What's Up in YA

Great YA Nonfiction, Ebook Deals, and More!

Hey there YA Fans!

Eric Smith filling in for the unbelievable Kelly Jensen, and this week I’ll be your silver-medal-of-newsletter-writers.

Sponsored by Elly Blake’s Fireblood, published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

In this action-packed sequel to the New York Times bestselling Frostblood, Ruby must choose between her fiery homeland and the icy king who loves her.

Can you believe we started a YA podcast? In case ya’ll missed it, you can check out the first teaser episode of Hey YA here. The first full episode is coming at you soon, packed full of reading recommendations, critical discussions, and the sounds of excited pets in the background.

This week marked the release of Martha Brockenbrough’s Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary, a biography about everyone’s favorite founding-father-and-also-musical. And I can’t help but think about how there’s been this incredible resurgence in non-fiction in the YA world.

And my goodness, is this something we should all be celebrating.

A lot of history gets left out of the classroom. So the arrival of books that fill in those gaps. Queer, There, & Everywhere by Sarah Prager (one of my favorite books this year), does that so spectacularly, introducing young readers to nearly two dozen people from history that you may have never been taught about. In a recent post on Book Riot, Kim Ukura rounds up ten great examples of YA non-fiction, and it’s just a taste of what’s brewing.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what other brilliant bits of YA non-fiction hit bookshelves in the coming months and years. It’s an exciting space to watch.

Here’s some of what we talked about when it comes to YA on Book Riot last week:

Villains are so often misunderstood. At least, the best ones are. Who doesn’t love a bad character that’s complicated? That’s what makes them interesting! From Victoria Schwab’s teen monster to Leigh Bardugo’s heist-ready gang, here are a few worth reading about.

John Green’s next book, Turtles All the Way Down, is coming at you pretty soon. He reads the first chapter of it, and you can watch and listen.

I feel like a key part of the teen experience, at least for me and my friends as kids, is some sort of quirky job growing up. In this post, Kelly rounds up a bunch of odd jobs, from running a casino (Overturned by Lamar Giles) to working as an Antarctic researcher (Up To This Pointe by Jennifer Longo).

Ever wonder what it’s like to research children’s books? Check out this guest post from Daisy Johnson, who talks about things she’s learned.

And now, the deals!

Lots of great deals in YA floating around in the eBook world, so stock up! Winter is coming, and I don’t mean that in a bad-Game-of-Thrones-reference sort of way. It’s getting colder, and you’re going to want a stack of books to snuggle up with. Even if that stack is a virtual one.

Alterations by Stephanie Scott: This YA contemporary novel about a fashion-loving teen caught up in a whirlwind romance was nominated for a RITA this year for best first novel, and it’s only $1!

Adam Silvera’s heartbreaking second novel, History is All You Left Me, is only sale for just $1.99. With They Both Die at the End out soon, you should pick it up.

In the mood for some intense fantasy? A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess is on sale for $1.99.

What’s it like to be just a normal kid when superheroes are all over the place? Patrick Ness answers that in The Rest of Us Just Live Here, and it’s just $1.99 right now. This was one of my favorite books released last year.

Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older is $1.99, perfectly priced to prepare you for Shadowhouse Fall, the sequel out soon.

Why did Blackbeard turn out the way he did? Nicole Castroman explores his early life in Blackhearts, a really fun pirate adventure about a teen Blackbeard, and it’s $1.99.

Thanks for spending some time with me. Kelly will be back next week.

  • Eric Smith, @ericsmithrocks

Currently reading All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry, out in October!