My Best Books for Youth in 2016 List

I am a Books for Youth reviewer for Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association, which means I have the privilege of reading 60 to 70 books a year for early, middle grade, and young adult readers before they’re published. Whatever the magazine sends me, I read and review. I get to read debut…

Audacity Jones Steals the Show

Gr. 3-6. Bright and charming Audacity Jones finds herself on another adventure that takes her out of Miss Maisie’s School for Wayward Girls to New York City along with her best friend, Bimmy, her sly cat, Min, and Cypher, the relocated chauffeur. There they meet famous magician and escape artist Harry Houdini, who is the…

Well, That Was Awkward by Rachel Vail

Gr. 5-8. Eighth-grader Gracie is certain that she likes A.J., but when she learns he likes her best friend, Sienna, she goes all out to help the two get together. She texts him on Sienna’s phone for her as if she were Sienna, and she consults with Emmett, A.J.’s best friend and her neighbor. Emmett…

Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage

Gr. 9-12. Just outside of Boston, in a patriarchal Italian American community, sisters Mira and Francesca Cillo are dead, their bodies entwined and retrieved from a toxic quarry lake. Days after the suicide, Ben Lattanzi—whom Mira had allowed to touch seven parts of her body—receives a letter from Mira, starting him on the hunt for…