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Written by, Emma Willig, Teen Librarian, Downtown Main Library 

The first-ever TeenTober is here! To celebrate this brand new awesome month, and everything that we love about YA literature, the Downtown Main Library’s TeenSpot compiled a list of books, eBooks, and audiobooks from the teens, the featured booklists on TeenSpace, and a few favorites from our amazing Teen (and Tween!) Librarians.

Did you know that you can add a booklist of your own favorites to TeenSpace website? You can submit writing, artwork, and leave book reviews. In the TeenSpace at your nearest Branch Library, you can also join the Teen Advisory Board, make slime, try fall foods, and participate in a book club or game night. There will be lots of exciting events happening at all of the branch libraries throughout the month of October, so be sure to check your nearest branch or the events calendar to find out what's in store.

Book recommendations by teens for teens 


The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. He was unarmed. 


The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid's voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy's bidding but only for a terrible price. 


Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Justyce McAllister is a good kid, an honor student, and always there to help a friend—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can't escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out. 


Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he's pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness.


The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about.


The Wrath and the Dawn
by Renee Ahdieh
Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls.


The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Like every other hobbit, Bilbo Baggins likes nothing better than a quiet evening in his snug hole in the ground, dining on a sumptuous dinner in front of a fire. But when a wandering wizard captivates him with tales of the unknown, Bilbo becomes restless. Soon he joins the wizard's band of homeless dwarves in search of giant spiders, savage wolves, and other dangers. 


Paper Towns by John Green
When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night - dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows her. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q...until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they're for Q.

Book recommendations by the TeenSpace Librarians (because we couldn't resist)


Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin

Recommended by Jacob Glemaker, Teen Librarian:
"Looking for the perfect book to put you in the Halloween spirit? This book has everything you need for the spookiest month in the year; tarot cards, talking cats, witches, magic spells, a portal to the multi-verse opened by a silver-tongued owl, and of course the mystery of what happened to Rossa and Mae that fateful summer. I loved the gothic themes and the sophisticated writing style of this novel. The author uses a nice blend of lyrical and dark to really enhance the overall tone of the book. Within the first few pages, I was immediately hooked by the writing, and couldn’t wait to find out what the heck was going on in this house." 


Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki, Rosemary Valero-O'Connell

Recommended by Sam Bloom, Tween Librarian:

"Freddy is in love with Laura Dean, the most popular girl at school. And somehow Laura Dean loves Freddy back... but is that really such a good thing? Because Laura Dean is not the world's best girlfriend. This beautiful graphic novel is for anyone who has worked (or is working) through a toxic relationship. Freddy has a great group of friends who help her understand that she doesn't have to settle for the love she can get, but rather she should work toward the love she deserves."


With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Recommended by Emma Willig, Teen Librarian:
"With the Fire on High is not only beautifully written, but the story is interesting and relatable. Emoni Santiago is at the top of her cooking game, and with the support of her teachers and family, she realizes her full potential and capabilities. With graduation around the corner, and her own daughter starting pre-school, Emoni has a lot of big decisions to make. Elizabeth Acevedo's writing is poignant while dealing with tough topics, and the difficulty of being any teenager thinking about what the future holds. Like in her debut novel, The Poet X, Acevedo keeps it real, and Emoni's character is an inspiration!"

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