It’s been about a year since I started my job as the Young Adult Librarian. In that year I’ve read many YA books, some good and some not so good. Here are a few that I highly recommend.
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely
The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds
Before I started choosing Young Adult books for the library I hadn’t heard of Jason Reynolds. I’m really glad that that’s changed. Reynolds’ characters are real people. They talk like modern teenagers talk and you can hear their voices in your head when you read the dialog. Reynolds writes about tough, timely topics. Police brutality, death, first love, substance abuse, family dynamics; it’s all included in these two outstanding books.
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
I was skeptical about this one. A book told through “found” electronic messages, memos and lab reports? How exciting could it be? I was wrong. When Kady and Ezra’s planet is invaded they, and the rest of the population, are forced to escape on spaceships, but that’s just the beginning. We follow along as the two teens race against time to figure out why their ships are being targeted and what kind of fatal disease is quickly spreading among their fellow passengers. This is the start of a new series.
Lois Lane: Fallout by Gwenda Bond
Lois Lane has always been one of my favorite characters. Here, she’s reimagined as a teenage journalist-in-training. She and her colleagues at the student-run “Daily Scoop” news website, and an online friend she knows only as “Smallville Guy,” investigate a gang of high school bullies. Part Nancy Drew, part science fiction, this is a fun read for anyone who’s a fan of Lois Lane or light mysteries.
Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
How can you go wrong with Italy and ice cream? Although it starts with a tragedy, the book is mostly an entertaining, light romance/mystery set against the backdrop of beautiful Tuscany. If you’re looking for a quick read with sympathetic and likable characters give this one a try.
Most Dangerous by Steve Sheinkin
The Vietnam War. Watergate. Although these events were covered in school, the topics are so complicated there is always more to learn. This book, about Daniel Ellsberg and why he decided to steal and reveal the secret Pentagon Papers, provides a lot of insight into this era of American history. Although very well researched and detailed, this exciting account reads more like a spy-thriller than a history book.
-Written by Kim Iacucci, Young Adult Librarian