 2020. $17.99. ISBN: 9780358012429.
  • Heartstopper Vol. 1. by Alice Oseman. Graphix. 2020. $14.00. ISBN: 9781338617443.
  • Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel by Jason Reynolds. Illustrated by Danica Novgorodoff. Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books. 2020. $19.99. ISBN: 9781534444959.
  • The Loop by Ben Oliver. Chicken House. 2020. $18.99. ISBN: 9781338589306.
  • #NoEscape by Gretchen McNeil. Freeform. 2020. $17.99. ISBN: 9781368026260.
  • Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam. Blazer + Bray. 2020. $18.99. ISBN: 9780062996480.
  • Snapdragon by Kat Leyh. First Second Books. 2020. $12.99. ISBN: 9781250171115. ISBN: 9781250171115.
  • You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson. Scholastic. 2020. $17.99. ISBN: 9781338503265.

The suggestion form for the 2022 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list is open. If you’d like to suggest a title to the blogging team for consideration as a nominee, please fill out the form.

YALSA’s portfolio of book and media awards helps strengthen library services for and with teens by identifying quality, age-appropriate resources for librarians and library workers to share with the teens in their communities. Learn more about YALSA’s other book and media lists here.

A huge thank you goes out to the members of the 2021 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Blogging Team for all the great work they put into curating this list. The members are:

Coordinator Molly Dettmann, Norman North High School, Norman, OK
Megan Baird, Main Library-Yuma County Library District, Yuma, AZ
Kathleen J. Barker, History UnErased, Plymouth, MI
Sarah Carnahan, Pulaski Academy, Little Rock, AR
Barbara Dinan, Plymouth District Library, Plymouth, MI
Elizabeth Giles, Kansas City Public Library, MO
Aimee Haslam, Washington County Public Library, Abingdon, VA
Marie LeJeune, Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR
Jessica Levy, Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, CA
Kat Reynolds, University of Southern California, South Pasadena, CA
Maryjean Riou, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ 
Lorraine Roussin, San Antonio ISD, San Antonio, TX
Jennifer Sutton, Lake Park High School-East Campus, Roselle, IL
Jade Valenzuela, Albuquerque Academy, Albuquerque, NM
Emily Williams, Metropolitan Library System, Oklahoma City, OK
Administrative assistant Dana Hutchins, Jackson Middle School, San Antonio, TX

2021 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults

2021 Amazing Audiobooks Top Ten

The 2021 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults list is now available!

The list consists of 81 titles selected from 149 official nominations, which were posted and discussed in blog posts on The Hub. The list is aimed towards young adults aged 12-18 and is drawn from the previous year of spoken-word releases. The committee listened to over 400 titles this year in their quest to choose a myriad of audiobooks that would appeal to all subsects of the teen audience. View the full list.

In addition to the full list, the blogging team chose the following titles as its top ten:

  • Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas, read by Avi Roque, Macmillan Audio, 2020. 13 hours, 47 minutes. DD, 9781250619129. 
  • Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo, read by Melania-Luisa Marte and Elizabeth Acevedo. Quill Tree Books, 2020. 5 hours, 32 minutes. DD, 9780063011816.
  • A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, Book 1 by Holly Jackson, read by Bailey Carr, Melissa Calin, Michael Crouch, Gopal Divan, Robert Fass, Kevin R. Free, Sean Patrick Hopkins, Carol Monda, Patricia Santomasso, Shezi Sardar and Amanda Thickpenny. Listening Library, 2020. 10 hours, 53 minutes. LD, 9780593155264. 
  • Kent State by Deborah Wiles, read by Christopher Gebauer, Lauren Ezzo, Christina DeLaine, Johnny Heller, Roger Wayne, Korey Jackson, and David de Vries. Scholastic Audio, 2020.1 hour, 58 minutes.  DD, 9781338636352.
  • Legendborn by Tracy Deonn, read by Joniece Abbott-Pratt. Simon & Schuster Audio, 2020.18 hours, 54 minutes. DD, 9781797113463.
  • Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko, read by Joniece Abbott-Pratt. Blackstone Publishing, 2020. 13 hours, 48 minutes. DD, 9781094149226. 
  • The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep: Voices from the Donner Party by Allan Wolf, read by Bahni Turpin, Whitney Dykhouse, Teri Schnaubelt, Tim Gerard Reynolds, Lauren Ezzo, Eric G. Dove, Ramón de Ocampo, and Shaun Taylor-Corbett. Candlewick on Brilliance Audio, 2020. 9 hours, 54 minutes. CD, 9781713547969. 
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-Winning Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi, read by Jason Reynolds and introduction by Ibram X. Kendi. Little, Brown Young Readers, 2020. 4 hours, 11 minutes. DD, 9781549184253. 
  • We Are Not Free by Traci Chee, read by Scott Keiji Takeda, Dan Woren, Ryan Potter, Ali Fumiko, Sophie Oda, Andrew Kishino, Christopher Naoki Lee, Grace Rolek, Erika Aishii, Brittany Ishibashi, Kurt Sanchez Kanazawa and Terry Kitagawa. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020. 10 hours and 26 minutes.  DD, 9780358343561. 
  • When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed, read by Full Cast. Listening Library, 2020. 3 hours, 42 minutes. LD, 9780593162590.

