Staff Picks: Fall 2020 Young Adult

Staff Picks: Fall 2020 Young Adult

The School & Library team talks about some of our top Fall 2020 Young Adult reads here. Plus, request digital ARCs of these staff picks on NetGalley!


Traitor by Amanda McCrina
On Sale August 25, 2020


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“Set on the oft-overlooked Eastern front of WWII, Traitor is a fast-paced historical thriller filled with lies, spies, and survival. Told from alternating points of view readers will struggle alongside Tolya and Solovey as they try and decide who to trust and who to betray. An absolute page-turner, perfect for fans of Code Name Verity and Ruta Sepetys.”
Katie Halata, Associate Director

Kind of a Big Deal by Shannon Hale
On Sale August 25, 2020


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“Is there anything Shannon Hale can’t do?! Her latest novel follows Josie, a girl who dropped out of high school to pursue her Broadway dreams and winds up working as a nanny in Montana. Josie seems to have lost it all, until one day she finds herself in a bookstore getting lost in the novels, literally. As she travels between stories, she starts to wonder if she should just stay. Josie’s story is one we can all relate to, especially young people on the verge of creating their life. Things don’t always work out the way that we plan, but we can’t hide ourselves from the world.”
Cierra Bland, Assistant

Flamer by Mike Curato
On Sale September 1, 2020


“You may recognize Mike Curato, as the creator of the Little Elliot picture book series. Flamer is his first graphic novel for a young adult audience, a personal and touching story that’s inspired by his own adolescence. It’s the summer between middle school and high school, and Aiden Navarro is away at summer camp. He faces a lot of bullying at school and at camp because he’s chubby, Asian, not very interested in sports, and he just doesn’t feel like he fits in. Now some of the other campers are calling him “gay,” which is just another reason for them to bully him, so Aiden tries to deny it to them and to himself. But the truth is that Aiden can’t stop thinking about his bunkmate Elias and he starts to worry that maybe he is gay—and if he is, how will he ever fit in? As he grapples with all of these emotions, Aiden starts to feel more and more alone, and finds himself confronting dark thoughts. But ultimately, Aiden discovers that the flame that burns inside him is too powerful to burn out. Flamer is a must-read. This honest, powerful, and relatable graphic novel about a young teen learning to accept himself and his sexual orientation will show young readers that they are not alone and they are enough, just the way they are. The artwork in this graphic novel is stunning with full page spreads that will take your breath away. Black and white pencil drawings are accented with bright pops of red and orange flames throughout.”
Kristen Luby, Manager

White Fox by Sara Faring
On Sale September 22, 2020


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“When their famous actor mom mysteriously disappears, twins Noni and Tai are sent far away by their pharma-tech father. After ten years of drifting apart, they are summoned back to their remote childhood island home when their father dies. The twins must put aside their differences to focus on the mysteries on hand – can the newly discovered White Fox screenplay, the one that their mom was working on before she disappeared, provide clues to her life and disappearance? What role did their dad’s tech connections and island life have to do with any of this? And most importantly: can their mom possibly still be alive? This is a haunting thriller of secrets, sisterhood, and family ties from the author of The Tenth Girl.”
Lucy Del Priore, Director

This is All Your Fault by Aminah Mae Safi
On Sale October 13, 2020


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“Daniella, hard-faced math-lover, secretly loves to write poetry; Rinn, known to her coworkers as the perfect Little Miss Sunshine, is desperately in love with a boy who doesn’t know she’s alive; and Imogen is just trying to keep her metaphorical (and newly shaved) head above water. They have absolutely nothing in common except that they all work at Wild Nights Bookstore & Emporium and they love it. But when their beloved bookstore is being unceremoniously shut down and sold off, they’re determined to save it, even if it means they have to work together. Throughout the single day they have to turn things around for Wild Nights, the three girls will learn about what they’re capable of and what they can accomplish when they work as a team. Empire Records meets The Breakfast Club, This is All Your Fault is an ode to the literary community, to unlikely female friendships, and to being a part of something bigger than yourself.”
Melissa Croce, Associate Manager