The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) launched TeenTober for the first time this year. This is a nationwide celebration which aims to promote year-round services for teens and shape innovative ways for them to ignite their passions in and outside the library.
Here are some choices from our list for both young readers and young adults:
Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds
Author Reynolds’s vibrant language…makes every situation and detail–whether funny, outlandish, sad, or tender–feel genuine, relatable, and full of heart. – AudioFile Magazine.
This story was going to begin like all the best stories. With a school bus falling from the sky. But no one saw it happen. They were all too busy.
From National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author comes a novel told in ten blocks, showing all they different directions a walk home can take.
Jason Reynolds conjures ten tales (one per block) about what happens after the dismissal bell rings, and brilliantly weaves them into one wickedly funny, piercingly poignant look at the detours we face on the walk home, and in life.
A Dream So Dark by L.L. McKinney
The twists and turns of this novel are explosive from start to finish and guaranteed to send readers gleefully down a rabbit hole. – Booklist
In L. L. McKinney’s A Dream So Dark, the thrilling sequel to A Blade So Black, Alice goes deeper into a dark version of Wonderland.
Still reeling from her recent battle (and grounded until she graduates high school), Alice must cross the Veil to rescue her friends and stop the Black Knight once and for all. But the deeper she ventures into Wonderland, the more topsy-turvy everything becomes. It’s not until she’s at her wits end that she realizes–Wonderland is trying to save her.
There’s a new player on the board; a poet capable of using Nightmares to not only influence the living but raise the dead. This Poet is looking to claim the Black Queen’s power–and Alice’s budding abilities–as their own.
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
“This book just begs to be picked up…. Purely magical. Perfect for exploring together at bedtime or for children to browse independently, a gorgeous invitation for children of all backgrounds, and especially for black girls, to learn about black women who were pioneers.”– Kirkus Reviews
Featuring forty trailblazing black women in American history, Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of breaking boundaries and achieving beyond expectations.
Among these biographies, readers will find heroes, role models, and everyday women who did extraordinary things – bold women whose actions and beliefs contributed to making the world better for generations of girls and women to come.
With the Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo
“The acclaimed author follows up her celebrated The Poet X with a love letter to food and a tribute to young, single mothers… Acevedo’s second serving offers a much-needed nuanced exploration of teen parenting that belongs on all shelves.”–School Library Journal
Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions–doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness.
Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet despite the rules she thinks she has to play by, once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free.
Essentials for Every Reader
Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
“Moving, lyrical, and completely convincing… Woodson’s created a character whose presence you can feel like they were sitting next to you… Don’t let anyone miss this.”
When Lonnie was seven years old, his parents died in a fire. Now he’s eleven, and he still misses them terribly. And he misses his little sister, Lili, who was put into a different foster home because “not a lot of people want boys-not foster boys that ain’t babies.” But Lonnie hasn’t given up. His foster mother, Miss Edna, is growing on him. She’s already raised two sons and she seems to know what makes them tick. And his teacher, Ms. Marcus, is showing him ways to put his jumbled feelings on paper.
Told entirely through Lonnie’s poetry, we see his heartbreak over his lost family, his thoughtful perspective on the world around him, and most of all his love for Lili and his determination to one day put at least half of their family back together.
Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults) by Bryan Stevenson
“Bryan Stevenson is one of my personal heroes, perhaps the most inspiring and influential crusader for justice alive today, and Just Mercy is extraordinary. The stories told within these pages hold the potential to transform what we think we mean when we talk about justice.” –Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow
In this very personal work–adapted from the original #1 bestseller, which the New York Times calls “as compelling as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so”–acclaimed lawyer and social justice advocate Bryan Stevenson offers a glimpse into the lives of the wrongfully imprisoned and his efforts to fight for their freedom.
Stevenson’s story is one of working to protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society–the poor, the wrongly convicted, and those whose lives have been marked by discrimination and marginalization. Through this adaptation, young people of today will find themselves called to action and compassion in the pursuit of justice.
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