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  • Joel Cunningham 8:00 pm on 2019/12/06 Permalink
    Tags: , emma steinkellner, , guts, jen wang, , kwame alexander, meg jo beth amy: a modern retelling of little women, new kid, Raina telgemeier, stargazing, the crossover, the lost heir, the okay witch   

    Raise a Graphic Novel Reader: Our Booksellers’ Favorite 2019 Young Reader Graphic Novels 

    Graphic novels were once synonymous with superheroes, but these days, the biggest hits in the illustrative medium are aimed at young readers. Stories about kids, and written (and drawn!) for kids, are fast becoming some of the most popular titles in the bookstore. Graphic novels are great for reluctant readers, but will also please voracious ones. If you’re hoping to raise a graphic novel reader (or keep your existing one happy), we’d suggest starting with a book from the list below, representing Barnes & Noble booksellers’ 2019 favorites. (Explore all of our booksellers’ 2019 favorites.)

    Guts, by Raina Telgemeier
    Raina Telgemeier is at the forefront of the recent boom in graphic novels for kids thanks to hits like Smile and Sisters, not to mention her work on the graphic novel relaunch of The Baby-Sitters Club. Children love the frank, funny take on sibling squabbles and adolescent struggles, and her bright, clear drawings bring Raina’s everykid world to life. In Guts, Telgemeier tells the story of the devastating anxiety that struck her when she was in elementary school, causing terrible stomach aches that kept her home from school. As Raina faces her best friend moving away, the terrifying prospect of a class presentation, an overcrowded house, and a mean girl’s ire, kids will be riveted—and just might find a way to speak up about their own troubles.

    Stargazing, by Jen Wang
    This moving, funny, and beautiful graphic novel plunges the reader into the Chinese-American community alongside two girls, Christine Hong and Moon Lin. Christine is a disciplined striver, aiming to keep up with the top violin player in the orchestra. When Christine’s parents learn that a family from their church community is having money trouble, they rent out their extra apartment to Mrs. Lin and her daughter Moon, who has a reputation as a “weird kid” and a troublemaker. But Christine soon finds that Moon enjoys a freedom she longs for: Moon loves K-Pop, doesn’t speak Chinese, and paints her toenails blue. The girls become fast friends before a medical scare (inspired by the author’s own experience of having a brain tumor removed when she was six) threatens to derail their plans to perform at the school talent show. Sweet and atmospheric, Stargazing captures the genuine inspiration we derive from our friends.

    The Okay Witch, by Emma Steinkellner
    Steinkellner’s debut graphic novel captures both typical adolescent social anxiety and an extraordinary magical world. Moth is growing up in Founder’s Bluff, Massachusetts, where her single mom runs a thrift store. She is constantly harassed at school for being different, and has no friends—until a new boy moves to town. Meanwhile, in history class, the kids learn about a witch hunt in their town in the 1600s, and that the current mayor is a descendent of the town’s founder, who hated witches. The problem is, Moth is beginning to have unexplainable experiences that suggest she might be a witch herself. Steinkellner captures the atmosphere of an old New England town, and in the midst of a rollicking fantasy adventure, makes the vital point that history often only tells one side of the story.

    The Lost Heir, by Tui Sutherland and Mike Holmes
    A bestselling novel series returns in illustrated form, and retains all of the magic and adventure of the original. Years ago, when she was just a dragon egg, Tsunami and four other dragonets were captured and held hostage. Known as the dragonets of destiny, they were the chosen ones, selected to finally end a war between the various dragon tribes. But the dragonets had other plans. Having now escaped, they are headed to the SeaWing Kingdom, where Tsunami will be reunited with her mother, Queen Coral, and begin her new destiny as heir to the throne. But Tsunami soon discovers their new home may not be the safe haven she imagined.

    New Kid, by Jerry Craft
    Seventh grader Jordan Banks dreams of going to art school. But his parents have other plans and enroll him in the ultra-fancy Riverdale Academy Day School, a private school known for its focus on academics. Not only does Jordan feel like the social outcast, making the trip across town from his less-than-prestigious Washington Heights neighborhood, but he’s one of only a handful of kids of color in his entire grade. Now, he doesn’t fit in at home…and he doesn’t fit in at school. Where exactly does Jordan belong? And how can he remain loyal to his art?

