Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon; narrated by Joniece Abbott-Pratt, A.J. Beckles, Jordan Cobb, Dion Graham, Imani Parks, Shayna Small, and Bahni Turpin Quill Tree Books Publication date: June 22, 2021 ISBN: 9780063088122
Blackout subtly weaves six unique novellas featuring Black characters by six Black authors into one connected story in New York City during a summer blackout. Tiffany D. Jackson’s story focuses on exes Tammie and Kareem who run into each other at the same summer internship opportunity. Nic Stone’s contribution is a queer male/male love story about Tremaine and JJ. Ashley Woodfolk tells a cute sapphic romance between Joss and Nella that takes place at a senior living facility. Dhonielle Clayton tackles a friends-to-lovers romance in the New York Public Library. Angie Thomas tells of a love triangle with some emotional baggage. Nicola Yoon’s meet cute of Seymour and Grace is a heartwarming end to this high-interest book about Black Love.
Each quarter, the Selected Lists teams compile the titles that have been officially nominated to date. These are titles that 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.
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Between Perfect and Real. By Ray Stoeve. Read by MW Cartozian Wilson. Recorded Books, LLC/Recorded Books, Inc., $70 (9781705028339).
Dean is a trans guy struggling with coming out to his friends and family. Exploring the internet and joining community groups allows him to more clearly define himself while acting as Romeo in a play helps his self discovery. Wilson’s voice is well matched and he skillfully narrates this emotional story.
Black Girl, Call Home. By Jasmine Mans. Read by Jasmine Mans. Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group/Penguin Audio, $22.80 (9780593346884).
Mans calls herself and other Black girls home in this love letter and essential companion to girls and women on a journey to find truth, belonging, and healing. Mans narrates this powerful and painful collection with many poems read and produced in unique ways.
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.
Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron; narrated by Bahni Turpin Bloomsbury Publishing Plc Release date: September 4, 2020 ISBN: 9781547605590
In Mersailles, Cinderella is more than just a fairy tale: her story is a guide for how women should behave. All girls are required to attend the annual ball where they are either chosen as a wife or sent away, never to be heard from again. Sophia would much rather marry her childhood best friend, Erin, and makes the decision to flee. She ends up at Cinderella’s mausoleum, where she meets the last descendent of one of Cinderella’s stepsisters and learns the real truth behind the fairy tale while becoming entangled in the movement to topple the monarchy.
Off the Record by Camryn Garrett Penguin Random House / Knopf Books for Young Readers Publication Date: May 18, 2021 ISBN: 978-1984829993
Josie Wright is seventeen years old, Black, fat, a future Spelman College legacy student (fingers crossed), and a brilliant writer already getting some exposure. When she wins the chance to write a feature article for an important magazine on a young up-and-coming actor, Marius Canet, Josie is determined to make the most of her time on his film’s cross-country press tour, even if it means ignoring her growing feelings for Marius. Just when Josie thinks she’s got her work/life balance under control, a young actress on the tour discloses the horrible truth about a powerful director and asks Josie to break the story of his on-set abuse.
Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett Knopf Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House Publication Date: October 29th, 2019 ISBN: 9781984829962
a traumatic experience with bullying at her Catholic high school, 17-year-old
Simone is starting fresh at a public school. This time, she resolves not to
tell anyone her biggest secret: she was born HIV-positive. As her crush on
popular, charming lacrosse player Miles evolves into a relationship, Simone
struggles with her desire to have (safe) sex and her fears about disclosing her
status to Miles. But before she can figure out how to tell him or her new
friends the truth, an anonymous note in her locker gives her until Thanksgiving
to dump Miles—or risk the blackmailer disclosing her status to the entire
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.
Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff Knopf Books for Young Readers / Random House Publication Date: May 7, 2019 ISBN: 978-1524720964
In 2380, Tyler Jones, graduating cadet of Aurora Academy, rescues Aurora, a girl who has been in cryo-sleep for over 200 years and wakes with new, mysterious powers. Along with a squad of misfits from Aurora Academy, they go on a mission to uncover the truth about Aurora and what happened to Octavia, the colony Aurora had been heading to over 200 years ago.