The suggestion form for the 2022 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults list is open. If you’d like to suggest a title to the blogging team for consideration as a nominee, please fill out the form.

YALSA’s portfolio of book and media awards helps strengthen library services for and with teens by identifying quality, age-appropriate resources for librarians and library workers to share with the teens in their communities. Learn more about YALSA’s other book and media lists here.

A huge thanks goes out to the members of the 2021 Amazing Audiobooks Blogging Team for all the wonderful work they put into curating this list. The members are: Coordinator Danielle Jones (she/her), Multnomah County Library, Portland, Oregon
Rachel Adams (she/her), King County Library System, Issaquah, Washington
Emily Blaeser (she/her), Meinders Community Library, Pipestone, Minnesota
Jaimie Crawford (she/her), Loudoun County Public Library, Sterling, Virginia
Candace Fox (she/her), Cleveland, Ohio
Annie Jansen (she/her), Penn State Brandywine Vairo Library, Media, Pennsylvania
Gina Kromhout (she/her), Avon Lake Public Library, Avon Lake, Ohio
Kristin Kern (she/her), St. Charles City-County Library, St. Charles, Missouri
Natalie LaRocque (she/her), Palatine Public Library District, Palatine, Illinois
Heather Murfee (she/her),  Midlothian Library, Midlothian, Virginia
Cathy Outten (she/her), California State University, Long Beach, California
Allison Suzanne Riendeau (she/her) Sharon Public Library, Sharon, Massachusetts
Beth A. Slade (she/her), Twinsburg Public Library, Twinsburg, Ohio
Kiera O’Shea Vargas (she/her), EPIPHANY, LLC, Nashville, Tennessee
Tara Williams (she/her), Washington County Public Schools, Abingdon, Virginia

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2021) Nominees Round Up, December 30 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Amazing Audiobooks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

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Raybearer by  Jordan Ifueko; Narrated by  Joniece Abbott-Pratt
Blackstone Publishing
Publication Date: August 18, 2020
ISBN: 978-1094149189

Tarisai has grown up living a privileged life surrounded by tutors, luxury, and protection in her realm, but she has never received love and closeness from anyone around her. She especially longs for attention from her mother, called The Lady. At 11 years old, Tarisai is sent to Oluwan City to compete for inclusion on Crown Prince Ekundayo’s governing Council of Eleven. If chosen, she will bond eternally with Prince Dayo and her Council siblings via a mystical Ray, and gain the human closeness she so craves. But Tarisai learns that before she was born, The Lady commanded a djinn to impregnate her with a child who must someday grant her third wish. Tarisai is that child. And The Lady’s third wish is to kill the prince Tarisai is now sworn to protect. 

Continue reading Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2021) Nominees Round Up, December 30 Edition

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2021) Nominees Round Up, December 16 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Amazing Audiobooks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

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We Are Not Free by Traci Chee; narrated by: Scott Keiji Takeda, Dan Woren, Ryan Potter, Ali Fumiko, Sophie Oda, Andrew Kishino, Christopher Naoki Lee, Grace Rolek, Erika Aishii, Brittany Ishibashi, Kurt Sanchez Kanazawa, and Terry Kitagawa
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release date: September 1, 2020
ISBN: 9780358343561

Fourteen Japanese American teens are cruelly taken from their San Francisco homes to  internment camps purportedly to protect the U.S. west coast from Japanese espionage or sabotage during World War II.  The Nissei’s stories start the same, but have many different outcomes as they make their choices and too many choices are made for them.

