Putting the YA in FRIYAY: YA Graphic Novels

We’re low-key loving the trend of YA graphic novels (who doesn’t love looking at pictures while they’re reading?) so we rounded up a few of our recent faves – including a #Penguin10 title that we can’t wait to shout about!

Dancing at the Pity Party
By Tyler Feder
208 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525553021 | Dial BFYR
Part poignant cancer memoir and part humorous reflection on a motherless life, this debut graphic novel is extraordinarily comforting and engaging. From before her mother’s first oncology appointment through the stages of her cancer to the funeral, sitting shiva, and afterward, when she must try to make sense of her life as a motherless daughter, Tyler Feder tells her story in this graphic novel that is full of piercing–but also often funny–details. She shares the important post-death firsts, such as celebrating holidays without her mom, the utter despair of cleaning out her mom’s closet, ending old traditions and starting new ones, and the sting of having the “I’ve got to tell Mom about this” instinct and not being able to act on it. This memoir, bracingly candid and sweetly humorous, is for anyone struggling with loss who just wants someone to get it.

Suncatcher
By Jose Pimiento
224 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593124826 | Random House Graphic
If life wasn’t already hard enough for Beatriz — being a teenager, trying to start a band, and going to school — then she discovers that her grandfather’s soul has been trapped in an old guitar, and that the only way to free him is to play the perfect song . . . his perfect song, a song that he never actually wrote down. She’s determined to save her grandfather, but as music slowly takes over her life, she soon finds herself growing obsessed with his song, and making it absolutely flawless, at the expense of her friendships, her band, and her health. Beatriz won’t let anything stop her, not even her own limitations. Creating a magical song is already a lot of pressure, but Beatriz will have to make some hard choices before it’s too late for her grandfather . . . and for herself. A story filled with music, passion, supernatural secrets, and family, Jose Pimienta’s Suncatcher brings to life a contemporary story of life in Mexicali with a supernatural twist and a lot of music.

The Magic Fish
By Trung Le Nguyen
256 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593125298 | Random House Graphic
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 Montague Twins: The Witch’s Hand
By Nathan Page
Illustrated by Drew Shannon
352 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525646761 | Knopf BFYR
Pete and Alastair Montague are just a couple of mystery-solving twins, living an ordinary life. Or so they thought. After a strange storm erupts on a visit to the beach, they discover there is more to their detective skills than they had thought. Their guardian, David Faber, a once prominent professor, has been keeping secrets about their parents and what the boys are truly capable of. At the same time, three girls go missing after casting a mysterious spell, which sets in motion a chain of events that takes their small town down an unexpected path. With the help of David’s daughter, Charlie, they discover there are forces at work that they never could have imagined, which will impact their lives forever. An exciting new graphic novel from innovative creators Nathan Page and Drew Shannon that is at once timely and thrilling.

The Oracle Code
By Marieke Nijkamp
Illustrated by Manuel Preitano
208 Pages | 12-14 | Paperback
ISBN 9781401290665 | DC Comics
After a gunshot leaves her paralyzed below the waist, Barbara Gordon undergoes physical and mental rehabilitation at the Arkham Center for Independence. She must adapt to a new normal, but she cannot shake the feeling that something is dangerously amiss. Strange sounds escape at night while patients start to go missing. Is this suspicion simply a result of her trauma? Or does Barbara actually hear voices coming from the center’s labyrinthine hallways? It’s up to her to put the pieces together to solve the mysteries behind the walls. In The Oracle Code, universal truths cannot be escaped, and Barbara Gordon must battle the phantoms of her past before they consume her future.

