What's Up in YA

Fairy tales Retold, A Real-Life Historical Criminal, and More YA Book Talk: November 21, 2022

Hey YA Readers!

Let’s dive into all things new books this week, highlighting both the new releases hitting shelves in hardcover and a host of YA nonfiction books that came out throughout the month. These would make some delicious reads for those of you with a long weekend — or a random Thursday off — this week.

Bookish Goods

gray sweatshirt with the word "bookish" in white text.

Bookish Sweatshirt by iprintasty

This is a really straightforward sweatshirt, but its simplicity is its beauty. Grab a “bookish” crewneck in several colors for the perfect winter reading uniform piece — I’m a big fan of the navy one. ~$40, up to size 5XL.

New Releases

Let’s look at two hardcover books hitting shelves this week. You can find the rest of this week’s new releases in the fall roundup of new hardcovers.

at midnight book cover

At Midnight edited by Dahlia Adler

Adler’s third anthology features yet another star-studded contributorship. This time, 15 different writers offer up twists on beloved fairy tales ranging from Rumpelstiltskin to Puss in Boots to The Nutcracker, Cinderella, and more. Among the contributors are Malinda Lo, Alex London, Stacey Lee, and Tracy Deonn.

other side of the tracks book cover

Other Side of the Tracks by Charity Alyse

Bayside and Hamilton are racially-divided towns, and no one crosses the tracks. When Zach, who is white, moves to Bayside and pursues his dreams of music by visiting the historic jazz music shop in Hamilton, he meets Capri. Capri, who dreams of Broadway, lives in Hamilton and knows that even if she and Zach are connecting in a powerful way, their relationship could raise eyebrows.

When a white Bayside cop kills the star of the Hamilton football team — who happens to be best friends with Capri’s older brother — everything will be put to the test.

Pass this along to readers who love The Hate U Give and All American Boys.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

November in Nonfiction

How about a look at a handful of new YA nonfiction that hit shelves this month? It’s a nice collection of original titles, as well as titles adapted from adult books for teen audiences. Whether you like history, biography/memoir, or adventure, there’s something here — a nice way to celebrate nonfiction November.

Two books that also hit shelves this month but aren’t included below are the young reader edition of Caste by Isabel Wilkerson and Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer and Monique Gray Smith, as both were highlighted in the October 24 edition of the newsletter.

Black internet effect book cover

Black Internet Effect by Shavone Charles

The number of people of color who are leaders in the tech field — let alone the number of women of color specifically who fall into this category — continues to remain abysmally small. Charles’s book is about her rise through companies like Google and Twitter and how she landed herself on Forbes’s list of 30 under 30. Not only does she share her story, but she highlights how other young women of color can, and should, continue to demand space in these powerhouse STEM fields.

dreaming in code book cover

Dreaming in Code: Ada Byron Lovelace, Computer Pioneer by Emily Arnold McCully (new in paperback)

Perfect for the younger YA readers and those middle grade readers itching for YA books is this biography of Ada Byron Lovelace. Raised by her mother in isolation from her father, the poet Lord Byron, Ada grew up being tutored by some of the brightest people in England. When she was 17, Ada met Charles Babbage, and together, the two of them developed several ideas and concepts that still impact computer programming today.

Pass this along to readers who want STEM books featuring rad women leaders…and frankly, it never gets old thinking about how Lovelace is the daughter of Lord Byron.

hanged book cover

Hanged!: Mary Surratt & the Plot to Assassinate Abraham Lincoln by Sarah Miller

Miller writes some of the most compelling YA nonfiction with a criminal beat to it, and this one sounds like no exception. Mary Surratt has the distinction of being the first woman hanged in the United States. Her supposed crime? Being the individual behind the plot to kill Abraham Lincoln, his vice president, the secretary of state, and General Grant. Surratt is a complex woman from an equally complex background, and this book offers both that insight and the question of whether she was guilty as charged or in the wrong place at the wrong time.

(I cannot recommend Miller’s take on the Lizzie Borden murders enough, either, so pop The Borden Murders on your TBR, too, if true historical crime is your jam.)

the other side book cover

The Other Side by Juan Pablo Villalobos (new in paperback)

How much do you know of the stories of migrant teens who leave their homes in Central America for a new life in the United States? This book offers their voices and perspectives. Weaving together the stories of 11 Central American teens, it follows their paths from the decision to flee, the challenges they experienced, and the fears and hopes they have in America. An honest look at the refugee crisis and how it directly impacts young people.

Thanks for hanging out. We’ll see you on Thursday for some paperback talk, some YA news, and more.

Until then, happy reading!

— Kelly Jensen, currently catching up on her podcast listening.