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What's Up in YA

Your Favorite YA Characters by Myers-Briggs Personality Type

Hey YA Readers!

Let’s do something different today, shall we?

I enjoy a good personality test, even though they’re quite limiting. I see many of them akin to astrology: fun, maybe a little insightful or thought-provoking, but not something by which I guide my life or make serious decisions. Some, such as Myers-Briggs, have a history in simply being made up for profit (see: The Personality Brokers).

For a long time, I mostly stuck with Myers-Briggs as my typing of choice because it made the most sense to me. But after reading more about Enneagram, I found it to be even more interesting. It’s got a little more flexibility, since you can land as one type but have characteristics of another, too.

Even more fun for me is thinking about what characters in books, movies, and other pop culture might be my “type.” Thanks to this database of personality types, I’ve pulled together a few characters from YA lit by their types. Agree? Disagree? This week’s newsletter looks at characters by Myers-Briggs. Next week, we’ll dive into Enneagram.

It’d definitely be worthwhile to check out the books featuring characters who share a personality type with your current favorite characters, too.

You can take your Myers-Briggs test here and your Enneagram test here, if you don’t know your typing yet.

Characters by Myers-Briggs Type

ISTJ (The Inspector)

ISTP (The Crafter)

ISFJ (The Protector)

ISFP (The Artist)

INFJ (The Advocate)

INFP (The Mediator)

INTJ (The Architect)

INTP (The Thinker)

ESTP (The Persuader)

ESTJ (The Director)

ESFP (The Performer)

ESFJ (The Caregiver)

ENFP (The Champion)

ENFJ (The Giver)

ENTP (The Debater)

ENTJ (The Commander)

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


I’ve only read one of the books within my type and I can see the similarities between myself and the character. What about you?

Thanks for hanging out. We’ll see you later this week for your YA book news and new books.

Happy Reading!

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram.

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What's Up in YA

So Many Upcoming YA Adaptations! That, Plus Your YA Book Releases This Week: March 3, 2022

Hey YA Readers!

Let’s dive into this week’s new books and news about YA books. It’s a new month and, at least here in the midwest, I see little peeps of spring emerging. I’m ready to shed this winter skin for some brighter skies (even if it’s mostly in the weather, I’ll take it!).

YA Book News

New YA Books

Please note that with supply chain issues, paper supply challenges, and the pandemic more broadly, publication dates are changing at a pace I can’t keep up with. Some release dates may be pushed back. If a book catches your attention, the smartest thing to do right now is to preorder it or request it from your library. It’ll be a fun surprise when it arrives.

Hardcover

cover of All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir; cream colored with red and purple font

All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir

The Book of Living Secrets by Madeleine Roux

*Crimson Reign by Amélie Wen Zhao (series)

Debating Darcy by Sayantani DasGupta

The Deep Blue Between by Ayesha Harruna Attah

Edgewood by Kristen Ciccarelli

Every Line of You by Naomi Gibson

Every Variable Of Us by Charles A. Bush

Gallant by V. E. Schwab

*These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy (series)

The One True You and Me by Remi K. England

The Race of the Century by Neal Bascomb

the rumor game book cover

The Rumor Game by Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra

This Golden State by Marit Weisenberg

This Might Get Awkward by Kara McDowell

A Thousand Steps Into Night by Traci Chee

Travelers Along The Way by Aminah Mae Safi

Turning by Joy L. Smith

Wave by Diana Farid, illustrated by Kris Goto

*Youngbloods by Scott Westerfeld (series)

Paperback

City of the Uncommon Thief by Lynne Bertrand

The Fear by Natasha Preston

*Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson (series)

home is not a country book cover

Home Is Not a Country by Safia Elhillo

Jelly by Clare Rees

*Mirror’s Edge by Scott Westerfeld (series)

Ms. Gloria Steinem by Winifred Conkling (nonfiction)

A Night to Die For by Lisa Schroeder

Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly

Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price

The Queen’s Secret by Melissa de la Cruz

*Ravage the Dark by Tara Sim (series)

*Return of the Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (series)

Sisters of the War by Rania Abouzeid (nonfiction)

This Is All Your Fault by Aminah Mae Safi

We Are Not Free by Traci Chee

Yolk by Mary H. K. Choi

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

YA Talk at Book Riot

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The perfect magnetic bookmark for young adult book lovers. $4.


