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.
The City Beautiful. By Aden Polydoros. Harlequin/Inkyard Press, $19.99 (9781335402509).
Amidst the glitz and glamour of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, Alter Rosen, a gay, Jewish, Romanian immigrant teen, becomes possessed by the dybbuk of his murdered friend and must avenge the deaths of his friend and a growing number of other local Jewish boys.
Curses. By Lish McBride. Penguin Random House/G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, $18.99 (9781984815590).
When Merit refuses to marry a prince, she is cursed to live as a beast. Tevin’s family runs cons on rich girls, but when his mom runs afoul of the beast she trades him for her freedom. This fresh, gender-bent Beauty and the Beast retelling examines what “beastly” really is.
The Darkness Outside Us. By Eliot Schrefer. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books, $17.99 (9780062888280).
Two white teenage boys from rival countries wake up on board a spaceship they don’t remember boarding to perform a mission that may not be real with an OS that is becoming increasingly untrustworthy. At least they have each other.
The Dead and the Dark. By Courtney Gould. Macmillan/Wednesday Books, $18.99 (9781250762016).
There’s something wrong in Snakebite, Oregon. It’ll take the unlikely duo of Ashley (Snakebite-born and haunted by the memory of her missing boyfriend) and Logan (the daughter of TV ghost hunters who has her own mysterious ties to Snakebite) to lift the darkness and save the town.
Don’t Hate the Player. By Alexis Nedd. Bloomsbury YA, $17.99 (9781547605026).
Hidden behind her studious, college-bound image, Emily Romero is also an amazing gamer. She’s kept that life secret from her classmates, and more importantly, from her parents, for years. But when a boy from her past intersects with both lives, her secret may be exposed.
An Emotion of Great Delight. By Tahereh Mafi. HarperCollins, $19.99 (9780062972415).
Life as a Muslim American teen in 2003 is difficult, and Shadi’s entire world is unravelling as she struggles to cope with the loss of her brother, her parents’ health and why her best friend is pretending she doesn’t exist.
Fierce as the Wind. By Tara Wilson Redd. Random House/Wendy Lamb Books, $17.99 (9781524766917).
When Hawaiian teen Miho’s boyfriend breaks up with her, the pain feels insurmountable. But Miho redirects her feelings into training for and competing in a triathlon. Will this new challenge set her free?
Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun. By Jonny Garza Villa. Skyscape, $16.99 (9781542027052).
When Julian drunkenly outs himself on Twitter, his plans for a low-key last few months of high school are blown out of the water. With his crush Mat all the way across the country, Jules will have to navigate the consequences of his father’s homophobia on his own.
Home is Not a Country. By Safia Elhillo. Random House/Make Me a World, $17.99 (9780593177051).
Muslim and Arabic-speaking Nima doesn’t belong in her American town, but she doesn’t feel she belongs with her mother and the “old country” way of thinking either. When reality tilts and Nima can suddenly see different paths of her life, belonging begins to mean something different.
In the Wild Light. By Jeff Zentner. Penguin Random House/Crown Books for Young Readers, $17.99 (9781524720247).
Their Tennessee town is caught in the opioid crisis, but Cash and Delaney (both white) find beauty in the little things. When Delaney wins a boarding school scholarship that includes tuition for Cash, he must balance his broken past with the possibility of a future full of life and love.
Indestructible Object. By Mary McCoy. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $18.99 (9781534485051).
After her long-time boyfriend breaks up with her on their joint podcast, white teen Lee Swan decides to start a new podcast investigating her parents’ failing marriage as a means of coping with her own increasingly cynical views on love.
Indivisible. By Daniel Aleman. Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $18.99 (9780759556058).
When 16-year-old Mexican American Mateo’s undocumented parents are deported, he does what he can to keep his younger sister safe. While keeping up appearances at school and helping run his family’s hard-built bodega, he fights to reunite the family.
Jay’s Gay Agenda. By Jason June. HarperCollins/HarperTeen, $17.99 (9780063015159).
White teen Jay moves from rural Washington to a high school in Seattle with a vibrant LGBTQIA+ community, where he finally feels like he fits. Jay creates an “agenda” of firsts he wants to experience, but dating and love are harder to navigate than he realized.
Kneel. By Candace Buford. Harlequin/Inkyard Press, $18.99 (9781335402516).
After Black football prodigy Russel Boudreaux protests the unfair arrest and suspension of his best friend Marion by taking a knee during the national anthem, he quickly becomes a target of hate and fear in his small Louisiana town.
Like Other Girls. By Britta Lundin. Disney-Hyperion, $17.99 (9781368039925).
Mara Deeble, a white teen in rural Oregon, is used to being “one of the boys.” When four other girls join her in trying out for the football team, she is forced to confront her internalized misogyny and closeted sexuality.
Me (Moth). By Amber McBride. Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends, $18.99 (9781250780362).
Black teen Moth’s family died in a car accident, leaving her lost and unmoored until she meets Sani, a Navajo teen with his own dark family struggles. As an impromptu road trip leads further west and closer to each other, they each begin to see their own way forward.
My Contrary Mary. By Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows. HarperCollins/HarperTeen, $18.99 (9780062930040).
Mary, Queen of Scots must navigate engagement to a prince, nefarious political schemes, and her secret shapeshifting abilities if she is to keep her head (and her tail) in this reimagined historical tale.
Not My Problem. By Ciara Smyth. HarperCollins/HarperTeen, $17.99 (9780062957146).
It all starts when Aideen pushes overachiever Maebh down the stairs on purpose so a minor injury can give Maebh a break from her overwhelming schedule. Soon, other classmates are asking for favors. Aideen’s all in — it’s more fun to fix other people’s problems than deal with your own.
Perfectly Parvin. By Olivia Abtahi. Penguin Random House/G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, $17.99 (9780593109427).
Parvin Mohammadi, Iranian American and white, gets humiliatingly dumped at freshman orientation and decides to remake herself into the perfect rom-com girl to attract a Homecoming date. Is there room for the real Parvin – loud, funny, and queen of pranks – in high school or a relationship?
Rainbow in the Dark. By Sean McGinty. HarperCollins/Clarion Books, $17.99 (9780358380375).
A teen called Rainbow wakes up in a vast, surreal world and must complete a series of increasingly dangerous quests to find the portal that leads to home.
The River Has Teeth. By Erica Waters. HarperCollins/HarperTeen, $17.99 (9780062894250).
In the woods of Tennessee, magic is in the air and girls are going missing. When Natasha Greymont asks for the help of local witch Della Lloyd to solve her sister’s disappearance, their combined rage and desperation might be just what their world needs to stitch itself back together again.
The Secret Life of Kitty Granger. By G.D. Falksen. Lerner Books/Carolrhoda Lab, $18.99 (9781541597969).
Kitty Granger has always been different and struggled to fit in with those around her in 1960’s London. Yet, the very traits that make her so unique will help her in her work as a spy for Her Majesty’s during the dangerous Cold War.
A Sitting in St. James. By Rita Williams-Garcia. HarperCollins/Quill Tree Books, $17.99 (9780062367297).
This epic historical novel follows a plantation-owning family on the brink of financial ruin and the enslaved people forced to work for them during the last few years of the antebellum era in south Louisiana.
Six Crimson Cranes. By Elizabeth Lim. Penguin Random House/Knopf Books for Young Readers, $18.99 (9780593300916).
Shiori must find a way to overpower her stepmother, the Queen, who has turned her six brothers into cranes and banished Shiori from her home in this East Asian-inspired retelling of the Six Swans fable from the Brothers Grimm.
Small Favors. By Erin A. Craig. Random House/Delacorte Press, $18.99 (9780593306741).
The residents of the once sleepy town of Amity Falls suddenly find their deepest desires fulfilled in exchange for small favors. But the mystical creatures responsible have far more sinister plans, and Ellerie Downing will do whatever it takes to save her family and her town.
A Snake Falls to Earth. By Darcie Little Badger. Levine Querido, $18.99 (9781646140923).
Nina is a Lipan Apache teen living in the very near future. Oli is a cottonmouth person in the Reflecting World. When the snake boy ventures to Earth to seek the help of a human girl, they must turn the tides of change to protect those they love.
Switch. By A.S. King. Penguin Random House/Dutton Books for Young Readers, $17.99 (9780525555513).
Javelin prodigy Truda lives in a world where time has stopped moving forward, and it’s still June 23, 2020. Tru may be the only person who knows how to fix it, if she can hang on as the house her father built literally turns upside down.
The Nature of Witches. By Rachel Griffin. Sourcebooks Fire, $18.99 (9781728229423).
As the first Everwitch in centuries, Clara has the power to stabilize the increasing volatility of the environment and help other witches maintain control of the atmosphere. But first, she will have to forgive herself for causing the deaths of her parents and her best friend.
These Feathered Flames. By Alexandra Overy. Harlequin/Inkyard Press, $19.99 (9781335147967).
In the days following the Queen’s death, twin heirs Izaveta and Asya must navigate the politics of court while preparing to take on their respective roles as future queen and magical Firebird.
Things We Couldn’t Say. By Jay Coles. Scholastic Press, $18.99 (9781338734188).
Since his mom walked out eight years ago, Black bisexual Gio has felt the pain of the void she left behind. When she unexpectedly reappears, Gio has to make a difficult decision amid the complications of his father’s drinking and the cute new boy on the basketball team.
This Poison Heart. By Kalynn Bayron. Bloomsbury YA, $18.99 (9781547603909).
Brooklyn-raised Black teen Briseis Green has a magical affinity for making plants grow and flowers bloom with a single touch. When she suddenly inherits an old country house, Bri discovers an in-demand apothecary, built-in clientele, a secret garden full of poisonous plants, and a dangerously dark family legacy.
When We Were Infinite. By Kelly Loy Gilbert. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $19.99 (9781534468214).
Grace, Brandon, Sunny, Jason, and Beth have been best friends for years, but as the end of high school looms, Beth (Chinese American and white) is more worried about holding onto her friends than her own future. When tragedy strikes, Beth is determined to protect her relationships, even at her own expense.
White Smoke. By Tiffany D. Jackson. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books, $18.99 (9780063029095).
Marigold’s mom’s new job moves them from California to Cedarville, OH. What should be a perfect chance for a fresh start goes sideways quickly, and Mari (who is Black) must figure out if her white stepsister Piper is playing tricks or if their new (old) house is actually haunted.
With You All the Way. By Cynthia Hand. HarperCollins/HarperTeen, $17.99 (9780062693198).
At sixteen, white Ada thinks she’s ready for sex. With no obvious prospects at hand, she convinces her longtime friend Nick that they should exit the “v-club” together. But it turns out there’s more to the deed than just a physical act — feelings and emotions matter too.
Your Heart, My Sky. By Margarita Engle. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum Books for Young Readers, $18.99 (9781534464964).
During Cuba’s euphemistically named “special period in times of peace,” a pair of teens fall in love as they struggle to find food for their families.
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