Teen/Young Adult


You Don't Understand Me by Tara Porter

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You Don’t Understand Me

Invaluable advice for girls in an uncertain world

Teenage girls today have a freedom and power that their foremothers could only imagine, and yet with it has come an unprecedented level of pressure and expectation. In You Don’t Understand Me by Dr Tara Porter, we look at a 21st century society that sometimes seems ‘awash with emotion.’ Navigating the perennially thorny issues of teenhood, Porter provides a refreshingly free-thinking perspective on maintaining emotional stability in a world in which all the game rules have changed. Using case studies and observations gleaned from many years of clinical practice, she lights the way for young women (and their often flummoxed parents).

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Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

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Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town

A riveting slice of Americana

A contender for the Yoto Carnegie Medal 2022, Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, springs from the longlist with its eye-catching title. Set in the American West, it’s a series of interlocking teen stories that roam from Alaska to Colorado. Characters and events intersect throughout, often oblivious of their roles in each other’s tales. Only the reader sees the big picture, and the motifs of wildfire, tainted priesthood, and a missing child. Likely the first time you’ve ever encountered amnesiac shellfish poisoning as a plot device, it’s an inventive portrayal of young small town life.

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The Crossing by Manjeet Mann

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The Crossing

Impressive refugee crisis verse novel scoops Costa prize

The English Channel has long been a scene of triumph for long-distance swimmers keen to front crawl the 21 miles between England and France. But this often tumultuous seaway is also notorious for being a watery graveyard of migrants and refugees. In The Crossing by Manjeet Mann, the lives of Nat, a young English Channel swimmer, and Sammy, an Eritrean refugee collide. Winner of the Costa Children’s Book Award 2021, this quietly devastating verse novel explores the perspective of two teenagers from very different worlds.

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Medusa by Jessie Burton

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Medusa

Powerful feminist retelling of the famous Gorgon’s tale

Medusa by Jessie Burton gives us a compelling spin on the legend of the snake-haired girl whose gaze turns onlookers to stone. Mythology buffs will know her as a monstrous character, ultimately beheaded by one of the most famous heroes of Ancient Greek folklore. Here, however, she is a young woman with her own take on events. This gloriously illustrated book brings us Medusa’s story, a heady tale of love, betrayal, tyranny, and ultimately, the path to self-acceptance.

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Stay Another Day by June Dawson

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Stay Another Day

An essential festive sofa read

Stay Another Day by Juno Dawson is a glitter-laden delight and I’m hoping Santa pops a copy into every discerning teen reader’s Christmas stocking. Written with Dawson’s trademark brio and wit, it’s the story of three siblings, reunited for a festive family gathering. Coming home from uni, student Fern is longing for the perfect Christmas, her twin Rowan bitingly dismissive of his uncool, drab family, while younger sister, Willow, awaits them, ‘pale and tragic, some gothic attic secret.’Rowan’s fears of dullness are decidedly misplaced. Hold onto your party hats as the tinsel hits the fan.

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Be Resilient by Nicola Morgan

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Be Resilient

Learning to roll with it

Buffeted by the storms of Covid-19 and climate change, our teenagers are navigating turbulent times, and that’s aside from the fizzing hormones and usual angst-inducing challenges. For those young readers who are feeling mentally fragile as we approach the new school year, Be Resilient by Nicola Morgan provides balm for the troubled soul. With compassion and clarity, the award-winning teenage brain expert gives us five practical steps towards cultivating resilience, the happy reward being a strong mind, capable of surviving and thriving in an uncertain world.

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Loveless by Alice Oseman

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Loveless

YA Book Prize winner is a timely and Illuminating read

Don’t let the melancholic title mislead you, Loveless by Alice Oseman is a novel absolutely brimming with love in a myriad of guises, some of which you may never have considered. Awarded the YA Book Prize 2021 by judges keenly aware of the literary zeitgeist, this warm and engaging story introduces us to Georgia, a young woman coming to terms with her asexuality. A decidedly 21st century campus drama, Loveless contains the classic elements of a coming-of-age tale, while also presenting a welcome challenge to lazy heteronormative thinking.

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The Dark Lady by Akala

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The Dark Lady

Inspired adventure gloriously evokes Shakespeare’s London

‘London stank.’ The punchy opening line to The Dark Lady by Akala sets the tone for this smart and inspired YA adventure, set in the fetid and brutal streets of Elizabethan London. A novel laced with the supernatural, it gives us Henry, an orphan and pickpocket possessed of extraordinary powers, in thrall himself to the poetic magic of William Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays. An intriguing combination in a tale that will take Henry from London’s foulest gutter to its most exclusive gentlemen’s society.

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Bone Music by David Almond

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Bone Music

Sage advice for ‘the weird, passionate, troubled, loving young.’

Rewilding is the practice of taking the landscape back to a more natural ecosystem, recalibrating the environment and allowing its man-made bruises to heal. In Bone Music by David Almond, we contemplate whether the philosophy of rewilding should be applied to our very own selves. It tells the story of young urbanite, Sylvia, reluctant newcomer to a Northumbrian village of too much sky and capricious mobile connection. Initially hostile to rural life, Sylvia is about to undergo a profound transformation in this absorbing contemplation of the connections between ourselves and nature.

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How to Change Everything by Naomi Klein

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How to Change Everything

‘Don’t let the facts overpower you.’

The 15th of March 2019 was an extraordinary day in history, marking as it did, the very first global school strike for climate. Raising their collective voice, more than a million and a half school children across the world took to the streets, demanding immediate action on climate change. How to Change Everything by Naomi Klein is inspired by this new wave of bold, young campaigners. Aimed at teenagers who wish to understand the history, science and politics of climate change, while also acquiring the tools for activism, the renowned social activist and writer shares her decades of accumulated wisdom.

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