Thanks for hanging out, and we’ll see you again on Saturday with your ebook deals.

Until then, happy reading!

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram.

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What's Up in YA

YA Blasts from The Past: Favorites from 5, 10, 20, 30+ Years Ago

Hey YA Readers!

One of my favorite annual newsletters is looking back at some of the major titles that published in years gone by. These books are a mix of titles that were bestsellers at the time–and as you’ll see, some are still bestsellers–and titles that either won major awards or have become super familiar to us. This year’s look was especially enlightening for me, as I have a hard time thinking about 2017 as five years ago and 2012 as TEN years ago. But alas, they are.

Because this is a longer list, I’m not including descriptions. You can grab those by clicking the link. Instead, I’m hopeful many of these will be familiar or encourage you to dive into the books of yesteryear, whether they’re the ones listed here or ones you end up finding when you go down the rabbit hole of those years. I know I could have kept picking titles to highlight.

We’ll begin with five years ago, then we’ll go every ten years, all the way back to 1962 . . . SIXTY years ago. It should come as no surprise that before 2012, the array of books by authors of color is limited. These aren’t impossible to find, and I’ve done what I can to include the ones I do find. These books span genres and formats.

Something you’ll notice and something I’ve talked about here and on site several times, is that YA books have “aged up.” In earlier decades, many of the YA books were aimed at younger teens and featured younger teen characters; several of those books might be published as middle grade in today’s publishing landscape.

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

2017

I don’t know about you, but thinking about five years ago feels both like a million years ago and yesterday. I especially feel it looking at this roster of best and most notable books from 2017, a year where we really saw growth in diverse YA. Still not good enough, but when you look at this year compared to years prior, it’s hard not to notice.

The Hate U Give Book Cover

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Warcross by Marie Lu

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

2012

Even weirder to comprehend for me is that 2012 was ten years ago. I still remember these books releasing like it just happened.

code name verity book cover

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

The Diviners by Libba Bray — to think this series just wrapped up, too!

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas — talk about someone who has built an empire in the last decade.

2002

In 2002, I was a high school junior/senior. I remember one of these books from that time (Tithe) though the others all came into my sphere of awareness a little later.

feed book cover

Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier — the companion to this published in 2014.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman — though I definitely know this is a middle grade novel, it’s one that’s so familiar, I wanted to include it because this book is 20 years old.

Feed by MT Anderson — and still eerily relevant.

Hush by Jacqueline Woodson

Tithe by Holly Black

1992

This was a year of great fantasy in teen fiction, as well as the launch of a franchise you’ll be familiar with, even if you aren’t a comic or manga reader.

sailor moon #1 cover

Castles in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones — the sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle

Looking for Alabrandi by Melina Marchetta — though this book didn’t have tremendous popularity in the US, it was huge in Australia. Goodreads lists it as the 90th most popularly shelved title from 1992.

Sailor Moon #1 by Naoko Takeuchi 

Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce

Year of Impossible Goodbyes by Sook Nyul Choi — this one is definitely middle grade, but I wanted to include it since it might conjure some feelings of being a certain age in the early 90s.

1982

This is a particularly good year for YA books, including one that was groundbreaking and one that has been a long-time favorite in the UK.

annie on my mind book cover

Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden — this book is still in print and has a fascinating and important legacy in queer YA.

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley

Dragon’s Blood by Jane Yolen

Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend — a long time favorite in the UK and one of the bestselling YA books of all time.

Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush by Virginia Hamilton — an author with a huge middle grade and YA legacy.

1972

Digging up some of the big books from 1972 for teens was surprisingly hard. Certainly, there are familiar names here, but at least one of these would be middle grade if published now.

mom the wolf man and me book cover

A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck

It’s Not The End of the World by Judy Blume

Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

Me and Fat Glenda by Lila Perl — I read this a handful of years back after picking it up in a bookstore while on a solo vacation. It was fine until the end when it turns Super Problematic.

Mom, The Wolf Man, and Me by Norma Klein — You can hear Brandy Colbert and I talk in depth about this book on an episode of Hey YA Extra Credit.

1962

Finally, sixty years back, and it wasn’t a banner year for young adult literature. There were better years in the 60s, so I’ve pulled a few titles by well-known/popular authors of the era who are still recognizable and I also included a couple of non-YA books but with huge YA appeal.

game of danger book cover

Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare

Game of Danger by Lois Duncan — This is a very much out of print early teen novel by Duncan. You can’t find it on retail sites, so I’ve linked to the Wikipedia page.

Going On Sixteen by Betty Cavanna — Cavanna is a well-known name from this era in teen lit.

Three Loves Has Sandy by Amelia Elizabeth Walden — namesake of the Walden Award for teen literature.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


As always, thanks for hanging out. We’ll see you later this week for your YA news and new books.

Until then, happy reading!

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram

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What's Up in YA

Latine Speculative Fiction and More of Your YA Book News and New Books: February 24, 2022

Hey YA Readers!

Somehow I blinked and it’s almost March. This month is flying by. Let’s take a look this week’s YA book news and new book releases.

YA Book News

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

New YA Books This Week

Please note that with supply chain issues, paper supply challenges, and the pandemic more broadly, publication dates are changing at a pace I can’t keep up with. Some release dates may be pushed back. If a book catches your attention, the smartest thing to do right now is to preorder it or request it from your library. It’ll be a fun surprise when it arrives.

Hardcover

Close-Up on War by Mary Farrell (nonfiction)

Daughters of a Dead Empire book cover

Daughters of the Dead Empire by Carolyn Tara O’Neil

Extasia by Claire Legrand

Full Flight by Ashley Schumacher

League of Liars by Astrid Scholte

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh

The Lost Dreamer by Lizz Huerta

Only a Monster by Vanessa Len (series)

The Turning Pointe by Vanessa L. Torres

Paperback

Dragonfly Girl book cover

Dragonfly Girl by Marti Leimbach

Float by Kate Marchant

Jane Against The World by Karen Blumenthal (nonfiction)

Mazie by Melanie Crowder

The Truth Project by Dante Medema

The Valley and the Flood by Rebecca Mahoney

Traitor by Amanda McCrina

Unbeatable by Phillip Hoose (nonfiction–note the new title)

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

YA Talk at Book Riot

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Add a little pop of spring to your reading life with these customizable floral page holders. These little gadgets save your fingers when you’re holding open a book (something as a person with super tiny hands, I appreciate!). $10 and up.


As always, thanks for hanging out. We’ll see you again on Saturday for some great YA ebook deals.

Happy reading!

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram.

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What's Up in YA

Bad Blood: Exploring Toxic Friendship in YA

Hey YA Fans!

A common chorus I’ve seen for years is that YA lacks good friendship tories. This isn’t true, though — there are a good number of YA friendship books, including a number of great friendship YA comics.

miss meteor book cover

Among the explorations of friendships include how a friendship changes or evolves (You Should See Me In a Crown by Leah Johnson, Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson, We’ll Fly Away by Bryan Bliss, and Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anne-Marie McLemore), how it might come to an end (We Used to Be Friends by Amy Spalding and When You Were Everything by Ashley Woodfolk), and what it looks and feels like for a new friendship to spark (Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram and The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed). An area that’s been under explored, though, is the toxic friendship.

