Suggested Read: The Bodygaurd Unit: The Bodyguard Unit: Edith Garrud, Women’s Suffrage, and Jujitsu by Clément Xavier

  • The Bodygaurd Unit: Edith Gurrud, Women’s Suffrage, and Jujitsu
  • by Clément Xavier
  • Graphics Universe
  • Publication Date: August 1, 2023
  • ISBN: 9798765607473

This graphic novel illustrates the women’s suffrage movement in the UK telling a story you may not have learned before. Edith Garrud was a Jujitsu instructor who used her practice to protest for women’s rights and teach other women self-defense. 

One of the outstanding aspects of this book is the use of historical images alongside illustrations. This graphic novel brings new life to these historic events! 

If you would like to learn more about women’s rights, early 20th century England, Jujitsu, or just enjoy graphic novels, you are sure to enjoy this book!

-Erin Soutar

Thank you to our guest blogger, for more reviews find her on Instagram and Facebook!

Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2024) Feature Review: Seven Percent of Ro Devereux by Ellen O’Clover

  • Seven Percent of Ro Devereux
  • By Ellen O’Clover  
  • Publisher: Harper Collins
  • Imprint: Harper Teen
  • Release date: January 17, 2023 
  • ISBN: 9780063255036\

Ro creates an app based on the popular game of MASH (Mansion, Apartment, Shack, House) for her senior project. She works with her neighbor, a retired behavorial scientist, to make sure the app works – and it works well. It can predict someone’s future with 93% accuracy. Ro is shocked when she is paired with Miller, her childhood best friend, as her soulmate. They had a falling out years ago. Ro is determined to have her app make it big and Miller reluctantly agrees to play along and pretend to be in love so that they can prove that the app works and get backing from the tech greats. 

This is a fresh spin on the classic “used to be friends, now a love interest” plot. The slow-burn romance between Ro and Miller keeps the reader guessing if they will end up together. The characters are well developed and easy to relate to. Each character had quirks and interests that leave the reader wanting to learn more about them. 

Other authors who write with a similar tone include Jennifer E. Smith, Emma Lord, and Jenny Han.

-Katie Guzan

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: May 14, 2023

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.

#ICYMI: 8 Books You Might Have Missed

It’s almost the end of 2023 and time to submit your last carts for the year!  If you find yourself with extra funds, here are some titles from the last two years that you might have missed. Some are from debut authors that snuck under the radar, while others are old favorites with new projects.

    • There’s No Way I’d Die First
    • By Lisa Springer
    • Delacorte Press: 2023
    • ISBN: 9780593643174

    This debut is for the horror-obsessed teen and pulls out all the tropes in what ends up being a campy, gory romp. If the tropes aren’t enough of a tell, each chapter starts with a quote from a horror movie and gives a hint to upcoming events. This is an homage to all the greats, with references to Stephen King, Scream, a killer clown with superhuman strength that rivals Michael Myers, and a heavy dose of teen drama. It also tries to tie in some political and social commentary and a hint of romance. Does this require suspension of belief? Yes. That’s the point. Hand to your older teens or your horror movie buffs.

    • Holly Horror
    • by Michelle Jabé Corpora
    • Penguin Workshop, 2023
    • ISBN: 9780593386217

    A scary take on our patchwork-clad, bonnet-wearing gal, Holly Hobbie. After her parents split, Evie’s mom moves the family back to her hometown and into the Horror House, so named because Holly vanished from it decades before. As Evie pokes around in the attic and discovers more of Holly’s story, weird things start to happen to her. The book ends on a cliff-hanger and readers will eagerly await book two. For younger teens that are more into supernatural mysteries, rather than slasher stories.

    • 16 & Pregnant
    • by LaLa Thomas
    • MTV Books, 2023
    • ISBN: 9781665917278

    If you are a millennial, you probably remember when this show first aired back in 2009. The show followed teens that found themselves pregnant and documented how their lives were impacted, eventually leading to the spin-off series, Teen Mom. Two teens find themselves dealing with a surprise pregnancy that derails their life plans. All options are discussed and the book does not shy away from health challenges that can accompany a pregnancy. This is an empowering story about friendship and parenthood. This is a great option for those looking for relatable stories about teen pregnancy, as well as viewers of the MTV show. This would also be a great option for parents and teens to read and discuss together.

