I read a lot of fabulous books this year, and I’m about to finish three more, so I’ll be at 65 out of my goal of 75 books shortly. I’m hoping for some reading time over the holidays too, so hopefully I can finish a few more of my other partially-completed reads before the end of the year. As always, YA verse novels and historicals were at the top of my list of favorites, but I also fell in love with a few others! Since all of my top ten favorites are so fantastic, I decided to list them in alphabetical order.
AFRICAN TOWN by Charles Waters and Irene Latham. As a YA historical-in-verse, this one ticked all my boxes before I even started reading. All the voices Charles and Irene captured on the pages here really bring these people to life.
ALL MY RAGE by Sabaa Tahir. This National Book Award winner is surely on everyone’s radar, but yeah, this really blew me away too. Just fantastic storytelling.
A MILLION QUIET REVOLUTIONS by Robin Gow. This verse novel is about two trans boys who name themselves after Revolutionary War soldiers. Bonus! Not only is this in verse, but it also includes letters!
HOLLOW FIRES by Samira Ahmed. This contemporary YA set in Chicago is all about a teen’s quest for justice on behalf of a younger teen who should have had a full, promising life, were it not for racism. So powerful, and loved the format.
MY SECOND IMPRESSION OF YOU by Michelle Mason. This YA contemporary is definitely a lighter read compared to most of my faves, but I love theater kids, and I love the life lesson that sometimes how we remember something isn’t how it happened at all.
NOTHING SUNG AND NOTHING SPOKEN by Nita Tyndall. I’m a sucker for a historical set in Berlin, and the love and friendship between these girls in the Schwingjugend during World War II captured my heart.
RIMA’S REBELLION by Margarita Engle. Yes, another YA historical-in-verse! This story about suffragettes fighting for their rights in Cuba is simply glorious.
THE GHOSTS OF ROSE HILL by R. M. Romero. This verse novel about a teen violinist wrestling ghosts in Prague is truly magical.
THE SILENT UNSEEN by Amanda McCrina. This YA historical set in Eastern Europe during World War II offers a glimpse of the complicated history still affecting people in the region today.
TORCH by Lyn Miller-Lachmann. This YA historical is set in former Czechoslovakia after the 1968 Soviet invasion. I loved all the characters so, so much–especially how they work together to fight oppression.
Those are my top ten picks, and I and would love to hear your favorites!
But first, one quick bonus! Two 2023 books I got to read early and absolutely loved. They are both YA verse novels and are both incredible, so get them on your radar now!