What is a toxic friendship? It’s a friendship that’s hot and cold, but where one person wields that heat over the other for their own gain. They might demand certain favors for their friend to keep the relationship going. There may be teasing or belittling that shifts the power dynamic, such that one person in the relationship needs to see the other grovel or pursue that relationship in unhealthy, self-deprecating ways. Any number of scenarios could play out, but ultimately, it’s not a relationship built on mutual trust, respect, and commitment to one another. The signs of a toxic romance apply here — so much of what makes a romantic relationship work are the same elements of a strong friendship. The same goes for destructive ones.

I started this newsletter with the intentions of a book list and pooled together a list of books featuring toxic friendships in YA. But then something a little more frustrating struck me: every single book I found featured female friendship that turned toxic. I looked for a long, long time, as well as sought out the help of other YA readers (including Tirzah). We were able to come up with some “maybe sort of” titles, including the just-released The Chandler Legacies by Abdi Nazemian. More than once, a title would come up that might fit the bill, but what stood out was that most of those titles featured one of the male characters having romantic feelings for his friend. That might change a friendship, but that shift doesn’t make that relationship toxic (and in some cases, that budding romance is more implicit in the text than it is explicit–compare, for example, Darius the Great is Not Okay and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe).

But why is toxic male friendship missing in YA?

Gender certainly plays a role here, given the belief girls are much more emotional and emotionally invested in their friendship than boys. YA, though, has become more broad in understanding the range of human emotion and the nuances of gender in the last half decade, and yet, there’s still far more focus on the good and bad of female friendship that on male. That’s not to say there aren’t books in YA featuring male characters — there certainly are and the numbers haven’t decreased — but the range of experiences those male characters are allowed to have is narrower than those for their female counterparts. It’s important girls have the capacity to work through challenging relationships, but when there’s such a divide on an experience that’s not gender-specific, it’s hard not to read into it. . . and not just because boys don’t have toxic friendships. It links toxicity to female friendship exclusively, playing into the mean girl/not like other girls/better than other girls tropes that mar other forms of media.

And why is it when a male friendship is tested, more times than not it’s because of potential romantic feelings, as opposed to actual toxic behaviors.

I don’t have answers and I won’t pretend to have any.

It’s impossible not to address this is binary in thinking about gender and YA, but given that YA is still primarily binary in gender representation, there’s not been enough titles featuring trans, genderqueer, agender, and other non-binary identities to notice any trends. This binary view, though, is stark.

the best lies book cover

More, when we do look at this through the binary lens, we see just how small the boxes we allow male and females to exist in. Girls have far more toxic friendships than boys do. Friendships matter far more to female characters than to male ones. The moment that any potential romantic feelings emerge in a male friendship, it becomes the catalyst to a story, as opposed to a means of understanding the complexities of a friendship more broadly (we see this in YA female friendships, that line between platonic and romantic blurring, shifting, and erasing).

I’m hopeful as we see more diverse gender expression in YA that we can allow male-identifying characters to break down the sides of those boxes they’re in, too, and offer more complex, challenging, and compelling friendship narratives–including ones that are toxic.

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

*

It’d be unfair to leave this collection of thoughts without any sort of book list, so a quick list of some of the titles I’d pulled together featuring toxic friendship in some capacity (it might be central to the story or might be a significant relationship that happens over the course of the book). It’s diverse, and yet, the gender dynamics here are clear:

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


Thanks for hanging out again this week. We’ll see you on Thursday with your YA book news and new books.

Until then, happy reading!

— Kelly Jensen, currently reading All The Right Reasons by Bethany Mangle which has a really great female friendship in it.

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What's Up in YA

A Summer of Free YA Audiobooks: Your YA Book News and New Books, February 17, 2022

Hey YA Readers!

I hope your February is treating you well and even if it’s not, you’re able to find some time with a good book and a comforting beverage of choice. Let’s take a look at this week’s YA news and new books.

