YALSA’s 2010 Teens’ Top Ten Reading Selections

One of the reasons that summer is such a precious time to me is that I get to get caught up (or at least try!) on all the books I’ve seen/read about over the past year, but just haven’t had time to read.  I love to relax in my comfy chair with a good book and my coffee in the morning, before I undertake more serious things like garden chores and cleaning.  This summer I already have stacks of books I’ve brought home from the Berkeley High library, but I also want to add as many of the YALSA(Young Adult Library Services Association) Teen’s Top Ten nominations as I can.  Here’s a little background on the list  and voting from the Yalsa website, and then the annotated list.  Please feel free to comment here on the books as you read them, and I’ll try to do the same.

Teens’ Top Ten (TTT) is a “teen choice” list of recommended reading, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year. Nominators are members of teen book groups (YAGalley Groups) in fifteen school and public libraries around the country. Nominations are posted in April on Support Teen Lit Day, which is the Thursday of National Library Week. Teens across the country are encouraged to read as many nominees as they can during the summer. All interested readers aged twelve to eighteen can vote for their favorites online, anytime from mid August until mid September. The winners are announced via a webcast with special guests during Teen Read Week™ the third week of October.  I’ll post the internet address you can vote at when the online polls open in mid August!

2010 Teens’ Top Ten Nominations

Abbott, Ellen Jensen. Watersmeet.   Abisina is born into a colony of religious fanatics, where she is persecuted for her appearance, kept alive only because her mother is the healer. But when a new leader arrives, he rids the colony of the outcasts. Abisina escapes and is rescued by some dwarves, who help her journey to Watersmeet to find her father.

Anderson, Laurie Halse. Wintergirls. Lia sees her eating disorder as a way to avoid so much: her stepmother’s pressure to be a role model for her new stepsister, her parents’ divorce, her mother constantly hounding over her daughter’s eating habits whenever she finds the time in the rest of her life. But most importantly, she sees it as a means to escape the death of her best friend, the one she ignored the day she died from the same disease Lia is fighting herself. My review.

Brown, Jennifer. Hate List. Valerie and her boyfriend Nick are constantly picked on by other kids at Garvin High. They write a Hate List, and Nick participates in a Columbine type killing. Valerie survives and has to live with the consequences.

Carter, Ally. Heist Society. Katarina is trying to get out of the family thievery business. When her father is suspected of stealing a priceless art collection from an Italian mobster, she has to steal them back to save his life—and she has no idea where they are.

Cashore, Kristin. Fire. Fire is a monster, quite literally. She is extraordinarily beautiful and can control the minds of humans. Soon she gets sucked into the kingdom’s political turmoil and encounters everything from cold princes to brightly colored bunny rabbits.

Clare, Cassandra. City of Glass. Clary must dig deep within herself to complete the journey into the unfamiliar in the name of family and love. Clary goes to the City of Glass to try to save her mother — even though it may mean her own death.  My review.

Clayton, Emma. The Roar. Mika’s world appears to be based purely on mystery and lies, though he seems to be the only one who senses it. After his sister vanishes and a new government program that targets children rises, Mika decides that the only hope of finding his sister may be in beating the government at their own game.

Collins, Suzanne. Catching Fire. In the sequel to The Hunger Games, Katniss is faced with the challenges of being a victor of the Games, from keeping up the image of a romantic relationship with Peeta to trying to prevent any rioting in the other districts. But when the Capitol announces a twist that will affect Katniss forever, will she be able to survive re-entering the world of the Games?

Dessen, Sarah. Along for the Ride. College-bound Auden lets academics drive her entire life until she moves to a beach town for the summer to live with her father, stepmother, and newborn half-sister. Slowly she learns to break out of her shell as she makes friends with the locals and falls for a trick bike rider.

Fisher, Catherine. Incarceron. In a distant future, all the world’s criminals are dumped in a vast, living prison called Incarceron, with live forests and mechanical animals, climate-controlled weather, and everlasting dark walls that stretch to nowhere. Seventeen-year-old Finn believes he should not be there and must rely on help from the outside to escape.  My review.

Fitzpatrick, Becca. hush, hush. Nora ends up sitting next to Patch in biology. Patch is a scary guy, a fallen angel, and he is shrouded in mystery. But he has a knack for getting under Nora’s skin. Many people seem to be out to get her and she is slowly starting to realize she is falling for Patch, even if he is trying to kill her.

