The American Library Association has tons of resources available to librarians and the general public. The Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, has a multitude of resources including book lists to help librarians and anyone else identify potentially good books. One could spend hours perusing the various lists of books to find “that perfect book” for yourself or for a student.
A frequently visited list on the YALSA Website is the Best Fiction for Young Adults list, http://bit.ly/2335Vnz. Fiction is probably my favorite genre, so it is easy to get drawn into this list to find my next book. On that page, you can access the current list and the best of top ten list for the current year and past years. One book that has made the list that I cannot wait to read is Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. I read my first book by Rainbow Rowell this year and have to admit, I loved the book, but also loved the fact that it was written by a Nebraskan. Reading books by “local” authors can help us show students that people can do anything from anywhere. I’m not sure many of my students have ever considered being an author, but they could and maybe now they will.
I’ve also discovered a weakness for verse books. Another great title on the list I am looking forward to reading is Audacity by Melanie Crowder. This book of verse is a work of historical fiction and looks at the life of one woman who fled the anti-semitic Russia with her family in the early 1900’s.
Another list I have explored recently is the Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults list. This list is of importance to me because I try to have audio available for some of my students who struggle to read at grade level. I have students listen and follow along with the words of the book so we can continue to work on their comprehension skills, etc. This helps students keep up in class and also helps them increase their reading ability as they use visual and auditory skills to reinforce their reading.
The Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers list has come in very handy this year as I strive to help those students who “don’t like to read” find something with which they can connect. This list has a number of nonfiction and fiction selections. One book I read from this list recently is Skink No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen. This book was a quick read for me, but had great characters and would keep the reluctant reader engaged.
One list I hope to visit more often is the Great Graphic Novels for Teens list. I’m not incredibly familiar with this genre, but am trying to dive deeper into it in hopes of helping motivate more reluctant readers to grab a book and READ. Students don’t see graphic novels as so much “work” as a normal novel. I’m anxious to read and book talk some of the great selections on this list.
No matter what kind of Young Adult Literature you are looking for, YALSA is an amazing resource to help direct you to quality literature. If you have students who don’t know what they like, have them check out the site too. You might be surprised what they find.