YALSA names 2014 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults

For Immediate Release
Tue, 02/04/2014


Jaclyn Finneke

Communications Managers

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)


PHILADELPHIA —The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), announced its 2014 list of Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults (PPYA). The list, drawn from 183 official nominations, is presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The complete list of 74 titles, including annotations, can be found at http://www.ala.org/yalsa/popular-paperbacks-young-adults.

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

Conflicted: Life During Wartime. Today’s U.S. teens have lived most of their lives in a country at war. These books address direct combat as well as life in a war zone, across a broad swath of locations and historical periods.

GLBTQ: Books with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender.

Queer-questioning, Intersex, Asexual Individuals, and Their Allies. The committee’s update of the 2006 GLBTQ list reflects the growing abundance of titles for young adults with GLBTQ themes. 

Humor Me: Funny, Fantastic and Witty Reads. Another revisited topic, these titles contain satire, slapstick, tragicomedy, and the more subtle humor that comes from everyday experience.

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

  • Benway, Robin. "Audrey, Wait!" Razorbill, 2009.
  • Bray, Libba. "Beauty Queens." Scholastic Press, 2012.
  • Calame, Don. "Swim The Fly." Candlewick Press, 2010.
  • Crawford, Brent. "Carter Finally Gets It." Hyperion, 2010.
  • Cronn-Mills, Kirstin. "Beautiful Music for Ugly Children." Flux, 2012.
  • Lo, Malinda. "Ash." Little, Brown and Company, 2009.
  • McBride, Lish. "Hold Me Closer, Necromancer." Square Fish, 2012.
  • Sepetys, Ruta. "Between Shades Of Gray." Speak, 2012.
  • Stone, Tanya Lee. "Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles: America's First Black Paratroopers." Candlewick Press. 2013
  • Yang, Gene Luen. "Boxers & Saints." Illus. First Second, 2013.

 “As with all years, we highlighted topics that are both timely and have lasting value,” said Lisa Goldstein, committee chair. “All lists contain nonfiction titles to align with Common Core Standards, and this was a particular consideration when selecting the Conflicted topic. Conflicted concerns teens’ experiences of war, covering both contemporary conflicts and historical accounts. Updating the 2006 GLBTQ list revealed the staggering increase in titles for young adults with GLBTQ characters and themes. Humor Me showcases the lighter side of young adult literature, though many of the selections deftly handle serious issues with a great deal of humor. The committee strived to create lists inclusive in format, diversity, and character experience, and hope that they will assist librarians in creating appealing, well-rounded collections.”

Members of the Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults Committee are: Lisa Goldstein, chair, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Joan Callen, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Information Studies, Milwaukee; Sabrina Carnesi, Crittenden Middle School, Newport News, Va.; Kelly Chaney, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, Ark.; Kate Denier, Public Library of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio; Jeanette Johnson, Emperor Elementary School, San Gabriel, Calif.; Jennifer Kendall, Prescott Public Library, Prescott, Ariz.; Karen Keys, Queens Borough Public Library, Flushing, N.Y.; Amanda Margis, Warren-Newport Public Library, Gurnee, Ill.; Nicola McDonald, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Olivia Morales Geaghan, Hathaway Brown School, Shaker Heights, Ohio; Mary Anne Nichols; Kent State University School of Library and Information Science, Kent, Ohio; Shilo Pearson, Chicago Public Library, Chicago; Courtney Saldana, Ontario City Library, Ontario, Calif.; Paula Willey, administrative assistant, Baltimore County Public Library, Baltimore, Md.

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.

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