It’s young-adult day in my Christmas recommendation series. If you missed them, you can find the picture books and middle-grade posts if you follow those links. I’ll say again that it can sometimes be hard to draw the line between what could/should make a particular list – especially as children hit the preteen or teenage years, their independence can dictate choices and their reading capabilities can vary. So you might have a middle-grader who will enjoy the below titles or there could be a middle-grade option for a teenager. Or – if you’re like me – they could enjoy anything that’s good!
What Would Boudicca Do? Everyday Problems Solved by History’s Most Remarkable Women by E. Foley & B. Coates is a new title in what I’d call the ‘social justice-aware/historical/self-development’ nonfiction genre (I’m making that up, there’s probably a better name for it), of which Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls was an early trailblazer. Part of the blurb from the publisher’s website states: “In this irreverent guide they will help you figure out how to cope with impostor syndrome, dispatch a love rat, stand up for yourself, get politically engaged, kill it at work, and trounce FoMo. What Would Boudicca Do? will make you fired-up and ready for anything.” That’s the sort of message I endorse!
After a gap of time, 2018 saw the publication of not one but two new Shaun Tan books. The first was the moving picture book Cicada (read it when you’re feeling emotionally robust!) and now we have Tales From The Inner City, a companion to his Tales from Outer Suburbia. Again, here, in each short story, he investigates humanity’s relationship with animals in contemporary spaces and places, and how we should reflect on not only our coexistence but what impact this has on our environment.
After The Lights Go Out by Lili Wilkinson is right in my son’s wheelhouse – a gripping novel about a prepper family that prepares to live in a post-apocalyptic world… and what do they do when it appears it has happened. The night I began reading it to him, I stopped just before the reader enters the bunker and he was so keen to continue I heard him flicking pages long after he was supposed to be asleep. Wilkinson is an accomplished and talented author and her latest offering is no exception. Also, the cover is gorgeous, I always enjoy taking a second look at it.
Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina is an exciting novel. I’ve seen it described in reviews as a hybrid novel because it is told in half prose, half verse and that it has elements of crime, thriller and ghost genres, but that only goes so far to describe the kind of impact these sibling authors have on the reader. Very, very good. I had to ask my local public library to order a copy – and if yours doesn’t stock it, you can ask too. Always worth remembering, as you can see below!
“When the Rift opens, death follows. For generations, the Rangers of Black Water Island have guarded the Old Herd against horrors released by the Rift. Cal West, an apprentice Ranger with a rare scar and even rarer gifts, fights daily to prove he belongs within their ranks. After nine years away, Meg Archer returns to her childhood home only to find the Island is facing a new threat that not even the Rangers are prepared for. Meg and Cal can’t ignore their attraction, but can they face their darkest fears to save the Island from disaster?”
Once I’m finished with The Rift, I’m going to put it in the hands of my non-reader-child because I think Craw’s style is compatible with the kind of material this child digs – character and pace.
What new YA reads have I missed? There are so many!