Award Winners, Teens' Top Ten

2020 Teens’ Top Ten Nominees

Nominees are the top titles of 2019 as chosen by teen book groups. Voting for the the top ten is now open.

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Emoni Santiago is a senior in high school and has a fiery passion for cooking and her family. With a young daughter and a grandma to take care of, Emoni is struggling to choose whether to follow her dreams of becoming a chef or stay with her family.

Broken Throne: A Red Queen Collection by Victoria Aveyard

Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own. Follow Mare in this series collection, with three new unpublished novellas!

Lovely War by Julie Berry

It’s 1917, and World War I is at its zenith when Hazel and James first catch sight of each other at a London party. She’s a shy and talented pianist; he’s a newly minted soldier with dreams of becoming an architect. When they fall in love, it’s immediate and deep – and cut short when James is shipped off to the killing fields.

Last Bus to Everland by Sophie Cameron

Brody Fair is a teenager that not many people understood – not his parents, siblings, and obviously not the girls in his neighborhood that make his life a living nightmare. But one day he meets Nico who takes him into a very bizarre world that only opens at 11:21pm and in there he meets a few people that become his friends. But when the doors start to close, Brody needs to make a choice of either staying in Everland with Nico and risking not seeing his family again or going home and having to say goodbye to Nico and Everland forever.

Between Worlds : Folktales of Britain and Ireland by Kevin Crossley

Between Worlds is a book full of many wonderful and interesting folktales from both Britain and Ireland. There are many stories of different genres, including Magic and Wonder, Adventures and Legends, and even about ghosts! While some stories last up to 13 pages, there are others that only last as long as one to three pages!

My Ideal Boyfriend is a Croissant by Laura Dockrill

Bluebelle aka BB or Big Bones loves food and is unapologetic about it, but when she has a bad asthma attack, she is tasked with losing weight and keeping a food diary. Grudgingly, she accepts, but when a tragedy hits her family, it becomes the least of her worries.

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

Zafira Bint Iskandar is the Hunter. The savior for her people – but they will never know it, because their prejudice against women forces Zafira to hide her identity. Nasir, an assassin and the Prince, is forced to leave behind his compassion by his father. As the Arz, the darkness grows closer, the two embark on a quest for an artifact to save Arawiya, but while Zafira is set on stopping the Arz, Nasir is set on the mission given to him by his father: Kill the Hunter and take the Artifact to the palace.

Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan

Seventeen-year-old Anlei wants to protect her village from the shadow spirits called Ligui – even if that means marrying the local viceroy and giving up her own freedom. But on the day before her wedding, she meets a secretive thief named Tai, and the two of them embark on an epic quest to destroy the Ligui and save the world. Their journey will take them to Hell and back, but the mysteries of the shadow spirits are not so easily solved.

Warhead: The True Story of One Teen Who Almost Saved the World by Jeff Henigson

When Jeff, an average 15-year-old learns he has brain cancer, his plans of getting a girlfriend and a new car goes falling. While Jeff is fighting for his life, the leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union are in a standoff. When Jeff is given a wish, he wishes to meet the leader of the Soviet Union to discuss ending the Cold War. Will he be able to achieve World Peace?

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

When Tyler Jones saves Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, he doesn’t expect to be pulled into an intergalactic adventure that threatens the living universe and puts his very values to the test. Instead, he’s more worried about the rag-tag squad of Aurora Academy dredges that he’s been assigned after missing the Draft. But together they embark on a mission to understand Aurora’s paranormal behavior, and in the process become more than just friends.

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

Tierney lives in a world where women are treated like something men have control over but at the same time must be careful of, for they have a mysterious magic. All girls at the age of 16 must complete something called the Grace Year, a year of banishment from greater society. Tierney wants to make it out of the Grace year alive and go to work on the fields. But things don’t exactly go according to plan. She and the girls she’s with, in fact, uncover some of the biggest secrets of their world.

The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy

17-year-old Etta Lark wants to live outside of the corrupt culture of her realm, but grapples with the guilt of an accident that has left her mother bedridden in the city’s asylum. When the ruler of the city, Madame, threatens to put her mother up for auction, a Craewick practice in which a “criminal’s” memories are sold to the highest bidder before being killed, Etta will do whatever it takes to save her. To save her mother, Etta rejoins the Shadows, the rebel group she swore off in the wake of the accident years earlier, and sets out to steal a memorized map of the Maze, a formidable prison created by the bloodthirsty ruler of a neighboring Realm.

