Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2023) Featured Review of Answers in the Pages by David Levithan

Answers in the Pages by David Levithan
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 10, 2022
ISBN: 9780593484685

Three different storylines intertwine to reveal the importance of stories, representation, and standing up for the right to read. The story opens from the perspective of Donovan who is reading a book titled, The Adventurers for school. His mom reads the last sentence of the book and goes on to challenge the title in front of the school board based on her presumption that the book contains LGBTQIA+ themes. This storyline is intersected with actual excerpts from The Adventurers, as well as the story of Gideon, a boy who is experiencing new feelings towards a boy who just moved to his school.

Answers in the Pages is a timely and important conversation starter about the dangers of censorship. Levithan brings nuance to this conversation through the use of these three perspectives, with Gideon’s voice shining through as being the most powerful and compelling.

Fans of Levithan’s previous YA and middle grade titles will definitely enjoy this story. Read this one alongside Ban This Book by Alan Gratz, which is an equally important book about standing up for the freedom to read.

Nicole Johnson

Other Nominated Titles:

  • Hopepunk by Preston Norton
  • Icebreaker by A.L. Graziadei
  • The Red Palace by June Hur

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination. 

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.