Putting the YA in FRIYAY: Witchy Reads for the Summer Solstice

Tonight is the summer solstice so we put together a list of wickedly good witch books to help you get into the spirit. Let us know which one is your favourite!

Akata Witch
By Nnedi Okorafor
384 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780142420911 | Speak

Sunny Nwazue lives in Nigeria, but she was born in New York City. Her features are West African, but she’s albino. She’s a terrific athlete, but can’t go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing—she is a “free agent” with latent magical power. And she has a lot of catching up to do.

Soon she’s part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But as she’s finding her footing, Sunny and her friends are asked by the magical authorities to help track down a career criminal who knows magic, too. Will their training be enough to help them combat a threat whose powers greatly outnumber theirs?

Lucy Crisp and the Vanishing House
By Janet Hill
240 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770499249 | Tundra Books

It has been a year since Lucy Crisp graduated from high school and she still hasn’t found her calling. That is, until she discovers an exclusive arts college called Ladywyck Lodge. On a whim, she applies and is thrilled to be accepted into their program. Lucy moves to Esther Wren, the charming little town where it’s based, and stays in the house her father buys as an investment: a magnificent building built by a sea captain in 1876. The house has history and personality –perhaps too much personality. . .

Strange things start happening: Lucy hears voices and footsteps in empty rooms. She sees people and things that should not be there. Furniture disappears and elaborate desserts appear. What’s worse is that the strange events are not restricted to her house. Lucy begins to understand that the town and its inhabitants are hiding many secrets, and Ladywyck is at the heart. As the eerie happenings escalate, Lucy fears she is being threatened — but she is determined not to let fairy potions, spells and talk of witchcraft scare her away.

Spellbook of the Lost and Found
By Moïra Fowley-Doyle
384 Pages | 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780147517333 | Speak

One stormy Irish summer night, Olive and her best friend, Rose, begin to lose things. It starts with simple items like hairclips and jewelry, but soon it’s clear that Rose has lost something much bigger, something she won’t talk about, and Olive thinks her best friend is slipping away.

Then seductive diary pages written by a girl named Laurel begin to appear all over town. And Olive meets three mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel, and her twin brother, Rowan, secretly squatting in an abandoned housing estate. The trio are wild and alluring, but they seem lost too—and like Rose, they’re holding tight to painful secrets.

When they discover the spellbook, it changes everything. Damp, tattered and ancient, it’s full of hand-inked charms to conjure back things that have been lost. And it just might be their chance to find what they each need to set everything back to rights.

Unless it’s leading them toward things that were never meant to be found…

Tarot
By Marissa Kennerson
288 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780451478412 | Razorbill

Born of a forbidden union between the Queen and the tyrannical King’s archnemesis, Anna is forced to live out her days isolated in the Tower, with only her mentors and friends the Hermit, the Fool, and the Magician to keep her company. To pass the time, Anna imagines unique worlds populated by creatives and dreamers–the exact opposite of the King’s land of fixed fates and rigid rules–and weaves them into four glorious tapestries.

But on the eve of her sixteenth birthday and her promised release from the Tower, Anna discovers her true lineage: She’s the daughter of Marco, a powerful magician, and the King is worried that his magical gifts are starting to surface in Anna. Fearing for her life, Anna flees the Tower and finds herself in Cups, a lush, tropical land full of all the adventure, free-spiritedness, and creativity she imagined while weaving.

Anna thinks she’s found paradise in this world of beachside parties, endless food and drink, and exhilarating romance. But when the fabric of Cups begins to unravel, Anna discovers that her tapestries are more than just forbidden expression. They’re the foundation for a new world that she is destined to create–as long as the terrors from the old world don’t catch up with her first.

The Babysitter’s Coven
By Kate Williams
368 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525707370 | Delacorte Press

Seventeen-year-old Esme Pearl has a babysitters club. She knows it’s kinda lame, but what else is she supposed to do? Get a job? Gross. Besides, Esme likes babysitting, and she’s good at it.

And lately Esme needs all the cash she can get, because it seems like destruction follows her wherever she goes. Let’s just say she owes some people a new tree.

