2002 Best Books for Young Adults

Top Ten

Eighty-four books were chosen as Best Books for Young Adults by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association. The list of titles includes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and biography recommended for young adults ages 12-18. Thirteen titles received unanimous votes from the 15 member committee: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares, four girls' adventures with a pair of magical pants; Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher, the triumph of diversity and non-conformity over prejudice; Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn, one boy's struggle with his own anger; Damage by A. M. Jenkins, a teen's downward spiral into depression; You Don't Know Me by David Klass, where a teen copes with his mother's boyfriend's abuse; Cut by Patricia McCormick, in which a teen overcomes her obsession with self-mutilation; Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen, one boy's survival on a remote island where he confronts his inner demons; The Greatest: Muhammad Ali by Walter Dean Myers, the biography of the famous fighter; The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman, the third book in the His Dark Materials fantasy trilogy; What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones, free verse celebrating a teen girl's coming-of-age; The Land by Mildred Taylor, the prequel to Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry; True Believer by Virginia Euwer Wolff, where a teen works hard for success and learns hard truths about love; and, Fighting Ruben Wolfe by Markus Zusak, in which two brothers join an illegal fight circuit to help their family survive.

Committee members were: Donna McMillen, Chair, Fairwood Library, King County Library System, Renton,WA; Nicolas Buron, Queens Borough Public Library, New York, NY; Margaret Butzler, Bethel Park Public Library, Bethel Park, PA; Nicole Cooke, Montclair, NJ; Valerie Diamond, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, MD; Cynthia Dobrez, Harbor Lights School, Holland, MI; Donna Gilliland, University of Saint Thomas, Keffer Library, Minneapolis, MN; Nancy Maltby Henkel, Maple Valley Library, King County Library System, Maple Valley, WA; Diana Tixler Herald, Grand Junction, CO; Jan Hoberecht, Newton, KS; Andrea Howe, Albuquerque Academy Library, Albuquerque, NM; Susan Hunter, Riverside Middle School, Springfield, VT; Betsy Levine, San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco, CA; Diane Monnier, Bethesda Regional Library, Bethesda, MD; Cindy Welch, Harold Washington Library, Chicago Public Library, Chicago, IL; Stephanie Zvirin, Consultant, American Library Association, Chicago, IL; Angelina Benedetti, Administrative Assistant, King County Library System, Issaquah, WA.

An annotated list will appear in the March 15 issue of Booklist and is available on the YALSA For Members Only website. For more information, contact the YALSA office by phone at 800-545-2433 x 4390 or e-mail, yalsa@ala.org


Bell, Hilari. A Matter of Profit. 2001. HarperCollins, $16.95 (0-06-029513-9).

Brashares, Ann. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. 2001. Delacorte, $14.95 (0-385-72933-2).

Brooks, Bruce. All That Remains. 2001. Atheneum, $16.00 (0-689-83351-2).

Card, Orson Scott. Shadow of the Hegemon. 2001. Tor Books, $25.95 (0-312-87651-3).

Clement-Davies, David. Fire Bringer. 2000. Dutton Children's Books, $19.95 (0-525-46492-1).

Color of Absence: Twelve Stories About Loss and Hope. Edited by James Howe. 2001. Atheneum, $16.00 (0-689-82862-4).

Cormier, Robert. The Rag and Bone Shop. 2001. Delacorte, $15.95 (0-385-72962-6).

Crutcher, Chris. Whale Talk. 2001. HarperCollins, $16.95 (0-06-029369-1).

Ferris, Jean. Eight Seconds. 2000. Harcourt, $17.00 (0-15-202367-4).

Ferris, Jean. Of Sound Mind. 2001. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $16.00 (0-374-35580-0).

Fleischman, Paul. Seek. 2001. Cricket Books, $16.95 (0-8126-4900-1).

Flinn, Alex. Breathing Underwater. 2001. HarperCollins, $15.95 (0-06-029198-2).

Geras, Adele. Troy. 2001. Harcourt, $17.00 (0-15-216492-8).

Griffin, Adele. Amandine. 2001. Hyperion Books for Children, $15.99 (0-7868-0618-4).

Heneghan, James. The Grave. 2000. FS&G, $17.00 (0-374-32765-3).

Holm, Jennifer. Boston Jane: an Adventure. 2001. HarperCollins, $16.95 (0-06-028738-1).

