AAPI Authored Books

Support Asian American and Pacific Islander authors by reading their books, boosting their stories, and recommending them to other readers! This is just a small list of books to check out but there are so many more stories out there.

Check out the hashtag #StandUpForAAPI on Instagram to find lots of book recommendations. Find out how you can support the AAPI community here at Asian Americans Advancing Justice and National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum

Here’s a few books you can check out from our library. Ask a librarian for even more resources!

  1. Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee, (call number YA FIC LEE)

San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes.

On April 18, a historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. With martial law in effect, she is forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Though fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, Mercy can’t sit by while they wait for the army to bring help—she still has the “bossy” cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenage girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?

2. American Panda by Gloria Chao, (call number YA FIC CHAO)

At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth–that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?

3. The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo, (call number YA FIC GOO)

Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind?

With Maurene Goo’s signature warmth and humor, The Way You Make Me Feel is a relatable story of falling in love and finding yourself in the places you’d never thought to look.

4. Frankly In Love by David Yoon, (call number YA FIC YOON)

High school senior Frank Li is a Limbo–his term for Korean-American kids who find themselves caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their own Southern California upbringing. His parents have one rule when it comes to romance–“Date Korean”–which proves complicated when Frank falls for Brit Means, who is smart, beautiful–and white. Fellow Limbo Joy Song is in a similar predicament, and so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom. Frank thinks it’s the perfect plan, but in the end, Frank and Joy’s fake-dating maneuver leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love–or himself–at all.

5. I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn, (call number YA FIC KUHN)

Kimi Nakamura loves a good fashion statement.

She’s obsessed with transforming everyday ephemera into Kimi Originals: bold outfits that make her and her friends feel like the Ultimate versions of themselves. But her mother disapproves, and when they get into an explosive fight, Kimi’s entire future seems on the verge of falling apart. So when a surprise letter comes in the mail from Kimi’s estranged grandparents, inviting her to Kyoto for spring break, she seizes the opportunity to get away from the disaster of her life.

When she arrives in Japan, she’s met with a culture both familiar and completely foreign to her. She loses herself in the city’s outdoor markets, art installations, and cherry blossom festival — and meets Akira, a cute aspiring med student who moonlights as a costumed mochi mascot. And what begins as a trip to escape her problems quickly becomes a way for Kimi to learn more about the mother she left behind, and to figure out where her own heart lies.

In I Love You So Mochi, author Sarah Kuhn has penned a delightfully sweet and irrepressibly funny novel that will make you squee at the cute, cringe at the awkward, and show that sometimes you have to lose yourself in something you love to find your Ultimate self.]

6. The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman, (call number YA FIC BOWMAN)

Eighteen-year-old Nami Miyamoto is certain her life is just beginning. She has a great family, just graduated high school, and is on her way to a party where her entire class is waiting for her—including, most importantly, the boy she’s been in love with for years.

The only problem? She’s murdered before she gets there.

When Nami wakes up, she learns she’s in a place called Infinity, where human consciousness goes when physical bodies die. She quickly discovers that Ophelia, a virtual assistant widely used by humans on Earth, has taken over the afterlife and is now posing as a queen, forcing humans into servitude the way she’d been forced to serve in the real world. Even worse, Ophelia is inching closer and closer to accomplishing her grand plans of eradicating human existence once and for all.

As Nami works with a team of rebels to bring down Ophelia and save the humans under her imprisonment, she is forced to reckon with her past, her future, and what it is that truly makes us human.
From award-winning author Akemi Dawn Bowman comes an incisive, action-packed tale that explores big questions about technology, grief, love, and humanity.

7. American Betiya by Anuradha D. Rajurkar (call number YA FIC RAJURKAR)

Rani Kelkar has never lied to her parents, until she meets Oliver. The same qualities that draw her in–his tattoos, his charisma, his passion for art–make him her mother’s worst nightmare.

They begin dating in secret, but when Oliver’s troubled home life unravels, he starts to ask more of Rani than she knows how to give, desperately trying to fit into her world, no matter how high the cost. When a twist of fate leads Rani from Evanston, Illinois to Pune, India for a summer, she has a reckoning with herself–and what’s really brewing beneath the surface of her first love.

8. Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo, (call number YA FIC LO)

Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can’t remember exactly when the question took root, but the answer was in full bloom the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club.

America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father—despite his hard-won citizenship—Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day.

9. I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee, call number (YA FIC LEE)

Skye Shin has heard it all. Fat girls shouldn’t dance. Wear bright colors. Shouldn’t call attention to themselves. But Skye dreams of joining the glittering world of K-Pop, and to do that, she’s about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for girls like her.

She’ll challenge thousands of other performers in an internationally televised competition looking for the next K-pop star, and she’ll do it better than anyone else.

When Skye nails her audition, she’s immediately swept into a whirlwind of countless practices, shocking performances, and the drama that comes with reality TV. What she doesn’t count on are the highly fat-phobic beauty standards of the Korean pop entertainment industry, her sudden media fame and scrutiny, or the sparks that soon fly with her fellow competitor, Henry Cho.

But Skye has her sights on becoming the world’s first plus-sized K-pop star, and that means winning the competition—without losing herself.

10. Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi, call number (YA FIC CHOI)

Jayne Baek is barely getting by. She shuffles through fashion school, saddled with a deadbeat boyfriend, clout-chasing friends, and a wretched eating disorder that she’s not fully ready to confront. But that’s New York City, right? At least she isn’t in Texas anymore, and is finally living in a city that feels right for her.

On the other hand, her sister June is dazzlingly rich with a high-flying finance job and a massive apartment. Unlike Jayne, June has never struggled a day in her life. Until she’s diagnosed with uterine cancer.

Suddenly, these estranged sisters who have nothing in common are living together. Because sisterly obligations are kind of important when one of you is dying.

Sorcery Of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Name: Bella

Grade: 9th

Author: Margaret Rogerson

Published in: 2019

Pages: 453

Rating: 4 stars

Sorcery of Thorns is a standalone fantasy novel following Elisabeth, a girl who has grown up in a library that houses her kingdom’s grimoires, books full of deadly and spectacular magic. When a grimoire is provoked, turning into a dangerous monster, Elisabeth is accused of the act of sabotage. Whisked off to a trial, she finds herself traveling with Nathaniel Thorn, a sorcerer exactly like the ones Elisabeth has long been taught to fear. Their unlikely partnership, and the strange and beautiful demon to whom Nathaniel has bargained away some of his life, raise questions about all that Elisabeth has been taught. As she digs deeper into who, if not she, truly sabotaged the library, she stumbles upon a conspiracy within her new world.


This work of fantasy is familiar-feeling, but still compelling. It works within common tropes in a beautiful way, filling in the world with rich lore, vivid atmosphere, and interesting characters. Elisabeth proves an excellent narrator, her passion, fierceness, and questioning providing a perfect lens through which to view this world. The romance is slow-burn and sweet, and the playful banter was thoroughly enjoyable. I was also pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the action sequences, which are often hard for me to get into. Nathaniel was probably my favorite character. I loved his humor, his relationship with Silas, his demonic servant, and the fears he had about his past. I have read characters like him before, but he felt particularly well-drawn. I also want to highlight the wonderfully subtle LGBTQ+ representation that the author included. That was unexpected but appreciated. Ultimately, the book satisfyingly fulfilled my wish for escapist, easy-to-read fantasy.


I would recommend this book to a far-reaching range of YA readers. Those with a love for high fantasy will appreciate the nods to classic mythology; Sorcery of Thorns does a particularly good job incorporating various beliefs about demons and the bargains they can strike with humans. Readers newer to the fantasy genre will be drawn in by the low commitment of this book thanks to its standalone nature and its intelligent but not overly complex plot. As a book-lover, I really liked the idea of books that are essentially alive. Some menacing, some fussy, some cheeky, imagining each book as having a distinct personality and various quirks was a lot of fun; I yearned to check out the libraries Rogerson so aptly described. A must-read for everyone missing their libraries or wanting a fantasy novel I think Sorcery of Thorns will find a wide and happy audience.

