Goodreads Choice Awards

The opening round of voting for the Goodreads Choice Awards is now open and runs through November 8th. There is then a semifinal round and a final round before the winners are announced on December 8th. I enjoy these lists because they contain books that are popular but often don’t make the traditional “librarian” review sources. There are teen titles scattered in other categories like debut novel and graphic novels that you shouldn’t miss! Here are the nominees in the specifically youth categories:


Clap When You Land

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

The Gravity of Us

The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper


Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson

The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious, #3)

The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson

The Henna Wars

The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

The Inheritance Games (The Inheritance Games, #1)

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Majesty (American Royals, #2)

Majesty by Katharine McGee

One of Us Is Next (One of Us Is Lying, #2)

One of Us Is Next by Karen M. McManus

Only Mostly Devastated

Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales

Punching the Air

Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam

Tweet Cute

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed

You Should See Me in a Crown

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson


All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0)

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

Cemetery Boys

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orïsha, #2)

Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

Fable by Adrienne Young

Girl, Serpent, Thorn

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3)

The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

Starsight (Skyward, #2)

Starsight by Brandon Sanderson

These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1)

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong


Ali Cross

Ali Cross by James Patterson

Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes (Pandava Quartet #3)

Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

Before the Ever After

Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson

Clean Getaway

Clean Getaway by Nic Stone

From the Desk of Zoe Washington

From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks

Ghost Squad

Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega

Here in the Real World by Sara Pennypacker

Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow

Hollowpox: The Hunt to Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

King and the Dragonflies

King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender

The List of Things That Will Not Change

The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead

The One and Only Bob

The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate

One True King (The School for Good and Evil: The Camelot Years, #3)

One True King by Soman Chainani

Race to the Sun

Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

The Tower of Nero by Rick Riordan

We Dream of Space

We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly


Antiracist Baby

Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi, illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky

Bedtime Bonnet

Bedtime Bonnet by Nancy Amanda Redd, illustrated by Nneka Myers

Bird Hugs

Bird Hugs by Ged Adamson

The Cool Bean (The Bad Seed, #3)

The Cool Bean by Jory John, illustrated by Pete Oswald

Coronavirus: A Book for Children about Covid-19

Coronavirus: A Book for Children about Covid-19 by Elizabeth Jenner, Kate Wilson and Nia Roberts, illustrated by Axel Scheffler

Grandma's Gardens

Grandma’s Gardens by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, illustrated by Lemniscates

I Am Every Good Thing

I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James

Just Like Me

Just Like Me by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read

The Oldest Student by Rita Lorraine Hubbard, illustrated by Oge Mora

The Seed of Compassion: Lessons from the Life and Teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama

The Seed of Compassion by Dalai Lama XIV, illustrated by Bao Luu

The Serious Goose

The Serious Goose by Jimmy Kimmel

Sweet Child o' Mine

Sweet Child o’ Mine by Guns n’ Roses and Jennifer Zivoin

Think Outside the Box

Think Outside the Box by Justine Avery, illustrated by Liuba Syrotiuk

This Book Is Gray

This Book Is Gray by Lindsay Ward

Fighting Words by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Cover image for Fighting Words

Fighting Words by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (9781984815682)

Della has always been taken care of by her older sister, Suki. The two of them stayed together after their mother went to prison and they moved in with her mother’s boyfriend. That boyfriend did something horrible to Della, so the sisters fled. Now they are in foster care together, being really taken care of for the first time in their lives. Suki has always been Della’s protector so what happens when Suki suddenly is the one who needs help and caring for? Della is willing to talk in court about what happened to her, but Suki wants to be silent. Della is good at being loud, sometimes being too loud or swearing in class. It’s time for Della to use her voice to stand up for what they both need, but also to listen to her sister in a new way too.

This book is seriously one of the best of the year. Period. Written by an author who is consistently impressive, this is a book that is stunningly good. Bradley gives a voice to those who have experienced child abuse, showing them that they are more than the abuse, more than that trauma. It is a book that doesn’t duck what happened to these sisters, but builds towards the awful truth, warning readers that it is coming and then dealing with it when it happens. It removes the stigma of the trauma in a way that is full of compassion and empathy, giving space for assault and for the recovery from it.

Bradley’s writing is exceptional. She does so much with the voice of Della, making her both a clarion call to be heard and listened to, but also giving her a realistic vocabulary of swear words and a way to deal with them in a book for children. This book is beyond impressive. It is important and vital: a book to be shared with children and adults, an example of what children’s literature can be at its highest level.

Bravo! One of the best of the year, if not one of the best of all time. Appropriate for ages 10-13.

Reviewed from library copy.