Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2023) Featured Review of Other Boys by Damian Alexander

Other Boys by Damien Alexander
First Second
Publication Date: September 28, 2021
ISBN: 9781250222824

Damien is a gay seventh grader at a new school accustomed to being bullied for not being like “other boys.” His home life is less than ideal, and he has always experienced bullying from family and classmates because of the things he enjoys that are considered “girly,” like dolls. He also prefers the company of girls, which makes other boys target him for bullying even more so. Things only become more confusing for Damian when he begins having crushes on boys, even though they’re almost all mean to him.

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Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2023) Featured Review of You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao

You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao
Narrated by Soneela Nankani
Macmillan Audio
Publication Date: November 9, 2021
ISBN: 9781250820822

After the death of her boyfriend, Sam, Julie is left reeling. Then she finds a message from Sam in her yearbook and all she wants to do is hear his voice. Out of desperation, she calls his number, hoping to get his voicemail, but…he picks up. Julie doesn’t understand how it works, but all she knows is that she can speak to Sam again in a connection that extends past the realm of the living. As time goes on, Julie finds it more challenging than ever to let go.

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus

You’ll Be The Death of Me
by Karen M. McManus
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Imprint: Delacorte Press
Release date: November 30, 2021
ISBN: 9780593175866

Ivy, Mateo, and Cal used to be best friends in middle school. Now estranged 11th graders, they come across each other and decide to skip school to relive ‘the best day ever’ from middle school. However, what began as a fun ditch day, quickly turns into real life danger – far beyond the walls of high school – and with real life consequences.

This mystery  begins with the cover itself and the plot is dramatic and includes a gossipy nature.  While the immediate mystery of the day deepens, so does the backstory of family relationships and secrets among these former friends. Chapters are short with alternating voices and the pace stays fast and intensifies as more secrets are uncovered.

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Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2023) Featured Review of I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston
St. Martin’s Publishing
Publication Date: May 3, 2022
ISBN: 9781250244451

At the beginning of her freshman year, Chloe Green and her moms move from California to small town Alabama. Although it is not her scene, Chloe enrolls at Willowgrove Christian Academy which has excellent academics. There she is able to find her people through the drama club plus an academic rival in golden girl, Shara Wheeler – who disappears on senior prom night. Chloe and two unlikely allies, Smith, Shara’s boyfriend, and Rory, Shara’s neighbor, embark on a mission to find her before graduation. They must succeed, otherwise Chloe’s near certain valedictory triumph will ring hollow. Includes an author note at the beginning with content warnings of religious trauma and homophobia.

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2023) Featured Review of Mister Miracle by Varian Johnson and Daniel Isles

Mister Miracle: the Great Escape by Varian Johnson and Daniel Isles
DC Comics
Publication Date: January 25, 2022
ISBN: 9781779501257

Scott Free, an orphan raised at the Goodness Academy on the abysmal world known as Apokolips, is making plans to escape to Earth. Unfortunately, he has caught the attention of Granny Goodness and her Female Furies, specifically their new leader, Big Barda. However, against all the odds, Scott and Barda find common ground and their friendship turns into a romance. This new relationship is put to the test as Scott’s escape plan becomes more urgent, and both teenagers’ secrets are revealed. To accomplish the impossible, Scott will have to live up to his nickname, Mister Miracle. 

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Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2023) Featured Review of Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao
Narrated by Rong Fu
PRH Canada Young Readers
Publication Date: September 20, 2021
ISBN: 9780735269972

Humans in Huaxia are constantly under attack from Hunduns, giant bug-like aliens. Humanity has created two-pilot robot war machines known as Chrysalises in order to protect themselves.  Boys dream of the chance to pilot a Chrysalis in order to find fame and honor. Girls, on the other hand, are either married off or serve as concubine co-pilots for Chrysalises. Concubine-pilots rarely survive a Hundun battle. Zetian joins Chrysalis training to avenge her older sister who was murdered by a Chrysalis pilot. She shocks the world by not only surviving her first battle, but taking full control of the Chrysalis on her own, an impossible task without the qi energy of both a male and female pilot. Zetian is then paired with the strongest pilot in the fleet: former prisoner Li Shimin. If Zetian wants to dismantle the Chrysalis system and stop the sacrifice of innocent girls, she will have to work with her new partner alongside help from her secret love interest, Yizhi, all while fooling eagle-eyed government officials and battling aliens.