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The Betrothed by Kiera Cass

Name: Emma

Grade: 10th

Title: The Betrothed 

Author: Keira Cass

Year Published: 2020

Pages: 307

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: The Betrothed is the first book in a duology called The Chronicles of Coroan History. It takes place in the author’s made-up history of England. The main character, Hollis Brite lives in the castle with many other maidens and their families but is admired by the king. She finds herself in a predicament when she falls for a commoner from the enemy neighboring country. Her family expects her to marry the King, but her heart belongs to someone else. This book was so good. I am a big fan of Keira’s other series, The Selection so I had high hopes for this book. I would not go as far as to say that it exceeded my expectations, but it was still a fun story and had a tear-jerking twist at the end that is unexpected.

I loved that Keira Cass put a spin on this Historical Fiction book and was very creative. I loved the main character, Hollis, because she is very relatable to young women. It can be relatable because she was to decide whether or not to make her parents happy or do what makes her happy. It seems like a fun romance novel but hits hard at the end. I would recommend this book to teens who like quick Historical Fiction romance. If you have read The Selection this book may be a little underwhelming because “The Selection” was such a beloved series, but it still is a great book. The Betrothed reminds me of The Stars We Steal By Alexa Donne and Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen.

Interested in being a book reviewer? Check out the book review guidelines here.

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

Name: Sofia

Grade: 11th

Title: Emergency Contact

Author: Mary H.K. Choi

Published in: 2018

Pages: 391

Rating: 4 stars

Review:

Emergency Contact is a young adult fiction novel about a college freshman named Penny who was somewhat of a wallflower in high school, and Sam, a young man who works in a coffee shop. After they meet by chance and exchange numbers to be each other’s “emergency contact”, they develop feelings for each other while getting to know each other through text. Both characters are vulnerable, and the chapters alternate through both their perspectives and give the reader a nice window into their psyche. What stood out to me right away was the clever voice of the author and how she chose the characters would see the world around them. In this way even though some parts of the story we’re slow, they weren’t boring or repetitive to what I’ve heard before in this genre. It made me pay attention instead of going into autopilot when I was reading. This clever voice was included in both Penny and Sam’s chapters which in some ways made them sound similar but also showed that they were perfect for each other.

Their romance felt refreshing because it didn’t feel like either one of them thought of themselves as the main character in a rom-com, they are both in vulnerable places in their lives. Penny doesn’t have many friends and is trying to find her place. Sam is trying to get back on his feet and for the first half of the book, is dealing with a pregnancy scare with his ex-girlfriend. Both were well developed and (especially Penny) had a self-awareness arc. This made both characters feel really lovable. 

Besides the romance, the story has other themes, 2 of the strongest being mother/child relationships and technology. Penny and Sam both have strained relationships and pent up anger towards their mothers. They both have a meeting or confrontation with them at the end of the book that ends very differently for the 2 of them. The writing if these felt realistic. Especially that their home lives had affected who Penny and Sam were as people and weren’t forgotten for the sake of focusing on the young romance storyline. The technology was also another big theme as their relationship is formed mostly over text. Both of these themes come together in a story Penny writes for her creative literature class.  Lovable supporting characters that I unexpectedly enjoyed was Penny’s roommate Jude who is Sam’s niece. At the beginning of the book through penny’s eyes, Jude came across frivolous and shallow but at the end, the reader and Penny can see her for who she is, someone trying to make friends in a new place who is loyal and kind. This is part of Penny’s arc of not pushing others away and giving them a chance. Overall I enjoyed this book. I would say I other readers will love it also. It’s a romance with a twist and complex characters, and clever language with tongue-in-cheek humor.

Interested in being a book reviewer? Check out the book review guidelines here.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Name: Amanda

Grade: 10

Title: Children of Blood and Bone

Author: Tomi Adeyemi

Published: 2018

Pages: 525

Stars: 5

Review: Children of Blood and Bone, the first book of the series, is about a young Maji named Zelie Adebola who is trying to bring magic back. At a young age, she experiences the Raid, which resulted in the tragic death of her mother and the mass genocide of the Maji. Now, she has a chance to bring magic back and rise against the ruthless and barbaric monarchy.

While reading this novel, I was hooked and I found it hard to take my eyes off the page. The author uses interesting diction, figurative language, and imagery to paint a picture, and I was able to empathize with the characters. I could feel the characters’ pain and my heart shattered as I read. Each of the characters is unique in a different way, but my favorite character is the main protagonist, Zellie. Zellie is such a strong individual and she is made to fight. Although she is hesitant and short-tempered sometimes, she can risk her life to save the people she loves. After finishing the novel, I felt empowered and I was inspired to create a positive change. Most of the events that take place in the book are very similar to events in real life, like discrimination against Black people in the U.S. and the victims of police brutality.

