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Top 10 young adult reads at Auckland Libraries this December

Published: 27 November 2019

Looking for reading inspiration this summer? Check out these top reads lists, hand-picked by our expert librarians.

This December, keep the teens entertained with our top 10 young adult books, curated by our librarians, for the Top 100 List.

For even more fun reading ideas, join the Great Summer Read over December and January. By completing a series of fun, entertaining reading-related challenges, you can go in the draw to win prizes such as eReaders from Noel Leeming, designer glasses from Specsavers, Britomart vouchers and more!

1) On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

You may be familiar with Angie Thomas's debut novel The Hate U Give. This year, she returns to Garden Heights, introducing us to 16-year-old Bri. She dreams of being a rapper, but life seems to be getting in the way. Her mum insists she focus on college, but Bri finally has a shot at success and now she must decide who she really is.

2) Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Rory Power's Wilder Girls sees Hetty coming to grips with the effects of a quarantine placed on her school as they await a cure for the Tox, a disease that seeps into everything, first infecting the teachers and then the students. The Students of Raxter School for Girls are cut off from almost everything they once knew and when her best friend, Byatt, disappears, Hetty will do anything to find her again - eventually learning that there's more to the Tox than she ever thought could be true. 

3) Chinglish by Sue Cheung

In her semi-autobiographical novel, Sue Cheung introduces us to Jo Kwan, a Chinese-British teenager in 1980s Coventry. She's like everyone else, she has an annoying younger sister and a too-cool older brother, a series of pets and parents who embarrass her. Except she's not like everyone else. She lives on top of her parents' Chinese takeaway shop where she deals with unruly customers and she is subject to bullying from the snotty popular girls just because she's different. All she wants is to be an artist.

4) King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

Nikolai Lantsov, the young king of mythical Ravka, has just endured his country's civil war and all that it entails. He'd prefer it if people didn't know what he endured. As enemies amass at his country's borders, Nikolai must rebuild his army while dark magic grows stronger within him. He must now embark on the journey of a lifetime to vanquish the threats to him.

5) Invisible Breathing by Eileen Merriman

In her third young adult novel, Eileen Merriman tells a moving story of love and having integrity. It tells the story of Felix, the target of school bullies. When he meets Bailey, an anguished teen running from his own scars, the two are drawn to each other and thus begins a love affair that sees the two young boys face off against society's expectations of what they should be.

6) Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

Call Down the Hawk tells the story of Ronan Lynch, a dreamer who can literally turn dreams into his reality, albeit a compromised one. He yearns to follow his boyfriend, Adam Parrish off to Harvard University but until he can control his gifts, that's not possible. Meanwhile, in Washington D.C., Jordan Hennessy creates sentient clones of herself which steal from her. Neither knows the other exists but their paths are about to converge, and chaos will ensue. 

7) Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

The children of Lucille were told there were no more monsters. Then Pet, a creature made of horns and colours and claws, emerges from Jam’s mother’s painting. Jam must now reconsider everything she’s ever been told. To make matters worse, she must protect her friend, Redemption, from something lurking in her house. How do you save the world from monsters if people don’t think they exist?

 8) White Bird: A Wonder Story by R.J. Palacio

In this graphic novel – an expansion of the world Palacio created in Wonder and Auggie & Me – readers become more familiar with Julian’s grandmother, Grandmère as she tells her story. It’s one of a Jewish girl, hidden by a family in Nazi-occupied France during World War II and how a boy she once shunned becomes her saviour and best friend.

9) We Are Displaced by Malala Yousafzai

In We Are Displaced, Nobel Peace Prize-winner Malala Yousafzai tells not only her story of displacement, but also those of some of the girls she has met on her journeys to refugee camps and the cities where refugee girls and their families have settled.

10) Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M. McManus

Echo Ridge is a town shrouded in secrets. Ellery’s never been there but she knows its history. It’s the place her aunt went missing from, aged seventeen. Just five years ago, a homecoming queen died there in mysterious circumstances. Now, Ellery must move there and live with a grandmother she barely knows. Then, another girl goes missing and Ellery quickly discovers that in picture-perfect Echo Ridge, nothing is as it seems.

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