Jenkins, A. M.. Damage. 2001. HarperCollins, $15.95 (0-0602-9099-4).

Jimenez, Francisco. Breaking Through. 2001. Houghton Mifflin, $15.00 (0-618-01173-0).

Jordan, Sherryl. Secret Sacrament. 2001. HarperCollins, $15.95 (0-06-028904-X).

Klass, David. You Don't Know Me. 2001. FS&G, $17.00 (0-374-38706-0).

Koertge, Ron. Brimstone Journals. 2001. Candlewick, $15.99 (0-7636-1302-9).

Les Becquets, Diane. The Stones of Mourning Creek. 2001. Winslow, $16.95 (1-58837-004-6).

Love and Sex: Ten Stories of Truth. Edited by Michael Cart. 2001. Simon & Schuster, $18.00 (0-689-83203-6).

Lynch, Chris. Freewill. 2001. HarperCollins, $15.95 (0-06-028176-6).

McCormick, Patricia. Cut. 2000. Front Street, $16.95 (1-886910-61-8).

McDonald, Janet. Spellbound. 2001. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $16.00 (0-374-37140-7).

McDonald, Joyce. Shades of Simon Gray. 2001. Random House, $15.95 (0-385-32659-9).

Mikaelsen, Ben. Touching Spirit Bear. 2001. HarperCollins, $15.95 (0-380-97744-3).

Moriarty, Jaclyn. Feeling Sorry for Celia. 2001. St. Martins, $16.95 (0-312-26923-4).

Mosher, Richard. Zazoo. 2001. Houghton Mifflin, $16.00 (0-618-13534-0).

Na, An. A Step from Heaven. 2001. Front Street, $15.95 (1-886910-58-8).

Naidoo, Beverly. The Other Side of Truth. 2001. HarperCollins, $15.95 (0-06-029628-3).

Nix, Garth. Lirael. 2001. HarperCollins, $16.95 (0-06-027823-4).

Nolan, Han. Born Blue. 2001. Harcourt, $17.00 (0-15-201916-2).

On the Fringe. Edited by Don Gallo. 2001. Penguin Putnam, $17.99 (0-8037-2656-2).

Park, Linda Sue. A Single Shard. 2001. Houghton Mifflin, $15.00 (0-395-97827-0).

Peck, Richard. Fair Weather. 2001. Dial Books for Young Readers, $16.99 (0-8037-2516-7).

Pierce, Meredith Ann. Treasure at the Heart of the Tanglewood. 2001. Penguin Putnam, $16.99 (0-670-89247-5).

Pierce, Tamora. Protector of the Small: Squire. 2001. Random House, $15.95 (0-679-889-167).

Pratchett, Terry. The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. 2001. HarperCollins, $15.89 (0-06-001234-X).

Pullman, Philip. The Amber Spyglass. 2000. Knopf, $19.95 (0-679-87926-9).

Rees, Celia. Witch Child. 2001. Candlewick, $15.99 (0-7636-1421-1).

Rice, David. Crazy Loco. 2001. Penguin Putnam, $16.99 (0-8037-2598-1).

Ryan, Sara. Empress of the World. 2001. Penguin Putnam, $15.99 (0-670-89688-8).

Salisbury, Graham. The Lord of the Deep. 2001. Delacorte, $15.95 (0-385-72918-9).

Sanchez, Alex. Rainbow Boys. 2001. Simon and Schuster, $17.00 (0-689-84100-0).

Shinn, Sharon. Summers at Castle Auburn. 2001. Penguin Putnam, $14.95 (0-441-00803-8).

Sones, Sonya. What My Mother Doesn't Know. 2001. Simon & Schuster, $17.00 (0-689-84114-0).

Stratton, Allan. Leslie's Journal. 2000. Annick Press, $19.95 (1-55037-665-9).

Tashjian, Janet. The Gospel According to Larry. 2001. Henry Holt, $16.95 (0-8050-6378-1).

Taylor, Mildred. The Land. 2001. Penguin Putnam, $17.99 (0-8037-1950-7).

Tingle, Rebecca. The Edge On the Sword. 2001. Penguin Putnam, $18.99 (0-399-23580-9).

Vance, Susanna. Sights. 2001. Delacorte, $15.95 (0-385-32761-7).

Vande Velde, Vivian. Being Dead. 2001. Harcourt, $17.00. (0-15-216320-4).