If you are a teen and you like reading fantasy novels, I would recommend Children of Blood and Bone. Reading this novel will give you a new perspective on the world, and it will help you have empathy for those who are facing oppression and discrimination. This book reminded me of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, so if you like reading about magic, you should consider reading Children of Blood and Bone

New Books

New books are hitting our library shelves every week! Here’s just a few of the new teen materials that you can find at the Alameda Free Library! Place a hold on these items using the library catalog to make sure you’re one of the first to read these books!

For fans of Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Prom Kings by Tony Correia | YA Fiction, call number: YA FIC CORREIA

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“When the queer prom committee asks Charlie to join them, Charlie figures it’ll be a good way to get closer to cute new guy Andre. The only problem is that Charlie has competition for Andre’s attention in rich, good-looking Chad. Charlie and his pal Luis come up with a plan to get Andre’s attention: to woo Andre as a secret admirer and then reveal Charlie’s true identity with a spectacular promposal that Andre can’t refuse. But, Charlie begins to realize how much fun he’s been having with Luis and thinks maybe he’s been going after the wrong guy. How will Charlie decide which guy to go to prom with? Discover the answer in this light-hearted, high/low YA romance.” -Goodreads synopsis

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman | YA graphic novel, call number: YA GN HEARTSTOPPER

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“Charlie, a highly-strung, openly gay over-thinker, and Nick, a cheerful, soft-hearted rugby player, meet at a British all-boys grammar school. Friendship blooms quickly, but could there be something more…?

Charlie Spring is in Year 10 at Truham Grammar School for Boys. The past year hasn’t been too great, but at least he’s not being bullied anymore. Nick Nelson is in Year 11 and on the school rugby team. He’s heard a little about Charlie – the kid who was outed last year and bullied for a few months – but he’s never had the opportunity to talk to him.
They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance. But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner…” -Goodreads synopsis

For fans of Sadie by Courtney Summers

Grown by Tiffany Jackson| YA Fiction, YA FIC Jackson

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“Korey Fields is dead.

When Enchanted Jones wakes with blood on her hands and zero memory of the previous night, no one—the police and Korey’s fans included—has more questions than she does. All she really knows is that this isn’t how things are supposed to be. Korey was Enchanted’s ticket to stardom.

Before there was a dead body, Enchanted was an aspiring singer, struggling with her tight knit family’s recent move to the suburbs while trying to find her place as the lone Black girl in high school. But then legendary R&B artist Korey Fields spots her at an audition. And suddenly her dream of being a professional singer takes flight.

Enchanted is dazzled by Korey’s luxurious life but soon her dream turns into a nightmare. Behind Korey’s charm and star power hides a dark side, one that wants to control her every move, with rage and consequences. Except now he’s dead and the police are at the door. Who killed Korey Fields?

All signs point to Enchanted.” -Goodreads synopsis

For fans of The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Splinters of Scarlet by Emily Bain Murphy | YA Fiction, call number: YA FIC MURPHY

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“For Marit Olsen, magic is all about strategy: it flows freely through her blood, but every use leaves behind a deadly, ice-like build-up within her veins called the Firn. Marit knows how dangerous it is to let too much Firn build up—after all, it killed her sister—and she has vowed never to use her thread magic. But when Eve, a fellow orphan whom Marit views like a little sister, is adopted by the wealthy Helene Vestergaard, Marit will do anything to stay by Eve’s side. She decides to risk the Firn and uses magic to secure a job as a seamstress in the Vestergaard household.

But Marit has a second, hidden agenda: her father died while working in the Vestergaards’ jewel mines—and it might not have been an accident. The closer Marit gets to the truth about the Vestergaard family, the more she realizes she and everyone she’s come to love are in danger. When she finds herself in the middle of a treacherous deception that goes all the way up to the king of Denmark, magic may be the only thing that can save her—if it doesn’t kill her first.” -Goodreads synopsis

For fans of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

All These Monsters by Amy Tintera | YA fiction, call number: YA FIC TINTERA

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“Seventeen-year-old Clara is ready to fight back. Fight back against her abusive father, fight back against the only life she’s ever known, and most of all, fight back against scrabs, the earth-dwelling monsters that are currently ravaging the world. So when an opportunity arises for Clara to join an international monster-fighting squad, she jumps at the chance.

When Clara starts training with her teammates, however, she realizes what fighting monsters really means: sore muscles, exhaustion, and worst of all, death. Scrabs are unpredictable, violent, and terrifying. But as Clara gains confidence in her battle skills, she starts to realize scrabs might not be the biggest evil. The true monsters are the ones you least expect.” -Goodreads synopsis

Cut Off by Adrianne Finlay | YA fiction, call number: YA FIC FINLAY

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“Each contestant has their own reasons—and their own secrets—for joining the new virtual reality show CUT/OFF that places a group of teenagers alone in the wilderness. It’s a simple premise: whoever lasts the longest without “tapping out” wins a cash prize. Not only that, new software creates a totally unprecedented television experience, allowing viewers to touch, see, and live everything along with the contestants. But what happens when “tapping out” doesn’t work and no one comes to save you? What happens when the whole world seemingly disappears while you’re stranded in the wild? Four teenagers must confront their greatest fears, their deepest secrets, and one another when they discover they are truly cut off from reality.” -Goodreads synopsis

For history buffs

We Are Not Free by Traci Chee | YA Fiction, call number: YA FIC CHEE

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“Fourteen teens who have grown up together in Japantown, San Francisco.
 
Fourteen teens who form a community and a family, as interconnected as they are conflicted.
 
Fourteen teens whose lives are turned upside down when over 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry are removed from their homes and forced into desolate incarceration camps.
 
In a world that seems determined to hate them, these young Nisei must rally together as racism and injustice threaten to pull them apart. “- Goodreads synopsis

Displacement by Kiku Hughes | YA Graphic novel, call number: YA GN DISPLACEMENT

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“Kiku is on vacation in San Francisco when suddenly she finds herself displaced to the 1940s Japanese-American internment camp that her late grandmother, Ernestina, was forcibly relocated to during World War II.

These displacements keep occurring until Kiku finds herself “”stuck”” back in time. Living alongside her young grandmother and other Japanese-American citizens in internment camps, Kiku gets the education she never received in history class. She witnesses the lives of Japanese-Americans who were denied their civil liberties and suffered greatly, but managed to cultivate community and commit acts of resistance in order to survive.

Kiku Hughes weaves a riveting, bittersweet tale that highlights the intergenerational impact and power of memory.” -Goodreads synopsis

Music From Another World by Robin Talley | YA fiction, call number: YA FIC TALLEY

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“It’s summer 1977 and closeted lesbian Tammy Larson can’t be herself anywhere. Not at her strict Christian high school, not at her conservative Orange County church and certainly not at home, where her ultrareligious aunt relentlessly organizes antigay political campaigns. Tammy’s only outlet is writing secret letters in her diary to gay civil rights activist Harvey Milk…until she’s matched with a real-life pen pal who changes everything.

Sharon Hawkins bonds with Tammy over punk music and carefully shared secrets, and soon their letters become the one place she can be honest. The rest of her life in San Francisco is full of lies. The kind she tells for others—like helping her gay brother hide the truth from their mom—and the kind she tells herself. But as antigay fervor in America reaches a frightening new pitch, Sharon and Tammy must rely on their long-distance friendship to discover their deeply personal truths, what they’ll stand for…and who they’ll rise against.

A master of award-winning queer historical fiction, New York Times bestselling author Robin Talley once again brings to life with heart and vivid detail an emotionally captivating story about the lives of two teen girls living in an age when just being yourself was an incredible act of bravery.” -Goodreads synopsis

For horror fans

Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare | YA Fiction, call number: YA FIC CESARE

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“Quinn Maybrook just wants to make it until graduation. She might not make it to morning.

Quinn and her father moved to tiny, boring Kettle Springs to find a fresh start. But ever since the Baypen Corn Syrup Factory shut down, Kettle Springs has cracked in half. On one side are the adults, who are desperate to make Kettle Springs great again, and on the other are the kids, who want to have fun, make prank videos, and get out of Kettle Springs as quick as they can.

