Six MG and YA Reads for 2019

I’ve decided that 2019 is going to be my best year ever. Here are 6 books that have already paved the way for my best reading year yet!

  1. The SECRETS OF TOPSEA middle grade series by Kir Fox & M. Shelly Coats delightfully suprised me. The first book, A FRIENDLY TOWN THAT’S ALMOST ALWAYS BY THE OCEAN!, is filled with interesting characters and wacky circumstances, It’s the kind of book that makes you laugh and wonder. The story follows Davy’s journey as he figures out the town and how to make friends. By the end he’s figured out who he really is. At least we think he has. This book keeps you guessing until the very end.

2. THE EXTREMELY HIGH TIDE, is a quirky, whimsical, perfect follow up to the first book. The complex cast of characters and fast paced plot make for a delightful read. I especially love that the story includes kids with challenges without labeling them as challenged. It covers themes of friendship, loyalty, autism, introversion, inclusion, teamwork and acceptance. This is the kind of book that takes you by surprise and evokes discussion.

3. DRAGON PEARL, a middle grade by Yoon Ha Lee is available today! Filled with humor, intrigue, and interesting characters, this book combined space opera and Korean Mythology.

Thirteen year old Min, a fox spirit, runs away from home to find her older brother, clear his name, and find the dragon pearl so she can save her planet. The quest is riddled with twists and turns, complex decisions and fast paced action and dialogue. I found the read compelling and the story thought provoking. This book will evoke discussions of family, grief, loss, trust, betrayal, loyalty, and friendship.

4. THE CAMELOT CODE, THE ONCE AND FUTURE GEEK, by Mari Mancusi, is the kind of fractured story I love to read. What would King Arthur do if he traveled to the future and learned about all the trouble he would have at the end of his life? This middle grade novel is filled with twists, interesting characters, and references that will make people laugh. Both hilarious and heartwarming–definitely worth the read!


5. Somehow I missed THE SKIN I’M IN, a YA by Sharon G. Flake the first time it was released 20 years ago. Disney Hyperion released it again recently. Just. Wow. Powerfully written, compelling and relatable. Maleeka’s middle school struggles are moving and will resonate with anyone who is scared of the consequences of their choices. This book should be, and is required reading!

6. Released recently by the new press, Page Street, I was delightfully surprised by HOME AND AWAY, a new YA by Candice Montgomery. Beautifully written, complex, thought provoking. It’s the kind of book that covers race, discrimination, friendship, the meaning of love, family, betrayal, and everything in-between. I finished reading it on New Years day. It felt like the perfect read to start my best reading year yet.

What are you reading this year?


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