MARIA RECOMMENDS - FALL 2020 HIGH SCHOOL

There are so many amazing books published each fall season, and this is my list of best new fiction and graphic novels for high school.  There are so many great themes and a wide variety of diverse titles, but if you don’t find what you’re looking for, check out our search feature. You can find lots of other categories, themes and lists on our website. This list is organized first by new fiction and then by new graphic novels. I’m always happy to talk about great books, so please email me [email protected] or call me anytime!

Book cover of HOW IT ALL BLEW UP
HOW IT ALL BLEW UP
By: arvin ahmadi | Published: September 2020

Eighteen-year-old Amir Azadi always knew coming out to his Muslim family would be messy--he just didn't think it would end in an airport interrogation...

Eighteen-year-old Amir Azadi always knew coming out to his Muslim family would be messy--he just didn't think it would end in an airport interrogation room. But when faced with a failed relationship, bullies, and blackmail, running away to Rome is his only option. Right? Soon, late nights with new friends and dates in the Sistine Chapel start to feel like second nature... until his old life comes knocking on his door. Now, Amir has to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth to a US Customs officer, or risk losing his hard-won freedom.

Theme: LGBTQ2S+, Muslim, Diversity

  • ISBN
    9780593202876
  • Binding
    Hardcover
  • Category
    Young Adult Fiction
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$23.99
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Book cover of GIRL GONE VIRAL
GIRL GONE VIRAL
By: arvin ahmadi | Published: August 2020

For seventeen-year-old Opal Hopper, code is magic. She builds entire worlds from scratch- Mars craters, shimmering lakes, any virtual experience her h...

For seventeen-year-old Opal Hopper, code is magic. She builds entire worlds from scratch- Mars craters, shimmering lakes, any virtual experience her heart desires. But she can't code her dad back into her life. When he disappeared after her tenth birthday, leaving only a cryptic note, Opal tried desperately to find him. And when he never turned up, she enrolled at a boarding school for technical prodigies and tried to forget. Until now. Because WAVE, the world's biggest virtual reality platform, has announced a contest where the winner gets to meet its billionaire founder. The same billionaire who worked closely with Opal's dad. The one she always believed might know where he went. The one who maybe even murdered him. What begins as a small data hack to win the contest spirals out of control when Opal goes viral, digging her deeper into a hole of lies, hacks, and manipulation. How far will Opal go for the answers--or is it the attention--she's wanted for years?

Theme: Science Fiction, Coding

  • ISBN
    9780425289914
  • Binding
    Paperback
  • Category
    Young Adult Fiction
List Price:
$14.99
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$3.00
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$11.99
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Book cover of COME ON IN
COME ON IN
By: adi alsaid | Published: October 2020

With characters who face random traffic stops, TSA detention, customs anxiety, and the daunting and inspiring journey to new lands...who camp with the...

With characters who face random traffic stops, TSA detention, customs anxiety, and the daunting and inspiring journey to new lands...who camp with their extended families, dance at weddings, keep diaries, teach ESL...who give up their rooms for displaced family, decide their own answer to the question "where are you from?" and so much more... Come On In illuminates fifteen of the myriad facets of the immigrant experience, from authors who have been shaped by the journeys they and their families have taken from home--and to find home.

Theme: Diversity, Immigration

  • ISBN
    9781335146496
  • Binding
    Hardcover
  • Category
    Young Adult Fiction
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$23.99
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Book cover of DOUBLE OR NOTHING
DOUBLE OR NOTHING
By: brooke carter | Published: August 2020

When a teenage genius descends deeper into a gambling addiction, her twin sister becomes embroiled in her dangerous game.

Theme: Crime, Drugs & Addiction, Twins, Gambling

  • ISBN
    9781459823815
  • Binding
    Paperback Canadian
  • Category
    Young Adult Fiction
List Price:
$10.95
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$2.19
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$8.76
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Book cover of SURPRISING POWER OF A GOOD DUMPLING
SURPRISING POWER OF A GOOD DUMPLING
By: wai chim | Published: November 2020

An authentic novel about growing up in a migrant Asian family with a mother who is suffering from a debilitating mental illness. Anna Chiu has her han...

An authentic novel about growing up in a migrant Asian family with a mother who is suffering from a debilitating mental illness. Anna Chiu has her hands full. When she's not looking after her brother and sister or helping out at her father's restaurant, she's taking care of her mother, whose debilitating mental illness keeps her in bed most days. Her father's new delivery boy, Rory, is a welcome distraction and even though she knows that things aren't right at home, she's starting to feel like she could be a normal teen. But when her mother finally gets out of bed, things go from bad to worse. And as her mother's condition worsens, Anna and her family question everything they understand about themselves and each other. The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling is a heart-wrenching, true-to-life exploration through the often neglected crevices of culture, mental illness, and family. Its strong themes are balanced by a beautiful romance making it a feel-good, yet important read.

