2012 Best Fiction for Young Adults

Each year, YALSA presents the Best Fiction for Young Adults list after ALA's Midwinter Meeting. This year’s list of 112 books was drawn from 211 official nominations. 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, historical fiction and novels in verse.

In addition to the full list, the Best Fiction for Young Adults committee also created a Top Ten list of titles from the final list, denoted here by an asterisk.

“The members of the Best Fiction for Young Adults committee worked countless hours, reading, discussing and finally selecting the 2012 list.  Many members of the committee read more than 400 books over the past year, searching for the best titles for teens,”said Chair Patti Tjomsland.  “The resulting list represents exceptional teen literature from a variety of genres that will appeal to teen readers.”

The members of the Best Fiction for Young Adults Committee are: Patti Tjomsland, Chair, Mark Morris High School, Longview, Wash.; Jennifer Barnes, Malden (Mass.) Public Library; Carol A. Edwards, Denver Public Library; Debbie Fisher, Central Falls (R.I.) High School; Michael L. Fleming, Pacific Cascade Middle School Library, Issaquah, Wash.; Clio Hathaway, Hayward (Calif.) Public Library; Diana Tixier Herald, Genrefluent.com, Glade Park, Colo.; Janet Hilbun, University of North Texas Department of Library and Information Science, Denton; Alissa Lauzon, Haverhill (Mass.) Public Library; Shelly McNerney, Blue Valley West High School, Overland Park, Kan.; Stacey McCracken, W.F. West High School, Chehalis, Wash.; Shilo Pearson, Chicago Public Library; Judith E. Rodgers, Wayzata Central Middle School, Plymouth, Minn.; Ted Schelvan, Chief Umtuch Middle School, Battle Ground, Wash.; Gillian Engberg, Booklist consultant, Chicago; and Carol Steen, administrative assistant, Columbia Valley Gardens, Longview, Wash.

Abel-Fattah, Randa. Where the Streets had a Name. Scholastic Incorporated/Scholastic Press, 2010; ISBN 13: 978-0545172929; $17.99.
Hayaat believes soil from her ancestral homeland may save her dying grandmother. But, retrieving it requires a dangerous, illegal crossing of the wall dividing Jerusalem’s West Bank.

Aguirre, Ann. Enclave. Feiwel & Friends, 2011; 978-0312650087; $16.99.
Freak Hunters Deuce and Fade are exiled from their underground enclave, and face even greater dangers above ground.

Almond, David. My Name is Mina. Random House Children’s Books/Delacorte Press, 2011; 978-0385740739; $15.99.
Through the process of writing in her journal, Mina, a misfit, discovers herself.

Altebrando, Tara. Dreamland Social Club. Penguin Group/Dutton Juvenile, 2011; 978-0525423256; $16.99.
Jane adjusts to her new home on Coney Island and rediscovers memories of her mother, who grew up there, by spending time with fun, quirky friends.

Bauer, Joan. Close to Famous. Penguin Group/Viking Juvenile, 2011; 978-0670012824; $16.99.
Foster has a big secret: she can’t read. But with the help of a retired movie star, she overcomes her struggles and wins over hearts with her exceptional baked goods.

Beam, Chris. I am J. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011; 978-0316053617; $16.99.
Transgender J, a genetically assigned female, struggles against family, friends, and body to become the man that he really is.

Billingsley, Franny. Chime. Penguin Group/Dial Books, 2011; 978-0803735521; $17.99.
In a complex alternate universe, Briony thinks she has committed murder. Puzzling out the truth involves her sister and a new love.

Black, Holly. Red Glove. Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing /Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2011; 978-14424033980; $17.99.
Cassel’s adjustment to being a curse worker is hindered by his unusual family of cons, an unpredictable mother, a girlfriend who is the mob bosses’ daughter, and the FBI agents who are on his trail.

Blake, Kendare. Anna Dressed in Blood. Thomas Doherty Associates/Tor Teen, 2011; 978-0765328656; $17.99.
Moving from town-to-town, Cas slays murderous ghosts, seeking revenge for the death of his father. Along the way, he meets Anna’s ghost, and discovers new insights into the complexities of ghosts.

Blundell, Judy. Strings Attached. Scholastic Incorporated, 2011; 978-0545221269; $17.99.
After breaking up with her boyfriend, Kit flees to Broadway for a role in a musical. When the musical closes, her ex-boyfriend’s father gets her a job with dangerous strings attached.