    The Crossover, by Kwame Alexander and Dawud Anyabwile
    Kwame Alexander’s 2015 Newberry Medal–winning book gets the graphic novel treatment, with stunning art by Dawud Anyabwile enhancing the thrills of the sports-centric coming-of-age drama. Written in verse, The Crossover tells the story of twelve-year-old Josh Bell and his twin brother, who together rule the basketball court—thanks in no small part to their father, a former Euroleague champion. But when a crisis strikes the Bell family, basketball takes a backseat in this lively and emotional page-turner. Anyabwile’s dynamic and powerful illustrations shed new light on Alexander’s incredible characters as they navigate life on and off the court.

    Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: A Modern Retelling of Little Women, by Ray Terciero and Bre Indigo
    Louisa May Alcott’s classic story is given the graphic treatment, as creators Ray Terciero and Bre Indigo reimagine the March family for today’s kids. The sisters are now part of a blended family living in Brooklyn—Meg is black, Jo is white, and Beth and Amy are biracial. While their father fights overseas in the war on terror and their mother is preoccupied with the worries of being a single parent, the girls face their own struggles, their stories retaining the flavor of their original characterizations while feeling wholly modern: Amy faces racist bullying at school, Meg contemplates her future path in life, Jo hides her queer identity, and budding musician Beth faces a health crisis. Indigo’s clear and engaging art places the characters front and center, and their coming-of-age journeys truly resonate, retaining all the charm, humor, and drama of the beloved original.

    Click, by Kayla Miller
    The perils of navigating the elementary school social scene are at the forefront of this winning graphic novel starring Olivia, a social butterfly who has never had a problem making friends but still struggles to find her flock. With the big school talent show coming up, the rest of the class forms acts, leaving Olivia without a partner and with the realization that she doesn’t really have a best friend. She sinks into a funk—until she realizes (with a little help from her funky Aunt Molly) that she doesn’t need to join a clique to be the star of the show. Miller’s bright, accessible art makes this story of self-discovery a winner for experienced graphic novel readers and newcomers alike.

    These are the young reader books our booksellers recommend for budding graphic novel fans. What are your favorites?

    The post Raise a Graphic Novel Reader: Our Booksellers’ Favorite 2019 Young Reader Graphic Novels appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Joel Cunningham 3:00 pm on 2019/12/06 Permalink
    Tags: , critical role, doomsday clock, , monstress, , the umbrella academy, thebatman who laughs   

    Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ Favorite Graphic Novels & Comics of 2019 

    In a year in which a single superhero movie made nearly $3 billion at the box office, it goes without saying that comics and graphic novels are more of a cultural force than ever—but the medium is also about much more than flights and tights. Just ask a member of Barnes & Noble’s team of experienced booksellers, who know better than anyone that there’s a comic out there for every kind of reader. We asked them to tell us which ones belong on our year-end must-read lists, and there six were at the top of the stack: our booksellers’ favorite comics and graphic novels of the year. (Explore all of our booksellers’ 2019 favorites.)

    Critical Role Vox Machina: Origins, Vol. 1, by Matthew Mercer, Matthew Colville, Olivia Samson, and Chris Northrop
    A ragtag group of heroes set out on an epic quest, one only completed after 115 episodes of the incredibly popular D&D-themed Critical Role show set in the world of Exandria. With writers/Dungeon Masters Matthew Mercer and Matthew Colville telling the story, this book reveals the origins of the adventurers known as Vox Machina as they combine their skills to uncover dark and dirty dealings in the town of Stillben.

