Our favourite September new releases for teens

From murderous fairies to second-hand bookshops, here’s a selection of the best young adult books out in September.

(Find the best new releases in children’s books here.)



Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Words in Deep Blue is an amazing coming-of-age tale penned by the incomparable Cath Crowley. It’s a story of two people who were best friends, but now they’re not. It’s a story of surviving terrible loss, even when the odds seem impossible. It’s a story of how life changes despite all your best intentions, and sometimes this works out better than you expected.

A lyrical ode to love, friendship and bookshops Words in Deep Blue is an uplifting read that is sure to earn a place on ‘best of’ lists everywhere.

Our reviewer Katherine Dretzke writes: ‘Cath Crowley is a master at writing well-developed, likeable characters that have you hoping that everything will turn out all right for them and this is yet another perfect example of her brilliance as a writer. I highly recommend this for males and females who enjoy writers such as Fiona Wood and Lili Wilkinson. Go OzYA!’

Read the rest of Katherine’s review here.



The Call by Peadar Ó Guilín

A lot of us booksellers in the children’s and YA section are overjoyed that September is here because we can finally introduce customers to The Call. This riveting tale of an apocalyptic Ireland plagued by murderous fairies left such a strong impression on so many of us that we’ve published a collection of staff raves about how much we loved it.

The Next Big Thing is a label that gets applied to lots of books these days, but here’s one that actually deserves it. Just make sure you’ve got some free time ahead of you when you pick it up, because you won’t want to put it down.


Highly Illogical Behaviour by John Corey Whaley

Solomon has agoraphobia. He hasn’t left the house in years, but that’s not a big problem for him because he’s pretty happy staying home and watching Star Trek. Lisa is determined to get a scholarship to a psychology course she’s set her sights on, but to do so, she has to write an essay on her own experiences with mental illness. She decides that if she can ‘fix’ Solomon, she’ll definitely win that scholarship.

Our reviewer Isobel Moore writes" ‘When I started reading this, I was instantly worried that this was going to be a “girl befriends troubled boy, they fall in love and she fixes him” sort of book. Thankfully, it was not at all.’

Read the rest of Isobel’s review here.


My First Lesson: Stories Inspired by Laurinda edited by Alice Pung

Following on from the success of Pung’s first young adult novel comes this collection of stories inspired by Laurinda. Contained within are twenty five tales from Australian secondary students that cover themes like identity, bullying, neglect and everything in between.

Our reviewer Leanne Hall writes: ‘Reading My First Lesson was a great reminder for me of what it felt like being a teenager, but also what it was like being a teen writer searching for language to express the many thoughts I had at that age. Teen readers will recognise themselves in the anthology; older readers will gain a greater understanding of what it’s like to be a modern adolescent.’

Read the rest of Leanne’s review here.


The Book that Made Me edited by Judith Ridge

Here is another collection of stories, this time from some of Australia’s most beloved and well-known authors such as Markus Zusak, Jaclyn Moriarty, Shaun Tan, Cath Crowley, Will Kostakis and Randa Abdel-Fattah.

This anthology asked authors to share their own tales of their favourite books, and the result is a collection that is a highly engaging experience that will find a place in the hearts of book lovers everywhere.

All royalties from this book will go towards the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.


Freedom Swimmer by Wai Chim

Ming works hard in the fields of his rural Chinese village, ever mindful of the dangers of famine that claimed both his parents.

When a group of city boys are sent to the village as part of a Communist Party re-education program, Ming has reservations – the pampered newcomers know nothing of the hard life. But slowly a friendship starts to form between Ming and Li, one of city boys.

This is a fascinating read from a new voice in Australian YA.


Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas

Sarah J Maas fans: the wait is nearly over: September 6 sees the release of the latest book in the phenomenally popular Throne of Glass series.

War looms on Aelin’s horizon, and the kingdom is shattering around her. Can a desperate quest put things to rights?

This action-packed fantasy series is compulsively readable and absolutely deserves the legions of fans it has gathered.



Are you hooked on YA series? Over the next few months, some of the biggest names in the genre will be releasing the latest instalments in their series – Sarah J Maas, Garth Nix, Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, Rick Riordan, Derek Landy and more!

We’ve put together a guide to some of the most exciting titles coming out in 2016.

Find the guide here and pre-order your copies today!

Holly Harper is a children’s bookseller and author who blogs for the Readings website.

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The Call

The Call

Peadar O'Guilin

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