Enter Cassandra Heaven. She’s Instagram-model hot, dresses like she found her clothes in a dumpster, and has a rebellious streak as gnarly as the cafeteria cooking. So why is Cassandra willing to do anything, even take on a potty-training two-year-old, to join Esme’s babysitters club?

The answer lies in a mysterious note Cassandra’s mother left her: “Find the babysitters. Love, Mom.”

Turns out, Esme and Cassandra have more in common than they think, and they’re about to discover what being a babysitter really means: a heroic lineage of superpowers, magic rituals, and saving the innocent from seriously terrifying evil. And all before the parents get home.

The Lost Coast
By Amy Rose Capetta
352 Pages | 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536200966 | Candlewick

Danny didn’t know what she was looking for when she and her mother spread out a map of the United States and Danny put her finger down on Tempest, California. What she finds are the Grays: a group of friends who throw around terms like queer and witch like they’re ordinary and everyday, though they feel like an earthquake to Danny. But Danny didn’t just find the Grays. They cast a spell that calls her halfway across the country, because she has something they need: she can bring back Imogen, the most powerful of the Grays, missing since the summer night she wandered into the woods alone. But before Danny can find Imogen, she finds a dead boy with a redwood branch through his heart. Something is very wrong amid the trees and fog of the Lost Coast, and whatever it is, it can kill. Lush, eerie, and imaginative, Amy Rose Capetta’s tale overflows with the perils and power of discovery — and what it means to find your home, yourself, and your way forward.

The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea
By Maggie Tokuda-Hall
368 Pages | 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536204315 | Candlewick

The pirate Florian, born Flora, has always done whatever it takes to survive—including sailing under false flag on the Dove as a marauder, thief, and worse. Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, a highborn Imperial daughter, is on board as well—accompanied by her own casket. But Evelyn’s one-way voyage to an arranged marriage in the Floating Islands is interrupted when the captain and crew show their true colors and enslave their wealthy passengers.

Both Florian and Evelyn have lived their lives by the rules, and whims, of others. But when they fall in love, they decide to take fate into their own hands—no matter the cost.

Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s sweeping fantasy debut, full of stolen memories, illicit mermaid’s blood, double agents, and haunting mythical creatures conjures an extraordinary cast of characters and the unforgettable story of a couple striving to stay together in the face of myriad forces wishing to control their identities and destinies.

The Waking Forest
By Alyssa Wees
304 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525581161 | Delacorte Press

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more–until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.

To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.

The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?

These Witches Don’t Burn
By Isabel Sterling
336 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780451480347 | Razorbill

Hannah’s a witch, but not the kind you’re thinking of. She’s the real deal, an Elemental with the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. But even though she lives in Salem, Massachusetts, her magic is a secret she has to keep to herself. If she’s ever caught using it in front of a Reg (read: non-witch), she could lose it. For good. So, Hannah spends most of her time avoiding her ex-girlfriend (and fellow Elemental Witch) Veronica, hanging out with her best friend, and working at the Fly by Night Cauldron selling candles and crystals to tourists, goths, and local Wiccans.

But dealing with her ex is the least of Hannah’s concerns when a terrifying blood ritual interrupts the end-of-school-year bonfire. Evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, and Hannah’s sure it’s the work of a deadly Blood Witch. The issue is, her coven is less than convinced, forcing Hannah to team up with the last person she wants to see: Veronica.

While the pair attempt to smoke out the Blood Witch at a house party, Hannah meets Morgan, a cute new ballerina in town. But trying to date amid a supernatural crisis is easier said than done, and Hannah will have to test the limits of her power if she’s going to save her coven and get the girl, especially when the attacks on Salem’s witches become deadlier by the day.

Isabel Sterling’s delightful, suspenseful debut is equal parts sweet romance and thrilling mystery. With everything she loves on the line, Hannah must confront this murderous villain before her coven–and any chance she has with the new girl–is destroyed.

Undead Girl Gang
By Lily Anderson
320 Pages | 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780451478245 | Razorbill

Meet teenage Wiccan Mila Flores, who truly could not care less what you think about her Doc Martens, her attitude, or her weight because she knows that, no matter what, her BFF Riley is right by her side. So when Riley and Fairmont Academy mean girls June Phelan-Park and Dayton Nesseth die under suspicious circumstances, Mila refuses to believe everyone’s explanation that her BFF was involved in a suicide pact. Instead, armed with a tube of lip gloss and an ancient grimoire, Mila does the unthinkable to uncover the truth: she brings the girls back to life.