    The Adventure Zone: Murder on the Rockport Limited! (B&N Exclusive Edition)by Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy, and Carey Pietsch
    The first Adventure Zone graphic novel proved that a comedy/fantasy Dungeons & Dragons-themed podcast actually could translate perfectly well to comics, thank you. With success pretty much assured (Here There Be Gerblins was a number one New York Times bestseller after all), the second volume dives right in without any hesitation. We rejoin Taako, Magnus, and Merle as they take on a railroad murder mystery involving a kid detective, an axe-wielding pro wrestler, cursed artifacts, and a pair of meat monsters. Fans will want to grab the B&N exclusive edition, which includes a gold foil variant cover as well as four metallic-stamped trading cards with images of Magnus, Merle, Taako, and Angus McDonald, boy detective.

    The Umbrella Academy, Volume 3: Hotel Oblivion (B&N Exclusive Edition)by Gerard Way, Gabriel Bá, Nate Piekos, Nick Filardi, and Jeff Lemire
    It’s been almost a decade (if you can believe it) since Way and Bá last teamed up on an Umbrella Academy story, making this third volume a long-anticipated event (and dovetailing nicely with the debut of the well-received Netflix adaptation). Luckily, the team hasn’t lost a step: as strange and surreal as ever, volume 3 picks up with the team of super-powered siblings divided, and scattered around the globe. What brings them back together (almost) is a dark secret from the past of the late Sir Reginald Hargreeves: a master plan to protect his heroic charges from rising threats involving a secret prison and a new generation of gifted individuals. The B&N Exclusive Edition includes several pages of extra material along with a very nice variant cover by Bá.

    The Batman Who Laughs (B&N Exclusive Edition), by Scott Snyder and Jock
    He might have been merely a one-off villain pulled from the pages of the creepy Dark Knights: Metal miniseries. Instead, the Batman spawned by the Dark Multiverse is poised to have a major impact on the future of the mainstream DCU. Having survived the events of that earlier series, The Batman Who Laughs kicks off a story that spans the multiverse, forcing Bruce to consider breaking his cardinal rule and actually killing his doppelgänger before his monstrous plan comes to fruition. Of course, it was murder that birthed the villain, leaving Batman with an impossible choice.

    Monstress, Vol. 4 (B&N Exclusive Edition), by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
    The latest chapter in one of the most impressively written, lushly illustrated, award-winningest (5 Eisners, 4 Hugos) series running finds Maika and Corvin on the hunt for Kippa across a warped and dangerous landscape. An encounter with a figure from Maika’s past leads to startling revelations relating to a conspiracy threatening the Known World, and finds a war in the offing. The B&N exclusive edition includes a gorgeous poster and alternate cover by series artist Sana Takeda. Populated by monstrous villains, a noble half-wolf protagonist, and a host of delightful talking cats, it reads like a story pulled from Jim Henson’s darkest nightmares—a statement meant as the highest of compliments.

    Doomsday Clock, Part 1, by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank
    There was bound to be some controversy over bringing characters from the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons classic Watchmen into the mainstream DCU, but the publisher overcame a lot of resistance by putting an all-star creative team on the book. It’s also consequential: all of the major events of the Rebirth era have ties to Doomsday Clock, and there’s a real sense of the epic at play as we discover where the universe-hopping Doctor Manhattan went after the end of the original mini-series (you can probably guess), and what happens when Ozymandias follows Big Blue to escape the consequences of his drastic bid to engineer world peace. It all has something to do with a superhuman arms race with Superman at its core. The story seems to exist largely to the side of the madness playing out on the magnificent ongoing series on HBO, but it feels essential for Watchmen fans all the same.

    These are the graphic novels & comics Barnes & Noble booksellers loved in 2019. What would you add?

    The post Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ Favorite Graphic Novels & Comics of 2019 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Joel Cunningham 2:00 pm on 2019/12/05 Permalink
    Tags: , ,   

    The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse Is Barnes & Noble’s 2019 Book of the Year 

    We’re thrilled to announce that our booksellers have selected Charlie Mackesy’s unique illustrated tale The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse as Barnes & Noble’s inaugural Book of the Year.