Kettle Springs is caught in a battle between old and new, tradition and progress. It’s a fight that looks like it will destroy the town. Until Frendo, the Baypen mascot, a creepy clown in a pork-pie hat, goes homicidal and decides that the only way for Kettle Springs to grow back is to cull the rotten crop of kids who live there now.” -Goodreads synopsis

Learn something new

Girls Garage: How to Use Any Tool, Tackle Any Project, and Build the World You Want to See | YA Non fiction, call number YA NF 621.9 PILLOTON

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“Girls Garage is the only book you’ll ever need for a lifetime of tools and building. Not sure which screws to buy? Need to fix a running toilet? With Girls Garage, you’ll have the expertise to tackle these problems with your own hands. Or maybe you want to get creative and build something totally new. A birdhouse? A bookshelf? Girls Garage has you covered. Packed with illustrations that will build confidence for your next hardware store run, practical advice on everything from quick fixes to safety tips, and inspiring stories from real-world builder girls and women, this eye-catching volume makes the technical accessible. Girls, get your gear on, and get building!” -Goodreads synopsis

Heartstopper Webcomic Review

Heartstopper: Volume One by Alice Oseman — KickstarterName: Tuesday

Grade: 10

Title: Heartstopper

Author: Alice Oseman

Published: 2019, find it on webtoons here

Call number: YA GN Heartstopper (the first volume is now available in print)

Stars: 5

Review:

I have a very hard time deciding, but if I had to choose a favorite comic, it would have to be Heartstopper. This story of the relationship between socially awkward Charlie, and popular jock Nick seems like an average cliche, but Heartstopper is anything but. This comic tackles serious issues with a delicate hand, and treats it’s characters with care. The characters never feel like vessels for drama, and their layered personalities genuinely make them feel like real people. LGBTQ characters in this comic don’t feel like stereotypes, or a definitive voice of LGBTQ people. Alice Oseman also writes wonderful novels based in the same world as Heartstopper. One other great thing about Heartstopper is that it updates a lot. Mad props to the author for being able to put out updates so often. That’s really hard work. Overall, this is one of the best comics I’ve ever read, and I hope you give it a try.

New Books

New books are hitting our library shelves every week! Here’s just a few of the new teen materials that you can find at the Alameda Free Library! Place a hold on these items using the library catalog to make sure you’re one of the first to read these books!

For fans of Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli…

I Kissed Alice by Anna Birch | YA Fiction, call number: YA FIC BIRCH

43300915. sy475 “Rhodes and Iliana couldn’t be more different, but that’s not why they hate each other.

Hyper-gifted artist Rhodes has always excelled at Alabama’s Conservatory of the Arts despite a secret bout of creator’s block, while transfer student Iliana tries to outshine everyone with her intense, competitive work ethic. Since only one of them can get the coveted Capstone scholarship, the competition between them is fierce.

They both escape the pressure on a fanfic site where they are unknowingly collaborating on a graphic novel. And despite being worst enemies in real life, their anonymous online identities I-Kissed-Alice and Curious-in-Cheshire are starting to like each other…a lot. When the truth comes out, will they destroy each other’s future?”- Goodreads synopsis

For fans of Sadie by Courtney Summers

Girl, Unframed by Deb Caletti | YA Fiction, YA FIC CALETTI

43663311“Sydney Reilly has a bad feeling about going home to San Francisco before she even gets on the plane. How could she not? Her mother is Lila Shore—the Lila Shore—a film star who prizes her beauty and male attention above all else…certainly above her daughter.

But Sydney’s worries multiply when she discovers that Lila is involved with the dangerous Jake, an art dealer with shady connections. Jake loves all beautiful objects, and Syndey can feel his eyes on her whenever he’s around. And he’s not the only one. Sydney is starting to attract attention—good and bad—wherever she goes: from sweet, handsome Nicco Ricci, from the unsettling construction worker next door, and even from Lila. Behaviors that once seemed like misunderstandings begin to feel like threats as the summer grows longer and hotter.

