Here are the winners of YALSA's Teens Top Ten for 2012. While at first blush this might seem to be a list with mostly female protagonists, take a closer look at the annotations (if you have not already read these books). Male protagonists play essential roles in 7 of these 10 titles. Lots of sci-fi, fantasy, dystopias here which should not be surprising given the popularity of these books.
1). Roth, Veronica. Divergent. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books. 2011. (978-
0062024022). Abnegation (selfless), Erudite (intelligence), Candor (honesty), Amity
(peace), or Dauntless (brave): where would you fit? Beatrice lives in a society where
she must choose either to remain with her family’s faction or set off towards
independence and her beliefs. And what happens when the unity between these
factions begins to fall apart?
2). Green, John. The Fault in Our Stars. Penguin Group/Dutton Juvenile. 2012. (978-
0525478812). Hazel and Augustus meet and forge a relationship at a support group for
kids battling cancer. As Hazel and Augustus struggle with the “side-effects of dying,”
they come to learn the strength of wishes, the complexities of long human lives, and the
wondrous ways of the universe.
3). Lu, Marie. Legend. Penguin Group/Putnam Juvenile. 2011. (978-0399256752).
June, a fifteen-year-old military prodigy, is hunting Day, the outlaw she believes is
responsible for her brother’s death. What will happen when the two meet and discover
the government is corrupt?
4). Riggs, Ransom. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Quirk Books. 2011.
(978-1594744761). When Jacob was little, his grandfather would tell him stories of the
fantastical children’s home where he grew up and the seemingly magical kids who lived
there with him. When his grandfather is killed, Jacob sets out to find the home where
these children lived, unearthing a magical secret and uncovering his true heritage.
5). Dessen, Sarah. What Happened to Goodbye. Penguin Group/Viking Juvenile.
2011. (9780670012947). Ever since Mclean’s parents divorced, she has lived in four
towns in two years – each time taking on a new persona. Mclean expects to leave
Lakeview in six months, but soon finds that she doesn’t want to – she just wants to be
6). Revis, Beth. Across the Universe. Penguin Group/Razorbill. 2011.
(9781595143976). Cryogenically frozen centuries ago, Amy and her parents are on their
way to a new planet aboard the spaceship, Godspeed. Unplugged from her cryo
chamber, Amy discovers she has been awoken 50 years early, in a failed murder
attempt. With Elder, the future leader of the ship, by her side they are on an adventure
filled with murder, lies, dreams, and stars.
7). Meyer, Marissa. Cinder. Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends. 2012. (978-031261894). A
futuristic retelling of the classic Cinderella, Cinder, a cyborg and talented mechanic,
lives with her cruel stepmother and two stepsisters in the plague-ridden New Beijing.
Soon after meeting Prince Kai, Cinder must find the truths of her past, which may help
to save the future.
8). Stiefvater, Maggie. The Scorpio Races. Scholastic/Scholastic Press. 2011.
(9780545224901). Every November, the beaches of Thisby come alive with the Scorpio
Races. The water horses are vicious, the terrain is treacherous, and death is likely, but
the reward can be beyond anything you could imagine. Puck Connolly is racing for her
family, Sean Kendrick for his passion—but only one can win The Scorpio Races.
9). Forman, Gayle. Where She Went. Penguin Group/Dutton Juvenile. 2011.
(9780525422945). This sequel to Gayle Forman’s If I Stay is narrated by Adam, Mia’s
ex-boyfriend. Shortly after the devastating accident that killed Mia’s family, the talented
cellist moves to New York, where an accidental meeting brings them back together.
10). Cabot, Meg. Abandon. Point. 2012. (978-0545040648). Pierce has experienced
death before and barely escaped. When she moves from her old town to a town called
Isla Huesos - Island of Bones - for a new start, she realizes that death wants her back.
Can she escape death once again?