16 new up-and-coming young adult books to check out


Finch Kelly is a transgender teenager whose dreams are to attend Georgetown University, the first step in her plan to become the nation’s first openly transgender member of Congress. He believes the ticket is winning the National Speech and Debate Tournament in Georgetown, but when he learns the theme of the year – should transgender students in public schools be allowed to use the bathroom of their choice? needed? – He must decide whether arguing against his humanity is a price he is willing to pay to achieve his dreams.

A novel told via email, “Take Me With You When You Go” follows two siblings, Bea and Ezra, as they try to escape their abusive stepfather. When B runs away, Ezra thinks he has been left to take care of himself, but then he finds an email address that B leaves for him. They have a powerful and dynamic correspondence about what it means to find security and build a life on your own terms.

Credit…Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

A mix of historical fiction and fantasy, “The Witch Heaven,” set in New York City in 1911, follows a 17-year-old seamstress named Frances Hallowell. When his boss attacks him, Francis, trying to defend himself, accidentally exposes him to supernatural forces he didn’t know existed, and it kills him. Francis’ new abilities land her in the middle of a mysterious struggle that is much bigger than her – while still trying to get to the bottom of her brother’s mysterious death.

Gray isn’t psychic, but everyone around her is, including all the women in her family and a whole bunch of other people in La Cachete, LA. Given everyone’s abilities, it’s all the more confusing that no one in town knows what happened to Ellora, Grey’s best friend, who walks into the swamp one day and is never seen again.

Uli, who is black, and Sally, who is blonde, are in a happy relationship. Then Sally’s older sister, Leona, announces that she is running for student-union president, promising to pressure the school to end its “send and receive” policy of accepting students. from small and poor areas. Seeing the racism in Leona’s message, Uli’s sister Regina decides to enter the race. Both candidates ask their siblings to be their campaign managers, which means Uli and Sally are suddenly adversaries in an election where the stakes are always high. (Note that the novel contains scenes of gun violence.)

“Hello (From Here)”, a teen romance set in the era of Covid, begins hours after California announced shelter-in-place orders, when Max and Jonah meet up while doing some last-minute quarantine grocery shopping. Huh. That chance encounter sparks a connection between the two, but they need to figure out if they can build and maintain the relationship at a time when distance is a way of life.

George M. Johnson, (“All the Boys Are Not Blue”) is back with a new memoir about Nani, the grandmother who raised him (the author uses his/her pronoun). In “We’re Not Broken,” Johnson shares how a breakout figure nanny from “All the Boys” held the family together and provided the anchor they needed as they grew up Black in America.

Credit…Quill Tree Books

August Green is a transgender teenager whose conservative parents do not accept her and want her to be a girl child. When he enters the School of the Performing Arts in New York City, he feels his dream of becoming an actor is about to come true, but in order to go, he needs approval from his mother and father – the approval they give. Prepare one condition: August must promise not to transition into the guy she knows she’s going to be.

Alma is a half-Chinese, half-Jewish teenager who immigrated to New York City in the 1980s. When her parents divorce, her friends turn away and she starts flirting with a guy on her block, her whole world spins on its own axis, and Alma must figure out why. Who is he in this next phase of his life.

Credit…Katherine Teigen Books

A diligent student journalist, Eliza Kwan, is running to become editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, and she is a shoo-in. But on vote day, Len DeMartile, who joined the paper only a year ago, enters the race — and wins. Upset, Eliza writes a personal essay about misogyny and the frustration of being passed over for a job she worked hard for. But when the piece is mysteriously published without her approval, and goes viral, Eliza is pushed into a much bigger conversation.

Derry and her eight sisters have special powers, a secret they keep as they live in a world where “witches” are feared and murdered. To stay safe, they live in a house at the edge of a forest under the guidance of Frank, a shadowy man who exaggerates his abilities, yes, but also severely restricts his freedom – to protect him, they say. One of his many rules is never to go into the woods, but when Derry’s sisters begin to disappear, he is forced to venture into the Forbidden Zone.

The novel in verse follows Sarai, a Puerto Rican student raised in a genteel Bushwick, as she grapples with the grim truths of her circumstances—poverty, mental illness, how she fits into her legacy. .

Credit…Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlohi Books

In “The Other Talk,” Kylie hopes to have a candid conversation with teens about racism, but from a new angle: In addition to explaining the ways racism harms people of color, she explores white privilege. wants. Because, as Kylie points out, “although many of us talk about racism, we don’t just talk Is happening white and all the privileges we get Since We’re white.”

To get through high school, Gio needs to focus and keep his grades up, but it’s easier said than done: He struggles with anxiety, with a preachy father named David on his basketball team. Condemns his bisexuality and feelings for a new baby. To complicate matters, Xiao’s mother returns to the scene to reconnect after leaving him years ago.

Credit…GP Poonam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

The first book in a new series, “Beasts of Prey” follows two teenagers in the fictional town of Lkosa: Kofi, an indentured servant who works at the Night Zoo and dreams of freedom; and Akon, a warrior in training. When a demon known as Shetani attacks Lakosa, Kofi hopes to capture the beast to pay his debts, while Akon seeks to slay the creature and prove his strength. Despite their competitive goals, the two team up – but when it comes to the Beast they’re relying on to turn their fortunes, not everything is as it seems.

When four teens unearth a time capsule that their parents buried in the ’80s, they think it will be a fun way to revisit the past. Instead they stumble upon what appears to be evidence of a murder, including a bloody knife and a note that read “I didn’t mean to kill anyone.” Suddenly they find themselves players in a dangerous game that began a generation ago.



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