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Far from the Tree

Robin Benway (HarperTeen)

Three siblings separated as infants reconnect in this National Book Award finalist from Benway, which fearlessly addresses the difficulties of family: profoundly felt absences, shortcomings, and connections that persist despite distance and circumstance.


Gem & Dixie

Sara Zarr (HC/Balzer + Bray)

Two sisters, growing apart with each passing day, struggle through high school, let down at nearly every opportunity by their irresponsible and neglectful parents. Writing with deep empathy and care, Zarr has crafted a tough, honest account of vulnerable sisters doing whatever they can to persevere.


The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

Mackenzi Lee (HC/Tegen)

Lee whisks readers to 18th-century Europe in a rollicking adventure starring the charismatic and quick-witted Henry Montague, who dashes across the continent with his sister and friend (and crush), Percy, staying barely ahead of whatever (self-inflicted) scandal is now nipping at his heels.


The Hate U Give

Angie Thomas (HC/Balzer + Bray)

Thomas's debut novel has been on bestseller lists throughout 2017, and it's not hard to see why: this hard-hitting exploration of police brutality, racial injustice, and the double lives that children of color are so often asked to live is more necessary and relevant than ever.


I Believe in a Thing Called Love

Maurene Goo (FSG/Ferguson)

A high-achieving Korean-American teenager tries to get a boyfriend by using lessons she's gleaned from her favorite Korean soap operas in Goo's hilarious romantic comedy. Desi's awkward pursuit of new student Luca can be painful to watch, and readers will be laughing every step of the way.


La Belle Sauvage

Philip Pullman (Knopf)

After more than 15 years, readers can return to the parallel world of Pullman's His Dark Materials series, in this thrilling first book in a companion trilogy. Lyra Belacqua, the heroine of the original series, is just an infant—one whom 11-year-old Malcolm Polstead desperately tries to keep safe, in a story of daemons, Dust, a rampaging flood, and the forces of the Magisterium.


Landscape with Invisible Hand

M.T. Anderson (Candlewick)

This indelible novella from the National Book Award winner is a masterpiece of understatement: it follows the fallout from the arrival of the "vuuv," 1950s-culture-obsessed aliens whose advanced technologies have eviscerated the human economy and led to widespread poverty and ruin.


The Librarian of Auschwitz

Antonio Iturbe (Holt/Godwin)

Originally published in Spain, this poignant addition to the pantheon of Holocaust literature draws from the life of real-life survivor Dita Kraus who, as a young teenager, surreptitiously guarded a collection of forbidden books within Auschwitz. A painful but rewarding portrait of resilience.


Long Way Down

Jason Reynolds (Atheneum/Dlouhy)

Told through clipped poems that pack a visceral punch, Reynolds's powerhouse examination of gun violence unfolds over the course of an elevator ride: the victims of gun violence who, somehow, board at each stop force 15-year-old Will to look hard at the revenge he intends to exact.


A Skinful of Shadows

Frances Hardinge (Amulet)

Set as the English Civil War gathers momentum, Hardinge's sumptuously written, haunting fantasy follows a girl named Makepeace who seeks answers about her family after her mother is unexpectedly killed in a riot. What she discovers reshapes what she knows about life as she finds unexpected allies among the dead.



Tillie Walden (First Second)

In a graceful graphic memoir, Walden looks back at her youth spent as a competitive figure skater and the attraction to girls that she kept to herself for years. Her spare images, colored in violet with dashes of gold, are ideally suited to the quiet, introspective tone of her writing.


Turtles All the Way Down

John Green (Dutton)

Centering on a missing billionaire and a teenager whose anxieties grip her like a vice, Green's first book since the phenomenon that was The Fault in Our Stars is a raw, hard-to-forget novel about the power that mental illness can exert over a person's life and relationships.


Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers

Deborah Heiligman (Holt)

Heiligman delves into the fraught relationship between brothers Vincent and Theo Van Gogh, "companions in the search for meaning in life and meaning in art." It's a thorough study of two highly dissimilar siblings, Vincent's struggles with mental illness, and the body of work he produced.



Marie Lu (Putnam)

Virtual reality gaming is all but woven into society's DNA in the world of Lu's thrilling SF novel. First in a duology, it introduces hacker turned bounty hunter Emika Chen, who competes in a high-profile, high-stakes championship tournament while simultaneously seeking out a rogue hacker.


We Are Okay

Nina LaCour (Dutton)

Holed up in her empty New York dormitory over Christmas break, college freshman Marin faces a past she longs to forget in LaCour's gorgeously melancholic novel, which carefully reveals the reasons that Marin isn't ready to return to her California home.


You Bring the Distant Near

Mitali Perkins (FSG)

This vivid family saga chronicles several decades in the lives of three generations of Indian women working to reconcile their culture with their American home amid new romances, professional and political awakenings, and tested family relationships.


American Street

Ibi Zoboi (HC/Balzer + Bray)

A richly written look at contemporary immigration and intersections of culture, this National Book Award finalist from first-time novelist Zoboi follows Haitian teenager Fabiola Toussaint's adjustment to life in Detroit—made all the harder by her mother's being sent to a detention center en route.


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