Reverie by Ryan La SalaWhat it’s about: After losing his memories of the past several weeks, Kane Montgomery has nothing but questions: How did he end up half-dead in the river? Why is reality being eroded by intricate dream worlds? And can he trust the Others, his three supposed friends who, like Kane, can alter those dreams?
Read it for: lavish, immersive fantasy worlds and a variety of complex LGBTQIA characters.
The Map from Here to There by Emery LordWhat it’s about: As she begins her last year of high school, screenwriter Paige knows that her dream future might soon be within reach. However, her life is already pretty dreamy -- she’s got ambition, friendship, and an understanding boyfriend. Do things really have to change?
Who it’s for: anyone who stresses over big choices, in life or in love.
Series alert: You don’t need to have read The Start of Me and You to understand this angsty, realistic sequel.
Just Breathe by Cammie McGovernStarring: popular, outgoing David, who tries to downplay his cystic fibrosis while waiting for a lung transplant; and quiet, depressed outsider Jamie, who strikes up an intense friendship with David while volunteering at the hospital.
For fans of: Rachael Lippincott’s Five Feet Apart and other books that use alternating perspectives to explore romance and freedom in the face of illness.
Strange Exit by Parker PeevyhouseWelcome to: Paracosm, a simulated world that’s both a haven and a prison for a group of teens stuck in stasis aboard a spaceship orbiting the remains of planet Earth.
What happens: With the ship breaking down and escape impossible until everyone exits the sim, 17-year-Lake must convince her fellow passengers to abandon Paracosm or face their impending doom.
Why you might like it: Twists and tensions build throughout this complicated and thoughtful science fiction story.
Infinity Son by Adam SilveraWhat it’s about: NYC vlogger Brighton Rey dreams of joining the Spell Walkers, vigilantes who use their celestial magic to battle the specters, who steal their power from magical creatures. Yet it’s Brighton’s twin, Emil, who manifests phoenix-fire abilities, plunging both brothers into an epic conflict for control of the city.
Book buzz: The first fantasy by popular author Adam Silvera, this series-starter delivers all the intriguing ideas, diverse characters, and gripping emotions his fans expect, alongside cinematic action.
Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with Raymond ObstfeldWhat it is: The true story of how a shy, curious kid named Lewis Alcindor grew into Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a proud black man, a faithful Muslim, and the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.
What’s inside: plenty of basketball, of course, as well black-and-white photos and reflections on how Abdul-Jabbar’s coaches, politics, and experiences shaped his young life.
Reviewers say: “Like the author's unstoppable sky hook, this timely book is a clear score” (Kirkus Reviews).
Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett KrosoczkaWhat it is: a moody, expressive graphic memoir in which author and artist Jarrett J. Krosoczka describes -- with gut-punching openness -- how he was raised by his caring, challenging grandparents while his heroin-addicted mother was in rehab (or jail).
Who it's for: Whether you're curious about the guy behind the Lunch Lady comics (remember those?) or you're looking for a mature, unflinching family story, Hey, Kiddo might be for you.
Proud: Living my American Dream by Ibtihaj MuhammadWhat it is: An honest, straightforward memoir detailing the life of Muslim American fencer and activist Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first U.S. Olympian to compete (and medal) while wearing hijab.
Who it’s for: While readers of all kinds can admire Muhammad’s dedication and her success as a black woman in a sport dominated by white men, athletes in particular may appreciate her practical advice.
Did you know? Muhammad was the inspiration for the first hijabi Barbie.
I Have the Right To: A High School Survivor's Story of Sexual Assault, Justice, and Hope by Chessy Prout with Jenn AbelsonWhat it’s about: After surviving a sexual assault at her elite private high school, Chessy Prout bravely went public, and was spurred to advocacy by the difficult legal fight and painful victim-blaming she experienced.
About the author: Prout went on to found I Have the Right To, an organization that offers support and resources for survivors.
Further reading: Readers looking for a wider variety of survivor perspectives might want to try Things We Haven’t Said, edited by Erin E. Moulton.
How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child by Sandra Uwiringiyimana with Abigail PestaWhat it’s about: This candid, heart-wrenching memoir opens during the refugee camp massacre that claimed the lives of Sandra Uwiringiyimana’s mother and sister, and then walks readers through the author’s life before and after, including her immigration from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the United States.
Read it for: an unforgettable true story of survival, healing, and identity.
Want a taste? “I had grown up in a war zone, but life in America...was a different kind of war zone."
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 14 and up!
Downers Grove Public Library
1050 Curtiss St.
Downers Grove, Illinois 60515