Putting the YA in FRIYAY: Fantasy Recs If You Loved Harry Potter

If you’ve been paying attention to social media over the last few months, you might be in the market for a new fantasy series to replace a childhood fave…and we’re happy to provide you with some options! Check out our list below and let us know if we missed any truly magical series!

If you love the witches and wizards element

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.

A Wicked Magic 
By Sasha Laurens
368 Pages | 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593117255 | Razorbill
The Black Book granted Dan and Liss power and turned them into witches. During a spell gone wrong, Liss’s boyfriend is snatched away by an evil entity and presumed dead. Dan and Liss’s friendship dies that night, too. How can they practice magic after the darkness that they conjured? But then he turns up alive and trapped by an ancient force and they’re forced to work together again.

These Witches Don’t Burn
By Isabel Sterling
336 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780451480347 | Razorbill
Hannah’s a witch, an Elemental with the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. When a terrifying blood ritual interrupts the end-of-school-year bonfire and evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, 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: her ex, Veronica. Especially once she meets a cute new dancer, Morgan, while investigating a house party.

If you miss a male protagonist in fantasy

Beasts Made of Night
By Tochi Onyebuchi
320 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780448493916 | Razorbill
In the walled city of Kos, corrupt mages can magically call forth sin from a sinner in the form of sin-beasts. Taj is the most talented of the sin-eaters indentured by the mages to slay the sin-beasts. When Taj is called to eat a sin of a member of the royal family, he’s suddenly thrust into the center of a dark conspiracy to destroy Kos. Now Taj must fight to save the princess that he loves—and his own life.

If you love the found family coming together to save what they love

Seafire
By Natalie C. Parker
400 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780451478825 | Razorbill
After her family is killed by the corrupt Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship with a crew of girls and women just like her. But when her best friend barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down the Bullets once and for all?

If you love the combination of magic and school

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. Until she discovers an exclusive arts college called Ladywyck Lodge where she applies on a whim and is accepted. Lucy moves to Esther Wren, the charming little town where it’s based, and finds a new home in a magnificent building built by a sea captain in 1876. The house has history and personality –perhaps too much personality because strange things are happening…

If you love the dark magic

Ash Princess
By Laura Sebastian
464 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781524767099 | Delacorte BFYR
Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. For ten years Theo has been a held captive by the Kaiserin her own palace. Then the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable and Theo realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.

Reign of the Fallen
By Sarah Glenn Marsh
400 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780448494401 | Razorbill
Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to retrieve their souls before they turn into bloodthirsty Shades. A increase in Shade attacks reveals a disturbing conspiracy: Someone is intentionally creating Shades and training them to attack. Odessa is forced to contemplate a terrifying question: What if her magic is the weapon that brings the kingdom to its knees?

If you want to solve some strange paranormal happenings

The Babysitter’s Coven
By Kate Williams
368 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525707370 | Delacorte Press
Esme Pearl has a babysitters club and the rebellious Cassandra desperately wants to join. Why? The answer lies in a mysterious note Cassandra’s mother left her before she disappeared: “Find the babysitters. Love, Mom.” Esme and Cassandra soon 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 Beautiful
By Renée Ahdieh
448 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781524738174 | Putnam BFYR
In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But for Celine Rousseau, it’s a safe haven – until she becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s enigmatic leader, Sébastien Saint Germain. When a body is found in Sébastien’s own lair – the second dead girl to turn up in recent weeks – Celine battles her attraction to Sébastien and suspicions about his guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

If you’re looking for something with roots in myths and fairy tales

House of Salt and Sorrows
By Erin A. Craig
416 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984831927| Delacorte BFYR
Annaleigh lives a sheltered life with her sisters. Once there were twelve, but four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Disturbed by ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that her sister’s deaths were no accidents. The girls have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers. Who – or what -are they really dancing with?

Spin the Dawn
By Elizabeth Lim
432 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593126028 | Knopf BFYR
Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, and poses as a boy while competing for the job of court tailor. Maia’s task is complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, And nothing can prepare her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars.

Wicked Fox
By Kat Cho
464 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781984812360 | Putnam BFYR
Miyoung has a secret: she’s a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide. But after feeding one night, Miyoung finds Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead – her gumiho soul – in the process.

If you just want dragons

House of Dragons
By Jessica Cluess
448 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525648154 | Random House Books for Young Readers
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: A liar, a soldier, a servant, a thief, and a murderer. Who will win?

Rebelwing
By Andrea Tang
368 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984835093 | Razorbill
One minute, Prudence is cashing in on a routine smuggling deal. The next, she’s escaping enforcers on the wings of what very much appears to be a sentient cybernetic dragon. Pru is used to life throwing her some unpleasant surprises–she goes to prep school, after all, and selling banned media across the border in a country with a ruthless corporate government obviously has its risks. But a cybernetic dragon? That’s new.

