Best Fiction for Young Adults

About the Best Fiction for Young Adults The books, recommended for ages 12-18, meet the criteria of both good quality literature and appealing reading for teens. The list comprises a wide range of genres and styles, including contemporary realistic fiction, fantasy, horror, science fiction and novels in verse.

YALSA's Best Fiction for Young Adults (BFYA) Committee evolved from a committee established under the School Libraries Section of ALA, which was charged with producing a list of 1930s "Best Books for Young People."  The committee has undergone several changes of focus and names over the years, including the Book Selection Committee (1954), and later the Committee for the Selection of Significant Adult Books for Young People (1963). It became the Best Books for Young Adults Committee (BBYA) in 1966. As publishing for the young adult market grew exponentially (over 2,000 titles per year in 2008) and seven other YALSA selection and award lists for young adults were created since its inception, Best Books for Young Adults was restructured and named Best Fiction for Young Adults by the YALSA Board of Directors at the midwinter meeting in 2010.  

Administered by:

Young Adult Library Services Association logo

2013 Selection(s)

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children

Author: Cronn-Millis, Kristin. Publisher: Flux, 2012.

Everyone knows the A side of the record but it’s time for everyone to know the B side.


Author: Cashore, Kristin. Publisher: Penguin/Dial, 2012.

Katsa saved her life, but now Bitterblue has to save her kingdom

The Dark Unwinding

Author: Cameron, Sharon. Publisher: Scholastic, 2012.

Sent to prove her uncle insane, Katherine discovers another windup world.


Author: Carey, Janet Lee. Publisher: Penguin/Dial, 2012.

Tess has endured a lot in her short life. She has witnessed an execution, watched her siblings die, been accused of witchcraft and tortured. She’s now escaped to begin a magical adventure that could bring three races together for the common good.

Graffiti Moon

Author: Crowley, Cath. Publisher: Random House/Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2012.

Lucy has a crush on Shadow, a local graffiti artist. Little does she know that Shadow may be closer to her than she thinks.

Kill Me Softly

Author: Cross, Sarah. Publisher: Egmont, 2012.

Your life is a fairy tale. That doesn’t mean it’s happily ever after.

Love & Haight

Author: Carlton, Susan. Publisher: Henry Holt and Company, 2012.

Chloe and MJ are spending their Christmas vacation in San Francisco. While MJ is looking for a good time, Chloe is looking for an abortion, but in 1971, abortions, while legal, aren't easy to find.

The Pledge

Author: Derting, Kimberly. Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2011.

Charlie knows that she is different.  In a world where each class system had their own language, she can understand them all.  What happens when people figure out her secret?

Something Like Normal.

Author: Doller, Trish. Publisher: Bloomsbury, 2012.

Travis, a young Marine, deals with life at home after his best friend is killed in Afghanistan.

The Wicked and the Just

Author: Coats, Jillian Anderson. Publisher: Harcourt/Houghton Mifflin, 2012.

In the late thirteenth century, Cecily practices a haughty style as befits a lady of the manor in occupied Wales where her father has landed them in search of cheap land. Gwinny, the servant is not about to accede to these upstart English who she knows are simply tyrants to the Welsh who used to rule their own lives.