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)


Author: Meyer, Marissa. Publisher: Macmillian/Feiwel & Friends, 2012.

Cyborg Cinder, a mechanic in the chaotic street market of New Beijing, threatened by disease and aliens, meets Prince Kai when he brings a beloved robot in for repair.

Fire in the Streets

Author: Magoon, Kekla. Publisher: Aladdin, 2012.

Maxie's attachment to the Black Panthers in Chicago in the late sixties gradually confronts some of the other constants in her life, but she knows it's her only way to make a powerful difference in the world.

Froi of the Exiles: The Lumatere Chronicles

Author: Marchetta, Melina. Publisher: Candlewick Press, 2011.

Three years after Finnikin of the Rock completed his journey back to Lumatere, young Froi is sent away from Lumatere on a journey of his own.

Never Fall Down

Author: McCormick, Patricia. Publisher: Harper Collins/Balzar + Bray, 2012

Arn is taken from his home by the Khmer Rouge and forced to become a child soldier. What will he do to survive?

The Peculiars

Author: McQuerry, Maureen Doyle. Publisher: Abrams/Amulet Books, 2012.

Lena, left destitute on her way to the frontier, is recruited as a spy, infiltrates the library and home of a wealthy recluse, and discovers genocide may be coming.


Author: McDonald, Ian. Publisher: Prometheus Books/PYR, 2011.

Convinced his Dad was kidnapped, Everett uses his computer expertise, his soccer skills and his math knowledge to try to go after him—even as far as into another universe.

Promise the Night

Author: MacColl, Michaela. Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2012.

Famous aviator, Beryl Markham’s childhood in Kenya with racehorses, lions, and the Nandi neighbors at a time when white women were expected to be ladies and Beryl is anything but.

Second Chance Summer

Author: Matson, Morgan. Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012.

Taylor’s family is spending one last summer together at their house on the lake, which means she can’t run away from the people she hurt five summers before.


Author: Marillier, Juliet. Publisher: Knopf Book for Young Readers, 2012.

Frightened of being made a king’s hostage if her powers are known, Neryn must decide whether  or not to trust  taciturn mysterious Flint who has won her in a bet.

The Silence of Murder

Author: Mackall, Dandi. Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, 2011.

An 18- year old, autistic boy has been put on trial for murder. Only one person thinks he’s innocent. Did he do it? What really happened that night?