Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2022) Nominations Round-Up, Fall

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

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. 

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Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2022) Featured Review of Things We Couldn’t Say by Jay Coles

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Things We Couldn’t Say by Jay Coles
Scholastic Press
Publication Date: September 21, 2021
ISBN: 978-1338734188

Gio’s life is complicated… not because he is bisexual. Not because of his father’s drinking problem. Gio’s life is complicated because his mother, who he has not seen or heard from in eight years, is back in town. She wants to meet and talk, but Gio is confused. Should he forgive her? Should he tell her that she gave up her chance to be in his life? Adding to Gio’s confusion is the attractive new boy that he meets in school. Are they friends? Or more than friends? There are no simple answers, but Gio is bound and determined to figure things out anyway.

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Spotlight on Pride!

Though COVID cases are declining in most of the country, many communities have again chosen to forego in-person Pride events this year. But even if can’t wave a flag and take to the streets, you can still celebrate all the LGBTQ+ representation in new and forthcoming YA titles. Here’s a veritable parade of books to ensure your collection gives voice to love in all its forms!

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No Way, They Were Gay? by Lee Wind
This collection combines primary sources and historical analysis to provide an in-depth look at prominent figures and their identities. Part of Queer History Project, No Way, They Were Gay? is out now from Zest Books, an imprint of Lerner.

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Out! How to Be Your Authentic Self by Miles McKenna
An Amazing Audiobooks nominee, this memoir / survival guide from YouTuber Miles McKenna is a generous and open-hearted handbook for kids everywhere. Full of resources and support, this book (out now from Amulet, an imprint of Abrams) is a must-have for LGBTQ+ teens and their allies.

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Loveless by Alice Oseman
From the creator of the beloved graphic novel series Heartstopper comes this novel about Georgia who starts to understand herself as asexual/aromantic once she gets to college. An excellent reminder of one of the least understood aspects of the LGBTQ+ community, Alice Oseman’s latest will be an important addition to your collection for older teens. It will publish in November from Scholastic.

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Things We Couldn’t Say by Jay Coles
This sophomore offering from rising star Jay Coles is also coming this fall from Scholastic. It introduces Gio, a queer Black kid navigating the complications of the sudden return of his birth mom after 8 years of absence as well as the ordinary but never easy reality of figuring out who you are and how you love.

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Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar
In this novel, Bangladeshi and Irish writer Jaigirdar introduces Hani who tries to come out to her friends as bisexual . . . but they doubt her because she’s only dated boys before. Under pressure to prove it, she lies and says she’s dating Ishu, the only other Bengali kid in their year. Released in May from Page Street, Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating tackles toxic friendships, racism, and relationships.

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The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag
For fans of the graphic novel, Molly Knox Ostertag’s latest was released at the beginning of the month and is already being lauded as a beautiful and emotional story. After being saved from drowning by Keltie, Morgan faces her unexpected and growing feelings for the girl from the sea. She and Keltie begin a summer romance, but Morgan feels she must keep it a secret. Teens will identify with Morgan’s uncertainty in this lovely coming of age story.

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The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer
Fans of science fiction will rejoice at Eliot Schrefer’s latest (released June 1 from Katherine Tegan Books) featuring two boys who find themselves alone, together on a space ship. Sworn enemies, they realize they must work together to survive and accomplish their mission. Their trust quickly turns to something more as this mystery plus love story unfolds.

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Pumpkin by Julie Murphy
Julie Murphy’s back, this time bringing us Waylon Russell Brewer who can’t wait to escape his small town in West Texas. Waylon is white and fat and openly gay, and after his audition tape for a TV drag show gets circulated at school, he ends up running for prom queen. If you loved Murphy’s Dumplin’, you’ll find the same humor and charm here along with another healthy does of disruption to stereotypical beauty standards. Available now from Balzer + Bray.

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Love & Other Natural Disasters by Misa Sugiura
Is this a new trope: Fake lovers to real ones? Sugiura has brought us a fun summer romance that starts as a plan to invoke jealousy. Nozomi thinks Willow is perfect, even though she knows Willow’s not over her ex. Seizing the opportunity to be close to her, Nozomi agrees to pose as Willow’s new girlfriend and hopes to see fake love turn into true love. Released in early June, this one is sure to be a delightful summer read.

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All Kinds of Other by James Sie
Jules and Jack are both new sophomores in their Los Angeles high school. Both have come from painful freshman years at their old schools, and both are looking to make a new start. When they meet, their commonalities turn to sparks, and they have to face hard decisions about who they want to be and who they want to be with.

#BFYA2019 Nominees Round Up, August 10 Edition

Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert
Hyperion Books
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
ISBN: 9781484726020

Danny Cheng knows what his future holds- a scholarship to RISD and a career as an artist, with the complete support of his parents. When Danny’s father loses his job as a scientist and inexplicably takes a job as a security guard instead, Danny starts digging into his parents’ past, hoping to learn more about their journey from China, and the death of his older sister before he was born.

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#AA2019 Nominees Round Up, June 13 Edition

Tyler Johnson was Here by Jay Coles, narrated by Jaqwan J. Kelly
Audio Published By Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication Date: March 20, 2018
ISBN: 9781549197277

Marvin and Tyler are twin brothers. Tyler has started to hang out with drug dealers, so Marvin follows him to a party to keep Tyler out of trouble. When police break up the party, Tyler and Marvin are separated. Marvin begins to search for Tyler when he doesn’t come home. Tyler was shot by the police after the party, but it takes Marvin several days to track Tyler down. After losing his brother, Marvin starts on a journey to discover who he is, what justice means, and the complications of surviving high school when your brother is a hashtag.

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#QP2019 Nominees Round Up, April 10 Edition

Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers / Hachette
Publication Date: March 20, 2018
ISBN:  978-0316440776 

Marvin’s twin brother, Tyler, goes missing after a party and is later found shot and killed. A video surfaces that shows Tyler being shot three times as a victim of police brutality…prompting Marvin to find ways to speak up and resist.

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