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New and Noteworthy

The best new books for teen/young adult readers.


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Messy Roots

- by Laura Gao

Young adult softcover $18.50 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $16.65

"Messy Roots is a laugh-out-loud, heartfelt, and deeply engaging story of their journey to find themself--as an American, as the daughter of Chinese immigrants, as a queer person, and as a Wuhanese American in the middle of a pandemic."--Malaka Gharib, author of I Was Their American Dream

After spending her early years in Wuhan, China, riding water buffalos and devouring stinky tofu, Laura immigrates to Texas, where her hometown is as foreign as Mars--at least until 2020, when COVID-19 makes Wuhan a household name.

In Messy Roots, Laura illustrates her coming-of-age as the girl who simply wants to make the basketball team, escape Chinese school, and figure out why girls make her heart flutter.

Insightful, original, and hilarious, toggling seamlessly between past and present, China and America, Gao's debut is a tour de force of graphic storytelling.

The Lost Dreamer

- by Lizz Huerta

Young adult hardcover $24.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $22.49

A stunning YA fantasy inspired by ancient Mesoamerica, this gripping debut introduces us to a lineage of seers defiantly resisting the shifting patriarchal state that would see them destroyed--perfect for fans of Tomi Adeyemi and Sabaa Tahir.

Indir is a Dreamer, descended from a long line of seers; able to see beyond reality, she carries the rare gift of Dreaming truth. But when the beloved king dies, his son has no respect for this time-honored tradition. King Alcan wants an opportunity to bring the Dreamers to a permanent end--an opportunity Indir will give him if he discovers the two secrets she is struggling to keep. As violent change shakes Indir's world to its core, she is forced to make an impossible choice: fight for her home or fight to survive.

Saya is a seer, but not a Dreamer--she has never been formally trained. Her mother exploits her daughter's gift, passing it off as her own as they travel from village to village, never staying in one place too long. Almost as if they're running from something. Almost as if they're being hunted. When Saya loses the necklace she's worn since birth, she discovers that seeing isn't her only gift--and begins to suspect that everything she knows about her life has been a carefully-constructed lie. As she comes to distrust the only family she's ever known, Saya will do what she's never done before, go where she's never been, and risk it all in the search of answers.

With a detailed, supernaturally-charged setting and topical themes of patriarchal power and female strength, Lizz Huerta's The Lost Dreamer brings an ancient world to life, mirroring the challenges of our modern one.

The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea

- by Axie Oh

Young adult hardcover $24.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $22.49

A New York Times Bestseller!

Axie Oh's The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea is an enthralling feminist retelling of the classic Korean folktale "The Tale of Shim Cheong," perfect for fans of Wintersong, Uprooted, and Miyazaki's Spirited Away.

Deadly storms have ravaged Mina's homeland for generations. Floods sweep away entire villages, while bloody wars are waged over the few remaining resources. Her people believe the Sea God, once their protector, now curses them with death and despair. In an attempt to appease him, each year a beautiful maiden is thrown into the sea to serve as the Sea God's bride, in the hopes that one day the "true bride" will be chosen and end the suffering.

Many believe that Shim Cheong, the most beautiful girl in the village--and the beloved of Mina's older brother Joon--may be the legendary true bride. But on the night Cheong is to be sacrificed, Joon follows Cheong out to sea, even knowing that to interfere is a death sentence. To save her brother, Mina throws herself into the water in Cheong's stead.

Swept away to the Spirit Realm, a magical city of lesser gods and mythical beasts, Mina seeks out the Sea God, only to find him caught in an enchanted sleep. With the help of a mysterious young man named Shin--as well as a motley crew of demons, gods and spirits--Mina sets out to wake the Sea God and bring an end to the killer storms once and for all.

But she doesn't have much time: A human cannot live long in the land of the spirits. And there are those who would do anything to keep the Sea God from waking...

