Teen Picks July 2016
Best Books for Teens July 2016 Picks


Woohoo!  There are a bunch of great teen books out this month.   It was a little bit of a light month for the younger set in children’s book releases, but… teen books never seem to disappoint!  There are so many extremely talented authors writing for teens.  I feel so lucky to get to live in this period when teen books are flourishing AND when it’s acceptable for adults to read them. 

A few years ago, as a librarian, I made a book display of teen books recommended for adults.  Included in the display was an article stating that 55% of books intended for a teen audience were purchased by adults and 78% of those purchases weren’t going to be given to someone else, but would be read by the adult who bought the book.  That’s a lot of adults reading teen books!  If you haven’t tried reading teen books, I highly recommend it.  I only tried reading teen (also called young adult or YA) books because of an interview for a job working with teens at a library (this was the moment when I knew I wanted to be a teen librarian).  I read The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman and was blown away.  The book was amazing, full of bravery, uncertainty, unbelievable imagination and considering profound themes.  If you haven’t yet, you should probably give teen books a try. laugh

This month, a few books in particular have caught my eye.  Paper and Fire is the second in a series about a world with an alternate history – one where the Library of Alexandria was never destroyed.  Throughout its years, the library became corrupt with power and began to control the flow of knowledge.  Personally owning a book is forbidden.   In the first book, a black market has emerged, and Jess, whose family profits from illegal book sales, is sent as a spy to work for the Library.  In the Paper and Fire, Jess has survived his initiation into the Library, but now must face its wrath when he betrays the Library in favor of saving one of his allies.  A dystopian book about an evil library?  Count me in!  I haven’t read book one, Ink and Bone (Amazon link), but I intend to start there and keep moving to the next!

This Savage Song is also calling to me.  When I was creating an entry in this website for the This Savage Song, I found myself listing the following genres: thriller, romance, fantasy, science fiction, and horror.  Uhm, that’s nutty, right?  I love it though.  Books with lots of layers and facets keep readers on their toes.  I have a feeling that this one will beg to be read from cover to cover in a day or two.  Did I mention there are monsters?  I love monsters.  This Savage Song just hit number 1 on the New York Times Best Seller list.

And... I’m super excited about Learning to Swear in America.  It’s about Yuri, a Russian physics prodigy who is brought to the U.S. by NASA to help the world avoid catastrophe from a giant asteroid that’s headed for Earth.  Yuri’s research in antimatter could win him the Nobel Prize, if the world survives to see another Nobel Prize ceremony, but the scientists he works with tend not to take the 17-year-old seriously.  Add to this a nerdy romance, and I’m sold! cool




 Seeing stars?  Professional book reviewers only award a star to exceptional books.  More than one star means experts from multiple organizations felt the book was outstanding. 

This Savage Song Book Cover
This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity)
by Victoria Schwab
published July 5, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Booklist

#1 New York Times Bestseller

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from acclaimed author Victoria Schwaba young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their...READ MORE

Paper and Fire Book Cover
Paper and Fire (The Great Library Book 2)
by Rachel Caine
published July 5, 2016

In Ink and BoneNew York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine introduced a world where knowledge is power, and power corrupts absolutely. Now, she continues the story of those who dare to defy the Great Library—and rewrite history... 
With an iron fist, The Great Library controls the knowledge of the world,...READ MORE

On the Edge of Gone
On the Edge of Gone
by Corinne Duyvis
published March 8, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Star ImageHorn Book

A thrilling, thought-provoking novel from one of young-adult literature’s boldest new talents.

January 29, 2035. That’s the day the comet is scheduled to hit—the big one. Denise and her mother and sister, Iris, have been assigned to a temporary shelter outside their hometown of Amsterdam to wait out the...READ MORE

Devil and the Bluebird
Devil and the Bluebird
by Jennifer Mason-Black
published May 17, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publishers Weekly

Blue Riley has wrestled with her own demons ever since the loss of her mother to cancer. But when she encounters a beautiful devil at her town crossroads, it’s her runaway sister’s soul she fights to save. The devil steals Blue’s voice—inherited from her musically gifted mother—in exchange for a...READ MORE

The Lost & Found Book Cover
The Lost & Found
by Katrina Leno
published July 5, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Booklist  

A charming and imaginative new YA novel about getting lost before you can be found, for fans of Adi Alsaid’s Let’s Get Lost and Margo Rabb’s Kissing in America.


Frannie and Louis met online when they were both little and have been pen pals ever since. They have never met face-to-face, and...READ MORE

Archie Vol. 1 Book Cover
Archie Vol. 1
by Mark Waid
illustrated by Fiona Staples
published March 29, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Booklist Star Image Publishers Weekly

ARCHIE, one of the longest-running titles in comic book history, is rebooted here in this full-color collection that brings together two of the most talented creators in comics, Mark Waid and Fiona Staples. Together they create a surprising and definitive take on Archie's origin--a story that has never been told....READ MORE

The Memory Book
The Memory Book
by Lara Avery
published July 5, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Kirkus Reviews Star Image Publisher's Weekly

They tell me that my memory will never be the same, that I'll start forgetting things. At first just a little, and then a lot. So I'm writing to remember.


Sammie McCoy is a girl with a plan: graduate at the top of her class and get out of...READ MORE

Learning to Swear in America
Learning to Swear in America
by Katie Kennedy
published July 5, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Publisher's Weekly Star Image The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books  

A Summer/Fall 2016 Indies Introduce selection

An asteroid is hurtling toward Earth. A big, bad one. Maybe not kill-all-the-dinosaurs bad, but at least kill-everyone-in-California-and-wipe-out-Japan-with-a-tsunami bad. Yuri, a physicist prodigy from Russia, has been recruited to aid NASA as they calculate a plan to avoid disaster.

The good news is Yuri...READ MORE

The Killer in Me Book Cover
The Killer in Me
by Margot Harrison
published July 12, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image Publisher's Weekly  

Hasn't he lived long enough? Why not? I could take him like a thief in the night.


This is how the Thief thinks. He serves death, the vacuum, the unknown. He's always waiting. Always there.


Seventeen-year-old Nina Barrows knows all about the Thief. She's intimately familiar with his...READ MORE

Sabotage Book Cover
Sabotage: The Mission to Destroy Hitler's Atomic Bomb: Young Adult Edition
by Neal Bascomb
published May 31, 2016
Starred Reviews:
Star Image School Library Journal Star Image Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Neal Bascomb delivers another nail-biting work of nonfiction for young adults in this incredible true story of spies and survival.

The invasion begins at night, with German cruisers slipping into harbor, and soon the Nazis occupy all of Norway. They station soldiers throughout the country. They institute martial rule....READ MORE

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Hello there!

Hi!  I'm Sarah.  I'm a former librarian and mother of two -- a teen daughter and a preschooler son.  We love to play outdoors... and read.  :)

This site is all about discovering great books to share with kids and teens. ...Read more

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