by Stephanie C., Main Library
Every summer we ask our Teen Squad volunteers what their favorite books are and what books they would recommend to other teens. That list goes up on our website August 1st and you can click directly on a title to reserve a copy for yourself. While you wait, here's a sneak peek and some quotes from our volunteers about why these books are their favorites.
Middle Grade Fiction
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
"Hatchet is a book where a boy named Brian has to figure out how to survive in the wilderness. Brian got in a plane crash and landed in a river and he's hoping someone will save him." - Mafazah
Liberty by Kirby Larson
"For my recommendation I would definitely choose Liberty by Kirby Larson. It's a book about a kid with Polio during the WWII era. I've seen very little books that happen during the WWII timeline without the main character being directly involved in the war. It will leave you thinking and is a great read" - Jasmine
Technically, You Started It by Lana Wood Johnson
"A cute, epistolary novel told entierly in text messages. A quick read, and always makes my little heart so happy everytime I read it. A tropey but adorable case of mistaken identity." - Amelie
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter
"I really enjoy this book because the story is unpredictable and you never know what's gonna happen next. I also like this book because of the amazing detail it has. This story has great romance, action, and drama that keeps the story flowing and exciting." - Mads
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
"They Both Die at the End is a sad book about two teenage boys who get a call that they are going to die, and they don't know how or when they will die, so they have to live the day to the fullest. So, they go on an adventure and find themselves and the ending will break your heart." - Kaylee
The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow
"This was a really great book. I would recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy. It had a combination of important themes, modern day issues, and magic. It was a beautifully written book with an interesting language style. The characters were very well developed and had realistic personalities, but it also had a lot of action. It was an exciting, fast-paced book that also developed themes and characters very well. The main basis of the story was magic and witches, but it also focused on themes like forgiveness, determination, perseverance, and love. Even though it is set in the 1800s, it talked about important topics such as racism, LGBTQ+ rights, women's rights, and worker's rights. I really enjoyed this book, and it had a good combination of deep, serious topics, as well as fun fantasy and magic." - Ria
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
"This is my favorite book because it is soft, bitter and tender, and more intimate than most novels can imagine to be. Written as a letter to an illiterate mother from her son, it follows the story of a Vietnamese immigrant family, and of which is fresh, vulnerable and ceaseless, defiant of form as it blends poetry and fiction - to call it only a book feels like an understatement when it feels so alive."
It’s hot out. We can’t deny that. Our city hit 100 degrees this week!
With ash falling from the sky, are you looking for a way to help you cool down? Read some of these bone-chilling tales and give yourself goosebumps! (Warning, we chose books that are particularly scary, so be aware that these might contain some mature content).
Tiffany D. Jackson
Interested in a haunted house? This book literally takes place in a haunted house, that sits on of a potentially haunted street that crosses a probably haunted Town.
Where do you run, when the ghosts and phantoms live with you? Who do you turn to when your sibling keeps talking about invisible friends who want you gone? Follow Marigold’s story to find out!
Ace of Spades,
This book has been considered the next, bloodier, more adult step after “Harry Potter”. The book also takes place at a boarding High School full of secrets and hidden danger. Once again, someone is out to get our main characters and they have to find out why, before it is too late!
Be warned, adult content!
It all starts with a letter, begging from help, (don’t some of the best stories start that way?). Noemí, a glamorous debutante with lipstick skills to covet, heads to the distant house in the countryside to rescue her cousin.
Work with Noemí as she tries to understand what is happening around her, from your new cousin-in-law, from his menacing patriarchal father and even from the beautiful house itself.
A Banquet For Hungry Ghosts,
Ying Change Compestine
Yes, ghosts get hungry. And yes, they deserve some good snacks! This book blends amazing food, Chinese culture, and ghost stories ranging from 200 BC to the contemporary world.
According to Chinese legends, people who die hungry return as vengeful ghosts. Let’s say these ghosts died…. famished.
If you’re into True Crime there is a good chance that you’ve heard of the Amityville House. Even if you’re not into True Crime, you’ve probably heard of the Amityville house, (with its creepy pig hoofprints). Amity is a generational book, following two teens, ten years apart, who begin to be haunted by the house. And, again, the house itself seems like it might be the problem.
