Middle Grade & Young Adult Picks

Below is a list of recommended books for middle schoolers and young adult audiences. Click on the book covers or titles to read detailed descriptions of the books, biographies of the authors, reviews, recommended age ranges and more. This list is grouped by age range and alphabetically. While every reader is different, general age guidelines are: middle grade books (ages 8-12), and young adult books (ages 13 and up). For a list of graphic novels for young readers, click here.     

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The 47 People You'll Meet in Middle School Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781524765163
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Yearling - June 23rd, 2020

Getting ready to start middle school? Well, you'll need to know what to expect. Get to know every person you'll meet and how they can help (and who to stay away from!).


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The First Rule of Punk Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780425290422
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Puffin Books - July 17th, 2018

The First Rule of Punk is a wry and heartfelt exploration of friendship, finding your place, and learning to rock out like no one’s watching. 


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From the Desk of Zoe Washington Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062875853
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - January 14th, 2020

From debut author Janae Marks comes a captivating mystery full of heart, as one courageous girl questions assumptions, searches for the truth, and does what she believes is right--even in the face of great opposition. A perfect book for fans of Front Desk and All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook!


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Front Desk (Scholastic Gold) Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781338157826
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - June 25th, 2019

It will take all of Mia's courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams?


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George (Scholastic Gold) Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780545812573
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Inc. - April 25th, 2017

When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl.
 


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Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780997895810
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Published: Rebel Girls - November 10th, 2016

The New York Times bestselling Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a children's book packed with 100 bedtime stories about the lives of extraordinary women from the past and the present, illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world.


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Harbor Me Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780525515142
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Puffin Books - April 21st, 2020

Jacqueline Woodson's first middle-grade novel since National Book Award winner Brown Girl Dreaming celebrates the healing that can occur when a group of students share their stories.


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It Wasn't Me Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781524766467
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Yearling - March 31st, 2020

The Breakfast Club meets middle school with a prank twist in this hilarious and heartwarming story about six very different seventh graders who are forced to band together after a vandalism incident.


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The List of Things That Will Not Change Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781101938096
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wendy Lamb Books - April 7th, 2020

At a time when everything is changing for Bea and her family, the important things will always stay the same. A soon-to-be classic by the Newbery Award-winning author of When You Reach Me. 


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Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History (Vashti Harrison) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316475112
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - December 5th, 2017

An important book for all ages, Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of forty trailblazing black women in American history. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash.


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Merci Suárez Changes Gears Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781536212587
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Published: Candlewick - April 7th, 2020

Winner of the 2019 Newbery Medal, this coming-of-age tale by New York Times best-selling author Meg Medina gets to the heart of the confusion and constant change that defines middle school — and the steadfast connection that defines family.


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Ms. Bixby's Last Day Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780062338181
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Walden Pond Press - April 4th, 2017

Everyone knows there are different kinds of teachers. The boring ones, the mean ones, the ones who try too hard, the ones who stopped trying long ago. The ones you'll never remember, and the ones you want to forget. Ms. Bixby is none of these. She's the sort of teacher who makes you feel like school is somehow worthwhile.


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The Next Great Paulie Fink Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780316380874
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - March 31st, 2020

In this acclaimed novel by the author of the award-winning, bestselling The Thing About Jellyfish, being the new kid at school isn't easy, especially when you have to follow in the footsteps of a legendary classroom prankster.


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Other Words for Home Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062747808
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - May 28th, 2019

A gorgeously written, hopeful middle grade novel in verse about a young girl who must leave Syria to move to the United States, perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Aisha Saeed.


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Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History Cover Image
By Kate Schatz, Miriam Klein Stahl (Illustrator)
$15.99
ISBN: 9780399578861
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ten Speed Press - September 27th, 2016

Rad Women Worldwide tells fresh, engaging, and amazing tales of perseverance and radical success by pairing well-researched and riveting biographies with powerful and expressive cut-paper portraits. 


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Sex is a Funny Word: A Book about Bodies, Feelings, and YOU Cover Image
By Cory Silverberg, Fiona Smyth (Illustrator)
$23.95
ISBN: 9781609806064
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Triangle Square - July 28th, 2015

A comic book for kids that includes children and families of all makeups, orientations, and gender identities, Sex Is a Funny Word is an essential resource about bodies, gender, and sexuality for children ages 8 to 10 as well as their parents and caregivers. 


Stand Up, Yumi Chung! Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780525554974
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Kokila - March 17th, 2020

One lie snowballs into a full-blown double life in this irresistible story about an aspiring stand-up comedian.


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Women in Sports: 50 Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win (Women in Science) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781607749783
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ten Speed Press - July 18th, 2017

A richly illustrated and inspiring book, Women in Sports highlights the achievements and stories of fifty notable women athletes from the 1800s to today, including trailblazers, Olympians, and record-breakers in more than forty sports.


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Akata Witch Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780142420911
Availability: Backordered
Published: Speak - July 11th, 2017

Sunny Nwazue lives in Nigeria, but she was born in New York City. Her features are West African, but she's albino. She's a terrific athlete, but can't go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing—she is a "free agent" with latent magical power. And she has a lot of catching up to do.


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All Boys Aren't Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780374312718
Availability: Backordered
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - April 28th, 2020

In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.


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The Black Flamingo Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062990297
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - May 26th, 2020

A fierce coming-of-age verse novel about identity and the power of drag, from acclaimed UK poet and performer Dean Atta. Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo, Jason Reynolds, and Kacen Callender.


