Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2024) Featured Review: The Minus-One Club by Kekla Magoon

  • The Minus-One Club
  • by Kekla Magoon
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Release date: January 24, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781250806208

When fifteen year-old Kermit returns to school after losing his older sister in a car accident, he finds a message signed “-1” in his locker, inviting him into a group of fellow students dealing with grief. The unlikely mix of students crosses cliques and grades and includes Kermit’s long-time crush, Matt. The club is always there for each other but has one rule: you don’t talk about what happened to your loved one.

This title shows a realistic and nuanced approach to grieving. Strong characters strengthen the impact of the intricate exploration of the intersectionality of religion, personal identity, and loss. Kermit’s struggle is universal.

A life-affirming read for teens experiencing hardship, The Minus-One Club will appeal to readers looking for authentic characterization and relatable realistic fiction. Comparable titles include Chaos Theory by Nic Stone for the similar subject matter about depression and loss, Golden Boys by Phil Stamper for the exploration of identity, and What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum for unlikely friendships and dealing with grief.

-Emily Williams

Other Nominated Titles

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.
The Best Fiction for Young Adults Committee appreciates teen feedback as members evaluate the nominated titles. Teen librarians are encouraged to share the List of Potential Nominees under consideration with their patrons and solicit feedback using the link: