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The Thumbs Up! Award recognizes and promotes an outstanding contribution to teen literature that has both literary quality and teen appeal for those 13 to 18 years of age. The award was established in 1986 by the Teen Services Division of the Michigan Library Association. 

Thumbs Up! Award Guidelines (pdf)

Submit a nomination for the 2024 Thumbs Up! Award using the online form:

2024 Thumbs Up! Award Nomination Form

Award Seals

Download the Thumbs Up! Award seals to use at your library! Winner, Honor Book and Top Ten Title award seals are available for download here: (To download, right-click on the seal and save it as an image.)

Thumbs Up! Top Ten Title Award Seal - circle with logoThumbs Up! Honor Book Award Seal - circle with logoThumbs Up! winner Award Seal - circle with logo 

2023 Thumbs Up! Award Winner

The winner of the 2023 Thumbs Up! Award is I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys, published by Philomel Books.

We announced the winners and honor books of the 2023 Mitten, YouPer and Thumbs Up! Awards at the MLA 2023 Youth Literary Awards. The awards selection group members worked throughout the year spending thousands of hours reading, reviewing and ranking hundreds of books to determine the top titles published in 2022. Watch the announcement below! 

2023 Thumbs Up! Award Winner

I Must Betray You

I Must Betray You
By Ruta Sepetys


2023 Thumbs Up! Award Top Ten Titles

(Listed in random order)

All My Rage
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Razorbill

As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow
Author: Zoulfa Katouh
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

The Getaway
Author: Lamar Giles
Publisher: Scholastic Press

The Honeys
Author: Ryan La Sala
Publisher: PUSH

Author: Melanie Crowder
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

I Kissed Shara Wheeler
Author: Casey McQuiston
Publisher: Wednesday Books

I Must Betray You
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Publisher: Philomel Books

Authors: Sara Alfageeh & Nadia Shammas
Publisher: Quill Tree Books

The Sunbearer Trials (The Sunbearer Duology #1)
Author: Aiden Thomas
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

The Words We Keep
Author: Erin Stewart
Publisher: Ember

Past Thumbs Up! Award Winners and Honor Books

2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021 | 2022

Thumbs Up! Award Winners and Honor Books (pdf)

Thumbs Up! Home


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