I became the new Head of Youth Services back at the beginning of April. I thought, what better way is there to introduce myself than to share a few of my favorite children’s and young adult books! I have many favorites that I grew up with and hold near and dear to my heart, but the following books are ones that I read after I started working in youth services, and remind me exactly why I am so passionate about getting books in young people’s hands! There are many more on my list but these are the ones that made the cut.
In this adorable picture book, Arfy writes letters to everyone in the neighborhood asking if he can be their dog. It seems no one wants him, until the perfect person who has been there all along steps forward. Arfy’s letters had me laughing and rooting for him. Whether you are a dog person or not, Arfy’s personality will melt your heart.
With a girl forced to move to South Carolina after her parents’ divorce and a summer filled with adventure, this book was a page turner! This middle grade novel is part coming of age, part mystery, and part historical fiction, which just so happen to be some of my favorite genres! Every reader can find something they like in this book.
This middle grade graphic novel quickly moved to the top of my favorite books list. After seeing a roller derby bout for the first time, Astrid falls in love with the sport and signs up for a roller derby summer camp. Amidst struggling to grow up and stay close to her best friend, Astrid struggles at the camp. She slowly gains confidence and improves her skating skills but still has a difficult time keeping up with the other skaters. This book is filled with perseverance and courage. But be careful, it just may make you want to sign up to play yourself! Or at least that’s what happened to me after I finished the book…
This young adult book has major The Hunger Games vibes because of the dystopian landscape and it being a trilogy. Taking place in the near future, death has been defeated and artificial intelligence has become sentient. But there still needs to be a way to not over populate the earth and drain it’s resources so, Scythes must hit a certain “glean” quota to keep the balance. I’m sure you can see there are plenty of ways this story can go wrong. You will not be able to put this trilogy down.
Taking place 200 years after Cinderella’s death, this young adult book is a queer, feminist take on the old fairytale. All sixteen-year-old girls must take part in the annual Cinderella’s ball to be chosen as a wife. If a girl is not chosen after three years, she is considered a forfeit and never heard from again. Sophia has been dreading this day, and the night of the ball runs away and decides she is going to take down the king. Kalynn Bayron immediately became my new favorite YA author. I shortly after read her other book This Poison Heart which I also fell in love with.