    • Hotel Magnifique
    • by Emily J. Taylor
    • Razorbill, 2022
    • ISBN: 978059340515

    This 2022 debut is Caraval meets Howl’s Moving Castle and my favorite cover of 2022. This dark fantasy features a magical hotel that moves to a new place every night. Employees of the hotel are magically bound to service and although the hotel is gorgeous and luxurious, it’s a gilded prison. Franco-philes and fans of lush, character-driven fantasy will devour this. Additionally, the stunning cover makes this an easy book to hand-sell.

    • A Million to One
    • by Adiba Jaigirdar
    • Harperteen, 2022
    • ISBN: 978006291632

    Published right before the end of 2022, I think this one snuck past a lot of people. Take a diverse group of teens, put them on the Titanic and add in a heist. Jaigirdar’s previous YA novels have been sapphic romances–here she moves more into action and historical fiction territory. This reads quickly and is a nice option for younger teens that enjoy heists or books about the Titanic. 

    • Something More
    • by Jackie Khalileh
    • Tundra Books, 2023
    • ISBN: 9781774882139

    This romance is about a Palestinian-Canadian teen, newly diagnosed as autistic. She makes a list of all the things she wants to accomplish in high school before she graduates. She quickly learns there is no guidebook for matters of the heart when she finds herself caught between two guys. This is a refreshing take on the classic coming of age story.

    • The Grimoire of Grave Fates
    • by Hanna Alkaf and Margaret Owen, et al.
    • Delacorte Press, 2023
    • ISBN: 9780593427453

    If you have teens looking for a Harry Potter-esque story, hand them this one. It checks all the boxes: a magical boarding school that flies around à la Howl’s Moving Castle or the aforementioned Hotel Magnifique, an evil professor, a murder mystery, and magical beasts. This isn’t really a short story collection, nor is it a traditional novel. Each chapter is by a different YA author and features a different character that propels the plot forward. Some stories are stronger than others–I need a whole book about Diego, please! This collaborative effort has something for everyone and is a great option for younger teens.

    • A Heavy Dose of Allison Tandy
    • by Jeff Bishop
    • Putnam, 2022
    • ISBN: 9781984812940

    Don’t be fooled by the cotton candy cover!  This book is a lot of things–technically it’s speculative fiction. You could also consider it a romantic comedy. It should be about a boy having the best time of his life, the summer after his senior year. But ultimately, it’s about a boy that suffers a torn ACL, leaving him stuck on the couch recovering from surgery, while dealing with a really bad breakup with his girlfriend, who happens to be in a coma from a car accident, which makes it pretty weird that Cam can see and talk to her while on his sofa. Tandy is chaotic and will have you laughing and weeping, reminiscent of the John Hughes movies referenced throughout. This was my favorite debut of 2022 and one of my favorites of the year. Hand to your older teens– especially your broken-hearted high school seniors

    -Megan Nigh

    Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2024) Featured Review: Other Side of the Tracks by Charity Alyse

    • Other Side of the Tracks by Charity Alyse
    • Narrated by Angel Pean, Ruffin Prentiss, Shaun Taylor-Corbett
    • Simon & Schuster Audiobooks | Simon & Schuster Audio
    • Publication Date: November 22, 2022
    • ISBN: 978179715276

    Bayside and Hamilton, nearly identical in design, have been racially divided from the beginning. No one crosses the train tracks. Zach, who was raised in Philly and recently moved to Bayside along with his Bayside-native father, sees no reason to follow the “rules” when it comes to the segregation of the two towns.

