Looking for a summer read? Check out this list of award winners and critically acclaimed books! This collaboration between Alachua County Public Schools and Alachua County Library District is sure to be a hit for any teen!
“For Norris Kaplan, Austin, Texas—location of his mother’s new professor gig—is the antithesis of his true home in Montreal, Canada. Gone are hockey hooligans and routinely spoken French, replaced by relentless heat and the ubiquitous orange of the UT Longhorns. Compounding these differences is the fact that Norris is a black Haitian Canadian kid stuck in cowboy country. … Readers looking for a diverse, fun, coming-of-age tale need not look any further than this fantastic debut.” Booklist (November 15, 2018 (Vol. 115, No. 6))
“(This novel) tells the story of a girl named Jam who lives in a world without evil—or so she’s told. In the town of Lucille, monsters were overcome in a long-past revolution, so Jam is more than a little surprised when Pet, a creature her mom paints, comes to life and declares that he has come to hunt a monster—and he needs her help. … Younger readers will enjoy the fantastical story line itself, while older readers will be able to look more deeply into its themes and pull out the social commentary on the hidden evils of our world...” Booklist (July 2019 (Vol. 115, No. 21))
“Frank Li has always known his parents expected him to date a fellow Korean American. It was an unspoken rule he tried not to think about until he finds himself kissing, texting, and overall obsessing over Brit—who’s white. To save himself from his parent’s disappointment (or outright condemnation) Frank hatches a plan to create a faux relationship with longtime family friend Joy, who has also fallen for a non-Korean. It seems like the perfect plan, at least, for a little while. … Even readers who aren’t fans of romance will be drawn into this beautifully written exploration of family, identity, and self-discovery.” Booklist starred (July 2019 (Vol. 115, No. 21))
“With a veteran father whose PTSD steered the family directionally, and a mother who didn’t deal with things head-on, Anderson began life with ‘the inherited, / trauma-fed ability / to stay silent in every situation.” … Anderson’s focused, first-person narrative becomes more of a chorus as she recounts the stories that readers, female and male, adults but especially teenagers, have shared with her about their own experiences with sexual assault and harassment…It is a captivating, powerful read about clawing your way out of trauma, reclaiming your body, and undoing lifetimes of lessons in order to use your voice as the weapon it is.” Booklist starred (January 1, 2019 (Vol. 115, No. 9))
“What is it like to be young and black, and yet not black enough at the same time? That’s the question explored in this poignant collection of stunning short stories by black rockstar authors, including Justina Ireland, Jason Reynolds, Nic Stone, and Brandy Colbert. The stories center on the experience of black teens, while driving home the fact that they are not a monolith; one person’s experiences, reality, and personal identity can be completely different from another’s.” Booklist starred (November 1, 2018 (Vol. 115, No. 5))