    U.K.-based artist and illustrator Mackesy creates in various mediums, from pen and ink, to paint, to sculpture. He began his professional career as a cartoonist for the British magazine The Spectator and as a book illustrator for Oxford University Press before his work began appearing in galleries. He is a respected artist in his home country, and has collaborated on projects with notable figures the likes of film director Richard Curtis and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Nelson Mandela—but when he posted to Instagram a deceptively simple drawing of a boy atop a large horse, engaged in a dialogue about courage, the internet took notice, and he found his work reaching an audience he’d never expected.

    That single drawing eventually grew into The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, a charmingly illustrated story in which a young boy and three animals wander through a beautifully rendered English countryside, talking of the importance of life, love, acceptance, and, not to be forgotten, cake. It’s a fable that can be read in an hour and pondered for a lifetime, imparting universal truths in an elegant marriage of spare dialogue and deceptively simple art. There’s a quiet grace to Mackesy’s work that has found the place in the hearts of readers around the world—and in the hearts of Barnes & Noble booksellers in particular.

    All of us at Barnes & Noble love The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, but because Book of the Year is an honor bestowed by our booksellers, we want to give them the final word. Here is just a selection of the enthusiastic endorsements we received for this book, which moved our booksellers so deeply, they wanted to share its message with all of you.

    “Follow four unforgettable characters as they embark on a journey filled with important life lessons. Like A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh, there is a graceful blending of wit and illustration that breathes beauty into a deceptively simple narrative. Prepare to be inspired as you connect with this ragtag group of friends who show that emotional vulnerability is a strength. A timely work of art that speaks to all ages.” — Jennifer Zent, Bookseller, Mishawaka, IN

    “In the world we live in today, this book touches the heart and reminds us of who we want to be and the world we want to create for ourselves and others. The simple messages from a mole or compassionate words from a horse tells us that we don’t need a complex answer when we are confused. Life is simple. We are the ones who make it so complicated. A beautiful book for the soul as well as the eyes.”— Glenda Moret, Bookseller, Brentwood, TN

    “Tears fall for a reason, they are your strength, not weakness.  Need I say more? This book is spectacular. A perfect gift for anyone. Aspirational, thought provoking and beautifully illustrated.” — Amanda Craig, Bookseller, Birmingham, AL

    “Simple yet effective. This book shows the beauty in bold lines, thoughtful phrases, and introspection. Mackesy brilliantly delivers powerful mantras in a story-like fashion, combining them with graphics that seek a deeper meaning: the boy on his journey through life, the mole who he first encounters, a fox who may not be what he first appears to be, a horse who is hiding a secret. Every page is practically a way to live your life, and worthy of meditating on as you take your own journey.” — John Carroll, Bookseller, Tupelo, MS

    “In a time when our world can seem so divided and uncertain, here are a boy, a mole, a fox, and a horse to remind us that love and kindness are everything, and that we all matter.” — Scott Skar, Bookseller, Souix Falls, SD

    Order the Barnes & Noble exclusive edition of The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, a unique, gift-quality edition featuring a larger trim size, heavy paper, and a cloth binding. 

    The post <i>The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse</i> Is Barnes & Noble’s 2019 Book of the Year appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Joel Cunningham 8:00 pm on 2019/12/04 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , on the come up, , , , , , , ,   

    Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ Favorite Young Adult Books of 2019 

    The past year has been an amazing one for young adult literature—and no one knows that better than Barnes & Noble’s team of experienced booksellers, who each day make it their mission to connect every reader with just the right book. We wanted to know what YA books to put on our year-end must-read lists, so we asked them. These are our booksellers’ favorites of the year—and, we wager, they’ll soon be yours too. (Explore all of our booksellers’ 2019 favorites.)

    The Toll, by Neal Shusterman
    Neal Shusterman’s bestselling series about a boy who inherits the blade of the grim reaper and decides he doesn’t want the job comes to a triumphant close. Citra and Rowan awaken three years after the events of the last book, and soon find themselves on the run from Scythe Goddard’s allies and everyone who would see Rowan burn for the destruction of Endura. The Thunderhead is still in charge, but won’t communicate with anyone other than Greyson Tolliver, also known as the Toll. As you can imagine, things are pretty complicated, and moving quickly toward a world-altering climax. New readers will definitely want to start with Scythe (the B&N YA Book Club pick for December), and prepare themselves for a journey into one of the most compelling worlds its award-winning author has ever created.

