2010 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults

The list of 88 titles, drawn from 165 official nominations, is presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. This year’s PPYA committee produced four lists of titles arranged by the following topics:

  • Bodies: They come in all shapes, sizes, and abilities...love it or hate it, you only have one body.
  • Change Your World You say you want a revolution? Teens, take the world into your hands with books about politics, environmentalism and activism. The revolution starts now
  • Hard Knock Life Sometimes the odds are stacked against you. What do you do when life knocks you down?
  • Twists on the Tale: The times may change, but the tales remain eternal. Classic literature and folktales are given a makeover in these retellings.

"Teen readers and the librarians who serve them are a diverse group, but they are all looking for a good book,” said Elizabeth Saxton, committee chair. “Hopefully our lists this year will help teens realize that life can be hard and everybody has issues, but if you are willing to make a difference there is a good chance for a happily ever after” 

Members of the Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults Committee are: Elizabeth Saxton, Chair , Cleveland (Ohio) Public Library; Teresa Allen, Colorado State Library, Denver; Kay Bowes, Brandywine Hundred Library, Wilmington, De.; Karen Brooks-Reese, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Pa.; Valerie Davis, Campbell County Public Library, Newport, Ky.; Franklin Escobedo, Oceanside (Calif.) Public Library; Megan Honig, New York Public Library; Jennifer Korn, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio; Renee C. McGrath, Nassau Library System, Uniondale, N.Y.; Morgan McMillian, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, Texas;  Elizabeth Schneider, Moorpark City Library,Calif.; Melanie Wachsmann, Lone Star College Cyfair Branch, Cypress, Texas; and Shauna Yusko, Evergreen Junior High, Redmond, Wash.


They come in all shapes, sizes, and abilities...love it or hate it, you only have one body.

Melanie Wachsmann - Sub-Committee Chair
Kay Bowes
Franklin Escobedo
Megan Honig
Renee McGrath
Morgan McMillian
Elizabeth Saxton
Ann Sloan

Cabot, Meg. Airhead. Scholastic Point, 2009; ISBN 13: 978-0-545-04054-9;  $9.99   The body of a model, the mind of a tomboy gamer.
Crutcher, Chris. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes. HarperTeen, 2003; ISBN 13: 978-0-06-009489-8  $8.99         

How far would you go to help a friend?     

Deuker, Carl. Gym Candy. Graphia, 2008; ISBN 13: 978-0-547-07631-7; $8.99    

Sometimes the glare of the Friday night lights is blinding.   

Flake, Sharon. The Skin I'm In. Hyperion, 2007; ISBN 13: 978-1-4231-0385-1; $7.99 

Learning to love the color of your skin.
Friedman, Robin. Nothing. Flux, 2008; ISBN 13: 978-0-7387-1304-5; $9.95  
He’s starving for perfection.   

Friend, Natasha. Perfect. Milkweed, 2004; ISBN 13: 978-1-57131-651-6; $6.95         

Bulimia lands her in group therapy with the most popular girl in school.   

George, Madeline. Looks. Puffin, 2009; ISBN 13: 978-0-14-241419-4; $7.99             
No matter your size you can still feel invisible.   

Hogan, Mary. Pretty Face. HarperTeen, 2009; ISBN 13: 978-0-06-084113-3; $8.99 

In Santa Monica, Hayley's fat. In Italy, she's beautiful. 

Katcher, Brian. Playing With Matches. Random House, 2008; ISBN 13: 978-0-385-73545-2; $7.99    

Will Leon learn that beauty is not only skin deep?
Mackler, Carolyn. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things. Walker Books, 2006; ISBN 13: 978-1-84428-293-7; $8.67

Her family's perfection is only skin deep.     

Margolis, Leslie. Fix. Simon Pulse, 2006; ISBN 13: 978-1-4169-2456-2; $6.99             
Fixing your problems seems as easy as going under the knife...

Medina, Nico. Fat Hoochie Prom Queen. Simon Pulse, 2008. ISBN 13: 978-1-4169-3603-9;  $8.99   

Who says a big girl can’t be prom queen?

Mizushiro, Setona. After School Nightmare Vol. 1. Go Comi, 2006; ISBN 13: 978-1-933617-16-9; $10.99             

Mashiro's secret is about to become everyone's nightmare.   

Moskowitz, Hannah. Break. Simon Pulse, 2009; ISBN 13: 978-1-4169-8275-3; $8.99

Jonah’s mission: Break every bone in his body.

Pearson, Mary. The Adoration of Jenna Fox. Square Fish, 2009; ISBN 13: 978-0-312-59441-1; $8.99  

Who or what is Jenna Fox?
Redd, Nancy Amanda. Body Drama. Gotham, 2007; ISBN 13: 978-1-59240-326-4; $20.00           

Real bodies, real issues, real photos.   

