Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney HarperCollins / HarperTeen Publication Date: May 4, 2021 ISBN: 978-0063024793
Quinn, a wealthy Black high school senior at a predominantly white private school in Austin, TX, keeps deeply personal lists in her journal, like “If I Could Kiss Anyone,” and “Things That I Would Never Admit Out Loud.” When a mixup with Carter, one of the few other Black students in school, results in Quinn’s journal being held by anonymous blackmailers who threaten to post her most humiliating lists on social media unless she completes her “To Do Before I Graduate” list (including confessing her love to her best friend, admitting she didn’t get into the Ivy League school her parents think she did, and finally visiting her grandma with dementia), Carter offers to help Quinn complete the items on her list and find the blackmailers.
Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon; narrated by Joniece Abbott-Pratt, A.J. Beckles, Jordan Cobb, Dion Graham, Imani Parks, Shayna Small, and Bahni Turpin Quill Tree Books Publication date: June 22, 2021 ISBN: 9780063088122
Blackout subtly weaves six unique novellas featuring Black characters by six Black authors into one connected story in New York City during a summer blackout. Tiffany D. Jackson’s story focuses on exes Tammie and Kareem who run into each other at the same summer internship opportunity. Nic Stone’s contribution is a queer male/male love story about Tremaine and JJ. Ashley Woodfolk tells a cute sapphic romance between Joss and Nella that takes place at a senior living facility. Dhonielle Clayton tackles a friends-to-lovers romance in the New York Public Library. Angie Thomas tells of a love triangle with some emotional baggage. Nicola Yoon’s meet cute of Seymour and Grace is a heartwarming end to this high-interest book about Black Love.
Some Girls Do by Jennifer Dugan; narrated by Nora Hunter & Bailey Carr Penguin Random House Published: May 18, 2021 ISBN: 9780593397862
After track star Morgan is kicked out of her religious school for being queer, she wants a fresh, proud, start. However she finds that being openly queer and an elite athlete can be a complicated mix. All Ruby wants is to fix cars, but her overbearing mother has pageant dreams for her. When the two find their feelings growing they must contend with the dynamics of a relationship where only one person is out.
Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean, narrated by Ali Ahn Macmillan Audio Release date: May 17, 2021 ISBN: 978-1250804167
First book of the Tokyo Ever After series, the story begins with a report from a newspaper about an unnamed princess. Juxtaposed between each news article, Izumi struggles with the “cultural punches” of beauty standards, not knowing her father, and being a unilingual Pan-Asian. When her friend Nora accidentally stumbles across a scrapbook with a name, Izumi has to decide whether she wants to learn more about her father, her father’s family, and herself.
Noelle:The Mean Girl by Ashley Woodfolk Penguin Workshop/ Penguin Random House Publication Date: March 9, 2021 ISBN: 978-0593096079
Noelle is losing control of her life. First, she has a crush on her friend Tobyn. Next, her younger brother Pierre keeps getting beat up. Then when her father loses his job, she decides to work more hours at her grandparent’s Chinese restaurant, an obligation which interferes with school and practicing her cello for the upcoming showcase. Can Noelle figure out how to handle all of these changes without letting her temper get the best of her and lashing out at those who love her most?
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You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson Scholastic Inc. Publication Date: June 2, 2020 ISBN: 9781338503265
Liz is an awkward senior in high school who gets good grades, plays in the school band and has a small group of friends, but she has always felt different. Liz is poor, Black, queer, has anxiety, and is far from being part of the in-crowd. She dreams of going to college, but when money she was counting on falls through she must step far outside of her comfort zone in order to win a scholarship by running for Prom queen. And in this small town, Prom is serious business. She is thrust into the spotlight, has to spend time with an old frenemy, and falls for the competition.
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.
Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron Bloomsbury YA Publication Date: July 7, 2020 ISBN: 978-1547603879
Two hundred years after Cinderella gets her “happily ever after,” not much has changed in Sophia’s village. Every eligible maiden is required to attend an annual ball, after which they are either chosen by a suitor or never seen again. Headstrong Sophia would much prefer to marry her childhood friend Erin, but either way she has no intention of marrying the first man who claims her. While fleeing the ball, she discovers Cinderella’s last remaining descendant, Constance, and together they devise a plan to tear down the carefully built patriarchy that imprisons them.
Click here to see all of the current Amazing Audiobooks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.
You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson; narrated by Alaska Jackson Scholastic Audio Publication Date: June 2, 2020 ISBN: 978-1338637625
Liz Lighty can’t wait to go to college and get away from her small town, where she has never felt like she belongs. She has always felt judged by her white, wealthier peers, and she has spent most of high school trying to stay under the radar. When she has problems getting financial aid, Liz decides to run for prom queen because she knows the winner gets a scholarship. Her friends help her campaign, pushing her way out of her comfort zone, and things get even more difficult when she starts to fall for the new girl, Mack, who is also running for prom queen.