The Children’s Book Review | June 10, 2017
11 New Books for Teens
Are you looking for the next best young adult novels? This month we are going to share 11 new young adult books with you. Here’s what you’ll discover: a heart-stopping story of race, a hilarious and swashbuckling stand-alone teen historical fiction novel, an eye-opening book about a boy’s unbreakable spirit and indomitable courage in the face of unimaginable horror, a full-color graphic novel series kickoff, a beautiful love story for fans of Jandy Nelson and Nicola Yoon, and an unforgettable debut novel.
Written by Sarah Tolcser
Publisher’s Synopsis: Caroline Oresteia is destined for the river. Her father is a wherryman, as was her grandmother. All Caro needs is for the river god to whisper her name, and her fate is sealed. But at seventeen, Caro may be too late.
So when pirates burn ships and her father is arrested, Caro volunteers to transport mysterious cargo in exchange for his release. Secretly, Caro hopes that by piloting her own wherry, the river god will finally speak her name.
But when the cargo becomes more than Caro expected, she finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies. With much more than her father’s life at stake, Caro must choose between the future she knows, and the one she could have never imagined.
“Song of the Current is one of those fantasy novels in which a new world is created in such stunning detail and depth that it immediately feels like home, and the best part of the novel is that despite a steamy romance sub-plot and a teenaged heroine, there is no trace of the stereotypical Cinderella plot-line.”—The Children’s Book Review
Ages 14+ | Publisher: Bloomsbury | June 6, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1-68119-297-0
Written by Tanya Landman
Publisher’s Synopsis: Mystery turns to mortal danger as one young man’s quest to clear his father’s name ensnares him in a net of deceit, conspiracy, and intrigue in 1750s England.
Caleb has spent his life roaming southern England with his Pa, little to their names but his father’s signet ring and a puppet theater for popular, raunchy Punch and Judy shows — until the day Pa is convicted of a theft he didn’t commit and sentenced to transportation to the colonies in America. From prison, Caleb’s father sends him to the coast to find an aunt Caleb never knew he had. His aunt welcomes him into her home, but her neighbors see only Caleb’s dark skin. Still, Caleb slowly falls into a strange rhythm in his new life . . . until one morning he finds a body washed up on the shore. The face is unrecognizable after its time at sea, but the signet ring is unmistakable: it can only be Caleb’s father. Mystery piles on mystery as both church and state deny what Caleb knows. From award-winning British author Tanya Landman comes a heart-stopping story of race, class, family, and corruption so deep it can kill.
Ages 12+ | Publisher: Candlewick | June 13, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0763688752
Written by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Publisher’s Synopsis: New York Times bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson’s epic tale—told through three unforgettable points of view—is a masterful exploration of how love, determination, and hope can change a person’s fate.
Kansas, 2065: Adri has been handpicked to live on Mars. But weeks before launch, she discovers the journal of a girl who lived in her house more than a hundred years ago and is immediately drawn into the mystery surrounding her fate.
Oklahoma, 1934: Amid the fear and uncertainty of the Dust Bowl, Catherine’s family’s situation is growing dire. She must find the courage to sacrifice everything she loves in order to save the one person she loves most.
England, 1919: In the recovery following World War I, Lenore tries to come to terms with her grief for her brother, a fallen British soldier, and plans to sail to America. But can she make it that far?
While their stories span thousands of miles and multiple generations, Lenore, Catherine, and Adri’s fates are entwined in ways both heartbreaking and hopeful. In Jodi Lynn Anderson’s signature haunting, lyrical prose, human connections spark spellbindingly to life, and a bright light shines on the small but crucial moments that determine one’s fate.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: HarperTeen | June 13, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0062393548
Written by Mackenzi Lee
Publisher’s Synopsis: A hilarious and swashbuckling stand-alone teen historical fiction novel, named one of summer’s 20 must-read books by Enternatinment Weekly!
A young bisexual British lord embarks on an unforgettable Grand Tour of Europe with his best friend/secret crush. An 18th-century romantic adventure for the modern age written by This Monstrous Thing author Mackenzi Lee—Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets the 1700s.
Henry “Monty” Montague doesn’t care that his roguish passions are far from suitable for the gentleman he was born to be. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quests for pleasure and vice are in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.
So Monty vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.
Witty, dazzling, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is an irresistible romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.
Ages 13+ | Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books | June 20, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0062382801
Written by Keely Hutton
Publisher’s Synopsis: Soldier Boy begins with the story of Ricky Richard Anywar, abducted at age fourteen in 1989 to fight with Joseph Kony’s rebel army in Uganda’s decades-long civil war. Ricky is trained, armed, and forced to fight government soldiers alongside his brutal kidnappers, but never stops dreaming of escape.
The story continues twenty years later, with a fictionalized character named Samuel, representative of the thousands of child soldiers Ricky eventually helped rehabilitate as founder of the internationally acclaimed charity Friends of Orphans.
Working closely with Ricky himself, debut author Keely Hutton has written an eye-opening book about a boy’s unbreakable spirit and indomitable courage in the face of unimaginable horror.