Rosen, Renee. Every Crooked Pot. St. Martin's Griffin, 2007; ISBN 13: 978-0-312-36543-1; $9.95    

Growing up is hard enough, but Nina's stawberry birthmark on her face makes it worse.

Salter, Sydney. My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters. Graphia, 2009; ISBN 13: 978-0-15-206643-7;  $7.99              

Funny things happen when you’re saving up for a new nose.

Sarkar, Dona. Shrink to Fit. Kimani, 2008; ISBN 13: 978-0-373-83095-4; $9.99          

The body of an athlete isn’t good enough for the modeling world.           

Supplee, Suzanne. Artichoke's Heart. Puffin, 2009; ISBN 13: 978-0-14-241427-9; $7.99

Is there room in a small town for a big girl? 

Trueman, Terry. Stuck in Neutral. HarperTeen, 2001; ISBN 13: 978-0-06-447213-5; $8.99           

Does Shawn’s father really want to kill him?    

Vaught, Susan. My Big Fat Manifesto. Bloomsbury, 2009; ISBN 13: 978-1-59990-362-0; $8.99 

She fights for fat acceptance, he gets weight loss surgery.  

Wasserman, Robin. Skinned. Simon Pulse, 2009; ISBN 13: 978-1-4169-7449-9; $9.99  

From It Girl to robot.     

Williams, Laura. Slant. Milkweed Editions, 2008; ISBN 13: 978-1-57131-682-0; $6.95 

Korean-American girl wants Western eyes.

   Change Your World or Live to Regret It

You say you want a revolution? Teens, take the world into your hands with books about politics, environmentalism and activism. The revolution starts now

Dawn McMillan - Sub-Committee Chair
Valerie Davis
Renee McGrath
Morgan McMillian
Ann Sloan
Melanie Wachsmann
Shauna Yusko

Anderson, Laurie Halse. Prom. Puffin, 2006; ISBN 13: 978-0-14-240570-3; $8.99               

Save the prom, save the world.  

Anderson, M.T. Feed. Candlewick Press, 2004; ISBN 13: 978-0-7636-2259-6; $7.99  

Are you strong enough to fight the Feed?  

Bauer, Joan. Hope Was Here. Puffin, 2005; ISBN 13: 978-0-14-240424-9; $7.99

Leaving your mark on small town politics.

Bertagna, Julie. Exodus. Walker Books for Young Readers, 2009; ISBN 13: 978-0802798268;  $8.99       

In a world covered by water the search for land is your only hope.   

Castellucci, Cecil. The Plain Janes. DC Comics, 2007; ISBN 13: 978-1-4012-1115-8; $9.99    

Can art terrorism change suburbia?

DuPrau, Jeanne. City of Ember. Random House, 2004; ISBN 13: 978-0-375-82274-2 $5.99  

Time’s running out, can you escape while there is still light? 

Goodman, Allegra. The Other Side of the Island. Razorbill, 2008; ISBN 13: 978-1-59514-195-8; $8.99     

Be careful...Earth Mother is always watching.  
Gore, Al. Our Choice: How We Can Solve the Climate Crisis. Puffin, 2009; ISBN 13: 9780142409817; $16.99    

Global warming 101.     

Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Among the Hidden. Aladdin, 2000; ISBN 13:978-0-689-82475-3; $5.99  

Luke, an illegal third child, may not be alone.  But is he brave enough to find out?  

Hautman, Pete. Rash. Simon Pulse, 2007; ISBN 13: 978-0-689-86904-4; $9.99  

Prison, pizza and polar bears, oh my!  

Hiaasen, Carl. Hoot. Yearling, 2006; ISBN 13: 978-0-440-42170-2; $6.99              

Fighting corporate greed to protect an owl habitat.

Korman, Gordon. Schooled. Hyperion, 2008; ISBN 13: 978-1-4231-0516-9; $5.99       

From hippie commune to suburban middle school.   

Levithan, David. Wide Awake. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2008; ISBN 13: 978-0-375-83467-7; $8.99       

Teens take charge when the first gay, Jewish president's election is called into question.   

Lewis, Barbara A. The Teen Guide to Global Action: How to Connect With Others (Near & Far) to Create Social Change. Free Spirit Publishing, 2007; ISBN 13; 978-1-57542-266-4; $12.95 

An action plan to make the world a better place.     

Lowry, Lois. The Giver. 2002. Laurel Leaf, 2002; ISBN 13: 978-0-440-23768-6; $6.99    

In a society where all choice has been taken away, Jonas fights for freedom.
MySpace Community, and Jeca Taudte. MySpace/OurPlanet: Change Is Possible. HarperTeen, 2008; ISBN 13:978-0-06-156204-4; $12.99.                  

Want to go green? MySpace will tell you how.

