2005 Best Books for Young Adults

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has prepared the 2005 Best Books for Young Adults list. Teens, as well as publishers, authors, and librarians selected this list of recommended books. It is a diverse list that features science fiction and fantasy, nonfiction, novels in verse, cutting-edge contemporary fiction, and graphic novels. The "best books" listed below can be found be found in the Teen Corner.

You’ll find a complete list of Best Books for Young Adults 2005 on the YALSA website.


Aidinoff, Elsie V. The Garden. 2004.
FICTION AID
The tale of the Garden of Eden is told from Eve's point of view.
Braff, Joshua. The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green. 2004.
FICTION BRA PBK
A witty, sensitive boy observes the darkly humorous goings-on in his Orthodox Jewish family in 1970s.
Burgess, Melvin. Doing It. 2004.
FICTION BUR
Three teenage friends, Dino, Jonathon, and Ben, confront the confusions, fears, and joys of adolescent male sexuality.
Choldenko, Gennifer. Al Capone Does My Shirts: A Novel. 2004.
FICTION CHO
Natalie encounters the infamous inmate Al Capone while living on Alcatraz Island where her father works as an electrician and guard.
de Lint, Charles. The Blue Girl. 2004.
FICTION DEL
New at her high school, Imogene enlists the help of her introverted friend Maxine and the ghost of a boy who haunts the school after receiving warnings through her dreams that soul-eaters are threatening her life.
Flake, Sharon. Who Am I Without Him?: Short Stories about Girls and the Boys in Their Lives. 2004.
FICTION FLA
These twelve short stories are about guys and girls testing out ways of communicating with one another, respecting each other, and respecting themselves.
Flinn, Alex. Nothing to Lose. 2004.
FICTION FLI
A year after running away with a traveling carnival to escape his unbearable home life, sixteen-year-old Michael returns to Miami, Florida, to find that his mother is going on trial for the murder of his abusive stepfather.
Gothic: Ten Original Dark Tales. 2004.
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Drawing on dark fantasy, the fairy tale, horror and wild humor, ten acclaimed authors pay homage to the gothic tale in a wide-range of supernatural and surreal stories.
Halpin, Brendan. Donorboy. 2004.
FICTION HAL PBK
A teenage girl becomes the ward of her sperm-donor father after losing both of her gay parents in a bizarre accident.
Hautman, Pete. Godless. 2004.
FICTION HAU
When sixteen-year-old Jason Bock and his friends create their own religion to worship the town's water tower, what started out as a joke begins to take on a power of its own.
Johnson, Kathleen Jeffrie. A Fast and Brutal Wing. 2004.
FICTION JOH
A series of journal entries, emails, stories, and newspaper articles reveals the strange events that led to the disappearance of a reclusive author on Halloween night and the involvement of a teenager and his friends--a brother and sister some say can transform into animals and back again.
Johnson, Maureen. The Key to the Golden Firebird. 2004.
FICTION JOH
As three teenaged sisters struggle to cope with their father's sudden death, they find they must reexamine friendships, lifelong dreams, and their relationships with each other and their father.
Koertge, Ron. Margaux with an X. 2004.
FICTION KOE
Margaux, known as a "tough chick" at her Los Angeles high school, makes a connection with Danny, who, like her, struggles with the emotional impact of family violence and abuse.
Koja, Kathe. The Blue Mirror. 2004.
FICTION KOJ
Seventeen-year-old loner Maggy Klass, who frequently seeks refuge from her alcoholic mother's apartment by sitting and drawing in a local cafe, becomes involved in a destructive relationship with a charismatic homeless youth named Cole.
Levithan, David. The Realm of Possibility. 2004.
FICTION LEV
A variety of students at the same high school describe their ideas, experiences, and relationships in a series of interconnected free verse stories.
Marchetta, Melina. Saving Francesca. 2004.
FICTION MAR
Sixteen-year-old Francesca could use her outspoken mother's help with the problems of being one of a handful of girls at a parochial school that has just turned co-ed, but her mother has suddenly become severely depressed.
McKinley, Robin. Sunshine. 2003.
FICTION MCK PBK
There hadn't been any trouble out at the lake for years, and Sunshine just needed a spot where she could be alone with her thoughts. Vampires never entered her mind. Until they found her.
Moriarty, Jaclyn. The Year of Secret Assignments. 2004.
FICTION MOR
As part of a pen-pal program, three female students from Ashbury High write to three male students from a rival high school which leads to romance, humiliation, revenge plots, and war between the schools.
Napoli, Donna Jo. Bound. 2004.
FICTION NAP
In a novel based on Chinese Cinderella tales, fourteen-year-old stepchild Xing-Xing endures a life of neglect and servitude, as her stepmother cruelly mutilates her own child's feet so that she alone might marry well.
