YALSA names 2008 Best Books for Young Adults

Contact: Stephanie Kuenn

Communications Specialist, YALSA

(312) 280-2128


For Immediate Release,

January 22, 2008

YALSA names 2008 Best Books for Young Adults

PHILADELPHIA -The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the fastest-growing division of the American Library Association (ALA), today announced its 2008 list of Best Books for Young Adults. The list of 85 books, drawn from 216 official nominations, is presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The books, recommended for those 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 that reflects the diversity of the teen experience, nonfiction that brings to teens an awareness of the world they live in and its history and fantastical stories told in both narrative and graphic formats.

In addition, the Best Books for Young Adults Committee created a Top 10 list of titles from the final list that exemplify the quality and range of literature being published for teens:

  • Alexie, Sherman. "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian." Illus. by Ellen Forney. Little, Brown, 2007. $16.99. (978-0-316-01368-0).
  • Beah, Ishmael. "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier." Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Sarah Crichton, 2007. $22.00. (978-0-374-10523-5).
  • Downham, Jenny. "Before I Die." Random House/David Fickling, 2007. $15.99. (978-0-385-75155-1).
  • Hemphill, Stephanie. "Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath." Random House/Alfred A. Knopf, 2007. $15.99. (978-0-375-83799-9).
  • Jones, Lloyd. "Mister Pip." Dell Publishing/Dial Press, 2007. $20.00. (978-0-385-34106-6).
  • Landy, Derek. "Skulduggery Pleasant." HarperCollins, 2007. $17.99. (978-0-06-123115-5).
  • Peet, Mal. "Tamar: A Novel of Espionage, Passion, and Betrayal." Candlewick, 2007. $17.99. (978-0-7636-3488-9).
  • Polly, Matthew. "American Shaolin: Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch: An Odyssey in the New China." Penguin Group USA/Gotham Books, 2007. $26.00. (978-1-59240-262-5).
  • Selznick, Brian. "The Invention of Hugo Cabret: A Novel." Illus. by Brain Selznick. Scholastic, 2007. $22.99. (978-0-439-81378-5).
  • Tan, Shaun. "The Arrival." Illus. by Shaun Tan. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, 2007. $19.99. (978-0-439-89529-3).

The full list can be found at
www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists/bbya. The annotated list is available to YALSA members only at
www.ala.org/yalsa. "This year's list demonstrates the variety of outstanding choices to entice and enrich teen readers," said Holly Koelling, committee chair. "There is something here to appeal to every reader, and also to attract teens who don't regularly read, to the pleasures of a good book."

The members of the Best Books for Young Adults Committee are: Holly Koelling, chair, King County Library System, Issaquah, Wash.; Angelina Benedetti, King County Library System, Issaquah, Wash.; Teresa Brantley, Salem Middle School, Apex, N.C.; Amy Chow, New York Public Library; Ashley Flaherty, Columbus (Ohio) Metropolitan Library; Jacqueline Gropman, Fairfax County Public Library System, Fairfax County, Va.; Summer Hayes, King County Library System, Foster Library, Tukwila, Wash.; Andy Howe, Albuquerque (N.M.) Academy Library; Caroline Kienzle, Apalachicola, Fla.; Connie Mitchell, Carmel (Ind.) High School; Diane Roberts, St. Thomas High School Library, Houston, Texas; Elsworth Rockefeller, Ocean County Library, Point Pleasant Boro, N.J.; Karyn N. Silverman, Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School, New York; Ed Spicer, Allegan, Mich.; Rollie Welch, Cleveland (Ohio) Public Library; Jennifer Mattson, consultant,
Booklist, Chicago, Ill.; and Rick Orsillo, administrative assistant, King County Library System, Shoreline, Wash.

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos and audio books for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to
www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists, or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or e-mail: