Andrew Smith almost gave up writing for teens in 2011, when an article in The Wall Street Journal blasted his work as being too dark for teen readers. But fans of his previous novels (including the 2015 Printz Honor-winning Grasshopper Jungle)—and those who pick up his latest offering, The Alex Crow—will be glad that he stuck to his craft.
Jo Knowles’ new novel was apparently inspired by a real-life incident in which the author and her family were given the finger by another driver, even though he was in the wrong. This episode prompted her to think about the aggression, power and even hatred implied by this small gesture.
Nick was driving the car with her sister, Dara, when they crashed. Months later, Nick (short for Nicole) cannot remember how it happened. All she knows is that the accident irreparably severed their once-close sisterly bond.
Set in the secretive and mysterious Midwestern town of Bone Gap, author and professor Laura Ruby’s eighth novel captures the darkness and light of a small town where seemingly magical occurrences ensnare its citizens.
It takes a special talent for an author to tap into the mind of a character who is radically different from himself, and first-time novelist David Arnold has uncannily captured the voice of a 16-year-old girl with beauty and style in Mosquitoland.
Jandy Nelson's I'll Give You the Sun dazzled us with elegantly crafted prose and flawless narrative structure as it switched between the perspectives of twins Noah and Jude. Its captivating balance of heartbreak and hope garnered it the 2015 Printz Award, so we caught up with the San Francisco-based author to find out what it's like to win the Printz.
A smell of cologne wafts through the air. A frame inexplicably falls from the wall. All these unexplained events, including seeing her dead brother, are beginning to haunt Lex. Is she going crazy? Or is she just trying to reconnect with Tyler, her younger brother who recently took his own life?
Creek View is a blink town—as in, if you blink when driving down California Highway 99, you miss it. Skylar cannot wait to leave it behind. Just three more months, and she’ll be at school in San Francisco. In the meantime, Skylar will continue working at the quirky, rundown Paradise Motel and struggling to get her unemployed mother back on her feet.
Teacher/artist Renée Watson makes her YA debut with This Side of Home, a novel about African-American teenage sisters navigating friendships, relationships, school politics and future plans. The sisters' identities are intertwined with issues of class, race and gender, allowing Watson to explore all of these issues through their eyes.
If you discover a magical world through some kind of portal, that’s one thing. Wardrobes and rabbit holes make it easy to believe you’ve left the real world behind. But what if you live in a normal house with normal-enough parents and attend school with other normal kids, and something starts to change, to twist even as you go about your daily life? That would be a bit harder to accept.