Find the Perfect Fit for Your Young Adult Readers

In this time of abundance, it’s sometimes difficult to wade through the infinite options for your young adult reader. So how do you find the best book for gifting or even for yourself? Luckily, Lerner Publishing Group has a wide variety of titles every season. Peruse our new young adult fiction, nonfiction, and graphic novels to find your perfect fit!

For the Fiction Lover

Funeral Girl by Emma K Ohland

When Georgia revives the spirit of a recently deceased classmate at her family’s funeral home, she’s forced to sort out her complex feelings about grief and mortality.

Fun facts about this book

  • This is Emma K. Ohland’s debut YA!
  • Georgia is ace (asexual), and her best friend is nonbinary.
  • This paranormal novel is not a love story, but one of self-exploration.

“[G]ive Ohland’s first novel high marks for its unusual premise and vivid characterization of its imperfect protagonist.” — Booklist

Funeral Girl is a touching debut about ghosts, grief, and the relationships we have with people both living and dead.”—Nita Tyndall, author of Who I Was with Her

I, Claudia by Mary McCoy

Claudia never expected to be in charge of Imperial Day Academy. With her limp and stutter, she’s just hoping to survive high school. But Claudia discovers that power can be intoxicating . . . and that her prestigious school has some dark secrets.

Fun facts about this book

  • Newly released in Paperback!
  • A 2019 Michael L. Printz Honor Book
  • The twist will knock your socks off.

★”Smart, witty, and featuring an unforgettable (and possibly unreliable) narrator, as well as a seamless stream of political history, the audience that finds this novel will be unable to put it down.”—starred, Booklist

★”[A] gripping political thriller . . . about power, corruption, and the choices we make both for ourselves and the ones we love.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

Unretouchable by Sofia Szamosi

Olive is spending the summer before college helping a fashion-industry imaging specialist—and pondering the impact of image retouching software used behind the scenes. Unretouchable is a window into a hugely influential world of fashion photography and a tribute to self-acceptance.

Fun facts about this book

  • This is Sofia Szamosi’s graphic novel debut!
  • Have you ever attempted to quit social media? This book is for you.
  • Olivia discovers the secret of “virtual models.”

“One of the most memorable debut graphic novels in recent years.”—IGN

“A tribute to self-acceptance.”—AIPT

For the Fans of History

I Could Not Do Otherwise: The Remarkable Life of Dr. Mary Edwards Walker by Sara Latta

Meet the extraordinary, rebellious Mary Edwards Walker—a Civil War surgeon, a spy captured by the Confederacy, an advocate for women’s rights and social justice, and the only woman to ever receive the Medal of Honor, the US government’s highest military honor.

Fun facts about this book

  • The slogan, “women’s rights are human rights” is a direct descendent of Walker’s words.
  • The book uses primary source quotations from newspaper interviews, letters, and Mary Edwards Walker’s own writings to establish a strong sense of her character.
  • Of the more than 3,500 Medal of Honor recipients to date, Dr. Walker is still the only woman to be awarded this most prestigious military decoration.

★”[A] fascinating introduction . . . Latta utilizes primary sources, from contemporary newspaper articles to photographs, to make Walker’s remarkable life come alive for readers.”—starred, School Library Journal

“This clearly written chronological biography, full of lively quotes from Walker’s writings and her frequent mentions in the press, is ideal for research projects.”—Booklist

Torch by Lynn Miller-Lachmann

When 17-year-old Pavol fatally sets himself on fire in Prague in 1969 to protest the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, his three best friends must figure out how to survive an oppressive regime without him.

Fun facts about this book

  • Explores a time and place rarely covered in historical YA.
  • The character Tomáš is on the autism spectrum, like the author herself.
  • Lynn Miller-Lachmann is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and English!

★”[T]his story of revolutionary hope confronts dehumanizing forces through its resilient characters’ deeply held friendships. An astonishing and gripping read.” — starred, Booklist

★”Equally terrifying and captivating.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

★”Miller-Lachmann deftly balances moments of happiness and hope within an ominously rendered narrative marked by fear and potential catastrophe. This captivating political thriller is perfect for Ruta Sepetys fans.” — starred, Publishers Weekly

For the Creatives

Teen Innovators: Nine Young People Engineering a Better World with Creative Inventions by Fred Estes

Celebrate the determination and ingenuity of young inventors. Through profiles that explore the challenges, motivations, and lives of these teen visionaries, readers will see how the science they study today in school relates to these important discoveries.

Fun facts about this book

  • Author Fred Estes is a science educator and professor.
  • This book is designed for kids who love to browse and jump to their favorite profiles.
  • The book comes with its very own Teaching Guide to encourage creativity.

