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The Best Young Adult Kids Books

Looking for the best young adult books?
Terra Nova
Written & illustrated by Shane Arbuthnott
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13

The city of Terra Nova was founded on a lie: that the spirits who cross over from the spirit world are evil and must be captured for the safety of humanity. But Molly Stout and her family have learned that the spirits are thinking, feeling beings, enslaved to enrich the wealthy, especially the spirit-harvesting company Haviland Industries and its founder, Charles Arkwright. With the help of her family and the aetheric spirits Ariel and Legerdemain, Molly has been fighting to free the spirits. But Terra Nova runs on spiritual machinery, and for each factory they shut down, another takes its place. As Haviland Industries and the authorities of Terra Nova tighten their nets around Molly, she begins to question whether she is really making any difference or if her rebellion puts people and spirits at risk. Terra Nova is the sequel to Dominion.

The Walkabout Orchestra
Written & illustrated by Chloé Perarnau
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

The orchestra have an important concert to play… but all the musicians have gone walkabout! Can you help the Maestro and his faithful assistant to track them down using clues from their postcards? Take a trip from Reykjavik to Rio, through Greek islands, Venetian canals and Egyptian pyramids in this search-and-find tour of the world and learn all the instruments of the orchestra as you work your way through this spotting extravaganza.

Code Your Own Adventure
Written & illustrated by Max Wainewright
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Bring a space, pirate, jungle, and knight adventure to life through drawing central characters, animating plot lines, and creating games. With easy-to-follow, illustrated step-by step instructions, this book introduces key coding concepts through simple and practical tasks—from drawing shapes and giving instructions in code, to building games and much more!

The Colors of History
Written & illustrated by Clive Gifford
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Why did Roman emperors wear purple? Which colour is made from crushed beetles? What green pigment might be used to build super-fast computers of the future? Find out the answers to these and many more questions in this vibrant exploration of the stories behind different colours, and the roles they’ve played throughout history. From black to white, and all the colours in between, every shade has a story to tell. Each colour group is introduced with a stunning and interpretive double-page spread illustration, followed by illustrated entries exploring the ‘colourful’ history of particular shades. With vivid, thought-provoking illustrations and engaging bite-sized text, this book is a feast for the eyes and the mind, ready to enthral budding artists and historians alike.

The Courage Test
Written & illustrated by James Preller
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Will has no choice. His father drags him along on a wilderness adventure in the footsteps of legendary explorers Lewis and Clark—whether he likes it or not. All the while, Will senses that something about this trip isn’t quite right. Along the journey, Will meets fascinating strangers and experiences new thrills, including mountain cliffs, whitewater rapids, and a heart-hammering bear encounter. It is a journey into the soul of America’s past, and the meaning of family in the future. In the end, Will must face his own, life-changing test of courage. A father-and-son journey along the Lewis and Clark Trail—from Fort Mandan to the shining sea—offers readers a genre-bending blend of American history, thrilling action, and personal discovery. This title has Common Core connections.

  • If I Were You - Be careful what you wish for. A refreshing twist on the Freaky Friday set-up, If I Were You by Leslie Margolis is a fun, touching middle-grade story about friendship, family, and overcoming jealousy. Katie is jealous of her best friend, Melody. Turns out that Melody is jealous of Katie, too. It’s the end of what was supposed to be the best summer of their lives, before they start middle school, and the girls aren’t on speaking turns. They’ve had a big fight over-what else?-a boy. When the two girls wish for the exact same thing at the same moment-to redo the summer as each other-their wishes are granted. But, as the girls will learn, sometimes the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

  • I Am Gandhi - As a young man in India, Gandhi saw firsthand how people were treated unfairly. Refusing to accept injustice, he came up with a brilliant way to fight back through quiet, peaceful protest. He used his methods in South Africa and India, where he led a nonviolent revolution that freed his country from British rule. Through his calm, steady heroism, Gandhi changed the lives of millions and inspired civil rights movements all over the world, proving that the smallest of us can be the most powerful.

  • Short - In this heartwarming and funny novel by the beloved author of “Counting by 7s, Julia grows into her sense of self while playing a Munchkin in a summer stock theater production of “The Wizard of Oz”.

  • Panic - As rehearsals begin for the ballet version of Peter Pan, the teenaged members of an Ohio dance troupe lose their focus when one of their own goes missing.

