Best Books for Young Adults 2008

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 Ten list of titles from the final list that exemplify the quality and range of literature being published for teens. (Starred items denote Top Ten selections.)

“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.


Alexie, Sherman. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian. Illus. by Ellen Forney. Little, Brown, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-316-01368-0; $16.99.

Alexie, Sherman. Flight . Grove/Atlantic Black Cat, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-8021-7037-8; $13.00.

Anderson, Laurie Halse. Twisted. Penguin Group USA/Viking, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-670-06101-3; $16.99.

Asher, Jay. Thirteen Reasons Why . Penguin Group USA/Razorbill, 2007; ISBN13: 978-1-59514-171-2; $16.99.

Beah, Ishmael. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. 2007. Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Sarah Crichton, $22.00 (978-0-374-10523-5).

Brande, Robin. Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature . Random House/Alfred A. Knopf, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-375-94349-2; $15.99.

Brooks, Martha. Mistik Lake. Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Melanie Kroupa, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-374-34985-1; $16.00.

Burgess, Melvin. Bloodsong . Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse, 2007; ISBN13: 978-1-4169-3616-9; $7.99.

Cameron, Peter. Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You. Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Frances Foster, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-374-30989-3; $16.00.

Carey, Janet Lee. Dragon's Keep . Harcourt, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-15-205926-2; $17.00.

Carey, Mike. The Re-Gifters. Illus. by Sonny Liew and Mark Hempel.DC Comics/Vertigo, 2007; ISBN13: 978-1-4012-0303-0; $19.99.

Cassidy, Anne. Looking for JJ. Harcourt, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-15-206190-6; $17.00.

Castellucci, Cecil. Beige. Candlewick, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-7636-3066-9; $16.99.

Clarke, Judith. One Whole and Perfect Day. Front Street, 2007; ISBN13: 978-1-932425-95-6; $16.95.

Compestine, Ying Chang. Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party . Henry Holt, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-8050-8207-4; $16.95.

Cross, Shauna. Derby Girl. Henry Holt, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-8050-8023-0; $16.95.

Cullen, Lynn. I Am Rembrandt's Daughter . Bloomsbury, 2007; ISBN13: 978-1-59990-046-9; $16.95.

Dowd, Siobhan. A Swift Pure Cry. Random House/David Fickling, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-385-75108-7; $16.99.

Downham, Jenny. Before I Die. Random House/David Fickling, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-385-75155-1; $15.99.

Doyle, Larry. I Love You, Beth Cooper. Illus. by Evan Dorkin. HarperCollins/Ecco, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-06-123617-4; $19.95.

Ellis, Ann Dee. This Is What I Did. Little, Brown, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-316-01363-5; $16.99.

Felin, M. Sindy. Touching Snow. Atheneum, 2007; ISBN13: 978-1-4169-1795-3; $16.99.

Friesen, Gayle. For Now. Kids Can Press, 2007; ISBN13: 978-1-55453-133-2; $7.95.

Gipi. Notes for a War Story. Spectrum. Translated by Spectrum. Illus. by Gipi. Roaring Brook/First Second, 2007; ISBN13: 978-1-59643-261-1; $16.95.

Grey, Christopher. Leonardo's Shadow: Or, My Astonishing Life as Leonardo da Vinci's Servant. Simon and Schuster/Atheneum, 2006; ISBN13: 978-1-4169-0543-1; $16.95.

Hale, Shannon. Book of a Thousand Days. Illus. by James Noel Smith.Bloomsbury, 2007; ISBN13: 978-1-59990-051-3; $17.95.

Hemphill, Stephanie. Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath. Random House/Alfred A. Knopf, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-375-83799-9; $15.99.

Hinds, Gareth. Beowulf . Candlewick, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-7636-3022-5; $21.95.

Hornby, Nick. Slam. Penguin Group USA/Putnam, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-399-25048-4; $19.99.

Hosseini, Khaled. A Thousand Splendid Suns . Penguin Group USA/Riverhead Books, 2007; ISBN13: 978-1-59448-950-1; $25.95.

Jenkins, A.M. Repossessed. HarperCollins/HarperTeen, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-06-083568-2; $15.99.

Jocelyn, Marthe. How It Happened in Peach Hill. Random House/Wendy Lamb, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-375-83701-2; $15.99.

Johnston, Tony. Bone by Bone by Bone. Roaring Brook/Deborah Brodie, 2007; ISBN13: 978-1-59643-113-3; $17.95.

Jones, Lloyd. Mister Pip . Dell Publishing/Dial Press, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-385-34106-6; $20.00.

Key, Watt. Alabama Moon. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-374-30184-2; $16.00.

Klass, David. Firestorm. Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Frances Foster, 2006; ISBN13: 978-0-374-32307-3; $17.00.

Knox, Elizabeth. Dreamquake: Book Two of the Dreamhunter Duet. Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Frances Foster, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-374-31854-3; $19.00.

Koertge, Ron. Strays. Candlewick, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-7636-2705-8; $16.99.

Lanagan, Margo. Red Spikes. Random House/Alfred A. Knopf, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-375-84320-4; $16.99.

Landy, Derek. Skulduggery Pleasant. HarperCollins, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-06-123115-5; $17.99.

Lat.  Town Boy. Roaring Brook/First Second, 2007; ISBN13: 978-1-59643-331-1; $16.95.

Lockhart, E. Dramarama . Hyperion, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-7868-3815-8; $15.99.

Lyga, Barry. The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl. Houghton Mifflin, 2006; ISBN13: 978-0-618-72392-8; $16.95.

