Discover Great Books

Here you'll find all kinds of sites to explore for help finding your next read.


2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults: Each year the Young Adult Library Services Association compiles a list of books that meet both the criteria of good quality literature and appealing reading for teens, and reflect a wide range of genres and styles. The YALSA committee also selects books for the best of the best. Lists for previous years are also available.

The Heartland Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature: Books are nominated for this award by those who work with young adults. After the list of nominees is completed, students who have read at least three of the books on the list vote to determine the winner of the Heartland Award.

Alex Awards: Given each year to ten books written for adults that have a special appeal for young adults, ages 12 to 18. Each year's awards are selected from the previous year's publishing.

Michael L. Printz Award: Awarded every year to one book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature. It is named after a librarian from Topeka, Kansas.

William Allen White Children's Book Awards: Young Kansas readers choose two books each year from a list of nominations, one book for 3rd-5th grades and one for 6th-8th grades. Past winners are also available. Check out a list of this year's nominees!


Teen Ink: Book reviews written for teens by teens. You can also discuss books and book reviews with other readers. The website also features creative work (writing, art, and photos) submitted by teens.

TeenReads: Read reviews written by teens and librarians. Lists new releases and books coming soon, along with other book lists and resources to find your next great read.

Guys Read: A site dedicated to connecting guys with books. Titles are sorted by topics from "Boxers, Wrestlers, Ultimate Fighters" to "How to build stuff" and many others.

Guys Lit Wire: A blog filled with reading recommendations for dudes who like to read. Sort posts by category, or just check out what's been recently reviewed.

Readergirlz: Celebrating girls who love books. Each issue focuses on a book, including a review, information about the author, discussion questions, and even a recommended playlist for listening to while reading.


Bookish: Check out book news, author interviews, and new releases here. They also have a good selection of "essential" book lists on a large range of topics.

Juvenile Series and Sequels: This resource from the MidContinent Public Library lists books by series title, series subject, book title, or book author. Includes books for a wide range of ages, including Young Adults.

Reading Rants! Out of the Ordinary Teen Booklists: A blog with reviews of all kinds of young adult books. Books are categorized in lists that stretch from "Fanging Around" to "Nail Biters" to "Teen Tearjerkers" and many places in between.

Ultimate YA Bookshelf: 50 books, magazines, and audio books compiled in one list that highlights must-have teen materials. Use it to find interesting books and materials.

What's Next?: Teens Series and Sequels: Find out what the next book is in a series, or learn about other books written by your favorite author in this database assembled by the Bettendorf Public Library. Browse by author or series title. Find booklists for areas of US history, read from a classic book online, or watch author webcasts at this site from the Library of Congress.

The Book Seer: Type in the name of a book you've enjoyed lately, and the book seer will return suggestions of titles you might also like.

What Should I Read Next?: Start with a book you like, and the site will give you recommendations based on other readers' favorite books.

NPR's 2013 Best Books Concierge: Check out their Young Adult picks along with lots of other categories. You can even combine categories and see what pops up!

Local Authors

Gennifer Albin: Gennifer lived in Kansas, but has moved to Washington state.  She writes teens books that take place in fantastical worlds. Her first book is Crewel, which she wrote here in Olathe, Kansas at Indian Creek Branch Library.

Derrick Barnes: Raised and living in Kansas City, Derrick Barnes is the author of We Could Be Brothers.

Jennifer Brown: A former Kansas City Star columnist who has turned to writing novels for young adults. She has written Hate List, Bitter End, Perfect Escape, and Thousand Words.

Elizabeth C. Bunce: A historical fantasy writer who lives near Kansas City. Her books include A Curse as Dark as Gold, Starcrossed, and Liar's Moon.

Tessa Gratton: Tessa lives in Kansas and her debut novel is Blood Magic. Look for it and its companion, The Blood Keeper.

Regina Sirois: Her debut novel On Little Wings is "about all the ways we get love wrong, and why, despite every disappointment, we keep fighting to get it right." Regina lives in Olathe, Kansas.

Connect With Publishers

Harlequin TEEN: Like this romance publisher on Facebook for updates on new releases, free ebooks, giveaways, and exclusive content.