Top 10 Teen Reads

It’s the time of year when libraries tally their top ten check-outs of 2020. I thought it might be interesting to compare teen readers in the north to those in the south, so I called librarians in two states. They emailed me their young adult fiction lists THE SAME DAY. Gotta love librarians. Following are the chart-toppers from New York and Georgia.

Hall County, GA, Public LibraryNew York City Public Library
1. The Mark of Athena, Rick Riodan1. American Royals, Katharine McGee
2. Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Suzanne Collins2. The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas
3. Promised Neverland, Kaiu Shirai3. Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Suzanne Collins
4. One of Us is Lying, Karen M. McManus4. Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi
5. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott5. We Were Liars, E. Lockhart
6. Scythe, Neal Shusterman6. The Book Thief, Markus Zusack
7. Legend of Zelda, Akira Himekawa7. One of Us is Lying, Karen M. McManus
8. The Book Thief, Markus Zusack8. One of Us is Next, Karen M. McManus
9. Allies, Alan Gratz9. Children of Virtue and Vengeance, Tomi Adeyemi
10. Six of Crows, Leigh Bardugo10. Twilight, Stephanie Meyer

Surprised? Did you think there would be more than three overlaps? I did. Here’s what I gleaned:

  • Hall County, Georgia, readers are visual. Books #3 and #7 are both graphic novels.
  • Little Women was probably required reading for Georgia schools. The librarian mentioned they had to replace one copy this past fall because it had become so worn. Interestingly, Scythe, #6 on the Georgia list, was a Teacher’s Pick on Amazon.
  • New York City readers embraced two black authors, yet the story about white fictional royals topped the list. (ICYMI, Balzer & Bray just released Concrete Rose, the prequel to The Hate U Give, which I found unputdownable.)
  • Readers in both states love to read series.
  • Readers in both states enjoy a variety of genres—crime, dystopian, fantasy, historical, mystery, romance, thriller.
  • Harry Potter finally fell off the charts.
  • None of the books were Christian. Next year, maybe we’ll see a fantasy by C.J. Redwine.

Consider nudging yourself to read a certain number of books this year. Maybe use these lists to launch your page turning. To track your reads, set up an account on Goodreads and sign up for its 2021 Reading Challenge. If you have an extra sec, look me up at jill_willis. I’d love to be your friend.