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Great Fiction for Teens 2018-2019


Every year the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) selects the best new fiction for young adults. The following titles were winners in 2018 and 2019. All are available here at MC-NPL.

Book cover of The poet X : a novel The poet X : a novel
by Elizabeth Acevedo
Novel-in-verse by an award-winning slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo, about Afro-Latina Xiomara Batista who turns to journalling poetry.
Book cover of Children of blood and bone Children of blood and bone
by Tomi Adeyemi
Seventeen-year-old Zélie, her older brother Tzain, and rogue princess Amari fight to restore magic to the land and activate a new generation of magi, but they are ruthlessly pursued by the crown prince, who believes the return of magic will mean the end of the monarchy.
Book cover of The Hazel Wood : a novel The Hazel Wood : a novel
by Melissa Albert
When the scary, magical world in her grandmother's book of dark feminist fairy tales becomes real, seventeen-year-old Alice, partnered with Ellery, an obsessed fan of the fairy tales, must enter the world to rescue Alice's kidnapped mother.
Book cover of The wicker king The wicker king
by Kayla Ancrum
Best friends August and Jack struggle to cope as one spirals into madness.
Book cover of Midnight at the Electric Midnight at the Electric
by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Adri's, Catherine's, and Lenore's lives are intertwined but not in the way that one would think. Adri lives in 2065 Kansas, Catherine lives in 1930s Kansas, and Lenore lives in England in 1919.
Book cover of The strange fascinations of Noah Hypnotik The strange fascinations of Noah Hypnotik
by David Arnold
This is Noah Oakman, sixteen, Bowie believer, concise historian, disillusioned swimmer, son, brother, friend. Then Noah gets hypnotized.
Book cover of Far from the tree Far from the tree
by Robin Benway
Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovers that she is the middle child in her biological family after she gives up her own child for adoption, and she struggles to find belonging as she tries to bond with her stoic older brother and outspoken younger sister.
Book cover of The cruel prince The cruel prince
by Holly Black
Jude, seventeen and mortal, gets tangled in palace intrigues while trying to win a place in the treacherous High Court of Faerie, where she and her sisters have lived for a decade.
Book cover of Ivy Aberdeen's letter to the world Ivy Aberdeen's letter to the world
by Ashley Herring Blake
Twelve-year-old Ivy Aberdeen's house is destroyed in a tornado, and in the aftermath of the storm, she begins to develop feelings for another girl at school.
Book cover of Girl made of stars Girl made of stars
by Ashley Herring Blake
When Mara's twin brother Owen is accused of rape by her friend Hannah, Mara is forced to confront her feelings about her family, her sense of right and wrong, a trauma from her past, and the future with her girlfriend, Charlie.
Book cover of A heart in a body in the world A heart in a body in the world
by Deb Caletti
Followed by Grandpa Ed in his RV and backed by her brother and friends, Annabelle, eighteen, runs from Seattle to Washington, D.C., becoming a reluctant activist as people connect her journey to her recent trauma.
Book cover of Jane, unlimited Jane, unlimited
by Kristin Cashore
Recently orphaned Jane accepts an unexpected invitation from an old acquaintance to an island mansion where she will face five choices that could ultimately determine the course of her newly untethered life.
Book cover of Bad romance Bad romance
by Heather Demetrios
When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it's too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she's unable to escape.
Book cover of Bull : a novel Bull : a novel
by David Elliott
A modern twist on the Theseus and Minotaur myth, told in verse.
Book cover of Overturned Overturned
by L. R. (Lamar R.) Giles
When her father is cleared of murder charges and released from death row, Nikki, who has been saving money to get out of Vegas by playing illegal poker games, joins her father's obsessive search to find the person who framed him.
Book cover of Refugee Refugee
by Alan Gratz
Separated by decades, Josef, a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany; Isabel, a girl trying to escape unrest in 1994 Cuba; and Mahmoud, a Syrian boy in 2015 whose homeland is torn apart by violence, embark on journeys in search of refuge.
Book cover of Turtles all the way down Turtles all the way down
by John Green
Aza Holmes, a high school student with obsessive-compulsive disorder, becomes focused on searching for a fugitive billionaire.
