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My Favorite Books of The Year - Part 2

Last week, I shared the first part of my annual list of favorite books of the year. That first list, which is housed at Bookelicous, (you can read more about my partner ship with Bookelicious here). contains titles in the following categories:

  • picture books

  • non-fiction

  • middle grade

  • graphic novels

Today I'm excited to share my favorite books from 2022 written for young adult readers! Not only do I love YA fiction with my whole heart, but I also have the pleasure of teaching a YA Lit course at Rutgers. Of course, this list also contains plenty of nonfiction and graphic novels, too.

One more quick note before I roll out the list: 2022 has been an incredible year for books. What's more, it's been an incredible year for books written/illustrated by/about members of BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities. The irony, of course, is that this increase in representation in children's publishing has been met with harmful and discriminatory efforts to erase not only these stories, but also the voices of the young people who need them most, through a series of bills that traffic in bigotry and censorship. For many teachers and librarians, who have been called pornographers and groomers by cynical politicians and greedy grifters, for simply wanting to create inclusive classroom/library collections for their students, 2022 has been the most challenging year of their careers. I'd be remiss if I didn't share my thanks and admiration to these practitioners alongside this list of my favorite books from of 2022 - many of which have already been targeted for removal from school districts across the country. I repeat: 2022 has been an incredible year for books. And an incredibly hard year for those whose job it is to put those books in the hands of the young people who need them most. To the latter: I see you. And I thank you. Keep on!

And now... Bring on the books!

Here's the complete list of books (in alphabetical order by title):

  • African Town by Irene Latham and Charles Waters

  • Ain't Burned All The Bright by Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin

  • All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir

  • Big Lies: From Social Media to Socrates by Mark Kurlansky

  • Braiding Sweetgrass (for young adults) by Robin Wall Kimmerer, Monique Gray Smith, and Nicole Neidhardt

  • Four for the Road by K.J. Reilly

  • Greywaren (The Dreamer Trilogy #3) by Maggie Stiefvater

  • Hell Followed With Us by Andrew Joseph White

  • I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

  • I'm The Girl by Courtney Summers

  • M Is for Monster by Talia Dutton

  • Man Made Monsters (edited) by Andrea Rogers and Jeff Edwards

  • Messy Roots by Laura Gao

  • Murder Among Friends: How Leopold and Loeb Tried to Commit the Perfect Crime by Candace Fleming

  • The Getaway by Lamar Giles

  • The Greatest Thing by Sarah Winifred Searle

  • The Honeys by Ryan La Sala

  • The Summer of Bitter and Sweet by Jen Ferguson

  • The Sunbearer Trials by Aiden Thomas

  • The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D Jackson

  • The Turning Pointe by Vanessa L. Torres

  • Unretouchable by Sofia Szamosi

  • Victory Stand: Raising My Fist for Justice by Tommie Smith, Derrick Barnes and Dawud Anyabwile

  • We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammond

  • Welcome to St. Hell: My Trans Teen Misadventure: by Lewis Hancox

I also created a Goodreads shelf for those who are interested.

Finally, don't forget that you can find my best of recommendations for younger readers here!

Happy reading, everone!


Oct 05, 2023

Feel free to let your imagination go wild as you embark on an exciting adventure to increase your understanding of these incredible beings. moto x3m


Danielle Payne
Danielle Payne
Sep 11, 2023

Hello Jennifer! I am currently a middle school teacher and am studying to become a media specialist. I am always looking for diverse books to add to my library, and several of these books on your list caught my eye. If you had to narrow it down to your top three, which would you pick?


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