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Exploratorium : Teen Fiction, Graphic Novels, & Manga

This is the LibGuide for the 610 Public Library Group.


This guide highlights new books, staff favorites, recommended reading sites, and more book-ish delights for teens and parents. 

What Should I Read Next?

"NoveList has taken a huge step forward in helping librarians make audiobook suggestions and find listen-alikes by including appeal language specifically designed for audiobooks..." - Neal Wyatt, in Library Journal

"Find the best books and media for teens, as selected by library staff and educators across the United States! The Teen Book Finder, generously funded by a grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, offers easy access to the titles honored each year by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association." - EdShelf 

"Secondary school librarians, youth services librarians and English language arts teachers are going to want to create some links to make the Database easily discoverable!" - Joyce Valenza


"Aspiring artists, fans of animated films, and tweens and teens interested in a future career in animation will appreciate the seriousness with which the subject is treated here. Monthly calendars highlight upcoming television and big-screen premieres as well as DVD releases and conference events. Interviews and feature stories take readers behind the scenes of blockbuster films like Disney’s Zootopia and DreamWorks’s Kung Fu Panda 3, offering insight from working artists and designers." - SLJ

"Teen Ink is a magazine, book series, and website entirely devoted to promoting teenage art — whether that be writing, photography, or visual art. Submission ages range from 13 to 19, and can either be published on the website or submitted to the various contest the lit mag offers. They accept all genres of written work and have no deadlines, but they do have genre-specific contests." - ChiArts Double Space


"EpicReads, a colorful and exciting website published by Harper Collins for the YA World (that’s publishing lingo for the young adult market) dishes up news and reviews of books from their YA list, especially new titles in the pipeline. There is so much to do and explore on this site. Follow your favorite authors, participate in polls, take mind-challenging quizzes, win prizes, watch videos from the Epic Reads YouTube channel, *book shimmy!*" - Pennington Public Library

Young Adult Book Central is the second site listed on Feedspots' Top 100 Young Adult Book Blogs and Websites To Follow in 2019. "The Best Young Adult Book Blogs from thousands of Young Adult Book blogs in our index using search and social metrics. We’ve carefully selected these websites because they are actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their readers with frequent updates and high-quality information." 

Fiction Titles

"Peppered with literary quotes and chapter headings, this novel will delight teen lit fans (mentions of YA faves abound). Taylor Namey’s portrayal of mental illness is thoughtful and well executed, and the characterizations of even background characters are fully developed. ... A lovely tale for bookish readers that will give them all the feels." - Kirkus Reviews

"With writing that gives an authentic voice to its Creolese-speaking protagonist, carefully describing internal struggles as well as physical landscapes, Baksh (Children of the Spider, 2016) creates a complex world with an inclusive cast of black and East Indian characters. The descriptions of authentic cultural symbols and practices of Guyanese people, some of whom are Hindu or Muslim, make Danesh’s exploration of a nearby—yet unseen—mystical aquatic land shrouded in stories of Greco-Roman mythology more believable. Magical realism done well: a whirlpool of adventure that will suck readers right in." - Kirkus Reviews

"[R]eaders will enjoy the fast-paced narrative and creepy feel of this book, part spine-chilling horror story and part coming-of-age lesbian romance. There is a feminist message in the way the girls refuse to be manipulated by those with ulterior motives, banding together to fight the monster. If you are looking for something to scare you awake at night, this is the book for you." - Kirkus Reviews

"The intense plot is narrated in alternating third-person perspectives, and the author explores themes surrounding colonization, family, and the injustices of war. The story culminates in an unexpected, heart-wrenching end. An exhilarating series opener." Kirkus Reviews

"In this Carnegie-winning novel, McCaughrean (The Middle of Nowhere, 2013, etc.) turns a small piece of history into an epic, nearly mythic, tale. ... McCaughrean takes the bones of a real event, wraps it in immersive, imaginative detail and thoroughly real emotion, and creates an unforgettable tale of human survival. A masterpiece." - Kirkus Reviews

Graphic Novels

"With electric pacing and dynamic black-and-white illustrations punctuated with bright splashes of yellow, Moore’s (The Zodiac Legacy, 2017, etc.) adaptation of Lu’s (Wildcard, 2018, etc.) novel is a visual delight with all the cinematic panache one would expect from the superhero franchise. Focusing upon Wayne before he fully adopted his Batman persona, this makes for a fine jumping in point for both seasoned fans and newcomers alike." - Kirkus Reviews

"The format allows sensitive and difficult topics such as murder, death, and horrific, traumatizing conditions to unfold for children, Ebo’s reactions speaking volumes and dramatic perspectives giving a sense of scope. A creators’ note provides factual context, and an appendix offers an Eritrean refugee’s minimemoir in graphic form. Action-filled and engaging but considerate of both topic and audience, Ebo’s story effectively paints a picture of a child refugee’s struggle in a world crisscrossed by hostile borders." - Kirkus Reviews

"A roly poly sloth, beset with anxieties and doubts, walks readers through mindfulness and relaxation techniques."  - 2019 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers

"Gillman (Steven Universe: Punching Up, 2018, etc.) captures the Southwestern atmosphere with a soft, dusty color palette. Panels full of movement and vivid character expression create an immersive reading experience. The narrative unites two women with different backgrounds, depicting a relationship in which they support one another. Their romance develops naturally through moments of flirtation and fond glances. An open-ended but still satisfying resolution suggests a bright, hopeful future while leaving room to imagine more adventures for Grace and Flor. An engrossing escapade with a heart-stealing queer romance." - Kirkus Reviews