Bondoux, Anne-Laure. A Time of Miracles. Random House Children’s Books/Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2010; 978-0385739221; $17.99.
Blaise, an orphaned teen, recounts his attempts to escape the war torn Caucasus region and gain French citizenship. In moments of despair, storytelling revives his passion for survival.

Booth, Coe. Bronxwood. Scholastic Incorporated/Push, 2011; 978-0439925341; $17.99.
Tyrell has a lot on his plate: his dad’s out of jail, he needs to find equipment for a DJ-ing gig, and he has two potential love interests in Jasmine and Adonna.

Bray, Libba. Beauty Queens. Scholastic Incorporated, 2011; 978-0439895972; $18.99.
When an airplane full of teenage beauty queens crashes on a remote island, the surviving girls are forced to push themselves to the limits in order to survive.

Brezenoff, Steve. Brooklyn, Burning. Lerner Publishing Group/Carolrhoda Lab, 2011; 978-0761375265; $17.95.
This story follows Kid for two summers of pain, loss, music and love, as Kid makes the streets of Brooklyn, NY, into a home.

Brooks, Martha. Queen of Hearts. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011; 978-0374342296; $17.99.
Marie-Claire, a young Canadian woman, along with several of her family members, are diagnosed with tuberculosis and sent to a sanatorium in 1940.

Brown, Jennifer. Bitter End. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011; 978-0316086950; $17.99.
Alex has fallen head over heels for Cole, the charming and sweet new boy at school. Cole’s love, however, comes with dangerous consequences. 

Bunce, Elizabeth C.  Liar’s Moon. Scholastic Incorporated /Arthur A. Levine, 2011; 978-0545136082; $17.99.
Digger finds her magical skills useful when she is commissioned to solve the mystery behind the murder of her friend’s wife. But can she do it without losing her heart?

Caletti, Deb. Stay. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing/Simon Pulse, 2011; 978-1442403734; $16.99.
To escape her obsessive ex-boyfriend, Clara and her father spend the summer in a small beach town, where new relationships change their lives.

*Carson, Rae. The Girl of Fire and Thorns. HarperCollins Publishers/Greenwillow Books, 2011; 978-0062026484; $17.99.
After being kidnapped, Princess Elisa, bearer of the Godstone, and secret wife of a king, is forced to hike across a desert and ends up in a horrific war.

Castle, Jennifer. The Beginning of After. HarperCollins Publishers/HarperTeen, 2011; 978-0061985799; $17.99.
When her family is killed in an accident, Laurel must find a way to deal with the aftermath and begin her life anew.

Chayil, Eishes. Hush. Walker and Company, 2010; 978-0802720887; $16.99.
After many years, Gittel finally knows why her friend, Devory, took her own life yet when Devory tries to tell, her ultra-conservative Jewish community won’t listen.

Chow, Cara. Bitter Melon. Egmont USA, 2011; 978-1606841266; $16.99.
Destined for an outstanding university and medical career, Frances rebels against her Chinese “tiger mom” by taking speech instead of calculus and discovers a talent for speaking up.

Clement-Moore, Rosemary. Texas Gothic. Random House Children’s Books/Delacorte Press, 2011; 978-03853736930; $17.99.
Amy, the “sensible” one in a paranormal family, finds her normalcy challenged by an attractive boy, dead bodies, goats, the ghost of Mad Monk, and a feud with her neighbors.

*Cohen, Joshua C. Leverage. Penguin Group USA/Dutton Juvenile, 2011; 978-0525423065; $17.99.
An unlikely friendship between a stuttering, emotionally shattered, talented football player and a short, competitive gymnast, creates a bond that may help them stand up to three football bullies.

Cooper, Michelle. The FitzOsbornes in Exile. Random House Children’s Books/Alfred A. Knopf, 2011; 978-0375858659; $17.99.
As Hitler begins his conquest of Europe, the FitzOsborne royals try to save their home while caught up in London’s social scene.

Cross, Gillian. Where I Belong. Holiday House, 2011; 978-08234323323; $17.95.
Khadj leaves Somalia for England to live with Abdi’s family, in order to work and send money home to her family. But her modeling job for a famous designer leads to danger.

de la Pena, Matt. I Will Save You. Random House Children's Books/Delacorte, 2010; 978-0385738279; $16.99.
Kidd’s life is getting back on track at the beach, after time spent in a group home, but then Devon is back to cause his usual trouble.

