SLJ’s Best Books for Teens 2016

best-books-2016The editors of School Library Journal have announced their picks for the Best Books of 2016, including YA Fiction, Nonfiction and Adult Books 4 Teens. Check out the lists below for featured titles — books already in the library collection link to our catalog; the others are on their way!


Ashes (The Seeds of America Trilogy, Book 3) by Laurie Halse Anderson — As the Revolutionary War rages on, Isabel and Curzon are reported as runaways, and the awful Bellingham is determined to track them down.

The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry — In mid-thirteenth century Provence, Dolssa de Stigata is a fervently religious girl who feels the call to preach, condemned by the Inquisition as an “unnatural woman,” and hunted by the Dominican Friar Lucien who fears a resurgence of the Albigensian heresy.

The Reader by Traci Chee — Set in a world where reading is unheard of, Sefia makes use of a mysterious object to track down who kidnapped her aunt Nin and what really happened the night her father was murdered.

The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle — Teenaged Quinn, an aspiring screenwriter, copes with his sister’s death while his best friend forces him back out into the world to face his reality.

The Lie Tree by Francis Hardinge — On an island off the south coast of Victorian England, fourteen-year-old Faith investigates the mysterious death of her father, who was involved in a scandal, and discovers a tree that feeds upon lies and gives those who eat its fruit visions of truth.

We Are The Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson — Abducted by aliens periodically throughout his youth, Henry Denton is informed by his erstwhile captors that they will end the world in 144 days unless he stops them by deciding that humanity is worth saving.

Still Life With Tornado by A.S. King — A talented 16-year-old artist slowly discovers the history of domestic violence behind why her brother left the family years earlier and why she suddenly cannot make art.

Character, Driven by David Lubar — In his last year of high school, seventeen-year-old virgin Cliff Sparks has to figure out what to do with his life, including how to meet new girl Jillian and how to deal with old issues with his unemployed father.

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis — Three years after her sister’s murderer walked free and Alex Craft skillfully achieves her vengeance without detection, she begins to form a friendship with the preacher’s daughter and draws the attention of popular Jack Fisher, until the dark side of Alex finds its way out.

Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina — During the summer of 1977 when New York City is besieged by arson, a massive blackout, and a serial killer named Son of Sam, seventeen-year-old Nora must also face her family’s financial woes, her father’s absence, and her brother’s growing violence.

Asking For It by Louise O’Neill —  A powerful story about the devastating effects of rape and public shaming, told through the awful experience of a young woman whose life is changed forever by an act of violence.

Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys — As World War II draws to a close, refugees try to escape the war’s final dangers, only to find themselves aboard a ship with a target on its hull

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, Book 1) by Neil Shusterman — In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed by professional reapers called scythes. Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, Book 4) by Maggie Stiefvater — Not believing in true love, Blue never thought the warning that she will cause her true love’s death would be a problem, but as her life is entangled in the world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley — Agoraphobic sixteen-year-old Solomon has not left his house in three years, but Lisa is determined to change that–and to write a scholarship-winning essay based on the results.


Sabotage: The Mission To Destroy Hitler’s Atomic Bomb by Neal Bascomb — Bascomb delivers another nail-biting work of nonfiction for young adults in this incredible true story of spies and survival.

Vietnam: A History of the War by Russell Freedman — An account of the Vietnam War describing how it began, why it was so difficult to end, and how its tragic legacy endures today.

Bubonic Panic: When Plague Invaded America by Gail Jarrow — Acclaimed author and scientific expert Gail Jarrow brings the history of a medical mystery to life in vivid and exciting detail for young readers, including photographs and drawings, a glossary, a timeline, further resources, an author’s note, and source notes.

March: Book Three by John Lewis & Andrew Aydin with art by Nate Powell — In this stunning conclusion to the March trilogy, Congressman John Lewis, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement, joins co-writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell to bring the lessons of history to vivid life for a new generation, urgently relevant for today’s world.

The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century by Sarah Miller — In a compelling, linear narrative, Miller takes readers along as she investigates a brutal crime: the August 4, 1892 murders of wealthy and prominent Andrew and Abby Borden.

Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune by Pamela S. Turner — This real-life saga reads like a novel, but is the true story of Minamoto Yoshitsune, the greatest samurai in Japanese history, whose daring feats and impossible bravery earned him immortality.

Adult Books 4 Teens


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