Daniel José Older, author of the Shadowshaper
series of YA novels and Dactyl Hill Squad
series for school-age readers (along with some fun entries in the Star Wars: The High Republic
universe) has a new teen book on the way.
Ballad & Dagger
by Daniel José Older
Almost sixteen years ago, Mateo Matisse's island homeland disappeared into the sea. Weary and hopeless, the survivors of San Madrigal's sinking escaped to New York. While the rest of his tight-knit Brooklyn diaspora community dreams of someday finding a way back home, Mateo—now a high school junior and piano prodigy living with his two aunts (one who's alive, the other not so much)—is focused on one thing: getting the attention of locally-grown musical legend Gerval. Mateo finally gets his chance on the night of the Grand Fete, an annual party celebrating the blended culture of pirates, Cuban Santeros, and Sephardic Jews that created San Madrigal all those centuries ago. But the evil that sank their island has finally caught up with them, and on the night of the celebration, Mateo's life is forever changed when he witnesses a brutal murder by a person he thought he knew.
Casey McQuiston’s new YA novel I Kissed Shara Wheeler
is coming in May, and is already racking up the holds. While waiting for your copy, take a look at some of these other witty, engaging romances that range from upbeat to intense.
What’s New This Month
A plethora of buzzworthy teen titles are imminent, including books from authors like Jessica Jung, Emery Lee, Maggie Steifvater, E. Lockhart, Vincent Tirado, and more.
What We’re Reading
Here are some quotes from library staff about the books in the newest list of recommended picks:
Instructions for Dancing
by Nicola Yoon: “A lovely Valentine’s Day read celebrating Black love and living in the present, even if you’re anxious about the future. I liked it even more the second time.”
The Croaking: At First Flight
by Megan Grey: “The first volume of this series, The Croaking has been a long-time webtoon that I’ve followed religiously with each weekly update. It’s got espionage! It’s got queer romance! It’s got a trio of ragtag friends with huge personalities, and antagonists that keep you on your toes.”
Skip and Loafer
by Misaki Takamatsu: “This rom-com slice of life manga is perfect for fans of Azumanga Daioh, HoriMiya, Komi Can’t Communicate, and Kimi Ni Todoke.”
The City Beautiful
by Aden Polydoros: “This grabbed me right away and won’t let me go. Non-Holocaust Jewish-focused historical fiction always needs more air time (this is set around the 1893 World’s Fair). It’s lush and atmospheric and spooky and I think I’m buying this one for me.”
The Red Palace
by June Hur: “There is nothing else quite like her books in the YA world right now.”
Princess and the Fangirl
by Ashely Poston: “I really like these geekerella books. The second in the series is a play on the prince and the pauper.”
Sadako-san and Sadako-chan
by Aya Tsutsumi: “In this manga, Sadako-san meets Sadako-chan, who helps her come up with a plan to curse people in this new age of technology. This is a laugh-out-loud and heartwarming manga.”
The Nobleman's Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks
by Mackenzi Lee: “It was a really strong end to a great series, and Lee did such a good job presenting a main character with extreme anxiety.”
For more lists of recommended reads from the book world and beyond, check these out: