2012 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults

YALSA's Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults is presented annually after the Midwinter Meeting. The 2012 list of 99 titles, drawn from 219 official nominations, is arranged by the following four topics:

Adventure Seekers: Discover Your Destiny; Accept the Challenge; Tights and Cape Not Required

Forbidden Romance: Oh so wrong, but oh so right.

Get Your Geek On: Talk nerdy to me.

Sticks and Stones: From cyberbullying to cold shoulders, it all hurts.

The committee also created a top ten list, denoted here by an asterisk.

 “Librarians are always looking for ways to reach teens and this years lists will given them more ways to do that.” said, Valerie Davis, committee chair. “In a time when bullying is such a serious threat, we have tried to provide resources to librarians who address this issue. We also provide lists of other topics important to teens.  So whether you are looking to embrace your inner geek, find romance or set off on an adventure, we have something for you. ”

Members of the Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults Committee are: Valerie Davis, chair, Campbell County Public Library, Newport, Ky.; Amber Creger, Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library; Franklin Escobedo, Oceanside (Calif.) Public Library; Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn Public Library, Cypress Hill Branch; Sarah B. Hill, Paris (Ill.) Cooperative High School; Jennifer H. Korn, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio; Ellen Loughran, Pratt Institute, New York; Kelly C. Metzger, Dedham (Mass.) Middle School; Elizabeth Schneider, Monrovia (Calif.) Public Library; Shanna Smith, Mesa County Public Library District, Grand Junction, Colo.; Mari.S. Smith, Cicero, Ill.; Sandy Sumner, Morehead (Ky.) State University; Kate Toebbe, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio; Sarah Townsend, Norfolk (Va.) Public Library; and Melanie Wachsmann, Lone Star College-CyFair Branch, Cypress, Texas.

Adventure Seekers

Discover Your Destiny; Accept the Challenge; Tights and Cape Not Required

Elizabeth Schneider, subcommittee chair
Amber Creger
Mari Smith
Franklin Escobedo
Jennifer Korn
Sandy Sumner
Ellen Loughran
Sarah Hill

Bray, Libba. Going Bovine. Delacorte Press. 2010. $9.99. 978-0385733984
It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad, Mad Cow world.

*Carroll, Michael. Super Human. Speak. 2010. $8.99. 978-0142419052
When the superheroes fall and all hope is gone, who are you gonna call?

Cashore, Kristin. Graceling. Graphia. 2008. $9.99. 978-0547258300
She has the ultimate power, the power to kill.

Chima, Cinda Williams. The Demon King: A Seven Realms Novel. Hyperion Books CH. 2010. $9.99. 978-1423121367
A thief and a princess share the same destiny.

Cohn, Rachel and David Levithan. Dash and Lily's Book of Dares. Ember. 2011. $8.99. 978-0375859557
Following each other's clues around NYC and into each other's hearts.

Fisher, Catherine. Incarceron. Dial/Firebird. 2011. $9.99. 978-0142418529
The prison you can’t escape is closer than you think.  

Flanagan, John. Ranger's Apprentice: Book One: The Ruins of Gorlan. Puffin. 2006. $7.99. 978-0142406632
Last chosen, first to succeed.

Headley, Justina Chen. North of Beautiful. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 2010. $8.99. 978-0316025065
Mapping the route to her soul.

MacHale, DJ. The Merchant of Death: Pendragon Series #1. Aladdin. 2002. $8.99. 978-0743437318
He must save a world to save his family.

Marchetta, Melina. Finnikin of the Rock. Candlewick. 2011. $9.99. 978-0763652920
Rally the people! Break the curse! Restore the royal family?

Matson, Morgan. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour. Simon & Schuster. 2011. $10.00. 978-1416990666
A cross-country road trip leads to unexpected adventures.

McClintock, Norah. Taken. Orca. 2009. $12.95. 978-1554691524
First you have to escape, then the struggle for survival begins.

Meyer, L.A. Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary Jacky" Faber. Graphia. 2010. $8.99. 978-0152050856
How long can she keep up her high seas masquerade?

Millar, Mark. Wolverine: Old Man Logan. Marvel. 2010. $29.99. 978-0785131724
Be nice to the old man next door, he may just be a super-hero in hiding.

*Moore, Perry. Hero. Hyperion. 2009. $8.99. 978-1423101963
In the closet, in more ways than one.

Paolini, Christopher. Eragon: The Inheritance Cycle. Knopf Books for Young Readers. 2005. $10.99. 978-0375826696
Can a boy and his dragon save the world?

