SLJ Best Young Adult Books 2021
Love Is a Revolution
From New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Renée Watson comes a love story about not only a romantic relationship but how a girl finds herself and falls in love with who she really is.
When Nala Robertson reluctantly agrees to attend an open mic night for her cousin-sister-friend Imani's birthday, she finds herself falling in instant love with Tye Brown, the MC. He's perfect, except . . . Tye is an activist and is spending the summer putting on events for the community when Nala would rather watch movies and try out the new seasonal flavors at the local creamery. In order to impress Tye, Nala tells a few tiny lies to have enough in common with him. As they spend more time together, sharing more of themselves, some of those lies get harder to keep up. As Nala falls deeper into keeping up her lies and into love, she'll learn all the ways love is hard, and how self-love is revolutionary.
In Love Is a Revolution, plus size girls are beautiful and get the attention of the hot guys, the popular girl clique is not shallow but has strong convictions and substance, and the ultimate love story is not only about romance but about how to show radical love to the people in your life, including to yourself.
When We Make It
"The energy. The clarity. The beauty. Elisabet Velasquez brings it all. . . . Her voice is FIRE!"--New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline Woodson
An unforgettable, torrential, and hopeful debut young adult novel-in-verse that redefines what it means to "make it," for readers of Nicholasa Mohr and Elizabeth Acevedo.
Sarai is a first-generation Puerto Rican eighth grader who can see with clarity the truth, pain, and beauty of the world both inside and outside her Bushwick apartment. Together with her older sister Estrella, she navigates the strain of family traumas and the systemic pressures of toxic masculinity and housing insecurity in a rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn. Sarai questions the society around her, her Boricua identity, and the life she lives with determination and an open heart, learning to celebrate herself in a way that she has been denied.
When We Make It is a love letter to anyone who was taught to believe that they would not make it. To those who feel their emotions before they can name them. To those who still may not have all the language but they have their story. Velasquez' debut novel is sure to leave an indelible mark on all who read it.
All Our Hidden Gifts
Maeve's strangely astute tarot readings make her the talk of the school, until a classmate draws a chilling and unfamiliar card--and then disappears.
After Maeve finds a pack of tarot cards while cleaning out a closet during her in-school suspension, she quickly becomes the most sought-after diviner at St. Bernadette's Catholic school. But when Maeve's ex-best friend, Lily, draws an unsettling card called The Housekeeper that Maeve has never seen before, the session devolves into a heated argument that ends with Maeve wishing aloud that Lily would disappear. When Lily isn't at school the next Monday, Maeve learns her ex-friend has vanished without a trace.
Shunned by her classmates and struggling to preserve a fledgling romance with Lily's gender-fluid sibling, Roe, Maeve must dig deep into her connection with the cards to search for clues the police cannot find--even if they lead to the terrifying Housekeeper herself. Set in an Irish town where the church's tight hold has loosened and new freedoms are trying to take root, this sharply contemporary story is witty, gripping, and tinged with mysticism.