Seraphina
By Rachel Hartman
528 Pages | 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780385668415 | Penguin Teen Canada
A talented musician, Seraphina, joins the court in the Kingdom of Goredd just as a member of the royal family is murdered in suspiciously draconian fashion. Soon she is drawn into the investigation. While they begin to uncover a sinister plot to destroy the peace between humans and dragons, Seraphina struggles to protect the secret behind her musical gift, a secret so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

If you’re craving a more diverse fantasy world

An Ember in the Ashes
By Sabaa Tahir
480 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781595148049 | Razorbill
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. When Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy. There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier who secretly wants to be free. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

A River of Royal Blood
By Amanda Joy
368 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525518587 | Putnam BFYR
Eva was born with the magick of blood and marrow, something that hasn’t been seen for generations. As is tradition, Eva must now face her older sister, Isa, in a battle to the death if she hopes to ascend to the Ivory Throne. When Eva is attacked by an assassin just weeks before the battle with her sister, she discovers there is more to the attempt on her life than meets the eye–and it isn’t just her sister who wants to see her dead.

By Tanaz Bhathena
384 Pages | Ages 12+| Hardcover
ISBN 9780735267022 | Penguin Teen Canada
Gul has spent her life running. She has a star-shaped birthmark on her arm, and in the kingdom of Ambar, girls with such birthmarks have been disappearing for years. Cavas lives in the tenements, and he’s just about ready to sign his life over to the king’s army. But sparks fly when he meets Gul in the capital’s bazaar, and soon he becomes entangled in a mission of vengeance—and discovers a magic he never expected to find.

Putting the YA in FRIYAY: Quizzes and Templates and Fun Stuff, Oh My!

On a scale of 1 to 10, how bored are you right now? We’ve collected some of the fun things we’ve been working on while in quarantine in one convenient post for you. Take a look and don’t forget to tag us with your results on Twitter or Instagram!

Fun Stuff on Social Media

We’re also particularly proud of this YA Books as Bastille Songs thread, if you need some new music or books in your life:

QUIZZES

Find out which #Penguin10 book you should read this fall:

person holding a stack of books

Build your perfect ice cream cone, get a recommendation:

Can you figure out what books these emojis represent?

 

More Fun Things From Across the Border

Penguin Teen has been posting podcast episodes featuring all our fave authors

They’re also hosting an #EmberReadAlong – if you haven’t already obsessed over Sabaa Tahir’s epic fantasy world, now’s your chance!

Underlined is a master of quizzes and while we made a list of bingeable series, they provided a quiz to help you decide!

How have you been keeping yourself occupied lately? Let us know!

Putting the YA in FRIYAY: Penguin10 Reveal

If you were following us last year, you might have seen the Penguin10 pop up – the ten YA books we thought everyone should read in 2019. Well, we’re doing it again this year – and we’ve just revealed the list with some help from Heather T. Smith! Check out the list below for the ten books you need to read this fall!

Watch Over Me
By Nina LaCour
272 Pages | Ages 14+
ISBN 9780735267466 | Dutton Books for Young Readers
Release date: September 15, 2020

Mila is used to being alone. Maybe that’s why she said yes to the opportunity: living in this remote place, among the flowers and the fog and the crash of waves far below.
But she hadn’t known about the ghosts.
Newly graduated from high school, Mila has aged out of the foster care system. So when she’s offered a job and a place to stay at a farm on an isolated part of the California Coast, she immediately accepts. Maybe she will finally find a new home, a real home. The farm is a refuge, but also haunted by the past traumas its young residents have come to escape. And Mila’s own terrible memories are starting to rise to the surface.

Barry Squires, Full Tilt
By Heather T. Smith
232 Pages | Ages 12+
ISBN 9780735267466 | Penguin Teen Canada
Release date: September 22, 2020

It’s 1995. When the Full Tilt Dancers give an inspiring performance at the opening of the new bingo hall, twelve-year-old Finbar (Barry) Squires wants desperately to join the troupe. Led by Father O’Flaherty, the Full Tilt Irish Step Dancers are the most sought-after act in St. John’s, Newfoundland (closely followed by popular bagpiper, Alfie Bragg and his Agony Bag). Having watched Riverdance twice, Barry figures he’ll nail the audition. And good thing too — it’d be nice to be known for something other than the port wine stain on his cheek. With questionable talent and an unpredictable temper, Barry’s journey to stardom is jeopardized by his parents’ refusal to take his dreams seriously. Thankfully, Barry has the support of a lively cast of characters: his ever-present grandmother, Nanny Squires; his adorable baby brother, Gord; an old British rocker named Uneven Steven; a group of geriatrics from the One Step Closer to God Nursing Home; and Saibal, a friend with whom Barry gets up to no good.

