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Find more Best Books for Young Adults
The annual list of books compiled by a committee of the Young Adult Library Services Association consists of fiction and nonfiction appropriate for young adults ages 12 to 18. Selected on the basis of each books proven or potential appeal and value to young adults, the titles, published from late 1998 through 1999, span a variety of subjects as well as a broad range of reading levels.
Alexander, Caroline. The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition. illus. Knopf, $29.95 (0-375-40403-1).
How do 28 men survive two years stranded in the Antarctic Ocean? Guts, luck, and an incredible leader. Fantastic photos!
Allison, Anthony. Hear These Voices: Youth at the Edge of the Millennium. illus. Dutton, $22.99 (0-525-45353-9).
Unflinchingly honest glimpses into the lives of at-risk youth from around the world, paired with compelling black-and-white portraits.
Armstrong, Jennifer. Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World: The Extraordinary True Story of Shackleton and the Endurance. illus. Crown, $18 (0-517-80013-6).
The amazing, true-life adventure of explorer Ernest Shackleton, who trekked across Antarctica.
Calabro, Marian. The Perilous Journey of the Donner Party. illus. Clarion, $20 (0-395-86610-3).
A well-researched documentary of the famous Donner party, with special focus on the young people who were participants. Excellent photographs.
Dominick, Andie. Needles. Scribner, $22 (0-684-84232-7).
A frank, graphic account of the needles that rule a young girls existence as a result of her diabetes. An unsparing story of a life transformed by disease.
Freedman, Russell. Babe Didrikson Zaharias: The Making of a Champion. illus. Clarion, $18 (0-395-63367-2).
The story of one of the greatest female athletes of the century-Olympic gold medalist, basketball star, and championship golfer Babe Didrikson Zaharias.
Garner, Eleanor Ramrath. Eleanor’s Story: An American Girl in Hitler’s Germany. Peachtree/Freestone, $14.95 (1-56145-193-2).
Trapped in Germany for the duration of World War II, an American girl and her family endure the war’s privations and terrors.
Gourley, Catherine. Good Girl Work: Factories, Sweatshops, and How Women Changed Their Role in the American Workforce. illus. Millbrook, $23.40 (0-7613-0951-9).
An account of the industrial workforce of young girls and women in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, told often in their own words.
Hickam, Homer H. Rocket Boys. Delacorte, $23.95 (0-385-33320-X); paper, $12.95 (0-385-33321-8).
Teenager Homer is fascinated with rockets after the launching of Sputnik. This is the story of his adolescence in 1957 Coalwood, West Virginia, as he and his buddies build their own rockets.
Jennings, Peter and Brewster, Todd. The Century for Young People. illus. Doubleday, $29.95 (0-385-32708-0).
This tribute to the past 100 years focuses on the lives of ordinary people who witnessed historic events. Adapted from the bestselling adult version, with stunning photographs.
Kalergis, Mary Motley. Seen and Heard: Teenagers Talk about Their Lives. illus. Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $24.95 (1-5567-0834-3).
A cross-section of American teens talk candidly about their lives and viewpoints.
Krizmanic, Judy. The Teen’s Vegetarian Cookbook. Viking, $15.99 (0-670-87426-4).
A collection of recipes for the new or veteran teen vegetarian. It includes quotes, insanely easy recipes, and a Build Your Own section.
Kuhn, Betsy. Angels of Mercy: The Army Nurses of World War II. illus. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, $18 (0-689-82044-5).
See the war through the eyes of the World War II Army nurses who brought medical skills to the hospitals and courage and cheer to the soldiers.
Mah, Adeline Yen. Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter. Delacorte, $16.95 (0-385-32707-2).
Adapted from her adult book Falling Leaves, Mah’s autobiography for young readers is the heartbreaking story of her struggle with her stepmother.
Marrin, Albert. Terror of the Spanish Main: Sir Henry Morgan and His Buccaneers. illus. Dutton, $19.99 (0-525-45942-1).
Buccaneer Henry Morgan’s seventeenth-century life is like an action movie filled with vivid images of ruthless campaigns, punishments, and raw adventure.
Mattison, Chris. Snake: The Essential Visual Guide to the World of Snakes. illus. DK, $29.95 (0-7894-4660-X).
The evolution, anatomy, and behavior of snakes are portrayed through excellent illustrations and useful text.
Maurer, Richard. The Wild Colorado: The True Adventures of Fred Dellenbaugh, Age 17, on the Second Powell Expedition into the Grand Canyon. illus. Crown. $19.99 (0-517-70946-5).
Exciting true adventure with the 17-year-old who made the first sketches of the Grand Canyon in the 1869 Exploratory Expedition.
Nye, Naomi Shihab. What Have You Lost? illus. Greenwillow, $19 (0-688-16184-7).
From gloves to spouses, losses petty and tragic are explored in this contemporary collection of poems that will speak to the reader’s heart. The black-and-white portraits, mostly of teens, are poems in themselves.
Okutoro, Lydia Omolola. Quiet Storm: Voices of Young Black Poets. Hyperion/ Jump at the Sun, $16.99 (0-786-80461-0).
Young blacks express themselves, their culture, and their heritage in a moving collection of original poetry.
Opdyke, Irene Gut. In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer. Knopf, $18 (0-679-89181-1).
A Catholic girl forced to work as a housekeeper to a German officer in occupied Poland risks her life to hide and rescue Jewish workers during World War II.
Partridge, Elizabeth. Restless Spirit: The Life and Work of Dorothea Lange. illus. Viking, $21.99 (0-670-87888-X).
A beautiful photo-biography of the life and works of one of the most notable photographers of the twentieth century.
Reich, Susanna. Clara Schumann: Piano Virtuoso. illus. Clarion, $19 (0-395-89119-1).
A biography of the extraordinary piano virtuoso who was the devoted wife of Robert Schumann, a mother to eight children, and a composer in her own right.
Rubin, Susan Goldman. Margaret Bourke-White: Her Pictures Were Her Life. illus. Abrams, $19.95 (0-8109-4381-6).
Determined, dedicated, and brilliant, White pursued photography in a time when most women did not have careers and men dominated the world of business and art.
Schmidt, Thomas and Schmidt, Jeremy. The Saga of Lewis & Clark: Into the Uncharted West. illus. DK, $35 (0-7894-4638-3).
Lavish illustrations spark this version of the famed journey into the American West to find a route to the Pacific.
Schwager, Tina and Schuerger, Michele. Gutsy Girls: Young Women Who Dare. illus. Free Spirit, $14.95 (1-575-42059-7).
Autobiographical sketches from young women who sky-dive, drag race, and climb mountains among other daring activities.
What Are You? Voices of Mixed-Race Young People. Ed. by Pearl Fuyo Gaskins. illus. Holt, $18.95 (0-8050-5968-7).
Forty-five young people explore being biracial in essays and poems that are sometimes lighthearted and sometimes bitter.
Abelove, Joan. Saying It out Loud. DK Ink/Richard Jackson, $15.95 (0-7894-2609-9).
At age 16, Mindy must deal with her mother’s impending death and her father’s refusal to see her as anything other than his little girl.
Anderson, Laurie Halse. Speak. Farrar, $16 (0-374-37152-0).
Melinda is shunned by her friends when they don’t understand the reason she called the police during a party.
Atkins, Catherine. When Jeff Comes Home. Putnam, $17.99 (0-399-23366-0).
Jeff’s kidnapper releases him after two and a half years, and there is much speculation about the abuse he endured. A 2000 Printz Honor Book.
Barrett, Tracy. Anna of Byzantium. Delacorte, $14.95 (0-385-32626-2).
A historical novel based on the life of an eleventh-century Byzantine princess whose ascendancy to the throne is threatened by family rivalries and palace intrigue.
Bat-Ami, Miriam. Two Suns in the Sky. Front Street/Cricket, $15.95 (0-8126-2900-0).
Chris and Adam meet at the Emergency Refugee Shelter in Oswego, New York, in 1944. A friendship forms but faces barriers of language, religion, and family.
Calhoun, Dia. Firegold. Winslow, $15.95 (1-890817-10-4).
A fantasy adventure that draws 12-year-old Jonathan into the mountainous land of the barbarous Dalraidas on a quest for his roots and a legendary golden apple.
Carbone, Elisa. Stealing Freedom. Knopf, $17 (0-679-89307-5).
When a cruel slave master refuses to set her free, Ann Maria escapes to Canada on the Underground Railroad.
Card, Orson Scott. Ender’s Shadow. Tor; dist. by St. Martins, $24.95 (0-312-86860-X).
Alien monsters threaten Earth’s future. Will a tiny, superintelligent kid be able to lead his older comrades to victory?
Chbosky, Stephen. The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Pocket/MTV, $12 (0-671-02734-4).
The hilarious, heartbreaking tale of Charlie, a high-school wallflower in full bloom.
Cooper, Susan. King of Shadows. Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry, $16 (0-689-82817-9).
As a member of an all-boy company preparing to perform one of Shakespeare’s plays in a London replica of the Globe Theatre, Nat is mysteriously transported to Elizabethan England and meets the playwright himself.
Curtis, Christopher Paul. Bud, Not Buddy. Delacorte, $15.95 (0-385-32306-9).
On the road in search of his musician father, Bud learns about the joys and hardships of life during the Depression. The 2000 Newbery Medal winner.
Dessen, Sarah. Keeping the Moon. Viking, $15.99 (0-670-88549-5).
Fifteen-year-old Colie has shed almost 50 pounds but still carries memories of The Fat Years, until one magical summer in a North Carolina beachside town.
Ferris, Jean. Bad. Farrar, $16 (0-374-30479-3).
Sixteen-year-old Dallas spends six months in a girls’ rehabilitation center. A realistic inside view of the correctional system.
Fleischman, Paul. Mind’s Eye. Holt, $15.95 (0-8050-06314-5).
Two unlikely roommates in a nursing home-one 16 and paralyzed, the other blind and elderly, use one another’s imagination to embark upon a trip to Italy.
Friesen, Gayle. Janey’s Girl. Kids Can, $14.95 (1-55074-461-5).
On a trip to her mother’s childhood home, 14-year-old Claire tries to discover the secrets that have isolated her and her mother from the family and especially from her father.
Gaiman, Neil. Stardust. Avon, $22 (0-380-97728-1).
Tristan’s quest for a fallen star brings him adventure, love, and encounters with a variety of magical creatures.
Gilmore, Kate. The Exchange Student. Houghton, $15 (0-395-57511-7).
The exchange student from another planet staying with Daria and her family shows an unusual interest in Daria’s work with endangered species.
Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Just Ella. Simon & Schuster, $17 (0-689-82186-7).
After she realizes that her prince is not very charming, 15-year-old Cinderella seeks her freedom and independence and finds her true love.
Hewett, Lorri. Dancer. Dutton, $15.99 (0-525-45968-5).
Hurt by her parents’ doubts about her future as a dancer, 16-year-old Stephanie finds an older dancer (with a handome and talented nephew) to act as her mentor.
Hobbs, Will. Jason’s Gold. Morrow, $16 (0-688-15093-4).
Fifteen-year-old Jason endures severe wilderness hardships and meets many colorful characters after he joins the rush to Alaska to find gold and his prospector brother.
Hoffman, Alice. Local Girls. Putnam, $22.95 (0-399-14507-9).
Gretel deals with life’s joys and heartaches in this series of interconnected short stories.
Holt, Kimberly Willis. When Zachary Beaver Came to Town. Holt, $16.95 (0-8050-6116-9).
The summer of 1971 is pretty dull until Zachary Beaver, the fattest boy in the world, arrives and best friends Toby and Cal befriend him.
Holtwijk, Ineke. Asphalt Angels. Front Street, $15.95 (1-886910-24-3).
When a crime-gone-wrong breaks up his Rio gang, Alex must choose between a life on the streets or the safety of the shelter.
Holubitsky, Katherine. Alone at Ninety Foot. Orca, $14.95 (1-55143-129-7).
Fourteen-year-old Pam grieves for her mother, who committed suicide. This story chronicles Pam’s life during the year following her mother’s death.
Hoobler, Dorothy and Hoobler, Thomas. The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn. Putnam/Philomel, $17.99 (0-399-23330-X).
The son of a merchant who longs to become a samurai gets an opportunity to sample the samurai lifestyle when a mysterious jewel theft causes the shogun to request his help in solving the crime.
Howe, Norma. The Adventures of Blue Avenger. Holt, $16.95 (0-8050-6062-6).
Sixteen-year-old David Schumacher becomes a comic book hero and takes on real life as the Blue Avenger in this hilariously funny and original novel.
Johnson, Scott. Safe at Second. Putnam/Philomel, $17.99 (0-399-23365-2).
Todd Bannister, star high-school pitcher, must cope with big changes when a line drive causes him to lose sight in one eye.
Jordan, Sherryl. The Raging Quiet. Simon & Schuster, $17 (0-689-82140-9).
Newlywed Marine defies threats from an entire village to befriend Raver, a mad boy she calls Raven.
King, Stephen. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. Scribner, $16.95 (0-684-86762-1).
Lost in the woods for nine days, a resourceful young girl survives by her wits and imagined help from baseball hero Tom Gordon.
Lawrence, Iain. The Smugglers. Delacorte, $15.95 (0-385-32663-7).
An eighteenth-century merchant’s son encounters a world of high adventure when he sets out on a sea voyage aboard the star-crossed schooner Dragon.
Levine, Gail Carson. Dave at Night. HarperCollins, $15.95 (0-60-028153-7).
When Dave is sent to the Hebrew Home for boys, he sneaks out at night and is welcomed into the music- and culture-filled world of the Harlem Renaissance.
Lubar, David. Hidden Talents. Tor, $16.95 (0-312-86646-1).
Edgeview Alternative School is for losers. When Martin arrives, he discovers that some talents can be channeled to make losers into winners.
Marchetta, Melina. Looking for Alibrandi. Orchard, $17.99 (0-531-33142-3).
Australian high-school senior Josie must contend with boy problems, getting admitted to university and law school, and reconciling with the knowledge that she is an illegitimate child.
McNamee, Graham. Hate You. Delacorte, $14.95 (0-385-32593-2).
Seventeen-year-old Alice has spent most of her life writing songs to deal with her anger toward the abusive father who damaged her vocal cords.
McNeal, Laura and McNeal, Tom. Crooked. Knopf, $16.95 (0-679-89300-8).
Ninth-graders Clara and Amos find their lives turned upside down by family, bullies, and each other.
Meyer, Carolyn. Mary, Bloody Mary. Harcourt, $16 (0-15-201906-5).
Young Mary Tudor fights to retain her rights as heir to the English throne when Anne Boleyn turns Mary’s father against her.
Morris, Gerald. The Squire, His Knight, and His Lady. Houghton, $15 (0-395-91211-3).
When resourceful Squire Terrence and brave Sir Gawain go off to challenge the Green Knight, they face trials and dangers as well as the clever Lady Eileen.
Myers, Walter Dean. Monster. illus. HarperCollins, $15.95 (0-06-028077-8).
In this riveting courtroom drama, Steve Harmon recounts his trial for murder in the form of a movie script. The 2000 Printz Award winner and a 2000 Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor Book
Namioka, Lensey. Ties That Bind, Ties That Break. Delacorte, $15.95 (0-385-32666-1).
A wealthy Chinese girl tells of the changes the Chinese Revolution brought to her family, her hard-fought battle to escape traditional footbinding, and her ultimate flight to America.
Porter, Connie. Imani All Mine. Houghton, $23 (0-395-83808-8).
As inner-city teen mom, Tasha struggles to attend school, realize her dreams of a better life, and rise above tragedy.
Powell, Randy. Tribute to Another Dead Rock Star. Farrar, $17 (0-374-37748-0).
Fifteen-year-old Grandy Grennan wades through emotional troughs and waves of humor during a visit to Seattle to attend a tribute to his mother, a dead rock star.
Qualey, Marsha. Close to a Killer. Delacorte, $15.95 (0-385-32597-5).
When customers connected to her mom’s beauty shop begin turning up dead, 17-year-old Barrie wonders if her ex-con mom and her prison-buddy cosmetologists are serving up more than haircuts at their salon, Killer Cuts.
Randle, Kristen D. Breaking Rank. Morrow, $16 (0-688-16243-6).
Popular 17-year-old Casey learns about trust, friendship, and love when she begins tutoring Baby, a member of a nonconformist society called the Clan.
Rottman, S. L. Head above Water. Peachtree/Freestone, $14.95 (1-56145-185-1).
High-school junior Skye Johnson is responsible for the care of her Down syndrome brother, Sunny, and many jobs at home. She thinks life is getting better when a football star begins to pursue her, but more challenges await.
Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. illus. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, $17.95 (0-439-06486-4).
