Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2022) Nominations Round-Up, Winter

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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.

A-Okay. By Jarad Greene. HarperCollins Children’s Books/Harper Alley, $12.99 (9780063032859). 

Jay deals with acne, acne medicine side effects, friend drama, and figuring out romantic feelings, during a tumultuous eighth grade year.

Blackout. By Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon. HarperCollins/Quill Tree Books, $19.99 (9780063088092). 

Six distinct but connected stories highlight black resilience and love in the midst of a New York City-wide blackout.

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Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Featured Review of Time Travel for Love and Profit by Sarah Lariviere

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Time Travel for Love and Profit by Sarah Lariviere; Narrated by Kristen Sieh
Listening Library
Release date: January 26, 2021
ISBN: 9780593294017

Nephele distinctly remembers when her best friend broke up with her.  It isn’t surprising, given that Nephele’s peers describe her as “aggressively weird.” After all, Nephele has favorite math formulas and shapes.  Couple that with the furry arm hair of her ancestors, and Nephele is an outsider looking in.  That’s why the book Time Travel for Love and Profit so captures her imagination and inspires her to create an app that will allow her to go back in time and re-do her disastrous freshman year.

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2022) Featured Review of A-Okay by Jarad Greene

A-Okay Cover Art

A-Okay by Jarad Greene
HarperCollins Children’s Books/Harper Alley
Publication Date: 11/2/2021
ISBN: 978-0063032842

Jay is in eighth grade and suddenly he has acne. He doesn’t really think anything of it until there are pimples all over his face. In consultation with a couple doctors, Jay tries various treatments (which don’t really work) until he’s finally put on a stronger medication which has some odd side effects. Everything else seems to spiral from there – his good friend is being distant, he’s not sure where to sit at lunch, and he doesn’t seem to have romantic feelings of any kind for anyone. What’s a teen to do when they don’t know where they fit in and life is just so confusing?

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Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Featured Review of Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton and others

Blackout Cover art

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.

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Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2022) Featured Review of When We Were Infinite by Kelly Loy Gilbert

When We Were Infinite Cover Art

When We Were Infinite by Kelly Loy Gilbert
Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 9, 2021
ISBN: 9781534468214

This is it. Senior year. And all Beth wants is to be with her friends as much as possible. Bonded long ago through their shared orchestra experience, Sunny, Jason, Brandon, and Grace are all the family Beth needs. She’s determined to keep them all together and connected, this year and beyond, even if it means losing herself. And she’s also secretly harboring a major crush on Jason. 

When Beth and Brandon accidentally witness Jason’s father assault him, Beth is heartbroken that none of them had any idea what he was going through. As Jason spirals into anger and depression, she anxiously tries to both fix him and hold the whole group together. As often happens in senior year though, each friend must choose their own adventure and find a way to hold on to each other as they go forward.     

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Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2022) Nominations Round-Up, Summer

Due to the large number of nominees, not all titles are shown here. See full list below.

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.

Continue reading Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2022) Nominations Round-Up, Summer

Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2022) Featured Review of Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon

Blackout Cover Art

Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon
HarperCollins / Quill Tree Books
Publication Date: June 22, 2021
ISBN: 978-0063088092

It’s a hot, muggy summer day in New York City. When the power goes out, sparks fly. All across the city, an interconnected group of Black teens finds love. Bitter exes cross paths at a competitive internship before they’re forced to walk home together. Old friends reconnect on the subway and at the library. New attractions bloom at a nursing home and in a rideshare. Everyone is on their way to the same block party in Brooklyn, and who knows how their stars will have realigned when the lights finally come back on… 

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Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Featured Review of Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant

Happily Ever Afters Audiobook by Elise Bryant Cover Art

Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant; Narrated by Jordan Cobb
Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: January 5, 2021
ISBN: 9780063058132

Tessa Johnson is excited to have been accepted into the creative writing program at a prestigious art school, but nervous at the same time: she’s never shared her writing with anyone but her best friend, Caroline.  When she gets to her first workshop, her words are gone and she’s terrified she’ll never write again and the whole school will find out she’s a fraud.  Caroline is convinced that the only solution is for Tessa to star in her own personal love story and the perfect candidate for her happily-ever-after is the most popular kid in school and her crush, Nico.  Or is he?

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Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Featured Review of Love in English by Maria E. Andreu

Love in English Audiobook by Maria E. Andreu - 9780063058118 | Rakuten Kobo  United States

Love in English by Maria E. Andreu; narrated by Frankie Corzo
Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: February 1, 2021
ISBN: 978-0063058118

Sixteen year-old Ana and her mom arrive in New Jersey from Argentina to reunite with Ana’s father, who has been in the United States for three years. Ana starts her junior year in a new country, in a new school, speaking a new language, and has to navigate her new surroundings. Ana makes a couple friends but grounds herself by writing poetry, which she uses to help her understand American conventions at school as well as shifting relationships at home. 

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Booklist: Read-a-Likes for Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Nicola Yoon’s debut novel Everything, Everything took the book world by storm when it was published in 2015. This May readers will get to see this much loved story come to life on the big screen when the film adaptation starring Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson hits theaters. In the meantime this booklist has everything, everything you might want to read if you are a fan waiting for the movie to come out.

collage art for Booklist: Read-a-Likes for Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

If You Want a Book Where a Character is More Than Their Illness:

cover art for The Memory Book, Zac and Mia, Before I Die, Hold Me Like a Breath

  1. The Memory Book by Lara Avery: Sammie doesn’t believe that one diagnosis can change her entire life. She starts writing down her memories big and small as her degenerative illness, Niemann-Pick Type C, begins to take its toll on her memories and her health.
  2. Zac and Mia by A. J. Betts: Zac and Mia would never be friends friends in the real world. But different rules apply when you’re in a hospital.
  3. Before I Die by Jenny Downham (2008 Best Books for Young Adults, 2015 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults): Tessa knows she is dying. Instead of waiting to disappear without a trace, Tessa decides to complete her “before I die” list in the precious weeks she has left.
  4. Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt: When disaster strikes, Penelope is thrust into a world of secrets and betrayals she is ill-equipped to understand. As she struggles to make sense of her shattered past and shape her own future she’ll also learn that life isn’t always a fairy tale. Sometimes you have to make your own happy ending.

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