For immediate release | January 27, 2015

YALSA names 2015 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults

CHICAGO - The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), announced its 2015 list of Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults (PPYA). The list, drawn from 167 official nominations, is presented annually around the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The complete list of 97 titles, including annotations, can be found here.

This year’s PPYA committee produced four lists of titles arranged by the following topics:

  • Book to Movie: Ripped from the Pages. The recent trend in movies seems to be screenplay adaptations of popular novels. You will find your favorites here.
  • Mysteries: Murder, Mayhem and Other Adventures. The committee’s update of the 2004 Guess Again list reflects the growing abundance of titles for young adults with Mystery themes.
  • Lock Up: Teens behind Bars. A relevant issue and widely popular theme for 2015. These titles explore the very real and dangerous issues of incarceration.
  • Narrative Non-Fiction: Inspired by Actual Events. This list of real life, factual stories supports Common Core State Standards and Critical Thinking Skills.

The committee also selected the following titles as its Top Ten list:

  • Backderf, Derf. "My Friend Dahmer." Abrams Comicarts, 2012.
  • Collins, Suzanne. "Catching Fire ." Scholastic Press, 2013.
  • Gantos, Jack. "Hole in My Life." Square Fish, 2012.
  • Green, John. "The Fault in Our Stars." Speak: Penguin, 2014.
  • Levine, Ellen S. "Freedom’s Children: Young Civil Rights Activists Tell Their Own Stories." Penguin: Puffin, 2000.
  • Lyga, Barry. "I Hunt Killers." Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2013.
  • Myers, Walter Dean. "Lockdown." HarperCollins, 2010.
  • Sanderson, Brandon. "The Rithmatist ." Tor Teen, 2014.
  • Spiegelman, Art. "Maus: A Survivor’s Tale ." Random: Pantheon, 2004.
  • Stroud, Jonathan. "Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase." Disney, Hyperion, 2014.

“Keeping YALSA’s mission in mind, we have worked together, listened to the teens we interact with, and kept abreast of topics and themes relevant to young adults,” said Jeanette Johnson, committee chair. “Our lists contain a mix of fiction, nonfiction and graphic novels. The majority of movies made currently are adapted from novels. This trend inspired our Book to Movie category. These titles reflect a wide variety of themes from current to classic.

With the staggering increase of Mystery titles being published, we felt updating the 2004 Guess Again list was long overdue. The list contains a wide range of mystery styles from subtle to traditional. Lock Up is a real and relevant issue in society today. Major steps are being taken all over the country to bring awareness to this issue and educate incarcerated teens. Common Core State Standards play an important of part in our libraries today and our Narrative Non-Fiction is a perfect list which aligns to those standards. The Common Core asks students to be active readers, engaged in their reading, and critical of the content. Today’s teens are part of a diverse and fast paced world with a wide range of interests and concerns. The committee aimed to celebrate today’s young adults by creating a list as diverse as the youth we serve.”

Members of the Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults Committee are: Jeanette Johnson, chair, Oak Avenue Intermediate School, Temple City, California; Heather Love Beverley, Cook Memorial Public Library District, Libertyville, Ill.; Joan Callen, MLIS Graduate currently working in a non-library position, Waukesha, Wisconsin; Emma Carbone, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, New York; Alison Edwards, Prince of Wales Collegiate, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada; Debbie Fisher, Central Falls High School in Central Falls, Rhode Island; Mark Flowers, Solano County Library, Vallejo, California; KE Hones, SFUSD Continuation High Schools, San Francisco, California; Yolanda Hood, Curriculum Materials Center, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida; Jennifer Kendall, Prescott Public Library, Prescott, Arizona; Amanda Margis, Northbrook Public Library, Northbrook, Ill.; Ryan Paulsen, New Rochelle High School, New Rochelle, New York; Ileana Pulu, San Francisco Public Library - Bayview Branch, San Francisco; Courtney Saldana, Ovitt Family Community Library, Ontario, California; Staci Terrell, Anderson Public Library, Anderson, Indiana.

YALSA’s portfolio of book and media awards helps strengthen library services for and with teens by identifying quality, age appropriate resources for librarians and library workers to share with the teens in their communities. Learn more about YALSA's other book and media lists here.

For more than 50 years, YALSA has worked to build the capacity of libraries and library staff to engage, serve and empower teens. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390; or e-mail:


Nichole O’Connor

Program Officer

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)