When Stars Are Scattered
By Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed
Illustrated by Victoria Jamieson and Iman Geddy
264  Pages | 9-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525553915 | Dial BFYR
Omar and his younger brother, Hassan, have spent most of their lives in Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya. Life is hard there: never enough food, achingly dull, and without access to the medical care Omar knows his nonverbal brother needs. So when Omar has the opportunity to go to school, he knows it might be a chance to change their future . . . but it would also mean leaving his brother, the only family member he has left, every day. Heartbreak, hope, and gentle humor exist together in this graphic novel about a childhood spent waiting, and a young man who is able to create a sense of family and home in the most difficult of settings. It’s an intimate, important, unforgettable look at the day-to-day life of a refugee, as told to New York Times Bestselling author/artist Victoria Jamieson by Omar Mohamed, the Somali man who lived the story.

Witchlight
By Jessi Zabarsky
208 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593124185 | Random House Graphic
Lelek is a witch. That’s all Sanja knows when she meets Lelek in the marketplace. But Lelek is hiding something — and as her life begins to intersect with Sanja’s, all that she’s kept to herself starts to come to light. Secrets, friendship, and magic all come together as Lelek gets closer and closer to uncovering the truth about her past… Witchlight is a wonderful adventure filled with friendship, family, falling in love, and dealing with the hardest bits of your past all along the way.

Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed
By Laurie Halse Anderson
Illustrated by Leila Del Duca
208 Pages | 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781401286453 | DC Comics
Princess Diana of Themyscira believes that her 16th birthday will be one of new beginnings–namely, acceptance into the warrior tribe of the Amazons. But her birthday celebrations are cut short when rafts carrying refugees break through the barrier that separates her island home from the outside world. When Diana defies the Amazons to try to bring the outsiders to safety, she finds herself swept away by the stormy sea. Cut off from everything she’s ever known, Diana herself becomes a refugee in an unfamiliar land. Now Diana must survive in the world beyond Themyscira for the first time–a world that is filled with danger and injustice unlike anything she’s ever experienced. With new battles to be fought and new friends to be made, she must redefine what it means to belong, to be an Amazon, and to make a difference. Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed is a story about growing into your strength, fighting for justice, and finding home.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer
By Leigh Bardugo
Illustrated by Kit Seaton
Adapted by Louise Simonson
208 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781401282554 | DC Comics
Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law–risking exile–to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world. Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer–a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery. Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies–mortal and divine–determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

Putting the YA in FRIYAY: Most Anticipated Sequels this Fall

This year, we’re being blessed with sequels to some of our favourite books of the past couple of years. Here are the ones we’re counting down to – which ones are you most excited for?

A Sky Beyond the Storm
By Sabaa Tahir
464 Pages | 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780448494531 | Razorbill
Release date: December 1, 2020
The long-imprisoned jinn are on the attack, wreaking bloody havoc in villages and cities alike. But for the Nightbringer, vengeance on his human foes is just the beginning. At his side, Commandant Keris Veturia declares herself Empress, and calls for the heads of any and all who defy her rule. At the top of the list? The Blood Shrike and her remaining family. Laia of Serra, now allied with the Blood Shrike, struggles to recover from the loss of the two people most important to her. Determined to stop the approaching apocalypse, she throws herself into the destruction of the Nightbringer. In the process, she awakens an ancient power that could lead her to victory–or to an unimaginable doom. And deep in the Waiting Place, the Soul Catcher seeks only to forget the life–and love–he left behind. Yet doing so means ignoring the trail of murder left by the Nightbringer and his jinn. To uphold his oath and protect the human world from the supernatural, the Soul Catcher must look beyond the borders of his own land. He must take on a mission that could save–or destroy–all that he knows.

Darius the Great Deserves Better
By Adib Khorram
352 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593108239 | Dial BFYR
Release date: August 25, 2020
Darius Kellner is having a bit of a year. Since his trip to Iran, a lot has changed. He’s getting along with his dad, and his best friend Sohrab is only a Skype call away. Between his first boyfriend, Landon, varsity soccer practices, and an internship at his favorite tea shop, things are falling into place. Then, of course, everything changes. Darius’s grandmothers are in town for a long visit, and Darius can’t tell whether they even like him. The internship is not going according to plan, Sohrab isn’t answering Darius’s calls, and Dad is far away on business. And Darius is sure he really likes Landon . . . but he’s also been hanging out with Chip Cusumano, former bully and current soccer teammate–and well, maybe he’s not so sure about anything after all. Darius was just starting to feel okay, like he finally knew what it meant to be Darius Kellner. But maybe okay isn’t good enough. Maybe Darius deserves better.

