Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
This novel is pure science fiction joy. The cast is quirky and very funny, the plot is fast moving and cleverly built, and the aliens are believable.
Black Enough edited by Ibi Zoboi
Incredible authors come together to create an anthology that is very impressive. The interplay of the stories as edited by Zoboi makes for a fascinating journey through the various facets and aspects of being an African-American teen.
Butterfly Yellow by Thanhha Lai
Painful and traumatic, this book is filled with sweat, work and more than a little love.
Dig by A. S. King
A great teen novel full of depth with a strong voice and a definitely point of view.
The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee
A superb historical novel that looks at race, gender and America.
A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
I approach every retelling of a fairy tale with trepidation. There are few that can really transform the tale into something new and fresh. Kemmerer does exactly that with her retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
Skillful and haunting, this look at Spain’s history is vivid and unflinching.
Frankly in Love by David Yoon
Yoon has created one of the hottest YA titles of the fall. To my delight, it’s popular for a reason.
The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
This is a complex teen novel filled with engaging characters who all are distinct from one another and enticing to spend time with. She has included all sorts of diversity in her characters, including neurodiversity, bisexuality, and racial diversity.
Gravity by Sarah Deming
A gripping, feminist sports novel that will grab readers and not let them go.
How It Feels to Float by Helena Fox
This is a remarkable debut novel. Set in Australia, the book explores mental illness with a tenderness that is haunting.
Hungry Hearts edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond
More than a simple collection of short stories, these short stories are beautifully connected to one another.
The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake
Beautiful, powerful and full of feeling, this book is amazing.
Lovely War by Julie Berry
An incredible piece of historical fiction. This is one of the best of the year.
The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen
A great new voice in YA fantasy, this novel is dark, bloody and compelling.
Mike by Andrew Norriss
A fresh sports novel filled with fish, invisible friends, and frankness.
Pet by Akwaeke Emezi
Wow. What a book! The voice here is what hits you first, unique and strong, it speaks in a Nigerian-laced rhythm that creates its own magic immediately. Add in the power of Jam herself, a black, trans girl who often chooses not to speak aloud but with sign language.
Redwood and Ponytail by K.A. Holt
I love any LGBTQIA+ book for teens that allows love to win in the end. This book is full of hope, brimming with acceptance even as it explores having family members who don’t understand.
Slay by Brittney Morris
A brilliant video game book that celebrates being black and the many dimensions that brings.
The Things She’s Seen by Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina
Unusual and incredibly powerful and moving, this genre-bending novel is one of a kind.
Watch Us Rise by Renee Watson and Ellen Hagan
Powerful and engaging, this feminist read is written with strength and conviction.
We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett
Bartlett weaves fantasy with a military story line that really creates something special on the page.
We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
Latinx, LGBTQ love, political intrigue, and a vivid fantasy world come together to make an impressive teen read.
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
In this novel, Acevedo gifts us with a story in prose where you can see her skill as a poet shining through often, taking words and making them dazzling.