Nelson, Blake. Rock Star, Superstar. 2004.
FICTION NEL
When Pete, a talented bass player, moves from playing in the high school jazz band to playing in a popular rock group, he finds the experience exhilarating but his new fame jeopardizes his relationship with his girlfriend.
Peters, Julie Anne. Luna: A Novel. 2004.
FICTION PET
Fifteen-year-old Regan's life, which has always revolved around keeping her older brother Liam's transsexuality a secret, changes when Liam decides to start the process of telling his family and friends that he is a girl who was born in a boy's body.
Pratchett, Terry. A Hat Full Of Sky. 2004.
FICTION PRA
A young witch-in-training learns about magic and responsibility as she battles a disembodied monster with the assistance of the six-inch-high Wee Free Men and Mistress Weatherwax, the greatest witch in the world.
Rapp, Adam. Under the Wolf, Under the Dog. 2004.
FICTION RAP
Sixteen-year-old Steve keeps a journal as he struggles to make sense of his mother's terminal breast cancer and his brother's suicide.
Rosoff, Meg. how I live now. 2004.
FICTION ROS
To get away from her pregnant stepmother, fifteen-year-old Daisy goes to England to stay with her aunt and cousins, but soon war breaks out and rips apart the family while devastating the land.
Saenz, Benjamin Alire. Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood. 2004.
FICTION SAE
Living in the unglamourous town of Hollywood, New Mexico, Sammy and Juliana face a world of racism, dress codes, the Vietnam War and the everyday violence of their own barrio.
Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return. 2004.
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This sequel to the graphic novel memoir, Persepolis, presents the story of the author’s reluctant return to her homeland of Iran after a self-imposed exile in Vienna.
Seagle, Steven T. It's a Bird. 2004.
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This graphic novel is a Superman story that doesn't feature Superman at all, but rather it explores what the icon of Superman means to the world.
Shinn, Sharon. The Safe-Keeper’s Secret. 2004.
FICTION SHI
Fiona is Safe-Keeper in the small village of Tambleham, where neighbors and strangers alike come one by one, in secret, to tell her things they dare not share with anyone else.
Strasser, Todd. Can't Get There from Here. 2004.
FICTION STR
Tired of being hungry, cold, and dirty from living on the streets of New York with a tribe of other homeless teenagers, a girl named Maybe ponders her future and longs for someone to care about her.
Chanda's Secrets. 2004.
FICTION STR
Chanda is an astonishingly perceptive girl living in the small city of Bonang, a fictional city in Southern Africa. When her youngest sister dies, the first hint of HIV/AIDS emerges and Chanda must confront undercurrents of shame and stigma.
Stroud, Jonathan. The Golem's Eye. 2004.
FICTION STR
In book II of the Bartimaeus trilogy, magician's apprentice Nathaniel and the djinni Bartimaeus travel to Prague to locate the source of a golem's power before it destroys London.
Weeks, Sarah. So B. It: A Novel. 2004.
FICTION WEE
After spending her life with her mentally retarded mother and agora phobic neighbor, twelve-year-old Heidi sets out from Reno, Nevada, to New York to find out who she is.
Werlin, Nancy. Double Helix. 2004.
FICTION WER
Eighteen-year-old Eli discovers a shocking secret about his life and his family while working for a Nobel Prize-winning scientist whose specialty is genetic engineering.
Westerfeld, Scott. So Yesterday. 2004.
FICTION WES
Hunter Braque, a New York City teenager who is paid by corporations to spot what is "cool," combines his analytical skills with girlfriend Jen's creative talents to find a missing person and thwart a conspiracy directed at the heart of consumer culture.
Whedon, Joss. Fray. 2003.
741.5973 WHE PBK
This graphic novel takes place hundreds of years in the future, when Manhattan has become a deadly slum, run by mutant crime-lords and disinterested cops. Stuck in the middle is a young girl who thought she had no future, but learns she has a great destiny.
Whitney, Kim Ablon. See You Down The Road: A Novel. 2004.
FICTION WHI
Sixteen-year-old Bridget, member of an Irish Traveller community in the United States, questions the traditions of her family's nomadic and criminal way of life and begins to wonder if she wants to continue living it.
Wooding , Chris. The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray. 2004.
FICTION WOO
In a world similar to Victorian London, Thaniel, a seventeen-year-old hunter of deadly, demonic creatures called the wych-kin, takes in a lost, possessed girl, and becomes embroiled in a plot to unleash evil on the world.
Woodson, Jacqueline. Behind You. 2004.
FICTION WOO
After fifteen-year-old Jeremiah is mistakenly shot by police, the people who love him struggle to cope with their loss as they recall his life and death, unaware that 'Miah is watching over them.