2023 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults

YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults Blogging Team presents fiction titles published for young adults in the past 14 months that are recommended reading for ages 12 to 18. The purpose of the annual list it to provide librarians and library workers with a resource to use for collection development and reader’s advisory purposes.

Although now a blogging team, the group was originally a committee. The committee evolved from a committee established under the School Libraries Section of ALA, which was charged with producing a list of 1930's "Best Books for Young People." The committee has undergone several changes of focus and names over the years, including the Book Selection Committee (1954), and later the Committee for the Selection of Significant Adult Books for Young People (1963). It became the Best Books for Young Adults Committee (BBYA) in 1966. As publishing for the young adult market grew exponentially (over 2,000 titles per year in 2008) and seven other YALSA selection and award lists for young adults were created since its inception, Best Books for Young Adults was restructured and named Best Fiction for Young Adults by the YALSA Board of Directors at the Midwinter Meeting in 2010.

All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir (9th gr. & up)

All My Rage


When his attempts to save his family’s motel spiral out of control, Salahudin and his best friend Noor, two outcasts in their town, must decide what their friendship is worth and how they can defeat the monsters of their past and in their midst.


Gideon Green in Black and White by Katie Henry (8th gr. & up)

Gideon Green in Black and White


Gideon Green’s short-lived run as a locally famous boy detective ended when middle school started and everyone else—including his best friend, Lily—moved on; now that he’s 16 and officially retired, Lily shows up asking for Gideon’s help


I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys (9th gr. & up)

I Must Betray You


In a country governed by isolation, fear, and a tyrannical dictator, seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu is blackmailed by the secret police to become an informer, but he decides to use his position to try to outwit his handler, undermine the regime, give voice to fellow Romanians, and expose to the world what is happening in his country.


Man Made Monsters by Andrea L. Rogers (9th gr. & up)

Manmade Monsters


Haunting illustrations are woven throughout these horror stories that follow one extended Cherokee family across the centuries and well into the future as they encounter predators of all kinds in each time period.


The Door of No Return by Kwame Alexander (5th gr. & up)

The Door of No Return


When his brother represents Upper Kwanta in a wrestling contest, resulting in the unthinkable, 11-year-old Kofi finds himself fighting for his life, which sends him on a dangerous journey across land and sea, and away from everything he loves.


Getaway by Lamar Giles (9th gr. & up)

The Getaway


Jay discovers that the mountain resort where he lives and works with his friends and family is also a doomsday oasis for the rich and powerful who expect top-notch customer service even as the world outside the resort's walls disintegrates.


The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh (8th gr. & up)

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea


In this retelling of the Korean legend The tale of Shim Cheong, sixteen-year-old Mina is swept away to the Spirit Realm, where, assisted by a motley crew of demons, gods, and lesser spirits, she sets out to awaken the sleeping Sea God and save her homeland and family from deadly storms.


The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen by Isaac Blum (8th gr. & up)

Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen


Moving to the quiet, mostly non-Jewish town of Tregaron, Hoodie Rosen falls for the daughter of the mayor who is trying to keep Hoodie’s Orthodox Jewish community out of town, and when antisemitic crimes turn deadly, he must choose between his first love and the only world he’s ever known.


The Summer of Bitter and Sweet by Jen Fergusen (10th gr. & up)

The Summer of Bitter and Sweet


Lou has enough confusion in front of her this summer. She'll be working in her family's ice-cream shack with...her former best friend, King, who is back in their Canadian prairie town after disappearing three years ago...But when she gets a letter from her biological father...Lou immediately knows that she cannot meet him...While King's friendship makes Lou feel safer...when her family's business comes under threat, she soon realizes that she can't ignore her father forever

The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Thomas (7th gr. & up)

The Sunbearer Trials


Chosen to participate in The Sunbearer Trials, where the loser is sacrificed to refuel the Sun Stones, Teo, the 17-year-old trans son of the goddess of birds, must compete against more powerful and better trained opponents for fame, glory and his own survival.

Published by on October 30, 2023
Last Modified November 29, 2023