Coming soon to library shelves is a powerful YA debut with a lot of reader buzz, set during the Syrian Revolution.
As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow by Zoulfa Katouh
Salama Kassab was a pharmacy student when the cries for freedom broke out in Syria. She still had her parents and her big brother; she still had her home. She had a normal teenager’s life. Now Salama volunteers at a hospital in Homs, helping the wounded who flood through the doors daily. Secretly, though, she is desperate to find a way out of her beloved country before her sister-in-law, Layla, gives birth. So desperate, that she has manifested a physical embodiment of her fear in the form of her imagined companion, Khawf, who haunts her every move in an effort to keep her safe.
But even with Khawf pressing her to leave, Salama is torn between her loyalty to her country and her conviction to survive. Salama must contend with bullets and bombs, military assaults, and her shifting sense of morality before she might finally breathe free. And when she crosses paths with the boy she was supposed to meet one fateful day, she starts to doubt her resolve in leaving home at all.
Holds are starting to pile up for The First to Die at the End,
Adam Silvera’s prequel to #BookTok sensation They Both Die at the End
. Make sure to check this list out if you are looking for more tragic romances (queer and otherwise) tinged with fantasy and time travel.
What’s New This Month
New comics are on the way by Mariko Tamaki, Dave Baker, and Leigh Bardugo, along with some buzzy debuts from Harper Glenn, Andrea Rogers, and Susan Lee. Also incoming are new teen books from authors like Brigid Kemmerer, Chloe Gong, Lamar Giles, Courtney Summers, Malinda Lo, and more.
What We’re Reading
Here are some quotes from library staff about the books in the newest list of recommended picks:
by David Levithan – “A fiction pick that takes a real look at what it means to be human and personal identity.”
With the Fire on High
by Elizabeth Acevedo – “If you could make magical food, would it make high school suck any less? Emoni struggles to balance teen motherhood and her ambitions to become a professional chef.”
by Kao Studios – “Watch his magical outfit become more and more for HIM ♥”
Witch Hat Atelier
by Kamome Shirahama – “Gorgeous, and riveting; please flip through the pages, at least!”
The 57 Bus
by Dashka Slater – “Analyzes a hate crime committed by a Black teen against a white nonbinary teen on a public bus in Oakland, CA. Intersections of race and gender identity are explored, as well as restorative justice.”
A Magic Steeped in Poison
by Judy I. Lin – “Prepare yourself for magic competitions, court intrigue, light romance, and lots of tea.”
Check out these and other staff picks for teens.
For more lists of recommended reads from the book world and beyond: