A Book for Young Adults: Picks for the TPL Reading Challenge 2020
Young adult fiction is a popular genre among adult readers. Whether it's for evoking nostalgia, tackling serious issues, or simply keeping up with what your teens are reading. If you've never ventured into the young adult section of your local library branch, you may be missing out. There are absolute gems on those shelves and available online.
We've rounded up a wonderful selection below to get you started. Don't forget to take a gander at The List: Great Reads for Youth as well! It's our annual booklist of the top recent 100 titles in young adult publishing.
One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus
Five students walk into a Monday after-school detention, but only four walk out. Simon, the creator of the high school's gossip app has dirt on all his fellow detention mates. When he dies in front of them, they all become suspects. Which one is guilty of murder? The Breakfast Club meets murder mystery, and one of the recent young adult reads I couldn't put down.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
It's a quick read and can be relatable to those going into high school, those currently in high school, and those who've graduated high school. Touches upon quite issues, including homophobia, trauma, abuse, suicide, and mental health. The film adaptation is also a recommended watch.
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Following a sexual assault, Melinda calls the police at a year end party. Because she will not reveal the reason why she called the police, Melinda becomes an outcast in her high school. This book is a powerful and emotional read. After I recommended this book to a teenager, it gave her the strength to speak up about a similar situation that she had experienced. Never take for granted the power of literature.
It was adapted into a film starring Kristen Stewart, pre-Twilight.
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
A fun, lighthearted read of good vs evil, and love conquering all. You can't help but get lost in the world of Westley and Buttercup. The movie is a classic and remains one of my favourites.
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Ponyboy is a character you cannot forget. Young Adults can identify with character traits on "both sides". The novel has an authenticity that makes it a must read. A film adaptation is also available.
Animal Farm by George Orwell
For this year, I like Animal Farm. It's not too long. And it is literally a book about the rules of society changing and becoming more authoritarian. Also we have unlimited eAudiobooks.
– Jennifer, Library Assistant
– Elsa, Senior Services Specialist
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This book was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. It confronted me with so many issues – systemic racism, privilege, police violence, stereotypes, poverty, drugs, abuse. It's heartbreaking and eye-opening and made me cry more than once. I also recommend the film based on this book.
– Nalini, Senior Branch Head
Love in the time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
Besides the title that sounds so much emotional these days, it is a piece of modern classic that always worth reading. It is a true romantic story about love of two young people that is not easy.
– Pavel, Librarian
White Cat by Holly Black
Holly Black is well known for her fairy stories. But I think her Curse Workers Trilogy is very underrated. This series is part fantasy and part mafia novel, imagining a world where magic users are forced underground and into a life of crime.
– Myrna, Librarian
Recommendations from the Facebook Group
These are just some of the recommendations from our Facebook TPL Reading Challenge 2020 discussion group on this category:
- Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki
- Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
- Homecoming by Cynthia Voight (also, Dicey's Song)
- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
- On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
- Book of Sam by Rob Shapiro
- 90 Days of Different by Eric Walters
- Among Others by Jo Walton
- The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
- The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
- Cue for Treason by Geoffrey Trease
- Smith by Leon Garfield
- Warrior Scarlet by Rosemary Sutcliff
- The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
- Refugee by Alan Gratz
- Caraval by Stephanie Garber
- Layoverland by Gabby Noone
- Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
- Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
What did you read for "a book for young adults"? Do you have other recommendations? Share in the comments below!
And if you've already completed the TPL Reading Challenge and Advanced Challenge 2020, please fill out our feedback survey. You can also enter our draw by submitting the titles you've read for a chance to win a prize!