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.
Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House Publication Date: May 4, 2021 ISBN: 978-1524740986
17-year-old British-Chinese acrobat Valora Luck has a plan. The first thing she needs to do is find a way to get aboard the Titanic where her twin brother is working. Once she finds him, she’ll need to convince him to perform with her again so that the two of them can impress a business partner from the Ringling Brothers Circus and become the next big act, a job they’ll need if they are to find a way around the Chinese Exclusion Act in America.
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 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.