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Young Adult

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

National Book Award winner Elizabeth Acevedo returns to verse in this meditation on the complexities of themes, including grief, betrayal, family, secrets, identity, class, and toxic masculinity. Acevedo’s characterizations (the two main characters—sisters—have very distinctive voices) are stellar. I was particularly struck by how the book highlights the way men’s choices have a profound impact on the lives of the women and girls around them.

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ISBN: 9780062882769
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Published: Quill Tree Books - May 5th, 2020

Date Me, Bryson Keller by Kevin van Whye

I loved this book! Protagonist Kai is utterly lovable, as is his love interest Bryson. What a wonderful thing: a queer coming-out love story free of trauma and full of good feelings. This sweet romance kept me happily reading from the first page to the last; chances are it’ll do the same for you.

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ISBN: 9780593126035
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Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - May 19th, 2020

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callendar

Felix attends a very prestigious art school and is struggling with his identity when he gets targeted by an anonymous transphobic bully and everyone becomes suspect. I really appreciated Felix’s candor as he works through the various threads of his life. Being a teenager is hard and Felix doesn’t always get it right. This is a great read for all teens, especially for those trying to find their place in the world.

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ISBN: 9780062820259
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Published: Balzer + Bray - May 5th, 2020

Love from A to Z by S. K. Ali

This thoroughly satisfying novel is not only a love story (you’re warned at the outset what you’re in for). It also features vivid, recognizable characters; insight into the diversity of the Muslim faith; glimpses of the Qatari city Doha; true friendship (with solidarity and jealousy); and a call to action against injustice. I was delighted to meet these characters and their world—ours, but with the hope of something better. Great for fans of John Green, Rainbow Rowell, and Nicola Yoon.

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ISBN: 9781534442733
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Published: Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster Books for You - June 9th, 2020

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

What a gem: a fully realized fantasy world with lots of contemporary relevance. Tarisai’s longing for family and connection make her an empathetic and relatable protagonist, while her strength and fortitude in standing up to corrupt power make her admirable. A great choice for fans of fantasy, stories with strong female leads, or anyone looking for a good book.

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ISBN: 9781419739828
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Amulet Books - August 18th, 2020

A Phoenix First Must Burn: Sixteen Stories of Black Girl Magic, Resistance, and Hope Edited by Patrice Caldwell

This book is Black Girl Magic in written form! It includes sixteen #ownvoices fantasy and science fiction short stories that are as diverse as the Black experience. Established authors like Elizabeth Acevedo, Dhonielle Clayton, Justina Ireland, Rebecca Roanhorse, and Ibi Zoboi share space with up-and-coming and debut authors, creating a well-rounded collection. Magical and real, these well-spun stories run the gamut from lighthearted to intense and are a great choice for readers of any background!


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By Patrice Caldwell (Editor)
ISBN: 9781984835659
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Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - March 10th, 2020

The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski

I was fascinated by this fantasy world where people accept the incredibly unjust caste system. Everyone says, “It is as it is,” but Nirrim starts questioning that after she falls in with the swoon-worthy, enigmatic Sid. I loved piecing together the mystery of the past with Nirrim and was shocked when the truth came to light. I’m already looking forward to the next installment! A great choice for Rutkoski fans and readers who enjoy mystery-driven fantasies with a historical feel.


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ISBN: 9780374306380
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Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - March 3rd, 2020

All the Days Past, All the Days to Come by Mildred D. Taylor

As always, Mildred D. Taylor delivers historical fiction at its best. I've followed the Logan family since I was a kid, reading and rereading Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, The Land, and the other magnificent books in the series. It was a joy to reconnect with my old friend, Cassie, and follow her personal journey through the civil rights movement. This book isn’t just for YA readers but for everyone, an important and necessary look at our not-so-distant past.


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ISBN: 9780399257308
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Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - January 7th, 2020

Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang

Gene doesn’t like sports, but he’s fascinated by the basketball program at the high school where he teaches: the stories of the coaches and team members and the history of basketball itself. Each chapter highlights one player and a game where they stood out. I learned a lot: why basketball is a city sport, why so many great teams are from Catholic schools, and how to write about basketball in a way that even non-sports fans can enjoy!


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ISBN: 9781626720794
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Published: First Second - March 17th, 2020

The Boy and Girl Who Broke the World by Amy Reed

A remarkably touching magical-realist young-adult novel about a boy and a girl (who are, refreshingly, not a couple but best friends!) that explores social issues such as race, sexuality, and class with humor, heart, a touch of magic, and a sprinkle of apocalypse. - Ksenia

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ISBN: 9781481481762
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Published: Simon Pulse - July 9th, 2019


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