We Recommend

Solo
Kwame Alexander

Solo, a YA novel in poetic verse, tells the story of seventeen-year-old Blade Morrison, whose life is bombarded with scathing tabloids and a father struggling with just about every addiction under the sun—including a desperate desire to make a comeback. Haunted by memories of his mother and his family’s ruin, Blade’s only hope is in the forbidden love of his girlfriend. But when he discovers a deeply protected family secret, Blade sets out on a journey across the globe that will change everything he thought to be true.

A sample from the book...

Strings

Mom used to play
this game
on the tour bus
to help us
go to sleep:

Who’s the best?
We’d go through
every instrument:
piano, drums, horns.
Our favorite was guitar.

My sister, Storm, always said
Eddie Van Halen
was her favorite,
probably ’cause

he once made her
pancakes
at 4 am
in a Marriott kitchen.

Ask Rutherford and
he’d say,
I’m the best in the world,
I’m outta this world.
Electric soul brother interstellar man,
which is ironic
because he was trying
to quote
Lenny Kravitz, who

Mom would say
was in her top three
along with Jimi Hendrix
and me,
just to piss him off.

Banquet for hungry ghosts
Ying Chang Compestine

According to Chinese tradition, those who die hungry or unjustly come back to haunt the living. Some are appeased with food. But not all ghosts are successfully mollified. In this chilling collection of stories,Ying Chang Compestine takes readers on a journey through time and across different parts of China. From the building of the GreatWall in 200 BCE to themodern day of iPods, hungry ghosts continue to torment those who wronged them.

At once a window into the history and culture of China and an ode to Chinese cuisine, this assortment of frightening tales―complete with historical notes and delectable recipes―will both scare and satiate!

Lesley Choyce

In this whimsical free—verse novel for young adults, sixteen—year—old Hunter propels himself out of this world — literally — and into the next after pushing his ultralight bike beyond risk. He arrives in what he understands to be heaven, to be met by his celestial guide, name of Archie, who tries to interpret for Hunter the rules of this rather confusing realm. It's not long before Hunter meets a girl he used to know in Grade 6, name of Trinity, and from this point on his mission is to love her and protect her. Protect her from herself — and also from the nasty character she became involved with before she died of a drug overdose. As part of this mission, Hunter is able to take advantage of a new policy in heaven that allows some recently deceased to return and pick up their lives again. In this way, Hunter tries to prevent the death of Trinity — but it doesn't work. Complications multiply until both Hunter and Trinity find a redemptive path which gives them both back their real lives and new opportunities. 

Snow White
Matt Phelan

The scene: New York City. The dazzling lights cast shadows that grow ever darker as the glitzy prosperity of the Roaring Twenties screeches to a halt. Enter a cast of familiar characters: a young girl, Samantha White, returning after being sent away by her cruel stepmother, the Queen of the Follies, years earlier; her father, the King of Wall Street, who survives the stock market crash only to suffer a strange and sudden death; seven street urchins, brave protectors for a girl as pure as snow; and a mysterious stock ticker that holds the stepmother in its thrall, churning out ticker tape imprinted with the wicked words "Another . . . More Beautiful . . . KILL."

Julie Murphy

Sixteen-year-old Willowdean wants to prove to everyone in her small Texas town that she is more than just a fat girl, so, while grappling with her feelings for a co-worker who is clearly attracted to her, Will and some other misfits prepare to compete in the beauty pageant her mother runs.

Dark Shimmer
Donna Jo Napoli
A retelling of Snow White from the evil step mother's point of view as fifteen-year-old Dolce grows up on islands in a Venetian lagoon where she learns how to make mirrors, but when her mother dies she is taken in by a widower and his daughter while she secretly continues making mirrors and slowly goes mad from mercury poisoning.
Denton Little's Deathdate
Lance Rubin

Denton Little's Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own - except that everyone knows the day on which they will die. For Denton, that's in just two days - the day of his senior prom. Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life - but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle (the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend's sister. Though he's not totallysure - see, first hangover). His anxiety builds when he discovers a mysterious purple rash making its way up his body. Is this what will kill him? Then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton's long-deceased mother, and giving him a confusing warning...Suddenly Denton's life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.