Dessen, Sarah. What Happened to Goodbye. Penguin Group/ Viking Juvenile, 2011; 978-0670012947; $19.99.
Since her parent’s divorce, McLean has moved frequently. In each new town, she puts on a different persona, but in Lakeview, she discovers an urge to be herself—whoever that is.

DeStefano, Lauren. Wither. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 2011; 978-1442409057; $17.99.
In a future where a girl’s life expectancy is twenty, sixteen-year-old Rhine is sold into a life of luxury as a “sister wife,” but her only desire is freedom.

Deuker, Carl. Payback Time. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2010; 978-0547279817; $16.00.
Student sports reporter Mitch investigates his football coach on suspicion of corruption in order to determine why the best athlete at his high school does nothing but stand on the sidelines.

Dixon, Heather. Entwined. HarperCollins Publishers/Greenwillow Books, 2011; 978-0062001030; $17.99.
After their mother’s death, Azalea and her eleven younger sisters discover a secret passage to a forbidden, enchanted pavilion and find neglecting the rules has a price.

Dowell, Frances O'Roark. Ten Miles Past Normal. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing /Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2011; 978-1416995852; $16.99.
Tenth grade is a challenge for Janie who wants to be normal, and not known as “Stink Girl” for the goat manure on her shoes, or for her mom who blogs about their alternate lifestyle.

Downham, Jenny. You Against Me. Random House Children's Books/David Fickling Books, 2011; 978-0385751605; $16.99.
When Mikey's sister is raped by Ellie's brother, he vows to get even by pretending to be interested in Ellie, who only wants to protect her brother. Instead, they fall in love.

Edwardson, Debby Dahl. My Name is Not Easy. Marshall Cavendish, 2011; 978-0376147598054; $17.99.
Alaskan Inupiaq young people are forced to forsake their families and culture for a harsh parochial boarding school hundreds of miles away.

Fisher, Catherine. The Dark City. Penguin Group/Dial Books, 2011; 978-0803736733; $16.99.
Relic Master Galen and his apprentice Raffi must travel to the ruined city of Tasceron to restore Galen's powers and find a powerful object to bring back the Old Order, which is under siege.

Forman, Gayle. Where She Went. Penguin Group/Dutton Juvenile, 2011; 978-0525422945; $16.99.
Three years after Mia left for New York, Adam is still reeling from her virtual disappearance when an accidental meeting brings them back together.

Freitas, Donna. The Survival Kit. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011; 978-0373399177; $16.99.
A paper bag filled with six objects pushes Rose past the grief over the death of her mother, which has caused her to withdraw from the world.

Friesner, Esther. Threads and Flames. Penguin Group/Viking Juvenile, 2010; 978-0670012459; $17.99.
Raisa left Poland to join her sister in America, but when she arrives Henda is nowhere to be found. To support herself, Raisa gets a job at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.

Gantos, Jack. Dead End in Norvelt. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011; 978-0374379933; $15.99.
Being grounded for the entire summer might be the best thing that could have happened to Jack and his blood-spurting nose.

Gier, Kerstin. Ruby Red. Henry Holt & Company, 2011; 978-0805092523; $16.99.
Gwenyth upsets her family when she inherits the time traveling gene instead of her cousin, Charlotte. Soon Gwenyth finds herself unexpectedly involved in mysterious, dangerous, and intriguing circumstances.

Goldberg Sloan, Holly. I’ll Be There. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011; 978-0316122795; $17.99.
Sam and Riddle Boarder move constantly with an unstable, criminal father, and all they have is each other until they meet Emily, a girl who recognizes their pain.

Goodman, Shawn. Something Like Hope. Random House Children’s Books/Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2010; 978-0385739399; $16.99.
After living for nearly a decade in foster homes and detention centers, Shavonne must face her past as she prepares to move out of the System on her 18th birthday.

Handler, Daniel; Why We Broke Up. Illus. by Maira Kalman. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011; 978-0316127257; $19.99.
After Min and Ed break up, she takes the box of memorabilia she has collected and writes Ed a letter about each item and its relationship to their breakup.

Hautman, Pete. The Big Crunch. Scholastic Incorporated/Scholastic Press. 2011; 978-0545240758; $17.99.
June wasn’t looking for love, until she literally crashed into Wes and found it.

