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Best Young Adult Books of 2018 From Kirkus Reviews



Best of List season continues! Kirkus Reviews just released their list of the Best Young Adult Books of 2018 today! Check out this wonderful list below, separated into the following categories by Kirkus.


Mystery and Thriller

  • The Grand Escape: The Greatest Prison Breakout of the 20th Century by Neal Bascomb (Levine/Scholastic Focus)
  • The Good Demon by Jimmy Cajoleas, Illus. Michael Hoeweler (Amulet/Abrams)
  • I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall (Viking)
  • I, Claudia by Mary McCoy (Carolrhoda)
  • Home and Away by Candice Montgomery (Page Street)
  • Notes From My Captivity by Kathy Parks (Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins)
  • Sadie by Courtney Summers (Wednesday Books)


Science Fiction

  • Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful by Arwen Elys Dayton (Delacorte)
  • Your One & Only by Adrianne Finlay (HMH Books)
  • Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Knopf)
  • Latchkey by Nicole Kornher-Stace (Mythic Delirium)
  • Wildcard by Marie Lu (Putnam)
  • Skyward by Brandon Sanderson (Delacorte)
  • Last Pick by Jason Walz, Illus. Jason Walz with Jon Proctor (First Second)



  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt)
  • The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert, Illus. Jim Tierney (Flatiron Books)
  • The Storyteller by Traci Chee (Putnam)
  • The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton (Freeform/Disney)
  • The Book of Pearl by Timothée de Fombelle, Trans. Sarah Ardizzone & Sam Gordon (Candlewick)
  • Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman (Random House)
  • Black Wings Beating by Alex London (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
  • Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore (Feiwel & Friends)



  • Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli (Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins)
  • Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett (Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster)
  • This is Kind of an Epic Love Story by Kheryn Callender (Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins)
  • The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta (Viking)
  • Final Draft  by Riley Redgate (Amulet/Abrams)
  • The Summer of Jordi Perez (and the Best Burger in Los Angeles) by Amy Spalding (Sky Pony Press)
  • When My Heart Joins the Thousand by A.J. Steiger (HarperTeen)



  • We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson with Tonya Bolden (Bloomsbury)
  • Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu, Illus. Pénélope Bagieu, Trans. Montana Kane (First Second)
  • Blacklisted!: Hollywood, the Cold War, and the First Amendment by Larry Dane Brimner (Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills)
  • Votes for Women!: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot by Winifred Conkling (Algonquin)
  • Attucks!: Oscar Robertson and the Basketball Team That Awakened a City by Phillip Hoose (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
  • Period Power: A Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement by Nadya Okamoto, Illus. Rebecca Elfast (Simon & Schuster)
  • Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam by Elizabeth Partridge (Viking)
  • Just Mercy: A True Story of the Fight for Justice by Bryan Stevenson (Delacorte)
  • Chasing King’s Killer: The Hunt for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Assassin by James L. Swanson (Scholastic)


About Speaking Your Truth

  • The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (HarperTeen)
  • Troublemakers by Catherine Barter (Carolrhoda Lab)
  • Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman (Simon Pulse/ Simon & Schuster)
  • Driving By Starlight by Anat Deracine (Henry Holt)
  • This Book Betrays My Brother by Kagison Lesego Molope (Mawenzi House)
  • Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro (Tor Teen)
  • I’m Afraid of Men by Vivek Shraya (Penguin Random House Canada)


Historical Fiction

  • Iron River by Daniel Acosta (Cinco Puntos)
  • The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen (Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins)
  • The House of One Thousand Eyes by Michelle Barker (Annick Press)
  • An Assassin’s Guide to Love & Treason by Virginia Boecker (Little, Brown)
  • Dream Country by Shannon Gibney (Dutton)
  • The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee (Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins)
  • My Name is Victoria by Lucy Worsley (Candlewick)


That Explore Family and Self

  • The Place Between Breaths by An Na (Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum)
  • Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert (Disney-Hyperion)
  • If Only by Jennifer Gilmore (HarperTeen)
  • Fire Song by Adam Garnet Jones (Annick Press)
  • Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram (Dial)
  • My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame, Trans. Anne Ishii (Pantheon)
  • Secrets of the Casa Rosada by Alex Temblador (Piñata Books/Arté Público)
  • Check, Please!: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu (First Second)


About Facing Trauma

  • A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi (Philomel)
  • The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown (HMH Books)
  • After the Fire by Will Hill (Sourcebooks Fire)
  • Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Graphix/Scholastic)
  • Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani & Viviana Mazza (Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins)
  • After the Shot Drops by Randy Ribay (HMH Books)
  • The Fall of Innocence by Jenny Torres Sanchez (Philomel)
  • What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper (Knopf)


That Feed Imaginations

  • Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: Myths of Mexico by David Bowles (Cinco Puntos)
  • Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron (Roaring Brook)
  • And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness, Illus. Rovina Cai (HarperTeen)
  • Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens ed. Marieke Nijkamp (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
  • Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners by Naomi Shihab Nye (Greenwillow)
  • For Every One by Jason Reynolds (Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum)
  • Tales From the Inner City by Shaun Tan (Levine/Scholastic)


Read more about all of these titles at Kirkus Reviews here.

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