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 (YALSA) logo

Award and Frequency

This award is given out on an annual basis.


Publishers, authors, agents, or editors may not nominate their own titles.

The BFYA Committee considers any fiction title published for a teen audience from September 1 of the previous calendar year through December 31 of the current calendar year. The chair is responsible for verifying the eligibility of all nominated titles. A book originally published outside the United States will be considered according to its U.S. publication year. Books published outside of the United States are not eligible unless a U.S. edition is available.

A work of fiction is defined as: a novel in prose or verse with one or more authors, or a collection of short prose or verse by one or more authors.

Application Instructions

Please fill out the nomination form.

Contact Information

Displaying active committee roster as of 12/04/2023. Last retrieved on 12/04/2023. Members can log in and refresh page to view full contact information for committee members.

Selection Criteria

“Best” is defined as: of the highest quality, excellence, or standing. As applied to teen fiction, this means that YALSA's BFYA Committee looks for outstanding titles of fiction that are of interest and value to teenagers.
Suggested selection criteria:

  1. Titles are selected for their demonstrated or probable appeal to the personal reading tastes of young adults
  2. Appeal and popularity are not synonymous
  3. Titles from a series should be considered on their individual merits

In addition to the question of appeal, committee members should consider the following when assessing titles: language, plot, style, setting, dialog, characterization, and design.