Pretty
Written by Justin Sayre
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Pretty isn’t everything! Trapped by the limitations of her high-school adjective, the realities of her mother’s alcohol addiction, and a racially fraught America, Sophie’s perspective on what being pretty really means changes drastically in the second adjective-busting novel by the author of Husky, Justin Sayre. Set three months after Husky’sconclusion and narrated by Sophie, Davis’s best friend, Sayre details the private and public life of someone saddled with the adjective of pretty. Confident, stylish, and easygoing at school, Sophie is struggling in her home life. Stepping in to help as her mother’s addiction spirals out of control, Sophie’s aunt teaches the biracial Sophie new lessons about her heritage. While helping to heal the wounds inflicted by alcoholism, Sophie’s renewed sense of self challenges her perception of place in the affluent, “liberal” neighborhood of Park Slope where she lives.a Set against the backgrounds of Brooklyn and Harlem, Sayre challenges readers to confront superficial assumptions about race and beauty and breathes new life into the cannon of middle-grade realistic fiction.

Norse Myths
Written by Kevin Crossley-Holland & illustrated by Jeffrey Alan Love
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Discover Norse mythology through the enthralling exploits of all-powerful Odin, mighty Thor, and the trickster Loki.

Hello in There!
Written & illustrated by Jo Witek
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Combines lighthearted illustrations and interactive flaps in a whimsical tale about a soon-to-be older sibling’s happy anticipation of a new baby that compels her to sing loudly to her mother’s tummy and describe everything that is waiting in the outside world.

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge
Written by M T Anderson & illustrated by Eugene Yelchin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Uptight elfin historian Brangwain Spurge is on a mission: survive being catapulted across the mountains into goblin territory, deliver a priceless peace offering to their mysterious dark lord, and spy on the goblin kingdom—from which no elf has returned alive in more than a hundred years. Brangwain’s host, the goblin archivist Werfel, is delighted to show Brangwain around. They should be the best of friends, but a series of extraordinary double crosses, blunders, and cultural misunderstandings throws these two bumbling scholars into the middle of an international crisis that may spell death for them—and war for their nations. Witty mixed media illustrations show Brangwain’s furtive missives back to the elf kingdom, while Werfel’s determinedly unbiased narrative tells an entirely different story. A hilarious and biting social commentary that could only come from the likes of National Book Award winner M. T. Anderson and Newbery Honoree Eugene Yelchin, this tale is rife with thrilling action and visual humor . . . and a comic disparity that suggests the ultimate victor in a war is perhaps not who won the battles, but who gets to write the history.

Dreamland Burning
Written by Jennifer Latham
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 14-99

A compelling dual-narrated novel that asks, how far have we really come with race relations in the last 100 years? Now in paperback. When seventeen-year-old Rowan Chase finds a skeleton on her family’s property, she has no idea that investigating the brutal, century-old murder will lead to a summer of painful discoveries about the past… and the present. Nearly 100 years earlier, a misguided violent encounter propels seventeen-year-old Will Tillman into a racial firestorm. In a country rife with violence against African Americans and a hometown segregated by Jim Crow, Will must make hard choices and face his inner demons in order to do what’s right the night Tulsa burns. Through intricately interwoven alternating perspectives, this “unflinching, superbly written story” (Kirkus) brings the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 to blazing life, raising important questions about the complex state of U.S. race relations.

  • The Revival - The teens forge a new world in this epic conclusion to The Young World trilogy—now in paperback! After the emotional cliffhanger of The New Order, shocking events take place for Donna, Jefferson, Kath, and their tribe. The discovery of the Cure fuels a massive power struggle in the city, and the whole world wants a piece of the pie. Now comes their greatest challenge yet—how to hold the new city-state of New York against a ruthless attack from the Old World. Heart-stopping action and exciting new revelations will leave readers satisfied in this final installment in the series.

  • Love and First Sight - A stunning debut novel about the nature of love, trust, and new perspectives from memoirist and YouTuber Josh Sundquist—now in paperback! As blind sixteen-year-old Will Porter starts to find his footing at a new school, he develops a crush on a quiet girl named Cecily. Then, an unprecedented opportunity arises: an experimental surgery that will give Will eyesight for the first time. But learning to see is more difficult than Will ever imagined, and he soon learns that the sighted world has been keeping secrets. It turns out Cecily doesn’t meet traditional definitions of beauty—in fact, everything he’d heard about her appearance was a lie by their so-called friends to get the two of them together. Does it matter what Cecily looks like? No, not really. But then why does Will feel so betrayed?

