And the winners are…

Best Teen Books of 2009

The American Library Association has released its choices for the 2009 top ten best books for Young Adults.

It’s no surprise that The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is on the list. Collins creates a fantasy world called Panem which we learn is really the ruins of a continent called North America. The government is now ruled by the Capitol, a cruel regime which forces teens from the outlying districts to participate in annual Hunger Games. And what are the Hunger Games? – a fight to the death on live television. This novel is dark but compelling as well. Could our civilization ever devolve into such a place?  (It sounds like an episode of The Biggest Loser gone terribly, terribly wrong!)   By the way, Suzanne Collins has now written a sequel called Catching Fire which is sure to end up on next year’s top ten list.

The graphic novel Skim by cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamiko also made the honor roll. The setting is a girls’ academy in Toronto and tells the story of Kimberly Keiko Cameron, aka, “Skim”, a Goth wannabe. Skim makes friends, falls in love, sees teen depression, gets rejected by the cool kids, encounters kids who are very different and ultimately makes new friends. The illustrations might be beautiful, but Skim’s passage through teenage hood is mostly tough. Hmmm, kind of like real life sometimes.

The only non-fiction book to make the list is It’s Complicated: The American Teenager by Robin Bowman. Here, Bowman spent five years talking to and photographing teenagers. The portraits – both visual and written are searing and  insightful about the complexities of being a teen in today’s world.   Hey, are Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin in this?

The other winners are:

Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor
Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Pena
Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd
Ten Cents a Dance by Christine Fletcher
Baby by Joseph Monninger
Nation by Terry Pratchett
The Brothers Torres by Coert Voorhees

So what are your favorite books of 2009?  Did the American Library Association get it right or are they way off base?


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Rachel said,

    I personally didn’t like catching fire….. I didn’t even finish it. It was sad.

    The other books on the top list I haven’t even heard of lol. That’s even sadder.

    I’m not really sure what my favorite books are of 2009. I didn’t really read anything that came out this year. I must say though, that I love the Mortal Instruments Trilogy. One of my favorites I’ve read in 2009.

  2. 2

    Des Plaines Library TAB said,

    I’ve heard great things about the Mortal Instruments Trilogy. Veronica read them and loved them too! One of my favorite books from this past year was If I Stay by Gayle Forman. Totally awesome and guaranteed to make you cry! But it also made me very optimistic and a new appreciation of life. Try it!

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