Black History Month

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of blacks in U.S. history. Celebrate by checking out books by these amazing authors. Click on the title for more information or to place a hold.

Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America

Brandy Colbert
Little & Lion

Dhonielle Clayton
The Belles (Belles, Book One)

Lamar Giles
Not So Pure and Simple

Tiffany D. Jackson
Monday’s Not Coming

Kekla Magoon
How It Went Down

Jason Reynolds
Long Way Down
All American Boys

Nic Stone
Dear Martin

Liara Tamani
Calling My Name

Angie Thomas
The Hate U Give
On the Come Up

Ibi Zoboi
American Street

Featured Series

Stranje House by Kathleen Baldwin

Banished to a boarding school to be reformed into marriageable young ladies in war-torn early 19th-century England, Miss Georgiana and her new friends are secretly entangled in a world of spies, diplomacy and romance.

1) A School for Unusual Girls

2) Exile for Dreamers

3) Refuge for Masterminds

4) Harbor for the Nightingale

Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2019

The best young adult books of 2019, picked by the editors of Publishers Weekly.

Angel Mage by Garth Nix
Nix builds a Dumas-inspired world filled with angelic legions in this sprawling fantasy that loosely echoes The Three Musketeers. A unique magical system based on angel summoning and icons, deft and inclusive characterization, and an affectionate rendering of Dumas’s style will delight fans of swashbuckling romance.

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee
In 1890 Atlanta, Chinese-American Jo Kuan lives secretly in abolitionists’ quarters underneath the publisher of a failing newspaper. After overhearing their wish for an “agony aunt,” she offers her services anonymously, voicing her thoughts in a cleverly written column that addresses many forms of prejudice. A captivating novel that celebrates the strengths and talents of marginalized people in any age.

Gravity by Sarah Deming
This gritty, uplifting story follows Gravity Delgado, who begins boxing at age 12 and is preparing for the 2016 Summer Olympics by age 16 while navigating familial and social matters. Deming gives readers a thrilling firsthand look inside a boxing ring while offering the layered tale of a dedicated, formidable young woman.

Kiss Number 8 by Colleen AF Venable, illus. by Ellen T. Crenshaw
In 2004, Amanda’s life is full of comfortable constants, but an overheard conversation and a mysterious letter set her on the path to uncovering a family secret just as she begins to explore her sexuality. Venable and Crenshaw create a remarkably full picture of Amanda’s life and the overlapping relationship dynamics. A queer coming-of-age story that earns its powerful emotional impact.

The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake
In a strong debut loosely based on Twelfth Night, 16-year-old party girl Violet’s family splinters after her brother Sam’s suicide attempt. Violet is exiled to Lyric, Maine, where she gains interest in the history of her ancestors, the town’s much-celebrated founders. Drake’s funny, character-driven novel considers themes of mental illness, family history, and love.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki, illus. by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
Laura Dean is a terrible girlfriend, but Freddy loves her and has no idea how to stop perpetuating her part of their cycle. A largely queer and physically and ethnically diverse cast inhabits this graphic novel vision of Berkeley, and its exploration of toxic relationships and social dynamics at the cusp of adulthood is, like its characters, sharp and dazzling.

Ordinary Girls by Blair Thornburgh
In this contemporary reimagining of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, 15-year-old Plum Blatchley is the quiet, introspective foil to her dramatic, excitable sister, 18-year-old Ginny. Thornburgh’s exploration of the power of social comedies and books by and about young women is a funny, beguiling story of sisterhood, burgeoning self-awareness, and first love.

Out of Salem by Hal Schrieve
In this tale set in a version of 1997 Salem, Ore., Z, 14, has just begun to acknowledge their genderqueer identity when they become a custodian-less zombie, facing slow degeneration as anti-monster sentiment across Salem reaches a fever pitch. Schrieve conjures intricate magic vital to the plot, pushes the book’s leads to grow amid the book’s ratcheting tension, and provides incisive social commentary via monster-tale tropes.

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay
In Michigan, Filipino-American high school senior Jay Reguero is struggling to decide what to do with his life when the sudden death of his cousin sends him to the Philippines in search of answers. Matters of justice and identity take center stage in this glimpse into the life and death of a fictional victim of President Duterte’s war on drugs.

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi
Carnegie Medal–nominee Emezi makes their young adult debut in this compelling, nuanced tale of a transgender, selectively nonverbal girl named Jam and the monstrous figure that finds its way into her allegedly utopian universe. Emezi’s direct but tacit story of injustice, unconditional acceptance, and the evil perpetrated by humankind forms a nuanced tale that fans of speculative horror will devour.

Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson
In this powerful memoir told in free verse, Anderson delves into her past and that of her parents, using language alternately raw and lyrical. Exploring the impact of silence on truth, she also describes how the memory of her rape finally spurred her to write and to become an activist against censorship and rape culture. Her potent words and willingness to shout her message demand action.

Slay by Brittney Morris
When black teen Kiera Johnson creates a virtual reality game called Slay, she must keep her identity as its developer secret. But the massively popular game’s existence is threatened after a dispute results in a player’s murder, and a new player emerges, forcing Kiera to wager the game’s control in a duel. Morris’s tightly written debut explores gaming culture, safe spaces, and the diversity of the African diaspora.

Spies: The Secret Showdown Between America and Russia by Marc Favreau
Favreau weaves vivid, succinct accounts of the U.S.-Soviet relationship into his tension-inducing spy stories, which range from the 1940s to the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. Chapters cover a well-chosen selection of spies, defectors, double agents, and moles in the West and behind the Iron Curtain, illuminating each side’s motivations and raising complicated moral questions about this riveting, timely topic.

Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott
This collection of poems, each told from the perspective of Joan of Arc and the people and objects central to her life, creates a remarkable portrait of a legend who continues to fascinate. Employing poetic forms prevalent during Joan’s era, Elliott fashions a gripping narrative that addresses themes of gender identity, class and vocation, and innocence and culpability, bringing fresh nuance to an oft-told story.

The Waning Age by S.E. Grove
Emotions have dried up in this stripped-down sci-fi noir novel in which people “wane”—lose their ability to experience feelings—ever earlier. When Nat’s little brother Cal is identified as a late waner and taken in for testing, she determines to help him, even without the ability to feel traditional love. In Grove’s rich near-future world, a Raymond Chandler–style narrative meets questions of ethics and technology.

We Rule the Night by Claire Eliza Bartlett
Revna’s father is serving life in prison for stealing military scrap to fashion her prosthetic legs, so when an officer witnesses the 17-year-old practicing banned magic, she fears a similar fate. Inspired by the Night Witches, real WWII Soviet fighter pilots, Bartlett’s electrifying feminist fantasy uses keenly wrought characters, harrowing action sequences, and economical worldbuilding to explore the human cost of war.

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
In this stunning sophomore novel from National Book Award– and Printz Award–winner Acevedo, Afro–Puerto Rican and African-American Emoni Santiago, a high school senior, lives in Philadelphia with her grandmother and two-year-old daughter, balancing school, work, and motherhood, and working to develop her cooking abilities. With evocative prose and realistically rendered relationships and tensions, Acevedo’s depiction of young adulthood is at once universal and intensely specific.


Featured Series

Every Day by David Levithan

A, a body-less, gender-less being, wakes up inside a new person’s body each day and tries to avoid altering the lives of the people they inhabit. But when A meets Rhiannon, they decide they want to be with her for more than just one day. This lyrical series explores Rhiannon and A’s relationship while touching on complex philosophical issues.

1) Every Day

2) Another Day

3) Someday

Tearjerkers: Books to Make You Cry

Curl up with one of these great books, but make sure you’ve got some tissues at hand and prepare to bawl your eyes out. Click on the title for more information or to place a hold.


Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Featured Series

Order of Darkness by Philippa Gregory

In 1453, seventeen-year-old Luca Vero, accused of heresy and expelled from his monastery, is recruited to help investigate evil across Europe but frees his first subject, Isolde, from captivity in a nunnery, and together they seek the one who defends the boundaries of Christendom and holds the secrets of the Order of Darkness.

1) Changeling

2) Stormbringers

3) Fools’ Gold

4) Dark Tracks

The 2019 National Book Award: Young People’s Literature

2010_nba_winnerEstablished in 1950, the National Book Award is an American literary prize administered by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization. A pantheon of such writers as William Faulkner, Marianne Moore, Ralph Ellison, John Cheever, Bernard Malamud, Philip Roth, Robert Lowell, Walker Percy, John Updike, Katherine Anne Porter, Norman Mailer, Lillian Hellman, Elizabeth Bishop, Saul Bellow, Donald Barthelme, Flannery O’Connor, Adrienne Rich, Thomas Pynchon, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Alice Walker, Charles Johnson, E. Annie Proulx, and Colum McCann have all won the Award.


2019 Winner:
1919: The Year That Changed America by Martin W. Sandler

2019 Finalists:
Pet by Akwaeke Emezi
Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds
Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay
Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby

2019 Long List:
The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander
Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson
A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata
Out of Salem by Hal Schrieve
Kiss Number 8 by Colleen AF Venable and Ellen T. Crenshaw