Praise for The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea:

An ABA Indie Bestseller


"On every page I found something marvelous and new, and I was eager to keep reading because I wanted to further explore this wondrous new world." --The New York Times

"A beautiful, mesmerizing retelling I wish I'd had when I was growing up. ... A heartfelt tale that I will be recommending for years to come." --Elizabeth Lim, New York Times-bestselling author of Six Crimson Cranes

"A clever, creative, and exquisitely written tale of sacrifice, love, and fate." --Stephanie Garber, New York Times-bestselling author of Caraval

Karen's School Picture

- by Ann M. Martin

Children's paperback $13.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $12.59

Another graphic novel in this fun series spin-off of The Baby-sitters Club, featuring Kristy's little stepsister!Karen has to get glasses! She doesn't want them, especially because school pictures are going to be taken soon. But she picks out some pretty pink ones and thinks she looks very grown-up.

Then Yicky Ricky at school starts calling her names, like Owl Girl and Googly Eyes. If Karen wears her glasses for the school picture, Ricky will make fun of her. If she doesn't wear them, she'll feel like she's afraid to be herself. Glasses or no glasses, that Ricky is going to get it!

Extasia

- by Claire Legrand

Young adult hardcover $21.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $19.79

**One of BuzzFeed's Great LGBTQ+ YA novels to Warm up Your Winter * A Kid's Feb/March IndieNext pick**

From New York Times bestselling author Claire Legrand comes a new, bone-chilling YA horror novel about a girl who joins a coven to root out a vicious evil that's stalking her village. Perfect for fans of The Handmaid's Tale and The Grace Year.

Her name is unimportant.

All you must know is that today she will become one of the four saints of Haven. The elders will mark her and place the red hood on her head. With her sisters, she will stand against the evil power that lives beneath the black mountain--an evil which has already killed nine of her village's men.

She will tell no one of the white-eyed beasts that follow her. Or the faceless gray women tall as houses. Or the girls she saw kissing in the elm grove.

Today she will be a saint of Haven. She will rid her family of her mother's shame at last and save her people from destruction. She is not afraid. Are you?

This searing and lyrically written novel by the critically acclaimed author of Sawkill Girls beckons readers to follow its fierce heroine into a world filled with secrets and blood--where the truth is buried in lies and a devastating power waits, seething, for someone brave enough to use it.

Only a Monster

- by Vanessa Len

Young adult hardcover $23.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $21.59

The sweeping romance of Passenger meets the dark fantasy edge of This Savage Song in this stunning contemporary fantasy debut from Vanessa Len, where the line between monster and hero is razor thin.

Don't forget the rule. No one can know what you are. What we are. You must never tell anyone about monsters.

Joan has just learned the truth: her family are monsters, with terrifying, hidden powers.

And the cute boy at work isn't just a boy: he's a legendary monster slayer, who will do anything to destroy her family.

To save herself and her family, Joan will have to do what she fears most: embrace her own monstrousness. Because in this story...she is not the hero.

Dive deep into the world of Only a Monster: hidden worlds dwell in the shadows, beautiful monsters with untold powers walk among humans, and secrets are the most powerful weapon of all.

I Must Betray You

- by Ruta Sepetys

Young adult hardcover $24.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $22.49

A #1 New York Times and National Bestseller!
 
A gut-wrenching, startling historical thriller about communist Romania and the citizen spy network that devastated a nation, from the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray.


Romania, 1989. Communist regimes are crumbling across Europe. Seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu dreams of becoming a writer, but Romanians aren't free to dream; they are bound by rules and force.
 
Amidst the tyrannical dictatorship of Nicolae Ceau?escu in a country governed by isolation and fear, Cristian is blackmailed by the secret police to become an informer. He's left with only two choices: betray everyone and everything he loves--or use his position to creatively undermine the most notoriously evil dictator in Eastern Europe.
 
Cristian risks everything to unmask the truth behind the regime, give voice to fellow Romanians, and expose to the world what is happening in his country. He eagerly joins the revolution to fight for change when the time arrives. But what is the cost of freedom?
 
Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys is back with a historical thriller that examines the little-known history of a nation defined by silence, pain, and the unwavering conviction of the human spirit.
 
Praise for I Must Betray You:
 
"As educational as it is thrilling...[T]he power of I Must Betray You [is] it doesn't just describe the destabilizing effects of being spied on; it will make you experience them too." -New York Times Book Review
 
"A historical heart-pounder...Ms. Sepetys, across her body of work, has become a tribune of the unsung historical moment and a humane voice of moral clarity." -The Wall Street Journal

* "Sepetys brilliantly blends a staggering amount of research with heart, craft, and insight in a way very few writers can. Compulsively readable and brilliant." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "Sepetys once again masterfully portrays a dark, forgotten corner of history." -Booklist, starred review
 
* "Sepetys's latest book maintains the caliber readers have come to expect from an author whose focus on hidden histories has made her a YA powerhouse of historical ­fiction...Sepetys is a formidable writer, and her stories declare the need to write about global issues of social injustice. For that reason and her attention to detail, this is a must-read." -School Library Journal, starred review

* "Cristian's tense first-person narrative foregrounds stark historical realities, unflinchingly confronting deprivations and cruelty while balancing them with perseverance and hope as Romania hurtles toward political change." -Publishers Weekly, starred review
 
"Sepetys keeps readers riveted to this vivid, heartbreaking and compelling novel, locked into every meticulously researched detail. I Must Betray You demands a full investment from its audience--through poetic writing, sympathetic characters, revolutionary plot and pacing, it grips the heart and soul and leaves one breathless." -Shelf Awareness, starred review

"A master class in pacing and atmosphere." -BookPage

 

Bitter

- by Akwaeke Emezi

Young adult hardcover $23.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $21.59

From National Book Award finalist Akwaeke Emezi comes a companion novel to the critically acclaimed PET that explores both the importance and cost of social revolution--and how youth lead the way.

After a childhood in foster care, Bitter is thrilled to have been chosen to attend Eucalyptus, a special school where she can focus on her painting surrounded by other creative teens. But outside this haven, the streets are filled with protests against the deep injustices that grip the city of Lucille.
 
Bitter's instinct is to stay safe within the walls of Eucalyptus . . . but  her  friends  aren't  willing  to  settle  for  a  world  that's  so  far  away from what they deserve. Pulled between old friendships, her artistic passion, and a new romance, Bitter isn't sure where she  belongs--in  the  studio  or  in  the  streets.  And  if  she  does  find a way to help the revolution while being true to who she is, she must also ask: at what cost? 
 
This  timely  and  riveting  novel--a  companion  to  the  National  Book Award finalist Pet--explores the power of youth, protest, and art.
 

This Woven Kingdom

- by Tahereh Mafi

Young adult hardcover $24.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $22.49

Clashing empires, forbidden romance, and a long-forgotten queen destined to save her people--Tahereh Mafi's first in an epic, romantic trilogy inspired by Persian mythology. New York Times bestseller!

To all the world, Alizeh is a disposable servant, not the long-lost heir to an ancient Jinn kingdom forced to hide in plain sight.

The crown prince, Kamran, has heard the prophecies foretelling the death of his king. But he could never have imagined that the servant girl with the strange eyes, the girl he can't put out of his mind, would one day soon uproot his kingdom--and the world.

Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Tomi Adeyemi, and Sabaa Tahir, this is the explosive first book in a new fantasy trilogy from the New York Times bestselling and National Book Award-nominated author Tahereh Mafi.

"In a tale as exquisitely crafted as one of Alizeh's own garments, Mafi weaves a spell of destiny and danger, forbidden love and courtly intrigue, magic and revolution."--Cassandra Clare, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Last Hours

"This Woven Kingdom is an exquisite fantasy. Rich with clever prose, delicious twists, and breathtaking world building. Prepare to be destroyed--this one will wrench at your heart and make it pound, and in the end it will leave you entirely speechless."--Stephanie Garber, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Caraval series

Between Shades of Gray

- by Ruta Sepetys

Young adult softcover $17.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $16.19

Just in time for the 10th anniversary of Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys's award-winning debut novel, and inspiration for the major motion picture Ashes in the Snow, is now a gorgeous graphic novel!