    The Queen of Nothing, by Holly Black
    The final installment of Holly Black’s Folk of the Air trilogy, The Queen of Nothing brings us back to the world of the high fae—or in Jude’s current state of affairs, the mortal world. Exiled immediately after being crowned Queen of Faerie, Jude is killing time, waiting for the opportunity to return to her court and take back everything that has been stolen from her. When her twin sister Taryn seeks her out in need of a favor, Jude finally gets the chance to reunite with her king and reclaim her power. Words cannot express how satisfying this trilogy is, and it comes to an end in one last book of betrayal, love, and faerie spies (but don’t read it until you’ve finished The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King).

    Children of Virtue and Vengeance, by Tomi Adeyemi
    Tomi Adeyemi stunned the world with Children of Blood and Bone, her hugely successful fantasy debut set in a world inspired by her West African heritage. At the close of that volume, its fearsome heroines Zélie and Amari succeeded in carrying out a powerful ritual that restored magic to the lands of Orïsha. But the spell had powerful consequences they never expected, returning magic not only to their people, the maji, but to all the power-hungry nobles with magic in their blood as well. Rather than lifting up those who were being subjugated, the ritual has only set the stage for a far deadlier conflict, as Zélie attempts to unite the maji and secure Amari’s place on the throne in the face of opposition from the military and the powers-that-be. The stakes or only higher, and the worldbuilding is only more imaginative, in this epic continuation of the Legacy of Orïsha trilogy. Available in a Barnes & Noble exclusive edition featuring an interview with the author and a double-sided poster.

    Wayward Son, by Rainbow Rowell
    Simon Snow returns in the unexpected sequel to Carry On, and he’s feeling at a loss for what to do with his life. After all, if you’ve already fulfilled your purpose—in chosen-one young magician Simon’s case, that would be defeating the legendary evil force he was destined to face—in high school, where does one go from there? British boarding school kid Simon’s decides on America, and embarks on a great road trip across the western U.S. alongside bestie Penny and Baz, the object of his fraught romantic obsession,to figure it out. Along the way, they encounter all manner of scary creatures, wrong turns, and a glimpse into the rest of their lives. For a series that started out as a fanfiction experiment, Rainbow Rowell’s ode to wizarding fantasies is fast becoming one of the best series in the genre.  Listen to Rainbow Rowell discuss the book on the B&N YA Podcast.

    On the Come Up, by Angie Thomas
    Thomas’s debut The Hate U Give has spent its entire shelf life (more than one hundred weeks) near the top of the New York Times bestseller list, so anticipation was understandably sky-high for the author’s sophomore effort. Rest assured, Thomas has proven herself more than up to the challenge—not unlike On the Come Up’s protagonist, aspiring performer Brianna Jackson. As a young black woman accustomed to being underestimated, profiled, and dismissed, Bri knows she’ll have to do “double the work to get half the respect” if she’s going to make it as a rapper. She pours everything she’s feeling—about her life, her neighborhood, her family’s struggles, and her problems at school—into lyrics so good you’ll wish the book came with a soundtrack. It’s a book every bit as immediate, every bit as searing, and every bit as endearing as THUGListen to Angie Thomas discuss the book on the B&N YA Podcast.

    Starsight, by Brandon Sanderson
    In Skyward, Brandon Sanderson introduced us to Spensa, a girl trapped on Detritus, a planet constantly under siege by alien starfighters. Haunted by her dead father’s legacy as the pilot who abandoned his people in a crucial battle, Spensa determined to become a pilot and make a new name for herself. Accepted—begrudgingly—into flight school, Spensa stumbled upon an outdated starshipand set off into space—a place that proved more terrifying than Spensa expected. The action picks up without missing a beat in Starsight, which is every bit the page-turner, revealing shocking truths about the wider galaxy this young woman has entered into. Spensa will stop at nothing to prove herself and save humanity from extinction, and you’ll stop at nothing until you’ve read every page.

