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Summer Reading 2021 Young Adult Recommendations

See the full list of great reading recommendations for Summer 2021 here.

Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard

Fans of the Red Queen series can rejoice as Victoria Aveyard brings us another epic fantasy. She’s created a world on the brink of destruction, where it is up to a handful—okay, maybe seven—unlikely heroes to save the realm. Aveyard weaves a tale of adventure and humor sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. Find it hard to believe she could top Red Queen? I am pleased to inform you she has. — Kathy

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$19.99
ISBN: 9780062872623
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - May 4th, 2021

On the Hook by Francisco X. Stork

Hector, one of the “good kids,” is thrown for a loop when Joey, one of the “bad kids,” singles him out and says he’s going to kill him. Navigating the fear of death pervades Hector’s existence. It all comes to a head in a violent confrontation between the two boys’ older brothers, the fallout of which shows Hector that the lines between good and bad can blur. This is a book that stayed with me for a long time. — Ivy

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$17.99
ISBN: 9781338692150
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - May 18th, 2021

Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart

Two young women from warring clans with long histories of distrust join together to create a better world. Jazmyne is heir to the throne; one taken by force by her mother. Ira is the deposed heir of the dead empress. Jazmyne and Ira are both willing to risk everything. This is a very rich fantasy book, full of complex political machinations and intense magical systems. I loved delving into the intricacies of this book and watching Jazmyne and Ira’s plans unfold. — Ivy

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$18.99
ISBN: 9780062945983
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - April 20th, 2021

Some Girls Do by Jennifer Dugan

After suing her conservative private school, Morgan is forced to transfer to another school at the end of the year. Ruby, beauty pageant contestant and lover of muscle cars, is anything but proud of herself. With Morgan’s arrival at her school, Ruby’s world starts to slip out of control. Some Girls Do portrays diverse struggles with identity and gives us a queer story I wish I had had as a teen, full of cheesy romantic goodness and sincere tender moments. — Andrea

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$17.99
ISBN: 9780593112533
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - May 18th, 2021

Jelly by Clare Rees

Imagine being stuck on an island. No one leaves, no one new arrives unless birthed, and every meal is fish. It's the only home you or your parents have ever known. Now imagine the island is actually on the back of a giant jellyfish. The young adult genre always surprises me in the best ways, and as soon as I realized there were people living on a giant jellyfish, I was hooked. This is great for anyone who likes their fiction just a little bit weird. — Jae

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$18.99
ISBN: 9781419745560
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harry N. Abrams - May 18th, 2021

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

Available in paperback

The child of a Jamaican father and a Greek mother, Michael grapples with his mixed race and queer identity as he grows up in England. Through poetry and drag, he discovers catharsis in expressing and embracing his truest self. The reader gets a real sense of Michael’s thoughts and feelings—delivered in first-person poetic verse—as he encounters racism (both experienced and internalized), strained familial relation- ships, romantic interests, and difficult coping mechanisms. — Eli

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$10.99
ISBN: 9780062990303
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - May 25th, 2021

The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake

Available in paperback

This is an exceptional modern retelling of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Julia Drake takes the classic story, makes it multigenerational, and resettles the characters in Maine, in this tale that at times is laugh-out-loud funny and at other times made me ugly cry. You’ll fall in love with the complex characters. The writing is lyrical and magical while managing to stay grounded. Great for teens and adults! — MJ

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$10.99
ISBN: 9780759554993
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - June 15th, 2021

Victories Greater Than Death by Charlie Jane Anders

Charlie Jane Anders took inspiration from Doctor Who, Steven Universe, and other modern classic serialized and animated sci-fi/fantasy epics to create her frenetic, vibrant, inclusive young adult debut. Blink and you’ll miss the journey from Earth to the shape-shifting spaceship to intergalactic space battles—but Tina, clone of the galaxy’s greatest captain, and her vivid, diverse panoply of teen geniuses, impel you to keep up. A space-based fairy tale filled with art, music, and text chains, as well as fighting evil and finding love, respect, and friendship. — Jocelyn

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$18.99
ISBN: 9781250317315
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Teen - April 13th, 2021

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