2020 Teens’ Top Ten

YALSA has announced the 2020 Teens’ Top Ten, a list nominated by teens and also voted on by them. Nominations for the 2021 Teens’ Top Ten are open until December 31st. Here are the titles on the Top Ten List:

#MurderFunding by Gretchen McNeil

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Broken Throne by Victoria Aveyard

Lovely War by Julie Berry

The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell, illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Everything Comes Next by Naomi Shihab Nye

Cover image for Everything Comes Next

Everything Comes Next by Naomi Shihab Nye (9780063013452)

The current Young People’s Poet Laureate has compiled a collection of over 100 of her poems. It is a mixture of both previous published poems and new ones that have not been published before. Though some date back to the beginning of her stellar career and others are newer, there is a strong consistency across the collection with their eye towards hope combined with a strong sense of truth and honesty. Nye also has a way of focusing on the small and mundane in our lives and bringing out the wonder, including flour sifters, toddler comments, and cat food.

I bookmarked far too many of the poems, looking forward to returning to them again. While I had my distinct favorites (and lots of them) there were no poems in this collection that disappointed. The entire collection work both as a whole and as its separate parts. It provides a great introduction to Nye’s poetry.

Perhaps Nye’s greatest quality is her refusal to speak down to children or to simplify her poetry for them. She asks them to stretch to understand them, but not in confusing ways or using esoteric language. The concepts are fascinating, the poems leading the reader but not in a straight line, her poems more of a journey.

A gorgeous collection of poetry from one of the best. Appropriate for ages 12-15.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by Greenwillow Books.