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)

Bad Boy

Author: Jordan, Dream. Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, 2012.

Kate has been institutionalized her entire life, but things start to look up when she connects with a handsome stranger. But can she heed the warning signs of his abusive behavior?

Butterfly Clues

Author: Ellison, Kate. Publisher: Egmont, 2012.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is not all Lo must deal with when she accidentally witnesses a murder.


Author: Damico, Gina. Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group, 2012.

Who would have thought being a grim reaper could give you a life?

Don’t Turn Around

Author: Gagnon, Michelle. Publisher: HarperCollins, 2012.

Computer hackers Peter and Noa stumble across a conspiracy targeting runaway teens.

The Good Braider

Author: Farish, Terry. Publisher: Amazon Children’s Publishing, 2012.

This is a story of Viola's escape from the Sudan, her long and arduous journey to the U.S., and her struggle with the emotional effects that still linger. Upon arriving in the U.S. she struggles with trying to fit it while maintaining the traditions of her family. This story, told in verse, immerses the reader in the struggles that immigrants have to face while trying to build a new life for themselves but still trying to maintain the ideals of their cultures.

The Last Dragonslayer

Author: Fforde, Jasper. Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012.

With magic drying up, it's hard for a freelance magical agency to stay afloat, especially with the rumors and prophecies of the death of the last dragon.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Author: Danforth, Emily M. Publisher: HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, 2012. 9780062020567

Cameron explores her lesbian sexuality in small town Montana in the early 1990's, and is sent to God's Promise, a school to cure homosexual tendencies.

Monstrous Beauty

Author: Fama, Elizabeth. Publisher: Macmillian/Farrar Straus Giroux, 2012.

Syrenka, a vicious mermaid who's a victim of circumstance, and Hester, a modern day teen who's a victim of her family’s tragic past, have a lot more in common than they think.

My Life Next Door

Author: Fitzpatrick, Huntley. Publisher: Penguin/Dial Books, 2012.

Samantha was always curious about the large, boisterous family next door since her family is quiet and orderly.  One day, Jase, one of the boys, climbed up to her hidden perch. What happens next?


Author: Gaughen, A. C. Publisher: Walker & Co., 2012.

Scarlet, a spunky lady-thief, has made a home in Sherwood Forest with Robin Hood and his band of thieves, but a face from the past may put her forest life and people she loves in jeopardy.