2020 Top Five

Dear Teen Peeps,

What year it’s been! And with the disturbing and unprecedented events of last week, 2020 continues to cast a long, dark shadow over 2021. Lucky for us, we have books to help us understand our feelings and escape our sometimes claustrophobic living spaces. Like many of you, I spent most of the 2020 school year on Zoom: teaching remotely, checking in with friends and relatives, performing booktalks and consulting with students. So I couldn’t wait to get off the screen and READ. I read 79 books this year! (and I do mean book books–I didn’t want to spend more time on screens reading e-books)

I read so many books that I didn’t even get around to reviewing them all! Sorry, Rules for Being a Girl and Watch Over Me. I really did like you a lot, but sometimes this year, it was just too difficult to corral my anxious thoughts into a review. But both of you helped me escape from the real world for a little while, and for that, I’m very grateful!

Like in 2019, I haven’t read nearly as much YA as I wanted to/should have, so here is a leaner, meaner list of my top five best YA reads of 2020. Please note that there has been absolutely no attempt to balance this list by age, gender or genre. These are just my “from-the-gut” favorites of the books I read this year. Also, since I am lucky enough to get paid to review in publications other than this lovely blog, I reviewed some of my beloveds elsewhere, like the New York Times. Click on the title to go right to the review and happy 2021! May we all enjoy health, happiness and peace in the coming year.

Burn by Patrick Ness

Dancing at the Pity Party by Tyler Feder

Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang

Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh

The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

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