Unfortunately, Riley, June, and Dayton have no recollection of their murders. But they do have unfinished business to attend to. Now, with only seven days until the spell wears off and the girls return to their graves, Mila must wrangle the distracted group of undead teens and work fast to discover their murderer…before the killer strikes again.

The 2020 OLA Forest of Reading® Winners and Honour Books

The 2020 Forest of Reading awards were announced earlier today and we are so thrilled that three of our titles were honoured at the virtual Festival of Trees. Congratulations to our authors and illustrators!

2020 Silver Birch Express Fiction Award Winner

Megabat
By Anna Humphrey
Illustrated by Kass Reich
192 Pages | Ages 7-10 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735262577 | Tundra Books
Daniel Misumi has just moved to a new house. It’s big and old and far away from his friends and his life before. AND it’s haunted . . . or is it?Megabat was just napping on a papaya one day when he was stuffed in a box and shipped halfway across the world. Now he’s living in an old house far from home, feeling sorry for himself and accidentally scaring the people who live there. Daniel realizes it’s not a ghost in his new house. It’s a bat. And he can talk. And he’s actually kind of cute. Megabat realizes that not every human wants to whack him with a broom. This one shares his smooshfruit.

2020 Silver Birch Fiction Award Honour Book

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster
By Jonathan Auxier
368 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735264359 | Puffin Canada
Eleven-year-old Nan Sparrow is quite possibly the best climber who ever lived–and a girl. With her wits and will, she’s managed to beat the deadly odds time and time again. But when Nan gets stuck in a deadly chimney fire, she fears her time has come. Instead, she wakes to find herself in an abandoned attic. And she is not alone. Huddled in the corner is a mysterious creature–a golem–made from ash and coal. This is the creature that saved her from the fire.

2020 Red Maple Fiction Award Winner

No Fixed Address
By Susin Nielsen
288 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735262751 | Tundra Books
Felix Knuttson is an endearing kid with an incredible brain for trivia. His mom Astrid is loving but unreliable; she can’t hold onto a job, or a home. When they lose their apartment in Vancouver, they move into a camper van, just for August, till Astrid finds a job. September comes, they’re still in the van; Felix must keep “home” a secret and give a fake address in order to enroll in school. When he gets to compete on a national quiz show, Felix is determined to win — the cash prize will bring them a home. Is their luck about to change?

Thanks to Curio.ca for virtually hosting the awards this year! If you missed the ceremonies, you can catch up with them online here.

The Forest of Reading is Canada’s largest recreational reading program. This initiative of the Ontario Library Association (OLA) offers seven reading programs to encourage a love of reading in people of all ages. The Forest helps celebrate Canadian books, publishers, authors and illustrators. More than 270,000 readers participate annually from their School and/or Public Library. All Canadians are invited to participate via their local public library, school library, or individually.

Inspiring Gifts for Grads

People all over the world are celebrating their graduations this spring so here’s a list of inspiring picture books that make great gifts for grads regardless of age.

Don’t Worry, Little Crab
By Chris Haughton
48 Pages | Ages 2-5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536211191 | Candlewick Press
Little Crab and Very Big Crab live in a tiny rock pool near the sea. Today they’re going for a dip in the big ocean. “This is going to be so great,” says Little Crab, splish-splashing and squelch-squelching along, all the way to the very edge. Then comes a first glance down at the waves. WHOOSH! Maybe it’s better if they don’t go in? With vivid colors, bold shapes, and his trademark visual humor, Chris Haughton shows that sometimes a gentle “don’t worry, I’m here” can keep tentative little crabs sidestepping ahead – and help them discover the brilliant worlds that await when they take the plunge.

Great Dog
By Davide Cali
Illustrated by Miguel Tanco
46 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101919170 | Tundra Books
A pup and his father contemplate his grand future while looking at other Great Dogs in their family. Will he be a marathon runner like Uncle Tibor, the fastest dog in the family? Will he be an astronaut like Aunt Yuki, who reached for the stars? Or maybe a teacher like Uncle Scooter, respected by all? No matter what, says his father, he will be a GREAT dog!

