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    34 Young Adult Novels To Diversify Your Bookshelf

    Add more color to your shelf with these YA novels.

    Zakiya Jamal for BuzzFeed

    1. Monster by Walter Dean Myers


    Steve Harmon is a teenage boy in juvenile detention and on trial. Written in the form of a screenplay by Steve, along with some of his journal entries, this novel tells the story of how one decision could change someone's whole life.

    2. The Young Elites by Marie Lu

    G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

    Adelina Amouteru is a Young Elite who survived the deadly illness that affected her nation a decade ago. Now she's on the run from the Inquisition Axis who want to destroy her.

    3. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

    Delacorte Press

    Maddy has a rare disease that makes her allergic to the world and prevents her from leaving her house. The only people she sees are her mother and nurse, Carla. That is until a boy named Olly moves in next door and turns her world upside down.

    4. To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

    Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

    In this novel, Lara Jean Song's love letters to all five of her crushes accidentally gets mailed to them. Now that her secrets are out, Lara Jean's love life quickly goes from imaginary to out of control.

    5. Who Fears Death? by Nnedi Okorafor


    In a post-apocalyptic Africa, Onyesonwu is a child of rape and a half-breed who is rejected by the two conflicting tribes in her region. But Onye has a unique magic that puts her on the run from a killer. As Onye tries to understand her abilities she finds herself on a life-changing journey.

    6. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

    G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

    This novel follows the story of 16-year-old Shahrzad who volunteers to marry Khalid, the 18-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, who takes a new bride each night and has her executed at sunrise. Shahrzad wants to avenge all the girls Khalid's killed, but she soon realizes there's more to the deaths of the girls than there seemed.

    7. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

    Viking Books for Young Readers

    Sunny is a 12-year-old African-American who lives in Nigeria and discovers she's a "free agent" with latent magical power. Joining a quartet of magic students, Sunny learns how to change reality and use her magic, but will she and her fellow students be enough to catch a criminal who knows magic too?

    8. Tithe by Holly Black

    Margaret K. McElderry Books

    Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad who travels from city to city with her mother's band until an attack forces Kaye to return to her childhood home in New Jersey. There she finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms that could lead to her death if she's not careful.

    9. Liar by Justine Larbalestier

    Bloomsbury USA Childrens

    There's only one truth Micah will own up to: She's a liar. But when her boyfriend, Zach, dies, Micah sets out to tell the truth. Follow along as the ultimate unreliable narrator tries to tell her story and discover the honest truth that she's buried so deep in her mind, she struggles to believe it's real.

    10. Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryana

    Scholastic Inc.

    This novel follows 13-year-old Esperanza, who's living the life of a princess in Mexico. However, when she and her mother are forced to move to California and become farm workers, Esperanza has to change her world view and find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances.

    11. The Chaos by Nalo Hopkinson

    Margaret K. McElderry Books

    Sixteen-year-old Scotch feels like she doesn't belong anywhere. Plus, a sticky black substance has begun to form on her skin that can't be removed and her brother is taken by a mysterious bubble of light called the Chaos that begins to affect the whole city. Scotch needs to figure out what's happening in her city ASAP, but first she needs to understand what exactly is happening to her.

    12. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros


    This critically acclaimed novel follows the story of Esperanza Cordero, a Mexican-American girl living in Chicago. Told in a series of vignettes, the novel tells the remarkable tale of Esperanza from the age of 12 and through her coming-of-age.

    13. The First Part Last by Angela Johnson

    Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

    Bobby's the typical teenager. He's restless and impulsive and having the time of his life. Except, there's one problem: His girlfriend, Nia, is pregnant. Now, instead of spending time with their friends, they're going to doctor appointments and faced with a tough decision. Should they keep the baby or give it up for adoption?

    14. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

    St. Martin's Griffin

    Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this novel follows Eleanor and Park, two "misfits" who know better than to believe first love can last but are desperate enough to try.

    15. Pointe by Brandy Colbert

    G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

    Theo is finally getting her life back on track when her oldest friend, Donovan, returns home after spending four years with his kidnapper, causing Theo to relive memories about Donovan's abduction and abductor. Donovan isn't talking about what happened, but Theo knows more than she's saying. But is speaking the truth worth putting everything's she's been living for at risk?

    16. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

    Junior is a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to make his own destiny, he attends an all-white farm town high school. Based on the author's own personal experiences, this novel shows the adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to run from the life he's destined to live.

    17. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

    Harlequin Teen

    In The Immortal Rules, set in a world where vampires are in control and humans are their slaves, Allison Sekemoto refuses to give up — until one night when she is forced to choose between dying or becoming a vampire. Now, she's on the run and must pass as a human to stay with a group of pilgrims, looking for a legend that Allison can hardly believe.

    18. Cuba 15 by Nancy Osa

    Delacorte Books for Young Readers

    Half Cuban, half Polish, and feeling 100% American, Violet knows almost nothing about her Cuban heritage. As the planning for her quinceañera begins, Violet is determined to learn more about her history and culture and form her own opinions.