Theme: Asian Heritage, Chinese, Mental Health & Wellness, Romance

  • ISBN
    9781338656114
  • Binding
    Hardcover
  • Category
    Young Adult Fiction
List Price:
$25.99
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$5.20
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Book cover of LOST BOOK OF THE WHITE
LOST BOOK OF THE WHITE
By: cassandra clare | Published: September 2020

Life is good for Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood. They're living together in a fabulous loft, their warlock son, Max, has started learning to walk, and...

Life is good for Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood. They're living together in a fabulous loft, their warlock son, Max, has started learning to walk, and the streets of New York are peaceful and quiet--as peaceful and quiet as they ever are, anyway. Until the night that two old acquaintances break into Magnus's apartment and steal the powerful Book of the White. Now Magnus and Alec will have to drop everything to get it back. They need to follow the thieves to Shanghai, they need to call some backup to accompany them, and they need a babysitter. Also, someone has stabbed Magnus with a strange magical weapon and the wound is glowing, so they have that to worry about too. Fortunately, their backup consists of Clary, Jace, Isabelle, and newly minted Shadowhunter Simon. In Shanghai, they learn that a much darker threat awaits them. Magnus's magic is growing unstable, and if they can't stop the demons flooding into the city, they might have to follow them all the way back to the source--the realm of the dead. Can they stop the threat to the world? Will they make it back home before their kid completely wears out Alec's mom?

Theme: Fantasy

  • ISBN
    9781481495127
  • Binding
    Hardcover
  • Category
    Young Adult Fiction
List Price:
$29.99
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$6.00
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$23.99
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Book cover of THROWAWAY GIRLS
THROWAWAY GIRLS
By: contosandrea | Published: September 2020

A timely edge-of-your-seat thriller from a debut writer to watch. Caroline is only three months from her great escape — leaving behind her rigid...

A timely edge-of-your-seat thriller from a debut writer to watch. Caroline is only three months from her great escape — leaving behind her rigid prep school and the parents who think they can convert her to being straight — when her best friend, Madison, goes missing. There’s no question that Caroline will get involved in the investigation. After all, she has her own reasons for not trusting the police, and she owes Madison big time. But Caroline uncovers a wider mystery as she follows the clues, with other missing girls and no one on the case. Why isn’t anyone looking for these girls? And what’s the connection between them and Madison? Could it be . . . Caroline herself?

Theme: Mystery, Thriller

  • ISBN
    9781525303142
  • Binding
    Hardcover
  • Category
    Young Adult Fiction
List Price:
$18.99
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$3.80
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Book cover of DAUGHTERS OF JUBILATION
DAUGHTERS OF JUBILATION
By: karalee corthron | Published: October 2020

From the award-winning author of The Truth of Right Now comes a stunning, grounded fantasy in the vein of Dread Nation that follows a black teen as sh...

From the award-winning author of The Truth of Right Now comes a stunning, grounded fantasy in the vein of Dread Nation that follows a black teen as she finds her place among a family of women gifted with magical abilities. In the Jim Crow South, white supremacy reigns and tensions are high. But Evalene Deschamps has other things to worry about. She has two little sisters to look after, an overworked single mother, and a longtime crush who is finally making a move. On top of all that, Evvie’s magic abilities are growing stronger by the day. Her family calls it jubilation—a gift passed down from generations of black women since the time of slavery. And as Evvie’s talents waken, something dark comes loose and threatens to resurface… And when the demons of Evvie’s past finally shake free, she must embrace her mighty lineage, and summon the power that lies within her.

Theme: Anti Racism, #BlackLivesMatter, Diversity

  • ISBN
    9781481459501
  • Binding
    Hardcover
  • Category
    Young Adult Fiction
List Price:
$25.99
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$5.20
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Book cover of ALL THIS TIME
ALL THIS TIME
By: mikki daughtry | Published: September 2020

From the team behind #1 New York Times bestseller Five Feet Apart comes a gripping new romance that asks: Can you find true love after losing everythi...

From the team behind #1 New York Times bestseller Five Feet Apart comes a gripping new romance that asks: Can you find true love after losing everything? Kyle and Kimberly have been the perfect couple all through high school, but when Kimberly breaks up with him on the night of their graduation party, Kyle’s entire world upends—literally. Their car crashes and when he awakes, he has a brain injury. Kimberly is dead. And no one in his life could possibly understand. Until Marley. Marley is suffering from her own loss, a loss she thinks was her fault. And when their paths cross, Kyle sees in her all the unspoken things he’s feeling. As Kyle and Marley work to heal each other’s wounds, their feelings for each other grow stronger. But Kyle can’t shake the sense that he’s headed for another crashing moment that will blow up his life as soon as he’s started to put it back together. And he’s right.

Theme: Romance, Death & Grieving

  • ISBN
    9781534466340
  • Binding
    Hardcover
  • Category
    Young Adult Fiction
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$24.99
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Book cover of LEGENDBORN
LEGENDBORN
By: tracy deonn | Published: September 2020

After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential pro...

After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC-Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape--until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus. A flying demon feeding on human energies. A secret society of so called "Legendborn" students that hunt the creatures down. And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a "Merlin" and who attempts--and fails--to wipe Bree's memory of everything she saw. The mage's failure unlocks Bree's own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there's more to her mother's death than what's on the police report, she'll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates. She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society's secrets--and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur's knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she'll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down--or join the fight.

