Best Books for Young Adults

See the newest version of this award. This page is displaying a historical version of the award. All winners for all years are available at the newest version of the award.
About the Best Books for Young Adults

Administered by:

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) logo

*Top Ten

2002 Selection(s)

Breathing Underwater

by Alex Flinn. HarperCollins, $15.95.

After Nick's girlfriend, Caitlin, has a restraining order issued against him, he is forced to come to grips with his anger and low self-esteem.


by A. M. Jenkins. HarperCollins, $15.95.

Football star and high-school senior Austin clings to a relationship with beautiful, sexy Heather in the hope she will be his salvation.

Every Time a Rainbow Dies

by Rita Williams-Garcia. William Morrow, $15.95.

Thulani is drawn out from his grief over the death of his mother when he comes to the aid of a rape victim and is obsessed with forming a relationship with her.

The Land

by Mildred Taylor. Penguin Putnam, $17.99.

In a prequel to the Newbery-Award winner Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Cassie Logan's grandfather, Paul Edward, tells of his heart-breaking but ultimately triumphant struggle to acquire the land that would become the Logan family legacy.


by Garth Nix. HarperCollins, $16.95.

Lirael becomes a librarian in the vast warren of a library that not only houses books but also guards monstrous dangers and arcane magic that lets her conjure up the Disreputable Dog who accompanies her on a quest when the dead start warring on the living.

The Rag and Bone Shop

by Robert Cormier. Delacorte, $15.95.

When twelve-year-old Jason is questioned as a witness in a young girl's murder investigation, he doesn't realize that his interrogation in the hands of a skilled detective will become a matter of life and death.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

by Ann Brashares. Delacorte, $14.95.

Four lifelong high-school friends and a magical pair of jeans take summer journeys to discover love, disappointments, and self-realization.

True Believer

by Virginia Euwer Wolff. Atheneum, $17.00.

In this poetic sequel to Make Lemonade, LaVaughn finds that her changing goals and relationships bring her both pain and joy.

Whale Talk

by Chris Crutcher. HarperCollins, $16.95.

Multiethnic T. J. leads a high-school swim team of nonconformists on a quest for a varsity letter jacket.


by Richard Mosher. Houghton Mifflin, $16.00.

From the moment almost 14-year-old Zazoo sees the handsome young man on the black bicycle, her life is changed forever with never-explored questions about her own past and that of her beloved "Grand-Pierre."