Here are some of my favorite resources for identifying young adult books I want to read:
Blogs written by teachers, librarians, and lovers of YA lit. I especially like Leila’s bookshelves of doom and Colleen’s Chasing Ray. Booksmugglers features thorough reviews as well. Liz Burns’s A Chair, a Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy (a line from Buffy!!) is a must-read not just for reviews but also for keeping up with the current conversation and controveries in YA lit.
Major literary prizes. For YA lit, that’s first and foremost the Printz Award, but the American Library Association gives other awards that are relevant to YA including Nonfiction for Young Adults and the Morris YA Debut. They publish several important annual lists: Teens Top 10, Great Graphic Novels for Teens, Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers, and Outstanding Books for the College Bound. Though the books are sometimes a bit young for this age group, I also try to read the winner of the Newbery Medal. And I keep up with the shortlist and winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.
I also read sites devoted to Mock Printz and Mock Newbery projects (many teachers and librarians host these events) and find even more I want to read there.