  • The Cruel Prince - An instant New York Times bestseller! By #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, the first book in a stunning new series about a mortal girl who finds herself caught in a web of royal faerie intrigue. Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever. And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe. Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King. To win a place at the Court, she must defy him—and face the consequences. In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

  • Instructions for a Secondhand Heart - A moving novel about grief, guilt, and the unpredictability of love, for fans of Everything, Everything and All the Bright Places. Jonny knows better than anyone that life is full of cruel ironies. He’s spent every day in a hospital hooked up to machines to keep his heart ticking. Then when a donor match is found for Jonny’s heart, that turns out to be the cruelest irony of all. Because for Jonny’s life to finally start, someone else’s had to end. That someone turns out to be Neve’s twin brother, Leo. When Leo was alive, all Neve wanted was for him (and all his glorious, overshadowing perfection) to leave. Now that Leo’s actually gone forever, Neve has no idea how to move forward. Then Jonny walks into her life looking for answers, her brother’s heart beating in his chest, and everything starts to change. Together, Neve and Jonny will have to face the future, no matter how frightening it is, while also learning to heal their hearts, no matter how much it hurts. The final book will feature select illustrations from “Jonny’s” sketchbook.

Tool of War
Written by Paolo Bacigalupi
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 15-99

This third book in a major series by a bestselling science fiction author, Printz Award winner, and National Book Award finalist is the gripping story of the most provocative character from his acclaimed novels Ship Breaker and The Drowned Cities. Tool, a half-man/half-beast designed for combat, is capable of so much more than his creators had ever dreamed. He has gone rogue from his pack of bioengineered “augments” and emerged a victorious leader of a pack of human soldier boys. But he is hunted relentlessly by someone determined to destroy him, who knows an alarming secret: Tool has found the way to resist his genetically ingrained impulses of submission and loyalty toward his masters… The time is coming when Tool will embark on an all-out war against those who have enslaved him. From one of science fiction’s undisputed masters comes a riveting page-turner that pulls no punches. “Suzanne Collins may have put dystopian literature on the YA map with ‘The Hunger Games’…but Bacigalupi is one of the genre’s masters, employing inventively terrifying details in equally imaginative story lines.” —Los Angeles Times

Devils & Thieves
Written by Jennifer Rush
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 15-99

A thrilling new urban fantasy filled with magic and motorcycle gangs from Jennifer Rush, author of the Altered saga—perfect for fans of Beautiful Creatures. Eighteen-year-old Jemmie Carmichael has grown up surrounded by magic in the quiet town of Hawthorne, New York. In her world, magic users are called “kindled,” and Jemmie would count herself among them if only she could cast a simple spell without completely falling apart. It doesn’t help that she was also recently snubbed by Crowe, the dangerous and enigmatic leader of the Black Devils kindled motorcycle gang and the unofficial head of their turf. When the entire kindled community rolls into Hawthorne for an annual festival, a rumor begins spreading that someone is practicing forbidden magic. Then people start to go missing. With threats closing in from every side, no one can be trusted. Jemmie and Crowe will have to put aside their tumultuous history to find their loved ones, and the only thing that might save them is the very flaw that keeps Jemmie from fully harnessing her magic. For all her years of feeling useless, Jemmie may just be the most powerful kindled of all.

Before the Devil Breaks You
Written by Libba Bray
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 15-99

The Diviners are back in this thrilling and eerie third installment by #1 New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray. New York City.1927.Lights are bright.Jazz is king.Parties are wild.And the dead are coming… After battling a supernatural sleeping sickness that early claimed two of their own, the Diviners have had enough of lies. They’re more determined than ever to uncover the mystery behind their extraordinary powers, even as they face off against an all-new terror. Out on Ward’s Island, far from the city’s bustle, sits a mental hospital haunted by the lost souls of people long forgotten—ghosts who have unusual and dangerous ties to the man in the stovepipe hat, also known as the King of Crows. With terrible accounts of murder and possession flooding in from all over, and New York City on the verge of panic, the Diviners must band together and brave the sinister ghosts invading the asylum, a fight that will bring them fact-to-face with the King of Crows. But as the explosive secrets of the past come to light, loyalties and friendships will be tested, love will hang in the balance, and the Diviners will question all that they’ve ever known. All the while, malevolent forces gather from every corner in a battle for the very soul of a nation—a fight that could claim the Diviners themselves. Heart-pounding action and terrifying moments will leave you breathless in the third book of the four-book Diviners series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray.