    Although they have only left Bayside a handful of times, Capri and her older brother, Justin, have dreams of getting out and making it big. Justin is counting on a basketball scholarship and college while Capri dreams of dancing on Broadway. When Zach learns his idol, a jazz musician, owns a record shop in Hamilton and heads over to meet him he meets Capri, who is working at the shop. Zach and Capri share mutual goals and an instant connection. Told from the three teens’ points of view, this story explores race, division, and class through the people and traditions of two towns. When a Hamilton teen is shot by a Bayside police officer, tragedy strikes the towns. It could further deepen the division between the towns or, just maybe, it will bring about the start of real change. 

    Charity Alyse’s debut novel is both emotionally intense and thought-provoking. Racism, segregation, and interracial relationships are all key components of the storyline. Although set in the present, the events are reminiscent of circumstances of earlier decades. The narrators provide distinctly-voiced characters that will draw listeners to the story.

    Other Side of the Tracks is a perfect next read to follow Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give, I’m Not Dying with You Tonight by Gilly Segal or Kim Johnson’s Invisible Son. Be sure to recommend this title to teens watching All American. 

    -Lysha Thompson

    Other Nominated Titles

    Release Date: May 2, 2023
    Release Date June 6, 2023

    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.

    Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2024) Featured Review: Insomniacs After School by Makoto Ojiro

    • Insomniacs After School, Vol. 1
    • by Makoto Ojiro
    • VIZ Media
    • Publication Date: March 21, 2023
    • ISBN-13: ‎9781974736577

    Ganta Nakami is a grumpy and unfriendly high schooler with few friends but it’s primarily because he’s an insomniac and hardly ever sleeps. This causes him to also fall asleep at school and, while trying to find a good place to nap, he comes across the abandoned astronomy club room. Only it’s not so abandoned when he finds a fellow insomniac, outgoing Isaki Magari. After some forced proximity bonding, they discover that they can get some rest together and become secret friends.

    Insomniacs After School, vol. 1 is the beginning of a heartwarming series about two unlikely high schoolers becoming closer as they are plagued by their shared disorder. The story addresses friendship, healing, and the power of dreams while also giving the reader cute banter and lightheartedness. Each character in Insomniacs After School is distinct, not only in their design but also in their personalities, allowing readers from various backgrounds to find a character they resonate with. The magic of the abandoned astronomy tower is captured in detail by Makoto Ojiro, but it is the beautiful renderings of abandoned nighttime streets that really pack an atmospheric and emotional punch.

    Those who like stories about teenage friendship and unconventional bonding should read Chion-san of the Cat Temple, also by Makoto Ojiro. For manga readers who like the coming-of-age, finding-yourself vibes, I recommend Blue Period by Tsubasa Yamaguchi. Teens who enjoyed the unlikely friendship and emotional themes of the novel Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell may also enjoy this new manga series.

    Cheyenne Sons

    Other Nominated Titles

    Release Date: June 6, 2023
    Release Date: June 6, 2023
    Release Date: June 13, 2023
    Release Date: September 12, 2023

    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.

    Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2024) Nominations Round-Up, Fall

    Due to the large number of nominees, not all titles are shown here. See the full list below.

    Each quarter, the Selected Lists teams compile the officially nominated titles to date. These titles have been suggested by the team or through the title suggestion form, read by multiple team members, and received approval to be designated an official nomination. At the end of the year, each team will choose the final list of nominations and determine the Selected List’s Top Ten from these titles. For brevity, we have not included official nominations of subsequent volumes in ongoing series in this round-up, only first volumes and standalone titles. Missed our Spring/Summer Round-Up? Check it out here.

    –Kelley Blue, GGN Coordinator

    Akane-banashi, vol. 1. By Yuki Suenaga. Art by Takamasa Moue. 2023. 200p. VIZ Media, paper, $9.99 (9781974736485). General Adult. 741.5952.

    Motivated by revenge, 17-year-old Akane sets out to conquer the world of rakugo, a traditional Japanese storytelling art.

    Ay, Mija! My Bilingual Summer in Mexico. By Christine Suggs. Art by the author. 2023. 336p. Little, Brown Ink, paper (9780316591928). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973/920.

    Christine recounts a summer trip to Mexico to visit extended family. As a biracial teen who doesn’t speak fluent Spanish, she grapples with faith, sexuality, body image, and cultural identity.

    Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon. By Steve Sheinkin. Art by Nick Bertozzi. 2023. 256p. Roaring Brook Press, paper, $17.99 (9781250206749). Gr. 4-6. 623.45119.

    A graphic adaptation of Sheinkin’s award-winning work of nonfiction, Bomb explores the history, intrigue, and impact of the race to build the world’s first atomic weapons.

    A Boy Named Rose. By Gaelle Greniller. Art by the author. 2023. 212p. Fairsquare Comics, paper, $29.99 (9798985927863). General Adult. 741.

    1920s Paris: Rose is a boy who wants to dance with the girls at Le Jardin, the cabaret owned by his mother.

    Break of Dawn. By Tetsuya Imai. Art by the author. 2023. 528p. Kodansha, paper, $22.99 (9781646518159). General Adult. 741.5952.

    In 2038, Yuma and his friends are embroiled in a space mission when his family’s robot is taken over by an alien ship in need of help.

    Brooms. By Jasmine Wells. Art by Teo. 2023. 248p. Levine Querido, paper, $18.99 (9781646142682). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

    In a 1930s infused with magic, broom racing is a sport for the privileged. Billie May, Loretta, and Cheng-Kwan compete in underground races, taking two young witches under their wings.

    Catwoman: Lonely City. By Cliff Chiang. Art by the author. 2022. 224p. DC Comics, hardcover, $29.99 (9781779516367). General Adult. 741.5973.

    Just out of prison, Selina Kyle sets out on one last, big score with her fellow Gotham villains, but the past won’t let Catwoman escape its claws.

    Clock Striker, vol. 1: I’m Gonna Be a Smith! By Issaka Galadima with Frederick L. Jones. Art by Issaka Galadima. 2023. 224p. Rockport Publishers, paper, $13.99 (9780760381571). Gr. 7-9. 741.5952.

    A new shonen-style adventure series about a young girl, Smith’s apprentice, in a world where science and engineering are used for combat.

    Codex Black, bk. 1: Fire Among Clouds. By Camilo Moncada Lozano. Art by the author. 2023. 320p. IDW, paper, $16.99 (9781684059591). Gr. 7-9. 741.5972.

    Itzcacalotl, a teen with wings, and Donaji, a teen with a god-possessed poncho, find themselves in a world of magic and adventure in Mesoamerica.

    The Cursed Princess Club, vol. 1. By LambCat. Art by the author. 2023. 288p. Webtoons Unscrolled, paper, $18.99 (9781990259791). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

    Beloved by her eccentric family, Princess Gwendolyn has never thought of herself as ugly, until her betrothed prince says she is. Enter the Cursed Princess Club!

    Daemons of the Shadow Realm, vol. 1. By Hiromu Arakawa. Art by the author. 2023. 208p. Square Enix Manga, paper, $12.99 (9781646091867). General Adult. 741.5952.

    Separated at birth, twins Yuru and Asa are unaware of their shared destiny: to rule over powerful daemons and save the world.

    Danger and Other Unknown Risks. By Ryan North. Art by Erica Henderson. 2023. 208p. Penguin Workshop, paper, $16.99 (9780593224847). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

    Marguerite and her talking dog Daisy are on a quest to save the world in this standalone sci-fi romp from the creators of Squirrel Girl.

    The Dog Knight, vol. 1. By Jeremy Whitley. Art by Bre Indigo. 2023. 224p. Feiwell & Friends, paper, $14.99 (9781250756725). Gr. 4-6. 741.5973.

    Nonbinary middle school student Frankie saves a dog from bullies and is given the chance to become The Dog Knight, a magical pact between humans and dogs.

    Dreamer: A Graphic Novel Memoir. By Akim Aliu and Greg Anderson Elysée. Art by Karen De la Vega. 2023. 128p. Graphix / Kaepernick Publishing, paper, $14.99 (9781338787603). Gr. 4-6. 741.5971/B.

    Former NHL player Akim Aliu recounts the difficult path he took in his youth to achieve his dream in a sport traditionally dominated by white players.

