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Best Fiction for Young Adults 2019 (#BFYA2019) Nominee Round Up

It’s time for more selected lists nominees! Stay tuned to the Hub as we reveal the nominees for 2019’s Quick Picks, Amazing Audiobooks, Great Graphic Novels for Teens, and Best Fiction for Young Adults!

Today you can see our first Best Fiction for Young Adult 2019 (#BFYA2019) nominee.

Wild Bird by Wendelin Van Draanen
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
ISBN: 9781101940440

Wren is just fourteen years old, but she is out of control: she drinks, smokes pot, shoplifts, and lies compulsively to cover up her destructive behaviour. Her parents, bewildered and at a loss for how to help her, ship her off to a wilderness therapy program for troubled teens in a last-ditch attempt to get her clean.

Wren finds herself stranded in the desert with a group of other girls and a crew of no-nonsense counselors, far from the comforts of electricity and running water. Bitter, stubborn, and angry, Wren refuses to cooperate until the need to survive the stark desert environment forces her to open herself up to their help and their friendship. It’s not an easy process, and the deep-seated anger that Wren carries with her does not dissipate lightly. Rather, this is a moving, realistic look at the process of reckoning with one’s self, which reads like a revelation into the transformative power of nature and the resilience of the human spirit.

Headstrong, feisty Wren is likeable despite behaving like a complete brat, for her inner turmoil is palpable and her voice is amusing, raw, and real. The desert wilderness setting adds an evocative dimension to this intense and ultimately uplifting story of survival and self-discovery. Wren’s journey will be relatable to teens who feel misunderstood or unappreciated by their friends and families, and the wilderness survival camp plot will hold a fascinating appeal to fans of tough-love stories.

–Jenny Zbrizher