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2024 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers Nominees

The Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list identifies titles aimed at encouraging reading among teens who dislike to read for whatever reason. The list selects both fiction and nonfiction. Click on the title or image of each book to be taken to the blog post featuring a review, or browse all blog posts  here .  You can see previous lists on the  YALSA website  and on the  Teen Book Finder app .

Blogging Team

Coordinator, Jessica Lorentz Smith, Rachel Adams, Sarah Carnahan, Cathy DeCampli, Mike Fleming, Katie Guzan, Katrina Henderson, Emma K. McNamara, Julianne Novetsky, Warren Public Library, Warren, Michigan;  Lorraine Roussin, Luna Middle School, San Antonio, Texas; and Molly Sprague-Rice, Springfield-Greene County Library, Springfield, Missouri.

illustrated ya books

  • A First Time for Everything
  • By Dan Santat
  • February 28, 2023
  • Length: 320 p.
  • First Second, $22.99
  • 9781626724150
  • Grades: 6-8
  • Dan Santat’s graphic novel memoir takes readers along with him on a 3-week cultural exchange trip to Europe during the summer before high school. Heartfelt, funny, and beautifully illustrated, Santat shares what it takes to open up to a series of incredible firsts and create memories that last a lifetime.
  • Breakup from Hell
  • By Ann Davila Cardinal
  • January 3, 2023
  • Length: 304p
  • Harperteen, $18.99
  • 9780063045309
  • Grades: 8-12.
  • Mica and her best friends must battle Hell’s legions and her ex-boyfriend if they want to save their town and possibly the world.

illustrated ya books

  • The Do-Over
  • By Lynn Painter
  • November 15, 2022
  • Length: 304 p.
  • Simon Pulse, $19.99
  • 9781534478862
  • Grades: 9-12
  • Emilie finds herself trapped in Valentine’s Day, reliving the day over and over. Though she attempts to alter her course, she keeps colliding with Nick, her science lab partner. Nick helps Emilie realize that just because she and her boyfriend Josh look good together on paper, planning to interfere with fate never works out. 

illustrated ya books

  • Five Survive
  • By Holly Jackson
  • November 29, 2022
  • Length: 388 p.
  • Delacorte Press, $19.99
  • 9780593374160
  • An RV with six teenage friends breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Someone starts shooting at the RV demanding that the one with the secret come out. Trapped inside, the friends are now forced to share their secrets or die in the RV. 

illustrated ya books

  • Missing Clarissa
  • By Ripley Jones
  • March 7, 2023
  • Length: 244 p.
  • Wednesday Books, $18.99
  • 9781250801968
  • High school juniors Blair and Cameron create a podcast about a popular cheerleader named Clarissa who disappeared from their town twenty years prior. But what starts as a school project could have some very serious consequences in the present. 

illustrated ya books

  • Promise Boys
  • By Nick Brooks
  • January 31, 2023
  • Henry Holt and Company, $19.99
  • 9781250866974
  • Urban Promise Prep is respected for helping young men succeed. When Principal Moore is found dead in his office, the three boys in detention are the only suspects – Trey, J.B., and Ramon. Each had reasons to hate Principal Moore and now must work together to prove their innocence.

illustrated ya books

  • Royal Blood
  • By Aimee Carter
  • Length: 364 p.
  • Delacorte Press, $18.99
  • 9780593485897
  • Grades: 7-12.
  • Evan’s life is shattered when the world discovers that she’s the King of England’s secret daughter and a suspect in a murder investigation.

illustrated ya books

  • Sun Keep Rising
  • By Kristen Lee
  • January 24, 2023
  • Length: 229 p.
  • Crown Books for Young Readers, $18.99
  • 9780593309193
  • Grades: 9-12.
  • Teen mom B’onca has always found a way to survive. But when her Memphis neighborhood becomes gentrified B’onca and her sister get an eviction notice. B’onca can’t lose her home or baby. Pushed into a corner, B’onca decides to take a risk to get quick money, putting everything in jeopardy. 

illustrated ya books

  • Thieves’ Gambit
  • By Kayvion Lewis
  • September 26, 2023
  • Length: 384 p.
  • Nancy Paulsen Books, $19.99
  • 9780593625361
  • Ross must compete in the Thieves’ Gambit, an international competition consisting of different heists, in the hopes that she might win so that she can have a wish granted. 

illustrated ya books

  • The Truth About Everything
  • By Bridget Farr
  • October 11, 2022
  • Length: 288 p.
  • Flux, $19.99
  • 9781635830804
  • Grades: 8-12
  • Lark’s conspiracy-theorist parents refuse to allow her to attend school so she secretly enrolls herself.
  • 99 Boyfriends of Micah Summers. By Adam Sass. 2022. 344p. Viking Books for Young Readers, $18.99 (9780593464786). Gr. 9-12. Micah Summers is on a quest to find the boyfriend of his dreams. A chance encounter with a lost jacket, and Micah must search all over Chicago for his prince. Micah and his friends search for the mysterious boy, but will Micah have his happily ever after?
  • Aces Wild . By Amanda Dewitt. 2022. 352p. Peachtree Teen, $17.99 (9781682634660). Gr. 8-12. When Jack’s family legacy of running a casino is jeopardized with his mother’s arrest, he and his friends must come together in Vegas to get to the bottom of why she is in jail and who is to blame.
  • All the Fighting Parts. By Hannah Sawyerr. 2023. 400p. Harry N. Abrams, $19.99 (9781419762611). Gr. 9-12. After an assault by a beloved community member, Amina finds a way to find her voice and herself by confronting her abuse after he is accused of another crime.
  • At the Speed of Lies. By Cindy Otis. 2023. 368p. Scholastic Press, $19.99 (9781338806762). Gr. 9-12. High school junior Quinn Calvet gets caught up in the disappearance of kids in a nearby town, soon beginning to suspect more to the story than anyone understands, and it is up to her to figure out what’s going on.
  • The Black Queen . By Jumata Emill. 2023. 400p. Delacorte Press, $18.99 (9780593568545). Gr. 8-12. When the first Black homecoming queen at Lovett High is found dead the night of her coronation, her best friend Duchess suspects Tinsley, a white girl who lost. But as more clues are revealed the two girls end up working together to find the real killer.
  • Borrow My Heart. By Kasie West. 2023. 320p. Delacorte Press, $12.99 (9780593643259). Gr. 7-12. Sitting in a coffee shop where her best friend works, Wren overhears a guy getting accused of making up an online relationship by his friend, accusing him of being catfished, she jumps in to save the day–and pretends to be his online crush.
  • * Breakup from Hell. By Ann Davila. 2023. 304p. Harperteen, $18.99 (9780063045309). Gr. 8-12. Mica and her best friends must battle Hell’s legions and her ex-boyfriend if they want to save their town and possibly the world.
  • Chaos Theory. By Nic Stone. 2023. 288p. Crown Books for Young Readers, $18.99 (9780593307700). Gr. 8-12. Andy Criddle mistakenly texts Shelbi Augustine while drunk at a party. After receiving a DUI, Andy crosses paths again with Shelbi while working at a soup kitchen for his community service. Shelbi is determined to keep their relationship to friends only. Stone addresses self-harm, substance abuse, and mental illness in this novel.
  • * The Do-Over. By Lynn Painter. 2022. 304p. Simon Pulse, $19.99 (9781534478862). Gr. 9-12. Emilie finds herself trapped in Valentine’s Day, reliving the day over and over. Though she attempts to alter her course, she keeps colliding with Nick, her science lab partner. Nick helps Emilie realize that just because she and her boyfriend Josh look good together on paper, planning to interfere with fate never works out. 
  • The Dos and Donuts of Love. By Adiba Jaigirdar. 2023. 336p. Feiwel & Friends. $19.99 (9781250842114). Gr. 9-12. A delightful, contemporary romance about first loves, first losses, and lots of yummy desserts. 
  • Fight for Midnight. By Dan Solomon. 2023. 288p. Flux, $19.99 (9781635830866). Gr. 9-12. When Alex gets a call from his longtime crush to join him at the Texas capitol for a protest, he has no idea that he is about to enter the abortion debate and witness Senator Wendy Davis’s 11-hour filibuster against SB5 on June 25, 2013.
  • * Five Survive . By Holly Jackson. 2022. 388p. Delacorte Press, $19.99 (9780593374160). Gr. 9-12. An RV with six teenage friends breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Someone starts shooting at the RV demanding that the one with the secret come out. Trapped inside, the friends are now forced to share their secrets or die in the RV. 
  • Funeral Girl . By Emma Ohland. 2022. 272p. Carolrhoda Lab, $19.99 (9781728458007). Gr. 8-12. Georgia’s parents run the only local funeral home so it seems natural that someone would be able to communicate with ghosts. Discovering this after the death of her grandma, Georgia finds purpose in granting last wishes until one day one of her classmates arrives. Can she help him too?
  • Her Good Side. By Rebekah Weatherspoon. 2023. 304p. Razorbill, $18.99 (9780593465301). Gr. 9-12. California high schoolers Bethany and Jacob make a fake-dating pact in order to practice what it means to be boyfriend-girlfriend. They fall in actual love while helping each other confront their main stressors: Bethany wants to quit the basketball team, and Jacob wants to create the perfect film.
  • The Lake House. By Sarah Beth Durst. 2023. 356p. HarperTeen, $19.99 (9780063214071). Gr. 8-12. Three strangers must work together to survive on an abandoned island when the remote summer camp they planned to attend is not at all what it seems, and a possible killer is on the loose. 
  • Last Chance Dance . By Lakita Wilson. 2023. 336p. Viking Books for Young Readers, $18.99 (9780593525616). Gr. 7-12. After being dumped before graduation, Leila decides to participate in the tradition of Last Chance Dance. She writes down three of her crushes and gets paired up with them on dates. As Leila goes out with each person she learns about love, loss and what it takes to find the right one.
  • The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen . By Isaac Blum. 2022. 218p. Philomel Books, $18.99 (9780593525821). Gr. 8-10. Hoodie Rosen faces anti-Semitism, ostracization, and possible romance when his Orthodox Jewish family moves to a non-Jewish town.
  • A Long Stretch of Bad Days . By Mindy McGinnis. 2023. 368p. Katherine Tegen Books, $19.99 (9780063230361). Gr. 9-12. Lydia, a small town legacy, and Bristal, a legacy for the wrong reasons, team up to finalize a podcast on the town’s history to graduate. They focus on a week in 1994 which included a tornado, flood, and the town’s first murder. This uncovers a shocking truth about Henley, Ohio. 
  • The Luis Ortega Survival Club . By Sonora Reyes. 2023. 320p. Balzer +Bray, $19.99 (978063060302). Gr. 9-12. Ariana is an autistic girl who rarely speaks. After having sex with a popular boy, Ariana isn’t sure she consented to the act. Confused, she finds a mysterious note in her locker leading to a group of other assault victims. Together they decide to seek vengeance against their shared attacker.
  • Make Me A Liar. By Melissa Landers. 2023. 240p. Disney-Hyperion, $17.99 (9781368098380). Gr. 9-12. Tia, a teen girl who can “mind-hop” and take over another person’s consciousness to perform tasks for them, is framed for a murder while she is out of her own body. Using her street savvy and skills, she must find the real killer. 
  • * Missing Clarissa . By Ripley Jones. 2023. 244p. Wednesday Books, $18.99 (9781250801968). Gr. 9-12. High school juniors Blair and Cameron create a podcast about a popular cheerleader named Clarissa who disappeared from their town twenty years prior. But what starts as a school project could have some very serious consequences in the present. 
  • The Prince and the Apocalypse . By Kara McDowell. 2023. 320p. Wednesday Books, $19.99 (9780063091597). Gr. 9-12. With eight days until the end of the world, American student Wren and Prince Theo go on the run across Europe in hopes of reaching their desired destinations before the apocalypse.
  • * Promise Boys . By Nick Brooks. 2023. 304p. Henry Holt and Company, $19.99 (9781250866974). Gr. 9-12. Urban Promise Prep is respected for helping young men succeed. When Principal Moore is found dead in his office, the three boys in detention are the only suspects – Trey, J.B., and Ramon. Each had reasons to hate Principal Moore and now must work together to prove their innocence.
  • The Q . By Amy Tintera. 2022. 352p. Crown Books for Young Readers, $18.99 (9780593486177). Gr. 9-12. Can Maisie, a girl born inside the Q and Lennon, a kidnapped son of a politician, navigate the dangers inside the Q before Lennon’s vaccination wears off and he becomes vulnerable to the virus?
  • Reggie and Delilah’s Year of Falling . By Elise Bryant. 2023. 400p. Balzer + Bray, $18.99 (9780063212992). Gr. 8-12. Reggie and Delilah randomly meet on every holiday over the course of one year. As they start to fall for one another, they both struggle with how to be their authentic self in the world.
  • The Reunion . By Kit Frick. 2023. 317p. Margaret K. McElderry Books, $18.99 (9781665921466). Gr. 9-12. A wealthy extended family meets for vacation in Cancun to celebrate a recent engagement. Throughout the week, someone will die, multiple people will lie, and long-standing family secrets may or may not get resolved. 
  • The Revelry. By Katherine Webber. 2023. 240p. Scholastic Press, $18.99 (9781338828528). Gr. 9-12. Bitsy begins to suspect she is cursed after sneaking into the Revelry, a mysterious yearly party in the woods outside her small town. Mystery, magical realism, and a realistic portrayal of adolescent friendship are woven together in this short novel. 
  • * Royal Blood . By Aimee Carter. 2023. 364p. Delacorte Press, $18.99 (9780593485897). Gr. 7-12. Evan’s life is shattered when the world discovers that she’s the King of England’s secret daughter and a suspect in a murder investigation.
  • The Ruby Code . By Jessica Khoury. 2023. 304p. Scholastic Press, $18.99 (9781338859287). Gr. 3-7. Bullied at school and home, Ash finds respite from his unhappy life in virtual reality games. One night, he spends his meager savings to help a stranger, who thanks him with a copy of an old fantasy game called The Glass Realm. 
  • Seven Percent of Ro Devereux . By Ellen O’Clover. 2023. 312p. HarperTeen, $18.99 (9780063255036). Gr. 9-12. Ro creates an app based on the popular MASH game for a senior project that can predict someone’s future with 93% accuracy. She is matched with Miller, her childhood friend who she had a falling out with, as her soulmate.
  • Someone is Always Watching . By Kelley Armstrong. 2023. 368p. Tundra Books, $18.99 (9780735270923). Gr. 7-12. A close-knit group of friends must find out what really happened to their supposedly mentally-ill friend. In the process they will also seek the truth about their parents, the high-tech company their parents work for, and themselves.
  • Spells for Lost Things . By Jenna Evans Welch. 2022. 368p. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $19.99 (9781534448872). Gr. 7-12. Willow must go to Salem, MA, to help her mother tend to a family death. Mason must go to Salem, MA, because his new foster family lives there. After their chance meeting, the two search to find answers to Willow’s family’s mystery and search to find Mason’s mother.
  • Stars and Smoke . By Marie Lu. 2023. 328p. Roaring Brook Press, $19.99m (9781250852816). Gr. 9-12. A pop star and a spy race through London to stop an international arms dealer from delivering a weapon of mass destruction.
  • * Sun Keep Rising . By Kristen Lee. 2023. 229p. Crown Books for Young Readers, $18.99 (9780593309193). Gr. 9-12. Teen mom B’onca has always found a way to survive. But when her Memphis neighborhood becomes gentrified B’onca and her sister get an eviction notice. B’onca can’t lose her home or baby. Pushed into a corner, B’onca decides to take a risk to get quick money, putting everything in jeopardy. 
  • Swarm. By Jennifer Lyle. 2023. 336p. Sourcebooks Fire, $11.99 (9781728270913). Gr. 9-12. Shur must protect her family from an invasion of giant man-eating butterflies.
  • *Thieves’ Gambit. By Kayvion Lewis. 2023. 384p. Nancy Paulsen Books, $19.99 (9780593625361). Gr. 8-12. Ross must compete in the Thieves’ Gambit, an international competition consisting of different heists, in the hopes that she might win so that she can have a wish granted. 
  • * The Truth About Everything . By Bridget Farr. 2022. 288p. Flux, $19.99 (9781635830804). Gr. 8-12. Lark’s conspiracy-theorist parents refuse to allow her to attend school so she secretly enrolls herself.
  • We’ll Never Tell. By Wendy Heard. 2023. 320p. Christy Ottaviano Books, $18.99 (9780316482332). Gr. 9-12. Plans go awry for a group of teens exploring an infamous murder house when one of them ends up in a coma. The remaining friends must try to figure out what happened to him, and how it relates to the original 1972 murder-suicide, despite not knowing if they can trust anyone, including one another. 
  • What Happens After Midnight . By K.L. Walther. 2023. 384p. Sourcebooks Fire, $11.99 (9781728263137). Gr. 9-12. Lily agrees to help the campus jester prank their boarding school before realizing it’s her ex-boyfriend.
  • Whiteout. By Dhonielle Clayton. 2022. 291p. Quill Tree Books, $19.99 (9780063088146). Gr. 9-12. A snowstorm shuts down Atlanta in this collection of short stories that has a much more cohesive throughline than its companion, Blackout (2021). The teenaged characters navigate first love, family, and loyalty while trying to understand their own identities. 
  • A Whole Song and Dance . By Sarvenaz Tash. 2023. 304p. Disney Hyperion, $18.99 (9781368077552). Gr. 9-12. College freshman Nasrin is studying drama at NYU but her parents think they are paying for a business degree. Now she has to find a way to break the news to them.
  • You’re Not Supposed to Die Tonight . By Kalynn Bayron. 2023. 230p. Bloomsbury YA, $19.99 (9781547611546). Gr. 8-12. Charity, the final girl, who plays a terror game at The Curse of Camp Mirror Lake , uncovers a killer’s motives and the bloody history of the real Mirror Lake.

