Best Books for Young Adults 2006

YALSA has announced its 2006 recommended list of Best Books for Young Adults. The list, prepared annually, was released during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Antonio, Texas held January 20–25, 2006.

In beautiful San Antonio the 15-member committee worked hard to narrow its list of 217 official nominations to the final list of 91 significant adult and young adult titles. The books, recommended for ages 12-18, meet the criteria of both good quality literature and reading appeal for teens. With the Alamo adjacent to the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center, the committee was excited to know that these wonderful books for young adults will be remembered and enjoyed. A teen session held on Sunday drew 75 teens to speak to the committee about their favorite books. A crowded audience of committee members, publishers, authors and librarians listened to these passionate teen readers who came from Texas, Washington and California to advise the committee.

The winning titles make up an extremely diverse list that includes non-fiction, science fiction and fantasy, graphic novels, contemporary and historical fiction and verse novels.

The committee also selected a Top Ten list of titles that exemplify the quality and range of literature being published for teens.


Akbar, Said Hyder and Burton, Susan. Come Back to Afghanistan: A California Teenager's Story. Bloomsbury, 2005. $24.95. (1-58234-520-1).

Bartoletti, Susan Campbell. Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow. Scholastic, 2005. illus. $19.95. (0-439-35379-3).

Blumenthal, Karen. Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX: The Law That Changed the Future of Girls in America. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, 2005. illus. $17.95. (0-689-85957-0).

Bolden, Tonya. Maritcha: A Nineteenth Century American Girl. Abrams, 2005. illus. $17.95. (0-8109-5045-6).

Deem, James M. Bodies From the Ash: Life and Death in Ancient Pompeii. Houghton, 2005. illus. $16. (0-618-47308-4).

Delisle, Guy. Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea. Drawn and Quarterly, 2005. illus. $19.95. (1-896597-89-0).

Dendy, Leslie and Mel Boring. Guinea Pig Scientists: Bold Self-Experimenters in Science and Medicine. Holt, 2005. illus. $19.95. (0-8050-7316-7).

Eisner, Will. The Plot: The Secret Story of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Norton, 2005. illus. $23.95. (0-393-06045-4).

Farrell, Jeanette. Invisible Allies: Microbes That Shape Our Lives. Farrar, 2005. $17. (0-374-33608-3).

Fleming, Candace. Our Eleanor: A Scrapbook Look at Eleanor Roosevelt's Remarkable Life. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, 2005. illus. $19.95. (0-689-86544-9).

Frank, Mitch. Understanding the Holy Land: Answering Questions About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Viking, 2005. illus. $17.99. (0-670-06032-1).

Giblin, James Cross. Good Brother, Bad Brother: The Story of Edwin Booth and John Wilkes Booth. Clarion, 2005. illus. $22. (0-618-09642-6).

Growing Up in Slavery: Stories of Young Slaves as Told By Themselves. Ed. by Yuval Taylor. Lawrence Hill, 2005. illus. $22.95. (1-55652-548-6).

Jurmain, Suzanne. The Forbidden Schoolhouse: The True and Dramatic Story of Prudence Crandall and Her Students. Houghton, 2005. illus. $18. (0-618-47302-5).

Lavender, Bee. Lessons in Taxidermy. Akashic Books/Punk Planet Books, 2005. $12.95. (1-888451-79-3).

Nelson, Marilyn. Fortune's Bones: The Manumission Requiem. Front Street, November 2004. illus. $16.95. (1-932425-12-8).

Nelson, Marilyn. A Wreath for Emmett Till. Illus. by Philippe Lardy. Houghton, 2005. $17. (0-618-39752-3).

O'Donnell, Joe. Japan 1945: A U.S. Marine's Photographs from Ground Zero. Vanderbilt, 2005. illus. $39.95. (0-8265-1467-7).

Partridge, Elizabeth. John Lennon: All I Want Is the Truth. Viking, 2005. $24.99. (0-670-05954-4).

Zenatti, Valérie. When I Was a Soldier: A Memoir. Bloomsbury, 2005. $16.95. (1-58234-978-9).


Adlington, L. J. The Diary of Pelly D. Greenwillow, 2005. $15.99. (0-06-076615-8).

Bechard, Margaret. Spacer and Rat. Roaring Brook/Deborah Brodie, 2005. $16.95. (1-59643-058-3).

Black, Holly. Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie. Simon & Schuster, 2005. $16.95. (0-689-86822-7).

Bray, Libba. Rebel Angels. Delacorte, 2005. $16.95. (0-385-73029-2).

