Hamline News

YASLA's Best Fiction List


Nina LaCour and Gary Schmidt (MFAC faculty) and Christine Heppermann (MFAC '10) have books on the 2017 Best Fiction for Young Adults List at the Library Services Association (YASLA).

YALSA's Best Fiction for Young Adults Committee presents fiction titles published for young adults in the past 16 months that are recommended reading for ages 12 to 18. These selections were chosen in January 2017.


YOU KNOW ME WELL, by Nina LaCour (and David Levithan)

Published by St. Martin's Griffin
Published in June 2016
Fiction, 248 pages

Nina LaCour is the author of three critically acclaimed young adult novels published by Dutton Books: Hold StillThe Disenchantments, and Everything Leads to You. She is the co-founder of Write Teen, a series of YA writing classes. Her novels have earned selections by the Junior Library Guild, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, and Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best Books and have appeared on many other state and regional lists. 

During Pride Week in San Francisco, Kate and Mark come together after their respective original plans are derailed, and begin to navigate both the week and the world. Their unexpected friendship deepens as they travel through new experiences, tears and laughter, and a sudden burst of media fame.

Among other praise, You Know Me Well is a Publishers Weekly Staff Pick for Best Summer Book of 2016, A Bustle Summer 2016 YA Summer Reading Guide Pick, and a Seventeen Magazine Best YA Book of 2016.


Published by Clarion Books, a Houghton Mifflin imprint
Published in October 2015
Fiction, 192 pages

Gary D. Schmidt is the bestselling author of Okay For Now, the Newbery Honor and Printz Honor book Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, and the Newbery Honor book The Wednesday Wars. He is a professor of English at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan and teaches in Hamline's low-residency MFAC program. 

Jack, 12, is not thrilled when his parents take in a troubled 14-year-old boy. However, as he gets to know and care about Joseph, Jack becomes involved in his own determined search for his baby daughter.

The two-time Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt delivers the shattering story of Joseph, a father at 13, who has never seen his daughter, Jupiter. After spending time in a juvenile facility, he’s placed with a foster family on a farm in rural Maine. Here Joseph, damaged and withdrawn, meets 12-year-old Jack, who narrates the account of the troubled, passionate teen who wants to find his baby at any cost. In this riveting novel, two boys discover the true meaning of family and the sacrifices it requires.
This tender, heartbreaking novel is Gary D. Schmidt at his best.


Ask Me How I got HERE, by Christine Heppermann

Published by Greenwillow Books, a HarperCollins imprint
Publication in May 2016
Fiction, 240 pages

Christine Heppermann is the author of Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty, which received five starred reviews and was named to five best of the year lists in 2014, and Ask Me How I Got Here.

Over the course of a year, Addie falls in love, quits the track team, falls out of love, processes guilt and forgiveness, and gives herself permission to make the choices that seem best for her.

How do you define yourself? By your friends? Your family? Your boyfriend? Your grades? Your trophies? Your choices? By a single choice? From the author of the acclaimed Poisoned Apples comes a novel in verse about a young woman and the aftermath of a life-altering decision. Fans of Laurie Halse Anderson and Ellen Hopkins will find the powerful questions, the difficult truths, and the inner strength that speak to them in Ask Me How I Got Here.

Once again, Christine Heppermann writes with an unflinching honesty and a deep sensitivity about the complexities of being a teenager, being a woman. Her free verse poems are moving, provocative, and often full of wry humor and a sharp wit.