2012 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults

The Young Adult Library Services Association released the 2012 list of the Best Fiction Books For Young Adults this week. 211 books were nominated — 112 made the cut. I won’t use this space to list all of them — the full list is available here — but here are the top 10:

  • Carson, Rae. The Girl of Fire and Thorns. HarperCollins Publishers/Greenwillow Books. A fearful sixteen-year-old princess discovers her heroic destiny after being married off to the king of a neighboring country in turmoil and pursued by enemies seething with dark magic.
  • Cohen, Joshua C. Leverage. Penguin Group USA/Dutton Juvenile. High school sophomore Danny excels at gymnastics but is bullied, like the rest of the gymnasts, by members of the football team, until an emotionally and physically scarred new student joins the football team and forms an unlikely friendship with Danny.
  • King, A.S. Everybody Sees the Ants. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Overburdened by his parents’ bickering and a bully’s attacks, fifteen-year-old Lucky Linderman begins dreaming of being with his grandfather, who went missing during the Vietnam War, but during a visit to Arizona, his aunt and uncle and their beautiful neighbor, Ginny, help him find a new perspective.
  • McCall, Guadalupe Garcia. Under the Mesquite. Lee & Low Books. Throughout her high school years, as her mother battles cancer, Lupita takes on more responsibility for her house and seven younger siblings, while finding refuge in acting and writing poetry.
  • Myracle, Lauren. Shine. Abrams/Amulet Books. When her best friend falls victim to a vicious hate crime, sixteen-year-old Cat sets out to discover the culprits in her small North Carolina town.
  • Ness, Patrick. A Monster Calls. Illus by Jim Kay.  Candlewick Press. Thirteen-year-old Conor awakens one night to find a monster outside his bedroom window, but not the one from the recurring nightmare that began when his mother became ill–an ancient, wild creature that wants him to face truth and loss.
  • Sepetys, Ruta. Between Shades of Gray. Penguin Group/Philomel Books. In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina, her mother, and brother are pulled from their Lithuanian home by Soviet guards and sent to Siberia, where her father is sentenced to death in a prison camp while she fights for her life, vowing to honor her family and the thousands like hers by burying her story in a jar on Lithuanian soil. Based on the author’s family.
  • Stiefvater, Maggie. The Scorpio Races. Scholastic Incorporated/Scholastic Press. Nineteen-year-old returning champion Sean Kendrick competes against Puck Connolly, the first girl ever to ride in the annual Scorpio Races, both trying to keep hold of their dangerous water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.
  • Taylor, Laini. Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Seventeen-year-old Karou, a lovely, enigmatic art student in a Prague boarding school, carries a sketchbook of hideous, frightening monsters–the chimaerae who form the only family she has ever known.
  • Zarr, Sara. How to Save a Life. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Told from their own viewpoints, seventeen-year-old Jill, in grief over the loss of her father, and Mandy, nearly nineteen, are thrown together when Jill’s mother agrees to adopt Mandy’s unborn child but nothing turns out as they had anticipated.

So for this year, among the 10 best books, we have 1 historical fiction novel, 2 fantasy works, 2 books dealing with the supernatural and 5 of what I call “issue novels”. And all of them are available at CA Library!

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