Clicking on a book title above will take your to our website so you can request the item be held for you. If you'd like to serach for other formats, like ebooks or eaudiobooks, please visit our library catalog at catalog.slcpl.org
Teen Squad Member Morgan, from the Anderson-Foothill branch, has created a brochure about teen books that are also movies!
You can read the books and then get some popcorn for a watch party, or watch the movie first and then read the book. You could do a March Madness bracket with your friends and see if you can predict the favoriate adaptation. You can debate endlessly which was better: the movie or the book! The fun goes on and on, as more YA books are being adapted into mvoies and TV shows now than ever. You can find all of these books and their live-action counterparts in the City Library's catalog here.
If you want a physical copy of this pamphlet, download this image and print it out!
Lately, it seems like February is all about love. Romance, dating, hand-holding, candlelight, and on and on. If you are getting a little bit sick of it you are not alone. Here are 5 books to combat that. Following is a list of books spotlighting aromantic and/or asexual protagonists and featuring platonic relationships! .
Before we get started, here are a few terms to help you out! Asexual is used to describe a person with little to no interest in sexual contact with another person. Aromantic defines a person who has no interest in romantic relationships, (trust us, they are different)! Ace stands for asexual. Aro stands for aromantic. So, an aroace character is an aromantic, asexual character. Simple!
Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia
The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow
Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp
Not Even Bones by Rebecca Shaeffer
Have you heard of the Newbery or Caldecott Awards? What about the Printz; Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature; or the Stonewall award? These are just some of the prestigious awards given out by the American Library Association (ALA) every January to some of their top choices for children’s and teen books from the previous year. This year the ALA awards were announced on January 24, 2022 and these are some of the teen books that received awards.
Have you read any of these books? Or maybe this is a list of books to add to your To Read list. I know mine is longer now! Take a look and see what you think. For a complete list of all the award winning books click here!
The Michael L. Printz Award is given for excellence in literature written for young adults. The 2022 winner is Firekeeper’s Daughter, written by Angeline Boulley.
Eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. She dreams of a fresh start at college, but when family tragedy strikes, Daunis puts her future on hold to look after her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi's hockey team.Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into an FBI investigation of a lethal new drug. Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source. But the search for truth is more complicated than Daunis imagined, exposing secrets and old scars. As the deceptions--and deaths--keep growing, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she'll go for her community, even if it tears apart the only world she's ever known. (From the publisher.)
William C. Morris Award
Schneider Family Book Award
The Schneider Family Book Award is given to books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience. Words in My Hands, written and illustrated by Asphyxia is the winner for teens (ages 14-18).
Words in My Hands is a fast-paced novel about smart, artistic, and independent sixteen year old Piper, who is tired of trying to conform. Her mom wants her to be "normal," to pass as hearing, to get a good job. But in a time of food scarcity, environmental collapse, and political corruption, Piper has other things on her mind--like survival. Piper has always been told that she needs to compensate for her Deafness in a world made for those who can hear. But when she meets Marley, a new world opens up--one where Deafness is something to celebrate, and where resilience means taking action, building a community, and believing in something better. This empowering, unforgettable story is told through a visual extravaganza of text, paint, collage, and drawings. (From the publisher.)
Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award
The Coretta Scott King Book Award recognizes an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults. This year’s award winner is Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre, written by Carole Boston Weatherford, and illustrated by Floyd Cooper.
Celebrated author Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrator Floyd Cooper provide a powerful look at the 1921 Tulsa race massacre, one of the worst incidents of racial violence in our nation's history. (From the publisher.)
Pura Belpré Awards
The Pura Belpré Awards honor Latinx writers and illustrators whose children's and young adult books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience. This year, How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe, written by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland, is the Pura Belpré Young Adult Author Award winner.
When her twin sister reaches social media stardom, Moon Fuentez accepts her fate as the ugly, unwanted sister hidden in the background, destined to be nothing more than her sister’s camerawoman. But this summer, Moon also takes a job as the “merch girl” on a tour bus full of beautiful influencers and her fate begins to shift in the best way possible.
Most notable is her bunkmate and new nemesis, Santiago Phillips, who is grumpy, combative, and also the hottest guy Moon has ever seen.
Moon is certain she hates Santiago and that he hates her back. But as chance and destiny (and maybe, probably, close proximity) bring the two of them in each other’s perpetual paths, Moon starts to wonder if that’s really true. She even starts to question her destiny as the unnoticed, unloved wallflower she always thought she was.
