Best Books for Young Adults 2005

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), has announced its 2005 recommended list of Best Books for Young Adults. The list, prepared annually, was released during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston, January 14-18, 2005.

The 15-member committee narrowed its list of 214 official nominations to the final list of 86 significant adult and young adult titles recommended for ages 12-18. Despite the cold temperatures outside of the Hynes Convention Center, an audience warmed to 65 teens representing five states who traveled to Boston to attend a special committee session where they shared their love of books. A crowded audience of committee members, publishers, authors and librarians listened, laughed and cheered on these passionate readers. Most of the teens had prepared for a year or more to attend the conference. A second group of 10 New Jersey teens created a videotape to present at the session. A third group from Washington State assisted with committee administration behind-the-scenes.

The 86 winning titles make up a diverse list that features science fiction and fantasy, nonfiction, novels in verse, cutting-edge contemporary fiction and graphic novels.

Fourteen books received a unanimous vote from the committee.

  • Wake Up Our Souls: a celebration of Black American Artists by Tonya Bolden. Harry N. Abrams, Inc., $24.95. (0-8109-4527-4).
  • Tending to Grace by Kimberly Newton Fusco. Alfred A. Knopf, $15.95. (0-375-82862-1)
  • Andy Warhol: Prince of Pop by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan. Delacorte, $16.95. (0-385-73056-X)
  • The Race to Save the Lord God Bird by Phillip Hoose. Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Melanie Kroupa Books, $20. (0-374-36173-8)
  • The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E.L. Konigsburg. Simon & Schuster: Atheneum, $16.95. (0-689-86636-4)
  • B for Buster by Iain Lawrence. Delacorte Press, $15.95. (0-385-73086-1)
  • The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan. Alfred A. Knopf, $15.95. (0-375-82845-1)
  • Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta. Alfred A. Knopf, $15.95. (0-375-82982-2).
  • Airborn by Kenneth Oppel. HarperCollins Children’s Book Group: Eos, $16.99. (0-06-053180-0).
  • howi live now by Meg Rosoff. Random House Children’s Books: Wendy Lamb Books, $16.95. (0-385-74677-6).
  • Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood by Benjamin Alire Saenz. Cinco Punto Press, $16.95. (0-938317-81-4).
  • The Radioactive Boy Scout: The True Story of a Boy and His Backyard Nuclear Reactor by Ken Silverstein. Random House, $22.95. (0-375-50351-X).
  • Chanda’s Secrets by Allan Stratton. Annick Press, $19.95. (1-55037-835-X)
  • Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman? by Eleanor Updale. Orchard Books, $16.95. (0-439-58035-8).

Aside from the books that received a unanimous vote, the committee also selected a Top Ten list of titles that showcases the quality and diversity of literature being published for teens.

Best Books for Young Adults 2005

Aidinoff, Elsie V. The Garden. HarperCollins Children's Book Group: HarperTempest, 2004. 0-06-055605-6.

Allen, Thomas B. George Washington, Spymaster: How the Americans Outspied the British and Won the Revolutionary War. National Geographic, 2004. 0-7922-5126-1.

Almond, David. Fire-Eaters. Random House Children's Books: Delacorte Press, 2004. 0-385-73170-1.

Bass, L.G. Sign of the Qin: Outlaws of Moonshadow Marsh, No. 1. Hyperion Books for Children, 2004. 0-7868-1918-9.

Bausum, Ann. With Courage and Cloth: Winning the Fight for a Woman's Right to Vote. Simon & Schuster: National Geographic, 2004. 0-7922-7647-7.

Bolden, Tonya. Wake Up Our Souls: A Celebration of Black American Artists. Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2004. 0-8109-4527-4.

Braff, Joshua. The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green. Workman Publishing Co.: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2004. 1-56512-420-0.

Burgess, Melvin. Doing It. Henry Holt & Co.: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, 2004. 0-8050-7565-8.

Choldenko, Gennifer. Al Capone Does My Shirts: a Novel. Putnam Publishing Group, 2004. 0-399-23861-1.

Chotjewitz, David. Daniel Half Human and the Good Nazi . Doris Orgel, translator . Simon & Schuster: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2004. 0-689-85747-0.

Corrigan , Eireann. Splintering. Scholastic, 2004. 0-439-53597-2.

Curtis, Christopher Paul. Bucking the Sarge. Random House Children's Books: Wendy Lamb Books, 2004. 0-385-32307-7.

de Lint, Charles. The Blue Girl. Penguin USA: Viking Children's Books, 2004. 0-670-05924-2.

Dr. Ernest Drake’s Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons. Dugald Steer, editor. Candlewick Press, November 2003. 0-7636-2329-6.

Dunkle, Clare B. The Hollow Kingdom. Henry Holt & Co., October 2003. 0-8050-7390-6.

Farmer, Nancy. The Sea of Trolls. Simon & Schuster: Atheneum. 2004. 0-689-86744-1.

Fisher, Catherine. The Oracle Betrayed. HarperCollins Children's Book Group: Greenwillow Books, 2004. 0-06-057157-8 .