How It All Blew Up
By Arvin Ahmadi
272 Pages | Ages 14+
ISBN 9780593202876 | Viking Books for Young Readers
Release date: September 22, 2020

Eighteen-year-old Amir Azadi always knew coming out to his Muslim family would be messy–he just didn’t think it would end in an airport interrogation room. But when faced with a failed relationship, bullies, and blackmail, running away to Rome is his only option. Right?
Soon, late nights with new friends and dates in the Sistine Chapel start to feel like second nature… until his old life comes knocking on his door. Now, Amir has to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth to a US Customs officer, or risk losing his hard-won freedom.

Breathless
By Jennifer Niven
400 Pages | Ages 14+
ISBN 9781524701963 | Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release date: September 29, 2020

Before: With graduation on the horizon, budding writer Claudine Henry is making plans: college in the fall, become a famous author, and maybe–finally–have sex. She doesn’t even need to be in love. Then her dad drops a bombshell: he’s leaving Claude’s mother. Suddenly, Claude’s entire world feels like a lie, and her future anything but under control.
After: Claude’s mom whisks them away to the last place Claude could imagine nursing a broken heart: a remote, mosquito-infested island off the coast of Georgia. But then Jeremiah Crew happens. Miah is a local trail guide with a passion for photography–and a past he doesn’t like to talk about. He’s brash and enigmatic, and even more infuriatingly, he’s the only one who seems to see Claude for who she wants to be. So when Claude decides to sleep with Miah, she tells herself it’s just sex, nothing more. There’s not enough time to fall in love, especially if it means putting her already broken heart at risk.

The Magic Fish
By Trung Le Nguyen
256 Pages | Ages 12+
ISBN 9780593125298 | Random House Graphic
Release date: October 13, 2020

Real life isn’t a fairytale. But Tiến still enjoys reading his favorite stories with his parents from the books he borrows from the local library. It’s hard enough trying to communicate with your parents as a kid, but for Tiến, he doesn’t even have the right words because his parents are struggling with their English. Is there a Vietnamese word for what he’s going through? Is there a way to tell them he’s gay? A beautifully illustrated story by Trung Le Nguyen that follows a young boy as he tries to navigate life through fairytales, an instant classic that shows us how we are all connected.

The Enigma Game
By Elizabeth Wein
448 Pages | Ages 12+
ISBN 9780735265288 | Penguin Teen Canada
Release date: November 3, 2020

A German soldier risks his life to drop off the sought-after Enigma Machine to British Intelligence, hiding it in a pub in a small town in northeast Scotland, and unwittingly bringing together four very different people who decide to keep it to themselves. Louisa Adair, a young teen girl hired to look after the pub owner’s elderly, German-born aunt, Jane Warner, finds it but doesn’t report it. Flight-Lieutenant Jamie Beaufort-Stuart intercepts a signal but can’t figure it out. Ellen McEwen, volunteer at the local airfield, acts as the go-between and messenger, after Louisa involves Jane in translating. The planes under Jamie’s command seem charmed, as Jamie knows where exactly to go, while other squadrons suffer, and the four are loathe to give up the machine, even after Elisabeth Lind from British Intelligence arrives, even after the Germans start bombing the tiny town .

City of the Uncommon Thief
By Lynne Bertrand
400 Pages | Ages 14+
ISBN 9780525555322 | Dutton Books for Young Readers
Release date: November 10, 2020

In a walled city of a mile-high iron guild towers, many things are common knowledge: No book in any of the city’s libraries reveals its place on a calendar or a map. No living beasts can be found within the city’s walls. And no good comes to the guilder or foundling who trespasses too far from their labors. Even on the tower rooftops, where Errol Thebes and the rest of the city’s teenagers pass a few short years under an open sky, no one truly believes anything uncommon is possible within the city walls. But one guildmaster has broken tradition to protect her child, and as a result the whole city faces an uncommon threat: a pair of black iron spikes that have the power of both sword and needle on the rib cages of men have gone missing, but the mayhem they cause rises everywhere. If the spikes not found and contained, no wall will be high enough to protect the city–or the world beyond it. And Errol Thebes? He’s not dead and he’s certainly not safe.

The Bitterwine Oath
By Hannah West
320 Pages | Ages 14+
ISBN 9780823445479 | Holiday House
Release date: December 1, 2020

San Solano, Texas, is a quaint town known for its charm, hospitality, and history of murder. Twice now, twelve men have been brutally killed, and no one knows who did it. A shadowy witch? A copycat killer? Or a man-hating murderess?
Eighteen-year-old Natalie Colter is sure that the rumors about her great-great-grandmother’s cult of wronged women are just gossip, but that doesn’t stop the true-crime writers and dark tourism bloggers from capitalizing on the town’s reputation. It’s an urban legend that’s hard to ignore, and it gets harder when Nat learns that the sisterhood is real. And magical. And they want her to join.
But everything becomes more urgent when people start getting “marked” as new victims–including Levi Langford, the boy whose kiss haunted Nat for a year.