YA Book News

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

This Week’s YA Releases

Please note that with supply chain issues, paper supply challenges, and the pandemic more broadly, publication dates are changing at a pace I can’t keep up with. Some release dates may be pushed back. If a book catches your attention, the smartest thing to do right now is to preorder it or request it from your library. It’ll be a fun surprise when it arrives.

Hardcover

all the right reasons book cover

All The Right Reasons by Bethany Mangle

Bitter by Akwaeke Emezi

Bright Ruined Things by Samantha Cohoe

Cramm This Book by Olivia Seltzer (nonfiction)

Howl by Shaun David Hutchinson

Ironhead, or Once a Young Lady by Jean-Claude van Rijckeghem and translated by Kristen Gehrman

Reclaim the Stars edited by Zoraida Córdova

Rima’s Rebellion by Margarita Engle

The Chandler Legacies by Abdi Nazemian

Paperback

Girls with Rebel Souls by Suzanne Young (series)

The Bright and the Pale by Jessica Rubinkowski (series)

a complicated love story set in space book cover

A Complicated Love Story Set in Space by Shaun David Hutchinson

Bruised by Tanya Boteju

Game Changer by Neal Shusterman

Prepped by Bethany Mangle

The Wide Starlight by Nicole Lesperance

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!

YA at Book Riot

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Pop one of these great “read more” pins on your book tote. $9.


Thanks for hanging out, and we’ll see you again with your book deals on Saturday.

Happy reading!

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram.

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What's Up in YA

YA That’s Pretty In Pink

Hey YA Readers!

It’s Valentine’s Day and while many people hold a very strong opinion about it, good or bad, one of the things I personally love about it is how much red and pink abounds. Both of those colors are warm, inviting, and remind me that spring isn’t too far away (even if it might still be a over a month away). To celebrate today but do so in a way that’s not love-focused — some are! — let’s take a look at a handful of recent and upcoming YA books which feature pink covers. These range in genre and style, but one thing they have in common is their pinkness. I’m not including cover designers on this list only because it doesn’t focus on design elements but instead, just the color.

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

beating heart baby book cover

Beating Heart Baby by Lio Min (July 26)

When Santi accidentally leaked Memo’s song and it became an overnight hit, Memo — Santi’s best friend and romantic interest who he only knows from the internet — disappears. Santi’s heart is broken.

Three years and a new high school later, it’s possible Santi has found Memo, but in a way he never anticipated nor dreamed.

This one’s for fans of enemies-to-lovers stories and features a significant trans character.

boys of the beast book cover

Boys of the Beast by Monica Zepeda (March 29)

Over the last few years, we’ve finally seen more YA road trip books by and starring people of color. Add this one to that growing list!

Cousins Matt, Ethan, and Oscar are taking their grandfather’s 1988 Ford Thunderbird on a road trip from Portland, Oregon, to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in order to better understand one another and themselves.

confessions of an alleged good girl book cover

Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl by Joya Goffney (May 3)

When Monique discovers she physically cannot have sex, it’s a little hard for her to find someone to talk to or get help from. She’s the daughter of a preacher in a religion where premarital sex isn’t permitted.

Monique’s boyfriend of two years breaks up with her because of this condition and she’s determined to win him back and find an answer. She has to turn to two other “church kids” to help her out.

the feeling of falling in love book cover

The Feeling of Falling in Love by Mason Deaver (August 2)

I did not think the perfect book cover existed and then this one came along.

This is a queer grumpy-sunshine romance, wherein a date drafted for a wedding on the other side of a country ends up falling apart before it begins, and when Neil drafts a new date last-minute, it may be more than simply a date to the wedding. It might be something much more fiery (heh).

flip the script book cover

Flip the Script by Lyla Lee (May 31)

For fans of K-dramas and YA books set outside the US, this one is sure to be a winner. It follows K-drama lover Hana, who lands a role in a forthcoming show. She knows what she has to do in the job, and despite having a cute on-screen boyfriend, she knows better than to fall in love.

But then a new girl arrives on the show to challenge Hana for the boy and . . . maybe neither of them want the boy.

my sisters big fat indian wedding book cover

My Sister’s Big Fat Indian Wedding by Sajni Patel (April 19)

Rom-com + music competition + giant, exuberant Indian wedding? This sounds like an utter delight of a book.

The cover feels like it gives a lot of the finer points of the plot, including a horse??

a night to die for book cover

A Night to Die For by Lisa Schroeder (March 1)

Mario’s been a loner throughout high school and on prom night, he takes a girl with him as a favor to his mom. But the night goes weird, quick: he’s crowned Prom King, despite being unpopular, and then, when driving his date home, he finds the Prom Queen dead in a ditch. He’s being called the murderer, even though this night has been nothing but a wormy nightmare for him.

so this is ever after book cover

So This Is Ever After by FT Lukens (March 29)

This one is pitched as Carry On meets Arthurian legend and features Arek, who has completed the prophecy and saved the Kingdom of Ere from an evil ruler. Now he has no idea what to do as the person in charge, and with his 18th birthday coming, he’s starting to look for a spouse. The search begins with his companions in overthrowing the prophecy but those dates go horribly wrong. Perhaps the one he’s meant to be with is the one who is so painfully obvious to everyone…except Arek.

when you get the chance book cover

When You Get The Chance by Emma Lord

This morning before writing this newsletter, I got an email that a LiveJournal friend of mine just earned a gift for being on the site for 20 years. If you’re thinking what does that have to do with this book at all, the answer is that this book follows Millie on her search to find her mom which begins with her finding her father’s embarrassingly emotional LiveJournal from 2003 [insert a ton of uncomfortable emoji faces here].

when you get the chance book cover

When You Get The Chance by Robin Stevenson and Tom Ryan

This is not Groundhog Day. It’s the same book title as above, but different authors and a different story.

If you’ve ever wanted a queer road trip book set in Canada about two cousins who want to go to Toronto’s Pride festival, look no further.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


I hope you found some great titles for your TBR. I know that I did!

Until Thursday, happy reading.

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram.

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What's Up in YA

Why Black Joy Matters: Your YA Book News and New Books, February 10, 2022

Hey YA Readers!

Let’s dive into this week’s YA book news and the new YA books hitting shelves. I’ve been going one-on, one-off with YA lately (that is, every other book I read lately is YA) and have been enjoying titles like this week’s release No Filter and Other Lies by Crystal Maldonado.

YA Book News

New YA Books This Week

Please note that with supply chain issues, paper supply challenges, and the pandemic more broadly, publication dates are changing at a pace I can’t keep up with. Some release dates may be pushed back. If a book catches your attention, the smartest thing to do right now is to preorder it or request it from your library. It’ll be a fun surprise when it arrives.

Hardcover

Across a Field of Starlight book cover

Across a Field of Starlight by Blue Delliquanti

Finding Her Edge by Jennifer Iacopelli

From Dust, A Flame by Rebecca Podos

Golden Boys by Phil Stamper

In Harm’s Way by Michael J. Tougias and Doug Stanton

Lulu and Milagro’s Search for Clarity by Angela Velez

Mirror Girls by Kelly McWilliams

No Filter and Other Lies by Crystal Maldonado

Pinball by Jon Chad

Pixels of You by Ananth Hirsh and Yuko Ota, illustrated by J.R. Doyle

Sunny G’s Series of Rash Decisions by Navdeep Singh Dhillon

You Truly Assumed by Laila Sabreen

Paperback

payback book cover

Payback by Kristen Simmons (series)

Dryer’s English: Young Readers Edition by Benjamin Dreyer (nonfiction)

How To Change Everything: Young Readers Edition by Naomi Klein and adapted by Rebecca Stefoff

Rebel Daughter by Lori Banov Kaufmann

We Are The Ashes, We Are The Fire by Joy McCullough

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

YA Talk at Book Riot

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This book lover mug is so much fun, and it makes me yearn for reading a book out in my hammock with a glass of lemonade and ice. $12.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


Thanks for hanging out, and we’ll see you on Saturday for some sizzling deals and Monday for some cover fun.

Happy reading!

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram.

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What's Up in YA

Revolution in YA: Books About The Black Panther Party

Hey YA Readers!

I was thinking about my history education in high school in writing today’s newsletter. I went to a predominantly white high school in an area that was moving from being rural to being more suburban. My high school American history class was one of my favorites, in part because my teacher elected to do things outside the traditional curriculum. I recall him specifically talking about how if the school board found out we were reading Howard Zinn or The Autobiography of Malcolm X they’d likely be unhappy.

Despite these extra readings adding depth to the class, history in America still seemingly stopped around the second World War. “Time” ran out. It’s hard to really sit with that explanation though, given that months seemed dedicated to the wars (and the weeks of learning why and how the Civil War “wasn’t about slavery”) and very little time was given to social movements.

All of that is preface for saying that I don’t recall learning about the Black Panthers except maybe as a line in a textbook, briefly. I suspect my education, despite being a little more broad than most, mirrors what many white Americans experienced as well.

It wasn’t until I met the Black Panthers in Kekla Magoon’s The Rock and the River that I better understood what this group did to help Black Americans. That their role, pushed to the margins of textbooks (if they were mentioned at all), deserved far more attention.

In the last couple of years, YA has brought more history of this Black political organization to young readers, thanks to the anti-racism movement and, of course, Black Lives Matter. Let’s take a look at some of the fiction and nonfiction in YA exploring the Black Panther Party (and indeed, you’ll see Kekla Magoon mentioned a few times here because she really was the first in YA and has been consistently writing about them).

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

the black panthers party book cover

Black Panther Party by David Walker and Marcus Kwame Anderson

Get to know the purpose and philosophies behind the Black Panther party in this nonfiction comic that digs into the group’s founding, their principals, and some of the major figures within the organization.

freedom book cover

Freedom!: The Story of the Black Panther Party by Jetta Grace Martin, Joshua Bloom, and Waldo E Martin

This nonfiction account of the Black Panthers just hit shelves. It, too, is about the group’s history, its founding members, and it includes an array of photographs. It’ll be especially resonant with readers who are passionate about anti-racism and Black Lives Matter, as the parallels between the two become apparent.

one crazy summer book cover

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

This one is middle grade, but I’m including it since it’s a book YA readers should be familiar with as well. It’s the first in a trilogy.

Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are spending the summer with their mother, who moved to Oakland, California, seven years prior to start a new life. When they arrive, the sisters are sent not to Disneyland, like they hoped, but instead, they’re going to a summer camp run by the Black Panthers. It’s here they get an eye-opening look at their family’s history and the legacy of Black lives in America more broadly.

revolution in our time book cover

Revolution In Our Time by Kekla Magoon

We’re entering the Kekla Magoon portion of this booklist, and if you are going to choose one book to read from this list, make it Revolution In Our Time. This highly decorated nonfiction title is an in-depth history of the Black Panthers, highlighting the reasons behind the group’s development and the ways in which members helped teach Black citizens to protect themselves in a country that refuses to keep them safe. Magoon does an outstanding job of exploring the reality that much of the group’s power and movement came because of the dedication of Black women.

the rock and the river book cover

The Rock and the River and Fire In The Streets by Kekla Magoon

The Rock and the River was Magoon’s first book. It’s a novel following a teen boy in 1968 Chicago as he becomes involved with the Black Panthers and wrestles with what creating change means — his father is a known Civil Rights activist who believes in nonviolence, but once Sam is involved with the Black Panthers, he’s torn on what he believes and how he can best create change.