Pierce, Tamora. Trickster’s Choice: Daughter of the Lioness, Book 1. Random House. 2003. $8.99. 978-0375828799
The stakes are high when you make a deal with a trickster god.

Polly, Matthew. American Shaolin: Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch: An Odyssey in the New China. Gotham. 2007. $16.00 978-1616798956|
Wimpy American seeks butt-kicking enlightenment in China.

Reeve, Philip. Fever Crumb. Scholastic. 2011. $8.99. 978-0545222150
The past drives the present in a future England.

Scott, Michael. The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. Delacorte Press. 2008. $8.99. 978-0385736008
Twins discover the secrets to alchemy and everlasting life.

Shulman, Polly. Grimm Legacy. Puffin. 2011. $7.99. 978-0142419045
What if you could check out seven league boots from your local library?

Smith, Roland. Peak. Harcourt. 2008. $6.95. 978-0152062682
A race to the top of the world.

Walden, Mark. H.I.V.E: The Overlord Protocol. Simon & Schuster. 2009. $7.99. 978-1416935742
It takes a villain to defeat a villain.

Waldorf, Heather. Tripping. Red Deer Press. 2009. $12.95. 978-0889954267
There’s more to surviving in the wilderness than starting a fire.

Zusak, Markus. I am the Messenger. Knopf Books for Young Readers. 2006. $10.99. 978-0375836671
Life dealt the cards, now Ed must decide how to play them.

Forbidden Romance

Oh so wrong, but oh so right.

Franklin Escobedo, subcommittee chair
Amber Creger
Mari Smith
Kate Toebbe
Sarah Townsend
Jennifer Korn
Valerie Davis
Shanna Smith

Adornetto, Alexandra. Halo. Square Fish. 2011. $9.99. 978-0312674366
Is love strong enough to stop hell on earth?

Booth, Coe. Kendra. Push. 2010. $8.99. 978-0439925372
A girl is only as good as the next bad boy.

Cohn, Rachel and David Levithan. Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List. Knopf Books for Young Readers. 2008. $8.99. 978-0375844416
She wants what he can’t give her.

Condie, Ally. Matched. Speak. 2011. $9.99. 978-0142419779
In a society that offers no choices, Cassie must make one.

Cremer, Andrea. Nightshade. Speak. 2011. $9.99. 978-0142419809
Will Calla forsake her pack for love.

Divine, L. Drama High: Second Chance. Kensington. 2006. $9.95. 978-0758216359
If Jayd is so fly then why is she kicking it with a white rich boy dealer?

Elkeles, Simone. Perfect Chemistry. Walker Books for Young Readers. 2008. $9.99. 978-080279822
Latino gang member + Prim and proper cheerleader = TNT

Godbersen, Anna. Bright Young Things. HarperCollins. 2011. $9.99. 978-0061962677

Bootleggers, babes, and the Big Apple.

Hino, Matsuri. Vampire Knight: Vol. 1 & 2. Viz Media. 2007. $8.99. 978-1421508221. 978-1421511306
She's supposed to protect her classmates from the vampires, not fall in love with one.

Hopkins, Ellen. Burned. McElderry. 2007. $10.99. 978-1416903550
Trapped by a faith *  Embraced by a new found love *  Happiness shattered 

Jordan, Sophie. Firelight. HarperCollins. 2010. $9.99. 978-0061935091
If you fall for a dragon you might get burned.

Katcher, Brian. Almost Perfect. Delacorte Press. 2009. $8.99. 978-0385736657
The girl of his dreams isn’t quite what she seems.

Korman, Gordan. Son of the Mob.        Hyperion Book CH. 2004. $7.99. 978-0786815937
Mob prince seeks FBI princess. Must enjoy romantic walks on the beach, candlight dinners, and the occasional body in the trunk.

Kulver, Cayla. Legacy. HarlequinTeen. 2011. $9.99. 978-0373210343
Enemies with benefits.

*Lindner, April. Jane. Poppy. 2011. $8.99. 978-0316084192
Jane Eyre gets a rock-and-roll make-over.

Meyer, Stephenie. Twilight. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 2008. $7.99. 978-0316038379
When the only one you want has a secret...he's a vampire.. 

Nelson, Jandy. The Sky is Everywhere. Speak. 2011. $8.99. 978-0142417805
Is it really so wrong to have the hots for your dead sister's boyfriend?

Nelson, RA. Teach Me. Razorbill. 2007. $8.99. 978-1595140852
Giving her teacher an education.

