Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2022) Nominations Round-Up, Spring

Each quarter, the Selected Lists teams compile the titles that have been officially nominated to date. These books have been suggested by the team or through the title suggestion form, read by multiple members of the team, and received approval to be designated an official nomination. At the end of the year, the final list of nominations and each Selected List’s Top Ten will be chosen from these titles.

The Awakening of Malcolm X. By Ilyasah Shabazz and Tiffany D. Jackson. Macmillan/Farrar, Straus & Giroux Books for Young Readers. $17.99 (9780374313296). 

While serving a sentence in Charlestown Prison, Malcolm Little is introduced to the teachings of Islam and begins to correspond with Elijah Mohammad. As he struggles to process his anger and his past, he begins to solidify his beliefs and become the man known as Malcolm X. 

Concrete Rose. By Angie Thomas. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. $19.99 (9780062846716).  

Black teen Maverick Carter tries to stay on the periphery of the King Lords gang in Garden Heights. After becoming a teen dad, he finds it even more difficult to stay on the right side of the law and support his family, too. 

A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow. By Laura Taylor Namey. 2020. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum Books for Young Readers. $18.99 (9781534471245).

Grief-stricken by her abuela’s death and breakups with her BFF and boyfriend, Lila Reyes travels from sunny Miami to gloomy old England for a change of scenery. Cuban spices, British baking, and a cute boy soon have Lila questioning everything she thought she knew and everything she thought she wanted.  

Fat Chance, Charlie Vega. By Crystal Maldonado. Holiday House. $18.99 (9780823447176). 

Meet Charlie Vega: half–Puerto Rican in a white Connecticut town, body-positive (or trying to be) despite her mother’s fat-shaming, best friend to the amazing Amelia, never been kissed.  Charlie is determined to find a way to be more than just the fat brown girl standing in Amelia’s perfect shadow.

Firekeeper’s Daughter. By Angeline Boulley. Macmillan/Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers. $18.99 (9781250766564). 

When tragedy strikes her close-knit community, eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine—the daughter of a white mother and an Ojibwe father—agrees to go undercover for a dangerous FBI investigation. What she finds cuts close to the bone, and Daunis has to draw on all her strengths to face the truth. 

The Gilded Ones. By Namina Forna. Penguin Random House/Delacorte Press. $18.99 (9781984848697).

When sixteen-year-old Deka’s blood runs gold during her “purity test,” she has two choices: submit to her fate as an outcast or agree to become one of the alaki—a group of near-immortal warriors trained to protect the emperor at any cost. 

The Girls I’ve Been. By Tess Sharpe. Penguin Random House/G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers. $18.99 (9780593353806). 

Nora is a white seventeen-year-old trying to have a normal life after escaping her con-artist mother. When she gets caught in a bank heist gone terribly wrong, she’ll have to use her skills from her past life to get herself and others out alive.

The Initial Insult. By Mindy McGinnis. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books. $17.99 (9780062982421). 

Tress has finally had enough of her exbest friend’s lies, and she is determined to find out what Felicity knows about Tress’s parents’ disappearance no matter what. Felicity has buried the memories, but it’s time to dig them up if she wants to stay alive in this Poe-inspired literary mashup. 

The Life I’m In. By Sharon Flake. Scholastic Press. $18.99 (9781338573176). 

Charlese Jones is angry, defiant, and grieving the loss of her parents when her sister turns her out of the only home she’s ever known. On her way to her grandparents, Char is lured into a human-trafficking web. She will need all her strength and determination to escape. 

Love in English. By Maria E. Andreu. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. $18.99 (9780062996510). 

When Ana immigrates to New Jersey from Argentina at sixteen, she has to grapple with a new country, new school, changed family dynamics, and two very different boys, all in a language in which she hasn’t achieved fluency.

Love is a Revolution. By Renée Watson. Bloomsbury. $18.99 (9781547600601). 

Nala Robertson, a Black teen living in Harlem, reluctantly accompanies her cousin Imani to a community open mic and immediately falls for the emcee, Tye. In Nala’s determination to impress, she tells some white lies to fit in with Imani and Tye’s crowd of activists.

One of the Good Ones. By Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite. Harlequin/Inkyard Press. $18.99 (9781335145802). 

When Black teen activist Kezi Smith is killed while in police custody, Kezi’s two sisters, girlfriend, and friend go on the graduation road trip Kezi planned before her death, using the Negro Motorist Green Book as inspiration.

The Project. By Courtney Summers. Macmillan/Wednesday Books. $18.99 (9781250105738). 

After an accident that seriously injures Lo and kills her parents, her sister Bea joins Lev Warren’s Unity Project. Lo has spent 6 years trying to prove that the Project is dangerous, but the closer she gets to its inner circle, the harder it is to tell reality from fiction. 

The Way Back. By Gavriel Savit. 2020. Penguin Random House/Knopf Books for Young Readers. $18.99 (9781984894625). 

Two separate losses drive Yehuda Leib and Bluma further and further away from their home and closer to each other. Their separate dealings with the Angel of Death may cost them their livesor may finally lead them home. 

Who I Was with Her. By Nita Tyndall. 2020. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. $17.99 (9780062978387). 

Corinne has kept her sexuality and her girlfriend Maggie a secret from everyone she knows, so she is forced to grieve alone when Maggie suddenly dies. Corinne finds solace in talking to Elissa, Maggie’s ex, but things get complicated when they become increasingly drawn to each other.

Want to suggest a title? The  Title Suggestion Form is open!

Want a printable version of this round-up? Download the Spring nominations round-up.