Book cover of Between the lines Between the lines
by Nikki Grimes
A group of high school students grow in understanding of each other's challenges and forge unexpected connections as they prepare for a boys vs. girls poetry slam. Includes author's note about foster home care.
Book cover of A face like glass A face like glass
by Frances Hardinge
When Neverfell, who has no memory, arrives in Caverna, her facial expressions make her very dangerous to the people who live with blank faces or pay dearly to learn to simulate emotions.
Book cover of Slider Slider
by Pete Hautman
Hoping to win a cash prize in a pizza eating contest after racking up a tab on his mother's credit card, David must juggle his competitive eating training with the responsibility of looking after his autistic younger brother.
Book cover of Everything else in the universe Everything else in the universe
by Tracy Holczer
When her father returns from Vietnam after losing part of his arm, twelve-year-old Lucy Rossi struggles with the changes in her family, and it takes her friend Milo, a mysterious packet of photographs, and an eye-opening mission to help Lucy adjust.
Book cover of Soldier boy Soldier boy
by Keely Hutton
Follows Ricky from 1987-1991, and Samuel in 2006, as they are abducted to serve as child-soldiers in Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda.
Book cover of The librarian of Auschwitz The librarian of Auschwitz
by Antonio Iturbe
Follows Dita Kraus from age fourteen, when she is put in charge of a few forbidden books at Auschwitz concentration camp, through the end of World War II and beyond. Based on a true story.
Book cover of The fashion committee : a novel of art, crime and applied design The fashion committee : a novel of art, crime and applied design
by Susan Juby
Charlie and John are both gunning for the same scholarship to a private arts high school. For this coveted spot, they must compete in a fashion competition–and only one can win.
Book cover of Exo Exo
by Fonda Lee
Donovan Reyes is a loyal member of an alien security force on Earth, but after a routine search and seizure goes bad, Donovan finds himself a captive of the human revolutionary group, Sapience, terrorists who seem to prefer war to alien rule.
Book cover of The gentleman's guide to vice and virtue The gentleman's guide to vice and virtue
by Mackenzi Lee
Vowing to make his yearlong escapade across Europe his last hurrah before taking over the family estate, Henry “Monty” Montague and his best friend Percy find themselves in the middle of a dangerous manhunt involving pirates and highwaymen.
Book cover of Sawkill girls Sawkill girls
by Claire Legrand
After girls mysteriously disappear on the island of Sawkill Rock, three unlikely friends come together to destroy the Collector, a monster from another world who grows stronger with each kill.
Book cover of Warcross Warcross
by Marie Lu
When teenage coder Emika Chen hacks her way into the opening tournament of the Warcross Championships, she glitches herself into the game as well as a sinister plot with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.
Book cover of Isle of blood and stone Isle of blood and stone
by Makiia Lucier
When two maps surface, each bearing the same hidden riddle, nineteen-year-old Elias, a royal mapmaker, sets sail with King Ulises to uncover long-held secrets behind the mysterious disappearance of the king's two young brothers eighteen years earlier.
Book cover of Blanca & Roja Blanca & Roja
by Anna-Marie McLemore
Profoundly different sisters Blanca and Roja del Cisne, who know that due to a family curse, they are tied to a flock of swans, and one day one will become a swan while the other remains human, become involved with two local boys.
Book cover of A lite too bright A lite too bright
by Samuel Miller
After losing his college scholarship, Arthur discovers a journal written by his deceased grandfather and decides to follow the train route to the destination mentioned in the last sentence of the journal.
Book cover of Foolish hearts Foolish hearts
by Emma Mills
Claudia agrees to coach actors in her high school's production of “A Midsummer Night's Dream,” leading to new friendships–and maybe even new love.
Book cover of Sparrow Sparrow
by Sarah Moon
The story of a sensitive, gifted African American girl named Sparrow who tells us with mordant humor what it feels like to spend every day wishing so hard that you could fly away from it all.
