Award Winners, Book Lists, Teens' Top Ten

YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten Winners – 2020

See all the nominees here.

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 by Victoria Aveyard

Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silverblooded 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 Follow Mare in this series collection, with three new unpublished novellas!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.


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.

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 Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy

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 (#MurderTrending 2)

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.




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.


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.

*Blurbs from YALSA

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