Mother Cary's Butter Knife
Written by Nicola Davies & illustrated by Anja Uhren
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

A boy who falls in love with the sea. One in a series of short stories that explore the deeper, darker side of our connection with the natural world.

Inspired by ancient folk tales and a love of nature. Be ready to feel a little bit of magic, and perhaps a few shivers down the spine.

Jammer Star
Written & illustrated by Kate Hargreaves
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Sixteen-year-old Robin Ellis (aka Robin CookieJars) wants to be the best jammer on her roller-derby team and maybe one day play for the Creek City Roller Derby All-Stars like her idol, Annie Mossity. But star junior player April Reid (aka April Powers) always seems to be one lap ahead. Until recently, that is. Robin has noticed that April has been losing a lot of weight, and her game is suffering. This may be Robin’s chance to finally grab the mvp title. But her success may come at a very heavy cost.

  • Shutout - Alex Paterson is the number-one goalie on his high-school hockey team. And he’s thrilled that his team has made the playoffs. But when graffiti that apparently can be traced back to Alex is found on the walls of the school, and a photo of Alex at a party with a beer in his hand starts making the rounds, he is suspended from the team, and his reputation as a good kid is put in doubt. Alex knows he’s innocent. The problem is, he cannot figure out who would want to frame him. Or why. Is it the other goalie who wants all the glory for himself? Or someone from a rival team looking for an advantage? With everyone assuming the worst about him, it’s up to Alex to find out who is behind it all, not only to clear his name, but to save the season.

  • Greenglass House - At Greenglass House, a smuggler’s inn, 12-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his winter holidays relaxing, but soon guests begin arriving with strange stories about the house, sending Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, on an adventure. Simultaneous eBook.

  • The Door in the Wall - Winner of the Newbery Award, this “enthralling and inspiring tale of triumph. . . . make[s] life in England during the Middle Ages come alive” (The New York Times). Ever since he can remember, Robin, child of Sir John de Bureford, has been told what is expected of him as the son of a nobleman. He must learn the ways of knighthood. But Robin’s destiny is changed suddenly when he falls ill and loses the use of his legs. Fearing a plague, his servants abandon him, and Robin is left alone. A monk named Brother Luke rescues Robin and takes him to the hospice of St. Mark’s, where he is taught woodcarving and patience and strength. Says Brother Luke, “Thou hast only to follow the wall far enough and there will be a door in it.” Robin learns soon enough what Brother Luke means. When the great castle of Lindsay is in danger, Robin discovers that there is more than one way to serve his king. “A poignant story, full of action, and a strongly painted canvas of the times as well.” —The New Yorker

  • Who Is Tanksy? - Fourteen-year-old Tanya Kofsky is invisible. She hates that no one listens to her, at home or at her new school. So as student elections get underway, Tanya starts secretly painting controversial images on the walls of the school. Soon everyone is talking about this amazing artist with a lot to say. The election results turn out to be a catalyst for more rebellion. And not just from students. Teachers, tired of the principal’s authoritarian leadership, start promoting self-expression. Even the lunch ladies join in, ignoring the strictly controlled menu and serving more nutritious and culturally diverse fare. But can this revolution effect real change? Or will speaking up lead to complete disaster?

Double Trouble
Written & illustrated by Joanne Levy
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Victoria Adelman is lonely. Her best friend has moved away, leaving her to spend the summer alone. One day, on her way home from a bat mitzvah, she meets Jazzy, her next-door neighbors’ granddaughter. Tori hopes her friendless status is about to change.

Later, in her garden, she meets Jazzy again, but Jazzy doesn’t recognize the filthy, smelly girl as the one she met earlier. In a moment of insecurity, Tori tells Jazzy that the girl she met before was her twin sister, Vicky. Tori is sure she can fake being that girl in the dress—it’s only for two weeks.

But then Jazzy announces she’s staying with her grandparents for the school year. Tori needs to figure out what to do: come clean and lose her new friend, or live her life as a fake.