An Emotion of Great Delight
From bestselling author of the Shatter Me series and the National Book Award-nominated A Very Large Expanse of Sea, Tahereh Mafi, comes a stunning novel about love and loneliness, navigating dual-identity as a Muslim teenager in America, and reclaiming your right to joy. It's 2003. It's been several months since the US officially declared war on Iraq, and the political world has evolved. Shadi, who wears hijaba visible allegiance to Islamkeeps her head down. Hate crimes are spiking. Undercover FBI agents are infiltrating mosques and interrogating members of the congregation, and the local Muslim community is beginning to fracture. Shadi hears the fights after servicesthe arguments between families about what it means to be Muslim, about what they should be doing and saying as a communitybut she does not engage. She's too busy drowning in her own troubles to find the time to deal with bigots. Shadi is named for joy, but she's haunted by sorrow. Her brother is dead, her father is dying, her mother is falling apart, and her best friend has mysteriously dropped out of her life. And then, of course, there's the small matter of her heart It's broken. Shadi has tried to navigate the remains of her quickly-shattering world by soldiering through, saying nothing, until finally, one day, everything changes. She explodes. Perfect for fans of the Shatter Me series as well as Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give and Nicola Yoon's The Sun is Also A Star. About the author: Tahereh Mafi is the New York Times bestselling author of the Shatter Me series which has been published in over 30 languages around the world. She was born in a small city somewhere in Connecticut and currently resides in Santa Monica, California, with her husband, Ransom Riggs, fellow bestselling author of Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, and their young daughter. She can usually be found overcaffeinated and stuck in a book. You can find her online just about anywhere at @TaherehMafi or on her website, www.taherehbooks.com. Praise for A Very Large Expanse of Sea: 'This is a gorgeous book. It's tender and fierce, beautiful even as it depicts some ugly truths. The prose is passionate and honest, unsentimental and big-hearted. The very best books move you to reconsider the world around you and this is one of those. I truly loved it.' - Nicola Yoon, bestselling author of Everything, Everything 'I started reading A Very Large Expanse of Sea on a plane and couldn't put it down until I'd finished the entire thing. Tahereh Mafi's beautiful story touched my heart and taught me so much, I cannot wait for the world to read!!' - Tomi Adeyemi, bestselling author of Children of Blood and Bone 'A raw yet astoundingly elegant examination of identity, loneliness and family that is unflinching in its honesty and power. Tahereh Mafi holds nothing back - and the reader is better for it.' - Sabaa Tahir, New York Times bestselling author of Ember in the Ashes 'A Very Large Expanse of Sea reads like a beautiful heart - one that shines and aches and yearns, and above all else, one that loves fiercely against all odds. Years from now, you will remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when you experienced this. A transcendent story about truth, love and finding joy.' - Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of the Legend series.' Praise for the Shatter Me series: Dangerous, sexy, romantic, and intense. I dare you to stop reading. - Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures series Addictive, intense, and oozing with romance. I'm envious. I couldn't put it down. - Lauren Kate, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fallen series Tahereh Mafi's bold, inventive prose crackles with raw emotion. A thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love, the Shatter Me series is a must-read for fans of dystopian young adult literature - or any literature! -Ransom Riggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children IGNITE ME really does ignite all five of your senses. It blows your mind and makes you hungry for more of its amazing characters. It will completely blow your expectations; Tahereh Mafi truly knows how to deliver! - Teenreads.com.
The Mirror Season
Longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature
One of Publishers Weekly's Best Books 2021
"An unforgettable story of trauma and healing, told in achingly beautiful prose with great tenderness and care." —#1 New York Times-bestselling author Karen M. McManus
When two teens discover that they were both sexually assaulted at the same party, they develop a cautious friendship through her family’s possibly-magical pastelería, his secret forest of otherworldly trees, and the swallows returning to their hometown, in Anna-Marie McLemore's The Mirror Season...
Graciela Cristales’ whole world changes after she and a boy she barely knows are assaulted at the same party. She loses her gift for making enchanted pan dulce. Neighborhood trees vanish overnight, while mirrored glass appears, bringing reckless magic with it. And Ciela is haunted by what happened to her, and what happened to the boy whose name she never learned.
But when the boy, Lock, shows up at Ciela’s school, he has no memory of that night, and no clue that a single piece of mirrored glass is taking his life apart. Ciela decides to help him, which means hiding the truth about that night. Because Ciela knows who assaulted her, and him. And she knows that her survival, and his, depend on no one finding out what really happened.
FINALIST FOR THE 2021 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR YOUNG PEOPLE'S LITERATURE
A debut YA novel-in-verse by Amber McBride, Me (Moth) is about a teen girl who is grieving the deaths of her family, and a teen boy who crosses her path.
