Our Teen book spotlight this week is the fourth and final part of a series we have been working through over the course of our past spotlights! Over the past few weeks, we have worked our way through the alphabet as we use letters for inspiration as each title starts with the next letter in order. This week we are moving on to the final part of the alphabet with books that start with a S through Z giving us eight amazing books to explore; we have everything from nonfiction to graphic novels, some award winners, and some page turning adventure and fantasy. These books and more can be found by searching the catalog using the search tag #yaatoz as well as on Libby and Hoopla. Check back next week for a new teen book spotlight and if you have any book suggestions, please let us know!!
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli--Sixteen-year-old Simon Spier is not-so-openly gay, but when he discovers a post about being gay on his school's unofficial Tumblr page by some guy calling himself “Blue,” he strikes up a correspondence that he hopes will lead him to Blue's true identity, and perhaps a relationship. However, a “goobery nerd” named Martin uncovers one of Simon's emails to Blue. If Simon does not help Martin become friends with the new girl, Abby, who has made her way into Simon's clique of friends, Martin will out Simon to the rest of the school. Is that necessarily a bad thing? Maybe Simon should explore his identity and become comfortable with who he is.
They Called Us Enemy by George Takei--Japanese American actor and gay activist George Takei offer a graphic memoir describing his years as a child in Japanese internment camps during World War II and how they impacted him, his parents, and the country.
Unwind by Neal Shusterman--In a future world where those between the ages of thirteen and eighteen can have their lives "unwound" and their body parts harvested for use by others, three teens go to extreme lengths to uphold their beliefs--and, perhaps, save their own lives.
Vincent and Theo by Deborah Heiligman--Drawing on the hundreds of letters exchanged between Vincent Van Gogh and his younger brother, Theo, author Heiligman presents an intimate portrait of the profound devotion and friendship shared between the two. Vowing as teens to “be companions in the search for meaning in life and meaning in art,” the two kept that pledge to the end. With extensive quotations pulled from their correspondence combined with black-and-white reproductions of Vincent's work, this celebration of brotherhood is a tender exploration into the tragically short lives of the Van Gogh brothers.
Wings of Ebony by J. Elle--Half-god, half-human Rue is snatched from her Houston home to Ghizan, a secret land of gods, by her estranged father, then must face an evil determined to steal everything from her.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo--In this coming-of-age novel-in-verse, fierce teen Xiomara Batista lives with her twin brother and conservative parents in a Harlem neighborhood. She pours all of her emotions into poems that she writes down in a leather notebook, such as her feelings for a boy at school named Aman. When Xiomara is invited to join her school's slam poetry club, she decides she must perform her poems but must also keep the secret from her family who would not approve.
The Young Elites by Marie Lu--Ten years after the blood fever decimated the human population, the survivors of the illness are left with strange markings. Some people think the survivors also have hidden, supernatural powers, and have taken to calling them the Young Elites--but whether they are a force for good or not remains to be seen.
Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld--Told from separate viewpoints, teens Scam, Crash, Flicker, Anonymous, Bellwether, and Kelsie, all born in the year 2000 and living in Cambria, California, have superhuman abilities that give them interesting but not heroic lives until they must work as a community to respond to a high stakes crisis.