From #1 New York Times and international bestselling author and Carnegie Medal winner of Salt to the Sea comes a story of loss and of fear--and ultimately of survival--in a brand-new four-color format.

"Few books are beautifully written, fewer still are important; this novel is both." --The Washington Post

New York Times notable book
An international bestseller
A Carnegie Medal nominee
A William C. Morris Award finalist
A Golden Kite Award winner

June, 1941. A knock comes at the door and the life of fifteen-year-old Lina Vilkas changes forever. She's arrested by the Soviet secret police and deported from Lithuania to Siberia with her mother and younger brother. The conditions are horrific and Lina must fight for her life and for the lives of those around her, including the boy that she loves. Risking everything, she secretly passes along clues in the form of drawings, hoping they will reach her father's prison camp. But will her messages, and her courage, be enough to reunite her family? Will they be enough to keep her alive?

A moving and haunting novel perfect for readers of The Book Thief, now available as a stunning graphic novel.

Before We Disappear

- by Shaun D. Hutchinson

Young adult hardcover $21.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $19.79

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection!

It's a new star-crossed romance about the magic of first love from the acclaimed author of We Are the Ants and Brave Face, Shaun David Hutchinson.

Jack Nevin's clever trickery and moral flexibility make him the perfect assistant to the Enchantress, one of the most well-known stage magicians in turn-of-the-nineteenth-century Europe. Without Jack's steady supply of stolen tricks, the Enchantress's fame would have burned out long ago.

But when Jack's thievery catches up to them, they're forced to flee to America to find their fortune. Luckily, the Enchantress is able to arrange a set of sold-out shows at Seattle's Alaska-Yukon-Pacific World's Fair Exposition. She's convinced they're going to rich and famous until a new magician arrives on the scene. Performing tricks that defy the imagination, Laszlo's show overshadows the Enchantress, leaving Jack no choice but to hunt for the secrets to his otherworldly illusions. But what Jack uncovers isn't at all what he expected.

Behind Laszlo's tricks is Wilhelm--a boy that can seemingly perform real magic. Jack and Wilhelm have an instant connection, and as the rivalry between the Enchantress and Laszlo grows, so too does Jack and Wilhelm's affection. But can Jack choose between the woman who gave him a life and the boy who is offering him everything?

It's a stirring tale about the magic of love from award-winning author Shaun David Hutchinson.

Beasts of Prey

- by Ayana Gray

Young adult hardcover $24.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $22.49

In this blockbuster fantasy series, perfect for fans of Kingdom of the Wicked and Iron Widow, fate binds two Black teenagers together as they journey into a magical jungle to hunt down a vicious monster.

"Rich in magic and mythos, Beasts of Prey is a feast for all the senses." --Renée Ahdieh, New York Times bestselling author of The Beautiful

An Instant New York Times and Indie Bestseller


There's no such thing as magic in the broken city of Lkossa, especially for sixteen-year-old Koffi, who indentured to the notorious Night Zoo, knows the fearsome creatures in her care and paying off her family's debts to secure their eventual freedom can be her only focus. But the night those she loves are gravely threatened by the Zoo's cruel master, Koffi unleashes a power she doesn't fully understand, upending her life completely.
 
As the second son of a decorated hero, Ekon is all but destined to become a Son of the Six--an elite warrior--and uphold a family legacy. But on the night of his final rite of passage, Ekon encounters not only the Shetani--a vicious monster that has plagued the city for nearly a century and stalks his nightmares--but Koffi who seems to have the power to ward off the beast. Koffi's power ultimately saves Ekon, but his choice to let her flee dooms his hopes of becoming a warrior.

