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

To provide a general list of fiction and nonfiction titles selected from the year's publications that have significant appeal to the personal reading tastes of the young adult reader.

Administered by:

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) logo

*Top Ten

2010 Selection(s)

Alligator Bayou

Napoli, Donna Jo. Random House / Knopf. 2009. $16.99

Fourteen-year-old Calogero emigrates to Louisiana in 1899, where his tiny Sicilian community faces discrimination and worse in a small town where they’re considered neither black nor white.

Demon's Lexicon

Brennan, Sarah Rees. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing/Margaret K. McElderry. 2009. $17.99

Sixteen-year-old Nick and his older brother Alan are always on the run. Now, Alan has been marked by a demon and to save him, the boys must become the hunters.

The Great Wide Sea

Herlong, M.H. Penguin/Viking. 2008. $16.99

His mother is dead and his father is missing at sea. With a horrific storm brewing, can sixteen-year-old Ben and his younger brothers survive?

Lips Touch: Three Times

Taylor, Laini. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine. 2009. $17.99

Three novellas explore the power of a kiss, and its possible hazards or thrills, especially if the kiss pulls humans and demons together in a lusty embrace.

Marcelo in the Real World

Stork, Francisco X. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Books. 2009. $17.99

Marcelo—a teen who exhibits Asperger-like behaviors—is forced to leave his job caring for horses to work in his father’s law firm and experience “the real world.”

Stitches: A Memoir

Small, David. W.W. Norton & Co. 2009. $24.95

In stunning graphic memoir format, Caldecott-winning artist David Small tells the story of his difficult childhood and his journey into adolescence and adulthood.

When You Reach Me

Stead, Rebecca. Random House / Wendy Lamb Books. 2009. $15.99

The year they are twelve, Sal begins to ignore Miranda and breaks her heart. But Miranda's attention is diverted when she begins to receive urgent, anonymous notes in unexpected places.


2010 Selection(s)

Tales of the Madman Underground

Barnes, John. Penguin/Viking Books. 2009. $18.99

In an attempt to distance himself from the rest of the students in the school's therapy group known as the Madman Underground, Karl launches his senior year with “Operation Be Fucking Normal.”

The Unnameables

Boorhaem, Ellen. Houghton Mifflin. 2008. $16.00

In a place where everything has a name and every name has a meaning, outsider Medford Runyuin struggles in vain to follow the rules of his adopted home.


Anderson, Laure Halse. Penguin/Viking Books. 2009. $17.99

Lia is haunted by her best friend's death from anorexia, as she struggles with the same eating disorder.