Booklist Editors' Choice: Adult Books for Young Adults

About the Booklist Editors' Choice: Adult Books for Young Adults
Selected by the Books for Youth editors, the following titles comprise the year’s best personal reading for teenagers among adult books published in 2006. More on each book’s content and suggested audience can be found in the full-length Booklist review.

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2012 Selection(s)

The Age of Miracles

By Karen Thompson Walker. Random, $27 (9780812992977).

A coming-of-age story and a tale of a frightening possible future, this gem of a novel features 12-year-old Julia, who is living in a world that is coming to an end as the earth’s rotation gradually slows.

Alif the Unseen

By G. Willow Wilson. Grove, $25 (9780802120205).

More mystical than Cory Doctorow’s For the Win (2010), but for the same teen audience, this dervish of a novel features a young hacker-for-hire who becomes an enemy of the state after his computer program catches the eye of the iron-clad security presence known as the Hand.

The Book of Jonas

By Stephen Dau. Penguin/Blue Rider, $24.95 (9780399158452).

With its spare prose and nuanced plot, Dau’s debut vividly demonstrates the cost of war through 15-year-old Jonas, who moves from a conflict-ridden Middle Eastern country to Pittsburgh.

Edge of Dark Water

By Joe R. Lansdale. Little, Brown/Mulholland, $25.99 (9780316188432).

Set in the 1930s, this dark, fast-paced coming-of-age mystery follows teens Sue Ellen, Jinx, and Terry, who are transporting their friend and once-aspiring star May Lynn’s ashes from East Texas to Hollywood.


By Tupelo Hassman. Farrar, $24 (9780374162573).

Hassman’s inventive and utterly believable debut takes place in a 1980s Reno trailer park, where narrator Rory Dawn lives with her alcoholic and mentally ill mother and suffers abuse at the hands of inept babysitters

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty

By Joshilyn Jackson. Grand Central, $24.99 (9780446582353).

A mesmerizing tale of how an exposed family secret changes the lives of three generations of Slocumb women, including 30-year-old Liza, a former drug addict, and Liza’s gangly and awkward 15-year-old daughter, Mosey.


2012 Selection(s)

Fortress Europe: Dispatches from a Gated Continent

By Matthew Carr. New Press, $27.95 (9781595586858).

This stirring, authentic account of the refugee experience comes from Carr’s face-to-face interviews and passionate observation of current hot topics sure to spark debate, including human trafficking.

Muck City: Winning and Losing in Football’s Forgotten Town

By Bryan Mealer. illus. Crown Archetype, $25 (9780307888624).

Mealer spent the 2010 football season with the Red Raiders of Belle Glade, Florida, and the team’s head coach, NFL veteran Jessie Hester, in this Friday Night Lights–like story of triumph over adversity.

Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made

By Alan Eisenstock and others. St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne, $25.99 (9781250001474).

An inspiring portrait of a dream realized as a couple of kids decide to remake Raiders of the Lost Ark (while it was still in theaters in the early ’80s) with a borrowed camera, a cast of friends, and a commitment to accuracy.

This Is How: Proven to Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More, for Young and Old Alike

By Augusten Burroughs. St. Martin’s, $24.99 (9780312563554).

Teens will respond to Burroughs’ hip, witty tone in this self-help book that basically offers up three words of no-nonsense advice: Get over yourself.