BEST FICTION FOR YOUNG
The Best Fiction for Young Adults list is compiled annually by a committee of the Young
Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and
comprises fiction appropriate for ages 12 to 18.
The committee’s top 10 choices are identified
with a star ( ).
The Accident Season. By Moïra Fowley-Doyle. Penguin/Kathy Dawson, $17.99
Every October, Cara’s family is plagued with
slips, cuts, and fatal falls during the “Accident Season.” On the eve of this year’s season, the Irish teen
notices that her childhood friend, Ellie, appears in
every photo Cara’s ever taken, prompting Cara to
question the family curse.
The Alex Crow. By Andrew Smith. Dutton,
Ariel, Leonard Fountain, and the Alex Crow
never knew their paths were destined to converge in the woods of Camp Merrie-Seymour for
Boys—a strange adventure, indeed.
All the Bright Places. By Jennifer Niven. Knopf,
Theodore Finch and Violet Markey have never
met before, but the day they meet on the ledge of
their school’s bell tower, their lives become linked
All the Rage. By Courtney Summers. St.
Martin’s/Griffin, $18.99 (9781250021915).
Ever since Romy Grey accused the sheriff’s
son of sexual assault, she’s been branded as a slut
and liar from the wrong side of the tracks. When
another girl goes missing, Romy might hold the
key to finding her, but the search raises questions
people would rather remain hidden.
Archivist Wasp. By Nicole Kornher-Stace. Big
Mouth, $14 (9781618730978).
Wasp is a ghost hunter, in a strange and brutal
world, who must kill to keep her job. When the
ghost of a soldier from the distant past asks for
her help, she embarks on a dangerous journey that
makes her question everything she knows.
Audacity. By Melanie Crowder. Philomel,
This novel in verse fictionalizes the teen years of
Clara Lemlich Shavelson, the leader of the New
York shirtwaist strike of 1909. Fleeing from anti-Semitic Russia, the teen and her family struggle to
adapt to their new home.
Beastkeeper. By Cat Hellisen. Holt, $16.99
Sarah’s mother abandons her family, and
her father begins to transform into a monster.
Fearing for her safety, he leaves her with her
grandparents in a castle in the woods. Surrounded by magic, she must find a way to unravel her
Beastly Bones. By William Ritter. Algonquin,
Abigail Rook and her boss, R. F. Jackaby, are
once again recruited to solve a potential supernatural case this time involving mysterious dinosaur
bones, a murder, a thief, and cuddly kittens.
Bone Gap. By Laura Ruby. Harper/
Balzer+Bray, $17.99 (9780062317605).
In a small town full of strange happenings, Finn
is determined to uncover the mystery of Roza’s
disappearance. The 2016 Michael L. Printz Award
The Boy in the Black Suit. By Jason
Reynolds. Atheneum, $17.99 (9781442459502).
To deal with his mother’s passing, Matt accepts
a job at the local funeral home. Matt meets Lovey
at her grandmother’s funeral. The two of them
share a bond that will help them both to move
past their own respective losses. A 2016 Coretta
Scott King Author Honor Book.
The Bunker Diary. By Kevin Brooks.
Carolrhoda/Lab, $17.99 (9781467754200).
Sixteen-year-old Linus Weems is kidnapped and
transported to an underground bunker, where he
is joined by five other kidnapping victims. Where
are they? Why have they been taken? And can they
Calvin. By Martine Leavitt. Farrar, $17.99
As a child, Calvin played with the toy Hobbes.
Now Calvin is a schizophrenic teenager, and
Hobbes is back—a delusion he can’t control. If he
can convince Bill Watterson to draw one final
Calvin and Hobbes comic strip with a normal teenage
Calvin, will he be cured?
Carry On. By Rainbow Rowell. St. Martin’s/
Griffin, $19.99 (9781250049551).
Simon Snow may be the chosen one, but he
would prefer to just enjoy his last year at the Watford School of Magicks and figure out why his
roommate and nemesis, Baz, is missing.
Challenger Deep. By Neal Shusterman.
Harper Teen, $17.99 (9780061134111).
As Caden descends into mental illness, his visions of a descent into the deep waters of a trench
Conviction. By Kelly Loy Gilbert. Disney/
Hyperion, $17.99 (9781423197386).
Braden is the only witness to a car accident that
killed a police officer, and his father, a Christian
radio personality, was driving. When his long-lost
older brother returns, Braden must battle with
doubts about God, his dad, himself, and the truth
about what happened. A 2016 Morris Honor
A Court of Thorns and Roses. By Sarah J. Maas.
Bloomsbury, $18.99 (9781619634442).
In exchange for the life of the faerie she killed,
19-year-old Feyre returns to Prythia with the
shape-shifter Tamlin to discover she must save the
faerie lands from a blight that threatens both the
Fae and human realms.
The Darkest Part of the Forest. By Holly Black.
Little, Brown, $18 (9780316213073).
Siblings Hazel and Ben try to save their town
from the faerie folk they thought were friendly.
Death Coming up the Hill. By Chris Crowe.
HMH, $16.99 (9780544302159).
In 1968, Ashe Douglas, 17, lives in a turbulent
world—the conflict between his authoritarian father and peace-loving mother, the political and
social unrest in the nation, and the Vietnam War
itself. Afraid of being drafted, he has to make life-changing decisions.
Denton Little’s Deathdate. By Lance Rubin.
Knopf, $17.99 (9780553496963).
For as long as Denton could remember, he
knew the day that he was going to die—and it’s
happening in 24 hours. However, the closer Den-
ton gets to midnight, the more he hopes that he
just might live to see another day.
Dime. By E. R. Frank. Atheneum, $17.99
Dime is a teenage girl enslaved by prostitution
and a man called “Daddy.” Books and fictional
worlds are her only refuge. Ultimately, she takes
inspiration from them to make a bold move and
achieve some form of salvation.
Dumplin’. By Julie Murphy. Harper/Balzer+Bray,
Willowdean is the heavyset daughter of a former
beauty queen, a Dolly Parton enthusiast, and small-town Texas girl. While dealing with feelings for a
coworker, she and her fellow outcasts decide to enter the beauty pageant run by Willowdean’s mother.
A 2016 Top 10 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young
Eden West. By Pete Hautman. Candlewick,
Jacob, a member of the Grace, starts questioning his deeply held faith when he meets Lynna, a
girl from the World, and Tobias, a new member
of the Grace.
An Ember in the Ashes. By Sabaa Tahir.
Penguin/Razorbill, $19.95 (9781595148032).
Surrounded by unspeakable brutality, Laia, a
slave, and Elias, a soldier, discover their destinies
are intertwined as they struggle to find freedom
from the tyranny around them.
The Emperor of Any Place. By Tim Wynne-Jones. Candlewick, $17.99 (9780763669737).
Evan meets the grandfather he has never known
after his father’s sudden death. At the same time,
he is caught up in a WWII memoir about an unusual island populated by ghosts, monsters, and
two enemy castaways. What is the tragic connection between his grandfather and the book?
Everything, Everything. By Nicola Yoon.
Delacorte, $18.99 (9780553496642).
Maddy has SCID, which makes her allergic to
the world, and she has not left her house since she
was a baby. Now 18, she falls in love with the boy
next door and is willing to risk everything to be
with him. A 2016 Top 10 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers.
Goodbye Stranger. By Rebecca Stead. Random/
Wendy Lamb, $16.99 (9780385743174).
Bridge survived a bad accident, wears cat’s ears,
and has made a rule with her friends: no fighting. To make seventh grade more complicated, her
story intersects with that of both a new friend and
a mysterious teenager, who is dealing with a betrayal. A 2016 Notable Children’s Book.
The Great War: Stories Inspired by Objects from
the First World War. By David Almond and
others. Illus. by Jim Kay. Candlewick, $19.99
Eleven established young adult authors, including David Almond, Michael Morpurgo, and
Marcus Sedgwick, have written short stories based
on artifacts recovered from WWI. As varied as the
objects themselves—a medal, a butter dish, sheet
music—each one masterfully captures an aspect of
The Hired Girl. By Laura Schlitz. Candlewick,
Joan runs away from her family farm, where
she cooks and cleans all day for her brusque father
and brothers. In Baltimore, she is brought on as
a hired girl for the Jewish family the Rosenbachs.