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)

A Confusion of Princes

Author: Nix, Garth. Publisher: Harper Collins, 2012.

When Prince Khemri comes of age, he finds he has a lot to learn about the intergalactic empire he serves. This is the story of his first three deaths.

The False Prince

Author: Nielsen, Jennifer. Publisher: Scholastic, 2012.

The ambitious Conner hand-picks four orphans with the intention of selecting one to pose as the lost Prince Jaron, heir to the throne of Carthya, then taking the kingship for himself.

The Ghost of Graylock

Author: Poblocki, Dan. Publisher: Scholastic, 2012.

Be warned sometimes things follow you home.

No Crystal Stair: A Novel in Documents, Based on the Life and Work, of Lewis Micheaux, Harlem Bookseller

Author: Nelson, Vaunda Micheaux. Publisher: Lerner/Carolrhoda Lab, 2012.

Lewis will do whatever people tell him he can't which surprisingly turns the young thief into someone nobody ever expected, particularly the white banker who told him "Negros don't read."

October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

Author: Newman, Leslea. Publisher: Candlewick, 2012.

In 1998, Matthew Shepard was robbed, beaten and left to die tied to a fence in a field in Wyoming. The events surrounding his death are told through various forms of poetry and from varying points of view.


Author: Pearce, Jackson. Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, 2012.

Shelby promised her dying mother three things: listen to her father, love as much as possible, and live without restraint. What happens when promise one runs up against promises two and three?


Author: Mieville, China. Publisher: Random House/Del Ray, 2012.

Sham Yes ap Soorap, a lousy doctors assistant aboard the Medes, has been given a dream to look at but may never see. The unending space of where the railsea ends and where angels may roam, is a legend, and it's the place Sham wants to go.  Captain Naphi, however, has other plans. She is after the great white moldywarpe, Mocker-Jocker, and will stop at nothing to capture it.

The Storyteller

Author: Michaelis, Antonia. Publisher: Abrams/Amulet Books, 2012.

Anna falls in love not only with Abel, the boy she has a crush on, but also the fairy tale he tells his younger sister. When people in the story actually turn up dead, Anna has to choose between love and the right thing.

Such Wicked Intent: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein Book Two

Author: Oppel, Kenneth. Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012.

Try as he might, Victor cannot swear off the two great temptations in his life: the power over life and death offered by the Dark Sciences, and his love for his brother's fiancé.

The Vanishing Game

Author: Myers, Kate Kae. Publisher: Bloomsbury, 2012.

Still grieving the loss of her brother, Jocelyn unexpectedly receives a letter from him, a letter that sends her on a hunt through her past.