Lyga, Barry. Boy Toy . Houghton Mifflin, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-618-72393-5; $16.95.

MacCready, Robin Merrow. Buried. September 2006. Penguin Group USA/Dutton, 2006; ISBN13: 978-0-525-47724-2; $16.99.

Marillier, Juliet. Wildwood Dancing . Random House/Alfred A. Knopf, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-375-83364-9; $16.99.

McCaughrean, Geraldine. The White Darkness. HarperCollins/HarperTeen, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-06-089035-3; $16.99.

Mieville, China. Un Lun Dun . Random House/Del Rey, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-345-49516-7; $17.95.

Miller, Sarah. Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, 2007; ISBN13: 978-1-4169-2542-2; $16.99.

Moore, Perry. Hero . Hyperion, 2007; ISBN13: 978-1-4231-0195-6; $16.99.

Murdock, Catherine Gilbert. The Off Season. Houghton Mifflin, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-618-68695-7; $16.00.

Myers, Walter Dean. What They Found: Love on 145th Street . Random House/Wendy Lamb, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-385-32138-9; $15.99.

Olmstead, Robert. Coal Black Horse. Algonquin, 2007; ISBN13: 978-1-56512-521-6; $23.95.

Peet, Mal. Tamar: A Novel of Espionage, Passion, and Betrayal . Candlewick, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-7636-3488-9; $17.99.

Resau, Laura. Red Glass. Random House/Delacorte, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-385-73466-0; $15.99.

Resau, Laura. What the Moon Saw . Random House/Delacorte, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-385-73343-4; $15.95.

The Restless Dead: Ten Original Stories of the Supernatural. Edited by Deborah Noyes. Candlewick, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-7636-2906-9; $16.99.

Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows . Illus. by Mary Grandpre. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-545-01022-1; $34.99.

Schmidt, Gary D. The Wednesday Wars. Clarion, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-618-72483-3; $16.00.

Sedgwick, Marcus. My Swordhand is Singing. Random House/Wendy Lamb, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-375-84689-2; $15.99.

Selznick, Brian. The Invention of Hugo Cabret: A Novel. Illus. by Brain Selznick. Scholastic, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-439-81378-5; $22.99.

Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. Adapted by Richard Appignanesi. Illus. by Sonia Leong. Abrams/Amulet, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-8109-9325-9; $9.95.

Sharenow, Robert. My Mother the Cheerleader. HarperCollins/Laura Geringer, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-06-114896-5; $16.99

Shusterman, Neal. Unwind . Simon & Schuster, 2007; ISBN13: 978-1-4169-1204-0; $16.99.

Smith, Roland. Peak. Harcourt, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-15-202417-8; $17.00.

Sonnenblick, Jordan. Notes from the Midnight Driver . Scholastic, 2006; ISBN13: 978-0-439-75779-9; $16.99.

St. James, James. Freak Show. Penguin Group USA/Dutton, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-525-47799-0; $18.99.

Tan, Shaun. The Arrival . Illus. by Shaun Tan. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-439-89529-3; $19.99.

Thompson, Kate. The New Policeman. HarperCollins/Greenwillow, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-06-117427-8; $16.99.

Wallace, Rich. One Good Punch . Random House/Alfred A. Knopf, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-375-81352-8; $15.99.

Weinheimer, Beckie. Converting Kate. Penguin Group USA/Viking, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-670-06152-5; $16.99.

Wiess, Laura. Such a Pretty Girl . Simon & Schuster/MTV, 2007; ISBN13: 978-1-4165-2183-9; $12.00.

Wizner, Jake. Spanking Shakespeare. Random House, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-375-84086-9; $15.99.

Zarr, Sara. Story of a Girl. Little, Brown, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-316-01453-3; $16.99.

Zevin, Gabrielle . Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac . Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-374-34946-2; $17.00.


Beah, Ishmael. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Sarah Crichton, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-374-10523-5; $22.00.

Crisler, Curtis L. Tough Boy Sonatas. Illus. by Floyd Cooper. Boyds Mills Press/Wordsong, 2007; ISBN13: 978-1-932425-77-2; $19.95.

The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss . Edited by Claire Nouvian. University of Chicago Press, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-226-59566-5; $45.00.

Fradin, Judith Bloom and Dennis Brindell Fradin. Jane Addams: Champion of Democracy. Clarion, 2006; ISBN13: 978-0-618-50436-7; $21.00.

Helfer, Andrew. Malcolm X: A Graphic Biography. Illus. by Randy Duburke. Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Hill & Wang, 2006; ISBN13: 978-0-8090-9504-9; $15.95.

Marrin, Albert. The Great Adventure: Theodore Roosevelt and the Rise of Modern America. Penguin Group USA/Dutton, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-525-47659-7; $30.00.

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; ISBN13: 978-1-59240-262-5; $26.00.

Raddatz, Martha. The Long Road Home A Story of War and Family. Penguin Group USA/Putnam Adult, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-399-15382-2; $24.95.

Reef, Catherine. e.e. cummings: a poet's life. Clarion, 2006; ISBN13: 978-0-618-56849-9; $21.00.

Sis, Peter. The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain. Illus. by Peter Sis. Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Frances Foster, 2007; ISBN13: 978-0-374-34701-7; $18.00.

Tammet, Daniel. Born on a Blue Day: A Memoir: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant. Simon & Schuster/Free Press, 2007; ISBN13: 978-1-4165-3507-2; $24.00.