19 New August YA Books to Wake Your Brain Cells

Here are 19 titles for teens that are being released in August and received starred reviews. Enjoy!

All Eyes on Her by L. E. Flynn

Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomy edited by Kelly Jensen

Chasing Starlight by Teri Bailey Black

A Cloud of Outrageous Blue by Vesper Stamper

The Daughters of Ys by M.T. Anderson, illustrated by Jo Rioux

Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska

Displacement by Kiku Hughes

Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From by Jennifer De Leon

Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger

Facing the Sun by Janice Lynn Mather

Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis

I Am Here Now by Barbara Bottner

Invisible Differences by Julie Dachez

It Came from the Sky by Chelsea Sedoti

Lobizona by Romina Garber

Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar

They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman

Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles

Waking Brain Cells Anniversary


I’m celebrating 17 years of children’s lit blogging today! Every year this gives me time to take a breath and think about librarianship, children’s books, and how I use my time. In past years, I’ve gone through rolling periods of doubt, of thinking about stopping, of doing something else, reading differently and not critically.

This year hasn’t been like that. Instead I have felt driven to share, to keep creating content about books that I love. It’s a way for me to keep from drowning in the bad news of COVID, to keep hope alive that change may actually happen around black lives and policing, to say that black children and children of color deserve to see themselves in books and white children must start learning that all are equal. One powerful way to do that is to have books that represent children of all races, all faiths, all cultures, all sexual orientations, all genders. Books that celebrate children and teens and their experiences in our world.

I will continue to highlight these books on my blog. Books that share experiences, books that ask us to think, to learn, to build bridges or to burn them down. Now is the time to ask yourself what you spend your time on, what you put your voice behind, what you need to learn, how you need to listen. I have work to do, and I pledge to do it.