YA Books for Older Teens

Each week we share a list of books we recommend to our school community. We try to include books for a wide range of interests and ages, but sometimes it can be tricky to include young adult books alongside titles for children.

This post is just for the fans of YA books. Each title is a 2021 award-winner, including the various awards associated with the Young Adult Library Services Association. We thought it might be helpful to include this important note from the YALSA’s site:

While these books have been selected for teens from 12 to 18 years of age, the award-winning titles and the titles on YALSA's selected lists span a broad range of reading and maturity levels. We encourage adults to take an active role in helping individual teens choose those books that are the best fit for them and their families.”

YALSA's Book Awards & Booklists | Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)

Everything Sad Is Untrue: (a true story) by Daniel Nayeri

This autobiography of an Iranian refugee won the 2021 Printz Award, along with being named a National Indie Bestseller, an NPR Best Book of the Year, a New York Times Best Book of the Year, an Amazon Best Book of the Year, a Booklist Editor’s Choice, a BookPage Best Book of the Year, an NECBA Windows and Mirrors Selection, a Publisher’s Weekly Best Book of the Year, a Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year, and a Today.com Best Book of the Year.

The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh by Candace Fleming

Like so many of our historical heroes, Charles Lindbergh was far from the perfect man many imagine him to be. Winner of the 2021 YALSA award for nonfiction, this book gives readers a sense of the complicated truths that define human beings.

Kent State (audio book) by Deborah Wiles, narrated by Christopher Gebauer, Lauren Ezzo, Christina Delaine, Johnny Heller, Roger Wayne, Korey Jackson, and David de Vries

Winner of the 2021 Odyssey Award, this is the only audio book on our list. The Odyssey Award highlights