Dear Justyce
By Nic Stone
288 Pages | 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984829665 | Crown BFYR
Release date: September 29, 2020
In the highly anticipated sequel to her New York Times bestseller, Nic Stone delivers an unflinching look into the flawed practices and silenced voices in the American juvenile justice system. Vernell LaQuan Banks and Justyce McAllister grew up a block apart in the Southwest Atlanta neighborhood of Wynwood Heights. Years later, though, Justyce walks the illustrious halls of Yale University . . . and Quan sits behind bars at the Fulton Regional Youth Detention Center. Through a series of flashbacks, vignettes, and letters to Justyce–the protagonist of Dear Martin–Quan’s story takes form. Troubles at home and misunderstandings at school give rise to police encounters and tough decisions. But then there’s a dead cop and a weapon with Quan’s prints on it. What leads a bright kid down a road to a murder charge? Not even Quan is sure.

For Better or Cursed
By Kate M. Williams
384 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525707417 | Delacorte BFYR
Release date: September 15, 2020
Esme Pearl’s life used to be all about bumming rides and babysitting. All that changed when Cassandra Heaven came to town, and they discovered their complicated, and connected, legacy: Esme and Cassandra are Sitters, supernaturally-gifted teens armed with an ever-changing grimoire of Sitter witchcraft to help them protect the innocent and keep evil demons at bay. But just as Esme is starting to adjust to–and maybe even like–her new normal, life lobs another glitter bomb her way. The Synod–the Sitterhood’s governing circle–has called a Summit, a once-in-a-generation gathering that promises training, education, and whole lot of ice-breakers. Esme should be excited–a Summit might mean she can finally get the answers she desperately wants–but she can’t shake a building sense of panic. Especially since Cassandra’s not acting like herself; Esme’s dad is MIA; Pig is out of dog food; Janis is scared to be alone; and there’s a guy who seems too good to be true, again. Worst of all, it soon becomes clear, there’s no one watching the kids. It’s obvious the Summit is a haute mess, but will it be a deadly one, too?

Majesty
By Katharine McGee
384 Pages | 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781984830210 | Random House BFYR
Release date: September 1, 2020
Power is intoxicating. Like first love, it can leave you breathless. Princess Beatrice was born with it. Princess Samantha was born with less. Some, like Nina Gonzalez, are pulled into it. And a few will claw their way in. Ahem, we’re looking at you Daphne Deighton. As America adjusts to the idea of a queen on the throne, Beatrice grapples with everything she lost when she gained the ultimate crown. Samantha is busy living up to her “party princess” persona…and maybe adding a party prince by her side. Nina is trying to avoid the palace–and Prince Jefferson–at all costs. And a dangerous secret threatens to undo all of Daphne’s carefully laid “marry Prince Jefferson” plans. A new reign has begun….

Rebel Sisters
By Tochi Onyebuchi
464 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984835062 | Razorbill
Release date: October 20, 2020
It’s been five years since the Biafran War ended. Ify is now nineteen and living where she’s always dreamed–the Space Colonies. She is a respected, high-ranking medical officer and has dedicated her life to helping refugees like herself rebuild in the Colonies. Back in the still devastated Nigeria, Uzo, a young synth, is helping an aid worker, Xifeng, recover images and details of the war held in the technology of destroyed androids. Uzo, Xifeng, and the rest of their team are working to preserve memories of the many lives lost, despite the government’s best efforts to eradicate any signs that the war ever happened. Though they are working toward common goals of helping those who suffered, Ify and Uzo are worlds apart. But when a mysterious virus breaks out among the children in the Space Colonies, their paths collide. Ify makes it her mission to figure out what’s causing the deadly disease. And doing so means going back to the homeland she thought she’d left behind forever.