Moth has lost her family in an accident. Though she lives with her aunt, she feels alone and uprooted.
Until she meets Sani, a boy who is also searching for his roots. If he knows more about where he comes from, maybe he’ll be able to understand his ongoing depression. And if Moth can help him feel grounded, then perhaps she too will discover the history she carries in her bones.
Moth and Sani take a road trip that has them chasing ghosts and searching for ancestors. The way each moves forward is surprising, powerful, and unforgettable.
Here is an exquisite and uplifting novel about identity, first love, and the ways that our memories and our roots steer us through the universe.
Last Night at the Telegraph Club
Winner of the National Book Award
"Proof of Malinda Lo's skill at creating darkly romantic tales of love in the face of danger."—O: The Oprah Magazine
"The queer romance we’ve been waiting for.”—Ms. Magazine
A National Bestseller
Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can't remember exactly when the feeling took root—that desire to look, to move closer, to touch. Whenever it started growing, it definitely bloomed the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club. Suddenly everything seemed possible.
But America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father—despite his hard-won citizenship—Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day.
Take Me With You When You Go
From the New York Times bestselling authors of All the Bright Places and Every Day comes a story of hope, siblinghood, and finding your home in the people who matter the most.
Subject: You. Missing.
Ezra Ahern wakes up one day to find his older sister, Bea, gone. No note, no sign, nothing but an email address hidden somewhere only he would find it. Ezra never expected to be left behind with their abusive stepfather and their neglectful mother—how is he supposed to navigate life without Bea?
Bea Ahern already knew she needed to get as far away from home as possible But a message in her inbox changes everything, and she finds herself alone in a new city—without Ez, without a real plan—chasing someone who might not even want to be found.
As things unravel at home for Ezra, Bea will confront secrets about their past that will forever change the way they think about their family. Together and apart, broken by abuse but connected by love, this brother and sister must learn to trust themselves before they can find a way back to each other.
A Lesson in Vengeance
A dark, twisty thriller about a centuries-old, ivy-covered boarding school haunted by its history of witchcraft and two girls dangerously close to digging up the past. The dangerous romance and atmospheric setting makes it a perfect read for fans of dark academia.
Felicity Morrow is back at the Dalloway School. Perched in the Catskill Mountains, the centuries-old, ivy-covered campus was home until the tragic death of her girlfriend. Now, after a year away, she's returned to finish high school. She even has her old room in Godwin House, the exclusive dormitory rumored to be haunted by the spirits of five Dalloway students—girls some say were witches. The Dalloway Five all died mysteriously, one after another, right on Godwin grounds.
Witchcraft is woven into Dalloway's past. The school doesn't talk about it, but the students do. In secret rooms and shadowy corners, girls convene. And before her girlfriend died, Felicity was drawn to the dark. She's determined to leave that behind now, but it's hard when Dalloway's occult history is everywhere. And when the new girl won't let her forget.
It's Ellis Haley's first year at Dalloway, and she has already amassed a loyal following. A prodigy novelist at seventeen, Ellis is a so-called method writer. She's eccentric and brilliant, and Felicity can't shake the pull she feels to her. So when Ellis asks Felicity to help her research the Dalloway Five for her second book, Felicity can't say no. Given her history with the arcane, Felicity is the perfect resource.
And when history begins to repeat itself, Felicity will have to face the darkness in Dalloway—and herself.
Tokyo Ever After
The New York Times bestseller and Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine YA Book Club Pick! Emiko Jean’s Tokyo Ever After is the “refreshing, spot-on” (Booklist, starred review) story of an ordinary Japanese American girl who discovers that her father is the Crown Prince of Japan
Izumi Tanaka has never really felt like she fit in—it isn’t easy being Japanese American in her small, mostly white, northern California town. Raised by a single mother, it’s always been Izumi—or Izzy, because “It’s easier this way”—and her mom against the world. But then Izumi discovers a clue to her previously unknown father’s identity...and he’s none other than the Crown Prince of Japan. Which means outspoken, irreverent Izzy is literally a princess.
