The Class of 2020’s Favorite Books of the Year

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What do high school students want to read? This question is one that countless teachers ponder, for, as many of us know, a large percentage of high school students don’t like to read. I’d like to think my classroom is different. After polling my 88 students yesterday, all but 10 students said they enjoy reading more now than they did last September. Of those 10, only 2 of those students still rated reading as something they don’t like doing; the other 8 students were avid readers to begin with. That’s progress! This same poll asked students to chose a favorite book, or books, from this school year. After reviewing the list, what stood out more than anything else was the wide variety of genres, reading levels, and topics. (Only one student said I didn’t like any books, while another students said she loved them all.) Giving students choice in what they read matters.

The novel that received the most votes was All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. Many students chose to read this title because Jason and Brendan came to visit our school in April. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon came in second place, followed by Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give. The list is organized by the author’s last name. Enjoy looking over the titles my students fell in love with.

NOTE: If a title received more than one vote, there is a bold number next to it stating the amount of times it was chosen.
  • Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  • The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
  • Booked by Kwame Alexander
  • The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • If at Birth You Don’t Succeed by Zach Anner
  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  • Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
  • Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt (2X)
  • The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett
  • The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
  • Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
  • Forever by Judy Blume (4X)
  • Awkward by Svetlana Chmacova
  • Stolen by Lucy Christopher
  • Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
  • Armada by Ernest Cline
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (2X)
  • Flower by Elizabeth Craft and Shea Olsen
  • The Living by Matt de la Pena
  • Gym Candy by Carl Deuker
  • The Devil You Know by Trish Doller
  • Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
  • Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
  • Copper Sun by Sharon Draper
  • Life Uploaded by Sierra Furtado
  • The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart
  • Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart
  • Under the Lights by Abbi Glines
  • Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines
  • Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green (2X)
  • No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale
  • Nothing Bad Is Going to Happen by Kathleen Hale
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  • The Enemy by Charlie Higson
  • Crank by Ellen Hopkins (2X)
  • Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt (2X)
  • Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson (2X)
  • The Illuminae Files (whole series) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  • Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg
  • Butter by Erin Jade Lange
  • No Easy Way Out by Dayna Lorentz
  • Fast Break by Mike Lupica
  • Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
  • The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis (2X)
  • Wake by Lisa McMann
  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • Monster by Walter Dean Myers
  • I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
  • Yummy by G. Neri
  • A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer
  • Wings by Aprilynne Pike
  • The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner
  • The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner
  • All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely (10X)
  • The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds
  • Ghost by Jason Reynolds (5X)
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (whole series) by Ransom Riggs
  • Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  • The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell
  • Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
  • Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt (3X)
  • The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow
  • Unwind by Neal Shusterman
  • Homeboyz by Alan Sitomer
  • The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah
  • The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith (2X)
  • Winger by Andrew Smith (4X)
  • Bone (whole series) by Jeff Smith
  • Saving Red by Sonia Sones
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (4X)
  • Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington
  • Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
  • Smile by Raina Telgemeier
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (6X)
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany
  • What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi
  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (7X)
  • Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff
  • American Street by Ibi Zoboi
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