Herback, Geoff. Stupid Fast. Sourcebooks/Sourcebooks Fire, 2011; 978-1402256301; $9.99.
As football recruitment brings new friends, Felton tries to keep his mother’s depression, and his own insecurities, hidden.

Johnson, Maureen. The Last Little Blue Envelope. HarperCollins Publishers /HarperTeen, 2011; 978-0061976797; $16.99.
Months after Ginny was led around Europe by little blue envelopes from her deceased aunt, a mysterious guy contacts her: he has the last envelope.

Johnson, Maureen. The Name of the Star. Penguin Group/Putnam Juvenile, 2011; 978-0399256608; $16.99.
Rory's arrival at a boarding school in London coincides with a series of Jack the Ripper-type murders, and only Rory can see the murderer.

*King, A.S.  Everybody Sees the Ants. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011; 978-0316129282; $17.99.
Lucky faces a bully, meets a girl, and tries to bring his POW/MIA grandfather home from meetings that take place in his dreams as he struggles to find himself.

Kirby, Matthew J. Icefall. Scholastic Incorporated/Scholastic Press, 2011; 978-0545274241; $17.99.
Solveig and her siblings, including the young Viking heir, must take refuge in a hidden fortress; however, in spite of Berserker guards, they may not be safe.

Kittredge, Caitlin.  The Iron Thorn. Random House Children’s Books/Delacorte Press, 2011; 978-0385738293; $17.99.
A coded message sends Aoife, the only female student in a steampunk engineering academy, on a dangerous quest for her mad brother.

Knowles, Jo.  Pearl.  Henry Holt & Company, 2011; 978-08050892073; $16.99.
After Pearl’s grandfather dies, a multitude of family secrets are revealed that threaten to change everything – even her relationship with her best, and only, friend Henry.

Leavitt, Lindsey. Sean Griswold’s Head. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2011; 978-1599904986; $16.99.
In order to avoid thinking about her dad’s multiple sclerosis, Payton picks an object to focus on instead: the head of the boy in front of her in class. The problem is, she starts to fall for him.

Lo, Malinda. Huntress. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011; 978-0316040075; $17.99.
A small group undertakes a desperate quest on behalf of the Fairy Queen that could save the world—but may destroy them in the process.

Lu, Marie. Legend. Penguin Group/Putnam Juvenile, 2011; 978-0399256752; $17.99.
June is hunting Day, the outlaw she believes is responsible for her brother’s death. What will happen when the two meet and discover the government is corrupt?

Marchetta, Melina. The Piper’s Son. Candlewick Press, 2011; 978-0763647582; $17.99.|
Two years after Tom’s grief-stricken behaviors alienated his friends and family he acknowledges he needs support, but his friendships may be irreparably damaged.

Marcus, Kimberly. Exposed. Random House Children’s Books, 2011; 978-0375966954; $16.99.
Liz and Kate have been best friends for years, but when Kate accuses Liz's brother of raping her, Liz finds that losing a friend--and remaining loyal to your family-- can be difficult.

Martinez, Jessica. Virtuosity. Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing/Simon Pulse, 2011; 978-1442420526; $16.99.
Carmen’s passion in life is the violin and her main competitor at a major competition is the infuriating, yet compelling, Jeremy. She begins to wonder—is there more to life than being the best?

*McCall, Guadalupe Garcia. Under the Mesquite. Lee & Low Books, 2011; 978-1600604294; $17.95.
When Lupita’s mother is diagnosed with cancer, the whole family shifts, bringing big changes for this tight-knit Mexican-American family.

McMann, Lisa. Cryer's Cross. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing/Simon Pulse, 2011; 978-1416994817; $16.99.
When two classmates disappear without explanation, Kendall knows that she is the only one who can find them.

Meloy, Maile. The Apothecary. Penguin Group/Putnam Juvenile, 2011; 978-0399256271; $16.99.
When Janie’s family moves to London in 1952, she makes friends with Benjamin and they become involved in saving England with the help of a bit of magic.

Mullin, Mike. Ashfall. Tanglewood, 2011; 978-1933718552; $16.95.
After a super volcano erupts under Yellowstone, Alex, who has been left home alone for the weekend, treks through the ash and snow covered terrain to find his family.

