Moonrise by Sarah Crossan Bloomsbury / Bloomsbury YA Publication Date: May 8, 2018 ISBN: 9781681193663
Joe hasn’t seen his brother Ed in over 10 years, before he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. With just a few months to go until Ed’s execution date, Joe moves to Texas to spend as much time as he can with his brother. In the meantime, Joe is grappling with some big questions: Did Ed do it? Is Ed still the same brother that Joe grew up admiring? What are the limits of forgiveness, and how do you say goodbye to someone forever?
Spill Zone: Broken Vow by Scott Westerfeld and Alex Puvilland First Second Publication Date: July 10, 2018 ISBN: 9781626721500
Addison’s life changed forever when the Spill Zone first appeared three years ago. With her parents missing and presumed dead somewhere within the Zone, Addison has been supporting her little sister Lexa by selling the illegal photographs she takes of the Zone’s twisted reality, but her last trip left her permanently changed. Desperate to get her sister away from the Zone so that they can live a normal life, Addison plans to use the payoff from her last trip to start a new life somewhere else, but Lexa and her possessed doll, Vespertine, have other plans. Now the US and North Korean governments are after them, and if Addison wants to save her family, she can no longer ignore the lasting effects of the Zone.
The Backstagers. By James Tynion IV. Illus. by Rian Sygh. 2017. BOOM! Studios, $14.99 (9781608869930). Jory, a new student at an all-boys school, feels left out of school life until he stumbles upon the backstage crew of the drama club and the mysterious tunnels they keep watch over.
Black Hammer, Volume 1: Secret Origins. By Jeff Lemire. Illus. by Dean Ormston. 2017. Dark Horse, $14.99 (9781616557867). Abraham Slam, Golden Gail, Colonel Weird, Madame Dragonfly, and Barbalien are trapped! In their old lives they were superheroes, but because of a strange occurrence in their multiverse they are thrust into life in a rural town from which they cannot escape.
Brave. By Svetlana Chmakova. Illus. by the author. 2017. Yen Press, $11.00 (9780316363189). Jensen, a daydreaming artist obsessed with sunspots and NASA, navigates middle school, bullies and math!
I Am Alfonso Jones. By Tony Medina. Illus. by Stacey Robison and John Jennings. 2017. Tu Books, $18.95 (9781620142639). Fifteen year old Alfonso Jones is shot by the police while shopping for a suit, and his loved ones and classmates are left behind to address his death and the larger issue of police brutality.
Jonesy. By Sam Humphries. Illus. by Caitlin Rose Boyle. Jonsey’s superpower is that she can make anyone fall in love with anything… except herself!
Scott Westerfeld is one of the most inventive sci-fi writers writing for teens right now. His book Uglies helped lay the groundwork for the dystopian trend that would take hold in a few years with The Hunger Games. With a new co-authored series in the works, a movie adaptation of Uglies in development, and a new multi-platform middle grade series launch later this year, Scott Westerfeld is definitely an author you should know.
Not sure where to start with so many series, standalones, and sub-genres to choose from? Don’t sweat it, this post has you covered!
If You want a Space Opera:
The Risen Empire: Captain Laurent Zai of the Imperial Frigate Lynx is tasked with rescuing the immortal Child Empress when she is kidnapped by machine-augmented humans threatening the empire. This story, originally packaged as one book called Succession, begins in The Risen Empire and concludes The Killing of Worlds.
If You Want to Read a Standalone (Mostly Contemporary) Novel:
Afterworlds (2015 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults): Chapters alternate between Darcy Patel’s journey as a debut author of what promises to be the next Big YA Novel and excerpts from Darcy’s novel about a girl named Lizzie who slips into the “Afterworld”–a place between life and death–during a terrorist attack.
So Yesterday: Hunter Braque moves through New York searching for Innovators–people who create the latest trends before they’re cool. Then he sells the ideas to clients who disseminate the ideas (via trendsetters) until each new fashion innovation becomes mainstream. When Hunter teams up with an Innovator to get to the bottom of his best client’s disappearance, he finds himself at the center of a far-reaching mystery involving trends, innovations, and the coolest sneakers he’s ever seen.
In 1996, the Academy of American Poets established April as National Poetry Month to encourage the reading of poetry and increase awareness of American poetry. It is a great time to support and inspire the teen writers and poets who frequent your library! Below is a sampling of fiction and nonfiction books to help you do just that.