Graphic Novel or Illustrated Text

  • * A First Time for Everything . By Dan Santat. 2023. 320p. First Second, $22.99 (9781626724150). Gr. 6-8. Dan Santat’s graphic novel memoir takes readers along with him on a 3-week cultural exchange trip to Europe during the summer before high school. Heartfelt, funny, and beautifully illustrated, Santat shares what it takes to open up to a series of incredible firsts and create memories that last a lifetime.
  • Hungry Ghost . By Victoria Ying. 2023. 198p. First Second, $17.99 (9781250767004). Gr. 9-12. Valerie Chu’s attempts to be the perfect daughter begin to crumble under the pressure of personal tragedy, troubles with friends, and an eating disorder. To heal she must learn to follow her own path.
  • Mall Goth . By Kate Leth and Diana Sousa. 2023. 256p. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $14.99 (9781534476943). Gr. 8-12. Liv, a Goth, bisexual teen, struggles to find her place after she moves to a new town with her mom. Even though her job is embarrassing, she loves spending time with her new friends at the mall. But trouble at home, with her friends, and at school threaten her happiness.
  • Pardalita . By Jona Estrala. 2023. 244p. Levine Querido, $21.99 (9781646143177). Gr. 7-12. Raquel is finally back in school after being suspended for a week. Her best friend Fred decides to sign up for the theater to try something new; Raquel is signing up to get closer to Pardalita. (not that she would ever tell her friends that.)
  • The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich . By Deya Muniz. 2023. 256p. Little Brown Ink, $17.99 (9780316538725). Gr. 7-12. In the kingdom of Fromage, an unmarried woman cannot legally inherit property. Lady Camembert, disguised as a man after her father’s death, relocates to the kingdom’s capital city where she befriends Princess Brie, and the two soon form a fast friendship and maybe more. What if Cam’s secret comes out?
  • Sunshine: A Graphic Novel . By Jarrett Krosozka. 2023. 240p. Graphix, $14.99 (9781338356311). Gr. 7-12. In high school, Jarrett J. Krosoczka joined a program sending students to counsel seriously ill kids at Camp Sunshine. Despite initial worries about the potential sadness, he discovered a surprising atmosphere of hope and determination. Engaging in camp activities, he met extraordinary kids, learning about illness challenges and the liberating power of a supportive environment.

Non-Fiction

  • Extra Life (Young Readers Adaptation): The Astonishing Story of How We Doubled Our Lifespan. By Steven Johnson. 2023. 128p. Viking Books for Young Readers, $18.99 (9780593351499). Gr. 5-8. Extra Life explores the scientific advancements that have prolonged human life. It provides a deep dive into modern history and scientific advances, making it an ideal book for younger readers.
  • Welcome to Consent: How to Say No, When to Say Yes, and How to be the Boss of Your Body. By Yumi Stynes & Dr. Melissa Kang, illustrated by Jenny Latham. 2023. 224p. Walker Books US, $17.99 (978153622617). Gr. 5-9. Understanding consent is important for people with all kinds of bodies, in all kinds of circumstances–from getting a haircut or letting the doctor check your blood pressure to hugging a friend, picking up a child, or kissing someone.
  • Where to Start: A Survival Guide to Anxiety, Depression, and other Mental Health Challenges . By Mental Health America, illustrated by Gemma Correll. 2023. 208p. Rocky Pond Books, $19.99 (9780593531402). Gr. 5-12. Clear and accessible information about mental health challenges one might face. Engaging illustrations make this easy to pick up and read.

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Best YA Graphic Novels of 2021

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NOV. 9, 2021

TEENS & YOUNG ADULT

by Harmony Becker ; illustrated by Harmony Becker

An unforgettable story of personal growth in an exquisitely rendered setting. Full review >

illustrated ya books

FEB. 23, 2021

GRAPHIC NOVELS & COMICS

by Abby Howard ; illustrated by Abby Howard

Unsettling in the best way. Full review >

RUN

AUG. 3, 2021

by John Lewis & Andrew Aydin ; illustrated by L. Fury & Nate Powell

An intimate, powerfully revealing look at a crucial, complex time, through the eyes of a true American hero. Full review >

NUBIA

by L.L. McKinney ; illustrated by Robyn Smith

An essential superhero story for this moment. Full review >

LET'S TALK ABOUT IT

MARCH 9, 2021

by Erika Moen & Matthew Nolan ; illustrated by Erika Moen & Matthew Nolan

Puts the graphic in the graphic-novel format, in the best and most educational way. Full review >

THE DEVIL'S MUSIC

FEB. 22, 2022

by Nathan Page ; illustrated by Drew Shannon

Another winning installment. Full review >

THE HAZARDS OF LOVE

MARCH 30, 2021

by Stan Stanley ; illustrated by Stan Stanley

A noir fantasy—part adventure, part love story, all the way spectacularly creepy. Full review >

OUR STORIES CARRIED US HERE

AUG. 31, 2021

edited by Julie Vang , Tea Rozman & Tom Kaczynski

Will strongly evoke both thought-provoking insights and empathy. Full review >

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The best children’s books of 2021.

The best children’s and YA books of 2021

From magical picture books and rollicking adventures to the conclusion of Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses series, standout reads for all ages

A fter months of sadness and uncertainty, there is pure enchantment to be found in the year’s best children’s books. For picture-book lovers, Scissorella: The Paper Princess by Clare Helen Welsh, illustrated by Laura Barrett (Andersen), is an extra-special story full of delicate filigree art. Mill worker Lotte, scorned by her siblings, cuts elegant puppets out of paper, trusting hard work over happy endings – until she’s invited to a ball, and meets a prince who loves puppets too.

In the luminous fairytale Frindleswylde by Natalia O’Hara, illustrated by Lauren O’Hara (Walker), a capricious winter spirit steals the light from Grandma’s lamp, and Cora must go to his icy kingdom to retrieve it – but will Frindleswylde freeze her heart first? Filled with pastel sweetness and frosty aquamarine light, this has a flavour of Hans Christian Andersen.