*Myracle, Lauren. Shine. Abrams/Amulet Books, 2011; 978-0810984172; $16.95.
When Cat's friend is brutally beaten in a hate crime, Cat feels driven to find out the truth about the assault and the attackers.

Nelson, Blake.  Recovery Road. Scholastic Incorporated/Scholastic Press, 2011; 978-0545107297; $17.99.
Maddie struggles in rehab until she meets Stewart and falls in love. It’s only when they get out of rehab and into the real world that the true challenges begin.

*Ness, Patrick.  A Monster Calls. Illus. by Jim Kay. Candlewick Press, 2011; 978-0763655594; $16.99.
The monster comes for Conor just after midnight, again and again. That is, until he’s ready to share how he feels about his mom’s cancer.

Neumeier, Rachel. The Floating Islands. Random House Children’s Books/Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2011; 978-0375847059; $16.99.
Trei longs to join the Kajuraihi, the floating island defenders with wings powered by dragon magic, while Araene’s secret aspirations to become a chef are thwarted by society’s restrictions on women.

O’Brien, Caragh. Prized. Roaring Brook Press, 2011; 978-1596435704; $16.99.
The leadership in Sylum is threatened by Gaia and attempts to control her by systematically separating her from everyone she loves, including her infant sister and boyfriend Leon.

O’Neal, Eilis. The False Princess. Egmont, 2011; 978-1606840795; $16.99.
After Sinda learns she is a stand-in for the real princess, she uncovers treachery and betrayal are at work to overthrow the crown—and decides she must intervene.

Ockler, Sarah. Fixing Delilah. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2010; 978-0316052092; $16.99.
After her estranged grandmother’s death, Delilah, her mother and aunt sort through the estate, while also working on their relationships.

Okorafor, Nnedi.  Akata Witch. Penguin Group/Viking, 2011; 978-0670011964; $17.99.
American-born Sunny, who lives in Nigeria, is an athlete but, being albino, can only play at night. She is a misfit until she discovers soul mates, juju, and latent magical powers.

Oliver, Lauren. Delirium. HarperCollins Publishers, 2011; 978-0061726828; $17.99.
Deadly armor deliria nervosa has been eliminated with a surgical cure. But, as disturbing details about loveless life are revealed, Lena wonders if the cure is really safer than infection.

Oppel, Kenneth.  This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2011; 978-1442403154; $17.99.
Fifteen-year-old Victor Frankenstein stops at nothing to save his ailing twin, helping create the Elixir of Life from a formula found in a hidden library of forbidden texts.

Ostlere, Cathy.  Karma, A Novel in Verse. Penguin Group/RazorBill, 2011. 978-1595143389; $18.99.
While taking her mother’s ashes back to India, Maya gets separated from her father during an uprising and must find her way back to him.

Perera, Anna. Guantanamo Boy. Albert Whitman & Company, 2011; 978-0807530771; $17.99.
While visiting family in Pakistan, 15-year-old Khalid Ahmed is captured, imprisoned and tortured at Guantanamo Bay prison after being falsely accused of being a terrorist.

Pérez, Ashley Hope. What Can(t) Wait. Lerner Publishing Group/CarolrhodaLAB, 2011; 978-0761361558; $17.95.
Seventeen-year-old Mexican-American Marisa has dreams of going away to college and becoming an engineer, but family issues make it a difficult challenge.

Perkins, Stephanie. Anna and the French Kiss. Penguin Group/Dutton Juvenile, 2010; 978-0525423270; $16.99.
Anna can’t believe her father is sending her away to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year of high school. She’s infuriated... until she meets Etienne St. Clair.

Perkins, Stephanie. Lola and the Boy Next Door. Penguin Group/Dutton Juvenile, 2011; 978-0525423287; $16.99.
Two years ago Lola’s neighbor, Cricket, broke her heart and then moved away. Now he’s back, but she’s moved on with rock-band boyfriend, Max… right?

Porter, Tracey. Lark. HarperCollins Publishers/HarperTeen, 2011; 978-0061122873; $15.99.
Lark is attacked and left to die tied to a tree. Her image appears to friends, pleading for someone to listen to her story, in order to save her spirit.

Powers, J. L. This Thing Called the Future. Cinco Puntos Press, 2011; 978-1933693958; $16.95.
Khosi navigates her future in a post-apartheid South African shantytown where folk medicine competes with traditional medicine, older men lure teenage girls, and witches might still exist.