"In This One Summer two stellar creators redefine the teen graphic novel. Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, the team behind Skim, have collaborated on this gorgeous, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about a girl on the cusp of her teen age — a story of renewal and revelation." - Team Epic Reads


"This quiet story of a king and his loyal friend is complete in one volume, and it’s a beautiful hardcover, too." - Brigid Alverson, SLJ

"Although casual profanity, a few crass jokes, and some alcohol use make this a comic best suited for mature teens, this endearing volume is a must-have for YA graphic novel collections. Sure to resonate with hockey fans and sports newbies alike."  Lara Goldstein, Orange County Public Libraries, NC,

"This is as classic a kids’ story as you can get: A girl with no magic powers goes to witch school. The heroine, Akko, is a fan of a famous witch, Shiny Chariot, and wants to be just like her. Not everyone at the prestigious Luna Nova Academy holds Shiny Chariot in such high esteem, though, nor do they have much patience for a wannabe witch.This manga is an adaptation of the anime of the same name." - Brigid Alverson, SLJ

"Twins who switch places are a common shoujo manga trope, but the twist here is that the book involves a brother and sister. ... Throw in a super-nasty supermodel (she’s the bully) and a mysterious dude who smells of lavender, and you have the setup for a pretty good romantic comedy with a few interesting angles." - Brigid Alverson, SLJ

"This manga is rooted in the romance genre, but it folds in serious issues, such as abuse and depression (Arima describes his world as monotonous) as well as some interesting visual tropes (notes peel off the page when Arima tries to play) and discussion of classical music, including references to pieces and musicians." - Brigid Alverson, SLJ

Ms. Meaghan's Favorites

Caraval cover
These Witches Don't Burn cover
Three Dark Crowns cover
Without Merit cover

We Need Diverse Books


"Real brothers and vloggers John Green (a young adult novelist) and Hank Green (a YouTuber) co-host a lighthearted advice podcast where they answer questions on everything from random thoughts to deep, emotional topics. The advice they give out is mostly good and always entertaining. Their easy camaraderie and self-deprecating charm make you feel like you're in on their inside jokes (of which there are many)." - Common Sense Media

YA Author Music Playlists

Many authors have discussed how music has influenced their writing. I've picked three playlists that were easy to find on Spotify to highlight here. 

Find more of Angie Thomas's musical inspirations on her blog:

FInd more of Marissa Meyer's playlists here:


Alverson, B. (n.d.). Manga, An All-Ages Starter List: Mondo Manga. Retrieved October 7, 2019, from

Alverson, B. (2015, July 30). 15 New Manga Series to Freshen Up Teen Collections. Retrieved October 27, 2019, from

Common Sense Media. (n.d.). Have You Heard? 10 Must-Listen Podcasts for Tweens and Teens. Retrieved October 28, 2019, from

Coon, C. (2009, June 24). Teen Ink - Website Review. Retrieved October 7, 2019, from

Dar, M., Diaz, S. M., Farrell, D., Grabarek, D., Parrott, K., Toth, L., & Turner, K. (n.d.). Browse This! Great Magazines for Kids and Teens. Retrieved October 7, 2019, from

EBSCO. (n.d.). NoveList Plus. Retrieved October 7, 2019, from

EdShelf. (n.d.). YALSA's Teen Book Finder. Retrieved October 26, 2019, from

Epic Reads for the YA Crowd. (2017, June 26). Retrieved October 27, 2019, from

Kirkus Reviews (Ed.). (2019, October 1). BATMAN by Marie Lu , Stuart Moore , Chris Wildgoose. Retrieved October 27, 2019, from

Kirkus Reviews (Ed.). (2018, August 7). ILLEGAL by Eoin Colfer , Andrew Donkin , Giovanni Rigano. Retrieved October 27, 2019, from

Kirkus Reviews (Ed.). (2019, September 15). THE DARK OF THE SEA by Imam Baksh. Retrieved October 27, 2019, from

Kirkus Reviews (Ed.). (2019, October 8). THE LIBRARY OF LOST THINGS by Laura Taylor Namey. Retrieved October 27, 2019, from

Kirkus Reviews (Ed.). (2019, September 10). REBEL GIRLS by Elizabeth Keenan. Retrieved October 27, 2019, from

Kirkus Reviews (Ed.). (2018, October 2). SAWKILL GIRLS by Claire Legrand. Retrieved October 7, 2019, from

Kirkus Reviews (Ed.). (2019, September 3). STAGE DREAMS by Melanie Gillman. Retrieved October 26, 2019, from

Kirkus Reviews (Ed.). (2019, October 15). WAR GIRLS by Tochi Onyebuchi. Retrieved October 27, 2019, from

Kirkus Reviews (Ed.). (2019, December 3). WHERE THE WORLD ENDS by Geraldine McCaughrean. Retrieved October 27, 2019, from

Meyer, M. (n.d.). Music & Playlists. Retrieved October 27, 2019, from

Rowell, R. (2013, March 5). Eleanor & Park - All the playlists! All the music! Retrieved October 27, 2019, from

School Library Journal (Ed.). (2018, August 1). Check, Please!: #Hockey. Retrieved October 27, 2019, from

Team Epic Reads. (2019, January 22). 29 Must-Read YA Graphic Novels to Gather Up for Your Collection. Retrieved October 27, 2019, from

Thomas, A. (2016, June 8). The Hate U Give – Writing Playlist. Retrieved October 27, 2019, from

Valenza, J. (n.d.). YALSA Teen Book Finder Database launches! Retrieved October 26, 2019, from

YALSA. (n.d.). Find great teen books. Retrieved October 26, 2019, from

Williams, C. (2018, February 10). 7 Literary Magazines for the Teenage Writer. Retrieved October 7, 2019, from