Scissorella

There is rousing inspiration for all ages in Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem by Amanda Gorman , illustrated by Loren Long (Puffin), as a girl urges her community to action via small kindnesses and courageous words (“I can hear change humming / In its loudest, proudest song …”). Lyrical text from the presidential inaugural poet marries thrillingly with Long’s rich paintings.

For five-plus, Once Upon a Tune: Stories from the Orchestra by James Mayhew (Otter-Barry) contains six absorbing tales, each the source of wonderful music, all brought to life by Mayhew’s compelling storytelling and exquisitely textured pictures. This gorgeous introduction to works such as Peer Gynt and Scheherazade explores musical context, and provides links to recommended recordings.

Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem by Amanda Gorman

Fact fans of seven-plus will adore Listified!: Britannica’s 300 Lists That Will Blow Your Mind by Andrew Pettie, illustrated by Andrés Lozano (Britannica), a treasury featuring the fastest dinosaurs, the cleverest dog breeds and the sneakiest spy gadgets (including a microphone disguised as an olive). Funny and thought-provoking, with pages full of enticingly blocky illustrations.

In Every Leaf a Hallelujah by Ben Okri, illustrated by Diana Ejaita (Head of Zeus) and also for seven-plus readers, Mangoshi’s mother is ill, but there’s a flower in the forest that can save her – if Mangoshi can only find it … This meditative environmental fairytale conveys a sense of humanity’s deep reliance on the natural world.

For eight-plus readers, Utterly Dark and the Face of the Deep by Philip Reeve (David Fickling) is a superbly weird tale of wonder, peril, tragedy and the thin places between worlds. Washed up on shore as a baby, Utterly Dark is adopted by the Watcher of Wildsea, who keeps a lookout for the strange, threatening forces of the sea. But when Utterly’s guardian is drowned, who will keep watch – and keep the island safe?

The False Rose by Jakob Wegelius

There are more seaborne thrills for eight-to-12 years in The False Rose by Jakob Wegelius (translated by Peter Graves, Pushkin), as the gorilla hero of The Murderer’s Ape returns in a sequel as intricately illustrated and adventurous as her first appearance. Finding a rose-shaped necklace hidden aboard their beloved steamer, Sally Jones and The Chief are swept off on a voyage from Lisbon to Glasgow and even further afield, falling foul of a terrifying gang and a smuggler determined to own the mysterious pendant.

Meanwhile, the acclaimed author of the Seeing Stone trilogy returns to the bloody, fertile ground of Arthurian legend in Arthur: The Always King by Kevin Crossley-Holland, illustrated by Chris Riddell (Walker). This spectacular collection of stories for 10-plus moves enthrallingly from Arthur’s boyhood to the trials of his kingship, betrayal and death; Riddell’s intoxicating illustrations, full of golden light, glinting mail and memorable gore, elevate it to the sublime.

For 14-plus, Medusa by Jessie Burton, illustrated by Olivia Lomenech Gill (Bloomsbury), is utterly transporting. Violated and cursed, Medusa lives on a remote island with only her sisters, her dog and the snakes of her hair for company. When a handsome boy arrives on the shore, Medusa refuses to show her face – but as they exchange stories from either side of a great rock, friendship slowly flowers between them. How will Perseus react, though, to Medusa’s entire truth? This dynamic feminist retelling is illustrated with stunning, polychromatic power.

Twenty years after Noughts and Crosses ’s first publication, Malorie Blackman brings her unforgettable YA series to a tragic, triumphant close in Endgame (Penguin). In a world where black Crosses control most wealth and power, Britain’s first Nought prime minister is about to go on trial for the murder of gang lord Dan Jeavons. Sephy Hadley was also present when Jeavons was killed; now she’s under suspicion too, and her children are threatened. How will the weave of plotting and corruption unravel – and who will emerge unscathed?

An illustration by Chris Riddell from Arthur: The Always King.

Finally, When Shadows Fall by Sita Brahmachari, illustrated by Natalie Sirett (Stripes), follows Kai, Orla and Zak, who love the wild green patch in the centre of the concrete sprawl they live in: it’s their den, their garden, their refuge. But when Kai suffers a great loss, he no longer wants his friends’ company – or to safeguard their secret place. A moving, hard-hitting journey for teens through grief and acceptance, interwoven with powerful illustration and viscerally vivid verse.

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Young Adults

Young Adults

La Belle Sauvage

Philip Pullman

Illustrated by Peter Bailey

Discover the genesis of Lyra’s story in Philip Pullman’s La Belle Sauvage . This gorgeous Folio edition is produced in series with His Dark Materials and features new illustrations by Peter Bailey.

Tehanu

Ursula K. Le Guin

Illustrated by David Lupton

The Folio Society’s edition of Tehanu , the fourth story in the series, continues the work of bringing Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea to life. With enchanting illustrations by David Lupton. 

The Neverending Story

The Neverending Story

Michael Ende

Illustrated by Marie-Alice Harel

To mark Folio’s 75th anniversary, Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story is published as a magical new edition, beautifully illustrated by award-winning artist Marie-Alice Harel and bursting with exquisite design details.

The Tombs of Atuan

The Tombs of Atuan

The Tombs of Atuan is the second book in Ursula K. Le Guin’s unmissable Earthsea series. Artist David Lupton provides the illustrations and a haunting binding design for this new Folio edition.

The Roald Dahl Collection (Set 1)

The Roald Dahl Collection (Set 1)

Illustrated by Quentin Blake

Grab your golden ticket for three of Roald Dahl’s finest fizz-whizzing adventures – James and the Giant Peach , Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Twits – in this splendiferous new Folio Society set, featuring Quentin Blake’s iconic black-and-white illustrations and the classic texts.

House of Many Ways

House of Many Ways

Diana Wynne Jones

Folio’s beautiful edition of House of Many Ways brings another dose of magic and mayhem from the world of Howl’s Moving Castle . The final volume in Diana Wynne Jones’s trilogy is illustrated by Marie-Alice Harel.

The Lost World

The Lost World

Michael Crichton

Illustrated by Vector That Fox

The nightmare is far from over for humankind in Michael Crichton’s action-packed follow-up to Jurassic Park. This Folio edition of The Lost World is illustrated by Vector That Fox.

Castle in the Air

Castle in the Air

Abdullah dreams of adventure, but dreams can be big trouble in Castle in the Air , Diana Wynne Jones’s delightful sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle . This Folio edition is illustrated by Marie-Alice Harel.

Noughts and Crosses

Noughts and Crosses

Malorie Blackman

Illustrated by Kingsley Nebechi

Introduced by Benjamin Zephaniah and illustrated by Kingsley Nebechi, this stunning Folio Society edition of Noughts and Crosses showcases Malorie Blackman’s award-winning thriller set in a reimagined Western society.

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park

The book that launched a phenomenal global franchise, Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park is a rip-roaring, fact-filled, rollercoaster read and this illustrated Folio Society edition is the T-Rex of them all.

Howl’s Moving Castle

Howl’s Moving Castle

This fantastical Folio edition of Diana Wynne Jones’s enchanting tale features artwork by Folio’s 2019 Book Illustration Competition winner.

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll

Illustrated by Charles van Sandwyk

The Folio Society presents a glorious new edition of Lewis Carroll’s immortal tale, illustrated by acclaimed artist Charles van Sandwyk.

His Dark Materials

A magnificent Folio Society edition of a worldwide phenomenon. The award-winning trilogy  His Dark Materials  in a stunning fully-illustrated hardback edition.

The Left Hand of Darkness

The Left Hand of Darkness

The first illustrated edition of Ursula K. Le Guin’s masterpiece, The Left Hand of Darkness . The Folio Society edition also includes an introduction by Becky Chambers and exquisite illustrations by David Lupton.

A Wizard of Earthsea

A Wizard of Earthsea

A true great of the fantasy genre, Ursula K. Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea brims over with danger and wild magic. Illustrated by David Lupton and introduced by David Mitchell.

The Silmarillion

The Silmarillion

J. R. R. Tolkien

Illustrated by Francis Mosley

Before The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit came The Silmarillion –  a rich tapestry of tales and legends which tells the story of Middle-earth.

The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride

William Goldman

Illustrated by Mark Thomas

Featuring giants, duels, man-eating swamp rats and, of course, true love, Goldman’s funny and poignant lampoon of the fairy-tale tradition has inadvertently become a classic of the genre.

Little Women

Little Women

Louisa May Alcott

Illustrated by Rebecca Green

Illustrated by Rebecca Green and introduced by Jane Gardam, this gorgeous Folio Society edition of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women celebrates its status as a timeless classic, an early feminist novel and a wonderfully engaging read.

The Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings

Illustrated by Eric Fraser and Ingahild Grathmer

Successive generations have been spellbound by the exploits of Frodo, Gandalf and their comrades as they journey towards Mordor to do battle with the Dark Lord Sauron.

Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

William Golding

Illustrated by Sam Weber

One of the most influential novels of the 20th century, William Golding’s Lord of the Flies is presented as a unique Folio Society edition, illustrated by Sam Weber and introduced by Ian McEwan.

The Hobbit

Illustrated by Eric Fraser

A beautiful edition of Tolkien’s classic children’s story. Leaving his comfortable hobbit hole Bilbo Baggins goes on a reluctant adventure to defeat a dragon, and along the way he encounters the vile, but pathetic Gollum, and his ‘Precious’ – a ring to rule them all.

Adventure, fantasy, historical fiction and more encompass The Folio Society’s Young Adults collection. Budding readers can bridge the gap between children’s and adult fiction with these collector’s editions beloved by young and old alike. These editions contain newly commissioned illustrations and original bindings and make for the perfect gift.

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  • Young Adult

50 best YA books to read right now

From teen romances to epic fantasy , here's our round-up of the best young adult fiction, that adults will love too..

illustrated ya books

If you can't get enough young adult fiction, you're not alone. With the film adaptation of YA classic, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret out this year, there's no better time to discover more YA favourites. Here we round-up the best new young adult fiction of 2023, take a look back at the best of 2022, and list our top YA books of all time. 

The best new YA books of 2023

This dark descent, by kalyn josephson.

Book cover for This Dark Descent

Life has not been easy for Mikira Rusel, the heroine of this brand-new YA fantasy series set in the magical and corrupt world of Veradell. When forced to confront a penniless future without her beloved father, she sets out to change her destiny the only way she knows: by winning a high-stakes equestrian competition with as many dangers as it has rewards. Will Mikira make it to the finish line, or will she fail in her quest? A magical YA fantasy based on Jewish folklore from an exciting new voice, This Dark Descent is a must-read. 

The Changing Man

By tomi oyemakinde.

Book cover for The Changing Man

With its hallowed halls, snarky students, and traditions steeped in history, Ife feels out of place the minute she steps through the doors of her prestigious new boarding school. And, as she settles into school life, she can’t shake the feeling that something isn’t right. When students start to go missing, her suspicions are confirmed. Determined to find the truth behind the differences and the mysterious legend of the Changing Man, Ife and her friend Ben find themselves in even more danger than they ever imagined. 

Our Cursed Love

By julie abe.

Book cover for Our Cursed Love

Remy is hopelessly in love with her best friend and has decided that their once-in-a-lifetime trip to Japan is the perfect time to finally tell him. But her plans are ruined after visiting an ancient apothecary shop, where Cam’s memories are wiped after he drinks a magical elixir. Racing against the clock, only Remy can help Cam remember her, and keep her dream of love alive. A magical holiday romance with a twist, Our Cursed Love will have you hanging onto every page. 

Friends with Boys

By faith erin hicks.

Book cover for Friends with Boys

A spooky YA graphic novel, this coming-of-age tale is a must-read. When Maggie McKay finds herself leaving her perfect homeschooling existence, and her brothers, for the perilous world of high school, she naturally feels a little nervous. But as she faces the outside world on her own for the first time, Maggie has a problem no other teens have to deal with: a gloomy ghost who follows her around wherever she goes. Join Maggie as she navigates her new world, and solving the mystery of her spooky friend with hilarious consequences! 

