The Children’s Book Review | March 31, 2018
9 New Books for Teens
In this list, you will discover 9 of the best young adult novels that release during the month of March. Here’s what you’ll discover: A new compulsively readable story for fans of Nicola Yoon, a stunning and engaging tribute to the diverse voices past and present that comfort us, an innovative reimagining of Charles Dickens’ classic tale Oliver Twist, a novel-in-verse by an award-winning slam poet, a heart-pounding story about the responsibilities of great talent and the importance of compassion, a stunning and heartbreaking novel about finding oneself through family history, Tomi Adeyemi’s West African-inspired fantasy debut, and a gorgeous novel told in minimalist strokes to maximal effect. Ready. Set. Read!
Written by Steve Hofstetter
Publisher’s Synopsis: In Ginger Kid, popular comedian Steve Hofstetter grapples with life after seventh grade . . . when his world fell apart. Formatted as a series of personal essays, Steve walks his readers through awkward early dating, family turbulence, and the revenge of the bullied nerds. This YA nonfiction is sure to be the beloved next volume for the first generation of Wimpy Kid fans who are all grown up and ready for a new misfit hero.
Ages 13+ | Publisher: Harry N. Abrams | March 20, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1419728709
Written by Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher’s Synopsis: With loving adoptive parents by his side, Rev Fletcher has managed to keep the demons of his past at bay. . . until he gets a letter from his abusive father and the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back.
Emma Blue’s parents are constantly fighting, and her only escape is the computer game she built from scratch. But when a cruel online troll’s harassment escalates, she not only loses confidence but starts to fear for her safety.
When Rev and Emma meet, they’re both longing to lift the burden of their secrets. They connect instantly and deeply, promising to help each other no matter what. But soon Rev and Emma’s secrets threaten to crush them, and they’ll need more than a promise to find their way out.
From the author of Letters to the Lost comes a new compulsively readable story for fans of Nicola Yoon.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens | March 6, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1681190143
Written by Lorie Langdon
Publisher’s Synopsis: Olivia Twist is an innovative reimagining of Charles Dickens’ classic tale Oliver Twist, in which Olivia was forced to live as a boy for her own safety until she was rescued from the streets. Now eighteen, Olivia finds herself at a crossroads: revealed secrets threaten to destroy the “proper” life she has built for herself, while newfound feelings for an arrogant young man she shouldn’t like could derail her carefully laid plans for the future.
Olivia Brownlow is no damsel in distress. Born in a workhouse and raised as a boy among thieving London street gangs, she is as tough and cunning as they come. When she is taken in by her uncle after a caper gone wrong, her life goes from fighting and stealing on the streets to lavish dinners and soirees as a debutante in high society. But she can’t seem to escape her past … or forget the teeming slums where children just like her still scrabble to survive.
Jack MacCarron rose from his place in London’s East End to become the adopted “nephew” of a society matron. Little does society know that MacCarron is a false name for a boy once known among London gangs as the Artful Dodger, and that he and his “aunt” are robbing them blind every chance they get. When Jack encounters Olivia Brownlow in places he least expects, his curiosity is piqued. Why is a society girl helping a bunch of homeless orphan thieves? Even more intriguing, why does she remind him so much of someone he once knew? Jack finds himself wondering if going legit and risking it all might be worth it for love.
Ages 13+ | Publisher: Blink | March 6, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0310763413
Written by Elizabeth Acevedo
Publisher’s Synopsis: Fans of Jacqueline Woodson, Meg Medina, and Jason Reynolds will fall hard for this astonishing New York Times-bestselling novel-in-verse by an award-winning slam poet, about an Afro-Latina heroine who tells her story with blazing words and powerful truth.
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, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about.
With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out. But she still can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.
Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.
Ages 13+ | Publisher: HarperTeen | March 6, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0062662804
Written by Randy Ribay
Publisher’s Synopsis: Bunny and Nasir have been best friends forever, but when Bunny accepts an athletic scholarship across town, Nasir feels betrayed. While Bunny tries to fit in with his new, privileged peers, Nasir spends more time with his cousin, Wallace, who is being evicted. Nasir can’t help but wonder why the neighborhood is falling over itself to help Bunny when Wallace is in trouble.
When Wallace makes a bet against Bunny, Nasir is faced with an impossible decision—maybe a dangerous one.
Told from alternating perspectives, After the Shot Drops is a heart-pounding story about the responsibilities of great talent and the importance of compassion.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers | March 6, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1328702272
Written by Emily X.R. Pan
Publisher’s Synopsis: A stunning, heartbreaking debut novel about grief, love, and family, perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson and Celeste Ng.
Ages 13+ | Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers | March 20, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0316463997
Written and Illustrated by Pénélope Bagieu
Publisher’s Synopsis: Throughout history and across the globe, one characteristic connects the daring women of Brazen: their indomitable spirit.
With her characteristic wit and dazzling drawings, celebrated graphic novelist Pénélope Bagieu profiles the lives of these feisty female role models, some world famous, some little known. From Nellie Bly to Mae Jemison or Josephine Baker to Naziq al-Abid, the stories in this comic biography are sure to inspire the next generation of rebel ladies.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: First Second | March 6, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1626728691
Written by Tomi Adeyemi
Publisher’s Synopsis: With four starred reviews, Tomi Adeyemi’s West African-inspired fantasy debut, and instant #1 New York Times Bestseller, conjures a world of magic and danger, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir.
They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.
Now we rise.
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.
But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.
Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.
Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. | March 6, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1250170972
Written by Gae Polisner
Publisher’s Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Klee’s father was the center of his life. He introduced Klee to the great museums of New York City and the important artists on their walls, he told him stories made of myths and magic. Until his death.
Now, forced to live in the suburbs with his mom, Klee can’t help but feel he’s lost all the identifying parts of himself―his beloved father, weekly trips to the MoMA, and the thrumming energy of New York City. That is until he meets wild and free Sarah in art class, with her quick smiles and jokes about his “brooding.” Suddenly it seems as if she’s the only thing that makes him happy. But when an act of betrayal sends him reeling, Klee lands in what is bitingly referred to as the “Ape Can,” a psychiatric hospital for teens in Northhollow.
While there, he undergoes intensive therapy and goes back over the pieces of his life to find out what was real, what wasn’t, and whether he can stand on his own feet again. Told in alternating timelines, leading up to the event that gets him committed and working towards getting back out, Gae Polisner’s In Sight of Stars is a gorgeous novel told in minimalist strokes to maximal effect, about what makes us fall apart and how we can put ourselves back together again.
Ages 12+ | Publisher: Wednesday Books | March 13, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1250143839
*Header image from the cover of The Poet X, written by Elizabeth Acevedo (HarperTeen, 2018)
What do you think of our selection of the best new young adult books from January 2018? 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.