I Love YA—YALSA Teen’s Top Ten Books

On Saturday, October 15 the polls closed for the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Teen’s Top Ten books of 2016. This top ten list is chosen from teens all around the country who nominate and then vote for their favorite books of the previous year. A big YA reader myself but unable to vote, each year I review the books nominated and choose my own top ten. Then, when the list comes out, I like to compare my choices with the ones the teens have chosen.  Last year, I only got four correct.  Let’s see how I did this year.

Continue reading

40 Books for Teens to Read Outside of School

This week is Teen Read Week, which is a week set aside to encourage teens to read for pleasure, not just for school.  Did you know that nearly two-thirds of employers consider reading comprehension a very important skill for high school graduates? Yet 38% of employers consider most high school graduates deficient in this basic skill. Why? Reading scores for 12th-graders have fallen significantly in the past decade, and while teens spend on average 2 or more hours a day watching television, they only spend seven minutes of their daily leisure time reading.  The declining reading comprehension skills will not only effect their ability to get a good job, but reading comprehension has also been tied with the willingness to participate in civic and cultural events.  But, what books will engage their minds outside of school and make them want to read?

Well, I polled our 3,000 bibliomaniacs and asked them, “What books did you like as a teen, and what books would you want to read if you were a teenager now?” So without further ado, here are 40 Books for Teens to Read Outside of School.

1) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, 2) Divergent by Veronica Roth, 3) Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, 4) Uglies by Scott Westerfield, 5) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, 6) Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce, 7) Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, 8) The Fault in our Stars by John Green, 9) The Crazy Horse Electric Game by Chris Crutcher, 10) Shade’s Children by Garth Nix, 11) Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen, 12) Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, 13) Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, 14) Knee Deep in Thunder by Shelia Moon, 15) The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley, 16) Unwind by Neal Shusterman, 17) I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak, 18) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie, 19) Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A. S. King, 20) Pure by Julianna Baggott, 21) Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, 22) Go Ask Alice by Anonymous, 23) Mister Monday by Garth Nix, 24) Fablehaven by Brandon Mull, 25) The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, 26) Going Bovine by Libba Bray, 27) Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison, 28) Battle Royale: The Novel by Koushun Takami, 29) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, 30) Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, 31) City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, 32) The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour, 33) Book Thief by Markus Zusak, 34) The Diviners by Libba Bray, 35) Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, 36) Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, 37) The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein, 38) City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau, 39) Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen, 40) Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale by Holly Black.

You know, several of these books have been nominated for the Young Adult Library Service Association, or YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten list at one time or another.  For more books for teens to read outside of school, check out the winners of this year’s YALSA’S Teens’ Top Ten, not to mention all the nominees.  And don’t forget to celebrate Teen Read Week by looking for these books and more at your local HPB.

Julie is Production Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.
You may follow her on Twitter at @auntjewey.