Perkins, Stephanie. Anna and the French Kiss. 2011. $8.99. 978-0142419403  
Forbidden liasons.

Ravel, Edeet. Held. Annick Press. 2011. $12.95. 978-1554512829
Captive falls for her captor.

Shusterman, Neal. Bruiser. HarperTeen. 2011. $8.99. 978-0061134104
His mystery might be more than Bronte can handle.

Scott, Elizabeth. The Unwritten Rule. Simon & Schuster. 2011. $9.99. 978-1416978923
She's in love with her best friend's boyfriend.

Simone, Ni-Ni. Shortie Like Mine. Dafina. 2008. $9.95. 978-0758228390
He's fine, he's popular, he's hot for you. But he’s not yours.

Tracey, Scott. Witch Eyes. Flux. 2011. $9.95. 978-0738725956
With eyes that see everything, will Branden see the danger in loving Trey?

*Tsang, Evonne. My Boyfriend is a Monster: I Love Him to Pieces. Lerner/Graphic Universe. 2011. $9.95. 978-0761370796
Is their clique-crossing romance the cause of the zombie apocalypse?

Get Your Geek On

Talk nerdy to me.

Melanie Wachsmann, subcommittee chair
Kelly Metzger  
Kate Toebbe 
Sarah Townsend  
Lisa Goldstein
Sandy Sumner
Ellen Loughran

Anderson, Laurie Halse. Twisted. Speak. 2008. $9.99.978-0142411841
Do muscles make the man?  

Bancks, Tristan. Mac Slater Hunts the Cool. Simon & Schuster. 2011. $6.99. 978-1416985754
Can the geeky inventor be cool enough to land a job as a professional trend-spotter?

Banks, Piper. Geek High. NAL Trade. 2007. $9.99. 978-0451222251
It’s not all about academics.

Beal, Susan. World of Geekcraft: Step-by-Step Instructions for 25 Super-Cool Craft Projects. Chronicle Books. 2011. $19.95. 978-0811874618
Crafts for the geek in all of us.

*Black, Holly and Cecil Castellucci (ed.) Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 2010. $8.99. 978-0316008105
Short stories for all the geeks and nerds out there.

Brande, Robin. Fat Cat. Ember. 2011. $9.99. 978-0440240334
Be your own science experiment.

Burton, Bonnie. The Star Wars Craft Book. Lucas Books. 2011. $20.00. 978-0345511164
May the force be with you and your crafty self.     

Chmakova,Svetlana. Dramacon Vol 1. TokyoPop. 2005. $9.99. 978-1598161298
What better place for love than an anime convention?

Dessen, Sarah. Along for the Ride. Penguin. 2011. $8.99. 978-0142415566
There is more to life than perfect grades.

Doyle, Larry. I Love You, Beth Cooper. Ecco. 2009. $7.99. 978-0061236174
Can the geek get THE girl?

*Falkner, Brian. Brain Jack. Ember. 2011. $9.99. 978-0375843679
End of the world, hack no!

Green, John. Paper Towns. Speak. 2009. $9.99. 978-0142414934
Is Q following the map to love, or the map to nowhere?

Going, K.L. Fat Kid Rules the World. Speak. 2004. $6.99. 978-0142402085.
Troy trades suicide for rock stardom.

Halpern, Julie. Into the Wild Nerd Yonder. Square Fish. 2011. $9.99. 978-0312653071
Choosing D&D over poser punks.

*Loux,Matthew. Sidescrollers. Oni Press. 2006. $11.99. 9781932664508
Three gamers fight football jocks and a cat from Satan to save the day and win the girl.

Lyga, Barry. Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy & Goth Girl. Graphia. 2007. $8.99. 978-0618916528
Fanboy finally meets his match in Goth Girl.

Luen Yang, Gene. Level Up. First Second. 2011. $15.99. 978-1596432352.
From gamer to gastroenterologist.

Mancusi, Mari. Gamer Girl. Dutton Children's Books. 2010. $7.99. 978-0142415092
What’s a girl to do when her only reality is virtual?

Portman, Frank. King Dork. Delacorte Press. 2008. $8.99. 978-0385734509
Imaginary rock star.

Scott, Keiran. Geek Magnet. Speak. 2009. $8.99. 978-0142414170
When KJ starts fending off her geek admirers, she also starts to lose some of her best friends.

Soto, Gary. Accidental Love. Graphia. 2008. $6.95. 978-0152061135
She's a feisty Latina; he's a shy nerd- they're a match made in geek heaven.

St. Onge, Cassie. Jane Jones: Worst. Vampire. Ever. Random House. 2011. $8.99. 978-0375868917
Jane's unlife as a nerdy vampire sucks.

Tahmaseb, Charity and Darcy Vance. The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading. Simon Pulse. 2009. $8.99. 978-1416978343.
Geeks in super short skirts.

Wittlinger, Ellen.  Parrotfish. Simon & Schuster. 2011. $8.99. 978-1442406216
From girl to guy, with the help of a geek.

Zadoff, Allen. Food, Girls, and Other Things I Can't Have. Egmont USA.  2011. $8.99. 978-1606841518
jock for a few months, geek for life.

Sticks and Stones

From cyberbullying to cold shoulders, it all hurts.

Shanna Smith, subcommittee chair

Kelly Metzger
Elizabeth Schneider
Melanie Wachsmann
Valerie Davis
Sarah Hill
Lisa Goldstein

Asher, Jay. TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY. Razorbill. 2011. $9.99. 978-1595141880
She continues to haunt her bullies from the grave.

Berk, Josh. The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin. Ember. 2011. $8.99. 978-0375846250
A deaf sleuth investigates the mysterious death of the school bully.

Brande, Robin. Evolution, Me and Other Freaks of Nature. Knopf Books for Young Readers. 2009. $7.99. 978-0440240303
A lesson on evolution leads to a division between Mena and her church.

Brosgol, Vera. Anya’s Ghost. First Second. 2011. $15.99. 978-1596435520
Who does this ghost think she is, anyway?

Brown, Jennifer. Hate List. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 2010. $8.99. 978-0316041454
Hate list turned hit list.

Cassidy, Kay. The Cinderella Society. Egmont USA. 2011. $8.99. 978-1606841501.
It's a fight between the Cindys and the Wickeds to control the school.

*Giles, Gail. Shattering Glass. Simon Pulse. 2003. $7.99. 978-0689858000
They may have created a monster.

Griffin, Adele. The Julian Game. Speak. 2011. $7.99. 978-0142419731
Cyber revenge gets messy.

Hall,Megan Kelley and Carrie Jones. Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories. HarperTeen. 2011. $9.99. 978-0062060976   
You are not alone.

*Harbison, Paige. Here Lies Bridget. Harlequin Teen. 2011. $9.99. 978-0373210282
A bully walks around in her victims’ shoes.

Harmon, Michael. Brutal. Knopf Books for Young Readers. 2011. $8.99. 978-0440239956
Sometimes bullying can be deadly.

Hawkins, Rachel. Hex Hall. Hyperion. 2011. $8.99. 978-1423121398
Witches can be bullied too!

Knowles, Jo. Lessons from a Dead Girl. Candlewick Press. 2009. $7.99. 978-0763644857
Laine's wish came true: Leah Greene is dead.

Langan, Paul. Payback. Scholastic Inc. 2007. $3.99. 978-0439904872
The bully becomes the bullied.

Myers, Walter Dean. Shooter. Amistad. 2005. $8.99. 978-0064472906
Questions remain after a school shooting.

Oliver Lauren. Before I Fall. HarperCollins. 2011. $9.99. 978-0061726811
Given a second chance, can the mean girl make things right?

Peters, Julie Anne. By the Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead. Hyperion Book CH. 2011. $8.99. 978-1423130215
Why bothering living when life sucks…

Phillips, Suzanne. Burn. Little, Brown Books for Young Adults. 2009. $7.99. 978-0316001663
A life filled with bullying can make you snap.

Ruby,Laura. Bad Apple. HarperCollins. 2011. $8.99. 978-0061243332
Poisoned by gossip.

Summers, Courtney. Some Girls Are. St. Martin’s Griffin. 2010. $9.99. 978-0312573805
When your best friends turn out to be your enemies.

Williams, Carol Lynch. The Chosen One. St. Martin's Griffin. 2010. $8.99.  978-0312627751
Bullied into an arranged marriage.

Williams-Garcia, Rita. Jumped. Amistad. 2010. $8.99. 978-0060760939
Dominique’s out for blood.

Wiseman, Rosalind. Boys, Girls & Other Hazardous Materials. Speak. 2011. $8.99. 978-0142418192
Charlie can't escape the mean girls of her past.

Zarr, Sarah. Story of a Girl. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. 2008. $7.99. 978-0316014540
Branded forever by one mistake.