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)

Ask the Passengers

Author: King, A.S. Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, 2012.

Astrid, who just moved from the big city to a small town, must discover her way in life, her sexuality and, most importantly, herself.

The Disenchantments

Author: LaCour, Nina. Publisher: Penguin/Dutton, 2012.

Colby and his friends' band, The Disenchantments, go touring for a week right after graduation. Will they use this time to figure out what's next in their lives?


Author: Kontis, Alethea. Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Harcourt Children’s Books, 2012.

Sunday’s child may be able to find her story with the help of ….a frog.

Grave Mercy

Author: LaFevers, Robin. Publisher: Houghton Mifflin, 2012.

Ismae, a daughter of death and trained by the convent as an assassin, is assigned to assist Duval, the bastard brother of her ruler in this alternate medieval history novel.

In Darkness

Author: Lake, Nick. Publisher: Bloomsbury, 2012.

Trapped in darkness on Haiti hundreds of years apart, the lives of gangster Shorty and slave rebellion leader Toussaint l'Ouverture are intertwined as Shorty tries to survive the 2010 earthquake.


Author: Kincaid, S.J. Publisher: HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books, 2012.

Tom is great at one thing: gaming.  He’s given the chance to make something of himself in the military and he jumps at it.  Can he beat the best the enemy has?

Island of Thieves

Author: Lacey, Josh. Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Young Children, 2012.

An unexpected adventure with Uncle Harvey will leave Tom's life changed forever..That is if they can make it out alive!

Keeping the Castle

Author: Kindl, Patrice. Publisher: Penguin/Viking, 2012.

The only way Althea can hope to keep the family home, Crawley Castle, is to marry a rich man.  She must vie for the affections of too few men with her older step-sisters and the mysterious Miss Vincy.

Personal Effects

Author: Kokie, E.M. Publisher: Candlewick, 2012.

Matt's brother has died fighting for his country, and now Matt has the remnants of his brother’s personal belongings. In looking through these items, Matt discovers a side of his brother he never knew.

See You At Harry’s

Author: Knowles, Jo. Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2012.

Harry’s, the restaurant owned by 12 year old Fern’s family, has always centered them but when tragedy takes Charlie, her sticky, smelly, younger brother, nothing will ever be the same.