    Cursed, by Thomas Wheeler and Frank Miller
    It’s no wonder the buzz started building early for this one: an illustrated epic fantasy novel for teens, based on the ancient legends of King Arthur, featuring the artwork of legendary comics creator Frank Miller, and destined to be an original Netflix series starring Katherine Langford? Cursed arrived pre-sold, by the hype machine, and the book satisfies every expectation with the story of Nimue, who grew up an outcast, banished for her connection to magic. Her destiny changes when her dying mother charges her with reuniting an ancient sword with a legendary sorcerer, forcing her to team up with a mercenary named Arthur and the fey folk who have fled across Englnad. Who needs a king? Here, the Lady of the Lake is the true hero—a knight worthy of us all. The book features 8 full-color and 30 black-and-white pieces of original artwork. Read an interview with Thomas Wheeler and Frank Miller on the B&N Teen Blog.

    Supernova, by Marissa Meyer
    In the first installment of the Renegades series, readers met Nova and Adrian, superheroes on opposite sides of the war between the publicly adored Renegades and the villainous Anarchists. While tackling questions of vengeance versus justice, and the responsibilities of those with special powers, fantasy expert Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles), brought a complex love story to the mix. In sequel Archenemies, Nova infiltrated the Renegades and stole Ace Anarchy’s helmet, while readers wondered if she and Adrian would ever uncover each other’s secret identities. As Nightmare and The Sentinel, they loathe each other, and Supernova begins with Nova’s reluctant return to her role as spy extraordinaire even as she wishes she could shout the truth about her alter ego. Meyer proves as adept at twisting sci-fi tropes as the beats of familiar fairytales, making for a supremely satisfying science fantasy saga.

    Pumpkinheads, by Rainbow Rowell, Faith Erin Hicks (Illustrator)
    The author of Eleanor & Park and the artist behind Comics Will Break Your Heart (whose work can be seen in multiple award-winning graphic novels) joined forces for this delightful tale of friendship with heavy Can’t Hardly Wait vibes. “Seasonal besties” and Omaha teens Deja and Josiah spend every fall together as co-workers at the local pumpkin patch. Now that they’re high school seniors, feeling bereft about their last shift on their last night on the job, outgoing Deja decides it’s time for reticent Josiah to stop speculating about his crush (aka Fudge Girl) and do something. Soon they’re taking full advantage of their surroundings—not just sampling every delectable treat and attraction at the patch, but possibly learning new things about each other and the ways in which they relate. It’s a seasonal romance as sweet and comforting as a pumpkin spice latte.

    Call Down the Hawk, by Maggie Stiefvater
    Although some characters—and love interests—were introduced in Maggie Stiefvater’s earlier series the Raven Cycle, this series-starter is enormously satisfying all on its own. Ronan Lynch is a dreamer who can pull elements of his dreams into the real world, an ability that causes him no end of problems. He wants nothing more than to visit his boyfriend Adam at college, but his lack of control he has over his abilities keep him sequestered on the family farm. Elsewhere, art thief Jordan can’t risk falling into REM sleep, and government operative Carmen is tasked with preventing a dreamer-instigated apocalypse. When all of these characters’ lives intersect, it makes for an addictive series opener. Listen to Maggie Stiefvater discuss the book on the B&N YA Podcast.

    These are the B&N booksellers’ favorite YA books of 2019. What are yours? 

    The post Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ Favorite Young Adult Books of 2019 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Joel Cunningham 8:00 pm on 2019/12/04 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , on the come up, pumpkinheads, , , , , , , ,   

    Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ Favorite Young Adult Books of 2019 

    The past year has been an amazing one for young adult literature—and no one knows that better than Barnes & Noble’s team of experienced booksellers, who each day make it their mission to connect every reader with just the right book. We wanted to know what YA books to put on our year-end must-read lists, so we asked them. These are our booksellers’ favorites of the year—and, we wager, they’ll soon be yours too. (Explore all of our booksellers’ 2019 favorites.)

