Each quarter, the Selected Lists teams compile the titles that have been officially nominated to date. These books have been suggested by the team or through the title suggestion form, read by multiple members of the team, and received approval to be designated an official nomination. At the end of the year, the final list of nominations and each Selected List’s Top Ten will be chosen from these titles.
Amari and the Night Brothers. By B.B. Alston. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (9780062975164).
Amari’s brother Quinton has disappeared, and her only hope of finding him is to follow in his footsteps and become a Junior Agent with the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs.
Amber and Clay. By Laura Amy Schlitz. Candlewick Press, $22.99 (9781536201222).
In ancient Greece, two unlikely friends Rhaskos and Melisto find their lives intertwined in a search for freedom and purpose. As a ghost bound to Rhaskos, Melisto must help free him before she can find her own rest in the Halls of Hades.
American Betiya. By Anuradha D. Rajurkar. Penguin Random House/Knopf Books for Young Readers, $17.99 (9781984897152).
Indian American teen Rani’s first love, already complicated by cultural differences, becomes even more confusing when Oliver asks more from her than she can give. Rani must decide if she can blend her family traditions with her American boyfriend and, if she can’t, what happens next.
Blackout. By Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, Nicola Yoon. HarperCollins/Quill Tree Books, $19.99 (9780063088092).
Summer in New York City. When the power goes out, sparks fly. All across the city, Black teens find love–on the subway, at the library, walking home. Everyone is headed to the same block party, and their stars will have realigned when the lights come back on.
The Box in the Woods. By Maureen Johnson. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books, $18.99 (9780063032606).
White teen Stevie Bell just solved the most famous cold case of the 20th century. Asked to investigate an unsolved 1978 summer camp murder, Stevie jumps at the chance to sleuth again. As she digs up old secrets, Stevie stirs up a killer who is still very much at large.
Can’t Take That Away. By Steven Salvatore. Bloomsbury YA, $17.99 (9781547605309).
Initial reactions to genderqueer white teen Carey’s nontraditional casting in the school musical are positive, but when queerphobic students, teachers, and families protest, Carey is removed from the show. Fighting for fair treatment, Carey learns that positive self-image is most important of all.
A Complicated Love Story Set in Space. By Shaun David Hutchinson. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $19.99 (9781534448537).
White teens Noa, DJ, and Jenny wake up aboard the spaceship Qriosity with no memory of how they got there and no idea of how to get home, but even being lost in space can’t keep Noa and DJ from falling for each other.
The Cost of Knowing. By Brittney Morris. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $18.99 (9781534445451).
Foreseeing his younger brother’s impending death, Black teen Alex resolves to make Isaiah’s final hours the best he can instead of running away as he had before the accident that killed his best friend. To do so, both brothers must learn about their ancestors and themselves.
Daughter of Sparta. By Claire M. Andrews. Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $18.99 (9780316540070).
Adopted Greek teen Daphne has faced many challenges as the daughter of a Spartan politician, but nothing is more formidable than the challenge given to her by the goddess Artemis: find nine treasures stolen from Olympus and save the gods, or lose everything she holds dear.
Daughters of Jubilation. By Kara Lee Corthron. 2020. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $18.99 (9781481459501).
All that Black 16-year-old Evalene Deschamps wants to do is be with her crush, but the supernatural powers she’s inherited from her mother are growing and becoming unpredictable, which could be both a blessing and a curse in the Jim Crow South.
Dustborn. By Erin Bowman. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 (9780358244431).
After the mysterious General attacks her home in search of Delta’s long-hidden secret and kidnaps her family in the process, she will do anything to get them back. But life on the wastes is brutal and short, and Delta must learn who she can trust to take down the General.
Electric Kingdom. By David Arnold. Penguin Random House/Viking Books for Young Readers, $18.99 (9780593202227).
In a postapocalyptic wilderness where swarms of flesh-eating flies may descend at any moment, the fates of two groups of teenage travelers, a young woman on a strange mission from her father, and a mysterious figure called “The Deliverer” collide. Primary characters are white, Black, and Jordanian.
The Forest of Stolen Girls. By June Hur. Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends, $18.99 (9781250229588).
In this taut mystery set in 15th century Korea, two estranged sisters search for their missing father, a detective who vanished while investigating the disappearance of thirteen girls. As they follow his trail, they discover disturbing connections to their past and the incident that broke apart their family.
Hold Back the Tide. By Melinda Salisbury. Scholastic Press, $18.99 (9781338681307).
Alva lives with a murderer. Everyone knows her father killed her mother, and now Alva plans her escape from the Highlands where her father tends the loch. But the water levels are dropping. Something is killing livestock. Then Alva sees the impossible, and everything she knows comes crashing down. Characters are white.