Forman, Gayle. If I Stay. After a drive with her family, Mia wakes up to find the car in pieces and the bodies of her family by the side of the road. She is in a coma, but she can see everything happening around her, almost as if she was a ghost. With her family gone, Mia has to decide if she should stay among the living or if she should pass on.  My review.

Garcia, Kami and Margaret Stohl. Beautiful Creatures. Lena isn’t like the other girls in Gatlin, South Carolina. She’s as different from them as a person can get. She is a Caster. Ethan wants to be different. He hates life in Gatlin. So when he runs into Lena, almost literally, something just clicks. Can an ancient curse, a shut-in uncle, and certain doom keep them apart?  My review.

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd. Edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci. Anyone who has ever been labeled or proclaimed themselves to be “geeks” will fall to the floor laughing and fall in love with the many different short stories and illustrations by some of the top young adult authors.

Golding, Julia. Dragonfly. A princess from a country formed on rules is being forced to marry a prince from a different country who just likes to live life. They dislike each other on sight— and then they are kidnapped. Can they travel back home, through enemy territory, without strangling each other?

Jinks, Catherine. The Reformed Vampire Support Group. Grumpy vampire Nina is in a support group so that she doesn’t prey on humans. But things start to look grimmer than ever when one of the vampires in the support group shows up dead. Will Nina be able to get to the bottom of this crime before another vampire is attacked?

Lieb, Josh. I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President. A young boy (who happens to be an evil genius) wants to be student body president to attract his father/arch-nemesis’ attention. After using his almost unlimited resources, he thinks he has the election in the bag, when suddenly everything goes wrong that no amount of money can fix.

Ockler, Sarah. Twenty Boy Summer. Anna joins her best friend Frankie’s family for a beach vacation in California. Frankie and Anna make a bet to attract 20 boys in 20 days. Anna struggles with a painful secret and falls in love with Sam — and isn’t sure she can finish their bet.

Patterson, James. Witch and Wizard. Siblings Whit and Wisty are suddenly pronounced a witch and a wizard by their oppressive government. They are sent to prison, where they learn to use their powers with hopes to escape.

Peters, Julie Anne. By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead. Daelyn Rice is determined to succeed in killing herself this time. Using a website for “completers,” she reveals a history of bullying and torment that started in kindergarten. One day, though, a boy sits with her as she is waiting to be picked up from school. While she makes it known that she wants to be alone, he won’t give up on her.

Pierce, Tamora. Bloodhound. Beka has grown and needs to take on new assignments. When her old partner gets hurt, she is sent out on a new type of mission. Finding love and a culprit can be complicated in a big city—but nothing is too hard for the Terrier!

St. Crow, Lili. Strange Angels. Dru’s family kills mythical creatures. After a catastrophe befalls her parents, she wants revenge. To find out what happened to her family, she’ll need to learn to trust others.

Stiefvater, Maggie. Shiver. Ever since being saved by a wolf as a child, Grace has been fascinated with the wolves around her Minnesota home. But the wolves are becoming restless and need Grace’s help to save them. One of the wolves takes human form and falls in love with Grace — but as the weather grows colder, he’ll turn back into a wolf, likely forever. Soon, he must make a life or death decision to stay with the one he loves.  My review.

Tanigawa, Nagaru. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Haruhi Suzumia is a high-school student who is bored by normal humans. She wants something supernatural to happen, so she starts a club with a boy named Kyon. Little does she know that everyone that signs up from her club is either a Time Traveler, Alien, or Esper.

Westerfeld, Scott. Leviathan. The prince of Austria-Hungary is on the run, his parents murdered. Deryn Sharp is a girl who pretends to be a boy to live out her dream. One chooses to go on an adventure; the other is forced into it. The pair are on opposite sides but must work together to escape from German troops.

Yep, Laurence. City of Fire. Twelve-year-old Scirye vows to avenge her sister’s death and reclaim a stolen treasure for her people by taking on the villainous dragon Badik and the strange Dr. Roland. She and her companions travel to a Hawaiian island created by magic, where a goddess helps them in their quest to stop Dr. Roland from achieving a great power.

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