Could this summer change Moon’s life as she knows it? (From the publisher.)
Stonewall Book Award
The Stonewall Book Award - Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award is given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience. This year’s young adult recipient is Last Night at the Telegraph Club, written by Malinda Lo.
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. (From the publisher.)
Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature
The Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature promotes Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage and is awarded based on literary and artistic merit. The award is administered by the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), an affiliate of the American Library Association. This year the award was presented to Last Night at the Telegraph Club, written by Malinda Lo.
American Indian Youth Literature Awards
American Indian Youth Literature Awards are announced in even years (e.g. 2022, 2024, 2026) and were established to identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians and Alaska Natives. Selected titles present American Indians in the fullness of their humanity in the present and past contexts. This year’s young adult winner is Apple (Skin to the Core), written by Eric Gansworth [Onondaga], cover art by Filip Peraić.
The term "Apple" is a slur in Native communities across the country. It's for someone supposedly "red on the outside, white on the inside." Eric Gansworth is telling his story in Apple (Skin to the Core). The story of his family, of Onondaga among Tuscaroras, of Native folks everywhere. From the horrible legacy of the government boarding schools, to a boy watching his siblings leave and return and leave again, to a young man fighting to be an artist who balances multiple worlds. Eric shatters that slur and reclaims it in verse and prose and imagery that truly lives up to the word heartbreaking. (From the publisher.)
The Sidney Taylor Book Award
The Sydney Taylor Book Award is an annual award presented to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience. The award is presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries since 1968, and encourages the publication and widespread use of quality Judaic literature. This year’s young adult winner is The City Beautiful by Aden Polydoros.
Death lurks around every corner in this unforgettable Jewish historical fantasy about a city, a boy, and the shadows of the past that bind them both together. Chicago, 1893. For Alter Rosen, this is the land of opportunity, and he dreams of the day he'll have enough money to bring his mother and sisters to America, freeing them from the oppression they face in his native Romania. But when Alter's best friend, Yakov, becomes the latest victim in a long line of murdered Jewish boys, his dream begins to slip away. While the rest of the city is busy celebrating the World's Fair, Alter is now living a nightmare: possessed by Yakov's dybbuk, he is plunged into a world of corruption and deceit, and thrown back into the arms of a dangerous boy from his past. A boy who means more to Alter than anyone knows. Now, with only days to spare until the dybbuk takes over Alter's body completely, the two boys must race to track down the killer--before the killer claims them next. (From the publisher.)
Beware! these graphic novels are not for the faint of heart. Not only will the stories give you chills but the horrifying pictures that you encounter will be sure to give you nightmare's! Are you brave enough to take a peek at what lies inside?
By: Abby Howard
The Last Halloween, Book 1 is the story of Mona and her unusual friends, who must work together to defend humanity from countless horrific monstrosities! Perhaps they will succeed, and humanity will prevail as it always has. Or perhaps this will be... The Last Halloween. (Provided by publisher)
By: Borja Gonzalez
A Gift for a Ghost involves two parallel stories that reflect and intertwine in a tale of youthful dreams and desires. In 1856, Teresa, a young aristocrat, is more interested in writing avantgarde horror poetry than making a suitable marriage. In 2016, three teenage girls, Gloria, Laura, and Cristina, want to start a punk band called the Black Holes. They have everything they need: attitude, looks, instinct...and an alarming lack of musical talent. They've barely started rehearsing when strange things begin to happen. As their world and Teresa's intersect, they're haunted by the echo of something that happened 160 years ago (Provided by publisher.)
By: Emily Carroll
Through the Woods contains five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss.
These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of acclaimed and award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll.
Come take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you there... (provided by publisher)
By: Vera Brosgol
Anya's Ghost is about a girl named Anya, who is embarrassed by her Russian immigrant family and self-conscious about her body. She has given up on fitting in at school but falling down a well and making friends with the ghost there just may be worse. (Provided by publisher)
By: Abby Howard
The Crossroads at Midnight is a collection of literary slice-of-life horror, five stories explore what happens when one is desperate enough to seek solace and connection in the world of monsters and darkness. (Provided by publisher)
Blog posts are written by our Teen Librarians and, in some cases, teens like you. Visit your About page to learn more about our Teen Librarians.