If I Couldn’t Be Anne
By Kallie George
Illustrated by Genevieve Godbout
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770499287 | Tundra Books
In this whimsical and magical picture book, Anne’s boundless imagination takes flight! She imagines being all the things she loves so dearly. If I Couldn’t Be Anne, Anne with an e, what would I be . . . Anne wonders what it would be like to be the wind dancing round the treetops. A tightrope walker, breathless and brave. A princess in a palace made of apple blossoms. A magical frost fairy or a plain little wood elf. . . . But even as Anne’s imagination soars far and wide, she comes back down to earth, recognizing that some things – like friendship! – are even better than the imagination.

Incredible Jobs You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of
By Natalie Labarre
48 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536212198 | Nosy Crow
Do you know what you want to do when you grow up? Why not work as a babysitter . . . for sloths? Or become a farmer . . . of corpses? You might even grow up to be someone who gets paid to actually sleep on the job! From taste testers to dinosaur dusters, there are all kinds of incredible jobs that you’ve probably never heard of – and one of them might be just right for you!

Miss Mink: Life Lessons for a Cat Countess
By Janet Hill
48 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770499225 | Tundra Books
Miss Marcella Mink and sixty-seven of her favorite feline friends live happily in her big house by the sea. But there was a time when Miss Mink was not so happy. When Miss Mink created her own business – a feline-friendly cruise company for cat lovers and their furry companions – she found she no longer had time or energy for herself or her friends. For advice she turned to her cats, who always seemed so happy, healthy, well-rounded, well-groomed and well-rested. It was not long before the Cat Countess was feeling shipshape again. Collected here are Miss Mink’s twenty cat-approved lessons, from the benefits of a good grooming and an afternoon nap to valuable advice on friendship and diet.

Miss Moon: Wise Words from a Dog Governess
By Janet Hill
48 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101917930 | Tundra Book
Miss Wilhelmina Moon is a dog governess. At her first placement, on a small island off the coast of France, her new charges – sixty-seven dogs of all shapes, sizes and colors – run wild. But armed with patience and a passion for teaching, as well as her companions, Mitford the monkey and Petunia the French bulldog, Miss Moon soon imparts twenty important lessons to her furry brood. Some are practical, some are playful, one or two are a little unusual, but all are necessary for the raising of happy, healthy and well-mannered dogs (and humans).

Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
By Dr. Seuss
56 Pages | All Ages | Hardcover
ISBN 9780679805274 | Random House Books for Young Readers
From soaring to high heights and seeing great sights to being left in a Lurch on a prickle-ly perch, Dr. Seuss addresses life’s ups and downs with his trademark humorous verse and illustrations, while encouraging readers to find the success that lies within. In a starred review, Booklist notes, “Seuss’s message is simple but never sappy: life may be a ‘Great Balancing Act,’ but through it all ‘There’s fun to be done.’” A perennial favorite and a perfect gift for anyone starting a new phase in their life!

Petra
By Marianna Coppo
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735262676 | Tundra Books
Petra is a little rock who believes she is a mighty mountain . . . until a dog fetches her for its owner, and she is tossed into a bird’s nest. A mountain? No, Petra is now an egg! An egg of the world in a world of possibility. Until she’s flung into a pond, and becomes an amazing island . . . and, eventually, a little girl’s pet rock. What will she be tomorrow? Who knows? But she’s a rock, and this is how she rolls!

Ray
By Marianna Coppo
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735265776 | Tundra Books
At the end of the hall, near the staircase, is a closet. In that closet lives Ray, who is a light bulb. Ray spends most of his time in darkness, which is pretty boring if you don’t know how to fill it. So boring that Ray usually slips into a dreamless sleep. . . . Everything changes one day when Ray is migrated into a portable lantern and taken on the trip of a lifetime. He wakes up in a much larger closet (the outside), surrounded by incredible things – too many to count! Everything is super big, and Ray has never felt so small. And in the morning, Ray makes an incredible discovery which will change his life forever.