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong

By prudence shen.

Book cover for Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong

If you’re a Heartstopper fan looking for a new obsession, this hilarious YA graphic novel is for you. When Charlie (dreamy basketball-team captain) and Nate (nerdy robotics club president) find themselves at war thanks to a cheerleader driven feud, there’s more than their friendship at stake. With robots, rivalry, friendship and high-school tropes at it’s heart, Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong is a heartwarming and feel-good read you can’t miss. 

One Year at Ellsmere

Book cover for One Year at Ellsmere

A feel-good graphic novel from Faith Erin Hicks, One Year at Ellsmere is a story about friendship, fitting in and standing up for what you believe in. When Juniper wins a scholarship to the ultra prestigious Ellsmere Academy she thinks she will be the perfect fit. But as soon as she sets foot on the hallowed grounds, she realises fitting in won’t be as easy as she thought. As she navigates Ellsmere’s cliques and tries to avoid the magical beast rumoured to roam the school grounds, Juniper finds her feet, and sets out to prove her haters wrong. 

A magical tale of true love, set in a Tokyo enveloped in winter snow on New Year’s Eve, Our Cursed Love is the perfect novel to curl up with this season. When Remy sets off on a once in a lifetime trip to Japan, she decides it is the perfect time to tell her best friend Cam how she feels about him. But after a trip to a magical apothecary goes wrong and Cam forgets who Remy is, the pair set off on a whirlwind trip through Tokyo to reclaim Cam’s memories and give their love story a second chance. 

Blood and Moonlight

By erin beaty.

Book cover for Blood and Moonlight

When orphan Catrin witnesses a murder she should never have seen, the course of her life changes forever. Plunged into a world ruled by darkness, she finds herself torn between the killer and Simon, a detective with a brilliant mind who is determined to find the perpetrator. As Catrin becomes embroiled in solving the case, her own secret threatens to spill out, and risk everyone she loves in the process. Blood and Moonlight is followed by the second novel in this addictive fantasy mystery series, Silence and Shadow . 

Hockey Girl Loves Drama Boy

Book cover for Hockey Girl Loves Drama Boy

When hot-headed hockey star Alix finds herself in trouble after punching her teammate, her biggest fear is being kicked off the team she loves. Enter calm, cool theatre kid Ezra, who offers to help her control her temper. As the pair start to spend time together, Alix finds herself wondering if maybe what she wants is more than just friendship, and whether her unlikely new friend feels the same? Funny, feelgood and packed with high-school drama, Hockey Girl Loves Drama Boy is the perfect graphic novel for fans of Heartstopper . 

An Improbable Season

By rosalyn eves.

Book cover for An Improbable Season

Calling all Bridgerton fans! An Improbable Season is your next read. This historical romance about three young women following their dreams will transport you straight into the world of Regency London. As Thalia, Kalliope, and Charis embark on their first season, they’re all more focused on the bright lights of London than the eligible bachelors they’re set to meet. Sadly, the trio soon realise that success won’t be quite as simple to find as they had hoped. As they set out to rescue their season, will the young women be swept up in romance? Find out in this charming, feel-good full-hearted novel. 

Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret

By judy blume.

Book cover for Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret

With the release of a major film adaptation starring Rachel McAdams, there is no better time to discover the new edition of this hilarious coming-of-age classic by Judy Blume . Meet Margaret. She's going through all the same things most teenage girls have to face, but no matter how hard she tries, she can't shake the feeling that she's simply not normal. Meanwhile, everyone else seems really sure of who they are. And, worst of all, she's a 'late developer'. It's too embarrassing to talk to her parents about these things. So she talks to God instead – and waits for an answer. 

Don't Miss

More books by Judy Blume

Cupid's revenge, by wibke brueggemann.

Book cover for Cupid's Revenge

It was never Tilly's intention to fall in love, but Cupid will get you when you least expect it . . . Tilly isn't looking for a girlfriend, but her best friend Teddy is. Enter Katherine Cooper-Bunting: beautiful, charming, and perfect for Teddy. So why does Tilly find herself using any excuse to join the theatre production they're starring in? And why can't she stop thinking about Katherine? Cupid's Revenge is a hilariously honest novel full of heart, from Wibke Brueggemann, author of   Love is for Losers . 

Fake Dates and Mooncakes

By sher lee.

Book cover for Fake Dates and Mooncakes

Meet Dylan Tang: he juggles school and delivery runs for his aunt’s struggling Chinese takeout in Brooklyn. Winning a mooncake competition could bring the publicity they need to stay afloat. Enter Theo Somers: a charming, wealthy customer who convinces Dylan to be his fake date to a family wedding full of crazy rich drama. Their romance is supposed to be just for show, but soon Dylan’s falling for Theo — for real. With the mooncake contest looming, Dylan can’t risk being distracted by rich-people problems. Can he save his family’s business and follow his heart? 

I Wish You All the Best

By mason deaver.

Book cover for I Wish You All the Best

This tender story about a non-binary teen is a celebration of life and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity. When Ben De Backer comes out as nonbinary, it doesn’t go down as planned: they are thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister. Ben tries to keep a low profile in school until Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As their friendship grows, their feelings begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier, new life.

by Frances Hardinge

Book cover for Unraveller

Called her ‘best yet’ by the Guardian, Hardinge expertly weaves together mythology and mystery in her brilliant YA fantasy novel, Unraveller . In a world where anyone can cast a life-destroying curse, only one person has the power to unravel them. Kellen does not fully understand his unique gift, but helps those who are cursed, like his friend Nettle who was trapped in the body of a bird for years. She is now Kellen's constant companion and his closest ally. But the Unraveller carries a curse himself and, unless he and Nettle can remove it, Kellen is a danger to everything – and everyone – around him. 

Promise Boys

By nick brooks.

Book cover for Promise Boys

Nick Brooks's  Promise Boys  is a trailblazing, blockbuster YA mystery about three teen boys of colour who must investigate their principal’s murder to clear their own names. When Principal Moore, headteacher at the Urban Promise Prep School is murdered, J.B., Ramón and Trey emerge as the case's prime suspects. With all three maintaining their innocence, they must track down the real killer before they are arrested. This YA thriller shines a glaring light on how the system, condemns Black and Latinx teen boys to failure before they've even had a chance at success. 

Begin Again

By emma lord.

Book cover for Begin Again

From the bestselling author of Tweet Cute and You Have a Match comes Begin Again — an unforgettable story of love and starting again. Andie Rose has a plan: transfer to the competitive Blue Ridge State and chase her goal of becoming an iconic self-help figure. But once she arrives and meets Milo, her plans quickly disintegrate. He redefines all her ideas about love and relationships, pushing Andie's relationship with boyfriend Connor to breaking point. Sometimes, when all your plans are rubble at your feet, you find out what you're made of.

I Kissed Shara Wheeler

By casey mcquiston.

Book cover for I Kissed Shara Wheeler

Chloe Green wants to be a winner. Her moms have moved her from SoCal to Alabama for high school, and she has had to spend four years navigating gossips and the puritans who run Willowgrove Christian Academy. She is determined to win valedictorian, and only prom queen Shara Wheeler stands in her way. But, a month before they graduate, Shara kisses Chloe and disappears. Chloe launches an investigation with some fellow students –  quarterback Smith and bad boy Rory. Could it be there's more to Shara than meets the eye? 

Book cover for Stand Up  Ferran Burke

Stand Up Ferran Burke

Steven Camden

Book cover for The Headmaster's List

The Headmaster's List

Melissa de la Cruz

Book cover for When Ghosts Call Us Home

When Ghosts Call Us Home

Katya de Becerra

Book cover for The Restaurant at the End of the Universe Illustrated Edition

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe Illustrated Edition

Douglas Adams

A look forward to 2024 . . .

A tempest of tea, by hafsah faizal.

Book cover for A Tempest of Tea

Arthie Casimir is a notorious criminal and keeper of secrets in White Roaring. By night, her esteemed tearoom becomes an illicit bloodhouse serving the feared vampires. When her venture is at risk, Arthie must negotiate an unexpected pact with a captivating foe, leading her to assemble an unlikely team of talented misfits. Their mission: penetrate the enigmatic vampire society, the Athereum. But with trust issues within her crew and a larger conspiracy unveiling, Arthie's world is on the brink of upheaval. This suspenseful, romantic novel showcases Hafsah Faizal at her finest.

American Born Chinese

By gene luen yang.

Book cover for American Born Chinese

The book that inspired the hit Disney+ show, Gene Yang’s graphic novel interweaves Chinese mythology and the realities of race, friendship and the American Dream through the story of teenager Jin Wang. As he walks through the bustling hallways of his new school, Jin soon realises that he’s the only American born Chinese kid on campus and that blending in is going to be harder than he hoped. With a twist that you’ll never see coming, and characters you’ll fall in love with, American Born Chinese is a must-read.

The Getaway List

Book cover for The Getaway List

After years of being the “Good Kid” in high school, Riley is desperate for a change. So, after graduation she packs her bags for an epic summer in New York with her best friend Tom and a mission to do everything on her Getaway List. As the pair explore the city with their newfound friends, Riley starts to see Tom in a new light. Will her summer of adventure turn into a summer of love? 

Lunar New Year Love Story

Book cover for Lunar New Year Love Story

Val has had such little luck in love that she’s convinced she’s cursed and is ready to give up on finding someone special. But, when she runs into two handsome lion dancers at a New Year parade, something changes and Val wonders if she’s destined to find her person after all. A new graphic novel with family and love at its heart, Lunar New Year Love Story is published just in time for the start of the Year of the Dragon.  

The best YA books of 2022

Scattered showers, by rainbow rowell.

Book cover for Scattered Showers

Scattered Showers promises tales of love and life in nine poignant and relatable short stories, including a boy-meets-girl classic, an imaginary romance and a holiday adventure. Complete with irresistible characters and hilarious dialogue, Rainbow Rowell's new collection is YA storytelling at its finest. 

The Cemetery Boys

By aiden thomas.

Book cover for The Cemetery Boys

Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him. Attempting to prove his abilities to his family by contacting his cousin, he accidentally brings back the high school’s resident bad boy, Julian Diaz, and Julian won’t go into death quietly. The two must work together if Yadriel is to carry out his plan and show himself to be a true brujo (sorcerer) but the more time the two spend together, the less Yadrial wants Julian to leave. An LGBTQIA+ story about magic and acceptance.

Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments

By t. l. huchu.

Book cover for Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments

When Ropa Moyo takes on a second job to fund her internship (at an occult underground library) she finds herself turning detective. Her new role is at Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments, a very specialized hospital, where a new illness is resisting all treatments – medical and magical. Investigating, Ropa uncovers an avenging spirit, a lost fortune and a secret deep in Scotland’s past. But how are they connected, and can they help the patients of Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments?

Book cover for Tweet Cute

Gossip Girl meets You’ve Got Mail in this intensely likeable romance. Pepper is a chronic overachiever and the secret voice of Big League Burger's massive Twitter account. Jack is the class clown working part-time at his family’s deli, unknowingly engaged in a viral Twitter war with Pepper about grilled cheese. And then they meet on an anonymous chat app. . .

The Sunbearer Trials

Book cover for The Sunbearer Trials

Welcome to The Sunbearer Trials, where teen semidióses (demigods) compete in a series of challenges with the highest of stakes. Every decade, the sun’s power must be replenished via a sacrificial offering to Sol. The sacrifice? The loser of the Trials. Teo isn’t worried, at least not for himself. But when his best friend Niya is set to compete against another of their friends, and their rival Aurelio looks likely to win, Teo is determined to get everyone through the Trials unscathed. 

My Mechanical Romance

By alexene farol follmuth.