Continue reading Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2021) Nominees Round Up, December 16 Edition

2021 Morris Award Finalists Announced

YALSA has selected five books as finalists for the 2021 William C. Morris Award, which honors the year’s best books written for young adults by a previously unpublished author. YALSA will name the 2021 award winner virtually at the Youth Media Awards on January 25, 2021 during the American Library Association’s virtual Midwinter Meeting. Registration is open now through January 15, 2021.

The 2021 finalists are:

  • Black Girl Unlimited: The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard, written by Echo Brown, published by Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. 9781250309853.
  • The Black Kids, written by Christina Hammonds Reed, published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. 9781534462724. 
  • If These Wings Could Fly, written by Kyrie McCauley, published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. 9780062885029.
  • It Sounded Better in My Head, written by Nina Kenwood, published by Flatiron Books, Macmillan Publishers. 9781250219268.
  • Woven in Moonlight, written by Isabel Ibañez, published by Page Street Publishing. 9781624148019.

Annotations and more information on the finalists and the award can be found on the Morris Award page. Finalist seals are available for purchase by publishers and library staff to place on the finalist titles. Individuals can watch the Youth Media Awards live on January 25th at 8am CT online. For more information on YALSA’s William C. Morris Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit the Youth Media Awards web page.

Congrats to all the finalists and thank you to the 2021 Morris Award Committee for all the hard work, effort, and time they put into reading all submitted titles and selecting the finalists.

Members of the 2021 William C. Morris Award Committee are: chair Melissa Malanuk, Queens Borough Public Library, Jamaica, New York; Meaghan Darling, Sparta Public Library, Sparta, New Jersey; Laura Erwin, Bossard Memorial Library, Gallipolis, Ohio; Megan Garrett, Mid-Continent Public Library, Lee’s Summit, Missouri; Jamie M. Gregory, Christ Church Episcopal School, Moore, South Carolina; Lindsey Helfrich, Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento, California; Alicia Kalan, The Northwest School, Seattle, Washington; Carol Maples, Central High School, Pollok, Texas; and Ann Pechacek, Worthington Libraries, Worthington, Ohio.

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2021) Nominees Round Up, December 9 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Amazing Audiobooks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

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The Talk: Conversations About Race, Love & Truth edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson; Narrated by  Fajer Al-Kaisi, Feodor Chin, Gisela Chípe, Michael Crouch, Janina Edwards, James Fouhey, Renata Friedman, Catherine Ho, Nicole Lewis, Omar Leyva, Guy Lockard, Jesus E. Martinez, and Lisa Renee Pitts
Listening Library
Publication Date: August 11, 2020
ISBN: 978-0593121610

Through poetry, essays, lists, and letters, The Talk  gives 17 different conversations that delve into race, racism, identity, and self-esteem. Coming from a variety of experiences, which are often intergenerational and intersectional, this is a conversation starter for dissecting structural racism, moves to be more antiracist, and ways to be more inclusive with a focus on being affirming to listeners. 

Continue reading Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2021) Nominees Round Up, December 9 Edition

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2021) Nominees Round Up, December 7 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Amazing Audiobooks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

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A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow; Narrated by Andrea Laing and Jennifer Haralson
Macmillan Audio
Publication Date: June 2, 2020
ISBN: 978-1250755018

Tavia and Effie are best friends living their lives and trying to survive their junior year of high school. Set in a current-day Portland where magic and fantastic creatures are part of the norm, the girls each have secrets that could destroy their families and communities. Effie is running from literal demons in her past, finding solace in her seasonal Renaissance Fair performances as a mermaid. Tavia is hiding her powers as a siren, one of the most feared magical creatures, after a recent siren murder trial becomes national news. When Tavia lets her powers escape during a traffic stop, the girls’ carefully balanced lives begin to tumble. This book is part contemporary fiction, part black fantasy and part social justice. 

Continue reading Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2021) Nominees Round Up, December 7 Edition