Bruchac, Joseph. Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two. Dial, 2005. $16.99. (0-8037-2921-9).

Buckhanon, Kalisha. Upstate. St. Martin's, 2005. $19.95. (0-312-33268-8).

Castellucci, Cecil. Boy Proof. Candlewick, 2005. $15.99. (0-7636-2333-4).

Coburn, Jake. LoveSick. Dutton, 2005. $16.99. (0-525-47383-1).

Cummings, Priscilla. Red Kayak. Dutton, September 2004. $15.99. (0-525-47317-3).

Delaney, Joseph. Revenge of the Witch. Greenwillow, 2005. illus. $14.99. (0-06-076618-2).

Every Man for Himself: Ten Short Stories About Being a Guy. Ed. by Nancy E. Mercado. Dial, 2005. $16.99. (0-8037-2896-4).

Flake, Sharon G. Bang! Hyperion/Jump at the Sun, 2005. $16.99. (0-7868-1844-1).

Fleischman, Paul. Zap. Candlewick, 2005. $16.99. (0-76362-774-7).

Frank, E. R. Wrecked. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, 2005. $15.95. (0-689-87383-2).

Gaiman, Neil. Anansi Boys. HarperCollins/William Morrow, 2005. $26.95. (0-06-051518-X).

Galloway, Gregory. As Simple as Snow. Putnam, 2005. $23.95. (0-399-15231-8).

Green, John. Looking for Alaska. Dutton, 2005. $15.99. (0-525-47506-0).

Griffin, Adele. Where I Want to Be. Putnam, 2005. $15.99. (0-399-23783-6).

Grimes, Nikki. Dark Sons. Hyperion/Jump at the Sun, 2005. $15.99. (0-786-81888-3).

Gruber, Michael. The Witch's Boy. HarperTempest, 2005. $16.99. (0-06-076164-4).

Halam, Ann. Siberia: A Novel. Random/Wendy Lamb, 2005. $16.95. (0-385-74650-4).

Hartnett, Sonya. Stripes of the Sidestep Wolf. Candlewick, 2005. $16.99. (0-7636-2644-9).

Hautman, Pete. Invisible. Simon & Schuster, 2005. $15.95. (0-689-86800-6).

Hearn, Julie. The Minister's Daughter. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, 2005. $16.95. (0-689-87690-4).

Hiaasen, Carl. Flush. Knopf, 2005. $16.95. (0-375-92182-6).

Holub, Josef. An Innocent Soldier. Translated by Michael Hofmann. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, 2005. $16.99. (0-439-62771-0).

Jacobson, Jennifer Richard. Stained. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, 2005. $16.95. (0-689-86745-X).

Johnson, Maureen. 13 Little Blue Envelopes. HarperCollins, 2005. $15.99. (0-06-054141-5).

Kass, Pnina Moed. Real Time. Clarion, October 2004. $15. (0-618-44203-0).

Kibuishi, Kazu. Daisy Kutter: The Last Train. Viper, 2005. illus. $10.95. (0-9754193-2-3).

Krovatin, Christopher. Heavy Metal and You. Scholastic/Push, 2005. $16.95. (0-439-73648-X).

Lanagan, Margo. Black Juice. HarperCollins/Eos, 2005. $15.99. (0-06-074390-5).

Larbalestier, Justine. Magic or Madness. Penguin/Razorbill, 2005. $16.99. (1-59514-022-0).

Larochelle, David. Absolutely Positively Not. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, 2005. $16.95. (0-439-59109-0).

Lester, Julius. Day of Tears: A Novel in Dialogue. Hyperion/Jump at the Sun, 2005. $15.99. (0-7868-0490-4).

Levithan, David. Are We There Yet? Knopf, 2005. $15.95. (0-375-82846-X).

Lubar, David. Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie: A Novel. Dutton, 2005. $15.99. (0-525-47311-4).

Lynch, Chris. Inexcusable. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, 2005. $16.95. (0-689-84789-0).

Lynch, Jim. The Highest Tide: A Novel. Bloomsbury, 2005. $23.95. (1-58234-605-4).

Martinez, A. Lee. Gil's All Fright Diner. Tor, 2005. $12.95. (0-765-31471-1).

McGhee, Alison. All Rivers Flow to the Sea. Candlewick, 2005. $15.99. (0-7636-2591-4).

Meyer, Stephanie. Twilight: A Novel. Little, Brown/Megan Tingley, 2005. $17.99. (0-316-16017-2).

Myers, Walter Dean. Autobiography of My Dead Brother. HarperCollins/Amistad, 2005. illus. $15.99. (0-06-058291-X).