Ages 13-18 | Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux | June 13, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0374305635
Written by Melanie Crowder
Publisher’s Synopsis: Modern history unearthed as a boy becomes an innocent victim of corruption in Bolivia’s crime world, where the power of family is both a prison and a means of survival.
It’s 1999 in Bolivia and Francisco’s life consists of school, soccer, and trying to find space for himself in his family’s cramped yet boisterous home. But when his father is arrested on false charges and sent to prison by a corrupt system that targets the uneducated, the poor, and the indigenous majority, Francisco and his sister are left with no choice: They must move into prison with their father. There, they find a world unlike anything they’ve ever known, where everything—a door, a mattress, protection from other inmates—has its price.
Ages 12+ | Publisher: Philomel Books | June 13, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0399169007
Written by Kiersten White
Publisher’s Synopsis: The highly anticipated, mind-blowing sequel to Kiersten White’s New York Times bestseller, AND I DARKEN—the series that reads like HBO’s Game of Thrones . . . if it were set in the Ottoman Empire. Fans of Victoria Aveyard’s THE RED QUEEN and Sabaa Tahir’s A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT won’t want to miss this riveting and gorgeously written novel—the second in the And I Darken series.
Lada Dracul has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself. After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart. There’s no time to wonder whether he still thinks about her, even loves her. She left him before he could leave her.
What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu’s subtlety and skill. But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople—and it’s no diplomatic mission. Mehmed wants control of the city, and Radu has earned an unwanted place as a double-crossing spy behind enemy lines Radu longs for his sister’s fierce confidence—but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpected plea for help. Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, he knows he owes Lada nothing. If she dies, he could never forgive himself—but if he fails in Constantinople, will Mehmed ever forgive him?
As nations fall around them, the Dracul siblings must decide: what will they sacrifice to fulfill their destinies? Empires will topple, thrones will be won . . . and souls will be lost.
Ages 12+ | Publisher: Delacorte Press | June 27, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0553522358
Written by James Parks
Illustrated by Ben Costa
Publisher’s Synopsis: Nimona meets Adventure Time as a singing skeleton searches for his origins in this full-color graphic novel series kickoff!
Meet Rickety Stitch . . . a walking, talking, singing skeleton minstrel. He’s the one skeleton in the dungeon who seems to have retained his soul, and he has no idea why.
His only clue to his former identity is a song he hears snippets of in his dreams, an epic bard’s tale about the Road to Epoli and the land of Eem.
His sidekick and sole friend is the gelatinous Goo, who Rickety alone can understand. Together they set out in search of Rickety’s past, with abundant humor and danger galore.
Ages 12+ | Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers | June 6, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0399556142
Written by Cath Crowley
Publisher’s Synopsis: A beautiful love story for fans of Jandy Nelson and Nicola Yoon: two teens find their way back to each other in a bookstore full of secrets and crushes, grief and hope—and letters hidden between the pages.
Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came.
Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore.
As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers | June 6, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1101937648
Written by Kathryn Ormsbee
Publisher’s Synopsis: After a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar vloggers, Natasha “Tash” Zelenka suddenly finds herself and her obscure, amateur web series, Unhappy Families, thrust in the limelight: She’s gone viral.
Her show is a modern adaption of Anna Karenina–written by Tash’s literary love Count Lev Nikolayevich “Leo” Tolstoy. Tash is a fan of the 40,000 new subscribers, their gushing tweets, and flashy Tumblr gifs. Not so much the pressure to deliver the best web series ever.
And when Unhappy Families is nominated for a Golden Tuba award, Tash’s cyber-flirtation with a fellow award nominee suddenly has the potential to become something IRL–if she can figure out how to tell said crush that she’s romantic asexual.
Tash wants to enjoy her newfound fame, but will she lose her friends in her rise to the top? What would Tolstoy do?
Ages 14+ | Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | June 6, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1481489331
Written by S.K. Ali
Publisher’s Synopsis: Saints and Misfits is an unforgettable debut novel that feels like a modern day My So-Called Life…starring a Muslim teen.
There are three kinds of people in my world:
1. Saints, those special people moving the world forward. Sometimes you glaze over them. Or, at least, I do. They’re in your face so much, you can’t see them, like how you can’t see your nose.
2. Misfits, people who don’t belong. Like me—the way I don’t fit into Dad’s brand-new family or in the leftover one composed of Mom and my older brother, Mama’s-Boy-Muhammad.
Also, there’s Jeremy and me. Misfits. Because although, alliteratively speaking, Janna and Jeremy sound good together, we don’t go together. Same planet, different worlds.
But sometimes worlds collide and beautiful things happen, right?
3. Monsters. Well, monsters wearing saint masks, like in Flannery O’Connor’s stories.
Like the monster at my mosque.
People think he’s holy, untouchable, but nobody has seen under the mask.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | June 13, 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1481499248
What do you think of our selection of the best new young adult books from May 2017? Let us know in the comments section below. For more of the best new young adult books for teens, follow along with our articles tagged with New Books for Kids, Best Young Adult Books, and Books for Teens and Young Adults.