    Dreams, vol. 1: Visions of the Crow. By Wanda John-Kehewin. Art by Nicole Marie Burton and Kielamel Sibal. 2023. 80p. Highwater Press, paper, $21.95 (9781774920459). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

    High school senior Damon Quinn has a lot to feel angry about, and he doesn’t need a vision-causing crow following him around on top of everything else.

    The Faint of Heart. By Kerilynn Wilson. Art by the author. 2023. 304p. Greenwillow Books, paper, $18.99 (9780063116221). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

    If you could, would you remove your heart? Never feel stress, anger, fear or hurt? June has kept her heart and navigates a world where most have had it removed.

    Frontera. By Julio Anta. Art by Jacoby Salcedo. 2023. 240p. HarperAlley, paper, $18.99 (9780063054943). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

    After unfortunate events, Mateo must rely on a ghost he isn’t even sure exists to complete his journey across the Sonoran Desert to the United States.

    The Girl That Can’t Get a Girlfriend. By Mieri Hiranishi. Art by the author. 2023. 208p. VIZ Media, paper, $16.99 (9781974736591). General Adult. B.

    The artist details her journey entering the w/w dating scene, covering her first relationship and heartbreak in this humorous and reflective memoir.

    Goodbye, Eri. By Tatsuki Fujimoto. Art by the author. 2023. 208p. VIZ Media, paper, $12.99 (9781974738939). General Adult. 741.5952.

    Ostracized by his classmates after making an insensitive documentary film, Yuta contemplates suicide. He then meets Eri, a mysterious girl harboring secrets.

    Hidden Systems: Water, Electricity, the Internet, and the Secrets Behind the Systems We Use Every Day. By Dan Nott. Art by the illustrator. 2023. 272p. Random House Graphic, paper, $17.99 (9781984896049). Gr. 7-9. 509.

    An in-depth look at the technological, historical, and social aspects of water, electricity, and the Internet, demonstrating the urgent need for systems change.

    The Hills of Estrella Roja. By Ashley Robin Franklin. Art by the author. 2023. 400p. Clarion Books, paper, $21.99 (9780358567028). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

    Mari and Kat arrive in Estrella Roja for different reasons, and together they investigate the small town’s strange happenings, developing feelings for one another along the way.

    If You’ll Have Me. By Eunnie. Art by the author. 2023. 336p. Viking Books for Young Readers, paper, $17.99 (9780593403235). Gr. 10-12. 741.5973.

    Opposites attract when shy, sensitive college freshman Momo meets the cool, popular PG in this sapphic romance.

    The Lonesome Hunters, vol. 1. By Tyler Crook. Art by the author. 2023. 120p. Dark Horse Comics, paper, $19.99 (9781506731018). 741.5973.

    An old monster hunter and a young teen set out on a supernatural road trip together on a quest to destroy ancient evil forces.

    Is Love the Answer? By Uta Isaki. Art by the author. 2023. 256p. Kodansha, paper, $14.99 (9781646516490). General Adult. 741.5952.

    First year university student Chika explores the spectrum of asexual identities with the help of new friends, classmates, housemates, and old fashioned research.

    The Knight Blooms Behind the Castle Walls, vol. 1. By Masanari Yuduka. Art by the author. 2023. 162p. Seven Seas Entertainment, paper, $13.99 (9781638589563). 741.5952.

    Rose leaves her old life behind and takes on the role of squire in her quest to become a knight.

    Mage and the Endless Unknown. By SJ Miller. Art by the author. 2023. 152p. Iron Circus Comics, hardcover, $15.00 (9781638991199). General Adult. 741.5973.

    Delightful and fanciful turn dark and sinister in this mostly wordless graphic novel about a mage and their companion exploring different lands.

    Monstrous: A Transracial Adoption Story. By Sarah Myer. Art by the author. 2023. 272p. First Second, paper, $17.99 (9781250268808). Gr. 10-12. 302 / B.

    Korean-American transracial adoptee Sarah works through her anxiety, anger, and identity issues via the world of art and anime fandom.

