Lovely War by Julie Berry Listening Library Publication Date: March 5, 2019 ISBN 9781984838254
From the heights of the Royal Albert Hall to the gore of the trenches at the front, Berry’s novel uses the sweeping backdrop of World War One to explore themes of love, connection, forgiveness, and beauty. Jayne Entwhistle as omniscient and occasionally omnipotent Aphrodite, delivers a bravado performance as four young people find, and then lose, their soulmates as the war rages.
In February 2016, the YALSA Hub published a booklist, Asexuality in Young Adult Fiction, as a response to teens wanting to see this kind of representation in books. It was a hard list to create as there were very few books at the time with any mention of asexuality or aromanticism, and most of the representation in the books listed is minimal at best. In that list, most representation was of side characters, or the word asexual was never explicitly mentioned. Over the past three years, some exciting books for teens have been published that center the Ace/Aro experience.
Come Find Me by Megan Miranda Crown Books / Penguin Random House Publication Date: January 29, 2019 ISBN: 978-0525578291
Kennedy has survived a family tragedy while Nolan is searching for information about his brother’s unsolved disappearance. They meet through a strange radio signal, which they both have been tracking, and begin to work together to uncover the truth. The answers they find, however, are not what they expected.
Lucy Dreaming by Max Bemis BOOM! Studios/Boom Entertainment Inc Publication Date: January 15, 2019 ISBN: 978-1684153015
Thirteen-year-old Lucy has an otherworldly dream that feels real. She later learns that her parents worked on multiverse science when she was in the womb, genetically passing on the ability to travel to other timelines while she sleeps. Lucy’s best friend turned make-out partner, Welsey, has the same ability, gained in the same manner, but uses it to a different end. Lucy faces a threat in the dream world that she needs to fight in order to save the lives of people she loves in the waking world.
Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America edited by Ibi Zoboi, narrated by Bahni Turpin, Ron Butler HarperAudio Published Date: January 8, 2019 ISBN13: 9780062698742
From a girl at a camp in the Oregon woods trying to make peace with the life she sees her half-sister having, to a nerdy Foot Locker employee in a Chewbacca shirt trying to hit on the cute girl from Nordstroms, this anthology of seventeen A-list authors looks at the diverse experiences of Black teens across the country. From the funny story of Coe Booth’s New York teen spending summers at Hackathons to having your heartstrings pulled in Jay Coles story of two boys on the wrong side of a family feud falling in love, but having to compete against each other in horse racing, and to Brandy Colbert’s of a girl often seen as an “oreo,” who secretly applied to a HBCU without telling her parents, each story stands out as it explores identity where being Black is Black Enough.
A Quick and Easy Guide to Queer and Trans Identities by Mady G. and J.R. Zuckerberg Limerence Press / Oni Press Publication Date: April 23, 2019 ISBN: 9781620105863
A Quick and Easy Guide to Queer and Trans Identities is an educational guide that delves into the topic of gender and sexual identity and discusses evolving LGBTQ+ language. It encompasses a spectrum of identities and examines topics like gender expression, gender dysphoria, asexuality, coming out, and the basics of a healthy relationship.
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas; Narrated by Bahni Turpin Harper Collins Publication Date: February 5, 2019 ISBN: 9780062840691
Bri’s life has not been easy – her dad was shot when she was young, her brother made it out of the neighborhood and went to college, but is now working for minimum wage at a pizza place, and her mom just lost her job. Bri dreams of becoming a famous rapper as an answer to their troubles. She is trying to be her own person – more than the younger sister who can’t live up to her brother’s grades and more than the daughter following in her rapper father’s footsteps. She wants to be known as a rapper based on her own skills and not those of her father. In Bri’s quest to become a rapper, she must decide who and what she is willing to compromise.
It’s March, and I’m getting ready for C2E2, one of Chicago’s best pop-culture conventions. Whether you prefer the term nerd, geek, fanboy/girl, or pop culture enthusiast, 2019 is an excellent time to proclaim your love for things once stigmatized as being not cool, from playing Dungeons & Dragons to cosplaying as your favorite anime character to writing fanfiction of your favorite TV shows. YA authors and publishers are not immune to the geek chic trend; in Publisher’s Weekly May, 2017 article, “In the Age of Conventions, YA fans rule” they argue that the rise of novels with “plots that feature fandom, cons, and cosplay” is inevitable as authors interact more and more online and in person with their fans. In the novels that follow, fellow nerds find friendship and even love in comic book shops, at conventions, and while playing MMORPGS (for the uninitiated, that’s massively multiplayer online role-playing games).