Book cover of The stars beneath our feet The stars beneath our feet
by David Barclay Moore
Unable to celebrate the holidays in the wake of his older brother's death in a gang-related shooting, Lolly Rachpaul struggles to avoid being forced into a gang himself while constructing a fantastically creative LEGO city at the Harlem community center.
Book cover of Frogkisser! Frogkisser!
by Garth Nix
Princess Anya sets out to defeat her step-stepfather Duke Rikard, who is an evil wizard determined to rule the kingdom, with help from the librarian Gotfried and the Royal Dogs.
Book cover of Broken things Broken things
by Lauren Oliver
It's been five years since Summer Marks was brutally murdered in the woods. Everyone thinks Mia and Brynn killed their best friend. The only thing is: they didn't do it.
Book cover of Book of dust. La belle sauvage Book of dust. La belle sauvage
by Philip Pullman
When Malcolm finds a secret message inquiring about a dangerous substance called Dust, he finds himself embroiled in a tale of intrigue featuring enforcement agents from the Magisterium, a woman with an evil monkey daemon, and a baby named Lyra.
Book cover of Long way down Long way down
by Jason Reynolds
As Will, fifteen, sets out to avenge his brother Shawn's fatal shooting, seven ghosts who knew Shawn board the elevator and reveal truths Will needs to know.
Book cover of The shadow cipher The shadow cipher
by Laura Ruby
In an alternate history of New York, three kids try to solve a modern-world puzzle and complete a treasure hunt laid into the streets and buildings of the city.
Book cover of The inexplicable logic of my life : a novel The inexplicable logic of my life : a novel
by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
A story set on the American border with Mexico, about family and friendship, life and death, and one teen struggling to understand what his adoption does and doesn't mean about who he is.
Book cover of City of ghosts City of ghosts
by Victoria Schwab
After surviving a near-fatal drowning that gives her the ability to enter the spirit world, Cassidy, the daughter of television ghost-hunters, visits Edinburgh where the encounters with the city's old ghosts reveals the dangers that come with her powers.
Book cover of Saint Death Saint Death
by Marcus Sedgwick
Living in the outskirts of Juarez on the U.S.-Mexican border, Arturo works odd jobs to make a living and stays out of sight until his friend Faustino lands himself in trouble and needs help paying back narcos from whom he's stolen money.
Book cover of Dry Dry
by Neal Shusterman
A lengthy California drought escalates to catastrophic proportions, turning Alyssa's quiet suburban street into a warzone, and she is forced to make impossible choices if she and her brother are to survive.
Book cover of Disappeared Disappeared
by Francisco X. Stork
When Sara uses her job as a reporter to draw attention to the girls who have been kidnapped, she becomes a target; meanwhile her brother, Emiliano, finds himself being lured into the narcotics business by the promise of big money.
Book cover of The hate U give The hate U give
by Angie Thomas
After witnessing her friend's death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter's life is complicated when the police and a local drug lord try to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died.
Book cover of Piecing me together Piecing me together
by Renée Watson
Tired of being singled out at her mostly-white private school as someone who needs support, high school junior Jade would rather participate in the school's amazing Study Abroad program than join Women to Women, a mentorship program for at-risk girls.
Book cover of The murderer's ape The murderer's ape
by Jakob Wegelius
When her best friend, the sailor Henry Koskela, is falsely accused of murder, a gorilla named Sally Jones visits the run-down docks of Lisbon, embarks on a dizzying journey across the seven seas, and calls on the Maharaja of Bhapur's magnificent court–all in an attempt to clear Henry's name.
Book cover of Harbor me Harbor me
by Jacqueline Woodson
When six students are chosen to participate in a weekly talk with no adults allowed, they discover that when they're together, it's safe to share the hopes and fears they have to hide from the rest of the world.
Book cover of Goodbye days : a novel Goodbye days : a novel
by Jeff Zentner
Looks at a teen's life after the death of his best friends and how he navigates through the guilt and pain by celebrating their lives–and ultimately learning to forgive himself.
Book cover of Flying lessons & other stories Flying lessons & other stories
by various writers
Whether it is basketball dreams, family fiascos, first crushes, or new neighborhoods, this bold anthology — written by the best children’s authors — celebrates the uniqueness and universality in all of us.