2020 Teens’ Top Ten Nominees (PDF)
The Teens’ Top Ten is a “teen choice” list of recommended reading sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Fifteen young adult book clubs from libraries across the country are responsible for determining this list of 25 nominees. Teens nationwide have nearly six months to read as many titles as possible before voting on their favorites in the fall. The ten finalists will be announced in October during Teen Read week.
Below is this year’s full list of nominees. The library offers print, eBook and audiobook editions of most titles.
“#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.
“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.
“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. However, together they embark on a mission to understand Aurora’s paranormal behavior, and in the process, become more than just friends.
“The Beast Player” by Nahoko Uehashi and translated by Cathy Hirano
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.
“Between Worlds: Folktales of Britain and Ireland” by Kevin Crossley and illustrated by Frances Castle
“Between Worlds” is a book full of many wonderful and interesting folktales from both Britain and Ireland. While some stories last up to 13 pages, there are others that only last as long as one to three pages!
“Broken Throne: A Red Queen Collection” 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, including three new unpublished novellas!
“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.
“The Field Guide to the North American Teenager” by Ben Philippe
Norris Kaplan, a hilarious, snarky French-Canadian teen, has to move from Montreal to Austin, Texas with his single mother. In this less-than-ideal new environment, Norris meets new people and starts categorizing them in a notebook with his trademark wit.
“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 his father is diagnosed with cancer, Frank is forced to reconsider his life and who he wants to be.
“The Grace Year” by Kim Liggett
Tierney James struggles to endure the year in which she and the other young women of Garner County are banished to the wild. Survivors are only allowed to return home and marry after they are “purified.” While in the wilderness, Tierney uncovers secrets that threaten to unravel their reality.
“Last Bus to Everland” by Sophie Cameron
Brody Fair is a teenager whom most do not understand – not his parents, siblings, and obviously not the girls in his neighborhood who make his life a living nightmare. But, one day he meets Nico who takes him into a very bizarre world that only opens at 11:21 p.m. When the doors start to close, Brody has to make a choice: stay in Everland and risk never seeing his family again, or say goodbye to Nico and Everland forever.
“Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me” by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
Seventeen-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. Fortunately for Freddy, there are new friends, and the insight of advice columnists like Anna Vice to help her through being a teenager in love.
“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.
“The Memory Thief” by Lauren Mansy
Seventeen-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.
“My Ideal Boyfriend is a Croissant” by Laura Dockrill
Bluebelle, a.k.a BB or Big Bones, loves food and is unapologetic about it. However, 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.
“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.
“Pumpkinheads” by Rainbow Rowell and illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks
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.
“Stolen Time” by Danielle Rollins
Seattle, 1913: Forced to wed a wealthy man, Dorothy runs away from the wedding. She meets a stranger and stows away on his peculiar craft – to wake up in a chilling version of the world she left behind. New Seattle, 2077: Endless jumps through time have left Ash plagued by pre-memories of what is to come; the last thing he needs is a stowaway wearing a wedding gown. Dorothy may hold the key to unraveling the past, but may spell Ash’s ultimate destruction.
“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.
“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 has 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.
“Warhead: The True Story of One Teen Who Almost Saved the World” by Jeff Henigson
This book is a hilarious memoir about one teen boy’s battle with brain cancer and his Starlight Children’s Foundation wish: to meet Mikhail Gorbachev in Russia and plead for nuclear disarmament and world peace.
“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? 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.
“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 live without compassion. As the the darkness grows closer, the two embark on a quest for an artifact to save Arawiya. But while Zafira is set on stopping the darkness, Nasir is set on the mission given to him by his father: Kill the Hunter and take the Artifact to the palace.
“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 the disease makes them feel like 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.
“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.