I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend BEA (Book Expo America) this week in NYC since I live in NJ. BEA will be held in Chicago next year, so I think this is the last time I’ll be going for a long time. I thought I would help those of you out who are going – or not going – by highlighting some of the diverse YA books available as ARCs that you might want to be on the lookout for. The need for more diversity in youth literature is ongoing, led largely by the We Need Diverse Books campaign. The following list of books and their descriptions are taken directly from SLJ’s BEA Guide to ARCs & Signings.
Lizard Radio by Pat Schmatz (Candlewick, 9/8/15, ages 14 & up)
In a futuristic society run by an all-powerful Gov, a bender teen on the cusp of adulthood has choices to make that will change her life – and maybe the world by the author of Blue Fish.
The Bamboo Sword by Margi Preus. (Abrams, 9/15/15, ages 10-14)
This is a companion book to Preus’s 2011 Newbery Honor Book Heart of a Samurai. In 1853 in Japan, Yoshi, a Japanese boy who dreams of someday becoming a samurai is taken up by Manjiro and becomes his servant and secret watchdog. Meanwhile, Jack, a cabin boy on Commodore Matthew Perry’s USS Susquehanna, becomes separated from his American companions while on shore. When he and Yoshi cross paths, they set out on a grand adventure to get Jack back to his ship before he is discovered by the shogun’s samurai.
A Step Towards Falling by Cammie McGovern (HarperCollins, 10/13/15, ages14-17)
Sometimes the worst thing you can do is nothing at all. This honest and heartfelt novel by the author of Say What You Will follows a disabled young adult who is attacked and a fellow student who witnessed the crime but failed to act.
Not if I See You First by Eric Lindstrom (Little, Brown; 12/1/15, ages 15-18)
Parker Grant is a junior in high school who loves to run, has great friends, and isn’t afraid to speak her mind – especially when it comes to how stupid some people can be around a blind person like her. The only topic to avoid is how Parker feels about the boy who broke her heart in eighth grade…who has just transferred to her school. And as long as she can keep giving herself gold stars for every day she hasn’t cried since her dad’s death three months ago, she’ll be just fine. Right?
Soundless by Richelle Mead (Pengiun Young Readers, 11/10/15, ages 12 & up)
Fei is from a village where there is no sound. When suddenly the villagers begin to lose their sight and their source of food, Fei, who can suddenly hear, has to save her village from darkness and starvation. Continue reading Diverse YA Books from BEA