Young Adult Library Services Association 2012 Teen Choice Nominees

It’s that time again! Time to vote for the Young Adult Library Services Association’s (YALSA) Teen’s Top Ten list, nominated by teen book discussion groups in libraries and schools across the country. Last year’s winners included Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare and one of my favorites, Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver. Here are a few of the nominees for this year.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
This book has been getting a lot of attention this year and has even been reviewed by our own Kristen B. in her “Countdown to Summer: 4 Dystopian Young Adult Series” blog post.  This book is one of my top picks for the YALSA Teen’s Top Ten list.  In a world where you are forced to make a choice between five factions that will end up determining your friends, your family, and your beliefs for the rest of your life, sixteen-year-old Tris discovers that she is divergent, a word that is spoken in hushed tones, if it is spoken at all.  But what does it mean to be divergent?  Are there others like her? Will being divergent help her save her family and friends when the unity between factions is broken?  A definite must read for teens and adults alike. The movie rights to Divergent have been picked up by Summit Studios and Evan Daughtery will be writing the screenplay. Currently, the movie is scheduled to come out in 2015.
Scarlett by A.C. Gaughen
If you love the story of Robin Hood, you will love A.C. Gaughen’s Scarlett.  Will Scarlett is one of the most well known of Robin Hood’s legendary merry men. However, what most people don’t know, is that Will Scarlett is actually a girl disguised as a boy in order to escape the guilt of her past, and the man who gave her the scar that mars her face.  But when her past catches up with her, will she face what she has dreaded for so long, or will she run, leaving Robin to pay for her past with his life?  This book is nonstop action, moving from one fight to the next in true Robin Hood fashion.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
This book is a trip!  Interspersed with very peculiar (for lack of a better word) photographs, this book tells the story of sixteen-year-old Jacob who embarks on a journey to a remote island off of Wales, after witnessing his grandfather being murdered by a strange creature who seemed to step right out of Jacob’s nightmares. Once on the island, Jacob steps through a time loop to find a home of children who can fly, turn invisible, and make fire in the palms of their hands, At this home, Jacob finds out that not only was his grandfather “peculiar,” but he is as well, and that the “peculiars” are being hunted by the same creatures he has been seeing in his nightmares.  What Jacob doesn’t know is that those creatures have followed him to Wales and in his dogged pursuit of the truth about his grandfather, he may have just put them all in grave danger.
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel
For all of you who have been dying for a prequel to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the wait is over. Kenneth Oppel’s This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Fankenstein follows sixteen-year-old Victor as he searches for a way to save his brother’s life.  Though there is a lot of sibling rivalry between Victor and his twin brother, Konrad, the two boys love each other very much. So, when Konrad becomes ill and the doctors don’t seem to be helping, Victor turns to alchemy, a mysterious science whose practice has been outlawed.  As Victor secretly searches for the elixir of life, he discovers secrets that his family has been hiding from him, and a passion that may put his brother’s life at greater risk.  Though an interesting premise and a good read, I didn’t find anything in Victor that made me want to cheer for him.  Then again, maybe that was the point.

Check out the complete list of the 25 nominees for YALSA Teen’s Top Ten list (PDF) and let me know which books you think will make it. Voting open for readers ages 12-18 now through September 15, 2012. Winners to be announced during Teen Read Week, October 14-20.

— Julie

Young Adult Library Services Association 2011 Teen’s Choice Nominees

It’s time to vote for the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Teen’s Top Ten, a “teen choice” list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books from the previous year. Every year, 30+ publishers send recent young adult titles to teen book discussion groups in libraries and schools across the country. These groups evaluate the books and nominate their favorites for YALSA’s Teen’s Top Ten list. Being a big fan of previous winners – like Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, Inkheart by Cornelia Funke and Twilight by Stephenie Meyer – I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth (no pun intended) into this year’s list. Of the twenty-five nominees, here are my two favorite picks for the YALSA Teen’s Top Ten.

before i fall by Lauren Oliver

Sam, a popular senior girl at Thomas Jefferson High School, gets into a car accident coming home from a party and dies, but instead of a white light or pearly gates, she wakes up in her own bedroom and must live through the day of her death again. Now, she is stuck in a loop and every time she goes to sleep, she wakes up the morning of her accident, and every day she discovers something new about herself, about her accident and about how her actions affect other people. A definite must read, with an ending I didn’t expect. Be prepared for a few tears.

Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld

The second book in the Leviathan series, continues the adventures of Deryn/Dylan, a girl (Deryn) dressed as a boy (Dylan) serving as a British airman during World War I. Though constantly worried that someone will discover her secret, Deryn makes friends with Alek, an Austrian prince who has a few secrets of his own, and together they plan a revolution, destroy the Germans’ hold on the Ottoman empire and save the British airship “The Leviathan” from the Germans new weapon, the Teslaa canon. This series was my first experience with the steampunk genre, and I can’t wait to read the third book – Goliath is scheduled for release in September.

Other books on the list include I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore, Love Inc. by Yvonne Collins, and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, the third and final installment of the Hunger Games trilogy. 

Be sure to check out the complete list of the 25 YALSA Teen’s Top Ten nominees. Voting will begin August 22 for readers ages 12-18 and the winners will be announced during Teen Read Week, October 16-22.  

Which is your pick? And who do you think will make it to the top ten?

— Julie