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2020 YALSA Award Nominees

Congratulations to our nominees for YALSA’s 2020 Best Fiction for Young Adults list!

THE GRACE YEAR by Kim Liggett
Available now from Wednesday Books
Ages 14 to 18

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.
Girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

HIS HIDEOUS HEART edited by Dahlia Adler
Available now from Flatiron Books YA
Ages 12 to 18

Edgar Allan Poe may be a hundred and fifty years beyond this world, but the themes of his beloved works have much in common with modern young adult fiction. Whether the stories are familiar to readers or discovered for the first time, readers will revel in Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tales, and how they’ve been brought to life in thirteen unique and unforgettable ways. Contributors include Tiffany D. Jackson, Kendare Blake, Rin Chupeco, Lamar Giles, Stephanie Kuehn, and more.

TIN HEART by Shivaun Plozza
Available now from Flatiron Books YA
Ages 12 to 18

When Marlowe gets a heart transplant and a second chance at life, all she wants to do is to thank her donor’s family. Maybe then she can move on. Maybe then she’ll discover who she is if she’s no longer The Dying Girl. But with a little brother who dresses like every day is Halloween, a vegan warrior for a mother, and an all-out war with the hot butcher’s apprentice next door, Marlowe’s life is already pretty complicated. And her second chance is about to take an unexpected turn…

BIRTHDAY by Meredith Russo
Available now from Flatiron Books YA
Ages 13 to 18

Two best friends. A shared birthday. Six years.
Six years of birthdays reveal Eric and Morgan’s destiny as they come together, drift apart, fall in love, and discover who they’re meant to be—and if they’re meant to be together. From the award-winning author of IF I WAS YOUR GIRL comes a heart-wrenching and universal story of identity, first love, and fate.

WICKED SAINTS by Emily A. Duncan
Available now from Wednesday Books
Ages 13 to 18

In this stunning Joan of Arc inspired debut, a peasant girl who can speak to the gods must find a way to work with a deadly adversary to turn the tide of the war and assassinate the mad king. When their scheme leads them straight to the royal family, Nadya must decide whether to trust the High Prince—her country’s enemy—or the beautiful, troubled boy with powers that may ignite something worse than the war they’re trying to end. Chaos ensues.

AN AFFAIR OF POISONS by Addie Thorley
Available now from Page Street Kids
Ages 14 and up

After unwittingly poisoning King Louis XIV, alchemist Mirabelle Monvoisin is forced to see her mother’s Shadow Society in a horrifying new light: They aren’t the heroes they’ve always claimed to be, but murderers. Herself included. Mira tries to ease her guilt by brewing helpful curatives, but her tonics and remedies cannot right past wrongs. With the Sun King and half the royal court dead, royal bastard Josse de Bourbon’s only objective is to keep his injured sisters and the petulant Dauphin alive—until his path collides with Mirabelle’s, and he finds an ally in his once sworn enemy.

THE GILDED WOLVES by Roshani Chokshi
Available now from Wednesday Books
Ages 12 to 18

Paris, 1889: In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance. To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts. Together, they’ll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.

ECHO NORTH by Joanna Ruth Meyer
Available now from Page Street Kids
Ages 14 and up

In this spellbinding and darkly romantic twist on East of the Sun and West of the Moon,Echo’s carefully structured world falls apart after her father leaves for the city and mysteriously disappears. Believing he is lost forever, Echo is shocked to find him half-frozen in the winter forest six months later, guarded by a strange talking wolf—the same creature who attacked her as a child. The wolf presents Echo with an offer: for her to come and live with him for a year. But there is more to the wolf than Echo realizes, including a history she can’t remember.

SICK KIDS IN LOVE by Hannah Moskowitz
Available now from Entangled: Teen
Ages 14 and up

Isabel has one rule: no dating. But when she goes to the hospital for her RA infusion, she meets a gorgeous, foul-mouthed boy who has her rethinking the no-dating rule and ready to risk everything. They fall for each other hard and fast, but Isabel has known all along they were headed for disaster. When a devastating family secret threatens their love, can she find the strength to claim a brave new life with Aleksander, or will she retreat to the safety she’s always depended on and break his heart?

View the full list of 2020 BFYA nominees here.

Congratulations to our nominees for YALSA’s 2020 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers list!

BIRTHDAY by Meredith Russo
Available now from Flatiron Books YA
Ages 13 to 18

Two best friends. A shared birthday. Six years.
Six years of birthdays reveal Eric and Morgan’s destiny as they come together, drift apart, fall in love, and discover who they’re meant to be—and if they’re meant to be together. From the award-winning author of IF I WAS YOUR GIRL comes a heart-wrenching and universal story of identity, first love, and fate.

HAVE A LITTLE FAITH IN ME by Sonia Hartl
Available now from Page Street Kids
Ages 14+

When CeCe’s born-again ex-boyfriend dumps her after they have sex, she follows him to Jesus camp in order to win him back. Problem: She knows nothing about Jesus. But her best friend Paul does. He accompanies CeCe to camp, and the plan—God’s or CeCe’s—goes immediately awry when her ex shows up with a new girlfriend, a True Believer at that.

View the full list of 2020 Quick Picks nominees here.

And congratulations to our nominees for YALSA’s 2020 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list!

WOMAN WORLD by Aminder Dhaliwal
Available now from Drawn and Quarterly
Ages 14+

When a birth defect wipes out the planet’s entire population of men, WOMAN WORLD rises out of society’s ashes. Dhaliwal’s infectiously funny instagram comic follows the rebuilding process, tracking a group of women who have rallied together under the flag of “Beyonce’s Thighs.” Only Grandma remembers the distant past, a civilization of segway-riding mall cops, Blockbusters movie rental shops, and “That’s What She Said” jokes. For the most part, Woman World’s residents are focused on their struggles with unrequited love and anxiety, not to mention that whole “survival of humanity” thing. WOMAN WORLD is an uproarious and insightful graphic novel from a very talented and funny new voice.

GRASS by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim
Available now from Drawn and Quarterly

This true story of a Korean comfort woman documents how the atrocity of war devastates women’s lives. GRASS is a powerful antiwar graphic novel, telling the life story of a Korean girl named Lee Ok-sun who was forced into sexual slavery for the Japanese Imperial Army during the Second World War—a disputed chapter in twentieth-century Asian history. GRASS is a landmark graphic novel that makes personal the desperate cost of war and the importance of peace.

KING OF KING COURT by Travis Dandro
Available now from Drawn and Quarterly

From a child’s-eye view, Travis Dandro recounts growing up with a drug-addicted birth father, alcoholic step-dad, and overwhelmed mother. He perceptively details the effects of poverty and addiction on a family while maintaining a child’s innocence for as long as he can. As Travis matures into young adulthood and begins to understand the forces shaping his father’s toxic behaviors, the story becomes even more nuanced. KING OF KING COURT is a revelatory autobiography that examines trauma, addiction, and familial relations in a unique and sensitive way.

View the full list of 2020 GGNT nominees here.

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