YALSA’s new Teen Book Finder is available online and as an app. Both formats are conveniently searchable, but my favorite part is how easy it is to access and peruse lists of YA award winners. If you are not familiar with these awards, or just do not have time for potentially underwhelming reading material, start with these for lists of quality teen lit.
- The Alex Awards: These awards are given to books that are technically written for adults but have particular appeal to readers ages 12-18. Ten books are honored per year.
- The Margaret A. Edwards Award: Think of the Edwards as the lifetime achievement award for the YA literature world. Instead of specific book titles, one author and his or her whole body of work is honored per year. Some past winners include greats like Judy Blume, Gary Paulsen, and Lois Lowry.
- The Michael L. Printz Award: The Printz Award is your basic all-around gold medal. According to YALSA, it is awarded to books that “exemplify literary excellence in young adult literature.” One winner is chosen from a short list of five titles.
- The William C. Morris Debut YA Award: If the full title of the Morris Award led you to believe it is presented to the teen work of a first-time author, you were right!
- The Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production: If you prefer to listen to your literature, the Odyssey has you covered with one winner and three honorees per year.
If awards are not your thing, you can use the online tool and app to search non-award book lists, as well, using more standard search terms like “author” or “genre.”