Some of the best questions that land in my inbox or show up in my social media feed relate to finding YA books. Where can someone find books are X or Y or Z, or books that are about X or Y or Z written by people of color, queer writers, disabled writers, and so on. Often, those questions come with the (sometimes unspoken) caveat that the recommendations be vetted by those marginalized groups to ensure that good, solid representation shows up in the books that will ultimately end up in a young reader’s hands.
Many times, I can give the answer to these questions. Other times, I peruse some of the excellent resources out there in order to check and double check my recommendations. I realized rounding up the resources I use would be invaluable to fellow readers, both those who ware looking for book lists and those who may be looking for a good book.
This isn’t a comprehensive resource, and certainly, I’ll be missing some great stuff. I’d love more recommended resources in the comments if there are sites you use to look for YA books and book recommendations. I’ve broken this down by category, though please note there are plenty of crossover lists and intersectional explorations among these resources. Some of these are long-running resources and some are newer but look extremely promising. It’s also worth noting many of these sites don’t stick to YA alone, so there might be further resources available for those interested in books for older or younger readers.
A huge, huge thank you to those who work tirelessly to keep these resources excellent tools in furthering discussion and knowledge of young adult literature.
- The Ultimate List of YA Book Lists: I keep this guide on my Tumblr that rounds up the booklists many might find interesting or useful that I’ve written or that Kimberly has written.
- YA Lit: This is an excellent tool for keeping on top of releases as they hit shelves, as well as those which will be publishing in the future.
Diversity: Race & Ethnicity
- Diversity in YA: Book lists on about any topic that are completely stacked with diverse/inclusive titles.
- We Need Diverse Books: WNDB’s summer reading series is an excellent place to go for read alike suggestions of inclusive titles from popular titles you may already know.
- Edi Campbell: Edi keeps track of the inclusive titles published in any given year. She’s got the book lists on the side bar of her website, including a list of POC authors of YA and New Adult fiction.
- Debbie Reese: Her American Indians in Children’s Literature site has a host of excellent resources and book recommendations by and about Natives.
- Cynthia Leitich-Smith: She has been keeping incredible bibliographies for children’s list for ages and these resources are a treasure trove.
- Rich in Color: They track the weekly new releases by authors of color and/or featuring inclusivity.
- The Brown Bookshelf: I’ve been reading this site for a long, long time, and it continues to be a great resource for books by and about black writers and characters. They have a nice round-up of authors of color, and their 28 Days series, which happens every February, is a must-read.
- Asian YA Lit: This one is not only new to me, but it’s pretty new all together. This Tumblr has round-ups and other posts of interest relating to Asian YA lit. Their intro post makes me so excited to see what all they highlight.
- Latinxs in Kid Lit: If you’re looking for YA, middle grade, or other resources relating to Latinx books, writers, or readers, you can do no better than here.
- Gay YA: This tumblr, started by two teenagers, is one of the best YA resources out there about queer YA lit and representation.
- LGBTQ Reads: Book lists galore. This is a fabulous and ever-growing resource for queer YA (and sometimes “New Adult”) lit.
- Lee Wind: Lee has been an advocate for LGBTQ+ children’s lit for a long, long time and the resources and booklists on his website are so useful.
- Disability in Kid Lit: Any and everything you ever wanted to know or learn about disability and disability representation in kid lit. Book reviews, book lists, and fabulous discussion posts.