Harry Potter’s training as a wizard continues with more magical adventures in his second year at Hogwarts.
Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. illus. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, $19.95 (0-439-13635-0).
Harry’s third year at Hogwarts is packed with adventure, mystery, and a dangerous new enemy.
Savage, Deborah. Summer Hawk. Houghton, $16 (0-395-91163-X).
While spending the summer in rural Pennsylvania with her father, city girl Taylor becomes involved with a local raptor rehabilitation center after she and a classmate find an injured hawk.
Shusterman, Neal. Downsiders. Simon & Schuster, $16.95 (0-689-80375-3).
Lindsay meets Talon and discovers his world, which evolved from the subway built in New York in 1867. The two new friends experience the clash of their two cultures.
Skurzynski, Gloria. Spider’s Voice. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, $16.95 (0-689-82149-2).
A medieval thriller in which Aran, a mute boy, escapes a horrific fate by helping the famous lovers Heloise and Abelard.
Sones, Sonya. Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy. HarperCollins, $14.95 (0-06-028387-4).
Told in verse, this emotional novel tells what happens when a sister has a nervous breakdown.
Stanley, Diane. A Time Apart. Morrow, $16 (0-688-16997-X).
While her mother undergoes treatment for cancer, 13-year-old Ginny goes to live with her father in England, where she stays in a reconstruction of an Iron Age village.
Thesman, Jean. The Other Ones. Viking, $15.99 (0-670-88594-0).
Bridget struggles through the miseries of high school without resorting to her special gifts, feeling they will make her appear more different than she already is.
Tomey, Ingrid. Nobody Else Has to Know. Delacorte, $15.95 (0-385-32624-6).
A high-school track star struggles to remember the auto accident that ended his season as a runner. Can he trust his grandfather’s version of the crash, or is his grandpa trying to shield him from the truth?
Tomorrowland: 10 Stories about the Future. Ed. By Michael Cart. Scholastic, $15.95 (0-590-37678-0).
A collection of futuristic short stories written by 10 popular YA authors.
Vande Velde, Vivian. Never Trust a Dead Man. Harcourt, $17 (0-15-201899-9).
Selwyn may not have liked Farold, his rival for Anora’s affection, but he certainly didn’t kill him. Unfortunately, he must rely on the dead man’s spirit to help him prove his innocence.
Voigt, Cynthia. Elske. Simon & Schuster/Anne Schwartz, $18 (0-689-82472-6).
Elske, a sage young woman, becomes the helpmate and companion to a headstrong princess who seeks the throne she has been denied.
Whitmore, Arvella. Trapped between the Lash and the Gun: A Boy’s Journey. Dial, $16.99 (0-803-72384-9).
After stealing his grandfather’s heirloom watch to gain admission to a gang, 12-year-old Jason finds himself transported back to the days of slavery.
Wittlinger, Ellen. Hard Love. Simon & Schuster, $16.95 (0-689-82134-4).
Sixteen-year-old John meets fellow zine writer Marisol and falls in love with her, even though he knows she can’t love him back. A 2000 Printz Honor Book.
Young, Karen Romano. The Beetle and Me: A Love Story. Greenwillow, $15 (0-688-15922-2).
A young girl falls in love with the 1957 purple Volkswagen beetle that was her father’s first car, and goes on a campaign to convince her parents to let her renovate it.
Best Books for Young Adults, 2000, committee members: Suzanne Manczuk, chair, Pennington, NJ; Valerie Diamond, Sandy Springs Friends School (MD); Katherine Fitch, Rachel Carson Middle School (VA); Susan Geye, Crowley (TX) Ninth Grade Campus; Donna Gilliland, South Dakota State Library; Nancy Maltby Henkel, Sammamish Library (WA); Jan Hoberecht, Newton (KS) High School Media Center; Susan Hunter, Riverside Middle School (VT); Kimberly Lafferty, Issaquah (WA) Library; Donna McMillen, Algona Pacific Library (WA); Diane Monnier, Bethesda (MD) Regional Library; Rosemary Moran, Tulsa (OK) City County Library; Andrew Parson, Packer Collegiate Institute (NY); Sandra Schultheis, Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library (IN); Alice Stern, Boston (MA) Public Library; Douglas Uhlmann, committee assistant, Wm. Penn Charter School (PA); and Stephanie Zvirin, Booklist consultant.
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