YALSA'S TEENS' TOP TEN OF 2019 

1. #MurderTrending by Gretchen McNeil. Freeform Books/Disney Book Group. 9781368010023. Dee has been wrongfully convicted and sent to an island dubbed Alcatraz 2.0., where the worst criminals are murdered in terrifyingly creative ways for an app called Postman. She refuses to go down when she knows she's innocent. Can she make it out with her Death Row Breakfast Club before they're all killed off one by one?

2. Wildcard by Marie Lu. G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers/Penguin Random House. 9780399547997. After making it out of the Warcross Championships alive, Emika Chen is determined to stop Hideo's NeuroLink algorithm that can control minds. As Emika bands with the Phoenix Riders, she finds herself under a bounty, one that makes her chances of survival depend on Zero and the Blackcoats. Emika soon learns that Zero isn't what he seems - and that his protection comes at a price.

3. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Hachette Book Group. 9780316310277. A human raised in the world of faeries, 17-year-old Jude does whatever is necessary to rise to the top, even if it means going against her own values. As she cuts her path into the dangerous world of Faerie court, she also must make choices concerning not only her family, but also her heart.

4. Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers/ Simon & Schuster. 9781978614306. In the future, the Thunderhead is the perfect ruler of a perfect world, but its perfect world is starting to spiral out of control. Rowan is hunting down scythes that have abused their position, and Citra is challenging old ideas as Scythe Anastasia. When Citra's life is put in danger, and other forces come into play, the Thunderhead is forced to watch as his world crashes down.

5. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. Henry Holt Books for Young Readers/Macmillan. 9781250170972. Zelie Adebola is a diviner, daughter of a powerful Maji. But magic died after the treacherous King Saran found out how to destroy it and killed every Maji in Orisha, including her mother. Now Zelie must fight through pain and hardship to get magic back for the sake of her people and Orisha itself.

6. The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang. First Second/Macmillan. 9781250159854. Prince Sebastian has a secret that he keeps from everyone else. At night, he puts on a dress and disguises as Lady Crystallia. Only his dressmaker Frances knows about it. This means that both the prince and Frances would have to keep this a secret. But can Frances continue to defer her dreams to protect a friend?

7. American Panda by Gloria Chao. Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster. 9781481499101. 17-year-old Taiwanese Mei is excited to finally be enjoying college life at MIT. What's less exciting, though, is the family pressure to become a doctor despite being a major germaphobe with a passion for dancing rather than anything medical. Things don't get any less complicated when Mei develops a forbidden crush on her Japanese classmate, Darren. Connecting with Darren against her parents' wishes, Mei begins to realize her own individual cultural identity.

8. Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu. Random House Children’s Books/Penguin Random House. 9780399549809. Bruce Wayne is about to inherit his parents' fortune and their company, but first must do community service and ends up volunteering at Arkham Asylum. There, he meets Madeline who is unlike any one he has ever seen. Bruce must uncover why Madeline is there in the first place to make sure the people he cares about don't end up dead.

9. Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson and Emily Carroll. Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Macmillan. 9780374300289. Melinda has a terrible secret; she was raped at a party during the summer by a high school senior. When she starts high school in the fall, she is shunned by her classmates because she called the police to the party at which she was attacked. This graphic novel describes her imminent struggle to overcome the shame of being a victim and an outcast.

10. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. HarperTeen/HarperCollins. 9780062662804. Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook. When she discovers slam poetry, it becomes a way to help her understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world.

MICHIGAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION THUMBS UP! AWARD

In no particular order:

  • Dread Nation (Dread Nation #1) by Justina Ireland
  • I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall
  • I Have the Right To: A High School Survivor's Story of Sexual Assault, Justice, and Hope by Chessy Prout and Jenn Abelson
  • Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1) by Tomi Adeyemi
  • A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti
  • Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
  • Sadie by Courtney Summers
  • Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake
  • The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
  • The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Other great places to find books:

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