Teens & YA | Remarkable Reads 2021

Teen literature are often a roadmap to what adults should be reading. When the world calls for more inclusivity teen fiction is here to answer that call. Here are some of our staff's favorite books of 2021 that will inspire and entertain you.

Back to the full list »
Firekeeper's Daughter Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250766564
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - March 16th, 2021

With four starred reviews, Angeline Boulley's debut novel, Firekeeper's Daughter, is a groundbreaking YA thriller about a Native teen who must root out the corruption in her community, perfect for readers of Angie Thomas and Tommy Orange.

Last Night at the Telegraph Club Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525555254
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - January 19th, 2021

Winner of the National Book Award

Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can't remember exactly when the question took root, but the answer was in full bloom the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club. America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father--despite his hard-won citizenship--Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day.

Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063056664
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - October 5th, 2021

A searing new work of nonfiction from award-winning author Brandy Colbert about the history and legacy of one of the most deadly and destructive acts of racial violence in American history: the Tulsa Race Massacre.

Staff Pick Badge
How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe Cover Image
ISBN: 9781534448667
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - August 10th, 2021

As much as this story is a romance, it is really about learning how to love yourself. How to love yourself enough to know who deserves to be in your life, to heal from the trauma you've faced. — Ava, BIT Reviewer

How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe is one of those stories I wish I could have read as a teenager, but am still glad I got to devour as an adult. I can't recommend it enough. — Heather, Bookseller Alumni

Call Us What We Carry: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593465066
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Books - December 7th, 2021

Formerly titled The Hill We Climb and Other Poems, the luminous poetry collection by #1 New York Times bestselling author and presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman captures a shipwrecked moment in time and transforms it into a lyric of hope and healing. In Call Us What We Carry, Gorman explores history, language, identity, and erasure through an imaginative and intimate collage. Harnessing the collective grief of a global pandemic, these poems shine a light on a moment of reckoning and reveal that Gorman has become our messenger from the past, our voice for the future.

"This year, give the gift of Amanda Gorman's inspiring poetry. Her collection includes the The Hill We Climb, the poem she read at President Biden's inauguration, plus more. This is a must have book everyone should have in their home libraries." — Brandi, Children's Book Buyer

Dreams from My Father (Adapted for Young Adults): A Story of Race and Inheritance Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385738729
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Delacorte Press - October 5th, 2021

Now adapted for young adults—the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir, which Toni Morrison called “quite extraordinary,” offers an intimate look at Barack Obama’s early days. This is a compelling journey tracing the future 44th president's odyssey through family, race, and identity.

We Are Not Broken Cover Image
ISBN: 9780759554603
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - September 7th, 2021

This is the vibrant story of George, Garrett, Rall, and Rasul -- four children raised by Nanny, their fiercely devoted grandmother. The boys hold each other close through early brushes with racism, memorable experiences at the family barbershop, and first loves and losses. And with Nanny at their center, they are never broken. Complete with touching letters from the grandchildren to their beloved matriarch and a full color photo insert, this heartwarming and heartbreaking memoir is destined to become a modern classic of emerging adulthood.

Staff Pick Badge
We Are the Wildcats Cover Image
ISBN: 9781534439917
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - April 13th, 2021

It's initiation night for the new varsity members of the Wildcats, a female field-hockey team with a rep for perfection . . . until they lost last season's championship game, much to the horror of their duplicitous coach. Told through alternating perspectives, the Wildcats break with tradition and pull a dare-filled all-nighter, determined to prove their dedication to their team, uncovering each other's secrets and confronting insecurities along the way. This is a positive, much-needed representation of girl teammates who truly support one another as they learn the power of speaking out. Well-suited for tweens and up. — Emmy, Lead Children's Book Specialist

Staff Pick Badge
Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc Cover Image
ISBN: 9780358452089
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarion Books - March 2nd, 2021

Voices by David Elliott is beautiful. It is written in the p. o. v. of multiple people and things from Joan's life. Sprinkled throughout the story are real quotes from her trials in life. The text is beautifully arranged in poetic verse that is also illustrative. — Roshni, Bookseller

Staff Pick Badge
The Magic Fish: (A Graphic Novel) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984851598
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Graphic - October 13th, 2020

This amazing graphic novel shattered my heart and put the pieces back together multiple times as I was reading. Tien, a first generation teen of Vietnamese parents, is helping his mother learn English by reading fairy tales with her each night. The parallels between the stories they read together and the hardships they face in day-to-day life were touching to read and beautiful to see translated through art. Jumping from Tien trying to find the right words to say to tell his parents he is gay to a story about a princess who forges a marriage contract with an old man that requires he provide three dresses made of the sky, The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen is a perfect mix of classic fairytales and unique real-world themes magically intertwined through gorgeous imagery. — Miranda, Assistant Book Buyer