Book cover for My Mechanical Romance

When Bel accidentally reveals a talent for engineering at school, she’s forced into joining the robotics club. Enter Mateo Luna, perfect on paper – captain of the football team and the robotics club – who recognizes Bel as a potential asset, even if they couldn’t be more different. And as the nights of after–school work grow longer, Bel and Teo realize they've made more than just a combat–ready robot for the championship: they’ve made a connection themselves. But with graduation approaching, their differences and what they want for their futures, threatens what they’ve built together. 

Mark My Words

By muhammad khan.

Book cover for Mark My Words

Dua Iqbal has always been open to new stories: she is persuasive and curious, and a job as a journalist seems like a good move for the fifteen year old. When her school merges with another one, Dua seizes the moment and establishes a rival newspaper, packed with stories that some teachers and kids would rather not be told. Dua is digging deep, and as exams draw closer, she has to decide when to just let things lie. But when she discovers that some of the pupils are being falsely accused of selling drugs, it's time to speak up and speak out.

Tokyo Dreaming

By emiko jean.

Book cover for Tokyo Dreaming

Japanese-American Izumi Tanaka became a princess overnight, when she realised that her dad was the Crown Prince of Japan. Life as a princess isn't all it's cracked up to be, with plotting cousins, nosy journalists and an imperial scandal. But with her bodyguard turned boyfriend and dog Tamagotchi things seem to be on the up for Izumi, especially when her parents rekindle their college affair and get engaged. Then the Imperial Household Council steps in and tries to stop the marriage, leaving Izumi struggling to keep her newly acquired happiness on track . . .

Book cover for She Drives Me Crazy

She Drives Me Crazy

Kelly Quindlen

Book cover for You Have A Match

You Have A Match

Book cover for Lost in the Never Woods

Lost in the Never Woods

Aiden Thomas

Book cover for Ophelia After All

Ophelia After All

Racquel Marie

Book cover for Something Certain, Maybe

Something Certain, Maybe

Sara Barnard

Book cover for You've Reached Sam

You've Reached Sam

Dustin Thao

Book cover for Truth Be Told

Truth Be Told

Book cover for The In Between

The In Between

The best ya books of all time, we hunt the flame.

Book cover for We Hunt the Flame

Another TikTok sensation , We Hunt the Flame  is a brilliant debut about exploration and claiming your own identity. Zafira is a Hunter, who disguises herself as a man to try to provide for her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, a notorious assassin in thrall to his sultan father. Both are reluctant legends, and both are on dangerous missions. As they embark on these perilous tasks, a long buried evil begins to stir.

Journey to the River Sea

By eva ibbotson.

Book cover for Journey to the River Sea

Orphan Maia is on a mission to meet her long-lost relatives a thousand miles up the Amazon. But instead of the warm family she has waited for, she is met by two mean cousins who can't stand the outdoors. The wonders of the rainforest lure Maia outside, where she meets a lone boy on the wild river shore. And a whole new adventure begins. This beautiful 20th anniversary edition of Eva Ibbotson 's classic and award winning Amazon adventure story comes with an introduction by prize-winning author of Letters from the Lighthouse Emma Carroll. 

They Both Die at the End

By adam silvera.

Book cover for They Both Die at the End

This YA novel tells the story of teenage boys Mateo and Rufus, who discover they have just one day to live. These total strangers meet courtesy of the Last Friend app and decide to share End Day, with Last Friend enabling them to experience a lifetime of rich and edgy experiences in just one day. Thanks to the #booktok hashtag, the novel became an international bestselling smash three years after it was first published.

by Marissa Meyer

Book cover for Heartless

This is Wonderland remixed, telling the story of the girl who would go on to become the infamous Queen of Hearts. The girl, Catherine Pinkerton, is looking for love, but despite being favoured by the King of Hearts, her own heart lies elsewhere. Her great ambition is to open a bakery with her best friend, a goal considered inappropriate for a future queen. Then Catherine falls for Jest, the good looking and enigmatic court jester. She his determined to find her own path in life and in love, but in a land of magic and madness, fate steps in . . .

Noughts & Crosses

By malorie blackman.

Book cover for Noughts & Crosses

In the award-winning Noughts and Crosses sequence, Malorie Blackman creates a dystopian world in which the white Noughts are treated as an inferior race, while the black Crosses are born into privilege and perceived as superior in every sense. It follows Sephy and Callum, who, despite the friendship they have shared since they were children, are fated to be bitter enemies. Sephy is a Cross, dark-skinned, beautiful and the daughter of a powerful politician, while Callum is a Nought, white and poor, existing to serve Crosses and nothing more. But against all odds, star-crossed lovers Sephy and Callum choose each other. 

Book cover for Fangirl

Rainbow Rowell shares Judy Blume’s deep understanding of how teenagers think and this funny and sweet coming-of-age story reads like  Forever  for the Internet age. Cath and Wren are identical twins who, until recently, did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair any more. It's not so easy for Cath. She's horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes. Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. Now Cath must decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences.

The Hunger Games

By suzanne collins.

Book cover for The Hunger Games

In the remains of what was North America lies the nation of Panem, with its twelve outlying districts. Each district must send one boy and one girl each year to compete in the Hunger Games, a live televised fight to the death. For sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen the call up seems like a death sentence. But she has faced death and won before. As battle commences, Katniss must choose between survival and her own humanity.

Children of Virtue and Vengeance

By tomi adeyemi.

Book cover for Children of Virtue and Vengeance

In this thrilling sequel to Children of Blood and Bone , Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they imagined, reigniting the powers of the maji and some nobles with magic ancestry. With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must find a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart. Children of Virtue and Vengeance is the perfect read for young adult fantasy fanatics. 

Book cover for Deeplight

Deeplight  is a mystical fantasy book from the author Sarah Perry described as ‘one of our finest storytellers’:  Frances Hardinge . For centuries, the gods of the Undersea have ruled the islands of the Myriad through awe and terror. Sacrifices were hurled into the waters to appease them, and every boat was painted with pleading eyes to entreat their mercy. They were served, feared and adored. Then, thirty years ago, the gods rose up in madness and tore each other apart. Now, the gods are nothing but a collection of valuable scraps to be scavenged from the ocean and sold. But something is pulsing beneath the waves, calling to someone brave enough to retrieve it.

Opposite of Always

By justin a. reynolds.

Book cover for Opposite of Always

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, Jack knows he’s found someone he could share the rest of his life with. Just months later, Kate dies – but their story doesn’t end there. Kate’s death sends Jack back in time to the moment they first met, giving him multiple chances to change their destiny, and save Kate’s life.

Kick the Moon

Book cover for Kick the Moon

Fifteen-year-old Ilyas is under pressure from everyone in his life: his dad wants him to join the family business, GCSEs are looming, and nobody seems to care that Ilyas just wants to draw comic books. Nobody, that is, except his new best friend Kelly, the school good girl who’s the first person to actually understand him. But when local bad boy Imran decides to seduce Kelly for a bet, Ilyas has to choose between a confrontation that could endanger his family and losing the person who’s most important to him.

Field Notes on Love

By jennifer e. smith.

Book cover for Field Notes on Love

Hugo and his girlfriend have the perfect romantic trip planned together – travelling across America by train. But then she dumps him. She leaves him the tickets as a parting gift, the only problem is that they’re in her name, and they’re non-transferable. Desperate to get away, Hugo advertises for a replacement Margaret Campbell, which is where Mae comes in. After getting rejected from film school, she’s looking for a new adventure and a cross-country trip with a stranger will prove to be just that.

What She Found in the Woods

By josephine angelini.

Book cover for What She Found in the Woods

World-weary New York teen Magda is on her last chance. After setting off a scandal in the elite New York City private school scene, she’s been shipped off to her grandparents’ sleepy Pacific Northwest town. Over-medicated and uninspired, she finds her only solace in the beautiful hiking trails behind her grandparents’ cottage. Then she meets Bo who gives her hope that there might be a second chapter to her life story. That is until a series of crimes start breaking out across the region, and a body is found in the woods near Bo’s encampment. Soon it’s clear that Magda’s nightmare is just beginning. 

No Big Deal

By bethany rutter.

Book cover for No Big Deal

This is the debut novel from body positive influencer, Bethany Rutter, and it follows Emily Daly, a stylish, cute, intelligent and hilarious seventeen-year-old about to start her last year at school. Emily is also fat. She likes herself and her body. When she meets Joe at a house party, he instantly becomes The Crush of Her Life. But, as they spend more time together, doubts start to creep in. With her mum trying new fad diets every week and increasing pressure to change, Emily faces a constant battle to stay strong, be her true self and not change for anyone.

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The best graphic novel adaptations of your favorite YA books

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Your favorite YA books illustrated into new life.

This past year, I have become an avid reader of graphic novels. They are perfect comfort reading. In my constant searching for something new to read, I was surprised to find just how many classic and popular YA novels have been adapted into graphic novel form.

Some of the best graphic novels I read this year were actually based on YA books. It’s fascinating to see how authors and illustrators work together to take an old story and give it a fresh new look. 

Here is a list of 11 awesome YA books that have been adapted into graphic novels!

Juliet Takes a Breath: The Graphic Novel

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The graphic novel version of Juliet Takes A Breath (2016) was released in 2020. It is written by Gabby Rivera and illustrated by Celia Moscote.

Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel

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The graphic novel version of Long Way Down (2017) was released in 2020. It is written by Jason Reynolds and illustrated by Danica Novgorodoff.

Fangirl, Vol. 1: The Manga

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The manga version of Fangirl (2013) was released in 2020. It is written by Sam Maggs and illustrated by Gabi Nam.

Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Modern Graphic Retelling of Little Women

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This graphic retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved Little Wome n (1868) was released in 2019. It is written by Rey Terciero and illustrated by Bre Indigo.

The Giver: Graphic Novel

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The graphic novel version of Lois Lowry’s dystopian YA classic The Giver (1993) was released in 2019. It was adapted and illustrated by P. Craig Russell.

Speak: The Graphic Novel

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The graphic novel version of Speak (1999) was released in 2018. It is written by Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrated by Emily Carroll.

The Mortal Instruments: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 1

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The first volume of the graphic novelization of Casandra Clare’s bestselling urban fantasy series The Mortal Instruments was released in 2017. It is written by Cassandra Clare and Cassandra Jean.

Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel

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This graphic retelling of L.M. Montgomery’s beloved Anne of Green Gables (1908) was released in 2017. It was adapted by Mariah Marsden and illustrated by Brenna Thummler.

The Lost Hero: The Graphic Novel

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The graphic novel version of Rick Riordan’s The Lost Hero (2010) was released in 2014. It was adapted by Robert Venditti and illustrated by Nate Powell with color from Orpheus Collar.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: The Graphic Novel

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Need a refresher before reading The Desolation of Devil’s Acre ? The graphic novel version of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2011) was released in 2013. It is written by Ransom Riggs and illustrated by Cassandra Jean.

Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novel

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The graphic novelization of the popular Vampire Academy series was released in 2011. It was adapted by Leigh Dragoon and illustrated by Emma Vieceli.

Which of your favorite YA books would you like to see adapted as a graphic novel next? Leave us your answer in the comments below!

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The 100 Best YA Books of All Time

With a panel of celebrated authors—Elizabeth Acevedo, Kacen Callender, Jenny Han, Jason Reynolds, Adam Silvera, Angie Thomas and Nicola Yoon—TIME presents the most compelling, enlightening and influential young-adult books, in chronological order beginning in the 1800s

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Little Women

By louisa may alcott.

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Anne of Green Gables

By l. m. montgomery.

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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

By betty smith.

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Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

By anne frank.

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The Catcher in the Rye

By j.d. salinger.

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Lord of the Flies

By william golding.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

By harper lee.

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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

By e.l. konigsburg.

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A Wizard of Earthsea

By ursula k. le guin.

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I'll Get There. It Better Be Worth the Trip

By john donovan.

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Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.

By judy blume.

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A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ but a Sandwich

By alice childress.

