Characters with a mental illness often find a place in literature, but they are infrequently the main character and seldom found in young adult novels. Although teens with psychoses garner plenty of attention in the news today, the fictional world is still catching up. Award-winning author Neal Shusterman takes the topic head-on in his new book, Challenger Deep, and does so with sincerity.
Romy Grey’s story could be any girl’s—your girlfriend, your daughter, your best friend. When she wakes up on the side of the road, her shirt unbuttoned, words written in lipstick on her stomach, dirt in her nails and no recollection of how she got there, her world is turned upside down. The last she can remember, she was at the party of senior year. And so begins one of the most powerful, heartbreaking and emotionally charged stories about rape, interracial relationships and friendship.
I.W. Gregorio is a practicing surgeon by day and YA writer by night. She is a founding member of We Need Diverse Books and serves as its VP of Development. After getting her MD, she did her residency at Stanford, where she met the intersex patient who inspired her groundbreaking debut novel, None of the Above. She shares the extraordinary back story below.
Beautiful and rich, 17-year-old Grace Fontaine can charm her way into the midst of any high school clique. But Grace makes friends only to betray them. Her family—Mom, Dad and older brother Parker—comprise a team of con artists, infiltrating the inner circles of the wealthy only to steal their millions. When one job is complete, off they go to a new location, a new mark and a new masquerade.
In Beth Kephart’s One Thing Stolen, the beauty and history of one of the world’s great cities and the confusion and fear caused by a rare brain disorder combine to produce a fresh, unexpected story.
I promised myself I would write this whole review of Susan Juby’s latest novel without using the word “quirky.” There’s so much more to the author of Alice, I Think than just her knack for writing about eccentric characters and borderline outlandish situations. There is plenty of both in Juby’s latest, but that’s hardly the whole story.
Note to self: Don’t forget to log out of your personal email on a public computer. That’s the lesson 16-year-old Simon Spier learns the hard way after a high school classmate reads his emails to his secret, anonymous boyfriend, Blue. Simon hasn’t come out to his friends or family, and now he feels pressured to keep this fact, as well as the identity of Blue, a secret.
Readers who know Elizabeth Wein’s award-winning books Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire, both set during World War II, may be surprised by the 1930s Ethiopian setting of her warm-hearted, ambitious new novel, Black Dove, White Raven.
Aisha Saeed is one of the founding members of We Need Diverse Books, a grassroots organization created to address the lack of diverse narratives in children’s literature. With the publication of Written in the Stars, Saeed is now also a YA author.
High school seniors Peter, Anita, Andy and Eliza—aka the jock, Miss Perfect, the slacker and Miss Promiscuous—join forces in this apocalyptic debut.