By Any Means Necessary Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781624147999
Availability: Backordered
Published: Page Street Kids - October 8th, 2019

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Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha #1) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250170972
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - March 6th, 2018

With five starred reviews, Tomi Adeyemi’s West African-inspired fantasy debut, and instant #1 New York Times Bestseller, conjures a world of magic and danger, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir.


Clap When You Land Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062882769
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quill Tree Books - May 5th, 2020

Crying Laughing Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525644675
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - November 19th, 2019

A tragicomic story of bad dates, bad news, bad performances, and one girl's determination to find the funny in high school from the author of Denton Little's Deathdate.


Felix Ever After Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780062820259
Availability: Backordered
Published: Balzer + Bray - May 5th, 2020

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Hot Dog Girl Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780525516279
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - March 24th, 2020

Now in paperback, a fresh and funny contemporary YA rom-com about teens working as costumed characters in a local amusement park.


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I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9781524700515
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ember - March 5th, 2019

This poignant but often laugh-out-loud funny contemporary YA is about losing a sister and finding yourself amid the pressures, expectations, and stereotypes of growing up in a Mexican American home. 


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An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People (ReVisioning History for Young People #2) Cover Image
By Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Jean Mendoza (Adapted by), Debbie Reese (Adapted by)
$18.95
ISBN: 9780807049396
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Beacon Press - July 23rd, 2019

Spanning more than 400 years, this classic bottom-up history examines the legacy of Indigenous peoples’ resistance, resilience, and steadfast fight against imperialism.


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Internment Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780316522700
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - March 17th, 2020

Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens. With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the camp's Director and his guards.


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Juliet Takes a Breath Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780593108178
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Books - September 17th, 2019

Juliet Milagros Palante is a self-proclaimed closeted Puerto Rican baby dyke from the Bronx. Only, she's not so closeted anymore. Not after coming out to her family the night before flying to Portland, Oregon, to intern with her favorite feminist writer--what's sure to be a life-changing experience. And when Juliet's coming out crashes and burns, she's not sure her mom will ever speak to her again.


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Just Breathe Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062463357
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - January 7th, 2020

David Scheinman is the popular president of his senior class, battling cystic fibrosis. Jamie Turner is a quiet sophomore, struggling with depression. The pair soon realizes that they're able to be more themselves with each other than they can be with anyone else, and their unlikely friendship starts to turn into something so much more.


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The Lightness of Hands Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062382894
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - April 14th, 2020

A quirky and heartfelt coming-of-age story about a teen girl with bipolar II who signs her failed magician father up to perform his legendary but failed illusion on live TV in order to make enough money to pay for the medications they need--from the author of Symptoms of Being Human.


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Like a Love Story Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062839367
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - June 4th, 2019

It’s 1989 in New York City, and for three teens, the world is changing. Reza is an Iranian boy who has just moved to the city with his mother to live with his stepfather and stepbrother. He’s terrified that someone will guess the truth he can barely acknowledge about himself. Reza knows he’s gay, but all he knows of gay life are the media’s images of men dying of AIDS.


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Our Year in Love and Parties Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062410238
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - October 8th, 2019

In this poignant, funny, and romantic novel, four nights of epic partying will see two teens through their highest highs and lowest lows over the course of one unforgettable year.


Pet Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525647072
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Make Me a World - September 10th, 2019

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The Serpent King Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780553524055
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ember - June 6th, 2017

Named to ten BEST OF THE YEAR lists and selected as a William C. Morris Award Winner, The Serpent King is the critically acclaimed, much-beloved story of three teens who find themselves--and each other--while on the cusp of graduating from high school with hopes of leaving their small-town behind.


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Sorry for Your Loss Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780062571922
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quill Tree Books - February 11th, 2020

From Printz Honor winner and Morris Award finalist Jessie Ann Foley comes a comitragic YA novel that will appeal to fans of Jandy Nelson and Jeff Zentner. As the youngest of eight, painfully average Pup Flanagan is used to flying under the radar. He's barely passing his classes. He lets his longtime crush walk all over him. And he's in no hurry to decide on a college path.


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The Stars and the Blackness Between Them Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525555483
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - September 17th, 2019

Told in two distinct and irresistible voices, Junauda Petrus's bold and lyrical debut is the story of two black girls from very different backgrounds finding love and happiness in a world that seems determined to deny them both.


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Stay Gold Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062943170
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperTeen - May 26th, 2020

Debut author Tobly McSmith delivers a coming-of-age teen love story about a transgender boy who's going stealth at his new Texas high school and a cisgender girl who is drawn to him, even as she's counting down the days until graduation.


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Technically, You Started It Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781338335460
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - June 25th, 2019

A hilarious, snarky, and utterly addicting #ownvoices debut that explores friendship, sexual orientation, mental health, and falling in love (even if things might be falling apart around you).


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This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do The Work Cover Image
By Tiffany Jewell, Aurelia Durand (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9780711245211
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Frances Lincoln Children's Books - January 7th, 2020

Who are you? What is racism? Where does it come from? Why does it exist? What can you do to disrupt it? Learn about social identities, the history of racism and resistance against it, and how you can use your anti-racist lens and voice to move the world toward equity and liberation. 


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Tweet Cute: A Novel Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250237323
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wednesday Books - January 21st, 2020

A fresh, irresistible rom-com from debut author Emma Lord about the chances we take, the paths life can lead us on, and how love can be found in the opposite place you expected.


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Wait, What?: A Comic Book Guide to Relationships, Bodies, and Growing Up Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9781620106594
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Limerence Press - September 3rd, 2019

From Heather Corinna, founder and director of Scarleteen.com, and Isabella Rotman, cartoonist and sex educator, comes a graphic novel guide that covers essential topics for preteens and young teens about their changing bodies and feelings.