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Tuck Everlasting

By natalie babbitt.

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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

By mildred d. taylor.

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A Swiftly Tilting Planet

By madeleine l'engle.

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The Westing Game

By ellen raskin.

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by Cynthia Voigt

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The House on Mango Street

By sandra cisneros.

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Weetzie Bat

By francesca lia block.

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by Lois Lowry

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Ella Enchanted

By gail carson levine.

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by Louis Sachar

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If You Come Softly

By jacqueline woodson.

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Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging

By louise rennison.

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by Walter Dean Myers

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by Laurie Halse Anderson

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by Jerry Spinelli

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The Princess Diaries

By meg cabot.

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A Step from Heaven

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Rainbow Boys

By alex sanchez.

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The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

By ann brashares.

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Before We Were Free

By julia alvarez.

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by M.T. Anderson

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by Marjane Satrapi

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How I Live Now

By meg rosoff.

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Code Talker

By joseph bruchac.

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by Gabrielle Zevin

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The Book Thief

By markus zusak.

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The Lightning Thief

By rick riordan.

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American Born Chinese

By gene luen yang.

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by Sharon Draper

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by Coe Booth

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by Kristin Cashore

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The Hunger Games

By suzanne collins.

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Ship Breaker

By paolo bacigalupi.

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Akata Witch

By nnedi okorafor.

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Daughter of Smoke & Bone

By laini taylor.

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by Marie Lu

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

By benjamin alire sáenz.

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Code Name Verity

By elizabeth wein.

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by David Levithan

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

By jesse andrews.

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The Fault in Our Stars

By john green.

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If You Could Be Mine

By sara farizan.

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March: Book One

By john lewis and andrew aydin, illustrated by nate powell.

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Brown Girl Dreaming

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I'll Give You the Sun

By jandy nelson.

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by John Corey Whaley

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The Crossover

By kwame alexander.

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To All the Boys I've Loved Before

By jenny han.

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An Ember in the Ashes

By sabaa tahir.

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by Julie Murphy

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Everything, Everything

By nicola yoon.

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March: Book Two

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More Happy Than Not

By adam silvera.

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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

By becky albertalli.

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Six of Crows

By leigh bardugo.

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Salt to the Sea

By ruta sepetys.

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by Neal Shusterman

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The Sun Is Also a Star

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We Are the Ants

By shaun david hutchinson.

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When the Moon Was Ours

By anna-marie mclemore.

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by Tiffany D. Jackson

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American Street

By ibi zoboi.

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Dear Martin

By nic stone.

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I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

By erika l. sánchez.

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Long Way Down

By jason reynolds.

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by Dashka Slater

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The Hate U Give

By angie thomas.

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The Marrow Thieves

By cherie dimaline.

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We Are Okay

By nina lacour.

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When Dimple Met Rishi

By sandhya menon.

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A Very Large Expanse of Sea

By tahereh mafi.

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Children of Blood and Bone

By tomi adeyemi.

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Darius the Great Is Not Okay

By adib khorram.

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The Astonishing Color of After

By emily x.r. pan.

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by Elizabeth Acevedo

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Frankly in Love

By david yoon.

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Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me

By mariko tamaki, illustrated by rosemary valero-o’connell.

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Like a Love Story

By abdi nazemian.

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by Akwaeke Emezi

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With the Fire on High

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The Black Flamingo

By dean atta.

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Felix Ever After

By kacen callender.

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by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

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The Henna Wars

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We Are Not Free

By traci chee.

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You Should See Me In a Crown

By leah johnson.

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Firekeeper's Daughter

By angeline boulley.

Eva Langston

10 Simple Plot Exercises You Need to Do BEFORE You Write Your Novel!

Kidlit Genres Explained: Middle Grade, YA, New Adult, & More

in Children's Literature Study , Writing , YA & MG Posts on 08/16/21

Please, please, please, before my head explodes, will everyone please stop calling The Giver a YA book ? I don’t know why this offends me so much except for the fact that The Giver is SO CLEARLY a middle grade novel. The protagonist is twelve. The word count is 43,600. It is commonly assigned to middle schoolers. All kidlit genre indicators point to the fact that it is a MIDDLE GRADE NOVEL. And yet it is listed as a young adult book here and here and even on freaking wikipedia. Do people not know the difference between YA and Middle Grade?  

Apparently not, because I also lose my mind when I see A Wrinkle in Time listed as Y A . Here’s a hint: if the book won a Newberry Medal (like both The Giver and A Wrinkle in Time ), then YA it is not.   

More books that are commonly listed as YA but are CLEARLY MIDDLE GRADE:

  • Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events 
  • Bridge to Terabithia
  • Brown Girl Dreaming
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Sorry, I don’t know why this bothers me so much, except that it does. And I’m not the only one! Elizabeth Bird from School Library Journal recently wrote about this, too . In any case,  I so badly want to clarify kidlit genres to the entire Internet that I made this infographic:  

kidlit genres infographic

While we’re at it, let’s talk about Lord of the Flies , which appears on a lot of YA lists. It’s not YA, in my humble opinion. It was written as an adult novel for adult readers (which is why it’s so painful for all the poor high school kids struggling through it right now). It won a Nobel Prize, BTW. As far as I know they don’t give Nobel Prizes to kidlit. I could be wrong, but I think it’s an adult book with children as main characters. That happens sometimes, you know. 

OK, let me stop acting like a crazy person for a minute. I do realize that some books might fit multiple categories and some books might defy categories. The boundaries between categories can be hazy, and, for example, what one person might consider an upper Middle Grade another person might consider a younger YA.  

I also realize that, for readers and writers, which kidlit genre a certain book belongs to doesn’t matter so much if we’re enjoying writing it or reading it. At the end of the day, maybe I shouldn’t be blowing a gasket because people think The Giver is YA.

Except that the categories DO matter to librarians and booksellers who need to figure out where to shelve books so that appropriate readers can find them.  And the categories matter to agents and editors who need to figure out how to sell and market books to the appropriate people.

So maybe let’s try to all get on the same page about kidlit genres, shall we? There’s a lot to learn. Like the difference between  upper Middle Grade and lower Middle Grade, or Young Adult and New Adult. Or what’s meant by  YA crossover.

I know. It IS confusing.  So let’s dive in. 

kidlit genres explained

Middle Grade:

  • Reader Age: 8–12 (possibly as young as 7 or as old as 13)
  • Protagonist Age: 10 – 12 (usually)
  • Word Count:  25,000–45,000 words (may be longer for fantasy)
  • Content: No profanity, graphic violence, or sexuality
  • Themes: friends and family; the character’s immediate world and their relationship to it

When people hear Middle Grade, they often think “middle school,” but actually, Middle Grade books are often written for upper elementary school readers . By the time kids reach 7 th or 8 th grade, they have probably moved on to reading YA books.

Since kids like to read about characters who are older than they are, MG protagonists tend to be a year or two older than the age of the target reader. Middle Grade books are often full of adventure and/or wacky humor. You can often tell the difference between a Middle Grade book and a YA book by its cover — MG books are more cartoonish or simply look like they are targeting a younger audience.

Though Middle Grade books have chapters, they are not “Chapter Books.”   When it comes to kidlit genres, Chapter Books are very short (5,000 to 15,000 words), heavily illustrated books for kids ages 7 or 8 who are just beginning to read independently. The Magic Treehouse books or the Judy Moody books are examples of chapter books.

kidlit genres explained

A few examples of Middle Grade Books:

  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rawling
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl
  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson (see my post about Bridge to Terabithia )
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
  • Wonder by R. J. Palacio
  • One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
  • Holes by Lois Sachar (see my post about Holes )

Though many books fall squarely in the Middle Grade category, others that read slightly younger or slightly older may be called “lower Middle Grade” or “upper Middle Grade.”

Lower Middle Grade: 

  • Reader Age:  7–10 
  • Protagonist Age: 9-10 (or maybe an animal)
  • Word Count:  15,000–30,000 words 

Here is the kidlit genre where you will find your animal stories, your family-friendly read-alouds, your younger protagonists, and your shorter-length MG books. These books tend to have more illustrations than standard MG. 

A few examples of Lower Middle Grade:

  • The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread  by Kate DiCamillo
  • Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White 
  • The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

kidlit genres explained

Upper Middle Grade:  

  • Reader Age:  11–14
  • Protagonist Age: 12-13 (maybe 14)
  • Word Count:  40,000-65,000 words 

Here is the kidlit genre where you will find contemporary stories with more mature themes and longer books with more complicated plots. Protagonists are in middle school and so is the target audience. 

A few examples of Upper Middle Grade:

  • Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead 
  • Doll Bone s by Holly Black 
  • The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle (see my post on A Wrinkle in Time )
  • The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
  • Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
  • Find Layla by Meg Ellison
  • The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

kidlit genres explained

Young Adult:

  • Reader Age: 12–19 (and beyond!)
  • Protagonist Age: 16-18 (usually)
  • Word Count: 55,000–90,000 words (slightly more allowed if needed for fantasy or sci-fi world-building)
  • Content: Profanity, violence, romance and sexuality (except for eroticism) allowed (though not required).
  • Themes: World beyond friends and family; reflection on self and the meaning of things, coming-of-age, love and emotions

Young Adult is a tricky one because though the target reader age is 12-19, there are many, many adults who read YA. Some people worry that this has pushed YA into darker, more mature themes and blurred the lines between YA and Adult. To further complicate matters, there are YA crossover books (YA books that appeal to adult readers) and plenty of adult books that feature teen protagonists and coming-of-age themes.

How can you tell if a book is YA or an adult book with a teen protagonist? The general rule of thumb is this: if the narrator is looking back on their teenage years as an adult and reflecting on them, the book is probably adult. If the narrator is currently experiencing their teenage years, the book is probably (but not necessarily) YA.

Adult books may also have more mature content and themes and/or more adult main characters, but at the end of the day it’s all about the perspective, voice, and intended audience. An adult perspective, voice, and style makes for an adult book. A younger perspective, voice, and style geared towards a teen reader makes for a YA book.

And then it gets even more complicated because there are Alex Award Winners . These are adult books that have special appeal for teenage readers (often due in part to a young protagonist.) However, these books definitely have mature themes, and are more appropriate for older teens.

AND there are YA Crossover books, which are YA books that may appeal to readers of adult books. YA Crossovers are still YA, but they may be marketed to readers of both YA and adult.

Whew. Are we done yet? 

kidlit genres explained

A few examples of YA books: 

  • T he Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer
  • One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
  • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

A few examples of adult books with teen protagonists (NOT YA):

  • Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • White Oleander by Janet Fitch
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin

Like in Middle Grade, there are some YA books that read younger (lower YA) and some that read older (upper YA). Oh, kidlit genres! Why are you so complicated?!

  • Reader Age: 12–15 
  • Protagonist Age: 14-16 (or possibly older if the themes are still appropriate for younger teens)

Here you will find your light-hearted contemporaries and PG romances. This is also where you’ll find your younger protagonists.  I’m going to be honest, there are not a lot of these younger YA books, and I think we need more!

A few examples of lower YA:

  • T he Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee
  • The Princess Diaries  series by Meg Cabot
  • Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants  series by Ann Brashares
  • Reader Age: 15 and up
  • Protagonist Age: 16-20 

Here you will find books with sex, drinking, suicide, mental illness, and other mature subject matter.  Here you may also find slightly older protagonists – 19 or 20, for example. Aimed at ages 15 to 19 (and beyond).

A few examples of upper YA:

  • 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  • The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
  • Turtles All the Way Down by John Green  
  • Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
  • We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

kidlit genres explained

So… a lot of people in the publishing world don’t recognize New Adult. In theory the category makes sense: a bridge between YA and adult. A place for protagnoists between the ages of 18 and 25. But in practice, as far as I understand it, New Adult has become synonymous with self-published romance novels that are a little too racy to be classified as YA.

