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:
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!