Oppel, Kenneth. Skybreaker. HarperCollins/Eos, 2005. $16. (0-06-053227-0).

Pearson, Mary E. A Room on Lorelei Street. Holt, 2005. $16.95. (0-8050-7667-0).

Peet, Mal. Keeper. Candlewick, 2005. $15.99. (0-7636-2749-6).

Peña, Matt de la. Ball Don't Lie. Delacorte, 2005. $16.95. (0-385-73232-5).

Perkins, Lynne Rae. Criss Cross. Greenwillow, 2005. illus. $16.99. (0-06-009272-6).

Qualey, Marsha. Just Like That. Dial, 2005. $16.99. (0-8037-2840-9).

Riordan, Rick. The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Hyperion, 2005. $17.95. (0-7868-5629-7).

Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, 2005. illus. $29.95. (0-439-78454-9).

Salisbury, Graham. Eyes of the Emperor. Random/Wendy Lamb, 2005. $15.95. (0-385-72971-5).

Spillebeen, Geert. Kipling's Choice. Translated by Terese Edelstein. Houghton, 2005. $16. (0-618-43124-1).

Staples, Suzanne Fisher. Under the Persimmon Tree. Farrar/ Frances Foster, 2005. $17. (0-374-38025-2).

Stein, Tammar. Light Years: A Novel. Knopf, 2005. $15.95. (0-375-83023-5).

Thal, Lilli. Mimus. Translated by John Brownjohn. Annick, 2005. $19.95. (1-55037-925-9).

Tiffany, Grace. Ariel. HarperCollins/Laura Geringer, 2005. $16.99. (0-06-075327-7).

Tingle, Rebecca. Far Traveler. Putnam, 2005. $17.99. (0-399-23890-5).

Tullson, Diane. Red Sea. Orca, 2005. $7.95. (1-55143-331-1).

Vaughan, Brian K. Runaways: Volume 1 HC. Illus. by Adrian Alphona. Marvel, 2005. $34.99. (0-7851-1876-4).

Vaught, Susan. Stormwitch. Bloomsbury, 2005. $16.95. (1-58234-952-5).

Volponi, Paul. Black and White. Viking, 2005. $15.99. (0-670-06006-2).

Waid, Mark and others. Superman: Birthright. DC Comics, October 2004. illus. $29.95. (1-4012-0251-9).

Weaver, Will. Full Service. Farrar, 2005. $17. (0-374-32485-9).

Westerfeld, Scott. Peeps. Penguin/Razorbill, 2005. $16.99. (1-59514-031-X).

Westerfeld, Scott. Uglies. Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse, 2005. $6.99. (0-689-86538-4).

Whitcomb, Laura. A Certain Slant of Light. Houghton/Graphia, 2005. $8.99. (0-618-58532-X).

Wittlinger, Ellen. Sandpiper. Simon & Schuster, 2005. $16.95. (0-689-86802-2).

Wooding, Chris. Poison. Scholastic/Orchard, 2005. $16.99. (0-439-75570-0).

Wynne-Jones, Tim. A Thief in the House of Memory. Farrar/Melanie Kroupa, 2005. illus. $17. (0-374-37478-3).

Zusak, Markus. I Am the Messenger. Knopf, 2005. $16.95. (0-375-83099-5).

Members of the 2006 Best Books for Young Adults Committee were Lynn M. Rutan, Chair, Macatawa Bay School, Holland, MI; Leslie A. Acevedo, Flint Public Library, Flint, MI; Edith E.H. Cummings, Allen County Public Library, Hessen Cassel Branch, Fort Wayne, IN; Gretchen Haynes, Kansas City Public Library Southeast Branch, Kansas City, MO; Lynn E. Evarts, Sauk Prairie High School, Prairie du Sac, WI; Rick Orsillo, King County Library System, Shoreline Branch, Shoreline, WA; Adela Peskorz, Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, MN; Sharon Rawlins, New Jersey Library for the Blind and Handicapped; Hollis Rudiger, Cooperative Children's Book Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI; Karyn Silverman, Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School, New York, NY; Edward A. Spicer, Reviewer, Michigan Reading Journal, Allegan, MI; Karen J. Tannenbaum, Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library, Evansville, IN; Deborah Taylor, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, MD; Cheryl Karp Ward, East Hartford High School, East Hartford, CT; Beth Wright, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington, VT; Gillian Engberg, Consultant, Booklist, Chicago, IL; Cindy Dobrez, Administrative Assistant, Harbor Lights School, Holland, MI