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of You’d Be Home Now by Kathleen Glasgow

You’d Be Home Now
by Kathleen Glasgow
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Imprint: Delacorte Press
Release date: September 28, 2021
ISBN: 9780525708049

Emory is lucky. She survived the car crash that killed the super popular Candy MontClair and provided the impetus for Emory’s older brother, Joey, to be shipped off to a rehab program in Colorado. Now left with physical and emotional scars from the trauma, Emory is trying to recover even as her mother places more responsibility on her to regulate the newly returned Joey’s behavior. Feeling unseen leaves Emory vulnerable to manipulation by her crush while weighing her down by the fear that her failures could be the cause of Joey’s relapse.

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Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2023) Featured Review of Loveless by Alice Oseman

Loveless by Alice Oseman
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication Date: March 1, 2022
ISBN: 9781338751932

White, British, romcom-loving teen Georgia has always been told that she would eventually find someone she would be attracted to, but Georgia is tired of waiting. For her first year at university, she is determined to find someone that she likes in that way. But after a few revelations, it starts to become clear to Georgia that attraction doesn’t work the same way for her as it seems to for everyone else. Good thing she has some amazing friends to help her figure things out.

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The 2021 Hub Challenge Has Arrived!

Here it is: The Hub Reading Challenge for 2021!

This year, we encourage readers to get involved at whatever level they prefer. You can aim for traditional BINGO with five in a row, or you can take on one of the bigger goals! From reading with a tissue box to laughing out loud, this year’s challenge covers a lot of ground, and it gives you the chance to read along with our Selected Lists team members. As you read new YA this year, we hope you are discovering titles that would make a great fit on the Amazing Audiobooks, Best Fiction for Young Adults, Great Graphic Novels, or Quick Picks nomination lists. When you do, we want to hear about it, so grab the field nomination form (available at the bottom of each week’s posts) and make a suggestion! When you do, you’ll be sharing the love AND earning a spot on this year’s BINGO board!

Most of the spots are self-explanatory, but we’ll make sure to highlight a few each time we check in, and if you have questions, there’s a spot for those in the sign-up form.

Click the download button below to get a PDF of the bingo board. Our first check-in will be next month, so get started!

Introducing Your 2022 Great Graphic Novels for Teens Team

Hello! I’m Crystal Chen, and I’m serving my second year as the Coordinator for the 2022 Great Graphic Novels for Teens Blogging Team. In my daily life, I work as a Young Adult Librarian out of a Bronx branch of The New York Public Library. I live in Brooklyn with one cat and lots of cacti.

The 2022 Great Graphic Novels team is gearing up to create another outstanding list of comics for teen readers ages 12 to 18 (check out our 2021 list!). We want our list to reflect the rich diversity of the teen experience and engage readers from all backgrounds, and we’re looking for books with strong writing and seamlessly integrated artwork that conveys clear visual flow and meaning. For Great Graphic Novels, we consider teen titles (and adult titles with strong teen appeal) that are published between September 1, 2020, through December 31, 2021. If you wish to recommend a comic for committee consideration, please fill out this field nomination form (note that neither publishers nor authors may nominate their own titles).

Great Graphic Novels team members work together to discover, nominate, and second books; review field nominations; write blog posts and annotations; log internal ratings and reviews; and attend monthly to biweekly virtual discussion meetings. Consistent participation is encouraged and members are required to read nominated titles before casting a vote. Final decisions are made in December, including naming a top ten list. Great Graphic Novels generally reviews 100-200 titles per year and considers books in a series as well as standalone titles.


The #GGNT2022 team is made up of 14 YALSA members from different types of library settings and backgrounds all over the country. They are:

  • Becky Proie, PA
  • Cyndi Hamann, IL
  • Dakota Hall, IN
  • Denise Farley, GA
  • Kacy Helwick, LA
  • Kathleen Barker, MI
  • Kelley Blue, ME
  • Kiera Vargas, KY
  • Mitzi Mack, FL
  • Rachel Johannigmeier, MO
  • Shaira Rock, IL
  • Traci Glass, NE
  • Dana Hutchins, Admin Assistant, TX

We look forward to getting started this year and reading some new and fantastic comics. If you have any questions, please feel free to email crystalchen@nypl.org

—Crystal Chen (she/her)

2022 Great Graphic Novels for Teens Coordinator