Voices from a distant star
Makoto Shinkai

In this timeless romance between star-crossed lovers in the most tragic of settings, there are some places man may not be ready to go.

Poisoned apples
Christine Heppermann

This powerful collection of free verse poems explore how girls are taught to think about themselves, their bodies, their friends--as consumers, as objects, as competitors. Based on classic fairy tale characters and fairy tale tropes, the poems range from contemporary retellings to first person accounts set within the original stories. From Snow White's cottage and Rapunzel's tower to health class and the prom, these poems are a moving depiction of young women, society, and our expectations. Poisoned Apples is a dark, clever, witty, beautiful, and important book for teenage girls, their sisters, their mothers, and their best friends.

You hear me
Betsy Franco (editor)
Teenage boys speak out—without the filter of adult sensibility—in a compelling collection of poetry and prose.

In a powerful collection of more than seventy uncensored poems and essays, more than fifty teenage boys from across the country explore their many-layered concerns: identity, love, envy, gratitude, sex, anger, competition, fear, hope. Here, unadorned and without the filter of adult sensibility, is the raw stuff of their lives, in their own words. Isn’t it time to listen?
The Night Wanderer
Drew Hayden Taylor

Nothing ever happens on the Otter Lake reserve. But when 16-year-old Tiffany discovers her father is renting out her room, she's deeply upset. Sure, their guest is polite and keeps to himself, but he's also a little creepy. Little do Tiffany, her father, or even her insightful Granny Ruth know, the mysterious Pierre L'Errant is actually a vampire, returning to his tribal home after centuries spent in Europe.

Through the woods
Emily Carroll

Journey through the woods in this sinister, compellingly spooky collection that features four brand-new stories and one phenomenally popular tale in print for the first time. These are fairy tales gone seriously wrong, presented in graphic novel format.

deep dark fears
Fran Krause

We all have strange, irrational fears—from seeing ghosts in the bedroom mirror to being sucked into a mall escalator or finding yourself miles below the ocean's surface on the deck of a sunken ship. Deep Dark Fears explores our gruesome, hilarious, and bizarre anxieties, revealing a primal part of our humanity and highlighting both our idiosyncrasies and our similarities. This devilishly humorous guide explores our drive to experience and share the wonders of the world and the dangers lurking around every corner.

first year healthy
MIchael DeForge

First Year Healthy purports to be the story of a young woman, recently released from the hospital after an outburst, and her burgeoning relationship with an odd, perhaps criminal Turkish immigrant. In a scant forty-five pages, working with a vibrant, otherworldly palette of magentas, yellows, and grays, Michael DeForge brings to life a world whose shifting realities are as treacherous as the thin ice its narrator walks on. First Year Healthy is all it appears to be and more: a parable about mental illness, a folktale about magical cats, and a bizarre, compelling story about relationships.

urban tribes
Lisa Charleyboy (editor)

The majority of Natives in North America live "off the rez." How do they stay rooted to their culture? How do they connect with their community?

Urban Tribes offers unique insight into this growing and often misperceived group. This anthology profiles young urban Natives and how they connect with Native culture and values in their contemporary lives.

yoga
Rebecca Rissman

Presents yoga techniques and poses to promote brain power, stress relief, strength, and fitness.