Just Three
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Before Rory and Jillian’s mother died two years ago, she hired Rebecca to be the family housekeeper. But Rebecca is a terrible cook and not so great at housework either. The weird lunches and laundry disasters drive the twins crazy. One day Jillian catches her father flirting with Rebecca and decides it’s time to find him a girlfriend. Rory disagrees. But eventually he goes along with the idea, and they create a profile for their father on an online dating site. Dad is very reluctant, but Jillian gets him to agree to go on three dates before giving up. Each date turns out to be more disastrous than the last.

Will Rory and Jillian manage to find their dad the perfect match? Or was the answer right in front of them the whole time?

Iggy's World
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Fourteen-year-old Iggy comes from a famous family. Well, sort of. His dad directs a cheesy sci-fi Web series, his mom writes for it, and his sister has a successful YouTube channel. Iggy doesn’t have the acting bug, so he feels like an outsider. Wanting to prove himself, Iggy starts his own podcast about what interests him: insects.

But it’s not until Iggy embarrasses his famous sister on air that his podcast really takes off. He’s thrilled with his own success, until she fires back. Now it’s all-out war.

Iggy’s World is an exploration of the age-old problem artists face: when we find inspiration from our real lives, what will our friends and family think? And, of course, just how much of our private lives do we really want to reveal online?

Kick Start
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

When Mitch Harding makes an impulse buy, he really goes big. He spends his entire savings on a wrecked dirt bike after witnessing a rider crash it at an Endurocross race. He is now the proud owner of a used bike, one that needs a lot of work. With the help of his uncle, an ex-pro rider, and new friend Kelsey, a championship rider herself, they get the bike up and running. But a bet with the previous owner threatens to strip Mitch of his hard-earned vehicle. Whoever wins the next race gets to keep the bike.

Mitch is determined to win. But partway through the race he discovers Kelsey lying on the trail, her bike on its side. With serious injuries and no way to get help, Kelsey has no choice but to ride out. But as Mitch and Kelsey push to get off the mountain, the path to safety gets more complicated.

The Little Prince
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12

“One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.” Few books have been as universally cherished as The Little Prince, the haunting, lyrical fable that explores the very meaning of life. This deluxe seventieth anniversary gift set includes a hardcover book with the original full-color illustrations, along with two audio CDs (and exclusive download) of the unabridged text, narrated by Academy Award nominee Viggo Mortensen, beloved for his role as Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Rediscover the beloved story that begins with a simple picture and blossoms into a spellbinding adventure. This title has been selected as a Common Core Text Exemplar (Grades 4-5, Stories).

  • Cinderella Liberator - In her debut children’s book, Rebecca Solnit reimagines a classic fairytale with a fresh, feminist Cinderella and new plot twists that will inspire young readers to change the world, featuring gorgeous silhouettes from Arthur Rackham on each page. In this modern twist on the classic story, Cinderella, who would rather just be Ella, meets her fairy godmother, goes to a ball, and makes friends with a prince. But that is where the familiar story ends. Instead of waiting to be rescued, Cinderella learns that she can save herself and those around her by being true to herself and standing up for what she believes.

  • Love from Lexie - Ever since Lexie’s mom vanished, her world hasn’t stopped spinning. A new home, a new school—even a new family, but Lexie never gives up hope that her mom will come back and writes her letters every day to tell her all about her new life. There’s plenty to tell—the new group of misfits she calls friends, the talent for music she never knew she had and the gorgeous boy with blue eyes and secrets to hide. But her letters remain unanswered and she’s starting to feel more alone than ever. Lexie’s about to learn that sometimes you need to get lost in order to be found. The first in a gorgeous new series that’s the perfect next step for fans of Jacqueline Wilson.

  • Spindle's End - “We will keep her safe.” All the creatures of the forest and field and riverbank knew the infant was special. She was the princess, spirited away from the evil fairy Pernicia on her name-day. But the curse was cast: Rosie was fated to prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into a poisoned sleep—a slumber from which no one would be able to rouse her… In the tradition of Beauty and Rose Daughter, Robin McKinley “lends a fresh perspective to a classic fairy tale, developing the story of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ into a richly imagined, vividly depicted novel.” (School Library Journal)

  • Jacob Have I Loved - The remarkable Newbery-winning classic about a painful sibling rivalry, and one sister’s struggle to make her own way. Sara Louise Bradshaw is sick and tired of her beautiful twin Caroline. Ever since they were born, Caroline has been the pretty one, the talented one, the better sister. Even now, Caroline seems to take everything: Louise’s friends, their parents’ love, her dreams for the future. For once in her life, Louise wants to be the special one. But in order to do that, she must first figure out who she is . . . and find a way to make a place for herself outside her sister’s shadow.