Flake, Sharon. Who Am I Without Him?: Short Stories about Girls and the Boys in Their Lives. Hyperion Books for Children: Jump at The Sun, 2004. 0-7868-0693-1.

Flinn, Alex. Nothing to Lose. HarperCollins Children's Book Group: Avon Tempest, 2004. 0-06-051750-6.

Freedman, Russell. The Voice that Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights. Houghton Mifflin Company: Clarion Books, 2004. 0-618-15976-2.

Fusco, Kimberly Newton. Tending to Grace. Random House Children’s Books: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004. 0-375-82862-1.

Gothic: Ten Original Dark Tales Deborah Noyes. Candlewick Press, 2004. 0-7636-2243-5.

Greenberg, Jan and Sandra Jordan. Andy Warhol: Prince of Pop. Random House Children's Books: Delacorte Press, 2004. 0-385-73056-X.

Halpin, Brendan. Donorboy. Random House: Villard Books, 2004. 1-4000-6277-2.

Hautman, Pete. Godless. Simon & Schuster, 2004. 0-689-86278-4.

Hoose, Phillip M. The Race to Save the Lord God Bird. Melanie Kroupa Books, 2004. 0-374-36173-8.

Horowitz, Anthony. Eagle Strike: An Alex Rider adventure. Putnam Publishing Group: Philomel Books, 2004. 0-399-23979-0.

Janeczko, Paul B. Worlds Afire: The Hartford Circus Fire of 1944. Candlewick Press, 2004. 0-7636-2235-4.

Jocelyn, Marthe. Mable Riley: A Reliable Record of Humdrum, Peril, and Romance. Candlewick Press, 2004. 0-7636-2120-X.

Johnson, Angela. Bird. Penguin USA: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2004. 0-8037-2847-6.

Johnson, Kathleen Jeffrie. A Fast and Brutal Wing. Henry Holt & Co.: Roaring Brook Press, 2004. 0-59643-013-3.

Johnson, Maureen. The Key to the Golden Firebird. HarperCollins Childrens Books: 2004. 0-06-054138-5.

Koertge, Ron. Margaux With An X. Candlewick Press, 2004. 0-7636-2401-2.

Koja, Kathe. The Blue Mirror. Farrar, Straus & Giroux: Frances Foster Books, 2004. 0-374-30849-7.

Konigsburg, E.L. The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place. Simon & Schuster: Atheneum. 2004. 0-689-86636-4.

Kubert, Joe. Yossel, April 19, 1943: A Story of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Simon & Schuster: Ibooks, October 2003. 0-7434-7516-X.

Lawrence, Michael. A Crack in the Line. HarperCollins Children's Book Group: Greenwillow Books, 2004. 0-06-072477-3.

Lawrence , Iain. B for Buster. Random House Children’s Books: Delacorte Press, 2004. 0-385-73086-1.

Leavitt, Martine. Heck, Superhero. Front Street, 2004. 1-886910-94-4.

Levithan, David. The Realm of Possibility. Random House Children's Books: Alfred A. Knopf Inc., 2004. 0-375-82845-1.

Marchetta, Melina. Saving Francesca. Random House Children's Books: Alfred A. Knopf Inc., 2004. 0-375-82982-2.

McKinley, Robin. Sunshine. Berkley Publishing Group, September 2003. 0-425-19178-8 .

McNaughton, Janet. An Earthly Knight. HarperCollins Children's Book Group: 2004. 0-06-008992-X.

McWhorter, Diane. A Dream of Freedom: The Civil Rights Movement from 1954 to 1968. Scholastic: Scholastic Reference, 2004. 0-439-57678-4.

Meyer, L.A. Curse Of The Blue Tattoo: Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady. Harcourt Children's Books, 2004. 0-15-205115-5.

Morgan, Nicola. Fleshmarket. Random House Children's Books: Delacorte Press. 2004. 0-385-73154-X.

Moriarty, Jaclyn. The Year Of Secret Assignments. Scholastic: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2004. 0-439-49881-3.

Morpurgo, Michael. Private Peaceful. Scholastic, 2004. 0-439-63648-5.

Myers, Walter Dean. Here in Harlem: Poems in Many Voices. Holiday House, 2004. 0-8234-1853-7.

Napoli, Donna Jo. Bound. Simon & Schuster: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2004. 0-689-86175-3.

Nelson, Blake. Rock Star, Susperstar. Penguin USA: Viking Children's Books, 2004. 0-670-05933-1.

Oppel, Kenneth. Airborn. HarperCollins Children's Book Group: Eos, 2004. 0-06-053180-0.

Peck, Richard. The Teacher's Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts. Penguin USA: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2004. 0-8037-2736-4.

Peters, Julie Anne. Luna: A Novel. Little, Brown & Co.: Megan Tingley Books, 2004. 0-316-73369-5.

Pratchett, Terry. A Hat Full Of Sky. HarperCollins Children's Book Group: 2004. 0-06-058660-5.

