When I get ready for a trip, I often look to literature to get me in the mood to journey to a new locale. For those of you heading to ALA in New Orleans in June, there are several young adult novels that you might want to read before your travels to get a little taste of New Orleans.
Who says the little man can’t make waves? No one in the book business can say it, just ask the We Need Diverse Books movement. With every new year comes new authors and with 2016 we are seeing not only debuts of color but characters of color. Below is a list of YA debut authors of color and books from debuts that feature characters of color.
Debut Authors of Color
- Roshani Chokshi — The Star Touched Queen
Inspired by Indian Mythology, Maya’s future life of love is cursed with death. When Maya is forced to marry for political reasons, her new reign as the queen of Akaran soon becomes marked with magic and mystery.
- Mia Garcia — Even if the Sky Falls
Seeking a change and a little adventure, Julie travels to New Orleans with her youth group to build houses. When she doesn’t find the change she so desperately needs with her group, she sets out on her own to discover the city when she meets and falls in love with Miles.
- Rahul Kanakia — Enter Title Here
Reshma is a high school senior and has made it her mission in life to get into Stanford. When a literary agents seeks her out to write a novel, Reshma soon realizes that no one wants to read about a boring over achiever so she sets out to live the life of the average teenager. Reshma discovers that there’s more to life than studying.
- Bethany C. Morrow — The Last Life of Avrilis
In this steampunk debut, Avrilis changes history and saves a life that she shouldn’t have saved and she finds herself a fugitive in two different worlds.
- Jenn P. Nguyen — The Way to Game the Walk of Shame
Taylor’s rep goes from ice queen to the girl who gets around when she’s found drunk and in the bed of the school’s bad boy. In order to reclaim her good rep, she convinces the bad boy to pretend to be her boyfriend and not just another notch on his belt.
- Lygia Penaflor — Unscripted Joss Byrd
Joss Byrd is just trying to please a demanding director and an overbearing mother in the glamorous world that is Hollywood.
- Randi Pink — Into White
Latoya Williams is a black girl in an all white school and makes a wish to make her life easier and to be white. Find out what happens when Latoya’s wish comes true.
- Riley Reigate — Seven Ways We Lie
Paloma High School is shrouded with rumors of a teacher student relationship and everyone begins to find someone to blame.
- Evelyn Skye — The Crown’s Game
Vika and Nikolai are enchanters and they are being sought by the Ottoman Empire for political gain. In order to find the best enchanters, the Tsar announces a duel where the losers must die. Vika and Nikolai see this as an opportunity of varied reasons but what will happen when they fall in love knowing that they both can’t survive?
- Traci Chee — The Reader
After the murder of Sefia’s parents, she’s sent to live with her aunt until her aunt is taken. Armed with survival and combat skills, Sefia sets out to find her aunt and the answers surrounding her father’s murder.
Set in Victorian London, Rose sets out to find her missing sister and discovers that they both might possess special powers.