Short Saturday: The United States of Young Adult

I admit it: I am fascinated by lists of things, and this infographic is no exception. It’s a list of YA books set in specific states—all fifty of them. (That’s what the headline says: the fact is there are some middle grade fiction and chapter books on this list; it’s not all “true” YA.)

I also admit I don’t know most of them, though there are a few that are much beloved (The Wizard of Oz, anyone?). Here are a few notables:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (2012), about teen cancer patients, debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Seller list for Children’s Chapter Books, although it seems to me that it’s YA, given it’s teen characters. Time magazine names it the number one fiction book of 2012. It’s been optioned for a film. I actually have this but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (2006) was an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults.

Jip, His Story by Katherine Paterson (1996) won the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction.

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George (1972) has been on school reading lists since it came out (it’s also been banned from them quite a bit, which means it sure got something right). The fact that it won the Newbery Medal makes me think it is closer to middle grade fiction than YA, however.

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley (2011) won both the Michael J. Prinz Award (best book for teens) and the William C. Morris Award (for a debut author of YA).

Under the Blood Red Sun by Graham Salisbury (1997) is a historical chapter book, winner of Mommy’s Favorite Classic Award (whatever that is!).

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (2007), a coming-of-age story, won three major annual awards (National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Odyssey Award) as well as the California Young Reader Medal.

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen (2004) was was one of the Young Adult Library Services Association’s selected picks.

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (2010) spent seven weeks at the number one position on the New York Times Best Seller list for for Children’s Chapter Books. (It also is YA.) Made into a movie.

Crank by Ellen Hopkins (2004) is reputedly required reading in many high schools, as it deals straightforwardly with crystal meth addiction. It was a New York Times best-selling novel and has won numerous regional awards.

I’m sure there are many fine books on this list. I myself am a Libba Bray fan, so The Diviners is one I’d be interested in. Check out this list and let me know if you have a favorite YA.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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  1. Stephanie Cardel says:

    The Fault in Our Stars is most definitely YA (not for young children) and most definitely deserving of the best seller list and all the top ten books of 2012 lists that it is on. It made me laugh out loud and bawl my eyes out. Any book that can take you to those extremes is a treasure!

    • Jamie says:

      I was just astonished that it was on the “children’s chapter books” list! Can’t wait to get started on it.

  2. Ellen Moore says:

    to Read>Play>Edit

    Along this line, I can certify that in the abandoned book rooms of many, many Texas high schools one can find a classroom set of Catcher in the Rye–unopened.