Desperate to redeem himself, Ekon vows to hunt the Shetani and end its reign of terror, but he can't do it alone. Koffi and Ekon form a tentative alliance and together enter the Greater Jungle, a world steeped in wild, frightening magic and untold dangers. The hunt begins. But it quickly becomes unclear whether they are the hunters or the hunted.
 
"The hunt for your next YA fantasy book trilogy obsession has ended." --Entertainment Weekly

Coming Back

- by Jessi Zabarsky

Young adult softcover $22.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $20.69

A beautiful graphic novel fantasy romance that follows two young women who have to go on their own separate adventures to discover the truth about themselves and about each other.

Preet is magic.
 
Valissa is not.
 
Everyone in their village has magic in their bones, and Preet is the strongest of them all. Without any power of her own, how can Valissa ever be worthy of Preet's love? When their home is attacked, Valissa has a chance to prove herself, but that means leaving Preet behind. On her own for the first time, Preet breaks the village's most sacred laws and is rejected from the only home she's ever known and sent into a new world.
 
Divided by different paths, insecurities, and distance, will Valissa and Preet be able to find their way back to each other?
 
A beautiful story of two young women who are so focused on proving they're meant to be together that they end up hurting each other in the process. This gorgeous graphic novel is an LGTBQ+ romance about young love and how it can grow into something strong no matter what obstacles get in the way.

The Greatest Thing

- by Sarah W. Searle

Young adult softcover $24.50 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $22.05

This tender YA comic is perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier's Drama and Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham's Real Friends who are ready to graduate to their first teen graphic novel.

It's the first day of sophomore year, and now that Winifred's two best (and only) friends have transferred to a private school, she must navigate high school on her own.

But she isn't alone for long. In art class, she meets two offbeat students, Oscar and April. The three bond through clandestine sleepovers, thrift store shopping, and zine publishing. Winifred is finally breaking out of her shell, but there's one secret she can't bear to admit to April and Oscar, or even to herself--and this lie is threatening to destroy her newfound friendships.

With breathtaking art and honest storytelling, rising star Sarah Winifred Searle delivers a heartfelt story about love, friendship, and self-acceptance.

The Lock-Eater

- by Zack Loran Clark

Children's hardcover $23.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $21.59

"Will have readers tumbling through the pages . . . Deeply immersive, full of both heft and humor." --Soman Chainani, New York Times bestselling author of The School for Good and Evil series
 
* "One of those special books that only comes around every so often . . . An absolute revelation." --SLJ (starred review)
 
For fans of Nevermoor and Howl's Moving Castle comes an epic fantasy about a girl with the ability to unlock anything--including the empire's darkest secrets.


Melanie Gate is a foundling with a peculiar talent for opening the unopenable--any lock releases at the touch of her hand. One night, her orphanage is visited by Traveler, a gearling automaton there on behalf of his magical mistress, who needs an apprentice pronto. When Melanie is selected because of her gift, her life changes in a flash, and in more ways than she knows--because Traveler is not at all what he seems. But then, neither is Melanie Gate.
 
So begins an epic adventure sparkling with magic, wit, secret identities, stinky cats, fierce orphan girls, impostor boys, and a foundling and gearling hotly pursued by the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the land.
 
Action-packed yet layered, The Lock-Eater is a mix of lush world-building, high stakes, humor, and emotional heft--a page-turner and so much more. 

"A new classic . . . Perfect for fans of Ursula LeGuin and Diana Wynne Jones." --Eliot Schrefer, author of The Lost Rainforest series
* "Startlingly deep [while] maintaining its swift pace." --BCCB (starred review)
"Will delight . . . An entertaining page-turner." --GeekMom
"Incredibly memorable . . Vibrant [and] skillfully wrought." --Betsy Bird for a Fuse #8 Production/SLJ
"Inventive and lighthearted [yet still] plumbs areas of darkness and loss." --The Horn Book
"Expansive adventure, intricate worldbuilding, and a memorable cast [will] immerse readers." --PW
"A magical world unlike any other." --Cracking the Cover

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