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Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2021) Nominees Round Up, November 18 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Amazing Audiobooks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Sanctuary Audiobook By Paola Mendoza,
    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Abby Sher cover art

Sanctuary by Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher; Narrated by Paola Mendoza
Listening Library
Publication Date: September 1, 2020
ISBN: 9780593341018

In the year 2032, all American citizens are chipped and every movement is tracked, making it near impossible for the undocumented to survive.  Somehow, Valentina “Vali” Gonzalez Rameriz, her mother and her younger brother manage to eke out an existence in small-town Vermont using counterfeit chips.  When Vali’s mother’s chip malfunctions, the three of them make a harrowing journey across the country to her Tia Luna’s in California, the sanctuary state that is being walled off and forcefully seceded from the rest of the country.

Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2021) Nominees Round Up, November 17 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Quick Picks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Find Layla by Meg Elison Book Cover
Find Layla by Meg Elison

Find Layla by Meg Elison
Skyscape
Publication Date: September 1, 2020
ISBN: 978-1542019804

Layla is a 14-year-old aspiring scientist observing a world that doesn’t make sense. She knows that other people don’t live the way she does—in a dangerously run-down apartment filled with toxic mold, mushrooms, and maggots, and without electricity or a working door. Her unstable mother comes and goes as she pleases, leaving Layla to care for her younger brother with few resources. At school, Layla’s unkempt appearance makes her the target of relentless bullying. When a biome project is assigned in science class, Layla films her home and the organisms living in it—and when the video goes viral, her brother is picked up by Child Protective Services. Desperate for them to be reunited, Layla goes into hiding while seeking ways to tell her story on her own terms.

Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2021) Nominees Round Up, November 13 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Best Fiction for Young Adults nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender Book Cover
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins
Publication Date:  May 5, 2020 
ISBN:  978-0062820259 

Felix worries that he’s one marginalized identity too many–Black, queer, and transgender. Still, Felix has his ride-or-die BFF Ezra at his side and a spot at a prestigious summer arts program that will help him get into the college of his dreams. But when an anonymous bully publicly displays images of Felix pre-transition along with his deadname, all his fears and doubts come flooding back. Now Felix must redefine his relationships with family, friends, enemies–and himself.

Felix and his friends are truly authentic teenagers: cocky, pretentious masters of the universe one minute; scared, confused, angry kids the next (and often both at the same time).  Felix’s defense mechanism of rejecting people before they can validate his self-doubt will be very familiar to many teen readers, who will also recognize the breakdown of social cliques and the willingness to open up to peers outside of their established friend groups that comes at the end of high school as students look toward “the real world” of college and beyond.  Throw in a diverse cast that talks about issues affecting queer communities and a heartfelt queer romance that’s begging to be adapted into a Netflix rom-com, and Felix Ever After (and its gorgeous cover art) is a crowd-pleasing addition to YA lit’s growing collection of #ownvoices trans stories. 

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2021) Nominees Round Up, November 12 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Great Graphic Novels nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang Book Cover
Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang

Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang
First Second / Macmillan
Publication Date: March 17, 2020
ISBN: 9781626720794

Life can be more riveting than fiction, and Dragon Hoops proves that with a stellar biographical look at Gene Luen Yang’s true story of the phenomenal men’s varsity basketball team at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, CA, where he previously worked. Intermixed with his own life story as a comic book creator, father, and a teacher, Yang shares his love for storytelling and presents it under a new light in this gripping play-by-play of the 2015 season of the Bishop O’Dowd Dragons as they attempt to win it all in the California State Championship.

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2021) Nominees Round Up, November 11 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Amazing Audiobooks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

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The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune; narrated by Daniel Henning
Macmillan Audio
Release date: 03-17-20
ISBN: 9781250264299

Linus Baker takes his job as overseer of magical children’s orphanages very seriously.  His by-the-book approach to visits and reports gets him noticed by Extremely Upper Management. They select him for a special job visiting a house at what seems like the end of the world to report on a particularly special group of kids.  But while there, he finds that there might be more to life than filling out forms and boxes, and in this case, the children and their enigmatic master are teaching him more than he expected to find.

Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2021) Nominees Round Up, November 10 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Quick Picks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland Book Cover
Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland
Simon Pulse / Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: August 11, 2020
ISBN: 978-1534448636

Three years ago, ICE deported Sia’s mother to Mexico, and now she’s presumed dead after attempting to cross the Sonoran Desert. Ever hopeful, Sia retreats to the desert, lighting candles to guide her mother’s return. Eventually Sia’s mom does appear, flying an alien spacecraft and claiming that extraterrestrials are hunting her. Together with her best friend Rose and would-be boyfriend Noah, Sia tries to find the truth in her mother’s fantastical claims.

This is a fast-paced genre mash-up with elements of mystery, fantasy, and Mexican folklore. Short chapters keep the story moving, along with discussions of compelling issues such as deportation, racism, sexual assault, and grief. The alien subplot, however, adds a dose of levity and intrigue. The main characters are a diverse lot with engaging backstories that highlight Sia’s Latinx heritage, Noah’s mysterious family life, and Rose’s tense relationship with her fanatically religious father. Over the course of the story, Sia learns a lot about the people in her life, and that everyone faces challenges or carries scars that aren’t always visible to others.

Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2021) Nominees Round Up, November 6 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Best Fiction for Young Adults nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Save Steve by Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan
HarperTeen / HarperCollins
Publication date: September 1, 2020
ISBN: 978-0062876270

Cam is a hopeless romantic, heavy on the hopeless, because when his longtime crush, Kaia, continues to date popular bro Steve (who is definitely wrong for her), instead of Cam, he will do anything to get close to her.  This includes volunteering himself as chairperson of a fund-raising committee to help Steve get the cancer treatment he needs, which will show Kaia what a great guy he is, as well as giving them serious quality time. Cam’s getting the quality time and credit for his selflessness, the only problem is that Steve is on to why Cam is so helpful, and he’s determined to make Cam pay.

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2021) Nominees Round Up, November 5 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Great Graphic Novels nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Primer by Jennifer Muro, Thomas Krajewski, and Gretel Lusky 
DC Comics 
Publication Dates: June 23, 2020 
ISBN: 9781401296575 

Primer tells the story of thirteen-year-old ray of sunshine Ashley Rayburn. Ashley’s father is in prison, and Ashley has been in and out of various foster homes because of her curious, rambunctious, and totally developmentally appropriate ways. Ashley finally feels like she’s found her home with a set of new foster parents, but when she breaks into her scientist foster mother’s safe, she comes across a set of body paints that give the wearer various superpowers. The organization that made the paints wants them back, and Ashley has to make choices to protect her new family. 

Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2021) Nominees Round Up, November 4 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Amazing Audiobooks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

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Where We Go From Here by Lucas Rocha; narrated by Christian Barillas, Anthony Lee Medina and Luis Selgas
Scholastic Audio
Publication date: June 2, 2020
ISBN: 9781338637601

Victor and Ian met in a clinic, both waiting for HIV test results.  Victor is getting tested after having sex  with t his boyfriend Henrique, to then find out  is HIV+. Victor tests negative.  On the other hand, Ian tests positive.  Victor, while currently upset with what he considers his boyfriend’s dishonesty, offers to connect Ian with Henrique so he can help him learn how to live with HIV.  Their three lives then intertwine with their different circumstances.

Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2021) Nominees Round Up, November 3 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Quick Picks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Blood Sport by Tash McAdam
Orca Book Publishers
Publication Date: January 28, 2020
ISBN: 978-0399547966

Jason, a trans 17-year-old, is only months away from aging out of the group home and going to live with his older sister when she dies of a supposed drug overdose—except Jason knows she didn’t do drugs. While sifting through her photographs, he finds news clippings about missing girls and a photo of a boxing gym. Determined to uncover the truth, Jason signs up for a boxing class as cover for his own investigation. Jason forms close friendships at the gym and discovers an unexpected talent for boxing, but worries that revealing his identity will compromise his new relationships and his search for the truth about his sister.