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A high school reading list for the State of Texas.

TAYSHAS takes its name from the Caddo Indian word meaning “friends or allies.” Written as texas, texios, tejas, teyas or tayshas, the word was applied to the Caddos by the Spanish in eastern Texas, who regarded them as friends and allies against the Apaches.

The goal of the TAYSHAS reading list is to motivate young adults to become lifelong readers and to participate in the community of readers in Texas. Students in grades 9 – 12 are encouraged to read books for pleasure from the list which includes fiction and nonfiction titles.

2021 Nominations

2020 List


2020 Annotated List

Titles in bold indicate a TAYSHAS Top Ten Book.

Top Ten books are selected from those which received a unanimous vote in the committee’s initial voting process.


Titles in bold indicate a TAYSHAS Top Ten Book.

Top Ten books are selected from those which received a unanimous vote in the committee’s initial voting process.

Author Title
Acevedo, Elizabeth With the Fire on High
Ahmed, Samira Internment
Anderson, Laurie Halse Shout
Appelt, Kathi Angel Thieves
Barnes, Jennifer Lynn Little White Lies
Bennett, Jenn Serious Moonlight
Berry, Julie Lovely War
Blake, Ashley Herring Girl Made of Stars
Bognanni, Peter This Book is Not Yet Rated
Borrowman, Jerry Invisible Heroes of World War II: Extraordinary Wartime Stories of Ordinary People
Brody, Jessica, and Joanne Rendell Sky Without Stars
Chokshi, Roshani The Gilded Wolves
Cooner, Donna Screenshot
Dayton, Arwen Elys Stronger, Faster and More Beautiful
Degollado, Ruben Throw
Del Rosario, Juleah 500 Words or Less
Donnelly, Jennifer Stepsister
Dunbar, Helene We Are Lost and Found
Elliot, David Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc
Emmich, Val Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel
Faizal, Hafsah We Hunt the Flame
Gates, Mariam This Moment is Your Life
Giles, Lamar, Editor Fresh Ink
Glasgow, Kathleen How to Make Friends with the Dark
Greenwald, Tom Game Changer
Hand, Cynthia, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows My Plain Jane
Henry, Katie Heretics Anonymous
Hutchinson, Shaun David Brave Face
Hutchinson, Shaun David The Past and Other Things that Should Stay Buried
Jackson, Tiffany Let Me Hear a Rhyme
Johnson, Maureen Truly Devious
Kemmerer, Brigid A Curse so Dark and Lonely
Khorram, Adib Darius the Great is Not Okay
Lee, Stacey The Downstairs Girl
McGee, Katharine American Royals
McGinnis, Mindy Heroine
McLemore, Anna-Marie Blanca & Roja
McManus, Karen Two Can Keep a Secret
McNeil, Gretchen #MurderTrending
Miller, Madeline Circe
Neri, Greg Grand Theft Horse
Nijkamp, Marieke, Editor Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens
Norriss, Andrew Mike
Norton, Preston Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe
Nwaubani, Adaobi Tricia Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree
Oshiro, Mark Anger Is a Gift
Parker, Natalie Seafire
Pessl, Marisha Neverworld Wake
Phillipe, Ben The Field Guide to the North American Teenager
Reynolds, Justin A Opposite of Always
Ribay, Randy Patron Saints of Nothing
Rowell, Rainbow, and Faith Erin Hicks Pumpkinheads
Russo, Meredith Birthday
Scholte, Astrid Four Dead Queens
Shusterman, Neal Dry
Smith, Amber The Last to Let Go
Smith, Jennifer E. Field Notes on Love
Stevens, Courtney Four Three Two One
Stevenson, Bryan Just Mercy: A True Story of the Fight for Justice (Adapted for Young Adults)
Summers, Courtney Sadie
Tamaki, Mariko Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me
Temblador, Alex Secrets of the Casa Rosada
Thomas, Angie On the Come Up
Toro, Guillermo del, and Cornelia Funke Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun
van Arsdale, Peterbelle The Cold is in Her Bones
Vargas, Jose Antonio Dear America: The Story of an Undocumented Citizen (Young Readers’ Edition)
Vecchione, Patrice, and Alyssa Raymond, Editors Ink Knows No Borders: Poems of the Immigrant and Refugee Experience
Venable, Colleen A.F., and Ellen T. Crenshaw Kiss Number 8
West, Kasie Listen to Your Heart
White, Kiersten Slayer
Young, Suzanne Girls with Sharp Sticks
Zentner, Jeff Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee
Zolidis, Don The Seven Torments of Amy and Craig

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