In a whirlwind, Izumi travels to Japan to meet the father she never knew and discover the country she always dreamed of. But being a princess isn’t all ball gowns and tiaras. There are conniving cousins, a hungry press, a scowling but handsome bodyguard who just might be her soulmate, and thousands of years of tradition and customs to learn practically overnight.
Izumi soon finds herself caught between worlds, and between versions of herself—back home, she was never “American” enough, and in Japan, she must prove she’s “Japanese” enough. Will Izumi crumble under the weight of the crown, or will she live out her fairy tale, happily ever after?
Look for the sequel, Tokyo Dreaming, in 2022!
The Haunting of Hill House meets Get Out in this chilling YA psychological thriller and modern take on the classic haunted house story from New York Times bestselling author Tiffany D. Jackson!
Marigold is running from ghosts. The phantoms of her old life keep haunting her, but a move with her newly blended family from their small California beach town to the embattled Midwestern city of Cedarville might be the fresh start she needs. Her mom has accepted a new job with the Sterling Foundation that comes with a free house, one that Mari now has to share with her bratty ten-year-old stepsister, Piper.
The renovated picture-perfect home on Maple Street, sitting between dilapidated houses, surrounded by wary neighbors has its . . . secrets. That’s only half the problem: household items vanish, doors open on their own, lights turn off, shadows walk past rooms, voices can be heard in the walls, and there’s a foul smell seeping through the vents only Mari seems to notice. Worse: Piper keeps talking about a friend who wants Mari gone.
But “running from ghosts” is just a metaphor, right?
As the house closes in, Mari learns that the danger isn’t limited to Maple Street. Cedarville has its secrets, too. And secrets always find their way through the cracks.
* An Amazon Best Book of the Month * Parade's Best YA Books of the Year * Indigo Best Books of the Year * SLJ Best Books of the Year * Kirkus Best Books of the Year *
Beasts of Prey
In this blockbuster fantasy series, perfect for fans of Kingdom of the Wicked and Iron Widow, fate binds two Black teenagers together as they journey into a magical jungle to hunt down a vicious monster.
"Rich in magic and mythos, Beasts of Prey is a feast for all the senses." --Renée Ahdieh, New York Times bestselling author of The Beautiful
An Instant New York Times and Indie Bestseller
There's no such thing as magic in the broken city of Lkossa, especially for sixteen-year-old Koffi, who indentured to the notorious Night Zoo, knows the fearsome creatures in her care and paying off her family's debts to secure their eventual freedom can be her only focus. But the night those she loves are gravely threatened by the Zoo's cruel master, Koffi unleashes a power she doesn't fully understand, upending her life completely.
As the second son of a decorated hero, Ekon is all but destined to become a Son of the Six--an elite warrior--and uphold a family legacy. But on the night of his final rite of passage, Ekon encounters not only the Shetani--a vicious monster that has plagued the city for nearly a century and stalks his nightmares--but Koffi who seems to have the power to ward off the beast. Koffi's power ultimately saves Ekon, but his choice to let her flee dooms his hopes of becoming a warrior.
Desperate to redeem himself, Ekon vows to hunt the Shetani and end its reign of terror, but he can't do it alone. Koffi and Ekon form a tentative alliance and together enter the Greater Jungle, a world steeped in wild, frightening magic and untold dangers. The hunt begins. But it quickly becomes unclear whether they are the hunters or the hunted.
"The hunt for your next YA fantasy book trilogy obsession has ended." --Entertainment Weekly
The Gilded Ones
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTELLER!
"Namina Forna Could Be The Toni Morrison Of YA Fantasy." -Refinery 29
"Fans of Children of Blood and Bone, Mulan, and the Dora Milaje from Black Panther are going to adore this one." -BuzzFeed
A dark feminist tale spun with blood and gold. Must read! -Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Belles
The most anticipated fantasy of 2021. In this world, girls are outcasts by blood and warriors by choice. Get ready for battle.
Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.
But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity-and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.
Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki-near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire's greatest threat.
Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she's ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be-not even Deka herself.
The start of a bold and immersive fantasy series for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and Black Panther.
Counting Down with You
"A witty, romantic, deeply insightful debut." --Emma Lord, author of Tweet Cute
In this sparkling and romantic YA debut, a reserved Bangladeshi teenager has twenty-eight days to make the biggest decision of her life after agreeing to fake date her school's resident bad boy.
How do you make one month last a lifetime?
Karina Ahmed has a plan. Keep her head down, get through high school without a fuss, and follow her parents' rules--even if it means sacrificing her dreams. When her parents go abroad to Bangladesh for four weeks, Karina expects some peace and quiet. Instead, one simple lie unravels everything.
Karina is my girlfriend.
Tutoring the school's resident bad boy was already crossing a line. Pretending to date him? Out of the question. But Ace Clyde does everything right--he brings her coffee in the mornings, impresses her friends without trying, and even promises to buy her a dozen books (a week) if she goes along with his fake-dating facade. Though Karina agrees, she can't help but start counting down the days until her parents come back.
T-minus twenty-eight days until everything returns to normal--but what if Karina no longer wants it to?
"I. Love. This. Book." --Mark Oshiro, award-winning author of Anger Is a Gift and Each of Us a Desert
"A must-have addition to any YA bookshelf." --Sabina Khan, author of Zara Hossain Is Here and The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali
"Hand to fans of Netflix hit Never Have I Ever." --Booklist
Ace of Spades
Gossip Girl meets Get Out in Ace of Spades, a YA contemporary thriller by debut author Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé about two students, Devon & Chiamaka, and their struggles against an anonymous bully.
All you need to know is . . . I’m here to divide and conquer. Like all great tyrants do. —Aces
When two Niveus Private Academy students, Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebayo, are selected to be part of the elite school’s senior class prefects, it looks like their year is off to an amazing start. After all, not only does it look great on college applications, but it officially puts each of them in the running for valedictorian, too.
Shortly after the announcement is made, though, someone who goes by Aces begins using anonymous text messages to reveal secrets about the two of them that turn their lives upside down and threaten every aspect of their carefully planned futures.
As Aces shows no sign of stopping, what seemed like a sick prank quickly turns into a dangerous game, with all the cards stacked against them. Can Devon and Chiamaka stop Aces before things become incredibly deadly?
With heart-pounding suspense and relevant social commentary comes a high-octane thriller from debut author Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé.
Teen Digital Library
Nonfiction content geared for K-12 students. Includes encyclopedia articles, images, multimedia elements, eBooks, novels and essays.
Provided by the Michigan Electronic Library (MeL.org).
For high school students and educators. There is a selection of teacher resources and titles align with Common Core Curriculum Standards.
Provided by the Michigan Electronic Library (MeL.org).
Provides different views about issues that help students develop critical thinking skills.
Provided by the Michigan Electronic Library (MeL.org).
Did you know that we have graphic novels and manga for teens at the deAngeli Library? You can pick up a classic manga like Fullmetal Alchemist or pick the newest book in the My Hero Academia series. The library has books about characters with social anxiety (Komi Can’t Communicate), characters being reborn as spiders into a fantasy world (So I’m a Spider, so what?), two guys that are friends that may be in love (Heartstopper) and everything in between.
By Lorry Traver
As I browsed the young adult section in the Metamora Branch Library, I felt as though particular titles were jumping off the shelf, pleading with me to take a closer look. I had no prior knowledge of each book’s storyline, and had not been pulled in by the beautiful artwork on the covers. Without even realizing it, I selected each book because immediately upon reading each title, it made me think of some aspect of the world we are currently living in.