Happy New Year’s Eve! Today, I thought I would post my Top Ten YA books of 2009. I cannot rate them more than this; I had a hard enough time just narrowing the list down, so these are in alphabetical order. They are not necessarily what I think are the best literary achievements nor what might stand the test of time. These titles are the books that emotionally affected me, that I loved reading and couldn’t put down, books I will gladly read again and recommend to my students.
1. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl – If I have a hard time falling into a book after reading something, I know the authors have left their mark on me. Thank you, Ms. Garcia and Ms. Stohl.
2. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins – A sequel that is better than the first. I cannot wait to read Ms. Collins‘ third book in the series.
3. Columbine by Dave Cullen – Yes, Mr. Cullen did not write this specifically for a YA audience, but I think it is so well done, students and adults can be drawn into the narrative and come away with hope and understanding. This is the best non-fiction I read this year.
4. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan – Ms. Ryan‘s book transported me out of my backyard and in to a creepy forest full of zombies.
5. Hate List by Jennifer Brown – Tears and tears! Thank you, Ms. Brown!
6. I Know It’s Over by C. K. Kelly Martin – My heart broke many times while reading Ms. Martin‘s book.
7. Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork – Mr. Stork has created such a unique voice – amazing!
8. Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki – A graphic novel created by two cousins that captures adolescence in a heartbreaking way.
9. The Sweetheart of Prosper County by Jill S. Alexander – I love the way the main character grows and learns about herself. Also, Ms. Alexander REALLY made me want a rooster!
10. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson – Wow! Really, well done Ms. Anderson!
Honorable mentions go to An Echo in the Bone, Bear Portraits, Dark Places, and Goat Song. None of these can really be counted as YA, but I really loved them. (Reviews will come at some point for An Echo and Dark Places.)
Have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve and I wish you all the best in 2010!