Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2023) Featured Review of The Red Palace by June Hur

The Red Palace by June Hur
Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: January 25, 2022
ISBN: 9781250800558

In 1758 Joseon (Korea), 18-year-old Hyeon worked hard to become a palace nurse, one of the very few positions an illegitimate daughter can hold, with the hopes of doing a good job and earning her father’s approval, but her hopes are dashed when her mentor is accused of murdering four girls and Hyeon chooses to risk her life and position to help clear her mentor’s name.

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Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2023) Featured Review of The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes

The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes
Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: May 17, 2022
ISBN: 9780063060234

Yamilet Flores is doing the best she can. She’s working part-time to be able to afford the tuition at her new fancy private school and she’s trying to keep her brother on the straight and narrow. But it’s hard when you’re the new girl, with a supposedly difficult to pronounce name who also happens to be Mexican and queer but just wants to blend in. Add in a really nice, cute, and smart, openly queer girl named Bo and it becomes even harder.

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2023) Featured Review of Mamo, vol. 1 by Sas Milledge

Mamo, vol. 1 by Sas Milledge
Boom! Box / Boom! Studios
Publication Date: April 19, 2022
ISBN-13: 9781684158171

Mamo is a magical story in which Jo seeks out the help of a witch named Orla to help her seaside village of Haresden. Magic has gone out of control, Jo’s mom is cursed, and the whole town is suffering. Orla has returned to Haresden because of the death of her grandmother, Mamo. Mamo was the witch of Haresden, and now Jo and Orla must bury her bones correctly in order to save the town. 

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Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2023) Featured Review of The Honeys by Ryan La Sala

The Honeys by Ryan La Sala

Narrated by Pete Cross

Scholastic Audio Books

Publication Date: August 16, 2022ISBN: 9781338853186

After the sudden, violent death of their twin sister, Caroline, gender-fluid Mars is determined to find out more about the last weeks of her life. That means returning to the Aspen Conservatory, a place they swore they’d never set foot in again. As Mars is slowly pulled into the orbit of Caroline’s friends at Aspen, nicknamed The Honeys for the beehives they tend, things slowly start to warp and spin out of control. Suspicious of everyone’s intentions, Mars doesn’t know who to trust. They just know that something is wrong – very wrong – at Aspen. But will the pull to join the peaceful lull and harmony of The Honeys and their hive win out over their quest for answers?  With menacingly wonderful and creepy twists, readers won’t see the end coming.

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of Long Live the Pumpkin Queen by Shea Ernshaw 

Long Live the Pumpkin Queen

by Shea Ernshaw

Publisher: Disney Enterprises, Inc

Imprint: Disney Press

Release date: August 2, 2022

ISBN: 9781368069601

Sally finally has her happily ever after; she’s married to her love, Jack Skellington, and crowned Pumpkin Queen of Halloween Town. However, being Pumpkin Queen isn’t as easy as Sally imagined. When she discovers a doorway to one of the ancient realms, Sally inadvertently unleashes the long forgotten Sandman on both the holiday and the human worlds. With the Sandman hunting her across the worlds, Sally must find a way to reverse his sleeping spell on everyone before it’s too late. 

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2023) Featured Review of The Greatest Thing by Sarah Winifred Searle

The Greatest Thing by Sarah Winifred Searle
First Second
Publication Date: February 8, 2022
ISBN-13: 9781250297235

Winifred begins a lonely tenth grade year without her two best friends, who have moved away. In photography class, she meets Oscar and April, and the three form a fast friendship over art, zines and fashion. Though she still talks to her old friends, has a strong relationship with her mom, and finds new joy with Oscar and April, Winifred struggles with depression, self-harm and disordered eating, which eventually escalate. Will Win sabotage herself and her support system, or will she find the strength to tell the truth and ask for help?

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Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2023) Featured Review of Azar On Fire by Olivia Abtahi

Azar On Fire by Olivia Abtahi

Narrated by Alex McKenna

Books on Tape | Listening Library

Publication Date: August 23, 2022

ISBN:9780593610305

Azar Rossi’s Freshman year of high school has been virtually silent. Her classmates think she’s just quiet, but in reality, Azar’s voice has the croaky rasp of a chain smoker. Due to an extreme case of colic as a baby, Azar’s vocal cords are shredded and talking is quite painful. But Azar has big dreams of being a famous songwriter and when an accident in a school janitorial closet somehow leads to Azar putting together an act for a city-wide teenaged Battle of the Bands, she thinks her dreams may finally be coming true.

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of Hometown Victory: A Coach’s Story of Football, Fate, and Coming Home by Keanon Lowe 

Hometown Victory: A Coach’s Story of Football, Fate, and Coming Home

by Keanon Lowe

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Release date: May 10, 2022

ISBN: 9781250807632

After the death of a former teammate, Keanon Lowe left his position coaching the San Francisco 49ers to return to his hometown of Portland, Oregon. Brokenhearted, he answered a Craigslist help wanted ad for a head coach of the Parkrose High School football program. Little did he know that rebuilding the team’s confidence would ultimately be an opportunity for his own healing.

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Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2023) Featured Review of The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat

The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat
Candlewick Press
Publication Date: April 12, 2022
ISBN: 9781536204957

Twelve year old Sai is assistant to Mangkon’s most celebrated mapmaker. No one knows that she has been harboring a secret; her father is a conman. When they set out on a journey to chart the southern seas, she has no idea that the ship may actually be heading to the fabled Sunderlands, a land thought to be guarded by dragons. As Sai struggles to conceal her identity aboard the ship, she discovers that she is not the only one with a secret. 

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2023) Featured Review of Isla to Island by Alexis Castellanos

Isla to Island by Alexis Castellanos
Atheneum
Publication Date: March 15, 2022
ISBN-13: 9781534469242

During the Cuban revolution, Marisol’s parents decide to send her to the United States to get her away from the political unrest. Missing her culture, parents, and Cuba, Marisol’s life and the pages of this book lose all color when she first arrives in New York City. Unable to understand English, all the speech bubbles are either empty or filled with squiggling lines. With a language barrier between them, her caretakers attempt to find ways to make her feel welcomed and included. As time passes, Marisol’s world begins to bloom with color as she learns about her new community and the people who live in it.

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