Best Books for Young Adults Top Ten List

Brooks, Martha. “True Confessions of a Heartless Girl.” Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Melanie Kroupa Books, $16.00 (0-374-37806-1)

After stealing her boyfriend’s money and truck, newly-pregnant Noreen lands in the small town of Pembina Lake and becomes the catalyst for change for the town’s residents.

Donnelly, Jennifer.    “A Northern Light.” Harcourt, $17.00 (0-15-216705-6)

In Upstate New York, in 1906, against the background of a true, and truly scandalous murder, fictional character Mattie Gokey fights her family and the social constraints of the times to become her own person.

Haddon, Mark. “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: A Novel.” Random House/Doubleday, $22.95 (0-385-50945-6)

Welcome to the world of a 15-year-old autistic teen who knows it will be a “super good day” if he sees 5 red cars in a row or a “black day” if he sees 4 yellow cars in a row.    Christopher can solve quadratic equations in his head but can’t bear to be touched or to eat foods that are touching one another on the plate.

Johnson, Angela. “The First Part Last.” Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $15.95 (0-689-84922-2)

The story of Bobbie Morris, a teenage father first introduced in Johnson’s Heaven, is told by filling in the “then” and “now” of his life in New York City raising his daughter, Feather.

Levithan, David. “Boy Meets Boy.” Random House/Alfred A. Knopf, $15.95 (0-375-82400-6)

“Gay boy” Paul finds himself on an emotional rollercoaster as he tries to establish a new relationship with Noah while at the same time caring for Kyle.

Maynard, Joyce. “The Usual Rules.” St. Martin’s Press, $24.95 (0-312-24261-1)

Thirteen-year-old Wendy tries to pick up the pieces of her shattered life after her beloved mother, an executive secretary, dies in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Pattou, Edith. “East.” Harcourt Children’s Books, $18.00 (0-15-204563-5)

Rose agrees to travel far from her home on the back of the mysterious White Bear, a journey that leads her “East of the Sun and West of the Moon” on an adventure she never imagined.

Rapp, Adam. “33 Snowfish.” Candlewick Press, $15.99 (0-7636-1874-8)  

Boobie, Curl and Custis are on the run with Boobie’s baby brother in tow as they each attempt to escape their demons and cling to each one another in their darkest hours.

Stroud, Jonathan. “The Amulet of Samarkand: Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book One.” Hyperion Books for Children/Miramax, $17.95 (0-7868-1859-X)

A brilliant, self-taught young magician named Nathaniel aims to take revenge by conjuring up a powerful djinni named Bartimaeus and commanding him to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from Simon Lovelace, the magician who was responsible for humiliating Nathaniel.

Thompson, Craig. “Blankets: An Illustrated Novel.” Top Shelf Productions, $29.95 (1-891830-43-0)

This graphic novel, autobiographical in scope, vibrantly depicts the life of the author.    Simultaneously weaving childhood, adolescence and adulthood, Thompson illuminates the trials and tribulations of being an outcast, attending a zealous bible camp and meeting the girl of his dreams.