    The Toll, by Neal Shusterman
    Neal Shusterman’s bestselling series about a boy who inherits the blade of the grim reaper and decides he doesn’t want the job comes to a triumphant close. Citra and Rowan awaken three years after the events of the last book, and soon find themselves on the run from Scythe Goddard’s allies and everyone who would see Rowan burn for the destruction of Endura. The Thunderhead is still in charge, but won’t communicate with anyone other than Greyson Tolliver, also known as the Toll. As you can imagine, things are pretty complicated, and moving quickly toward a world-altering climax. New readers will definitely want to start with Scythe (the B&N YA Book Club pick for December), and prepare themselves for a journey into one of the most compelling worlds its award-winning author has ever created.

    The Queen of Nothing, by Holly Black
    The final installment of Holly Black’s Folk of the Air trilogy, The Queen of Nothing brings us back to the world of the high fae—or in Jude’s current state of affairs, the mortal world. Exiled immediately after being crowned Queen of Faerie, Jude is killing time, waiting for the opportunity to return to her court and take back everything that has been stolen from her. When her twin sister Taryn seeks her out in need of a favor, Jude finally gets the chance to reunite with her king and reclaim her power. Words cannot express how satisfying this trilogy is, and it comes to an end in one last book of betrayal, love, and faerie spies (but don’t read it until you’ve finished The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King).

    Children of Virtue and Vengeance, by Tomi Adeyemi
    Tomi Adeyemi stunned the world with Children of Blood and Bone, her hugely successful fantasy debut set in a world inspired by her West African heritage. At the close of that volume, its fearsome heroines Zélie and Amari succeeded in carrying out a powerful ritual that restored magic to the lands of Orïsha. But the spell had powerful consequences they never expected, returning magic not only to their people, the maji, but to all the power-hungry nobles with magic in their blood as well. Rather than lifting up those who were being subjugated, the ritual has only set the stage for a far deadlier conflict, as Zélie attempts to unite the maji and secure Amari’s place on the throne in the face of opposition from the military and the powers-that-be. The stakes or only higher, and the worldbuilding is only more imaginative, in this epic continuation of the Legacy of Orïsha trilogy. Available in a Barnes & Noble exclusive edition featuring an interview with the author and a double-sided poster.

    Wayward Son, by Rainbow Rowell
    Simon Snow returns in the unexpected sequel to Carry On, and he’s feeling at a loss for what to do with his life. After all, if you’ve already fulfilled your purpose—in chosen-one young magician Simon’s case, that would be defeating the legendary evil force he was destined to face—in high school, where does one go from there? British boarding school kid Simon’s decides on America, and embarks on a great road trip across the western U.S. alongside bestie Penny and Baz, the object of his fraught romantic obsession,to figure it out. Along the way, they encounter all manner of scary creatures, wrong turns, and a glimpse into the rest of their lives. For a series that started out as a fanfiction experiment, Rainbow Rowell’s ode to wizarding fantasies is fast becoming one of the best series in the genre.  Listen to Rainbow Rowell discuss the book on the B&N YA Podcast.

    On the Come Up, by Angie Thomas
    Thomas’s debut The Hate U Give has spent its entire shelf life (more than one hundred weeks) near the top of the New York Times bestseller list, so anticipation was understandably sky-high for the author’s sophomore effort. Rest assured, Thomas has proven herself more than up to the challenge—not unlike On the Come Up’s protagonist, aspiring performer Brianna Jackson. As a young black woman accustomed to being underestimated, profiled, and dismissed, Bri knows she’ll have to do “double the work to get half the respect” if she’s going to make it as a rapper. She pours everything she’s feeling—about her life, her neighborhood, her family’s struggles, and her problems at school—into lyrics so good you’ll wish the book came with a soundtrack. It’s a book every bit as immediate, every bit as searing, and every bit as endearing as THUGListen to Angie Thomas discuss the book on the B&N YA Podcast.