The Wonderful Things You Will Be
By Emily Winfield Martin
36 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780375973277 | Random House Books for Young Readers
From brave and bold to creative and clever, Emily Winfield Martin’s rhythmic rhyme expresses all the loving things that parents think of when they look at their children. With beautiful, and sometimes humorous, illustrations, and a clever gate-fold with kids in costumes, this is a book grown-ups will love reading over and over to kids-both young and old. The Wonderful Things You Will Be has a loving and truthful message that will endure for lifetimes and makes a great gift for any occasion, but a special stand-out for baby showers, birthdays, Easter, and graduation.

Sharon, Lois and Bram’s Skinnamarink
By Sharon Hampson, Lois Lilienstein and Bram Morrison with Randi Hampson
Illustrated by Qin Leng
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735264069 | Tundra Books
What does “skinnamarink” mean? You may not find its definition in a dictionary, but the meaning is clear to the generations of children who sang along: friendship, happiness, sharing, community and, ultimately, love. This song has been sung in weddings and in classrooms. It can be fun and silly – especially with the accompanying actions! And it has a way of bringing people together.

She Persisted Around the World
By Chelsea Clinton
Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525516996 | Philomel Books
In this companion book to She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World, Chelsea Clinton introduces readers to a group of thirteen incredible women who have shaped history all across the globe. She Persisted Around the World is a book for everyone who has ever aimed high and been told to step down, for everyone who has ever raised their voice and been told to quiet down, and for everyone who has ever felt small, unimportant or unworthy.

The Little Engine That Could: 90th Anniversary Edition
By Watty Piper
Illustrated by Dan Santat
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593094396 | Grosset & Dunlap
The kindness and determination of the Little Blue Engine have inspired millions of children around the world since the story was first published in 1930. Cherished by readers for ninety years, The Little Engine That Could is a classic tale of a little engine that, despite her size, triumphantly pulls a train full of wonderful things to the children waiting on the other side of a mountain. This anniversary edition features the original text, all-new re-imagined artwork and an introduction from Caldecott Medal-winner Dan Santat, and a special letter from Dolly Parton, award-winning singer-songwriter and founder of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Make sure you pick up one of these books from your local bookstore and help grads celebrate a new chapter in their lives!

Putting the YA in FRIYAY: House of Dragons

We’re thrilled that Jessica Cluess’ new fantasy, House of Dragons, is an Indigo Teen Staff Pick of the Month! We’re so in love with this new world and highly recommend you check it out.

House of Dragons
By Jessica Cluess
448 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525648154 | Random House Books for Young Readers

Five royal houses will hear the call to compete in the Trial for the dragon throne. A liar, a soldier, a servant, a thief, and a murderer will answer it. Who will win? Three Dark Crowns meets The Breakfast Club with DRAGONS.

When the Emperor dies, the five royal houses of Etrusia attend the Call, where one of their own will be selected to compete for the throne. It is always the oldest child, the one who has been preparing for years to compete in the Trial. But this year is different. This year these five outcasts will answer the call…

THE LIAR: Emilia must hide her dark magic or be put to death.
THE SOLDIER: Lucian is a warrior who has sworn to never lift a sword again.
THE SERVANT: Vespir is a dragon trainer whose skills alone will keep her in the game.
THE THIEF: Ajax knows that nothing is free–he must take what he wants.
THE MURDERER: Hyperia was born to rule and will stop at nothing to take her throne.

Make sure to pick it up from Indigo or one of your local indie bookstores!


While you’re at it: Have you read Jessica’s Kingdom on Fire trilogy yet?

By Jessica Cluess
432 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780553535938 | Ember
“Vivid characters, terrifying monsters, and world building as deep and dark as the ocean.” —Victoria Aveyard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Red Queen
Exhilarating and gripping, Jessica Cluess’s spellbinding fantasy introduces a powerful, unforgettable heroine and a world filled with magic, romance, and betrayal.

By Jessica Cluess
448 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780553535976 | Ember

“Devastatingly magical and monstrously romantic.” —Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of CARAVAL
In the second book in the Kingdom on Fire series, Jessica Cluess delivers her signature mix of magic, passion, and teen warriors fighting for survival.

By Jessica Cluess
416 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780553535983 | Random House Books for Young Readers

“Plot twists so good they will leave you reeling.” — Traci Chee, New York Times bestselling author of The Reader
In this stunning conclusion to the Kingdom on Fire series, Henrietta must choose between the love from her past, the love from her present, and a love that could define her future.

