Young Adult

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

Lyndey's picture

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

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

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.

Brian's picture

A lot of other staff have already added this to Staff Picks, and there's a good reason for that: It's essential reading. -Brian

American panda book cover

American panda

Gloria Chao

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Chao Gloria
Young Adult

A freshman at MIT, seventeen-year-old Mei Lu tries to live up to her Taiwanese parents' expectations, but no amount of tradition, obligation, or guilt prevent her from hiding several truths--that she is a germaphobe who cannot become a doctor, she prefers dancing to biology, she decides to reconnect with her estranged older brother, and she is dating a Japanese boy.

Meredith's picture

My tweet about this book stands: I finished reading American Panda by @gloriacchao & WOW! People who poo-poo adults who read YA, pick up this book. A great look at a teen with her feet in two cultures, struggling to find her balance. Deeper than I was expecting. A beautiful story. But I’m off cheese for awhile. -Meredith

Emmy & Oliver book cover

Emmy & Oliver

Robin Benway

YOUNG ADULT FICTION Benway Robin
Young Adult

"Sheltered seventeen-year-old Emmy's childhood best friend Oliver reappears after disappearing with his father ten years ago"--

Meredith's picture

It took me a few chapters to get into this story, but then I was hooked! Great supporting characters/friends in Drew and Caro. -Meredith