Rapp, Adam. Under the Wolf, Under the Dog. Candlewick Press, 2004. 0-7636-1818-7.

Reeve, Philip. Predator's Gold: a Novel. HarperCollins Children's Book Group: Eos, 2004. 0-06-072193-6.

Robinson, Sharon. Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America Scholastic, 2004. 0-439-42592-1.

Rosoff, Meg. howi live now. Random House Children's Books: Wendy Lamb Books, 2004. 0-385-74677-6.

Saenz, Benjamin Alire. Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood. Cinco Puntos Press, 2004. 0-938317-81-4.

Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return. Random House: Pantheon Books, 2004. 0-375-42288-9.

Schmidt, Gary D. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminister Boy. Houghton Mifflin Company: Clarion Books, 2004. 0-618-43929-3.

Seagle, Steven T. It's a Bird. DC Comics: Vertigo, 2004. 1-40120-109-1.

Shinn, Sharon. The Safe-Keeper’s Secret. Penguin USA: Viking Childrens Books, 2004. 0-670-05910-2.

Shusterman, Neal. The Schwa was here. Penguin USA, 2004. 0-525-47182-0.

Silverstein, Ken. The Radioactive Boy Scout: The True Story of a Boy and His Backyard Nuclear Reactor. Random House, 2004. 0-375-50351-X.

Sones , Sonya. One of those Hideous Books where the Mother Dies. Simon & Schuster, 2004. 0-689-85820-5.

Strasser, Todd. Can't get there from here. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 2004. 0-689-84169-8.

Stratton, Allan. Chanda's Secrets. Firefly Books: Annick Press, 2004. 1-55037-835-X.

Stroud, Jonathan. The Golem's Eye: The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book Two. Hyperion Books for Children: Miramax, 2004. 0-7868-1860-3.

Tocher, Timothy. Chief Sunrise, John McGraw, and Me. Cricket Books, 2004. 0-8126-2711-3.

Townley, Roderick. Sky: A novel in 3 sets and an encore. Simon & Schuster: Atheneum, 2004. 0-689-85712-8.

Turnbull, Ann. No Shame, No Fear. Candlewick Press, 2004. 0-7636-2505-1.

Unger, Zac. Working Fire: The Making of an Accidental Fireman. Penguin USA: Penguin Press, 2004. 1-59420-001-7.

Updale, Eleanor. Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman? Scholastic: Orchard Books, 2004. 0-439-58035-8.

Van Der Vat, Dan. D-Day: The Greatest Invasion - A Peoples History. St. Martin's Press: Bloomsbury, November 2003. 1-58234-314-4.

Weeks, Sarah. So B. It: a Novel. HarperCollins Children's Books: Laura Geringer Books, 2004. 0-06-623622-3.

Werlin, Nancy. Double Helix. Penguin USA: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2004. 0-8037-2606-6.

Westerfeld, Scott. So Yesterday. Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers: Razorbill, 2004. 1-59514-000-X.

Whedon, Joss. Fray. Dark Horse Comics, December 2003. 1-56971-751-6.

Whitney, Kim Ablon. See You Down The Road: a novel. Random House Children's Books: Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2004. 0-375-82467-7.

Williams-Garcia, Rita. No Laughter Here. HarperCollins Children's Book Group: Amistad Press, 2004. 0-688-16247-9.

Wolf, Allan. New Found Land: Lewis and Clark's Voyage of Discovery. Candlewick Press, 2004. 0-7636-2113-7.

Wooding , Chris . The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray. Orchard Press, 2004. 0-439-54656-7.

Woodson, Jacqueline. Behind You. Penguin USA: Putnam Publishing Group, 2004. 0-399-23988-X.

Yolen, Jane and Robert J. Harris. Prince Across the Water. Penguin USA: Philomel Books, 2004. 0-399-23897-2.

Members of the 2005 Best Books for Young Adults committee are: Angelina Benedetti, King County Library System, Issaquah, Wash., chair; Leslie A. Acevedo, Flint (Mich.) Public Library; Edith E. H. Cummings, Allen County Public Library, Ft. Wayne, Ind.; Lynn E. Evarts, Sauk Prairie High School, Prairie du Sac, Wis.; Betsy J. Fraser, Calgary Public Library, Calgary, Canada; Jennifer Hubert, Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School, New York City; Cindy Lombardo, Tuscarawas County (Ohio) Public Library; Kimberly L. Paone, Free Public Library of Elizabeth (N.J.); Richie Partington, Richie’s Picks, Sebastopol, Calif.; Adela Peskorz, Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, Minn; Sharon Rawlins, Piscataway (N.J.) Public Library; Lynn Rutan, Macatawa Bay School, Holland, Mich.; Karen J. Tannenbaum, Evansville (Ind.) Vanderburgh Public Library; Deborah Denise Taylor, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore; Cheryl Karp Ward, East Hartford (Conn.) High School; Gillian Engberg, consultant, Booklist, Chicago; and Rick Orsillo, Shoreline Library, Seattle.