I, Juan de Pareja: The Story of a Great Painter and the Slave He Helped Become a Great Artist
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-18

When the great Velázquez was painting his masterpieces at the Spanish court in the seventeenth century, his colors were expertly mixed and his canvases carefully prepared by his slave, Juan de Pareja. In a vibrant novel which depicts both the beauty and the cruelty of the time and place, Elizabeth Borton de Treviño tells the story of Juan, who was born a slave and died an accomplished and respected artist.

Upon the death of his indulgent mistress in Seville, Juan de Pareja was uprooted from the only home he had known and placed in the charge of a vicious gypsy muleteer to be sent north to his mistress’s nephew and heir, Diego Velázquez, who recognized at once the intelligence and gentle breeding which were to make Juan his indispensable assistant and companion―and his lifelong friend.

Through Juan’s eyes the reader sees Velázquez’s delightful family, his working habits and the character of the man, his relations with the shy yet devoted King Philip IV and with his fellow painters, Rubens and Murillo, the climate and customs of Spanish court life. When Velázquez discovers that he and Juan share a love for the art which is his very life, the painter proves his friendship in the most incredible fashion, for in those days it was forbidden by law for slaves to learn or practice the arts. Through the hardships of voyages to Italy, through the illnesses of Velázquez, Juan de Pareja loyally serves until the death of the painter in 1660.

I, Juan de Pareja is the winner of the 1966 Newbery Medal.

Latino Interest.

Rifles for Watie
Written by Harold Keith
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Winner of the Newbery Medal An ALA Notable Children’s Book Winner of the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award

A captivating and richly detailed novel about one young soldier who saw the Civil War from both sides and lived to tell the tale.

Earnest, plain-spoken sixteen-year-old Jeff Bussey has finally gotten his father’s consent to join the Union volunteers. It’s 1861 in Linn County, Kansas, and Jeff is eager to fight for the North before the war is over, which he’s sure will be soon.

But weeks turn to months, the marches through fields and woods prove endless, hunger and exhaustion seem to take up permanent residence in Jeff’s bones, and he learns what it really means to fight in battle—and to lose friends. When he finds himself among enemy troops, he’ll have to put his life on the line to advance the Union cause.

Thoroughly researched and based on firsthand accounts, Rifles for Watie “should hold a place with the best Civil War fiction for young people” (The Horn Book).

Norse Myths: Tales of Odin, Thor and Loki
Written by Kevin Crossley-Holland & illustrated by Jeffrey Alan Love
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Long-recognized master of Norse mythology Kevin Crossley-Holland pairs with award-winning artist Jeffrey Alan Love for an exceptional look at the Viking gods. A collaboration by two talented creators provides the perfect means to delve into Norse mythology and pore over the enthralling exploits of all-powerful Odin; mighty Thor and his hammer, Mjolnir; and Loki, the infamous trickster. From the creation of the nine worlds to the final battle of Ragnarok, Carnegie Medal winner Kevin Crossley-Holland details the Viking gods as never before, while Jeffrey Alan Love’s lavish illustrations bring the mythic figures to life on the page. Readers will be caught up in the seesawing struggle for power between gods, dwarfs, and giants, punctuated by surprising love matches, thrilling journeys, and dazzling magic. With its well-researched, lyrical prose and its dramatic and powerful artwork, this wonderful gift edition makes the perfect book for both the staunchest fans of mythology and newcomers with no knowledge of Viking folklore.

The Golden Compass
Written by Philip Pullman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-17

The modern fantasy classic that Entertainment Weekly named an “All-Time Greatest Novel” and Newsweek hailed as a “Top 100 Book of All Time.” Philip Pullman takes readers to a world where humans have animal familiars and where parallel universes are within reach.

Lyra is rushing to the cold, far North, where witch clans and armored bears rule. North, where the Gobblers take the children they steal—including her friend Roger. North, where her fearsome uncle Asriel is trying to build a bridge to a parallel world.