I’ve included Fire In The Streets in the same blurb here, as it’s a companion novel set in the same year and location, but this time follows Maxie, a 14-year-old eager to be part of the Panthers. The big challenge on her end is too many people believing she’s far too young to get involved.

“Pulse of the Panthers” by Kekla Magoon in A Tyranny of Petticoats

One of my favorite stories in A Tyranny of Petticoats, edited by Jessica Spotswood, is Magoon’s story of a girl who helps her dad in hosting a training weekend for the Black Panthers at their family farm.

You can find more of Magoon’s work in YA about the Black Panthers in the anthology 1968: Today’s Authors Explore a Year of Rebellion, Revolution, and Change compiled by Marc Aronson and Susan Campbell Bartoletti.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


I hope you’ve found some outstanding, compelling, and vital reads here tis week.

Until Thursday, happy reading!

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram.

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What's Up in YA

Your TBR Will Topple with This Week’s New YA Releases: February 3, 2022

Hey YA Readers!

Welcome to a whole new month of YA news and new YA books. It might be a short month, but it’s going to be a good one. Let’s dive in. Note that news is light this week only because it doesn’t include the host of book challenges going on — those’ll be linked in the last section of the newsletter.

YA Book News

New YA Books

Please note that with supply chain issues, paper supply challenges, and the pandemic more broadly, publication dates are changing at a pace I can’t keep up with. Some release dates may be pushed back. If a book catches your attention, the smartest thing to do right now is to preorder it or request it from your library. It’ll be a fun surprise when it arrives.

Hardcover

and we rise book cover

Castles In Their Bones by Laura Sebastian (series)

Court by Tracy Wolff (series)

The Iron Sword by Julie Kagawa (series)

And We Rise by Erica Martin

Fire Becomes Her by Rosiee Thor

Forward March by Skye Quinlan

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

In The Serpent’s Wake by Rachel Hartman

Once More With Chutzpah by Haley Neil

ready when you are book cover

Ready When You Are by Gary Lonesborough

Required Reading for Disenfranchised Freshmen by Kristen R. Lee by Kristen R. Lee

Respect the Mic edited by Peter Kahn and Hanif Abdurraqib

These Deadly Games by Diana Urban

This Woven Kingdom by Tahereh Mafi (series)

Why Would I Lie? by Adi Rule

Paperback

All The Tides of Fate by Adalyn Grace (series)

At Somerton: Diamonds and Deceit by Leila Rasheed (series)

Cover of Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn (series)

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer (series)

Murder of Crows by K. Ancrum (series)

Red Tigress by Amélie Wen Zhao (series)

Victories Greater Than Death by Charlie Jane Anders (series)

Admission by Julie Buxbaum

Bones of a Saint by Grant Farley

Camp So-and-So by Mary McCoy

Charming As a Verb by Ben Philippe

Deepfake by Sarah Darer Littman

Destination Anywhere by Sara Barnard

Girls On The Line by Jennie Liu

Heartbreakers and Fakers by Cameron Lund

horror hotel book cover

Horror Hotel by Victoria Fulton and Faith McClaren

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Danica Novgorodoff (graphic novel)

Love In English by Maria E. Andreu

Love Is A Revolution by Renée Watson

Loveless by Alice Oseman

Playing With Fire by April Henry

Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olson

The Electric Kingdom by David Arnold

Make sure to get your own Read Harder Book Journal from Book Riot to track your reading for the year!

YA at Book Riot

Image of a bookmark featuring queer YA book spines on top of an actual rainbow of queer YA book spines.

Keep your place in your current read with this sweet YA pride bookmark. $6.50.

Don’t forget you can get three free audiobooks at Audiobooks.com with a free trial!


Thanks for hanging out, and we’ll see you again on Saturday with your YA ebook deals.

Happy reading!

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram.