It’s time for another round-up of Pickett’s Picks, Fall 2018 Edition! Each season, I spotlight a selection of brand new books from favorite authors, intriguing debut novels, must-read crossover releases, and at least one jaw-dropping cover (can you guess which one?). Here are just a few of the books that I’m looking forward to reading and sharing with students at Ridley High School during the upcoming semester. What are YOUR picks?? Leave a comment and let me know!
- Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll
Told from three viewpoints, teens Doris, Nell, and Grant find friendship and the possibility of love while working in Unclaimed Baggage, a store that sells items that went missing during airline travel. I love stories about people thrown together by a quirky summer job, and Unclaimed Baggage promises to be charming, funny, and heartfelt.
- Dream Country by Shannon Gibney
Dream Country is the story of five generations of young people caught in the dangerous spiral connecting Liberia and the United States, and how one determined young dreamer grapples for control of her destiny. This novel has been compared to Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, one of my all-time favorites!
- We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix
A new novel of supernatural horror (and pop culture) from the author of Horrorstor and My Best Friend’s Exorcism. Yes, please!
- The War Outside by Monica Hesse
The War Outside is the story of two girls from very different backgrounds who meet in a Texas internment camp during WWII. Margot and Haruko find solace in their secret friendship. But in a prison that the government claims is full of spies, can they trust anyone? I adored Monica Hesse’s brilliant previous books, Girl in the Blue Coat and American Fire. If Monica Hesse writes it, I will read it!
- Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
This is the debut novel that everyone is talking about! During Darius Kellner’s sophomore year he travels to Iran to meet his grandparents, but it is their next-door neighbor who changes his life for the better. Hilarious and heartbreaking, this unforgettable book is for anyone who’s ever felt not good enough, but then met a friend who makes them feel so much better than okay.
- Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand
Who are the Sawkill Girls? Marion: the new girl. Zoey: the pariah. Val: the queen bee. Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires. Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight … until now.
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Every once in a while, a book comes along that just has my name on it. Where the Crawdads Sing is one of those books! In this “crossover” novel (written for adults but perfect for teen readers), author Delia Owens blends an exquisite ode to the natural world with a heartbreaking coming-of-age story and a surprising murder investigation.
- Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman
When the California drought escalates to catastrophic proportions, one teen is forced to make life and death decisions for her family in this harrowing story of survival. Neal Shusterman is the author of Unwind and Scythe, two of Ridley High School’s all-time most popular books. I am here for his latest!
- A Room Away from the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma
Teenage Bina runs away to New York City’s Catherine House, a young women’s residence in Greenwich Village with a tragic history, dark secrets, and a painting that seems to be alive. As Bina’s memories become entangled with the present, she will be forced to face the terrible truth of why she’s come to Catherine House and what it will cost for her to leave. I will drop everything for a lost-in-time house of secrets, which is what the novel promises!
- Sadie by Courtney Summers
Told from the alternating perspectives of nineteen-year-old Sadie, who has run away from her isolated Colorado town to find her younger sister’s killer, and a true crime podcast exploring Sadie’s disappearance. Sadie is a close second to Where the Crawdads Sing for the “Book with My Name On It” prize!
- Slayer by Kiersten White
From bestselling author Kiersten White comes a brand-new series set in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, introducing a new Slayer as she grapples with the responsibility of managing her incredible powers. It’s true … they had me at “Buffy”!