An Anti-Racist Reading List

Given all the news over the past few weeks, we want to take this opportunity to amplify Black voices with some incredible books by equally incredible authors. This list is by no means comprehensive, so let us know if we missed your favourite title or author. And we encourage you to pick up one or more of these books from your local bookstore if you’re able to!

1968: Today’s Authors Explore a Year of Rebellion, Revolution, and Change
Edited by Marc Aronson and Susan Campbell Bartoletti
208 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780763689933 | Candlewick Press
Nineteen sixty-eight was a pivotal year that grew more intense with each day. As thousands of Vietnamese and Americans were killed in war, students across four continents took over colleges and city streets. Assassins murdered Dr. King and Robert F. Kennedy. Demonstrators turned out in Prague and Chicago, and in Mexico City, young people and Olympic athletes protested. In those intense months, generations battled and the world wobbled on the edge of some vast change that was exhilarating one day and terrifying the next. To capture that extraordinary year, editors Marc Aronson and Susan Campbell Bartoletti created an anthology that showcases many genres of nonfiction. Some contributors use a broad canvas, others take a close look at a moment, and matched essays examine the same experience from different points of view. As we face our own moments of crisis and division, 1968 reminds us that we’ve clashed before and found a way forward — and that looking back can help map a way ahead.

A Phoenix First Must Burn
Edited by Patrice Caldwell
368 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984835659 | Viking BFYR
Sixteen tales by bestselling and award-winning authors that explore the Black experience through fantasy, science fiction, and magic. With stories by: Elizabeth Acevedo, Amerie, Patrice Caldwell, Dhonielle Clayton, J. Marcelle Corrie, Somaiya Daud, Charlotte Nicole Davis, Justina Ireland, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Danny Lore, L. L. McKinney, Danielle Paige, Rebecca Roanhorse, Karen Strong, Ashley Woodfolk, and Ibi Zoboi.
Evoking Beyoncé’s Lemonade for a teen audience, these authors who are truly Octavia Butler’s heirs, have woven worlds to create a stunning narrative that centers Black women and gender nonconforming individuals. A Phoenix First Must Burn will take you on a journey from folktales retold to futuristic societies and everything in between. Filled with stories of love and betrayal, strength and resistance, this collection contains an array of complex and true-to-life characters in which you cannot help but see yourself reflected. Witches and scientists, sisters and lovers, priestesses and rebels: the heroines of A Phoenix First Must Burn shine brightly. You will never forget them.

Akata Witch
By Nnedi Okorafor
384 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780142420911 | Speak
Sunny Nwazue lives in Nigeria, but she was born in New York City. Her features are West African, but she’s albino. She’s a terrific athlete, but can’t go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing—she is a “free agent” with latent magical power. And she has a lot of catching up to do.
Soon she’s part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But as she’s finding her footing, Sunny and her friends are asked by the magical authorities to help track down a career criminal who knows magic, too. Will their training be enough to help them combat a threat whose powers greatly outnumber theirs?

All the Days Past, All the Days to Come
By Mildred D. Taylor
496 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780399257308 | Viking BFYR
In her tenth book, Mildred Taylor completes her sweeping saga about the Logan family of Mississippi, which is also the story of the civil rights movement in America of the 20th century. Cassie Logan, first met in Song of the Trees and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, is a young woman now, searching for her place in the world, a journey that takes her from Toledo to California, to law school in Boston, and, ultimately, in the 60s, home to Mississippi to participate in voter registration.
She is witness to the now-historic events of the century: the Great Migration north, the rise of the civil rights movement, preceded and precipitated by the racist society of America, and the often violent confrontations that brought about change. Rich, compelling storytelling is Ms. Taylor’s hallmark, and she fulfills expectations as she brings to a close the stirring family story that has absorbed her for over forty years. It is a story she was born to tell.

