Thursday, December 20, 2012

Best of the Best Books for 2012 (so far...)

Every year about this time, about a bazillion (yep, you read it correctly) publications, including blogs, magazines, newspapers and others start to publish their best of the year lists. Of course, these lists include plenty of books in every category. Some of the lists won't be published until next year, but others are already here. Listed below are a sampling of these lists just in time for the holiday break.

There will probably be more lists after the new year and I am sure I missed quite a few lists. Please feel free to make other list suggestions in the comments section.

Books for Teenagers

Did you now there are tons of books written for teenagers every year. According to American Libraries magazine, at least 5,028 were published in 2009 and 4,939 in 2010. Here are some of the best from 2012.

Chosen by Professional Critics

Most of these lists are compiled by professional critics who review books for a living. Some are compiled by librarians who work with children and teenagers. The New York Times has a list of Notable Children's Books for 2012. It includes a Young Adult category.Librarian magazines Kirkus ReviewsHorn BookSchool Library Journal and Booklists' end of the year best includes books for children and teens. Look at the suggested ages for suggestions. Both SLJ  and Booklist also published Best Adult Books for Teens lists as well. Blogger Jennifer Hubert Swan posts on the Reading Rants blog. She does a an awesome Top 10 list every year.

Chosen by Teens

There are also some lists that have been compiled from votes cast by teenagers. The Young Adult Library Services Association (an organization for librarians who mainly serve teens) publishes the Teens' Top Ten. The books were voted on by a select group of teens from around U.S. The Young Adults' Choice Reading List is from the International Reading Association. If you are a teenager and want to contribute to a similar list, go to the 2013 Teen Choice Book of the Year page on the TeenReads website. Finally, the user driven website Good Reads had members vote on the best books of the year in several categories. There is no guarantee that all the votes in the teen category were cast by teens, but it is still worth checking out. They have categories for Young Adult Fiction and Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Books for Staff Members (and Interested Students)

Many well known mainstream publications such as The New Yorker, New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Smithsonian, Seattle Times publish either a single list or one in multiple categories. Online publications such as The Huffington Post and Slate have their own lists as well.

Librarian trade magazines also publish best of lists. Booklist publishes their Editor's Choice list, as well as the top of the list selections. Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews also publish their own lists. 

Finally, I don't want to forgot the lists from the National Public Radio and Good Reads websites. The NPR list is selected by critics and the Good Reads selections are voted on by site users. 

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