    19. Legend by Marie Lu


    Set in what was once the Western United States, this dystopian novel follows 15-year-olds June and Day as they discover that although they come from two very different worlds, they may have more in common than they thought.

    20. The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson

    Arthur A. Levine Books

    Set in a futuristic Brazil, June Costa is a legendary artist who dreams of fame. When the new Summer King, Enki, comes to the city, the two make beautiful projects and rebel against the strict government together, causing June to fall in love with him. But just like all the Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die.

    21. Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith


    When America enters World War II and the Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) is formed, Ida Mae Jones see this as her chance to follow her dream. Choosing to pass for white so she can enter the program, Ida Mae struggles to understand who she really is and who she wants to be.

    22. Shadows Cast by Stars by Catherine Knutsson

    Atheneum Books for Young Readers

    Taking place 200 years in the future where the blood of aboriginal peoples is a valuable commodity, 16-year-old Cassandra Mercredi and her family flee to the Island to escape the government that wants their blood. But Cassandra soon discovers the spirits on the Island are angry and they begin to use her as their mouthpiece.

    23. How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon

    Henry Holt and Co.

    This novel tells the story of a young black boy, Tariq Johnson, who dies after being shot twice by Jack Franklin, a white man. The novel shows how the community deals with the aftermath of Tariq's death and the search for the truth of the events that led to such tragedy.

    24. Truancy by Isamu Fukui

    Tor Teen

    In an alternate world, the autocratic Mayor, along with his Educators, rule the school system, and a group of former students, the Truancy, stands against them. When someone close to him is killed, 15-year-old Tack seeks vengeance by joining the Truancy but soon finds himself feeling sympathy for the Truants.

    25. Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

    Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy

    In the year 2025 on the outskirts of Los Angeles, Lauren Olamina is left to fend for herself when a fire destroys her family's compound. While making her way north to safety, along with a handful of other refugees, Lauren comes up with a revolutionary idea that may save all of mankind.

    26. The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna

    Balzer + Bray

    Created by the Weavers, Eva is a copy of Amarra, her "other." When Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva is forced to give up everything she's ever known, and the boy she's forbidden to love, to move to India and become the girl she's practiced 15 years to be.

    27. Pig Park by Claudia Guadalupe Martinez

    Cinco Puntos Press

    In an effort to save the town, the adults enlist all remaining boys and girls to haul bricks to build a giant pyramid in the park to lure tourists. But something's off about the entrepreneur who's behind it all. Hopefully 15-year-old Masi Burciaga won't be too distracted by the new boy in town to figure it out.

    28. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir


    When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia agrees to work with rebels and goes undercover to spy on the ruling Martial Empire. Upon entering its greatest military academy, she meets Elias, the school's finest soldier and, secretly, it's most unwilling. Together they will discover they have the power to change the fate of the empire itself.

    29. The Battle of Jericho by Sharon Draper

    Atheneum Books for Young Readers

    When 16-year-old Jericho and his cousin and best friend, Josh, are invited to pledge for the Warriors of Distinction, the oldest and most exclusive club in school, they're both excited. But when the secret initiation begins to get increasingly humiliating Jericho and Josh have to decide how far they're really willing to go to get in.

    30. Shipwrecks by Akira Yoshimura

    Mariner Books

    Nine-year-old Isaku lives in a poor, remote fishing village on the coast of Japan where his people use salt cauldrons to make ships crash into the rocks so they can steal the cargo. One day a ship hits the rocks and Isaku discovers that the cargo is more deadly than they could've ever imagined.

    31. Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona


    The all-new Ms. Marvel is Kamala Khan, a Muslim girl from Jersey City who is suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. Struggling to determine her identity and how to use her newfound powers, Kamala discovers the secret behind her abilities and how to wield her new gifts.

    32. The Skin I'm In by Sharon G. Flake

    Hyperion Book CH

    Maleeka is constantly being teased in school because of her dark, black skin. When a new teacher arrives, whose face is blotched with a startling white patch, Maleeka fears the worst for her. But surprisingly the new teacher, Miss Saunders, is 100% comfortable in her skin. Can Maleeka learn how to do the same?

    33. Motherland by Vineeta Vijayaraghavan

    Soho Press

    After living in New York for the past 11 years of her life, Maya returns to India to stay with her aunt, uncle, cousin, and grandmother, Ammamma. While there, she sees the stark differences between American and Indian culture and learns more about her family history and discovers hidden family secrets.

    34. Vanished by E. E. Cooper

    Katherine Tegen Books

    Although she knows it can't end well, Kalah can't help but fall for Beth Taylor. But when Beth vanishes and her best friend, Britney, kills herself soon after, Kalah quickly learns Beth may not be the girl she thought she was. Caught up in a psychological game, Kalah doesn't know who to trust or how to find out the truth.

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