Date Me, Bryson Keller
By Kevin Van Whye
336 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593126035 | Random House BFYR
Everyone knows about the dare: Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new–the first person to ask him out on Monday morning. Few think Bryson can do it. He may be the king of Fairvale Academy, but he’s never really dated before.
Until a boy asks him out, and everything changes.
Kai Sheridan didn’t expect Bryson to say yes. So when Bryson agrees to secretly go out with him, Kai is thrown for a loop. But as the days go by, he discovers there’s more to Bryson beneath the surface, and dating him begins to feel less like an act and more like the real thing. Kai knows how the story of a gay boy liking someone straight ends. With his heart on the line, he’s awkwardly trying to navigate senior year at school, at home, and in the closet, all while grappling with the fact that this “relationship” will last only five days. After all, Bryson Keller is popular, good-looking, and straight . . . right?

Dear Martin
By Nic Stone
240 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781101939529 | Ember
Justyce McAllister is a good kid, an honor student, and always there to help a friend—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates.
Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.
Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.

Full Disclosure
By Camryn Garrett
320 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984829955 | Knopf BFYR
Simone Garcia-Hampton is starting over at a new school, and this time things will be different. She’s making real friends, making a name for herself as student director of Rent, and making a play for Miles, the guy who makes her melt every time he walks into a room. The last thing she wants is for word to get out that she’s HIV-positive, because last time . . . well, last time things got ugly.
Keeping her viral load under control is easy, but keeping her diagnosis under wraps is not so simple. As Simone and Miles start going out for real–shy kisses escalating into much more–she feels an uneasiness that goes beyond butterflies. She knows she has to tell him that she’s positive, especially if sex is a possibility, but she’s terrified of how he’ll react! And then she finds an anonymous note in her locker: I know you have HIV. You have until Thanksgiving to stop hanging out with Miles. Or everyone else will know too.

If You Come Softly
By Jacqueline Woodson
192 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525515487 | Nancy Paulsen
Jeremiah feels good inside his own skin. That is, when he’s in his own Brooklyn neighborhood. But now he’s going to be attending a fancy prep school in Manhattan, and black teenage boys don’t exactly fit in there. So it’s a surprise when he meets Ellie the first week of school. In one frozen moment their eyes lock, and after that they know they fit together–even though she’s Jewish and he’s black. Their worlds are so different, but to them that’s not what matters. Too bad the rest of the world has to get in their way.

It’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime
By Trevor Noah
304 Pages | Ages 10+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780525582199 | Yearling
Trevor Noah, the funny guy who hosts The Daily Show on Comedy Central, shares his remarkable story of growing up in South Africa with a black South African mother and a white European father at a time when it was against the law for a mixed-race child to exist. But he did exist–and from the beginning, the often-misbehaved Trevor used his keen smarts and humor to navigate a harsh life under a racist government.
This fascinating memoir blends drama, comedy, and tragedy to depict the day-to-day trials that turned a boy into a young man. In a country where racism barred blacks from social, educational, and economic opportunity, Trevor surmounted staggering obstacles and created a promising future for himself, thanks to his mom’s unwavering love and indomitable will.

Obviously: Stories from My Timeline
By Akilah Hughes
288 Pages | All Ages | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101998908 | Razorbill
In Akilah Hughes’s world, family–and life–are often complicated, but always funny. Through intimate and hilarious essays, Akilah takes readers along on her journey from the small Kentucky town where she was born–and eventually became a spelling bee champ and 15-year-old high school graduate–to New York City, where she took careful steps to fulfill her dream of becoming a writer and performer. Like Tiffany Haddish’s The Last Black Unicorn or Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? for the YA set, Akilah pens revealing and laugh-out-loud funny essays about her life, covering everything from her racist fifth grade teacher, her struggles with weight and acne, her failed attempts at joining the cheerleading team, how to literally get to New York (hint: for a girl on a budget, it may include multiple bus transfers) and exactly how to “make it” once you finally get there.

Pet
By Akwaeke Emezi
208 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525647072 | Make Me a World
There are no monsters anymore, or so the children in the city of Lucille are taught. Jam and her best friend, Redemption, have grown up with this lesson all their life. But when Jam meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colors and claws, who emerges from one of her mother’s paintings and a drop of Jam’s blood, she must reconsider what she’s been told. Pet has come to hunt a monster, and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption’s house. Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but also to uncover the truth, and the answer to the question–How do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist?
Acclaimed novelist Akwaeke Emezi makes their riveting and timely young adult debut with a book that asks difficult questions about what choices you can make when the society around you is in denial.