The Cousins
By Karen M. McManus
336 Pages | Ages 14+
ISBN 9780525708001 | Delacorte Press
Release date: December 1, 2020

Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they’ve never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they’re surprised . . . and curious.
Their parents are all clear on one point–not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother’s good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it’s immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious–and dark–their family’s past is.
The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn’t over–and this summer, the cousins will learn everything.

The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person
By Frederick Joseph
224 Pages | Ages 12+
ISBN 9781536217018 | Candlewick
Release date: December 1, 2020

Speaking directly to the reader, The Black Friend calls up race-related anecdotes from the author’s past, weaving in his thoughts on why they were hurtful and how he might handle things differently now. Each chapter features the voice of at least one artist or activist, including Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give; April Reign, creator of #OscarsSoWhite; Jemele Hill, sports journalist and podcast host; and eleven others. Touching on everything from cultural appropriation to power dynamics, “reverse racism” to white privilege, microaggressions to the tragic results of overt racism, this book serves as conversation starter, tool kit, and invaluable window into the life of a former “token Black kid” who now presents himself as the friend many readers need. Backmatter includes an encyclopedia of racism, providing details on relevant historical events, terminology, and more.

Make sure you’re following us on Twitter and Instagram for more info as these books start to come out!

Not sure where to start? Take our quiz to find out which of the Penguin10 is your perfect match!

 


Can’t make it tonight? Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of chances to catch up with the Penguin Teen Canada team and talk YA books – check out our full schedule of #PenguinTeenSocial events coming up this month!

Putting the YA in FRIYAY: Staff Picks

The holidays are over but you still have time to hit up a bookstore before 2020 rolls around! In case you need some inspiration for your next read, here’s what our team loved in 2019:

Vikki VanSickle, Associate Director, Marketing & Publicity

The Fountains of Silence
By Ruta Sepetys
ISBN 9780399160318
Ages 12+ | Philomel Books

Ruta Sepetys once again shines light into one of history’s darkest corners in this epic, heart-wrenching novel about identity, unforgettable love, repercussions of war, and the hidden violence of silence–inspired by the true postwar struggles of Spain.

The Secret Commonwealth (Book of Dust, Volume 2)
By Philip Pullman
ISBN 9780553510669
Ages 14+ | Knopf BFYR

The windows between the many worlds have been sealed and the momentous adventures of Lyra Silvertongue’s youth are long behind her—or so she thought.

Sylvia Chan, Manager, Marketing & Publicity

American Royals
By Katharine McGee
ISBN 9781984830173
Ages 14+ | Random House BFYR

Two princesses vying for the ultimate crown. Two girls vying for the prince’s heart. This is the story of the American royals.

The Starlight Claim
By Tim Wynne-Jones
ISBN 9781536202649
Ages 14+ | Candlewick

Fast-paced, evocative, and intensely suspenseful, Tim Wynne-Jones’s latest psychological thriller finds a teenager setting his wits against the frigid wilderness and a menacing crew of escapees.

Evan Munday, Publicity Manager

The Grey Sisters
By Jo Treggiari
ISBN 9780735262980
Ages 12+ | Penguin Teen Canada

Two years after a deadly plane crash, best friends D and Spider head into the mountains to face their grief and find more than they bargained for.

Aurora Rising
By Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
ISBN 9781524720964
Ages 12+ | Knopf BFYR

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones ends up with the dregs…not to mention Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space.

Samantha Devotta, Associate Publicist

Chicken Girl
By Heather Smith
ISBN 9780143198680
Ages 12+ | Penguin Teen Canada

Poppy used to be an optimist…until she’s cyber-bullied. Then she takes refuge in her job (wearing a feathered chicken suit) before meeting a little girl who changes the way she thinks.

House of Salt and Sorrows
By Erin A. Craig
ISBN 9781984831927
Ages 12+ | Delacorte Press

As one by one her beautiful sisters mysteriously die on their isolated island estate, Annaleigh must unravel the curse that haunts her family.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @penguinteenca for more recommendations in 2020 … see you next year!

YA Mondays: Frankly in Love Contest

Welcome to December! We want to make sure your holiday season is off to a great start so we’re giving you a chance to win a finished copy of Frankly in Love signed by David Yoon himself! All you have to do is follow @PenguinTeenCa, like the contest photo, and comment with an account you’re frankly in love with! Bonus entry: share the contest in your stories and tag us!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between December 2, 2019 and December 7, 2019. Open to residents of Canada (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory of residence at time of entry. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. See Official Rules here for full details.