Young Adult

Dry book cover

Dry

Neal Shusterman

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Shusterman, Neal
Young Adult

A lengthy California drought escalates to catastrophic proportions, turning Alyssa's quiet suburban street into a warzone, and she is forced to make impossible choices if she and her brother are to survive.

Meredith's picture

If you are looking to increase your daily water intake, this book is for you! Seriously, I drank a lot of water while I was reading it. Health benefits aside, it is a great work of storytelling and further proof that YA stories are for everyone! -Meredith

The poet X book cover

The poet X

Elizabeth Acevedo

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Acevedo, Elizabeth
Fiction, Young Adult

Harlem. Ever since her body grew into curves, Xiomara Batista has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. She pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers-- especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. Mami is determined to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, and Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. When she is invited to join her school's slam poetry club, she can't stop thinking about performing her poems.

Jason's picture

Winner in the Young People's Literature category -Jason

Only ever yours book cover

Only ever yours

Louise O'Neill

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Oneill Louise
Young Adult

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Added by Lyndey

The hate u give book cover

The hate u give

Angie Thomas

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Thomas Angie
Young Adult

After witnessing her friend's death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter's life is complicated when the police and a local drug lord try to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died.

Amanda's picture

THIS. BOOK. Listen, there's a reason this book has won so many awards. It's gorgeously written, with a relatable narrator--and it's about a hugely important, relevant topic. This book is heartbreaking and inspiring, and everybody should read it. -Amanda

Hey, kiddo book cover

Hey, kiddo

Jarrett Krosoczka

362.2913 /Krosoczka
Graphic Novels, Memoir, Young Adult

"In kindergarten, Jarrett Krosoczka's teacher asks him to draw his family, with a mommy and a daddy. But Jarrett's family is much more complicated than that. His mom is an addict, in and out of rehab, and in and out of Jarrett's life. His father is a mystery -- Jarrett doesn't know where to find him, or even what his name is. Jarrett lives with his grandparents -- two very loud, very loving, very opinionated people who had thought they were through with raising children until Jarrett came along"--

Angela's picture

This book is getting rave reviews and was easy to see why. Hey, Kiddo is the graphic memoir of author-illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Raised by his colorful grandparents, who adopted him because his mother was an incarcerated heroin addict, Krosoczka didn't know his father's name until he saw his birth certificate when registering for a school ski trip. Hey, Kiddo traces Krosoczka's search for his father, his difficult interactions with his mother, his day-to-day life with his grandparents, and his path to becoming an artist. The artwork does, as intended, look like a memory or dream sequence and adds to the intensity of the book. It is a very honest description of his life growing up and at times can be very dark. Knowing the books he now writes and illustrates for children, it is amazing to see him overcome his upbringing to be the success he is today, it proves to be a very powerful message for everyone to take away. -Angela

Howl's moving castle book cover

Howl's moving castle

Diana Wynne Jones

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Jones, Diana Wynne
Young Adult

Eldest of three sisters in a land where it is considered to be a misfortune, Sophie is resigned to her fate as a hat shop apprentice until a witch turns her into an old woman and she finds herself in the castle of the greatly feared wizard Howl.

Amanda's picture

I love this book so much. Diana Wynne Jones is one of my favorite writers of all time, and I'm sure I've read this book at least 10 times. -Amanda

Spinning book cover

Spinning

Tillie Walden

796.912092 /Walden
Young Adult, Graphic Novels, Biographies

Ignatz Award winner Tillie Walden's powerful graphic memoir captures what it's like to come of age, come out, and come to terms with leaving behind everything you used to know. It was the same every morning. Wake up, grab the ice skates, and head to the rink while the world was still dark. Weekends were spent in glitter and tights at competitions. Perform. Smile. And do it again. She was good. She won. And she hated it. For ten years, figure skating was Tillie Walden's life. She woke before dawn for morning lessons, went straight to group practice after school, and spent weekends competing at ice rinks across the state. Skating was a central piece of her identity, her safe haven from the stress of school, bullies, and family. But as she switched schools, got into art, and fell in love with her first girlfriend, she began to question how the close-minded world of figure skating fit in with the rest of her life, and whether all the work was worth it given the reality: that she, and her friends on the team, were nowhere close to Olympic hopefuls. The more Tillie thought about it, the more Tillie realized she'd outgrown her passion--and she finally needed to find her own voice.

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Added by Karen

Between shades of gray book cover

Between shades of gray

Ruta Sepetys

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Sepetys, Ruta
Young Adult

In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina, her mother, and brother are pulled from their Lithuanian home by Soviet guards and sent to Siberia, where her father is sentenced to death in a prison camp while she fights for her life, vowing to honor her family and the thousands like hers by burying her story in a jar on Lithuanian soil. Based on the author's family, includes a historical note.

Karen's picture

Added by Karen

Holding up the universe book cover

Holding up the universe

Jennifer Niven

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Niven Jennifer
Young Adult

"A boy with face blindness and a girl who struggles with weight fall in love"--

Meredith's picture

Writing book blurbs has to be tough. You want to draw people in so they’ll read the story, but you can’t give the big stuff away. I guess the book got some flack because of its blurb. I hope those people took the time to actually read the book. I, personally, loved Libby’s and Jack’s story. I don’t think the issues people had with it were plot points at all. I started the audiobook at 7:45 in a Saturday morning and finished it at 10:30 pm the same day. -Meredith

The Amulet of Samarkand book cover

The Amulet of Samarkand

Jonathan Stroud

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Stroud, Jonathan
Fantasy, Young Adult

Nathaniel, a magician's apprentice, summons up the djinni Bartimaeus and instructs him to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from the powerful magician Simon Lovelace.

Brent's picture

This trilogy is really good. More for older kids than the others in this list, but really good. I liked them enough to read the last one on my own. -Brent