    My Special One, vol. 1. By Momoka Koda. Art by the author. 2023. 200p. VIZ Media, paper, $9.99 (9781974736706). General Adult. 741.5952.

    All her friends are fangirls falling for pop idols but never Sahoko! Will that change when an idol wanders into her family’s restaurant?

    Night and Dana. By Anya Davidson. Art by the author. 2023. 240p. Graphic Universe, paper, $18.99 (9781728430362). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

    When horror-loving teens Dana and Lily go too far in a prank at school, they get assigned to a film class at a local community college.

    Northranger. By Rey Terciero. Art by Bre Indigo. 2023. 240p. HarperAlley, paper, $18.99 (9780063007383). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

    Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey meets American Gothic meets Heartstopper in this romantic and atmospheric retelling set in rural Texas.

    The Ojja-Wojja: A Horror Mystery, or Whatever. By Magdalene Visaggio. Art by Jenn St-Onge. 2023. 192p. HarperTeen, paper, $13.99 (9780062852427). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

    Best friends Val and Lanie dig too deep into their town’s folklore, unleashing an ancient demon. Now it’s up to them to save their community from certain destruction.

    The Out Side: Trans & Nonbinary Comics. By The Kao, Min Christiansen and David Daneman (editors). Various artists. 2023. 176p. Andrews McMeel Publishing, paper, $16.99 (9781524880125). General Adult. 741.

    A collection of mini-comics assembled by trans and nonbinary creators featuring vibrant and affirming autobiographical stories about identity.

    Paper Planes. By Jennie Wood. Art by Dozerdraw. 2023. 216p. Maverick, paper, $14.99 (9781952303548). Gr. 7-9. 741.5952.

    Two former friends are sent to camp after an incident at school. As the summer unfolds, will they be able to fix their relationship?

    Pearl of the Sea. By Anthony Silverson, Raffaella Delle Donne and Willem Samuel. Art by Willem Samuel. 2023. 168p. Catalyst Press, paper, $19.95 (9781946395740). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

    Pearl works many odd jobs to help her father. One day while diving in a restricted area, she befriends a sea creature with secrets.

    Poison Ivy, vol. 1: The Virtuous Cycle. By G. Willow Wilson. Art by Marcio Takara. 2023. 200p. DC Comics, hardcover, $24.99 (9781779518491). General Adult. 741.5973.

    Having lost most of her powers, Pamela Isley leaves Gotham and Harley Quinn behind in a quest for vengeance for herself and the planet Earth.

    The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich. By Deya Muniz. Art by the author. 2023. 256p. Little, Brown Ink, paper, $17.99 (9780316538725). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

    Lady Camembert disguises herself as a man in order to inherit her father’s title without marrying, but falling for beautiful activist Princess Brie wasn’t part of her plan.

    Project Nought. By Chelsea Furedi. Art by the author. 2023. 336p. Clarion Books, paper, $18.99 (9780358381693). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

    Teenager Ren is yanked forward in time to 2133 for a time travel exchange program where everything seems good… until it seems it isn’t.

    Roaming. By Mariko Tamaki. Art by Jillian Tamaki. 2023. 444p. Drawn & Quarterly, paper, $34.99 (9781770464339). General Adult. 741.5971.

    During their first year of college, high school friends Dani and Zoe meet up in NYC for a long-planned adventure, but Dani’s classmate Fiona interrupts their happy reunion.

    The Sea in You. By Jessi Sheron. Art by the author. 2023. 210p. Iron Circus, paper, $15.00 (9781638991113). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

    This modern graphic retelling of The Little Mermaid ventures into dark new waters while maintaining the timeless themes of transformation, empowerment, and true love.

    Season of the Bruja, vol. 1. By Aaron Durán. Art by Sara Soler. 2023. 128p. Oni Press, paper, $19.99 (9781549308161). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

    A young bruja works to keep paranormal beings and magic safe, but loses her mentor and grandmother to a religious sect determined to destroy her.

    Side Effects. By Ted Anderson. Art by Tara O’Connor. 2022. 112p. Aftershock Comics, paper, $17.99 (9781956731088). Gr. 9-12. 741.5952.

