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70+ Amazing YA Books Recommended by Librarians

Book covers: Girls on the Verge, Pet, Heroine, Lovely War, With Fire On High

Love reading young adult literature? Librarians from the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) have put together an extensive list of their favorite recent novels from the genre.

Of the 71 titles they selected, they’ve also chosen their top ten must-reads, which are as follows:

The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

After his mother gets a new job as a professor at the University of Texas, Norris, a Black French Canadian who has lived in Montreal his whole life, has to adjust to high school in Austin, Texas.

Girls on the Verge by Sharon Biggs Waller

After learning she is pregnant from her first sexual encounter, Camille is forced to make a decision. When she runs out of options in her Texas hometown, she, Annabelle, and her disapproving best friend, Bea, set off on a road trip to get an abortion.

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis

After Mickey Catalan, a star athlete, is sidelined by a car crash, she relies on pain medicine to help her recover faster. When she discovers that it isn’t enough, Mickey spirals out of control, and her need for relief leads her to lie, steal, and shoot up.

Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian

Three teens—an Iranian youth hiding his sexuality for fear of death, an openly gay photographer, and an aspiring fashion designer with an HIV-positive uncle—all find love, along with their voices, as activists in 1989 New York during the height of the AIDS crisis.

Lovely War by Julie Berry

Aphrodite leads her legal self-defense in front of Hephaestus and Ares to justify her infidelity. Her proof? The love stories—that she helped create—of two couples during WWI. When her tale is done, both lives and love will be different in this beautiful book.

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Bri, an aspiring rapper who wants to step out of the shadow of her famous but dead father, helps her family survive after her mother loses her job.

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

Jay, a Filipino American high school senior gets word that his once-close cousin and pen pal Jun is dead, he travels to the Philippines to uncover the truth.

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

Pet lives in a world without monsters, or so she thinks. After a monster shows itself to her, she must work to uncover the secrets her world has been hiding and to protect people she loves.

The Stars and the Blackness between Them by Junauda Petrus

After Audre’s relationship with a young woman is exposed, her mother sends her away from Trinidad to live with her father in Minneapolis. There she connects with Mabel, who is suffering from a life-threatening illness. Told in alternating viewpoints, this is a moving novel of discovering how to live and love.

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

As both a senior in high school and a mother, Emoni must balance her last year at school with her culinary aspirations, as well as also her obligations to her daughter and grandmother. When Malachi and a new cooking elective enter the picture, Emoni’s strengths begin to shine bright.

See the full list at the YALSA website.

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