The Beauty that Remains
By Ashley Woodfolk
336 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781524715908 | Ember
Loss pulled Autumn, Shay, and Logan apart. Will music bring them back together?
Autumn always knew exactly who she was: a talented artist and a loyal friend. Shay was defined by two things: her bond with her twin sister, Sasha, and her love of music. And Logan has always turned to writing love songs when his real love life was a little less than perfect.
But when tragedy strikes each of them, somehow music is no longer enough. Now Logan can’t stop watching vlogs of his dead ex-boyfriend. Shay is a music blogger who’s struggling to keep it together. And Autumn sends messages that she knows can never be answered.
Despite the odds, one band’s music will reunite them and prove that after grief, beauty thrives in the people left behind.

The Sun is Also a Star
By Nicola Yoon
384 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780735267008 | Penguin Teen
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.
Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store–for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
By Junauda Petrus
320 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780525555490 | Penguin Books
Port of Spain, Trinidad. Sixteen-year-old Audre is despondent, having just found out she’s going to be sent to live in America with her father because her strictly religious mother caught her with her secret girlfriend.
Minneapolis, USA. Sixteen-year-old Mabel is lying on her bed, staring at the ceiling and trying to figure out the vague feeling of illness that’s plagued her all summer. Mabel’s reverie is cut short when Audre comes to dinner.
Mabel quickly falls hard for Audre and is determined to take care of her as she tries to navigate an American high school. But their romance takes a turn when test results reveal exactly why Mabel has been feeling low-key sick all summer and suddenly it’s Audre who is caring for Mabel as she faces a deeply uncertain future.

This is What I Know About Art
By Kimberly Drew
Illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky
64 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593095188 | Penguin Workshop
In this powerful and hopeful account, arts writer, curator, and activist Kimberly Drew reminds us that the art world has space not just for the elite, but for everyone. Pocket Change Collective is a series of small books with big ideas from today’s leading activists and artists. In this installment, arts writer and co-editor of Black Futures Kimberly Drew shows us that art and protest are inextricably linked. Drawing on her personal experience through art toward activism, Drew challenges us to create space for the change that we want to see in the world. Because there really is so much more space than we think.

War Girls
By Tochi Onyebuchi
464 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780451481672 | Razorbill
The year is 2172. Climate change and nuclear disasters have rendered much of earth unlivable. Only the lucky ones have escaped to space colonies in the sky.
In a war-torn Nigeria, battles are fought using flying, deadly mechs and soldiers are outfitted with bionic limbs and artificial organs meant to protect them from the harsh, radiation-heavy climate. Across the nation, as the years-long civil war wages on, survival becomes the only way of life.
Two sisters, Onyii and Ify, dream of more. Their lives have been marked by violence and political unrest. Still, they dream of peace, of hope, of a future together. And they’re willing to fight an entire war to get there.

Who Put This Song On?
By Morgan Parker
336 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525707516 | Delacorte Press
Trapped in sunny, stifling, small-town suburbia, seventeen-year-old Morgan knows why she’s in therapy. She can’t count the number of times she’s been the only non-white person at the sleepover, been teased for her “weird” outfits, and been told she’s not “really” black. Also, she’s spent most of her summer crying in bed. So there’s that, too.
Lately, it feels like the whole world is listening to the same terrible track on repeat–and it’s telling them how to feel, who to vote for, what to believe. Morgan wonders, when can she turn this song off and begin living for herself?
Loosely based on her own teenage life and diaries, this incredible debut by award-winning poet Morgan Parker will make readers stand up and cheer for a girl brave enough to live life on her own terms–and for themselves.

X: A Novel
By Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon
384 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780763690922 | Candlewick Press
Malcolm Little’s parents have always told him that he can achieve anything, but from what he can tell, that’s a pack of lies. There’s no point in trying, he figures, and lured by the nightlife of Boston and New York, he escapes into a world of fancy suits, jazz, girls, and reefer. But Malcolm’s efforts to leave the past behind lead him into increasingly dangerous territory. X follows the boy who would become Malcolm X from his childhood to his imprisonment for theft at age twenty, when he found the faith that would lead him to forge a new path and command a voice that still resonates today.

If you’re looking for more ways to help the Black Lives Matter movement, check out this list of resources.