#MurderFunding by Gretchen McNeil

After Becca’s mom’s death, a mysterious girl shows up at Becca’s school. With theories floating around the internet about the true identity of some famous serial killers, Becca goes on a mission to figure out her mom’s past.

The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

Norris Kaplan, a hilarious, snarky black French-Canadian teen, has to move from Montreal to Austin, Texas with his single mother. In his less-than-ideal new environment, he meets new people and starts categorizing them with his trademark Kaplan-wit in a notebook, for his own amusement. He makes new friends and experiences brief romance but is overall hilarious and painfully honest about his experience on uncharted grounds.

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Raxter school has been under quarantine for eighteen months. Nobody knows what caused the mysterious outbreak of the tox. Everyone at the school started getting infected and makes them feel strangers in their own body. Hetty has been dealing with her own demons since this began and waiting for a cure seems pointless. Once her friend Byatt goes missing, she becomes restless and wants answers.

Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones

Dreamland tells the tale of America’s opiate epidemic in a way that feels as though you are hearing it firsthand; it weaves the stories of addicts and activists alike into a novel that is enticing and shocking. Quinones writes a novel that shows the behind the scenes of an epidemic that hits close to the heart of many Americans, yet he tells it in a way that takes you on an adventure rather than a report.

Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

Jack, a nerdy, quirky, and lovable high school senior falls in love with Kate, only to find that she dies a couple of months later. Every occurrence of her death sends him back in time to the night they first met to give Jack another chance to save Kate.

Stolen Time by Danielle Rollins

Dorothy has been raised her whole life as a con artist. Her surprisingly sheltered life leaves her struggling to escape without knowing what she is looking for, and here is where Ash comes in with a time machine. Dorothy believes she is simply sneaking onto a plane, but imagine her surprise when she ends up in 2077 instead of 1913.

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell

Josiah and Deja have been working the Succotash Hut together for the past three years and this is their last night working together before they go off to college. Deja is on a mission to help Josiah talk to his dream girl and eat snacks along the way. This dreamy graphic novel tells the cute story of these two teens’ last night at the pumpkin patch.

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

Simon Snow did everything he was supposed to do. He beat the villain. He won the war. He even fell in love. Now comes the good part, right? Now comes the happily ever after… So why can’t Simon Snow get off the couch? What he needs, according to his best friend, is a change of scenery. He just needs to see himself in a new light…That’s how Simon, Penny, and Baz end up in a vintage convertible, tearing across the American West.

These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling

Hannah, a teen witch in Salem, has to keep her identity a secret so she doesn’t lose her magic forever. Out of nowhere, a bloody accident finds its way to a school event and Hannah is convinced it has to do with a blood witch that haunted her past. She’s forced to team up with her stubborn ex-girlfriend, Veronica, and together they go through a thrilling adventure to try to find whoever is behind this dark magic.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki

17-year-old Fredrica Riley is in and out of a relationship with the most popular girl in school, Laura Dean. Freddy loves Laura, but when she’s with her, Freddy isn’t quite happy. The more Freddy is with Laura, the more friends she loses, including her closest friend Doodle. Freddy starts to wonder if Laura’s not the problem, but herself. So, she seeks the advice of Anna Vice online and starts to get her life together after the advice to “break up with her.”

The Beast Player by Nahoko Uehashi

Orphaned Elin learns to use her ability to communicate with animals as she navigates through political unrest. The beauty and power of the natural world are at the heart of this captivating, nimbly translated Japanese fantasy.

Are you Listening by Tillie Walden

Bea encounters Lou, a talented mechanic escaping her past life. On a winding road trip through West Texas, they discover more about themselves and each other, and are finally able to come to terms with their past. Along with friendship and emotional struggles, this novel uncovers a whimsical magic.

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

Frank Li’s parents are traditional Korean parents—only Korean girls are acceptable for dating and marriage. The problem is, Frank falls in love with a white girl, Brit, and he knows his parents will not approve. So to cover up his dating scheme and please his parents, he pretends he’s dating a family friend—Joy, the perfect Korean girl for his parents. Of course, Frank is stuck in a messy love triangle, but when cancer hits his father, Frank is forced to reconsider his life and who he actually is and wants to be.

*Annotations from YALSA

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