#Penguin10 2022

Yesterday, we hosted our annual #PenguinTeenSocial where we talked about recent middle grade novels, staff picks for summer, and, of course, revealed our #Penguin10 of 2022 – the top ten books you need to read this fall. Here are all ten titles . . . sorry in advance for how long your TBR is about to get.

Aces Wild: A Heist
By Amanda DeWitt
352 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781682634660 | Peachtree Teen
Release Date: September 6, 2022
Some people join chess club, some people play football. Jack Shannon runs a secret blackjack ring in his private school’s basement. What else is the son of a Las Vegas casino mogul supposed to do? Everything starts falling apart when Jack’s mom is arrested for their family’s ties to organized crime. His sister Beth thinks this is the Shannon family’s chance to finally go straight, but Jack knows that something’s not right. His mom was sold out, and he knows by who. Peter Carlevaro: rival casino owner and jilted lover. Gross. Jack hatches a plan to find out what Carlevaro’s holding over his mom’s head, but he can’t do it alone. He recruits his closest friends – the asexual support group he met through fandom forums. Now all he has to do is infiltrate a high-stakes gambling club and dodge dark family secrets, while hopelessly navigating what it means to be in love while asexual. Easy, right?

The First Thing About You
By Chaz Hayden
384 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536223118 | Candlewick
Release Date: September 6, 2022
When fifteen-year-old Harris moves with his family from California (home of beautiful-but-inaccessible beaches) to New Jersey (home of some much-hyped pizza and bagels), he’s determined to be known as more than just the kid in the powered wheelchair. Armed with his favorite getting-to-know-you question (“What’s your favorite color?”), he’ll weed out the incompatible people – the greens and the purples, people who are too close to his own blue to make for good friends – and surround himself with outgoing yellows, adventurous oranges, and even thrilling reds. But first things first: he needs to find a new nurse, stat, so that his mom doesn’t have to keep accompanying him to school. Enter Miranda, a young nursing student who graduated from Harris’s new high school. Beautiful, confident, and the perfect blend of orange and red, Miranda sees Harris for who he really is – funny, smart, and totally worthy of the affections of Nory Fischer, the cute girl who’s in most of his classes. With Miranda at his side, Harris soon befriends geeky Zander (yellow) and even makes headway with Nory (who stubbornly refuses to reveal her favorite color). But Miranda is fighting her own demons, and Harris starts to wonder if she truly has his best interests at heart.

The 99 Boyfriends of Micah Summers
By Adam Sass
352 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593464786 | Viking BFYR
Release Date: September 20, 2022
Micah is rich, dreamy, and charming. As the “Prince of Chicago,” – the son of local celebrity sports radio host known as the King of Chicago – he has everything going for him. Unfortunately, he’s also the prince of imaginary meet-cutes, since he’s too nervous to actually ask boys out. Instead, Micah draws each crush to share on Instagram with a post about their imaginary dates. Ninety-nine “boyfriends” later, his account is hugely popular, and everyone is eagerly awaiting Boy 100. So is Micah. He’s determined that Boy 100 will be different. This time, Micah will sweep the boy off his feet, for real! So when Micah flirts with a hot boy on the L who’s wearing a vegan leather jacket and lugging a ton of library books, he is sure this is Boy 100. But right before he can make his move and ask for the boy’s number, the guy rushes off the train, leaving behind his pumpkin-embroidered jacket. The jacket holds clues to the boy’s identity, so Micah and his friends set off on a quest to return it. Along the way, Micah will discover that the best relationships aren’t fairy tales. In fact, the perfect fit – and true love – might be closer than he thinks.

Eternally Yours
Edited by Patrice Caldwell
416 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593206874 | Viking BFYR
Release Date: September 20, 2022
Vampires and merpeople, angels and demons – the stories in this anthology imagine worlds where the only thing more powerful than the supernatural, is love. Contributors include:  Kalynn Bayron, Kendare Blake, Kat Cho, Melissa de la Cruz, Hafsah Faizal, Sarah Gailey, Chloe Gong, Alexis Henderson, Adib Khorram, Anna-Marie McLemore, Casey McQuiston, Sandhya Menon, Akshaya Raman, Marie Rutkoski, and Julian Winters

How to Succeed in Witchcraft
By Aislinn Brophy
416 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593354520 | Putnam BFYR
Release Date: September 27, 2022
Shay Johnson has all the makings of a successful witch. As a junior at T.K. Anderson Magical Magnet School, she’s determined to win the Brockton Scholarship – her ticket into the university of her dreams. Her competition? Ana freaking Álvarez. The key to victory? Impressing Mr. B, drama teacher and head of the scholarship committee. When Mr. B asks Shay to star in this year’s aggressively inclusive musical, she warily agrees, even though she’ll have to put up with Ana playing the other lead. But in rehearsals, Shay realizes Ana is . . . not the despicable witch she’d thought. Perhaps she could be a friend – or more. And Shay could use someone in her corner once she becomes the target of Mr. B’s unwanted attention. When Shay learns she’s not the first witch to experience his inappropriate behavior, she must decide if she’ll come forward. But how can she speak out when her future’s on the line?

Well, That Was Unexpected
By Jesse Q. Sutanto
300 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735269750 | Penguin Teen Canada
Release Date: August 24, 2021
After Sharlot Citra’s mother catches her in a compromising position, she finds herself whisked away from LA to her mother’s native Indonesia. It’ll be exactly what they both need. Or so her mother thinks. When George Clooney Tanuwijaya’s father (who is obsessed with American celebrities) fears he no longer understands how to get through to his son, he decides to take matters into his own hands. To ensure that their children find the right kind of romantic partner, Sharlot’s mother and George’s father do what any “good” parent would do: they strike up a conversation online, pretending to be their children. When the kids find out about their parents’ actions, they’re horrified. Not even a trip to one of the most romantic places on earth could possibly make Sharlot and George fall for each other. But as the layers peel back and the person they thought they knew from online is revealed, the truth becomes more complicated. As unlikely as it may seem, did their parents manage to find their true match after all?

Better Than We Found It: Conversations to Help Save the World
By Frederick Joseph and Porsche Joseph
272 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536224528 | Candlewick
Release Date: October 11, 2022
Every generation inherits the problems created by the ones before them, but no generation will inherit as many problems – as many crises – as the current generation of young people. From the devastations of climate change to the horrors of gun violence, from rampant transphobia to the widening wealth gap, from the lack of health care to the lack of housing, the challenges facing the next generation can feel insurmountable. But change, even revolution, is possible; you just have to know where to start. In Better Than We Found It, best-selling author Frederick Joseph and debut author Porsche Joseph make the case for addressing some of the biggest issues of our day. Featuring more than two dozen interviews with prominent activists, authors, actors, and politicians, this is the essential resource for those who want to make the world better than we found it.

We Are All We Have
By Marina Budhos
256 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593120200 | Wendy Lamb Books
Release Date: October 25, 2022
Seventeen-year-old Rania is shaken awake in her family’s apartment in Brooklyn. ICE is at the door, taking her mother away. But Ammi has done everything right, hasn’t she? Their asylum case is fine. This was supposed to be Rania’s greatest summer: hanging out with her best friend, Fatima, and getting ready for college in the fall. But it’s 2019, and nothing is certain. Now, along with her younger brother, Kamal, and a new friend, Carlos, Rania must figure out how to survive. A road trip leads to searching for answers to questions she didn’t even think to ask. In this vivid exploration of what happens when the country you have put your hopes into is fast shutting down, award-winning author Marina Budhos shows us how one girl bursting with dreams navigates secrets, love, and the lure of the open road.

The Vermilion Emporium
By Jamie Pacton
416 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781682634882 | Peachtree Teen
Release Date: November 1, 2022
On the morning Twain, a lonely boy with a knack for danger, discovers a strand of starlight on the cliffs outside of Severon, a mysterious curiosity shop appears in town. Meanwhile, Quinta, the ordinary daughter of an extraordinary circus performer, chases rumors of the shop, the Vermilion Emporium, desperate for a way to live up to her mother’s magical legacy. When Quinta meets Twain outside of the Emporium, two things happen: One, Quinta is sure she’s infatuated with this starlight boy, who uses his charm to hide his scars. Two, they enter the store and discover a book that teaches them how to weave starlight into lace. Soon, their lace catches the eye of the Casorina, the ruler of Severon. She commissions Quinta and Twain to make her a starlight dress and will reward them handsomely enough to make their dreams come true. However, they can’t sew a dress without more material, and the secret to starlight’s origins has been lost for decades. As Quinta and Twain search the Emporium for answers, though, they discover the secret might not have actually been lost – but destroyed. And likely, for good reason.

Nubia: The Awakening
By Omar Epps and Clarence A. Haynes
368 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593428641 | Delacorte BFYR
Release Date: November 8, 2022
For Zuberi, Uzochi, and Lencho, Nubia is a mystery. Before they were born, a massive storm destroyed their ancestral homeland, forcing their families to flee across the ocean to New York City. Nubia, a utopic island nation off the coast of West Africa, was no more, and their parents’ sorrow was too deep for them to share much of their history beyond the folklore. But New York, ravaged by climate change and class division, is far from a safe haven for refugees, and Nubians live as outcasts, struggling to survive in the constantly flooding lower half of Manhattan, while the rich thrive in the tech-driven sky city known as the Up High. To many, being Nubian means you’re fated for a life plagued by difficulties and disrespect. But Zuberi, Uzochi, and Lencho are beginning to feel there might be more. Something within them is changing, giving each of them extraordinary powers. Extraordinary and terrifying powers that seem to be tied to the secrets their parents have kept from them. And there are people Up High watching, eager to do anything they can to become even more powerful than they already are. Now Zuberi, Uzochi, and Lencho will be faced with the choice – do they use their inheritance to lift their people, or to leave them behind. The fate of their city, and their people, hangs in the balance.

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