Price, Charlie. Desert Angel. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011; 978-0374317751; $15.99.
Angel knows that her mom’s old boyfriend is a hunter and determined to kill her, and her need to survive unwittingly puts those trying to save her at risk.

Riggs, Ransom. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Quirk Books, 2011; 978-1594744761; $17.99.
Trailed by a menacing shadow, Jacob tumbles into a time loop and discovers the peculiar children of his grandfather’s childhood.

Reedy, Trent. Words in the Dust. Scholastic Incorporated/Arthur A. Levine Books, 2011; 978-0545261258; $17.99.
Zulaikha, an Afghani girl with a cleft palate, is ridiculed for her looks, but her pre-determined future could change with the arrival of American military.

Reeve, Philip.  A Web of Air. Scholastic Incorporated, 2011; 978-0545222167; $17.99.|
Using her knowledge of electricity, Fever Crumb escapes London with a traveling theater company. She meets Arlo Thursday and they join forces to build a flying machine.

Resau, Laura & Maria Virginia Farinango.  Queen of Water. Random House Children’s Books/Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2011; 978-0385738972; $16.99.
As a small child, Ecuadorian Virginia is sent off to work as an unpaid nanny and maid in the home of a wealthy couple. Based on a true story of one woman’s struggles and triumphs.

Riordan, Rick. The Lost Hero. Disney Book Group/Hyperion Press, 2010; 978-1423113393; $18.99.
Jason, Piper and Leo discover they are the half-blood children of the Greek gods and embark on a quest to rescue Hera from her captors.

Roth, Veronica. Divergent. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books, 2011; 978-0062024022; $17.99.
Beatrice lives in a society where people are divided into five factions that determine work, lifestyle, and even friendships. Unusual results on her faction aptitude tests place her in danger.

Sales, Leila. Past Perfect. Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing/Simon Pulse, 2011; 978-1442406827; $16.99.
Chelsea reluctantly returns to work at the Colonial re-enactment park with her ex-boyfriend Ezra. Also, she’s treasonously falling for a Civil War re-enactor in the annual prank war between the two parks.

Schmidt, Gary. Okay for Now. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Clarion Books, 2011; 978-0547152608; $16.99.
After discovering Audubon’s original paintings in a folio at the library, Doug sets off on a quest to restore the missing pages to the book.

Sedgwick, Marcus. White Crow. Roaring Brook Press, 2011; 978-1596435940; $15.99.
Rebecca meets Ferelith in Winterfold, a town being inexorably eaten by the sea. They explore a haunted mansion on the cliffs, where dastardly experiments on the afterlife were done years ago.

Selznick, Brian. Wonderstruck. Scholastic Incorporated /Scholastic Press, 2011; 978-054527892; $29.99.
Alternating between dramatic wording and stunning pictures, Wonderstruck chronicles the journeys of Ben and Rose, fifty years apart, both searching for the missing pieces to their surprisingly connected lives.

*Sepetys, Ruta. Between Shades of Gray. Penguin Group/Philomel Books, 2011; 978-0399254123; $17.99.
In 1941, Lina and her family are taken from their home in Lithuania and sent to Siberia where, despite horrific conditions, Lina maintains hope that she will survive.

Sharenow, Robert. The Berlin Boxing Club. HarperCollins Publishers /HarperTeen, 2011; 978-0061579684; $17.99.
In 1934, Karl’s Jewishness has never been an issue, but suddenly it is. Offered the opportunity to train under a champion, Karl grabs it and boxing becomes his refuge.

Silvey, Craig. Jasper Jones. Random House/Alfred A. Knopf, 2011; 978-0375866661; $16.99.
Charlie’s life in an Australian small town is turned upside down when Jasper Jones knocks on his bedroom window late one night and asks for help disposing of a body.

Smith, Andrew. Stick. Feiwel and Friends, 2011; 978-0312613419; $17.99.
Stick and his brother Bosten must lean on each other to survive their abusive family, until Bosten is kicked out and must survive on his own.

*Stiefvater, Maggie. The Scorpio Races. Scholastic Incorporated/Scholastic Press, 2011; 978-0545224901; $17.99.
Sean and Puck fall in love when each is desperate to win the Scorpio Races, when wild meat eating water horses race on the beach.