House of Hollow. By Krystal Sutherland. Penguin Random House/G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, $18.99 (9780593110348).
The Hollow sisters disappeared for a month, with no memory of what happened. Years later, Iris tries to be a normal teenager while her sisters Grey and Vivi are globetrotting celebrities. When Grey vanishes again, Iris uncovers a truth that is too horrible to be believed. Main characters are white.
Hurricane Summer. By Asha Bromfield. Macmillan/Wednesday Books, $18.99 (9781250622235).
Tilla and her sister Mia travel to Jamaica to spend the summer with their father, but when he leaves them with their aunts, uncles, and cousins in the country and returns to the city, Tilla must find her own way despite the many expectations and assumptions surrounding her.
In Deeper Waters. By F.T. Lukens. Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry Books, $18.99 (9781534480506).
In this rollicking and romantic LGBTQ+ fantasy, a young prince sets off on a coming-of-age tour only to have it go completely off the rails, first by a chance encounter with a charming and mysterious stranger and then by being kidnapped and held by pirates hired by those who would seek to destroy his kingdom.
Kate in Waiting. By Becky Albertalli. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $18.99 (9780062643834).
Kate, a junior, is ecstatic to finally get a lead role in the school musical, and playing opposite the dreamy new guy she and her best friend are both crushing on is icing on the cake. But what will happen to their friendship if he chooses one of them?
Last Night at the Telegraph Club. By Malinda Lo. Penguin Random House/Dutton Books, $18.99 (9780525555254).
In 1954, 17-year-old Chinese American Lily Hu takes a chance and visits San Francisco’s Telegraph Club, a lesbian nightclub, with her friend Kath and starts to understand why she’s always felt a bit different from the other girls she’s grown up with.
Like Home. By Louisa Onomé. Random House/Delacorte Press, $17.99 (9780593172599).
When an act of vandalism threatens a neighborhood establishment, Nigerian-Candian Chinelo, who detests change, must grapple with shifting dynamics in her relationships and in the Ginger East community, where gentrification looms.
Lost in the Never Woods. By Aiden Thomas. Macmillan/Swoon Reads, $18.99 (9781250313973).
Children have gone missing before in Astoria; it has been five years since Wendy and her brothers went missing, and only Wendy returned. When it happens again, Wendy and a boy she thought was make-believe must solve the mystery.
Luck of the Titanic. By Stacey Lee. Penguin Random House/G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, $18.99 (9781524740986).
17-year-old British Chinese acrobat Valora Luck stows away aboard the Titanic in order to reunite with her twin brother and convince him to join her in America for a career in the Barnum & Bailey Circus.
The Mary Shelley Club. By Goldy Moldavsky. Macmillan/Henry Holt & Co. Books for Young Readers, $18.99 (9781250230102).
White teen Rachel is thrilled to discover that her new school is home to a secret club devoted to horror movies (and creating scares in real life), but soon their innocent “fear tests” spiral out of control, and Rachel’s own horrifying past might be the reason why.
Mazie. By Melanie Crowder. Penguin Random House/Philomel Books, $18.99 (9780525516743).
In 1959, 17-year-old white teen Mazie Butterfield leaves her rural Nebraska home to pursue her dreams of becoming a Broadway star.
Mister Impossible. By Maggie Stiefvater. Scholastic Press, $19.99 (9781338188363).
With the help of their mentor, Bryde, Ronan and Hennessy try to evade the Moderators and repair the ley line to its full power. Meanwhile, Jordan tries to find a way to keep herself alive and awake, no matter what happens to Hennessy.
Off the Record. By Camryn Garrett. Penguin Random House/Knopf Books for Young Readers, $17.99 (9781984829993).
When Josie, a Black high school senior, wins a chance to join a film’s press tour and write a feature piece on the film’s young star, she has to balance her assignment, growing feelings for her interview subject, and a major #MeToo story that an actress wants Josie to break.
One Last Stop. By Casey McQuiston. Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin, paperback, $16.99 (9781250244499).
When skeptical August moves to New York City, she becomes infatuated with Jane, a beguiling punk she meets on the subway. Unfortunately, Jane is displaced in time, riding the subway since the 1970s. To save her, August must risk everything. August is white; Jane is Chinese American.
The Ones We’re Meant to Find. By Joan He. Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press, $18.99 (9781250258564).
Cee, a multiracial young woman living alone on an island for three years, doesn’t know who she is or where she came from yet feels compelled to cross the vast ocean in search of her sister, until a stranger arrives and challenges everything she thought she knew.
Pumpkin. By Julie Murphy. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (9780062880451).
Waylon Brewer — tall, fat, white, redheaded, queer — is waiting for the end of high school so he can live the fabulous life he’s dreamed of. When a video of Waylon in drag goes viral and he’s nominated for prom queen as a joke, he has only one choice: run for prom queen for real.