    Starsight, by Brandon Sanderson
    In Skyward, Brandon Sanderson introduced us to Spensa, a girl trapped on Detritus, a planet constantly under siege by alien starfighters. Haunted by her dead father’s legacy as the pilot who abandoned his people in a crucial battle, Spensa determined to become a pilot and make a new name for herself. Accepted—begrudgingly—into flight school, Spensa stumbled upon an outdated starshipand set off into space—a place that proved more terrifying than Spensa expected. The action picks up without missing a beat in Starsight, which is every bit the page-turner, revealing shocking truths about the wider galaxy this young woman has entered into. Spensa will stop at nothing to prove herself and save humanity from extinction, and you’ll stop at nothing until you’ve read every page.

    Cursed, by Thomas Wheeler and Frank Miller
    It’s no wonder the buzz started building early for this one: an illustrated epic fantasy novel for teens, based on the ancient legends of King Arthur, featuring the artwork of legendary comics creator Frank Miller, and destined to be an original Netflix series starring Katherine Langford? Cursed arrived pre-sold, by the hype machine, and the book satisfies every expectation with the story of Nimue, who grew up an outcast, banished for her connection to magic. Her destiny changes when her dying mother charges her with reuniting an ancient sword with a legendary sorcerer, forcing her to team up with a mercenary named Arthur and the fey folk who have fled across Englnad. Who needs a king? Here, the Lady of the Lake is the true hero—a knight worthy of us all. The book features 8 full-color and 30 black-and-white pieces of original artwork. Read an interview with Thomas Wheeler and Frank Miller on the B&N Teen Blog.

    Supernova, by Marissa Meyer
    In the first installment of the Renegades series, readers met Nova and Adrian, superheroes on opposite sides of the war between the publicly adored Renegades and the villainous Anarchists. While tackling questions of vengeance versus justice, and the responsibilities of those with special powers, fantasy expert Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles), brought a complex love story to the mix. In sequel Archenemies, Nova infiltrated the Renegades and stole Ace Anarchy’s helmet, while readers wondered if she and Adrian would ever uncover each other’s secret identities. As Nightmare and The Sentinel, they loathe each other, and Supernova begins with Nova’s reluctant return to her role as spy extraordinaire even as she wishes she could shout the truth about her alter ego. Meyer proves as adept at twisting sci-fi tropes as the beats of familiar fairytales, making for a supremely satisfying science fantasy saga.

    Pumpkinheads, by Rainbow Rowell, Faith Erin Hicks (Illustrator)
    The author of Eleanor & Park and the artist behind Comics Will Break Your Heart (whose work can be seen in multiple award-winning graphic novels) joined forces for this delightful tale of friendship with heavy Can’t Hardly Wait vibes. “Seasonal besties” and Omaha teens Deja and Josiah spend every fall together as co-workers at the local pumpkin patch. Now that they’re high school seniors, feeling bereft about their last shift on their last night on the job, outgoing Deja decides it’s time for reticent Josiah to stop speculating about his crush (aka Fudge Girl) and do something. Soon they’re taking full advantage of their surroundings—not just sampling every delectable treat and attraction at the patch, but possibly learning new things about each other and the ways in which they relate. It’s a seasonal romance as sweet and comforting as a pumpkin spice latte.

    Call Down the Hawk, by Maggie Stiefvater
    Although some characters—and love interests—were introduced in Maggie Stiefvater’s earlier series the Raven Cycle, this series-starter is enormously satisfying all on its own. Ronan Lynch is a dreamer who can pull elements of his dreams into the real world, an ability that causes him no end of problems. He wants nothing more than to visit his boyfriend Adam at college, but his lack of control he has over his abilities keep him sequestered on the family farm. Elsewhere, art thief Jordan can’t risk falling into REM sleep, and government operative Carmen is tasked with preventing a dreamer-instigated apocalypse. When all of these characters’ lives intersect, it makes for an addictive series opener. Listen to Maggie Stiefvater discuss the book on the B&N YA Podcast.

    These are the B&N booksellers’ favorite YA books of 2019. What are yours? 

    The post Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ Favorite Young Adult Books of 2019 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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