Ostow, Micol. Popular Vote. Scholastic Point, 2008; ISBN 13: 978-0-545-07521-3; $8.99 

She's found a real cause, but it's the cause of all her problems.  

Thomas, Garen. Yes We Can: A Biography of Barack Obama. Feiwel and Friends, 2008; ISBN 13: 978-0-312-537098; $6.99 

Change in real life. 

   Hard Knock Life

Sometimes the odds are stacked against you. What do you do when life knocks you down?

Megan Honig - Sub-Committee Chair
Teresa Allen
Karen Brooks-Reese
Franklin Escobedo
Jennifer Korn
Elizabeth Schneider
Shauna Yusko

Alexie, Sherman. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Little Brown Young Readers, 2009; ISBN 13: 978-0-316-01369-7; $8.99                  

Off the rez, the only other Indian is the school mascot.   

Beah, Ishmael. Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux,  2007; ISBN 13: 978-0-374-53126-3; $12.00  

Orphaned, addicted to cocaine, and experienced with an AK-47, all by the age of thirteen.
Booth, Coe. Tyrell. Push, 2007; ISBN 13:978-0-439-83880-1; $7.99             

Being a man is hard when you’re only fifteen.
Buckhanon, Kalisha. Upstate. St.Martin's Press, 2005; ISBN 13: 978-0-312-33269-3; $12.95          

Can first love survive a prison sentence.

Deuker, Carl. Runner. Graphia, 2005; ISBN 13: 978-0-618-73505-1; $8.99           

Running to keep your life afloat.   

Hopkins, Ellen. Impulse. Simon Pulse, 2007; ISBN 13: 978-1-4169-0357-4; $9.99 

Death, drugs, and sex in a mental institution.

Inoue, Takehiko. Real Vol. 1. Viz Media, 2008; ISBN 13: 978-1-4215-1989-0; $12.99  

Deal with pain and loss through wheelchair basketball.
Jaramillo, Ann. La Linea. Square Fish, 2008; ISBN 13:  978-0-312-37354-2; $7.99               

Brother and sister, crossing to the U.S., no matter what it takes.        

Jordan, Dream. Hot Girl.  St. Martin's Griffin, 2008; ISBN 13: 978-0-312-38284-1; $9.95     

Foster kid Kate, bad girl Naleejah.     

Lowell, Pamela. Returnable Girl. Marshall Cavendish, 2009; ISBN 13: 978-0-7614-5592-9; $6.99      

She wishes there was a "No Returns" policy on kids. 

McCormick, Patricia. Sold. Hyperion, 2008; ISBN 13: 978-0-7868-5172-0; $8.99  

Forced into prostitution by her own family.

Myers, Walter Dean. Street Love. Harper Collins, 2006; ISBN 13: 978-0-06-440732-8; $7.99   

Hard-knock girl meets well-off boy.   

Pelzer, Dave. A Child Called "It."  Health Communications, 1995; ISBN 13: 978-1-55874-366-3; $11.95 

Real life, real abuse.     
Sapphire. Push. Vintage, 1997; ISBN 13: 978-0-679-76675-9; $12.95  

Precious: her father’s baby, her mother’s abuse, her own voice.

Scott, Elizabeth. Living Dead Girl. Simon Pulse, 2008;  ISBN 13: 978-1-4169-6060-7; $8.99  

Abducted into five years of sexual abuse.

Shakur, Tupac. The Rose that Grew From Concrete. MTV, 2009; ISBN13: 978-0-671-02845-9; $16.00    

Life, love, justice, and the streets, in Tupac Shakur’s words.   

Sister Souljah. The Coldest Winter Ever. PocketStar, 2006; ISBN 13: 978-1-4165-2169-3; $7.99   

The streets are cold when you hit bottom.

Strasser, Todd. Can't Get There From Here. Simon Pulse, 2004; ISBN 13: 978-0-689-84170-5; $5.99   

Nine homeless teens, maybe one can get somewhere.    
Van Draanen, Wendelin. Runaway. Laurel Leaf, 2008; ISBN 13: 978-0-440-42109-2; $6.50  

Nowhere's safe for a runaway.   

Volponi, Paul. Hurricane Song. Speak, 2008; ISBN 13: 978-0-14-241418-7;  $6.99      

Tough boy, tough life, tough hurricane
Werlin, Nancy. The Rules of Survival. Puffin, 2008; ISBN 13: 978-0-14-241071-4; $7.99             

Protecting his kid sisters from the rages of their mother.    


   Twists on the Tale

The times may change, but the tales remain eternal. Classic literature and folktales are given a makeover in these retellings.