*Taylor, Laini. Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Little, Brown, Books for Young Readers, 2011. 978-0316134026; $18.99.
Karu questions how she came to be raised by the chimaera Brimstone. When she meets the seraph Akiva, events unfold that could answer her questions—but at great cost.

Thompson, Holly. Orchards. Random House Children’s Books/Delacorte Press, 2011; 978-0385739771; $17.99.
After a classmate’s unexpected death, bi-racial Kana Goldberg is sent to her family’s farm in Japan to reflect on her participation in events that led up to the suicide.

Valente, Catherynne M. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. Feiwel & Friends, 2011; 978-0312649616; $16.99.
September is excited, puzzled, confused and thrilled on her quest through Fairyland.

Van Allsberg, Chris, ed. The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: Fourteen Amazing Authors Tell the Tales. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2011; 978-0547548104; $24.99.
The mysterious illustrations introduced in Allsberg’s 1984 collection, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, are reprinted and accompanied by equally haunting and mysterious stories crafted by some of today’s top writers.

Van Draanen, Wendelin. The Running Dream. Random House Children’s Books/Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2011; 978-0375866678; $16.99.
After a school bus accident, high school runner Jessica has her leg amputated below the knee. She must gather all of her reserves to put her life back together.

Venkatraman, Padma. Island’s End. Penguin Group/Putnam Juvenile, 2011; 978-0399250996; $16.99.
Unexpectedly chosen as the spiritual leader of her island tribe, Uido takes on the challenge of protecting her people from the strangers who keep landing on their island.

Vernick, Shirley Reva. The Blood Lie. Cinco Puntos Press, 2011; 978-1933693842; $15.95.
On his sixteenth birthday, Jack Pool realizes a lie he didn't tell could be deadly.

Wallace, Jason. Out of Shadows. Holiday House, 2011; 978-0823423422; $17.95.
The Rhodesian Bush War is over but Robert, who has just arrived from the U.K., discovers that, for his privileged classmates, the war goes on.

Warman, Jessica. Between. Walker & Company, 2011; 978-0802721822; $17.99.
Following a night of partying on her family’s boat, Liz is awakened by a loud, thumping noise-- her body hitting the side of the boat.

Whaley, John Corey. Where Things Come Back. Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing/Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2011; 978-1442413337; $16.99.
Cullen’s tired of small-town life, and expects to spend the summer before his senior year with friends fighting off boredom and dreaming of girls—then his younger brother disappears.

Williams, Carol Lynch. Miles from Ordinary. St. Martin’s Press/St. Martin’s Griffin, 2011; 978-0312555122; $16.99.
When her troubled mother disappears, an isolated Lacey frantically searches for her, while facing the terrors of her mother’s delusions.

Williams, Michael. Now is the Time for Running. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011; 978-0316077903; $17.99.
As Zimbabwe disintegrates under its new leadership, Deo’s village is brutally attacked and he can only save Innocent, his brother who is mentally delayed.

Wolf, Allan. The Watch that Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic. Candlewick Press, 2011; 978-0763637033; $21.99.
Experience this fateful historic event from the point-of-view of twenty-four passengers who couldn’t have imagined that their “unsinkable” ship would collide with an iceberg.

Wynne-Jones, Tim. Blink and Caution. Candlewick Press, 2011; 978-0763639839; $16.99.
Homeless teens Blink and Caution become entangled in a blackmail scheme gone wrong and their survival depends on confronting both current threats and the painful secrets of their pasts.

Yee, Lisa. Warp Speed. Scholastic Incorporated/Arthur A. Levine Books, 2011; 978-0545122764; $16.99.
Marley and his AV geek friends avoid the bullies while arguing the merits of Star Wars versus Star Trek.

Young, Moira. Blood Red Road. Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing/Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2011; 978-1442429987; $17.99.
As a pit fighter, Saba must constantly fight to save herself, and seeks allies to help rescue her pesky little sister and her twin brother.

Yovanoff, Brenna. The Space Between. Penguin Group/Razorbill, 2011; 978-1595143396; $17.99.
When her brother Obie disappears, Daphne, a half-demon, half fallen-angel, goes to Earth to find him and enlists the help of the boy she believes last saw him alive.

*Zarr, Sara. How to Save a Life. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2011; 978-0316036061; $17.99.
Jill, who is grieving the death of her father, is appalled that her mother is adopting a baby and giving the pregnant mother, Mandy, a home… but Mandy’s got a story of her own.