YA Fiction Featuring Teen Writers
Words and Their Meanings by Kate Bassett
Ever since her beloved Uncle Joe died, aspiring writer Anna has lost her muse. This poignant debut novel follows Anna through her grief journey as she struggles to rediscover her passion for writing and cope with the knowledge that she may not have known her uncle as well as she thought.
In this novel in journal format, Gabi explores her feelings about her friend’s pregnancy, finds her voice in poetry, and works on her school’s zine.
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
During November of her senior year, Darcy wrote a novel for National Novel Writing Month that was picked up by a major publisher. In this unique book, chapters from Darcy’s novel alternate with her adventures in New York as she foregoes her first year of college to dedicate herself to the publication process. Continue reading Booklist: Fiction and Nonfiction for Teen Poets and Writers
I grew up watching the X-Files, so I was really excited when I heard that the show would be reappearing this spring.
If Mulder and Scully were to walk into my library, I’d probably want to follow them around to find out what weird things have been happening, but if they asked for book recommendations, this is what I’d give them.
Amanda’s family leaves their home in the mountains to live out on the prairie and hopefully leave behind the memories of the last, harsh winter they had to face. Her father chooses to move the family into an abandoned cabin that is covered in dried blood, and unfortunately for Amanda, things only get creepier from there.
I love fashion design. From checking out fashion show photos to watching the red carpet of the Oscar’s at least as avidly as the show itself, I find fashion trends and design choices fascinating. And, clearly I’m not the only one because there are plenty of great books that feature characters that share this interest. Characters are designers, models, and trendsetters throughout young adult literature and this list features a few fun examples of just this. So, whether you have already designed your first collection or you plan to watch tonight’s Project Runway season finale while yelling at your television, check out these books to get your fashion fix.
Paranormal Romance is a sub-genre of Romance. For a novel to be a Paranormal Romance, a simple thing must occur: love must begin between a human and a supernatural being (whether wholly supernatural or partially, just as long as there are supernatural elements present). However, this can be a broad interpretation. Usually, the protagonist (often the human) in these novels is put in some kind of danger, where they come to realize they can overcome this danger either on their own or with the help of the supernatural love interest.
Main characters include both humans and supernatural beings. The supernatural being can be wholly supernatural or partly, and include but are not limited by the following “types”: vampire, werewolf, fairy, magician, mermaid, zombie, psychic, ghost, demon hunter, demon, angel, shapeshifter, dragon, and gods or goddesses. Additionally, the human in Paranormal Romances can have a touch of the paranormal as well. An example is the teen psychic that can see the ghost. Quite often, when it comes to paranormal romances written for teens, a love triangle is involved. There could be more than one human, or more than one supernatural being in the triangle. Continue reading Genre Guide: Paranormal Romances for Teens
If you’re reading this, then you’re probably not surprised at the continued popularity of dystopian literature or the many subgenres within it. Why are readers drawn to a dark post-apocalyptic future or the natural disasters with climate-fiction (cli-fi)? The appeal of these plots attracts a readership that spans generations. Others are quick to judge those of us over the age of 18 that love dystopian literature and cli-fi but overlook the joy and positive elements to these plots: the hope in dystopian. The dystopian genre is more than The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner and as grateful as I am to movies turning kids onto reading books they have also generalized this vast genre and created a stereotype of both this genre’s plots and their readers.
Yes, these books are overly dramatic at times and incredibly unrealistic most of the time, but beyond the angst and youthful revolution mentality, one underlying message reoccurs – hope. Hope that stems from working together; hope that comes from faith in humanity; and hope that even in the midst of corrupt adults, deathly plagues, and the aftermath of natural disasters – we are stronger than the challenges and we, as a people, WILL survive. A story telling how we not only process and overcome negative events in life but still manage to find joy has been around long before the genre was named and long before we met Katniss.
Being drawn to dark plots, death, and those ‘scary’ elements that many adults do not think are age appropriate is not a new fascination for young readers. Children have grown up with Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales in which children not only kill parents, but adult characters often kill or torture children. Eighteen years ago parents also worried that Harry Potter was too dark for children. Yet with each of these masterpieces and their continued popularity decades and centuries later, children not only read about negative facts of life, but they also see how other children overcome these challenges. They learn that one can survive something tragic and sometimes life doesn’t have that Disney ending. Continue reading Sometimes the Apocalypse Can Be Good: Finding the Hope in Dystopian Literature