Rural Voices: 15 Voices Challenge Assumptions About Small-Town America. Edited by Nora Shalaway Carpenter. 2020. Candlewick Press, $18.99 (9781536212105).
A great mix of authors diverse in ethnicity, gender identity, and sexuality tell stories about teens living in small towns.
The Sea in Winter. By Christine Day. HarperCollins/Heartdrum, $16.99 (9780062872043).
Native teen Maisie Cannon struggles to stay engaged in her day-to-day life after an ACL injury puts her ballet dreams on hold. A week-long vacation with her blended family helps her begin to envision new possibilities in this narrative of loss and healing.
The Seventh Raven. By David Elliott. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 (9780358252115).
In a fit of grief and rage, a father curses his seven sons and turns them into ravens. Now their young sister embarks on a journey to bring them home in this novel-in-verse retelling of a Grimm fairytale. All characters are cued white.
She Drives Me Crazy. By Kelly Quindlen. Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press, $17.99 (9781250209153).
Scottie, a white basketball player, and Irene, an Indian-American cheerleader, have a history of bad blood. When a fender-bender forces them to commute to school together, they hatch a fake-dating scheme to get back at Scottie’s ex and to help Irene’s bid for a competitive athletic award.
The Sky Blues. By Robbie Couch. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $19.99 (9781534477858).
When openly gay white teen Sky’s plans for an elaborate promposal to his longtime crush Ali, an Arab-American and possibly not-gay classmate, are derailed by a homophobic and racist email prank, Sky and his group of friends devise a plan to uncover the culprits while also publicly embracing and celebrating Sky’s identity.
Some Girls Do. By Jennifer Dugan. Penguin Random House/G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, $17.99 (9780593112533).
Sparks fly when Ruby hits Morgan with her car. But track star Morgan is out and proud, and beauty queen/mechanic Ruby is closeted. These very different girls need nearly opposite things from each other. Can their worlds combine, or are they destined to crash and burn? Main characters are white.
The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling. By Wai Chim. 2020. Scholastic Press, $18.99 (9781338656114).
Anna Chiu is the daughter of two Chinese immigrants in Australia. Between taking care of her siblings and mentally ill mother, the family restaurant, and school, the new delivery boy might be a welcome change–or a distraction that threatens the precarious balance Anna has maintained for so long.
Teen Killers Club. By Lily Sparks. 2020. Crooked Lane Books, $18.99 (9781643852294).
When Signal, a white seventeen-year-old girl, is falsely accused of killing her best friend, she is recruited for a secret camp designed to turn murderous teens into professional assassins. The camp’s objectives are threatened, however, when her natural optimism begins to unite the group of young criminals.
This Will Be Funny Someday. By Katie Henry. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books, $18.99 (9780062955708).
When quiet, lonely Isabel, a white teen living in Chicago, unwittingly stumbles into performing stand-up comedy, she has two problems: her new college-aged comedy friends don’t know she’s 16, and she has to keep comedy a secret from everyone else she knows, especially her controlling boyfriend.
We Are the Ashes, We Are the Fire. By Joy McCullough. Penguin Random House/Dutton Books, $18.99 (9780525556053).
After her sister’s rapist is convicted but only sentenced to time served, an outraged Em turns to writing a novel about Marguerite de Bressieux, a 15th century sword-wielding rape survivor, as a means of processing her sister’s trauma.
What Beauty There Is. By Cory Anderson. Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press, $18.99 (9781250268099).
If they’re going to survive the harsh Idaho winter, Jack must either relinquish his brother to foster care or find the stash of money from the high-stakes job that sent his father to prison. Ava is determined to help, but she’s hiding a dangerous secret. Primary characters are white.
The Wide Starlight. By Nicole Lesperance. Penguin Random House/Razorbill, $18.99 (9780593116227).
Ten years ago, Eline’s mother vanished from a fjord in Svalbard. Now a strange series of occurrences lead Eline back to Norway in the hope of finding her mother.
Winterkeep. By Kristin Cashore. Penguin Random House/Dial Books, $19.99 (9780803741508).
Queen Bitterblue leaves her home of Monsea to investigate some troubling rumors coming out of Winterkeep. Meanwhile, Louisa Cavenda, daughter of Winterkeep’s president, has a penchant for snooping that is beginning to reveal a conspiracy with global consequences.
XOXO. By Axie Oh. HarperCollins/HarperTeen, $17.99 (9780063024991).
All Korean-American cello prodigy Jenny wants is to get into a prestigious music school. When she’s offered the chance to study at a performing-arts school in South Korea, she jumps at the opportunity. But when she meets the mysterious Jaewoo, she must decide what’s more important: her music or her budding relationship.
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Want a printable version of this round-up? Download the Summer nominations round-up.