2021 Staff Picks: Teens

By Skokie Staff Advisory Services

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

  • Little Thieves

    2021 by Owen, Margaret

    I had so much fun reading this book that I finished it in one weekend. I was thrilled to learn that this book is so much more than an average fairy tale retelling. I loved the intricate network of mysteries, court intrigue, and romance. I can't wait to see what Vanja and the crew are up to in their next adventure! Recommended by Rummanah.

    Get this item
  • Fire Keeper's Daughter

    2021 by Boulley, Angeline

    This book has so many layers! We love so many things about this book: getting to know the richly layered characters, learning about the Ojibwe community, and the way the romance and mystery intertwine. We love the strong female protagonist and were rooting for her from page one. Recommended by Denise, Grace, Sharon, and Shelley.

    Get this item
  • Rise to the Sun

    2021 by Johnson, Leah

    I had no choice but to pick up this book after how much I loved You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson. This one is another instant favorite full of friendship and relationship drama, all set at a music festival! Recommended by Denise.

    Get this item
  • Love in English

    2021 by Andreu, Maria E.

    Ana recently moved from Argentina and is working hard to adjust to life in America. She struggles with her English and some words just don't make any sense. Ana finds herself interested in two boys but finds that flirting when English is your second language is difficult. Ana is a poet with a love of language, and you can't help but to love her. Recommended by Cathy.

    Get this item
  • The Ones We're Meant to Find

    2021 by He, Joan

    I am in awe of how the plot is constructed in this book. It's one of those books where I say "wherever you think this is going, you're wrong," but the twists never feel cheap or out of nowhere--they're flawlessly set up and revealed. Recommended by Perry.

    Get this item
  • Pumpkin

    2021 by Murphy, Julie

    It was a good year for third books in a series. This book was like a rainbow to the heart and glitter for my brain. Recommended by Becca.

    Get this item
  • Iron Widow

    2021 by Zhao, Xiran Jay

    I am not always quick to pick up sci-fi, but I'm so glad I picked this one up. Full of strong female characters (and robots!), and I can't wait for a sequel. Recommended by Denise.

    Get this item
  • Aristotle and Dante Dive Into the Waters of the World

    2021 by Sáenz, Benjamin Alire

    I was so scared of this sequel and hoped it wouldn’t ruin my love for the first book, but I am thrilled to report that it exceeded my expectations. Aristotle and Dante are endearing characters who are trying to navigate their new relationship amidst the cruelty of the world. I am so thankful that I got to spend more time with them. Recommended by Rummanah.

    Get this item
  • The Box in the Woods

    2021 by Johnson, Maureen

    This book scratched the itch I was feeling about the Truly Devious series ending. All my favorite characters but with a delicious teen summer camp murder set up? Yes, please! I was on the edge of my seat to find out how Stevie would solve this mystery in only one book. Recommended by Grace.

    Get this item
  • Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet

    2021 by Kemp, Laekan Zea

    I loved this stunning debut novel of love, navigating parental experiences, and found family. I highly recommend it to fans of the movie In the Heights, Elizabeth Acevedo, and Nicola Yoon. Recommended by Rummanah.

    Get this item
  • In the Wild Light

    2021 by Zentner, Jeff

    I absolutely love Jeff Zenter's writing, and this book is no exception. This is beautifully written book with lots of introspection and feeling. My heart aches and soars for Cash in equal measures. Recommended by Rummanah.

    Get this item
  • Fat Chance, Charlie Vega

    2021 by Maldonado, Crystal

    I wish this book existed when I was a teen! It's lovely. Authentic and sweet. Recommended by Becca.

    Get this item
  • Kate in Waiting

    2021 by Albertalli, Becky

    I loved the characters and their messy yet realistic friendships. Noah Kaplan will always have a soft spot in my heart. If you need a quick read that will warm your heart and put a smile on your face, check this one out. Recommended by Rummanah.

    Get this item
  • Once Upon A Quinceañera

    2021 by Gomez-Hira, Monica

    I thoroughly enjoyed this story of second chances, family, and culture. A must read for fans of the Jane the Virgin television show. Recommended by Rummanah.

    Get this item
  • Legendborn

    2020 by Deonn, Tracy

    This retelling of Arthurian legends in modern day North Carolina with a black female protagonist is so well written and compellingly readable. I didn't see the end coming and I absolutely cannot wait till the sequel comes out. Recommended by Rachael.

    Get this item
  • These Violent Delights

    2020 by Gong, Chloe

    This is the most innovative Shakespeare retelling that I have ever read. I was enthralled by its historical setting, unique and inclusive cast of characters, and a head-scratching mystery. I gasped at its conclusion and I can't wait to read what happens next after its shocking cliffhanger! Recommended by Rummanah.

    Get this item