Stormbreak
By Natalie C. Parker
432 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780451478863 | Razorbill
Release date: November 10, 2020
Aric Athair is dead. But the fight for the Bullet Seas is far from over. Caledonia’s nemesis, Lir–the one responsible for destroying her family–has seized control of the warlord’s army. Caledonia and her crew have fled to Cloudbreak to prepare for an all-out war. And they are not the only ones. Rogue ships and even a few defecting Bullets show up to join their fight. But Lir always seems to be one step ahead of Caledonia, anticipating her every more as he secures the seas for himself. With the fight growing desperate, Caledonia is forced to make an unlikely and unsteady alliance with a new enemy. It’s a gamble that could cost her everything, but with the fate of the seas in her hands, Caledonia will do whatever it takes to win the war.

The Camelot Betrayal
By Kiersten White
384 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525581710 | Delacorte BFYR
Release date: November 10, 2020
King Arthur is expanding his kingdom’s influence with Queen Guinevere at his side. Yet every night, dreams of darkness and unknowable power plague her. Guinevere might have accepted her role, but she still cannot find a place for herself in all of it. The closer she gets to the people around her–Brangien, pining for her lost love Isolde; Lancelot, fighting to prove her worth as Queen’s knight; and Arthur, everything to everyone and thus never quite enough for Guinevere–the more she realizes how empty she is. She has no sense of who she truly was before she was Guinevere. The more she tries to claim herself as queen, the more she wonders if Mordred was right: she doesn’t belong. She never will. When a rescue goes awry and results in the death of something precious, a devastated Guinevere returns to Camelot to find the greatest threat yet has arrived. Not in the form of the Dark Queen or an invading army, but in the form of the real Guinevere’s younger sister. Is her deception at an end? And who is she really deceiving–Camelot, or herself?

Vicious Spirits
By Kat Cho
416 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984812377 | Putnam BFYR
Release date: August 18, 2020
Somin is ready to help her friends pick up the pieces of their broken lives and heal. But Jihoon is still grieving the loss of his grandmother, and Miyoung is distant as she grieves over her mother’s death and learns to live without her fox bead. The only one who seems ready to move forward is their not-so-favorite dokkaebi, Junu. Somin and Junu didn’t exactly hit it off when they first met. Somin thought he was an arrogant self-serving, conman. Junu was, at first, amused by her hostility toward him until he found himself inexplicably drawn to her. Somin couldn’t deny the heat of their attraction. But as the two try to figure out what could be between them, they discover their troubles aren’t over after all. The loss of Miyoung’s fox bead has caused a tear between the world of the living and the world of the dead, and ghosts are suddenly flooding the streets of Seoul. The only way to repair the breach is to find the missing fox bead or for Miyoung to pay with her life. With few options remaining, Junu has an idea but it might require the ultimate sacrifice. In usual fashion, Somin may have a thing or two to say about that.

Warmaidens
By Kelly Coon
384 Pages | 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525647867 | Delacorte BFYR
Release day: October 20, 2020
Just a few moons after escaping the tomb in Alu, Kammani and the other runaway maidens have found refuge in the city-state of Manzazu. There, Kammani has become a respected healer, especially among the warriors she’s brought back from the brink of death. Now that the nightmares of Alu are fading, she can finally decide whether or not to take Dagan’s hand in marriage. But when an assassin murders a healer he believes is Kammani and attempts to kill the displaced queen of Alu, the maidens realize they’ve been found. Hungry for revenge, Manzazu’s queen wants to strike back at Alu with her fiercest weapons—her scorpion warrior maidens—but Kammani knows that war harms more than it heals. To save the innocents and any chance of a future with Dagan, Kammani must take down Alu’s ruler before their lives burn up in the flames of war.

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.

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