Theme: Diversity

  • ISBN
    9781534441606
  • Binding
    Hardcover
  • Category
    Young Adult Fiction
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Book cover of GREATS
GREATS
By: deborah ellis | Published: September 2020

In this short, fable-like story, Deborah Ellis comes at the timely and difficult issue of child suicide with restraint, compassion, and freshness, as ...

In this short, fable-like story, Deborah Ellis comes at the timely and difficult issue of child suicide with restraint, compassion, and freshness, as the grandfathers overcome their own fraught histories to help their grandson, who in the end is aided by the appearance of a wondrous giant rodent, busy enjoying her own return to earthly existence.

Theme: Suicide, Inter-Generational

  • ISBN
    9781773063874
  • Binding
    Hardcover Canadian
  • Category
    Young Adult Fiction
List Price:
$18.95
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$3.79
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$15.16
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Book cover of HUSH
HUSH
By: dylan farrow | Published: October 2020

Seventeen-year-old Shae has led a seemingly quiet life, joking with her best friend Fiona, and chatting with Mads, the neighborhood boy who always kno...

Seventeen-year-old Shae has led a seemingly quiet life, joking with her best friend Fiona, and chatting with Mads, the neighborhood boy who always knows how to make her smile. All while secretly keeping her fears at bay... Of the disease that took her brother's life. Of how her dreams seem to bleed into reality around her. Of a group of justice seekers called the Bards who claim to use the magic of Telling to keep her community safe. When her mother is murdered, she can no longer pretend. Not knowing who to trust, Shae journeys to unlock the truth, instead finding a new enemy keen to destroy her, a brooding boy with dark secrets, and an untold power she never thought possible.

  • ISBN
    9781250235909
  • Binding
    Hardcover
  • Category
    Young Adult Fiction
List Price:
$25.99
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$5.20
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Book cover of DREAMING IN COLOR
DREAMING IN COLOR
By: melanie florence | Published: August 2020

In this high-interest novel for teen readers, a young teen is thrilled when she gets into art school but shocked to learn that some students feel she ...

In this high-interest novel for teen readers, a young teen is thrilled when she gets into art school but shocked to learn that some students feel she doesn't belong there.

Theme: Anti Racism, Indigenous, Prejudice & Racism, Social Justice

  • ISBN
    9781459825864
  • Binding
    Paperback Canadian
  • Category
    Young Adult Fiction
List Price:
$10.95
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$2.19
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$8.76
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Book cover of THEY WISH THEY WERE US
THEY WISH THEY WERE US
By: jessica goodman | Published: August 2020

In Gold Coast, Long Island, everything from the expensive downtown shops to the manicured beaches, to the pressed uniforms of Jill Newman and her frie...

In Gold Coast, Long Island, everything from the expensive downtown shops to the manicured beaches, to the pressed uniforms of Jill Newman and her friends, looks perfect. But as Jill found out three years ago, nothing is as it seems. Freshman year Jill's best friend, the brilliant, dazzling Shaila Arnold, was killed by her boyfriend. After that dark night on the beach, Graham confessed, the case was closed, and Jill tried to move on. Now, it's Jill's senior year and she's determined to make it her best yet. After all, she's a senior and a Player--a member of Gold Coast Prep's exclusive, not-so-secret secret society. Senior Players have the best parties, highest grades and the admiration of the entire school. This is going to be Jill's year. She's sure of it. But when Jill starts getting texts proclaiming Graham's innocence, her dreams of the perfect senior year start to crumble. If Graham didn't kill Shaila, who did? Jill vows to find out, but digging deeper could mean putting her friendships, and her future, in jeopardy.

Theme: Thriller, Suspense

  • ISBN
    9780593114292
  • Binding
    Hardcover
  • Category
    Young Adult Fiction
List Price:
$23.99
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Book cover of EVENTIDE
EVENTIDE
By: sarah goodman | Published: October 2020

Wheeler, Arkansas, 1907. When her father descends into madness, Verity Pruitt and her little sister Lilah find themselves uprooted from New York, on a...

Wheeler, Arkansas, 1907. When her father descends into madness, Verity Pruitt and her little sister Lilah find themselves uprooted from New York, on an orphan train to rural Arkansas. In Wheeler, Lilah is quickly adopted by the town's beloved schoolteacher--but Verity is not. Willing to do anything to stay close, she pawns herself off as a farmhand, but even charming farm boy Abel Atchley can't completely distract her from the sense that something is not quite right in this little town. Strange local superstitions abound, especially about the eerie old well at the center of the forest. The woods play tricks, unleashing heavy fog and bone-chilling cold...and sometimes visions of things that aren't there. But for Verity, perhaps most unsettling of all is the revelation that her own parents have a scandalous history in this very town. And as she tries to unearth the past, sinister secrets come with it--secrets that someone will go to violent lengths to protect.

Theme: Ghosts, Thriller

  • ISBN
    9781250224736
  • Binding
    Hardcover
  • Category
    Young Adult Fiction
List Price:
$24.50
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$4.90
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