In the world of Reina del Sol, the Sun’s power must be recharged every decade in order to continue traveling the skies and keeping the evil Obsidian gods at bay. Sol selects ten semidioses (children of the gods) to compete in the Sunbearer Trials: the winner will carry light to the Sol temple and the loser of the Trials will sacrifice themselves. Teo, the 17 year old semidiós child of the god of birds, is preparing to observe the coming Trials. Since he is the child of a lesser Jade god, he isn’t worried about being chosen by Sol to compete. His best friend Niya however, is a Gold semidiós and a sure bet as a competitor this year. But when Sol selects not one but two Jade semidioses to compete with the Golds in the Trials, things get complicated for Teo. Beyond the strange choices for competitors, something seems off during the Trials. Can he manage to keep from being at the bottom of the rankings during the Trials? And can he help Xio, the newly turned 13-year-old semidiós child of the god of bad luck?
Each quarter, the Selected Lists teams compile the titles that have been officially nominated to date. These are titles that 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.
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Between Perfect and Real. By Ray Stoeve. Read by MW Cartozian Wilson. Recorded Books, LLC/Recorded Books, Inc., $70 (9781705028339).
Dean is a trans guy struggling with coming out to his friends and family. Exploring the internet and joining community groups allows him to more clearly define himself while acting as Romeo in a play helps his self discovery. Wilson’s voice is well matched and he skillfully narrates this emotional story.
Black Girl, Call Home. By Jasmine Mans. Read by Jasmine Mans. Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group/Penguin Audio, $22.80 (9780593346884).
Mans calls herself and other Black girls home in this love letter and essential companion to girls and women on a journey to find truth, belonging, and healing. Mans narrates this powerful and painful collection with many poems read and produced in unique ways.
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.
Lost in the Never Woodsby Aiden Thomas; narrated by Avi Roque Macmillan Audio Release date: March 22, 2021 ISBN: 9781250779557
Wendy Darling can’t escape her past, even though she remembers nothing about it. She and her brothers disappeared into the woods five years ago, and Wendy was the only one who came out. Now, children are disappearing again, and Wendy almost ran over a strange boy with her truck. He says that Wendy is the only person who can help him save the missing children, and Wendy wants to help, but doing so will mean stirring up old secrets, secrets her mind has kept hidden.
American Betiya by Anuradha D. Rajurkar Random House / Alfred A. Knopf Publication Date: March 9, 2021 ISBN: 978-1984897152
When Rani meets Oliver, sparks fly. Unfortunately, he is her Indian parents’ worst nightmare. As their relationship deepens, Rani finds herself breaking all the rules to be with Oliver, rejecting her parents’ ideas of propriety in the name of love. Sure, Oliver tends to romanticize her culture as “exotic” and he has expectations she doesn’t always feel comfortable with, but all relationships require compromise and sacrifice, right? When an unexpected family emergency takes Rani away to her family’s home in Pune, India for the summer, she must decide how much she is really willing to give up to be what Oliver needs.
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.
Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh Dutton Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House Publication Date: September 22, 2020 ISBN: 978-0525556206
In the Igbo language, “Ada means first daughter, means oldest girl, means pressure, means you do as expected, to do a lot of things you don’t want to do because the honor of this family rests on your back.” Ada’s story unfolds in vignettes from different time periods in her life, as she searches to find her true self despite the expectations placed upon her by others.
Click here to see all of the current Amazing Audiobooks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas; narrated by Avi Roque Macmillan Audio Publication date: September 1, 2020 ISBN: 9781250619129
Yadriel grew up in a cemetery with his magical Latinx family. After they deny him the rite of passage to become a true brujo because he is transgendered, Yadriel undertakes the magical ceremony in secret with his best friend Maritza. During the successful rite, Yadriel accidentally summons the ghost of Julian, a local bad boy he knows from around school. Julian is set on making sure his friends are okay before his ghost moves on, and Yadriel wants to find out what happened to his cousin who was killed the same night. As they search for answers, and Yadriel gives Julian the last day on Earth that he wants, Yadriel and Julian manage to fall in love, as well solve the mysteries surrounding his death.