Kiddosphere: Can’t Wait to Read – YA Books
Spring 2015 is positively blooming with amazing YA titles. We have several titles available now, with others to join them very soon! This is part II of my Can’t Wait to Read series, which started with adult fiction/nonfiction picks for Spring 2015.
Andreo’s Race is helping to fill the need for high-stakes adventure YA novels that aren’t dystopian stories, science-fiction, or fantasy. Just straight-up adrenaline racing reads! An adopted teen goes to Bolivia not just to compete in an ironman challenge, but to discover the truth about his adoption. School Library Journal recommends this for “reluctant readers looking for a thrilling novel.”
The Boy in the Black Suit is the third recent YA novel involving a teen working at a funeral parlor (see also The Dead I Know and Six Feet Over It). Odd, but there it is. I’m a fan of Jason Reynolds’s When I Was the Greatest, so this is near the top of my growing to-be-read list.
Not only does Boys Don’t Knit (In Public) have a great title, but it also has a great cover. I just noticed that this is set in England, so I’m eager to discover if there will be any language/cultural differences that come into play. This story about a teen in trouble with the law who must take up a new hobby is “funny and lighthearted” according to Publishers Weekly.
It’s a good thing that I held off reading Prisoner of Night and Fog, because this means that I only need to wait mere weeks (instead of months) to read Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke. For some reason, I thought that Hitler’s weird relationship with his niece was the center of the novel, and although I knew it received excellent reviews, I was really not keen on reading it (it’s only a small part of the story). Gretchen Muller’s father is regarded as a martyr for “Uncle Dolf”, but when a Jewish reporter (whom she befriends) claims that her father was actually murdered, she begins to question everyone and everything surrounding her highly positioned Nazi family. If you need thrilling, thoughtful, and meticulously researched YA historical fiction, you need to read this book. Admittedly, I was a bit uncomfortable with it (Hitler as a character in a novel just gives me the willies), I was quickly drawn into this impressive story. Reviews for its sequel have been superb.
Cuckoo Song, by all accounts, is DARK. Set in England just after World War I, this novel about a girl who finds her world confusing and unimaginable after an accident is “nuanced and intense” (Kirkus Reviews) and “painful and powerful” (Publishers Weekly). It’s already received three individual starred reviews.
AWESOME cover for I Am Princess X. I love it. 16 year old Libby is shocked when stickers, graffiti, and other images of the superwoman character she created with her deceased friend start showing up around town. Reviews have been quite strong for this thriller; it’s received two starred reviews.
Lumberjanes is a graphic novel (“A must-have” according to School Library Journal) set at a camp in which odd things happen (such as a woman turning into a bear). A group of campers investigate these wacky occurrences–this sounds like an awesome read!
Bennett Bardo had just asked his dream date to the prom when she was suddenly abducted by aliens. (What a bummer!) Can he and a band of misfit musicians return her to Earth (hopefully, before prom)? Many reviews for The Prom Goer’s Interstellar Excursion have noted its wit and fast-paced action (and surprising ending). Is it literary YA with tons of meaning and messages? Perhaps not, but it sounds like a fabulously fun read that will appeal to many readers.
We cannot keep Roller Girl on our shelves! This tale of two friends who become divided after one decides to go to roller derby camp and another to dance camp sounds ideal for Raina Telgemeier fans. It’s received four ecstatic starred reviews.
Scarlett Undercover has received a lot of buzz based on the fact that the heroine is an African-American Muslim teen. Scarlett tested out of high school, so she formed a detective agency (as one would). Scarlett stumbles upon a mysterious myth about the descendants of King Solomon. It’s received admiring reviews (including a starred one from Kirkus); we could always use more diversity in YA mysteries (and YA in general), so I’m excited to receive this soon.
This is just a *sampling* of the 2015 YA books on my TBR list! This is going to be an incredible year for YA. Make sure you look at this Saturday’s Wowbrary; it will be full of more titles for YA and children!
Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library
For book lists, reviews and staff suggestions for children published prior to January 2015, visit Kiddosphere, our blog about children/young adult fiction and non-fiction.