    Starting college is overwhelming for Hannah. When she begins a medication prescribed by the school psychologist, she ends up experiencing side effects best left in superhero comics.

    Stars in Their Eyes. By Jessica Walton. Art by Aśka. 2023. 224p. Graphix, paper, $15.99 (9781338818796). Gr. 7-9. 741.5973.

    Maisie, an above-the-knee amputee, meets Ollie at her first ever FanCon, and the two bond quickly over movies, shows, and comics.

    The Summer Hikaru Died, vol. 1. By Mokumokuren. Art by the author. 2023. 180p. Yen Press, paper, $15.00 (9781975360542). General Adult. 741.5952.

    High school student Yoshiki has an unsettling feeling about his lifelong friend Hiakaru. Though he looks, talks, and acts the same, Hikaru is not Hikaru anymore.

    Tegan and Sarah: Junior High. By Tegan Quin and Sara Quin. Art by Tillie Walden. 2023. 304p. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, paper, $14.99 (9780374313029). Gr. 4-6. 741.5971.

    A fictionalized version of twin musicians Tegan & Sara Quin’s early teen years, featuring new friends and new tests to the bonds of sisterhood.

    Tiger, Tiger, vol. 1. By Petra Erika Nordlund. Art by the author. 2023. 320p. Seven Seas Entertainment, paper, $19.99 (9781638584193). Gr. 10-12. 741.94897.

    Ludovica is a sheltered royal who yearns to study sea sponges, so she steals her brother’s identity and sets sail, though the high seas hold much more than she anticipated.

    True Beauty, vol. 1. By Yaongyi. Art by the author. 2022. 288p. Webstoon Unscrolled, paper, $18.99 (9781990259890). 741.5951.

    Jugyeong Lim navigates self-esteem and a love triangle through her love for (and reliance on) the art of makeup in the first print volume of this popular web series.

    Two Tribes. By Emily Bowen Cohen. Art by the author. 2023. 256p. Heartdrum, paper, $15.99 (9780062983589). Gr. 4-6. 741.5973.

    Mia is both Jewish and Muscogee, but living with her mom and stepfather means she only knows her Jewish heritage, so plans to secretly visit her father.

    Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun, vol. 1. By Osamu Nishi. Art by the author. 2023. 200p. Vertical Comics, paper, $12.95 (9781647292423). General Adult. 741.5952.

    After Iruma Suzuki’s parents sell his soul to a demon, he must do his best to survive high school in the underworld.

    Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2024) Featured Review: Miles Morales: Suspended by Jason Reynolds

    • Miles Morales Suspended: A Spider-Man Novel
    • by Jason Reynolds
    • Narrated by Guy Lockard and Nile Bullock
    • Simon and Schuster Audio
    • Publication Date: May 2, 2023
    • ISBN: 9781797145600

    Miles must serve a day of in-school suspension as a result of the events in the previous book, where he took down The Wardens and pushed back against his racist history teacher. It seems that his spidey sense is on the fritz again, but Miles is having trouble dodging his detention teacher and figuring out what is happening. Using his powers and sleuthing, Miles determines that super termites have begun attacking the school, specifically the history books with black and brown histories. While these evil termites must be stopped, Miles is going to need to find a way to do that without extending his suspension.

    Yet again, Jason Reynolds’s mastery elevates this superhero storyline and plays with the setting by reducing the timeline of events to one day. Narrators Lockard and Bullock expertly match Reynolds’s prowess by providing a layered audio reading of this story. The audible “bzzzs” and “whams” add to the superhero world and Miles’s voice shows how this story matters even beyond the Spiderverse. Even if bugs make you squeamish, this audiobook has so much more to offer. Both fans of superhero comics and Jason Reynolds’s other works will find something awesome in this title.

    -Sarah Carpenter

    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.

    Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2024) Featured Review: This Delicious Death by Kayla Cottingham

    • This Delicious Death
    • by Kayla Cottingham
    • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
    • Release date: April 25, 2023
    • ISBN: 9781728236445

    When melting ice-caps cause a new pathogen to be released into the world, an event called the Hollowing begins and those infected with the pathogen must consume human flesh or risk turning into a monster. Luckily, scientists are able to quickly create a synthetic meat allowing those infected with the pathogen to lead relatively-normal lives. All is going well until people start disappearing from a music festival. Can Zoey, Celeste and their friends figure out what is happening before the Hollowing takes them over? 

    Cottingham has crafted a novel that is equal parts terrifying and responsive to modern-day teen issues. Underneath the body horror there are currents of Covid-19 trauma, fear of global warming, and a queer-normative story. The book is fast paced and keeps readers engaged while meeting teens where they are.

    Teens who enjoy horror and thrillers with social commentary will like this book. Similar titles are The Getaway by Lamar Giles and The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson.

    Content warnings for: body horror and cannibalism.

    -Zoe Smolen

    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: https://bit.ly/BFYA24TeenFB

    Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2024) Featured Review: Northranger by Rey Terciero and Bre Indigo

    • Northranger
    • by Rey Terciero and Bre Indigo
    • HarperAlley
    • Publication Date: June 6, 2023
    • ISBN-13: 9780063007383

    Cade is just your average horror-loving, queer Texas teen who stays closeted in the face of his step-dad’s casual household homophobia and gender stereotyping.  When he has to help out on a ranch for the summer, sparks fly with the equally closeted rancher’s son Henry. Their budding friendship and romance is just one piece of a large web of truths that can’t be said out loud. The mystery surrounding the death of Henry’s mother threatens to tear them apart when Cade’s pre-disposure to translate the world through the eyes of a horror movie gets the best of him. 

    Indigo’s choice of sepia tones and shaded renderings of rural and urban Texas create a perfect mood for this contemporary gothic romance take on Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. Sibling squabbles, crushes, parent quarrels—all relationships—are depicted and conveyed with a surprising amount of nuance and depth within such a quick read. Teens will enjoy the tension and flow of these relationships, especially as they exist within Cade’s obsession with all things horror. Family connections, and learning to talk about uncomfortable subjects out loud, are the only things that might save the day in this wildly charming love story.

    Ideal for fans of Heartstopper and Bloom, the romance and real-life complications of Northranger are beautifully portrayed. This graphic will be equally appealing to teens who find the creepiness, mystery, and tension of gothic romance especially thrilling, or for anyone who enjoys horror tropes mixed with real life. Readers who enjoy Northranger may want to also want to check out The Hills of Estrella Roja by Ashley Robin Franklin. Finally, fans of Jane Austen’s original novel and of remixes in general will find a lot to love here.

    -M’issa Fleming

    Other Nominated Titles

    Release Date: January 10, 2023
    Release Date: May 9, 2023
    Release Date: June 20, 2023
    Release Date: August 29, 2023

    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.

    Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2024) Featured Review: Flowerheart by Catherine Bakewell

    • Flowerheart
    • by Catherine Bakewell
    • Narrated by Morag Sims
    • HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. | HarperTeen
    • Publication Date: March 14, 2023
    • ISBN: 9780063214651

    Clara has never been able to truly control her magic, and while it creates great inconveniences for her, it has never hurt anyone, until now. When her latest magical test fails miserably and those in charge threaten to bind her magic, Clara’s magic lashes out and curses her father. Clara must find a way to heal the flowers that are growing out of her father’s insides before she loses her magic and is unable to fix it. She finds an unlikely ally with her ex-best friend Xavier, who offers a deal that will benefit them both. 

    This fantasy blends unique magical abilities with an engaging plot that keeps readers discovering something new every step of the way. Morag Sims brings the whimsy of this book to light and her voice balances Clara’s sweetness with her magic’s sourness. While this audiobook is a comforting romp through a new magical world, it takes on mental health issues and anxiety in a gentle yet realistic way. It is a contemporary cousin to Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones and will also appeal to fans of A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer. This audiobook will delight high fantasy fans who love romance mixed in with their new magical worlds. 

    -Sarah Carpenter

    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.