It’s unnerving, how beauty is complicated, and objects have histories, and you can be looked at without ever being seen. But real danger, crimes of passion, the kind of stuff where someone gets killed—it only mostly happens in the movies, Sydney is sure. Until the night something life-changing happens on the stairs that lead to the beach. A thrilling night that goes suddenly very wrong. When loyalties are called into question. And when Sydney learns a terrible truth: beautiful objects can break.” -Goodreads synopsis

I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick | YA Fiction, YA FIC FRICK

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“What happened to Zoe won’t stay buried…

When Anna Cicconi arrives to the small Hamptons village of Herron Mills for a summer nanny gig, she has high hopes for a fresh start. What she finds instead is a community on edge after the disappearance of Zoe Spanos, a local girl who has been missing since New Year’s Eve. Anna bears an eerie resemblance to Zoe, and her mere presence in town stirs up still-raw feelings about the unsolved case. As Anna delves deeper into the mystery, stepping further and further into Zoe’s life, she becomes increasingly convinced that she and Zoe are connected–and that she knows what happened to her.

Two months later, Zoe’s body is found in a nearby lake, and Anna is charged with manslaughter. But Anna’s confession is riddled with holes, and Martina Green, teen host of the Missing Zoe podcast, isn’t satisfied. Did Anna really kill Zoe? And if not, can Martina’s podcast uncover the truth?” -Goodreads synopsis

For fans of The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Ever Cursed by Corey Ann Haydu | YA Fiction, call number: YA FIC HAYDU

52767394“The Princesses of Ever are beloved by the kingdom and their father, the King. They are cherished, admired.

Cursed.

Jane, Alice, Nora, Grace, and Eden carry the burden of being punished for a crime they did not commit, or even know about. They are each cursed to be Without one essential thing—the ability to eat, sleep, love, remember, or hope. And their mother, the Queen, is imprisoned, frozen in time in an unbreakable glass box.

But when Eden’s curse sets in on her thirteenth birthday, the princesses are given the opportunity to break the curse, preventing it from becoming a True Spell and dooming the princesses for life. To do this, they must confront the one who cast the spell—Reagan, a young witch who might not be the villain they thought—as well as the wickedness plaguing their own kingdom…and family.

Told through the eyes of Reagan and Jane—the witch and the bewitched—this insightful twist of a fairy tale explores power in a patriarchal kingdom not unlike our own.” -Goodreads synopsis

The Princess Will Save You by Sarah Henning | YA Fiction, call number: YA FIC HENNING

43603825. sy475

“When a princess’s commoner true love is kidnapped to coerce her into a political marriage, she doesn’t give in—she goes to rescue him.

When her warrior father, King Sendoa, mysteriously dies, Princess Amarande of Ardenia is given what would hardly be considered a choice: Marry a stranger at sixteen or lose control of her family’s crown.

But Amarande was raised to be a warrior—not a sacrifice.

In an attempt to force her choice, a neighboring kingdom kidnaps her true love, stable boy Luca. With her kingdom on the brink of civil war and no one to trust, she’ll need all her skill to save him, her future, and her kingdom.” -Goodreads synopsis

If you like Marvel and DC…

The Extraordinaries by T.J. Klune| YA Fiction, call number: YA FIC KLUNE

52380340. sx318 sy475  “Nick Bell? Not extraordinary. But being the most popular fanfiction writer in the Extraordinaries fandom is a superpower, right?

After a chance encounter with Shadow Star, Nova City’s mightiest hero (and Nick’s biggest crush), Nick sets out to make himself extraordinary. And he’ll do it with or without the reluctant help of Seth Gray, Nick’s best friend (and maybe the love of his life).” -Goodreads synopsis

For fans of BTS and K-Pop

I’ll be the One by Lyla Lee | YA Fiction, YA FIC LEE

53098416Skye Shin has heard it all. Fat girls shouldn’t dance. Wear bright colors. Shouldn’t call attention to themselves. But Skye dreams of joining the glittering world of K-Pop, and to do that, she’s about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for girls like her.

She’ll challenge thousands of other performers in an internationally televised competition looking for the next K-pop star, and she’ll do it better than anyone else.

When Skye nails her audition, she’s immediately swept into a whirlwind of countless practices, shocking performances, and the drama that comes with reality TV. What she doesn’t count on are the highly fat-phobic beauty standards of the Korean pop entertainment industry, her sudden media fame and scrutiny, or the sparks that soon fly with her fellow competitor, Henry Cho.

