During the Teen Feedback Session at ALA Midwinter, teens from Seattle and Oregon shared their opinions about the books on the Best Fiction for Young Adults 2019 list. With their input, the BFYA 2019 Blogging team determined the BFYA 2019 Top Ten:
Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani and Viviana Mazza Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins Publishers Publication Date: September 4, 2018 ISBN: 978-0062696724
The experiences of the Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014 are told through the story of one unnamed teen. She lives a quiet life with her family in a villiage and dreams of testing well enough to win the award that will send her to college. Instead, she is among a large number of girls who are kidnapped; her father is killed and her brother is also taken away by Boko Haram. The girls are taken to a camp where they are taught to behave properly and are prepared for lives as wives. Her best friend embraces this new life; other girls resist, sometimes losing their lives as a result. The girl describes her life as wife to a stranger, the challenge of fitting into her new community, and her attempts to escape.
The House of One Thousand Eyes by Michelle Barker Annick Press Publication Date: September 11, 2018 ISBN: 978-1773210711
When Lena’s subversive uncle disappears without a trace in Communist East Berlin, she risks everything to find out what happened to him.
Following her confinement in a mental institution due to her breakdown over the tragic death of her parents in a factory accident, Lena is released to live with her stern auntie in East Berlin. Because everyone thinks Lena is simple, she is allowed to work night shifts as a cleaning girl at the State Security Service’s headquarters; she lives a regimented, routine life and looks forward to Sunday afternoons spent with her beloved uncle Erich, a writer with subversive ideas and a loose regard for authority. One night following one of their Sunday outings, Erich disappears. Lena mounts a frantic search for him, one which leads her to dead ends everywhere she looks: his books vanished from the shelves of libraries and bookstores and all records of him purged from official files; it is as if he never existed. Desperate to discover what happened to him, Lena begins a quiet but dangerous investigation, snooping around Stasi offices in the dead of night, despite the watchful eyes of her coworker Jutta, her strict aunt at home, and who knows whom else. What she uncovers shakes up everything she thought she knew, casting new light on her parents’ deaths and making her question everything she had been told about the “Better Germany.”
Mirage by Somaiya Daud Flatiron Books Publication Date: August 28, 2018 ISBN: 978-1250126429
In a very harsh world, Amani likes to dream and write poetry. She is happy with her family and has just come of age in her culture. But one terrifying night, her life changes forever when the brutal Vathek Empire takes her away from everything she’s ever known to become a body double for the universally loathed and despised princess. Despite being determined to resist the lures of her new life and the charm of the princess’s fiancé, Amani soon finds herself swept up into a world of danger, intrigue, and unexpected love.
After the Fire by Will Hill Sourcebooks Fire/Sourcebooks Publication Date: October 2, 2018 ISBN: 9781492669791
Moonbeam’s entire life has been confined to the Lord’s Legion compound in the Texas desert. Citing dangerous outsiders, Father John, the self proclaimed voice of God and despotic church leader, has forbidden members to leave the compound. After federal agents storm the church and it is destroyed in a fire, Moonbeam finds herself in recovery at a hospital where she must confront the reality behind Father John’s lies and come to terms with her own actions.
Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa Harlequin Teen Publication Date: October 2, 2018 ISBN: 978-1335145161
Yumeko has spent her whole life in the Silent Winds temple, isolated from the rest of the world and using her Kitsune (half-human, half-fox) nature to cause mischief. All that time she was unaware of the treasure protected by the monks in the temple. Not gold or riches, but one piece of a scroll that can summon the great Kami Dragon. When the temple is attacked, Yumeko must flee with the scroll in order to keep it safe.
Tradition by Brendan Kiely Simon & Schuster / Margaret K. McElderry Books Publication Date: May 1, 2018 ISBN: 978-1-481480345
Jamie, a scholarship sports star with a past he wishes to truly leave behind, and Jules, a smart and fiercely feminist student form an unlikely friendship despite their differences. After an assault at a party, they both are faced with the toxic traditions of Fullbrook Academy and what they are going to do to change it.
Sanctuary by Caryn Lix Simon Pulse / Simon & Schuster Publication Date: July 24, 2018 ISBN: 9781534405332
Kenzie and her parents are part of a small skeleton crew on Sanctuary, a space prison for superpowered teens run by Omnistellar, the most powerful governing corporation. As a citizen of Omnistellar, Kenzie has been taught to follow corporate policy without question. But when the prisoners take her hostage as part of a revolt, she is forced to see the darker side of the corporation. Her beliefs are further challenged when ruthless aliens attack the station and she must work with the prisoners to survive.