Elizabeth Schneider - Sub-Committee Chair
Teresa Allen
Kay Bowes
Karen Brooks-Reese
Valerie Davis
Jennifer Korn
Dawn McMillan
Elizabeth Saxton

Beddor, Frank. The Looking Glass Wars. Puffin, 2007; ISBN 13: 978-0-14-240941-1; $8.99          

Alyss must battle her aunt Redd for the throne of Wonderland.   

Cabot, Meg. Avalon High Coronation Volume 1: The Merlin Prophecy. Tokyopop, 2007; ISBN 13: 978-0-06-117707-1; $7.99  

Camelot goes to high school.

Cary, Kate. Bloodline. Razorbill, 2005; ISBN 13: 978-1-59514-078-6; $8.99    

The vampires of Transylvania are back to drink your blood. 

Dokey, Cameron. Wild Orchid: A Retelling of "The Ballad of Mulan." Simon Pulse, 2009; ISBN 13: 978-1-4169-7168-9; $6.99 

Saving China is even harder when you're a girl.

Draper, Sharon. Romiette and Julio. Simon Pulse, 2001; ISBN 13:  978-0-689-84209-2; $6.99       

Love will keep them together when everyone wants them apart.     

Durst, Sarah Beth. Into the Wild. Razorbill, 2008; ISBN 13: 978-1-59514-185-9; $7.99     

Fairy tales escape their stories - and will do anything to stay free.    

Flinn, Alex. Beastly. Harperteen, 2008; ISBN 13: 978-0-06-087418-6; $6.99         

He was a bully, and then he became a Beast.     

Franklin, Emily.  At Face Value. Flux, 2008; ISBN 13: 978-0-7387-1307-6; $9.99 

Even her nose isn’t big enough to hide her true feelings. 

Gaiman, Neil. Marvel 1602. Marvel Comics, 2006; ISBN 13: 978-0-7851-2311-8; $19.99              

Marvel meets the seventeenth century.  

Gehrman, Jody. Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty. Puffin, 2008; ISBN 13: 978-0-14-241268-8; $7.99      

Much ado about high school.

Gratz, Alan. Something Rotten: A Horatio Wilkes Mystery. Puffin, 2009; ISBN 13: 978-0-14-241297-8; $6.99      

Something stinks in Denmark, Tennessee, and it's not just the water.  

Hale, Shannon. The Goose Girl. Bloomsbury, 2005; ISBN 13: 978-1-58234-990-9; $8.99              

She was a queen hidden amongst the geese.    
Hale, Shannon and Dean Hale. Rapunzel's Revenge. Bloomsbury, 2008; ISBN 13: 978-1-59990-288-3; $14.99

Revenge is sweet when you are an angry fairy tale heroine.

Klein, Lisa. Ophelia. Bloomsbury, 2006; ISBN 13: 978-1-59990-228-9; $7.95       

To stay with Hamlet, or to save herself: that is the question?  

Korman, Gordon. Jake, Reinvented. Hyperion, 2005; ISBN 13: 978-0-7868-5697-8; $5.99             

Parties, football, and lies. Gatsby for the twenty-first century.   

Marriot, Zoe. The Swan Kingdom. Candlewick Press, 2009; ISBN 13: 978-0-7636-4293-8; $8.99  

Can old magic and sacrifice set her kingdom free?

McKinley, Robin. Beauty. Eos, 2005; ISBN 13:978-0-06-075310-8; $6.99             

All she wanted was a rose. All she found was love.       

Minekura, Kazuya. Saiyuki Reload. TokyoPop, 2005; ISBN 13: 978-1-59816-025-3; $9.99      

An edgy comic look at an ancient Chinese tale. 

Napoli, Donna Jo. Bound. Simon Pulse, 2006; ISBN 13: 978-0-689-86178-9; $6.99                

You don’t have to bind your feet to find a prince. 

Pattou, Edith. East. Magic Carpet Books, 2005; ISBN 13: 978-0-15-205221-8; $8.95                  

Rose travels east of the sun, west of the moon to save her true love.   

Rallison, Janette. My Fair Godmother. Walker Books for Young Readers, 2009; ISBN 13: 978-0-8027-2073-3; $8.99  

Flunking fairy godmother seeks extra credit.   

Selfors, Suzanne. Saving Juliet. Walker & Company, 2009; ISBN 13: 978-0-8027-9831-2; $8.99    

Romeo and Juliet doesn’t have to end in tragedy.

Shusterman, Neal. Red Rider's Hood. Puffin, 2006; ISBN 13: 978-0-142-40678-6;  $6.99   

Lucky for Red, grandma was an experienced werewolf hunter. 

Stiefvater, Maggie. Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception. Flux, 2008. ISBN 13: 978-0-7387-1370-0: $9.95   

The Faerie World comes much closer  than she’d like. 

Werlin, Nancy. Impossible. Speak, 2009; ISBN 13: 978-0-14-241491-0; $9.99  

Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Be careful of what you find there...