Now, I could be wrong. There’s plenty online to support NA as being a legitimate category and not just for racy romance. However, many agents don’t mention it in their list of what they’re looking for, and many of the books I’ve seen listed as New Adult I have also seen listed as YA.  Examples:  Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and Codename Verity by Elizabeth Wein . There’s no New Adult section at the bookstore, which is a big clue. And Alexa Donne has a whole video entitled “New Adult is Not a Thing!!! (In Traditional Publishing).” It’s now totally fine to have a YA book with a college-aged protagonist, and it’s also cool to have an adult book with a 22-year-old main character. So… it’s kinda like New Adult isn’t really necessary. A book is either YA or adult. Or maybe it’s YA or adult with crossover potential. 

In my opinion, if you’ve written a novel for young people with characters who are in their early twenties, and you want to get it traditionally published, don’t call it New Adult. Decide whether it appeals more to a YA audience or an adult audience and go with one of the two established categories Then let your agent/editor/publisher decide if it’s something else. 

I guess by now it’s pretty obvious that there are some blurry lines, and while many books will fall clearly into the set kidlit genres (like The Giver , which is clearly freaking middle grade!!) , there are others that are harder to classify . There are some books that could be called upper Middle Grade or lower YA. There are some books that could be called upper YA or New Adult.  There are some books that toe the line between YA and adult.

For example, I’d call the first five Harry Potter books Middle Grade, but I’d call the last two books — with their older protagonists and darker themes– YA. The books grew up with their readers.

What are your thoughts on kidlit genres? Let me know in the comments!

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August 23, 2023 at 4:08 pm

This is so interesting. I am rereading The Giver as an adult because I read it numerous times in my classes while teaching. I didn’t realize she had a series on this so I am going through those, one book remaining. I just had a conversation this morning with a mom on the book, and she asked what I would classify it as and I said MG even though some say YA. I am right with you on this!! Great article – thanks!

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August 24, 2023 at 7:05 pm

Thanks so much! I haven’t read the other books in the series — are they good?

August 24, 2023 at 7:51 pm

Yes! Just like The Giver you can’t put them down. I am on the last one and I would highly recommend reading them. It tells the whole story. I didn’t even know there were more until I found the bundle on sale at the library.

I am enjoying going back and reading some books that I read in childhood that I am sure others have not heard of, and ones that I either didn’t read or had forgotten.

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September 23, 2023 at 1:05 am

I would calling “the first 5 Harry Potter books” Middle Grade is a stretch, considering there’s not much that distinguishes books 4 and 5 from 6 or 7, but there is a lot that distinguishes books 1 and 2 from the rest of the series, particularly books 4-7.

I think 1, 2 and 3 are Middle Grade and the big ones – 4, 5, 6, and 7 – are Young Adult.

September 23, 2023 at 1:10 pm

OK, I will agree with you on that! In the first 3 books he is 11, 12, and 13 — the age of a MG protagonist. So it makes sense that the rest of them would be YA. Maybe the next two lower YA and the final ones upper YA. Thanks for pointing that out!

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January 1, 2024 at 9:03 pm

Would YA Crossover be the same as N.A., or what distinguishes the two? I see many agents saying they are looking for YA (SFF) Crossover on their wishlist.

January 2, 2024 at 1:53 pm

This is such a complicated question! YA Crossover is a book that is YA but has appeal for readers of adult books and thus might be marketed to both YA and adult readers. (Similarly, you can have adult books that have appeal for YA readers, like books that win the Alex award). New Adult has not really taken off as a category in traditional publishing, as far as I know. It’s mostly used in the self-publishing romance world. So I’d shy away from describing your book to agents as New Adult. My recommendation is to describe your book as YA if it’s YA and adult if it’s adult and let the agent/editor/publisher decide if it has crossover potential. (P.S. YA books can now have characters who are in college.) Alexa Donne has two great youtube videos on this topic: “New Adult Is Not a Thing!!!” and “YA Crossover Frustrates Me.”

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Blog  ·  March 20, 2022

YA Books V.S. Illustrations

Decisions to be made about Illustrations

YA BOOKS VS ILLUSTRATIONS

This blog is about:

YA Books V.S. Illustrations, we will explore the benefits and cons of adding illustrations to these type of books.

Let’s start off with a fun fact:

My first book was a Children’s book. Which had full page and spread page illustrations. When I plunged into this new YA book, I had a hard choice to make. Should I add illustrations in this book series or not? In short I decided to add illustrations to my book. Which I love! However, there is a price to pay for this.

YA books: recap!

YA BOOK RECAP

In the last 2 blogs we read that YA Books can include illustrations. We also read that the author can decide not to have illustrations. It all depends on what the author desires.

Illustrations can benefit a book tremendously. In YA books, think of illustrations as frosting to a excellent moist cake. A perfect topping. With illustrations the story an author spent many hours creating turns into a visual delight for the reader.

Authors who choose to add illustrations into their YA books have many benefits to reap.

Benefits of adding

Illustrations to ya books.

The cover grabs your attention, then once opened the illustrations pull you in deeper.

Everything comes to life!

Your audience will be able to peer into the authors world and see the characters they created in more depth.

Creativity!

Illustrations give the author an extra chance to show off! Elaborate characters, elegant gardens, towering cities of old. What kind of illustrations does the author pick? Take a look at the illustrations, what do they tell you about the author?

Experience!

Adding illustrations to a YA is not exactly the same as a children’s book. There are some similarities, and yet a vastly different experience for the author. Some do their own illustrations, other authors hire artists. Many things shift depending on what the author chooses.

Author Tip:

If you, dear author, are in the middle of deciding for or against illustrations, pick up a few YA Books. Ones with and without illustrations. Put yourself in the audiences shoes. Will illustrations benefit your readers? Will you be able to capture the story in illustrations?

Cons of adding

Illustrations, to ya books.

Let’s start with the biggest factor. Money. It’s a true pain in the tush. However, let’s be real here, some of us have less money than we would like to admit. We need to be money conscience simply because there are many, MANY, moving parts to making a book. Remember the goal authors! To write and finish a book.

Book creating is expensive. I’m not gonna lie. It hurts sometimes. Which is why having a book budget is vital! If you are creating a YA book and you want illustrations, check your book budget. If you cannot afford it simply move on without them.

Time consuming!

Unless the author is extremely efficient doing everything themselves, and loaded with money, creating illustrations is an entire world of its own. Planning out the style of illustrations. Who will be the illustrator? How many there will be in the book. Many questions must be answered before an illustrated YA book can effectively be produced.

There are many factors as we have already stated. Research! Research, and more research!

Expertise !

If the author does not illustrate, they must find someone with the right experience to take the job.

Roll with the punches!

illustrated ya books

I hear you back there. The authors who have a limited money and a determined spirit. You want illustrations no matter what. Lean into that determination, it will serve you well as an author.

Why? Because I was in your shoes just under a year ago. Determined to have my illustration and very aware of the lack of money. Leaning into my determined spirit lead me to happy middle ground.

Here’s the plan.

illustrated ya books

Authors, pull out your budget and see how much you can spare for a few illustrations.

Remember YA books are not Children Books. They do not require page to page illustrations. In fact in a YA you can have as many or as few as you desire. Or in our case, as many as we can afford.

Don’t loose heart yet. Just because we have to be aware of our budget does not mean our illustrations have to suck. Thankfully in our modern age we have great opportunities all over to take full advantage of.

Speaking as an author who has been there, it is hard work. Finding an illustrator with the art style you love, at an affordable price. Negotiating how many illustrations can be done within the budget. It takes determination.

Here are a few apps I highly recommend for Authors (new or not).

The Best App to use for hiring an Illustrator.

(In my humble opinion.)

This app is my particular favorite. Simply because it is where I made a connection with my illustrator Tanya. Tanya has been the illustrator in both of my books. She is an extremely talented artist.

Important facts to know about Upwork:

You do need to make an account. it’s free so budget friendly.

Always be aware that you need to keep your information professional. Upwork is a big artist app. People are there to hire or be hired so keep things professional.

There is no off app messaging. This one caught me off guard at first but it’s really a safe way to work. The artist once hired can only communicate with you via the app and same for you.

Loop hole: once the artist is hire by you, if they chat you, your gmail will get a message and you can reply to that message on gmail.

The author controls the price tag. Since you are the one asking for an illustrator you get the privilege of deciding on the price. Which also helps narrow down what artists will apply for your book.

You must add your bank account to your account on Upwork in order to pay or get paid. I have been using Upwork for over 2 years now and thankfully have never had any issues with the app, security wise.

Be sure to prepare for some sweet, but possible bitter experience. This goes with everything. Authors looking for illustrators need to be clear on their time frame.

Hiring is a timing game. You might find the perfect illustrator, and tell them that you want to hire them in 3 months or 3 days and the illustrator agrees, but they are not hired quite yet. Then you get a chat from your illustrator saying they took another job and won’t be able to help you or something like that. Sometimes life happens, the illustrator, if not under a contract with you in Upwork, can get hired right from under your nose. It’s not personal, it’s business.

I know how that feels. It happened to me while I was looking for an illustrator for this book, Lily’s Guide to Releasing Antique Spirits. An illustrator and I had chatted and she had accepted my price for the illustrations. I’m feeling confident and getting my money in order so we can start the contract soon. Later that same week I get a chat from the illustrator basically saying she had a huge project come up and is declining my book project after all. This threw the entire week off. My plan was gone, now I would need to start all over again and keep searching for a new illustrator, all over again. Many prayers were said that week for a new illustrator to be found quick.

As much as this pains us when and if things like that happens. We must realized it’s all part of the process. Yes, it sucks. But, we can’t let that stop our book so we must soldier on.

That being said, lean back into that determined spirit and roll with the punches. Keep moving.

Authors, check out the Upwork app and see if you love it as much as this author does.

Thank you for reading until the end. As a new blogger any and all support is appreciated and welcome.

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40+ YA Book Cover Artists and Designers to Follow on Instagram

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Kelly Jensen

Kelly is a former librarian and a long-time blogger at STACKED. She's the editor/author of (DON'T) CALL ME CRAZY: 33 VOICES START THE CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH and the editor/author of HERE WE ARE: FEMINISM FOR THE REAL WORLD. Her next book, BODY TALK, will publish in Fall 2020. Follow her on Instagram @heykellyjensen .

View All posts by Kelly Jensen

If you love good YA book cover art, then you’ll want to make sure you don’t miss out on seeing them as works in progress. Thanks to the visual power of Instagram, many YA book cover artists and designers have an active presence and showcase not only the covers they’ve worked on or are working on, but they share so much more of their awesome, inspiration, and downright badass art.

Find below a wide array of YA book cover artists and designers. I’ve included both the creators of the art and those who help design the covers. Many work across age categories, but I’ve noted below the names of each artist or designer some of their most well-known YA book cover work.

If you’re looking to drool over incredible art and design, then look no further!

It should be noted that YA book cover artists and designers are wonderfully diverse. In an industry that is far too white, it’s refreshing to see so many people of color both in the U.S. and outside the U.S. Likewise, a number of the covers these designers and artists have worked on are #OwnVoices—in other words, a Puerto Rican illustrator whose work is front and center of a story by a Puerto Rican author about a Puerto Rican main character. More of this, please! It’s not only important but it’s beautiful and opens up a whole world of potential for creative folks (and folks who just like great design and art!).

40+ YA Book Cover Artists and Designers To Follow on Instagram

Micaela alcaino, designer and illustrator.

Alcaino’s work has been featured on The Iron Raven by Julia Kagawa, When Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles, and more.

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View this post on Instagram A post shared by Micaela Alcaino (@micaelaalcainodesign)

Samya Arif, Illustrator and Designer

Samya’s work is the face off C.M. McGuire’s Ironspark and Brown Girl Ghosted by Minti Das.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by samya arif | OCEÁ (@samyaarif)

Rachelle Baker, Illustrator

You’ve seen Baker’s covers before, because they pop. Some of her recent works include Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh, Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez, and Shirley Chisholm is a Verb by Veronica Chambers.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Rachelle Baker (@indoorcatgirl)

Corey Brickley, Illustrator

Andrew Eliopulos’s The Fascinators was designed by Brickley.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Corey Brickley Illustration (@coreybrickleyillustration)

Colleen Bringle, Hand Lettering

Not all illustrators or designers work on the lettering for a book cover’s title, tag line, or by line. Sometimes a specialist in hand lettering hops in, and that’s what Bringle does. This designer and illustrator for Target has lettered the covers of the 20th anniversary edition of The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot and the RWBY Rooster Teeth YA novels by EC Myers and Violet Tobacco.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Colleen // Lettering Artist (@cmbringle)

Jonathan Bush, Cover Designer and Associate Art Director at St. Martins Press

Bush’s design work includes Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales, How I Resist by Maureen Johnson, and so many others.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Jonathan Bush (@jonbbbush)

Alex Cabal, Illustrator

There’s zero question if you love YA that you’ve seen Cabal’s work, which includes the covers of Running by Natalia Sylvester , Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender, and A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Marrow.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Alex Cabal (@acaballz)

Jason Chan, Illustrator

Jason is the creator behind Want and Ruse by Cindy Pon.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Jason Chan (@jasonchanart)

David Curtis, Senior Book Designer and Illustrator

Curtis’s work has been seen on the three-book series beginning with Furyborn by Claire LeGrand, The Initial Insult by Mindy McGinnis, and The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by David Curtis (@dcurtisstudio)

Erick Dávila, Illustrator

If you love Elizabeth Acevedo’s books, then you know the work of this artist who created With The Fire On High and the UK cover of Clap When You Land .

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Erick Dávila → (@erickdvila)

Liz Dresner, Associate Art Director at Macmillan

Peep the art director of Dresner on books like City of Spells by Alexandra Christo and The Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Liz Dresner (@lizdresner)

Laura Eckes, Designer at Simon & Schuster

The Cost of Knowing by Brittney Morris, The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman, and Legendborn by Tracy Deonn are among some of Eckes’s design projects.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Laura Eckes (@lauraeckes_)

Molly Fehr, Senior Book Designer at HarperCollins Children’s Books and Freelance Illustrator

Molly’s lettering is featured on the cover of Nobody Knows But You by Anica Mrose Rissi and was part of the team behind Lyla Lee’s I’ll Be The One .

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Molly Fehr (@mollyfehr)

Erin Fitzsimmons, Book Design and Lettering

Fitzsimmons has worked on so many standout YA book covers, including Write Yourself a Lantern by Elizabeth Acevedo and Infinity Son by Adam Silvera.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Erin Fitzsimmons (@booktypography)

Connie Gabbert, Cover Illustration

You’re going to recognize Gabbert’s Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes and The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma, but did you know she’s a tattoo artist too? Her Instagram feed is a dream.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by conniegabbert (@conniegabbert)

Owen Gildersleeve, Designer

You know those really awesome paper cut designs that are on the front of covers like Frankly In Love by David Yoon? Gildersleeve is the genius behind ’em.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Owen Gildersleeve (@owengildersleeve)

Cassie Gonzalez, Designer at Macmillan Children’s

Gonzalez is the talent behind designing such awesome YA book covers as I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest, All Boys Aren’t Blue by George Johnson, and It’s Kind of a Cheesy Love Story by Lauren Morrill.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Cassie Gonzales (@casacassie)

Kat Goodloe, Illustrator and Letterer

Goodloe’s work can be peeped on Now That I’ve Found You by Kristina Forest, Faith: Taking Flight by Julie Murphy, and If We Were Us by K.L. Walther.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kat Goodloe ★ Illustrator (@katgoodies)

Olga Grlic, Designer

Grlic shares the spotlight with James Iacobelli, wherein the share their individual works, as well as their joint creations, so you’re getting two designers in once place. Grlic’s work includes Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, The Mall by Megan McCafferty, and Foul Is Fair by Hannah Capin.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by olga grlic / james iacobelli (@bookcoversbyoj)

Ana Hard, Illustrator

Hard’s YA book covers will be coming fresh in 2021, so keep an eye out for Better Together by Christine Riccio and Slingshot by Mercedes Helnwein. It’s quite refreshing to see maximalism again!

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Ana Hard (@anahardesign)

Daria Hlazatova, Illustration

Daria drew the covers for books like Lobizona by Romina Garber and the sequel Cazadora .

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Daria Hlazatova (@dariahlazatova)

Chelsea Hunter, Designer

Among Hunter’s incredible design work are books like The Story of Owen by E.K. Johnston, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado, and See No Color by Shannon Gibney.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Chelsea Hunter 🇹🇹 (@seehunter)

Gigi Lau, Art Director at Harlequin Books

Peep Lau’s design work on Don’t Read The Comments by Eric Smith, Smash It by Francina Simone, and more.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Gigi Lau (@lau.gigi.lau)

Jacqueline Li, Illustrator

Hot British Boyfriend , anyone? Li’s not only beginning to dip into the world of YA book covers, but she’s created so many incredible fan covers on her Instagram.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Jacqueline Li (@jacqlnli)

Ericka Lugo, Illustrator

Earlier in the post, I alluded to a Puerto Rican illustrator doing a cover for an #OwnVoices Puerto Rican YA book. That would be Lugo, who did the cover for Fat Chance, Charlie Vega .

View this post on Instagram A post shared by ✨Ericka Lugo✨ (@erilu.jpg)

Carol Ly, Senior Designer at Random House

Black Girl Unlimited by Echo Brown and Home Is Not a Country by Safia Elhillo are among some of the covers with Ly’s work behind them.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Carol Ly (@carollydesign)

Casey Moses, Book Cover Designer, Illustrator, and Letterer

Casey is a book lover through and through, and some of her designs include A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson, the We Need Diverse Books anthology A Universe of Wishes , and so many more.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Casey 🌻 Moses (@_thebookcase)

Leo Nickolls, Designer

Talk about versatile design direction! Nickolls’s work includes Spells Trouble by P.C. and Kristin Cast, the illustrative work for The Box in the Wood s by Maureen Johnson, and Reverie by Ryan La Sala.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by leo nickolls (@leonickolls)

Alix Northrup, Letterer and Illustrator

Check out Northrup’s lettering for Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim and the illustration for Ghost Wood Song , among others.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Alix Northrup (she/her) (@a.n.creative)

Philip Pascuzzo, Designer and Illustrator

Swoon over the design and illustration by Pascuzzo on The Burning by Laura Bates, It Came From The Sky by Chelsea Sedota, and more.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Philip Pascuzzo (@pepcostudio)

Katt Phatt, Illustrator and Letterer

You saw the designer behind A Universe of Wishes —Casey Moses—now see the illustrator behind it with Katt Phatt. Phatt’s letter work, which you’ll see step-by-step, is phenomenal.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Katt Phatt Studio™ (@kattphatt)

Valentina Remenar, Illustrator

Though Remenar hasn’t done a whole lot of YA book covers yet, with work like Vicious Spirits like Kat Cho to showcase, chances are there will be many more Remenar covers to come.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Valentina Remenar (@valentinaremenar)

Kerri Resnick, Designer and Art Director at Wednesday Books

From spooky to romantic, Resnick’s design sensibilities are outstanding. Titles include Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler, The Project by Courtney Summers, and The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi.

Erin Robinson, Illustrator

For fans of Brandy Colbert’s stunning covers like The Revolution of Birdie Randolph and Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi, you have Robinson to thank.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Erin (@brooklyndolly)

Stephanie Singleton, Illustrator

The incredible illustrated covers of The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert and The Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds are the work of Singleton.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Stephanie Singleton (@stephaniesing)

Jenna Stemple-Lobell, Design Manager at HarperCollins Children’s and Illustrator

Stemple-Lobell’s name is stamped on some iconic YA book covers for her design work, including Punching The Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam and Pride by Ibi Zoboi. If you’re a fan of killed cover designs, you’re in for a treat!

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Jenna Stempel-Lobell (@jstempellobell)

Peter Strain, Illustrator

Some of Strain’s works include Havenfall by Sara Holland and No True Believers by Rabiah York Lumbard.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Peter Strain (@peterstrain)

Neil Swaab, Illustrator and Art Director

Swaab’s work showcases a wide range of talent from war-angled YA books like the forthcoming Enduring Freedom by Jawad Arash and Trent Reedy to disaster books like Aftershocks by Marisa Reichardt to a Groundhog Day –inspired YA titled Time Travel for Love and Profit by Sarah Lariviere.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Neil Swaab (@neilswaab)

Jim Tierney, Illustrator and Designer

Among the beloved and easy-recognizable work of Tierney are The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert, the paperback edition of The Summer I Turned Pretty series by Jenny Han, and more.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Jim Tierney (@jimctierney)

Hillary D. Wilson, Illustrator

Wilson’s power is in her faces, which you can’t deny when you even glimpse Legendborn by Tracy Deonn.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Hillary D Wilson (@hillarydwilsonart)

Lesley Worrell, Illustrator and Designer

Worrell and Yoo, who is below, have collaborated as a design-illustrator team on a number of outstanding YA titles including The Good Luck Girls and Sisters of Reckoning , both by Charlotte Nicole Davis. Worrell’s other design credits include Every Reason We Shouldn’t by Sara Fujimura and Victories Greater Than Death by Charlie Jane Anders.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Lesley Worrell (@lesleyworrell)

Chungi Yoo, Illustrator and Art Director

Yoo’s bright and dreamy style is the cover art for The Good Luck Girls, as well as Parachutes by Kelly Yang and more.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by It's Chungi (@chungiyoo)

If this whets your appetite to dive even deeper in book cover art and design, you’ll want to explore why so many YA book covers look the way they do right now, as well as these Instagram accounts which celebrate book cover design . You’ll also want to then follow some bookish art departments , too!

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    A start is an illustrated book. No speech bubbles. No comic book panels. Just illustrations supporting text, and text supporting illustrations. And sometimes, just sometimes, this opens the door to graphic novels. I wrote... The Junction By Norm Konyu What is my book about?

  20. Kidlit Genres Explained: Middle Grade, YA, New Adult, & More

    Upper Middle Grade: Reader Age: 11-14. Protagonist Age: 12-13 (maybe 14) Word Count: 40,000-65,000 words. Here is the kidlit genre where you will find contemporary stories with more mature themes and longer books with more complicated plots. Protagonists are in middle school and so is the target audience.

  21. The World of YA Book Covers

    Akemi Dawn Bowman's sci-fi adventure The Infinity Courts hit shelves last winter with a cover illustrated by Casey Weldon and designed by Laura Eckes. The pitch for this book, which is the first in a series, is Westwood meets Warcross, and I think the US cover does a great job of conveying that.

  22. How do you feel about illustrations/drawings in ya and adult books?

    It gives different feeling. Don't hesitate to play with your fantasy. im 100% down for drawings in books. even if you're writing a serious novel the occasional image would help the immersion imo. (as long as the style matches) Since I draw a good portion of my own characters I like to see art in books.

  23. YA Books V.S. Illustrations

    Blog · March 20, 2022 YA Books V.S. Illustrations YA Books V.S. Illustrations Decisions to be made about Illustrations This blog is about: YA Books V.S. Illustrations, we will explore the benefits and cons of adding illustrations to these type of books. Let's start off with a fun fact: My first book was a Children's book.

  24. YA Fantasy/Paranormal/Dystopian (170 books)

    Young adult books with paranormal, fantasy, or dystopian elements. flag. All Votes Add Books To This List. 1. City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1) by. Cassandra Clare (Goodreads Author) 4.07 avg rating — 1,986,288 ratings. score: 1,257 , and 13 people voted.

  25. 40+ YA Book Cover Artists and Designers to Follow on Instagram

    Alex Cabal, Illustrator. There's zero question if you love YA that you've seen Cabal's work, which includes the covers of Running by Natalia Sylvester, Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender, and A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Marrow. View this post on Instagram.