self esteem team
Grace Barrett

Sometimes being a teenager can seem like a relentless merry-go-round of people telling you how to dress and behave, who to be friends with, what grades you must get in order to avoid a destiny of failure and, most importantly, why you’re spectacularly effing it all up. The Self-Esteem Team know this – because they were teenagers once. Obvs. In fact, they were teenagers enduring bullying, chronic skin issues, ‘puppy fat’ that refused to budge and ‘I’m different from everyone else’-related angst. Later, they battled self-harm, depression and an eating disorder. That’s why the Self-Esteem Team started travelling the UK: to give teenagers the tools they need to navigate life on their own terms. Natasha Devon, Grace Barrett and Nadia Mendoza – now a successful journalist, singer/ songwriter and showbiz editor respectively – have worked with more than 50,000 young people helping them tackle mental health, self-esteem and body-image issues.

stuff that sucks
Ben Sedley

Sometimes everything sucks. This unique, illustrated guide will help you move past negative thoughts and feelings and discover what truly matters to you. If you struggle with negative thoughts and emotions, you should know that your pain is real. No one should try to diminish it. Sometimes stuff really does suck and we have to acknowledge it. Worry, sadness, loneliness, anger, and shame are big and important, but they can also get in the way of what really matters. What if, instead of fighting your pain, you realized what really matters to you--and put those things first in life? If you did that, maybe your pain wouldn't feel so big anymore. Isn't it worth a try? 

heartless
Marissa Meyer

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland, she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love. Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next queen. Then Cath meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the king and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship. Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

Tory Woollcott

Mirror mind is a graphic memoir about growing up in the 90s with dyslexia. This emotional book will let you see though the eyes of a person who sees the world a little differently. Don't just learn to read, learn to be your self.

mirror mind sample

pointe, claw
Amber Keyser

Jessie Vale dances in an elite ballet program that requires perfection to land a spot with the professional company. When she is cast in an animalistic avant garde production, her careful composure cracks wide open. Nothing has felt more dangerous. Meanwhile, her friend Dawn McCormick's world is full of holes. She wakes in strange places, bruised, battered, and unable to speak. The doctors are out of ideas. These childhood friends are both running out of time. Jessie has one shot at her ballet dream. Dawn's blackouts are getting worse. At every turn, they crash into the many ways girls are watched, judged, used, and discarded. Should they play it safe or go feral?

Nimona
Eve Ainsworth

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are. But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona's powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

Nimona

Scott Pilgrim
Bryan Lee O'Malley

Scott Pilgrim's life is fantastic. He's 23 years old, in a rock band, "between jobs", and dating a cute high school girl. Everything's fantastic until a seriously mind-blowing, dangerously fashionable, rollerblading delivery girl named Ramona Flowers starts cruising through his dreams and sailing by him at parties. But Ramona's seven evil ex-boyfriends stand in the way between Scott and true happiness. Can Scott beat the bad guys and get the girl without turning his precious little life upside-down?

spill zone
Scott Westerfeld

Three years ago an event destroyed the small city of Poughkeepsie, forever changing reality within its borders. Uncanny manifestations and lethal dangers now await anyone who enters the Spill Zone. The Spill claimed Addison's parents and scarred her little sister, Lexa, who hasn't spoken since. Addison provides for her sister by photographing the Zone's twisted attractions on illicit midnight rides. Art collectors pay top dollar for these bizarre images, but getting close enough for the perfect shot can mean death--or worse. When an eccentric collector makes a million-dollar offer, Addison breaks her own hard-learned rules of survival and ventures farther than she has ever dared. Within the Spill Zone, Hell awaits--and it seems to be calling Addison's name.

spill zone sample

Bull cover
David Elliott

A modern twist on the Theseus and Minotaur myth, told in verse.

"Minos thought he could
Pull a fast one
On me,
Poseidon!
God of the Sea!
But I’m the last one
On whom you
Should try such a thing.
The nerve of that guy.
The balls. The audacity.
I AM THE OCEAN!
I got capacity!
Depths! Darkness! Delphic power!
So his sweet little plan
Went big-time sour
And his wife had a son
Born with horns and a muzzle
Who ended up
In an underground puzzle.
What is it with you mortals?
You just can’t seem to learn:
If you play with fire, babies,
You’re gonna get burned."