Vijayaraghaven, Vineeta. Motherland. 2001. Soho Press, $23.00 (1-56947-217-3).

Weaver, Beth. Rooster. 2001. Winslow, $15.95 (1-58837-001-1).

Werlin, Nancy. Black Mirror. 2001. Dial Books for Young Readers, $16.99 (0-8037-2605-8).

Williams-Garcia, Rita. Every Time a Rainbow Dies. 2001. William Morrow, $15.95 (0-688-16245-2).

Wittlinger, Ellen. Razzle. 2001. Simon and Schuster, $17.00 (0-689-83565-5).

Wolff, Virginia Euwer. True Believer. 2001. Atheneum, $17.00 (0-689-82827-6).

Zusak, Markus. Fighting Ruben Wolfe. 2001. Scholastic, $15.95 (0-439-24188-X).


Colton, Larry. Counting Coup: the True Story of Basketball and Honor on the Little Big Horn. 2000. Warner Books, $24.95 (0-446-52683-5).

Cooper, Michael. Fighting for Honor: Japanese Americans and World War II. 2000. Houghton Mifflin, $16.00 (0-395-91375-6).

Fisher, Antwone, with Mim Eichler Rivas. Finding Fish. 2001. HarperCollins, $25.00 (0-688-17699-2).

Fradin, Dennis Brindell. Bound for the North Star: True Stories of Fugitive Slaves. 2000. Clarion, $20.00 (0-395-97017-2).

Greenberg, Jan and Sandra Jordan. Vincent Van Gogh: Portrait of an Artist. 2001. Delacorte, $14.95 (0-385-32806-0).

Heart to Heart: New Poems Inspired by 20th Century American Art. Edited by Jan Greenberg. 2001. Harry Abrams, $19.95 (0-8109-4386-7).

Hoose, Phillip. We Were There, Too!: Young People in U.S. History. 2001. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $26.00 (0-374-38252-2).

Kendall, Martha. Failure Is Impossible: the History of American Women's Rights. 2001. Lerner, $22.60 (0-82225-1744-2).

Ketchum, Liza. Into the New Country: Eight Remarkable Women of the West. 2000. Little Brown, $18.95 (0-316-49597-2).

King, Daniel. Chess: From First Moves to Checkmate. 2001. Kingfisher, $16.95 (0-7534-5387-8).

Lawlor, Laurie. Helen Keller: Rebellious Spirit. 2001. Holiday House, $22.95 (0-8234-1588-0).

Lee, Bruce; selected and edited by John Little. Bruce Lee: the Celebrated Life of the Golden Dragon. 2000. Tuttle, $24.95 (0-8048-3230-7).

Marrin, Albert. George Washington and the Founding of a Nation. 2001. Dutton Children's Books, $30.00 (0-525-46481-6).

Murphy, Jim. Blizzard: the Storm that Changed America. 2000. Scholastic, $18.95 (0-590-67309-2).

Myers, Walter Dean. Bad Boy: a Memoir. 2001. HarperCollins, $15.89 (0-06-029523-6).

Myers, Walter Dean. The Greatest: Muhammad Ali. 2001. Scholastic, $16.95 (0-590-54342-3).

Nelson, Marilyn. Carver: a Life in Poems. 2001. Front Street, $16.95 (1-886910-53-7).

Orgill, Roxane. Shout, Sister, Shout!: Ten Girl Singers Who Shaped a Century. 2001. Simon and Schuster, $18.00 (0-689-81991-9).

Owen, David. Hidden Evidence: Forty True Crimes and How Forensic Science Helped Solve Them. 2000. Firefly Books Ltd., $24.95 (1-55209-483-9).

Things I Have to Tell You: Poems and Writing by Teenage Girls. Edited by Betsy Franco. 2001. Candlewick, $8.99, $15.99 (0-7636-1035-6, 0-7636-0905-6).

Voices: Poetry and Art From Around the World. edited by Barbara Brenner. 2000. National Geographic Society, $18.95 (0-7922-7071-1).

Words with Wings: a Treasury of African-American Poetry and Art. Edited by Belinda Rochelle. 2001. HarperCollins, $16.95 (0-688-16415-3).

Yell-OH Girls!: Emerging Voices Explore Culture, Identity and Growing-Up Asian American. edited by Vickie Nam. 2001. HarperCollins, $13.00 (0-06-095944-4).