The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman
For those of you who love short retellings, this is the book for you. The story follows a Snow White-like character who ventures out with three of her dwarves to save a neighboring kingdom. There the princess along with her people are in a deep sleep. This tale is filled with beautiful imagery of characters, setting, and is written by the great Neil Gaiman.
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
What would you do if you were only allowed to sit in a room? No phone, no books, nothing but yellow wallpaper. Considered an early feminist novel from the 19th century, it touches on the taboo subject (at the time) of mental health, making Yellow Wallpaper is a timely classic. A woman is given “treatment” by her husband in which she must sit in a room for the majority of her days in order to help her “temporary nervous depression”, as described in the book.
Avatar: The Last Airbender by Gene Luen Yang
For those of you who have seen the iconic 2000s show, I highly recommend checking out the graphic novels. This series in particular is made up of four books and follows the adventures of Team Avatar immediately after the show’s final episode. Along with even deeper world-building, we also get a deeper dive into some characters, especially Zuko, Mai, and Toph. The art is beautifully crafted and stays true to the original character designs.
They Call Us Enemy by George Takei
Calling all historians! This graphic novel is a memoir by George Takei, a Japanese-American, during World War II. Takei recounts the results of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s order of all Japanese descent to be moved to “relocation centers”, where armed guards would hold them. This is a first-hand account of those years under one of the greatest faults in America’s history.
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
No. 1: Crying
No matter what.
No. 2: Snitching
No matter what.
No. 3: Revenge
No matter what.
Long Way Down is a tale of a boy named Will. Not William. Will, who plans on getting revenge on the man who murdered his brother. However, Will lives on the seventh floor, and it’s a long way down to the bottom. And things start going south once he reaches the sixth floor. With things getting weirder at every level, Will recalls his family and friends’ dark history. The story ends with an unexpected twist that will leave readers questioning their own life choices.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Silence was not an option. For Xiomara Batista, her thoughts had to be hidden, at least from her Mami. With this in mind, along with being a young woman, she kept her mouth shut. However, when her teacher invited her to join the school’s slam poetry club, silence was not an option.
Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
Danielle Paige takes the iconic classic of Wizard of Oz and twists it on its broomstick. Amy lives in her trailer with her pet rat along with her non-existent mother. But her life soon takes a turn as a tornado occurs and takes her to the not so wonderful land of Oz. With the yellow brick road broken to pieces, good witches turned evil, and Dorothy as queen, no one is safe. Amy is soon recruited by the Revolutionary Order of Witches and is given a mission: Kill Dorothy.
Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
With Cinderella dead and gone, teens girls are required to be selected by male royal suitors at a ball based on basic appearance. Sophia wants none of that. Instead, she longs to marry Erin, her childhood best friend. As she flees the ball, she is soon met with the descent of Cinderella along with her sisters. Together they vow to take down the kind once and for all.
They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera
Death-Cast is an organization that calls you 24 hours before your death. Mateo and Rufus are called on September 5; they are going to die. Using the Last Friend app, the two spend their last few hours “living a lifetime in a single day.”
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
Fans of Simon vs. The Homo Sapien Agenda are sure to love this award-winning novel. Felix is desperate for romance and longs for his happily ever after, but it is soon jeopardized as an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages and posts. However, Felix refuses to be pushed around. With plans of revenge in action, the last thing he’d expected was ending up in a love triangle. As Felix navigates through this quagmire, he soon goes through a journey of self-discovery.
— Maya Ross