Can one small girl make a difference in such great and terrible endeavors? This is Lyra: a savage, a schemer, a liar, and as fierce and true a champion as Roger or Asriel could want.

But what Lyra doesn’t know is that to help one of them will be to betray the other…

A masterwork of storytelling and suspense, Philip Pullman’s award-winning The Golden Compass is the first in the His Dark Materials series, which continues with The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.

A #1 New York Times Bestseller Winner of the Guardian Prize for Children’s Fiction Published in 40 Countries

“Arguably the best juvenile fantasy novel of the past twenty years.” —The Washington Post

“Very grand indeed.” —The New York Times

“Pullman is quite possibly a genius.” —Newsweek

The Subtle Knife
Written & illustrated by Philip Pullman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-17

The spellbinding sequel to The Golden Compass, the modern fantasy classic that Entertainment Weekly named an “All-Time Greatest Novel” and Newsweek hailed as a “Top 100 Book of All Time,” continues the epic adventure, catapulting readers between worlds, and toward a devastating discovery.

Lost in a new world, Lyra finds Will—a boy on the run, a murderer—a worthy and welcome ally. For this is a world where soul-eating Specters stalk the streets and witches share the skies with troops of angels.

Each is searching—Lyra for the meaning of Dark Matter, Will for his missing father—but what they find instead is a deadly secret, a knife of untold power. And neither Lyra nor Will suspects how tightly their lives, their loves, their destinies are bound together…until they are split apart.

A #1 New York Times Bestseller Published in 40 Countries

“Just as quick-moving and unputdownable as The Golden Compass. . . . The mysteries deepen and the wonders grow even more extravagant.” —The Washington Post

“Pullman’s imagination soars . . . A literary rollercoaster ride you won’t want to miss.”—The Boston Globe

“The story gallops with ferocious momentum . . . Devilishly inventive.” —The New York Times Book Review

  • The Amber Spyglass - The unforgettable His Dark Materials trilogy that began with The Golden Compass—the modern fantasy classic that Entertainment Weekly named an “All-Time Greatest Novel” and Newsweek hailed as a “Top 100 Book of All Time”—and continued with The Subtle Knife, reaches its astonishing conclusion in The Amber Spyglass. Throughout the worlds, the forces of both heaven and hell are mustering to take part in Lord Asriel’s audacious rebellion. Each player in this epic drama has a role to play—and a sacrifice to make. Witches, angels, spies, assassins, tempters, and pretenders, no one will remain unscathed. Lyra and Will have the most dangerous task of all. They must journey to a gray-lit world where no living soul has ever gone and from which there is no escape. As war rages and Dust drains from the sky, the fate of the living—and the dead—comes to depend on Lyra and Will. On the choices they make in love, and for love, forevermore. A #1 New York Times Bestseller Winner of the Whitbread Award Winner of the British Book Award (Children’s) Published in 40 Countries “Masterful…. This title confirms Pullman’s inclusion in the company of C.S. Lewis and Tolkien.” —Smithsonian Magazine “Pullman has created the last great fantasy masterpiece of the twentieth century. An astounding achievement.” —The Cincinnati Enquirer “War, politics, magic, science, individual lives and cosmic destinies are all here . . . shaped and assembled into a narrative of tremendous pace by a man with a generous, precise intelligence. I am completely enchanted.” —The New York Times Book Review “Breathtaking adventure . . . a terrific story, eloquently told.” —The Boston Globe

  • The Death Cure - WICKED has taken everything from Thomas: his life, his memories, and now his only friends—the Gladers. But it’s finally over. The trials are complete, after one final test. What WICKED doesn’t know is that Thomas remembers far more than they think. And it’s enough to prove that he can’t believe a word of what they say. Thomas beat the Maze. He survived the Scorch. He’ll risk anything to save his friends. But the truth might be what ends it all. The time for lies is over.

  • The Kill Order - Before WICKED was formed, before the Glade was built, before Thomas entered the Maze, sun flares hit the earth, killing most of the population. Mark and Trina were there when it happened. They survived. But now a virus is spreading. A virus that fills humans with murderous rage. They’re convinced that there’s a way to save those who are left—if they can stay alive. Because in this new, devastated world, every life has a price. And to some you’re worth more dead than alive.

