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.
Amari and the Night Brothers. By B.B. Alston. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (9780062975164).
Amari’s brother Quinton has disappeared, and her only hope of finding him is to follow in his footsteps and become a Junior Agent with the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs.
Amber and Clay. By Laura Amy Schlitz. Candlewick Press, $22.99 (9781536201222).
In ancient Greece, two unlikely friends Rhaskos and Melisto find their lives intertwined in a search for freedom and purpose. As a ghost bound to Rhaskos, Melisto must help free him before she can find her own rest in the Halls of Hades.
Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo Penguin Random House / Dutton Books Publication Date: January 19, 2021 ISBN: 978-0525555254
17-year-old Chinese American Lily Hu has always felt a little bit different. Growing up in San Francisco’s Chinatown provides Lily with a sense of community, but the strict social mores of 1954 frequently leave her feeling stifled in ways she can’t quite put her finger on. Even more confusing for Lily is her new preoccupation with an advertisement she has stumbled upon featuring a male impersonator at the Telegraph Club. When she accidentally drops the ad in front of her white friend Kath, she’s shocked when Kath tells her that she’s been before and would be willing to go again with Lily. When Lily finally visits the Telegraph Club with Kath, she discovers not only that lesbian women exist outside of pulpy thrillers, but that she might be one.
Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House Publication Date: May 4, 2021 ISBN: 978-1524740986
17-year-old British-Chinese acrobat Valora Luck has a plan. The first thing she needs to do is find a way to get aboard the Titanic where her twin brother is working. Once she finds him, she’ll need to convince him to perform with her again so that the two of them can impress a business partner from the Ringling Brothers Circus and become the next big act, a job they’ll need if they are to find a way around the Chinese Exclusion Act in America.
The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur Macmillan / Feiwel and Friends Publication Date: April 20, 2021 ISBN: 978-1250229588
Five years ago, Hwani and her sister Maewol got lost in the forest and were later found unconscious, just a few paces away from the apparent suicide of a young woman. Then Hwani’s father, Detective Min, disappears in the same area, and Hwani returns to the hometown they left after the incident, following cryptic clues in her father’s journal that seem to connect the Forest Incident–as it came to be called–with the recent disappearance of thirteen girls. As she reconnects with her estranged sister and doggedly follows in the footsteps of her father’s investigation, lost memories begin to bubble to the surface — memories that someone else would like to see buried forever.
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.
Love from A to Z by S. K. Ali Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster Publication Date: April 30, 2019 ISBN: 978-1534442726
Zayneb and Adam and their similar fascinations with marvels and oddities are serendipitously thrown together when they both visit Doha during their spring break. Zayneb is visiting after an unfortunate note she writes about her Islamaphobic teacher is found, and Adam is returning home after finding out he has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which his mother died from when he was young.
It was pretty much inevitable that I would become a Hamilton addict. As both an American history nerd and a musical theatre geek, I found Lin-Manuel Miranda’s brilliant musical exploring the story of Alexander Hamilton and the founding of the United States irresistible from the moment I first listened to the opening number. However, my love of Hamilton comes not only from Miranda’s incredibly well-crafted soundtrack and book but also from his clear interest in highlighting perspectives often left out of the historical record, including the voices and experiences of women.
Obviously, I am not the first to notice this; articles like Michael Schulman’s “The Women of Hamilton“ and Constance Gibbs’ “How the Hero of Hamilton the Musical is a Woman” explore the powerful ways that Miranda’s writing and the performances of Phillipa Soo, Renee Elise Goldsberry, and Jasmine Cephas Jones illuminate the often unacknowledged perspectives, experiences, and contributions of women in our history. Singing along to songs like “The Schuyler Sisters,” “Satisfied,” and “Burn,” I can’t help but feel the urge to read some great historical fiction that places women and their stories in the spotlight.
On the Schedule at a Glance in the Symposium’s program, Saturday’s list of events included a “Book Blitz” from 5:00-7:00 p.m. The only information about this event were a few pages in the program dedicated to Book Blitz Author Bios and a small box that stated: Each attendee will receive 6 tickets to exchange with these authors for free signed books!
Symposium veterans knew what to expect from the Blitz, but newcomers could be heard Friday evening and Saturday afternoon pondering, “What is this Book Blitz all about?”
This tweet from attendee Lauren Regenhardt sums up the experience pretty well:
Hunger Games: Librarian style – stick 25 authors, free books, and 300 people in one room. #yalsa15
Avasthi: It was actually Little House on the Prairie, while she was not white, personality-wise she felt akin to Laura. She felt conflicted when reading it though because at the time there was no difference when it came to identifying Native Americans and Indians. Did that mean she was a savage? In her twenties she found Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, and she feels that this was really her first mirror book and it taught her that there doesn’t need to be just one experience.
Gregorio: For her it was In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord. The character was the same as her, but the experiences was not hers. The main character was a first generation immigrant, and she was a second generation immigrant who grew up in upstate New York. When she read The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan in college, it was then that she found a book much closer to her experience as second generation immigrant. This shows how much diversity is needed in diverse fiction. There are multiple stories and different experiences.
Fonda Lee: She read lots of sci-fi and fantasy, which was greatly lacking diversity. The Sign of the Chrysanthemum by Katherine Paterson was the first Asian character she read. Years later she drew inspiration from reading Eon and Eona by Alison Goodman, since it was a great example of fantasy drawing from other cultures. Continue reading 2015 Young Adult Services Symposium: Diverse Teen Fiction