Best of 2011: Teen

Updated: January 26, 2019

These are the best and most popular young adult books of the year, as selected by LAPL young adult librarians. Perfect for holiday gift-giving! More books for young adults are at LAPL Teen Web.

Book cover for Akata Witch
Akata Witch
Okorafor-Mbachu, Nnedi
Call Number: YA

A girl living in Nigeria discovers she has magical powers, and is put to the test when asked to find and capture a serial killer.

Book cover for Anya's ghost
Anya's ghost
Brosgol, Vera.
Call Number: 740.9999 B874
Anya thinks she has found the perfect mate in her new ghostly friend. But with a friend like this...

Book cover for Back when you were easier to love
Back when you were easier to love
Smith, Emily Wing, 1980-
Call Number: YA
When her sort-of boyfriend dumps her after leaving for college, Joy goes on a road trip to confront him.

Book cover for Between Shades of Gray
Between Shades of Gray
Sepetys, Ruta.
Call Number: YA

Harrowing tale of one family's struggle to survive the forced relocation of Lithuanians to Siberia during World War II.

Book cover for Blink & Caution
Blink & Caution
Wynne-Jones, Tim.
Call Number: YA
A suspense-filled tale of two street teens who get caught up in the middle of a kidnapping plot gone very wrong.

Book cover for Bootleg : murder, moonshine, and the lawless years of prohibition
Bootleg : murder, moonshine, and the lawless years of prohibition
Blumenthal, Karen.
Call Number: 351.761 B658
Concise and interesting history of Prohibition in the United States.

Book cover for Brooklyn, burning
Brooklyn, burning
Brezenoff, Steven.
Call Number: YA
Street life has broken Kid, who has loved and lost, but may still find love again before the summer ends.

Book cover for Clockwork prince
Clockwork prince
Clare, Cassandra.
Call Number: YA
Mysteries revealed, hearts broken and mended again, all against the steampunk backdrop of Shadowhunters in Victorian England in this second volume of the Infernal Devices series.

Book cover for Daughter of smoke and bone
Daughter of smoke and bone
Taylor, Laini.
Call Number: YA

Karou, a blue haired art student by day and the adopted daughter of a wish granting demon by night, finds her world turned upside down when she meets the beautiful but frightening angel, Akiva. On opposite sides of an ancient war, the two find themselves inexplicably drawn to each other. A fast paced and captivating first book in a series.

Book cover for Divergent
Roth, Veronica
Call Number: YA

eBook | eAudiobook | Streaming Audio | Book on CD | KoreanSwedish

Sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior is about to take the most important test of her life. Its results will define her identity, her family, and her friends for the rest of her life. It will determine whether she stays with the Abnegation faction she was born into - caregivers who value selflessness above all else - or whether she leaves behind her family and joins one of the other four factions in her world: Amity, Candor, Erudite, and Dauntless. But some test results are inconclusive. Some people don't fit neatly into any faction. They're divergent. And the government really doesn't like them.

Book cover for The future of us
The future of us
Asher, Jay, 1975-
Call Number: YA
It's 1996, and Emma just got a new computer and an America Online CD-ROM. But the first time she logs in, Emma discovers herself and her friend Josh on Facebook fifteen years in the future. The future doesn't look so great, but will trying to change it make things better or worse?

Book cover for How they croaked : the awful ends of the awfully famous
How they croaked : the awful ends of the awfully famous
Bragg, Georgia.
Call Number: 920 B813
The lives and gruesome deaths of 19 historical figures, including Cleopatra, Edgar Allan Poe, and Marie Curie, are documented and explained.

Book cover for How to Save a Life
How to Save a Life
Zarr, Sara.
Call Number: YA

Jill's father died less than a year ago, so she's skeptical when her mother announces that she wants to adopt a baby. Mandy is a pregnant teenager trying to escape an abusive home. Together, they learn what it means to trust, love, and heal.

Book cover for I'll be there
I'll be there
Sloan, Holly Goldberg, 1958-
Call Number: YA
Constantly uprooted by his father, Sam Border and his brother, Riddle, have never known any stability in their lives, but all that changes when Sam meets Emily Bell and her loving family.

Book cover for Kamisama kiss
Kamisama kiss
Suzuki, Julietta.
Call Number: 740.9999 K157
Abandoned by her father, homeless high school student Nanami seeks shelter at a local shrine. Little did she know that the shrine already had tenants, including a handsome but surly fox spirit!

Book cover for Level Up
Level Up
Yang, Gene Luen
Call Number: 740.9999 Y22-6
Dennis Ouyang struggles to balance what lies in his heart and what his parents tell him is the more practical option. Should he attend medical school like they expect or give in to his video game addiction?

Book cover for Marzi : a memoir
Marzi : a memoir
Sowa, Marzena, 1979-
Call Number: 740.9999 S731
Through a series of vignettes that build on one another, author Marzena Sowa ("Marzi") shows readers what life was like for a young girl growing up in what would soon become post-Communist Poland.

Book cover for Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Riggs, Ransom.
Call Number: YA
After his grandfather dies, Jacob is left with a letter, some mysterious last words, and fantastical stories about monsters and a special orphanage on an island.

Book cover for Morning glories
Morning glories
Spencer, Nick.
Call Number: 740.9999 M8665
Welcome to Morning Glory Academy, a prestigious private school that gives new meaning to the term alternative education. Six students who share the same birthday meet when they begin attending the school for gifted youngsters.

Book cover for The name of the star
The name of the star
Johnson, Maureen, 1973-
Call Number: YA
Someone is stalking the streets of London and recreating Jack the Ripper's murders, but only a boarding school student named Rory Deveaux can see the killer - or stop him.

Book cover for Okay for now
Okay for now
Schmidt, Gary D.
Call Number: YA
In 1968, Doug Swieteck is starting 8th grade in a new town and discovering himself in the process. A realistic family drama with a little humor mixed in.

Book cover for Queen of hearts
Queen of hearts
Brooks, Martha, 1944-
Call Number: YA
Imagine being a teen during World War II, stricken with tuberculosis, struggling for every breath, stuck in a sanatorium with lots of older people - and wondering if you will ever get better or go home again.

Book cover for See what I see
See what I see
Whelan, Gloria.
Call Number: YA
Kate needs a place to stay while attending art school, and the right place might be with her estranged father, a reclusive artist, who has given up on life.

Book cover for The son of Neptune
The son of Neptune
Riordan, Rick.
Call Number: YA

Percy Jackson returns in this second book of the Heroes of Olympus series, and must team up with two demigods from the Roman Camp Jupiter on a mission to unleash Death, while frustrated by his own missing memories.

Book cover for Stay
Caletti, Deb.
Call Number: YA
Clara falls into love so deeply and so fast, she doesn't realize that her boyfriend is obsessed with her, and won't ever let her go - even after she breaks up with him and moves away.

Book cover for Stick
Smith, Andrew 1959-
Call Number: YA
Stick and his brother, Bosten, try their best to survive in an abusive family.

Book cover for Winter Town
Winter Town
Emond, Stephen.
Call Number: YA

When Evan's childhood friend, Lucy, visits over Christmas break, he wonders why her behavior has changed so radically.