Young Adult

During the Second World War, the Russians torpedoed and sunk the Wilhelm Gustloff with 10,582 passengers on board. More than 9400 died in the cold Baltic Sea, including 5000 children. This little-known maritime disaster is impeccably researched and viscerally conveyed through the stories of four adults, slowly revealed in alternating chapters in Sepetys’ haunting historical fiction. Why do we read about disasters? Perhaps to illumine our character—our most base and our best tendencies. And because it is important here, as well, to not forget. Ages 14 & up.  —GA

Staff Pick Logo
Salt to the Sea Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780399160301
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Philomel Books - February 2nd, 2016

Set in the 11th century, at a time when a 12-year-old girl is almost an adult, Neen Marrey lives with her stoic but not unloving auntie Ushags on Carrick Island. Neen is always asking her aunt for stories about her long-dead mother, Ushags’ sister, who perhaps was a merrow, a selkie. This is a fairy tale woven into a novel—the language is glittery with precision, yet warm and lyrical as song. Ages 13 & up.  —GA

Staff Pick Logo
Merrow Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780763679248
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - November 8th, 2016

Like Zusak’s stunning Book Thief, this is a complicated and rewarding World War II novel about a young girl’s survival. When Anna’s father, a linguistics professor, is rounded up by the Gestapo with Krakow’s intellectuals, she finds the Swallow Man. Seven-year-old Anna trusts him because he knows many languages, just as she does, and appears to speak with birds. The Swallow Man reluctantly becomes her guardian over the next four years as they roam war-broken Poland. Both Anna and the Swallow Man are broken as well, but heal somewhat in each other’s company, though they are broken a second time as love and its limits are made apparent. This is an adult fairy tale, graceful and economical, with its moral/immoral compass swinging toward the conclusion that human relationships, however flawed, have the possibility of saving us all. A deeply moving debut novel for at least 8th grade and up.                 —GA

Staff Pick Logo
Anna and the Swallow Man Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780553513349
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - January 26th, 2016

Funny, sarcastic, and real, Lucy is a heroine who is just trying to make it out of adolescence with her self-respect intact. This gem from an Asian-Australian writer penetrates deeply into how we try to leave our old selves behind for something shiny and new—and how that never works out. A standout like Eleanor & Park and I’ll Give You the Sun, this is by far my favorite young adult book of the year. Read this book! Ages 13 & up.                                                   —TERA

Staff Pick Logo
Lucy and Linh Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780399550485
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - September 6th, 2016

All three books in Congressman John Lewis’ epic graphic novel biography series have received massive acclaim. Compulsively readable and powerfully told, March: Book Three takes graphic novel literature to a new level, while also teaching with visceral impact about the civil rights movement. This final book in the trilogy takes on the tumultuous years before the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Great literature that digs deep into justice, nonviolence, and courage. Ages 12 & up.        —TERA

Staff Pick Logo
March: Book Three Cover Image
By John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781603094023
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Top Shelf Productions - August 2nd, 2016

Even better than Scorpion Rules, the first book in the series, The Swan Riders is gripping from beginning to end, with a fast, tight plot that keeps you wanting more. But what makes it unique among young adult science fiction novels is the relationship between Greta, royal heir of the Pan Polar Confederacy, and Talis, the AI who controls the fate of the world in his spider’s web. When one of his incarnations breaks away from the central mastermind, he starts to experience what enforced peace, free will, and emotional attachment mean on the human level. Even an AI can have doubts in this utterly fascinating dystopian novel. Ages 13 & up.  —TERA

Staff Pick Logo
The Swan Riders Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481442749
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - September 20th, 2016

John Lewis has been a Congressional Representative for the state of Georgia since 1987, but before that, he was a major leader of the Civil Rights Movement. In this stunning graphic novel, he tells his story with the help of his aide, Aydin, and the talented graphic novelist Nate Powell. This is an incredibly powerful book, as well as an excellent example of how good a graphic novel can be.  --Flannery

Staff Pick Logo
March, Book One Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781603093002
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Top Shelf Productions - August 13th, 2013

When the South began integrate their schools in the late 50’s, all attention was on nine black students joining Arkansas’s Little Rock Central High School. The Little Rock Nine became the face of a movement as they battled discrimination and hatred while trying to get an education. Melba Patillo Beals was one of those teenagers, and this searing memoir is one of the classic texts of the Civil Rights Movement. This is an incredible book, and I recommend it to all teens.  --Flannery

Staff Pick Logo
Warriors Don't Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock's Central High Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780671866396
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Washington Square Press - February 1995

This book was given to me when I was dealing with my first really serious bought of depression, and it gave me a life raft. Told partly in tapes recorded by a teen girl who committed suicide and partly from the perspective of the boy listening to them, it might seem like a book about a girl who kills herself is the last thing you should give a severely depressed teen girl, but it’s ultimate message is that suicide isn’t an answer. It saved me, and it has saved others. --Flannery
Staff Pick Logo
Th1rteen R3asons Why Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781595141880
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Razorbill - June 14th, 2011

This is another series that I’ve read so many times that the covers are falling off. Beginning with Alanna, it follows Alanna of Trebond, a young girl who disguises herself as her twin brother in order to become a knight. Full of friends and enemies, swordplay and sorcery, talking animals and adventures, this quartet is not only awesome in it’s own right, it launches a whole new world with other books and stories. For me, Alanna is the ultimate heroine.  --Flannery

Staff Pick Logo
Song of the Lioness Quartet: Alanna: The First Adventure/In the Hand of the Goddess/The Woman Who Rides Like a Man/Lioness Rampant Cover Image
By Tamora Pierce, Nekro (Illustrator)
$43.99
ISBN: 9781481416498
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - October 21st, 2014

Pages

 

Other Services:

 

 
 
 
 
All titles are subject to availability. Prices subject to change. Please call 831-423-0900 to confirm.
Copyright © Bookshop Santa Cruz
(831) 423-0900 · 1520 Pacific Ave · Downtown Santa Cruz · Santa Cruz, CA · 95060