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UCF Libraries Home

Young Adult Books

Award winning and recommended young adult books available in the CMC

What are "Young Adult" Books?

"Young Adult" (YA) is not a genre. YA refers to a category of books written for and about teens, typically ages 12-18. These books exist in nearly every genre, including but not limited to: contemporary realism, science fiction/fantasy, mystery, horror, romance, and nonfiction. Since the publication of S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders in 1967 (often considered the birth of modern YA), young adult literature has expanded to become its own industry, with over 10,000 YA books published in 2012 (source). With more and more books published every year, it can be daunting to sort through them all to find the right book.

Within this guide, you will find lists of prestigious award winners along with the CMC's recommendations in various genres and subgenres to help you get started. As always, if you're in need of further assistance, stop by the CMC or send us an email! We're happy to help.

Searching the Library Catalog

Searching for young adult books in the UCF Libraries catalog? Here's some steps to follow to get the most relevant results:

1. Go to the UCF Libraries catalog search.

2. Enter your search terms in the search bar. This can be a topic, an author, the name of an award, or whatever you're looking for. See the below tip for choosing search terms. Click "Search" or press the enter key.

3. Narrow your results to those items in the CMC, using the drop-down options on the right after entering your search terms. Click "Everything" to the right of the search bar and select "CMC Library Only" in the drop down. Alternatively, on the main UCF Libraries catalog search page, you can go to "Advanced Search" and click "CMC Library Only" at the top of the page.

4. You might now have several options in your search results. To further narrow the results, you can utilize the small drop-drop menu under the search bar at the top of the page. The default should be "All Items." Click that and select the medium you would like: Articles, Books/eBooks, Videos, Journals, Images, Dissertations, or Audio.

5. Once you have narrowed the search to fit your needs, browse the results. Items that are currently available for check out will say Available. Items that are currently being used by another patron will have a due date listed.

Keyword searching tips:

  • Be careful of using terms that are either too specific or too generic. For example "teenagers protesting against racism" will only pull up books that have all of those words in their description. Instead, you could try "race and protest" or "youth political activity." On the other hand, a broad term like "diverse" will not yield many results either. Instead, search for more specific terms like "interracial" or "Latin American" or "transgender."
  • It's ok if your initial search doesn't give you many (or any) relevant results. You may just need to try different search terms. Try synonyms or related terms (i.e. illness vs. disease or coming of age vs. identity). Think of what words might show up in the summary of a book or what topics (called Subject Headings) might be assigned to it.
  • Once you've found a book that sounds like it might fit what you're looking for (or something that's almost, but not quite right), open the catalog record by clicking on the title and scroll down to the list of Subjects. You might find more ideas for search terms that you didn't think of originally.

General Resources