This week is the 98th annual Children's Book Week,
and I'm celebrating the event by featuring books geared to young
adult and middle grade readers that were (or will be) published in
March, April, and May of 2017. Last week, I recommended 8 books that included a little magic or fantasy, and on Monday I featured 6 contemporary novels for young readers. Today, I finish up with 6 more novels set in the modern world.
- The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz (Clarion; March): A young teen who's always been content with his lot in life--white boy adopted by a gay Mexican American man and loved by his extended family--reaches the age of wanting to know his biological history and questioning who he really is. Everyone has loved this sensitively written novel that explores self-identity, family, friendship, and LGBTQ issues.
- Kill All Happies by Rachel Cohn (Disney Hyperion; May): This novel, set in a small desert town in California, takes young readers on a crazy two-day graduation party to end all graduation parties. A diverse cast of characters indulge in teen antics; expect mildly mature content.
- Piper Perish by Kayla Cagan (Chronicle; March): An artistic high schooler dreams of leaving Texas for New York City, but as senior year comes to an end will she be brave enough to follow her passion? This book contains themes of family, ambition, friendship, sexual identity, mental illness, and independence.
- Enemy Exposure by Meghan Rogers (Philomel; March): Fans of action-packed thrillers starring tough young women will like this story about a Korean teen who is acting as a double agent for the United States. In this second installment in the Raven Files series, our hero, Jocelyn, must rescue an old friend, but can she save herself as well?
- Get It Together, Delilah! by Erin Gough (Chronicle; April): Set in Australia, this is the story of a teen who juggles school, work, and social pressures while dreaming of the girl she hopes will like her back. This award-winning novel presents an authentic, nonstereotypical look at teen relationships and family issues and will appeal to a diverse range of readers.
- Big & Little Questions (According to Wren Jo Byrd) by Julie Bowe (Kathy Dawson Books; March): The protagonist in this book for middle grade readers is Wren Jo Byrd, who is having trouble adjusting to her parents' divorce and idea of shared custody. After befriending the new girl at school, Wren learns she isn't the only one who's had to get used to a new life because of family problems.