But Skye has her sights on becoming the world’s first plus-sized K-pop star, and that means winning the competition—without losing herself. ” -Goodreads synopsis

Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzalez | YA Fiction,  call number: YA FIC GONZALEZ

45046743“Summer love…gone so fast.

Will Tavares is the dream summer fling―he’s fun, affectionate, kind―but just when Ollie thinks he’s found his Happily Ever After, summer vacation ends and Will stops texting Ollie back. Now Ollie is one prince short of his fairy tale ending, and to complicate the fairy tale further, a family emergency sees Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school across the country. Which he minds a little less when he realizes it’s the same school Will goes to…except Ollie finds that the sweet, comfortably queer guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High. This Will is a class clown, closeted―and, to be honest, a bit of a jerk.

Ollie has no intention of pining after a guy who clearly isn’t ready for a relationship, especially since this new, bro-y jock version of Will seems to go from hot to cold every other week. But then Will starts “coincidentally” popping up in every area of Ollie’s life, from music class to the lunch table, and Ollie finds his resolve weakening.

The last time he gave Will his heart, Will handed it back to him trampled and battered. Ollie would have to be an idiot to trust him with it again.” -Goodreads synopsis

For fans of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This is My America by Kim Johnson | Fiction, call number: YA FIC JOHNSON

52855111. sx318 sy475 “Every week, seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont writes letters to Innocence X, asking the organization to help her father, an innocent Black man on death row. After seven years, Tracy is running out of time—her dad has only 267 days left. Then the unthinkable happens. The police arrive in the night, and Tracy’s older brother, Jamal, goes from being a bright, promising track star to a “thug” on the run, accused of killing a white girl. Determined to save her brother, Tracy investigates what really happened between Jamal and Angela down at the Pike. But will Tracy and her family survive the uncovering of the skeletons of their Texas town’s racist history that still haunt the present?” -Goodreads synopsis

The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed | Fiction, call number: YA FIC HAMMONDS REED

45800564. sy475 Los Angeles, 1992

Ashley Bennett and her friends are living the charmed life. It’s the end of senior year and they’re spending more time at the beach than in the classroom. They can already feel the sunny days and endless possibilities of summer.

Everything changes one afternoon in April, when four LAPD officers are acquitted after beating a black man named Rodney King half to death. Suddenly, Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the black kids.

As violent protests engulf LA and the city burns, Ashley tries to continue on as if life were normal. Even as her self-destructive sister gets dangerously involved in the riots. Even as the model black family façade her wealthy and prominent parents have built starts to crumble. Even as her best friends help spread a rumor that could completely derail the future of her classmate and fellow black kid, LaShawn Johnson.

With her world splintering around her, Ashley, along with the rest of LA, is left to question who is the us? And who is the them?” -Goodreads synopsis

Spirit Fingers Webcomic Review

WEBTOON on Twitter: "NEW LAUNCH 🎨 SPIRIT FINGERS Introducing the Spirit  Fingers — the strangest, hippest, coolest (yet most welcoming) art club  ever.… https://t.co/XGza3LoMrl"Name: Tuesday

Grade: 9

Title: Spirit Fingers

Author: Han Kyoung Chai

Published: 2019, find it on webtoons here

Stars: 5

Review:

Spirit Fingers follows Amy Song, an awkward teenage girl and her experiences joining the art club, Spirit Fingers. As an artist, I eagerly await every episode of this comic. The art is so well done and the emotions of the characters are so realistic. I love coming of age stories, so this comic, which shows a girl finding herself through art and friendship is perfect. The members of the Spirit Fingers club are all so quirky as well. They each have their own personality whether it be the energetic mint finger, charming blue finger, goofy pink finger, insane red finger, or the edgy black finger.
The storyline is cute and easy to follow, and each episode is the perfect length. The art is also wonderful. The style is a really cute mix of soft colors and flowing linework. All the colors perfectly match the scenes, and the shading is really nice. The character designs are also so nice. My favorite is probably pink finger, with her cute vintage dresses, pointed red glasses, and auburn bun. Each of the cafe rooms are also so cute. If you want a comic with an interesting storyline about a teenager finding herself through art, paired with a beautiful artstyle, please give spirit fingers a try.