“The rich variety of individuals and projects highlighted will encourage budding scientists. A compelling read for teens interested in the STEM fields and an inspirational resource for science classrooms.”—Kirkus Reviews

“While all faced challenges, these teens forged ahead toward their visions with creative confidence. Design thinking and other creative problem-solving skills may help you, too, unleash your own inspiration. Fred’s book does a great job of getting you started on your journey.” –David Kelley, founder of Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford and IDEO, co-author of Creative Confidence

For the Family Environmentalist

Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer and Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Nicole Neidhardt

Botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer’s best-selling book Braiding Sweetgrass is adapted for a young adult audience by Monique Gray Smith, bringing Indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge, and the lessons of plant life to a new generation.

Fun facts about this book

  • Has a fully illustrated retelling of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe story of Skywoman falling.
  • Has reflection questions in each chapter.
  • The New York Public Library held a discussion with all three creators. Watch it here!

★”Both an urgent, essential call to action and an uplifting love letter.” –starred, Kirkus Reviews

★”Smith smartly streamlines language while staying true to the narrative’s core concepts by adding brief sidebars that explain featured terminology, pose reflection questions, and highlight important passages, inviting collaborative discussion and acting as a call to action.”—starred, Publishers Weekly

Buildings That Breathe: Greening the World’s Cities by Nancy F. Castaldo

Urban planners, architects, and scientists are developing high-rise forests on apartment buildings that seek to balance human activity and natural regeneration. Discover how green infrastructure will transform the urban landscape and how we think about our future.

Fun facts about this book

  • Nancy Castaldo connected with architect Stefano Boeri at the World Forum on Urban Forests and was invited to his office in Milan where she visited Bosco Verticale, the first high-rise forest.
  • The last chapter helps readers find ways they can make a difference
  • Includes a list of places to explore in the backmatter as well as important environmental dates.

“This specialized but extremely helpful resource offers realistic and inspiring solutions.”—Booklist

“An exciting opportunity to engage young readers with their world and the multidisciplinary researchers working on these big, global issues.”—School Library Journal

For the Health-Conscious

Notes from a Sickbed by Tessa Brunton

In 2009, Tessa Brunton experienced the first symptoms of myalgic encephalomyelitis (also known as chronic fatigue syndrome). Notes from a Sickbed recalls the next eight years of her life—largely housebound—with honesty, a pointed wit, and a lively visual imagination.

Fun facts about this book

  • Collects previously released and brand-new, unseen comics together in one place.
  • Combines genres of graphic memoir and graphic medicine for the perfect blend of Brunton’s real life and imaginings.
  • Highly detailed black-and-white illustrations bring a unique perspective to daily life.

★”Painfully real.” –starred, Kirkus Reviews

Notes from a Sickbed is a sympathetic, inspiring graphic memoir account of grappling with an illness.”—Foreword Reviews

More Than Stress: Understanding Anxiety Disorders by Bruce M. Hyman, PhD, Tabitha Moriarty, and Cherry Pedrick, RN

Roughly one in three teens in the US will experience an anxiety disorder—anxiety that is excessive and interferes with daily life. This timely, informative, and helpful book covers the causes, symptoms, and diagnosis of such disorders as well as coping strategies and treatments.

Fun facts about this book

  • This is a title in the brand new Healthy Living Library series.
  • Includes resources for identifying, managing, and treating health conditions.
  • Provides up-to-date data and statistics with graphic and charts.

“Teens will find this brief yet wide-ranging and accessible book helpful.”—Booklist

“[A]n inviting, accessible, and informative volume about a critical subject.”—Kirkus Reviews

Not Just about Food: Understanding Eating Disorders by Tabitha Moriarty and Carol Sonenklar

While many think of eating disorders as an individual’s relationship to food, there are complex causes, including genetics, brain chemistry, and life experiences. Learn about the symptoms and diagnosis of eating disorders, which affect thirty million people in the US, many of them young people.

Fun facts about this book

  • This is a title in the brand new Healthy Living Library series.
  • Includes resources for identifying, managing, and treating health conditions.
  • Provides up-to-date data and statistics with graphic and charts.

For the Worker Bee

Don’t Sit On the Baby!, 2nd Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Sane, Skilled, and Safe Babysitting by Halley Bondy

Babysitting is a popular jobs for teens, but caring for kids is not easy. This funny, updated guide covers the basics—from how to find jobs and negotiate pay rates to how to entertain your charges and handle behavioral challenges.

Fun facts about this book

  • Anecdotes from actual teens provide real-life insight into the job.
  • The new edition provides up-to-date safety guidelines and information for handling behavior challenges.
  • Begins with a quiz to determine what kind of sitter reader is!

“With sensible and practical suggestions for a wide variety of situations, this is a welcome update.”—Kirkus Reviews

For more gift suggestions, take a look at our Holiday Gift Guide!

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