  • The Fever Code - Once there was a world’s end. The forests burned, the lakes and rivers dried up, and the oceans swelled. Then came a plague, and fever spread across the globe. Families died, violence reigned, and man killed man. Next came WICKED, who were looking for an answer. And then they found the perfect boy. The boy’s name was Thomas, and Thomas built a maze. Now there are secrets. There are lies. And there are loyalties history could never have foreseen. This is the story of that boy, Thomas, and how he built a maze that only he could tear down. All will be revealed.

Tales From Outer Suburbia
Written & illustrated by Shaun Tan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 12-18

An exchange student who’s really an alien, a secret room that becomes the perfect place for a quick escape, a typical tale of grandfatherly exaggeration that is actually even more bizarre than he says… These are the odd details of everyday life that grow and take on an incredible life of their own in tales and illustrations that Shaun Tan’s many fans will love.

Genesis Begins Again
Written & illustrated by Alicia D. Williams
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

This deeply sensitive and powerful debut novel tells the story of a thirteen-year-old who must overcome internalized racism and a verbally abusive family to finally learn to love herself.

There are ninety-six things Genesis hates about herself. She knows the exact number because she keeps a list. Like #95: Because her skin is so dark, people call her charcoal and eggplant—even her own family. And #61: Because her family is always being put out of their house, belongings laid out on the sidewalk for the world to see. When your dad is a gambling addict and loses the rent money every month, eviction is a regular occurrence.

What’s not so regular is that this time they all don’t have a place to crash, so Genesis and her mom have to stay with her grandma. It’s not that Genesis doesn’t like her grandma, but she and Mom always fight—Grandma haranguing Mom to leave Dad, that she should have gone back to school, that if she’d married a lighter skinned man none of this would be happening, and on and on and on. But things aren’t all bad. Genesis actually likes her new school; she’s made a couple friends, her choir teacher says she has real talent, and she even encourages Genesis to join the talent show.

But how can Genesis believe anything her teacher says when her dad tells her the exact opposite? How can she stand up in front of all those people with her dark, dark skin knowing even her own family thinks lesser of her because of it? Why, why, why won’t the lemon or yogurt or fancy creams lighten her skin like they’re supposed to? And when Genesis reaches #100 on the list of things she hates about herself, will she continue on, or can she find the strength to begin again?

InterWorld
Written by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 13-17

When Newbery Medal winner Neil Gaiman and Emmy Award winner Michael Reaves teamed up, they created the bestselling YA novel InterWorld.
 
InterWorld tells the story of Joey Harker, a very average kid who discovers that his world is only one of a trillion alternate earths. Some of these earths are ruled by magic. Some are ruled by science. All are at war.
 
Joey teams up with alternate versions of himself from an array of these worlds. Together, the army of Joeys must battle evil magicians Lord Dogknife and Lady Indigo to keep the balance of power between all the earths stable. Teens—and tweens and adults—who obsessively read the His Dark Materials and Harry Potter series will be riveted by InterWorld and its sequel, The Silver Dream.

Eternity's Wheel
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 13-17

The heart-pounding conclusion to the bestselling InterWorld series, from Neil Gaiman, Michael Reaves, and Mallory Reaves! Eternity’s Wheel is full of time and space travel, magic, science, and the bravery of a young boy who must now face his destiny as a young man.

Joey Harker never wanted to be a leader. But he’s the one everyone is looking to now that FrostNight looms, and he’ll have to step up if he has any hope of saving InterWorld, the Multiverse, and everything in between.

The Sleeper and the Spindle
Written by Neil Gaiman & illustrated by Chris Riddell
Select type book
Recommend Ages: 13-17

In a beautiful collaboration, New York Times bestselling and Newbery and Carnegie Medal-winning author Neil Gaiman and Kate Greenaway-winning illustrator Chris Riddell have created a thrillingly reimagined fairy tale, “told in a way only Gaiman can” and featuring “stunning metallic artwork” (GeekInsider.com).

The result is a beautiful and coveted edition of The Sleeper and the Spindle that the Guardian calls “a refreshing, much-needed twist on a classic story.”

In this captivating and darkly funny tale, Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell have twisted together the familiar and the new as well as the beautiful and the wicked to tell a brilliant version of Snow White’s (sort of) and Sleeping Beauty’s (almost) stories.

This story was originally published (without illustrations) in Rags & Bones (Little, Brown, 2013). This is the first time it is being published as an illustrated, stand-alone edition, and the book is a beautiful work of art.

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