Recommended September YA books, news & events

This month we’ve got hard-hitting contemporary YA fiction, a fantastic #LoveOzYA urban fantasy, a mind-expanding travel memoir and a sweet romantic graphic novel from bestselling Rainbow Rowell.

Find our September picks for kids books here.


YA BOOK OF THE MONTH


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This is How We Change the Ending by Vikki Wakefield

Sixteen-year-old Nate McKee has a lot of worries on his mind – his aggressive dad Dec and the way his dad treats his partner Nance and their toddler twins, his mouthy best friend Merrick, school work, and the future of the planet. Nate tries to be invisible, but when the local youth centre – one of his only havens – is threatened with closure, Nate struggles to find a way to fight through his apathy and hope.

Our reviewer Jackie heaps the highest of praise on Wakefield’s fifth YA novel: ‘I’m not sure what we did right to deserve a writer as fine as Wakefield, who captures the bruised vulnerability and tremulous potential of youth with so much honesty and power.

You can read our full review here.


YA BOOKS TO READ THIS MONTH


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Monuments by Will Kostakis

When 16-year-old Connor Giannopoulos stumbles upon a trapdoor to a secret chamber under his Sydney school, he has no idea he’s about to enter a world of hidden gods called Monuments, protective human guardians and predator hounds. Connor is conscripted into a movement to locate five Monuments and re-house them in safer places, working together with his new friends Sally and Lochy. As the hounds encroach and the threat to the gods’ safety grows, Connor must assess the risks and challenge assumptions about who the enemy is.

Well-known Australian YA author Kostakis dives into the fantasy genre for the first time, blending together Greek mythology and contemporary Sydney life in a unique adventure. Our reviewer Natalie was captivated by Monuments, finding it to be ‘well-seasoned with a flourish of romantic love, a side of comic relief and a good serving of moral fibre.’

You can read our full review here.


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Frankly in Love by David Yoon

Childhood friends Frank Li and Joy Song are in the same boat. Frank’s hardworking parents – who emigrated from Korea before his birth in southern California – are adamant that he only date Korean girls, but Frank has fallen for Brit Means, a white girl from his maths class. Fellow Korean-American Joy also has a secret love, her Chinese-American boyfriend.

So, naturally Frank and Joy embark on a foolproof plan to ‘fake date’ each other to throw their respective parents off their tails, allowing them to pursue their real relationships in private. Simple, right? Of course not! This is a funny yet thoughtful contemporary YA that touches on issues of culture, family, class, identity and prejudice.


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Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell & Faith Erin Hicks

Bestselling author Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor and Park) has teamed up with Eisner Award-winning artist Faith Erin Hicks to produce the smart and swoony graphic novel romance, Pumpkinheads. Deja and Josiah have been best friends all through high school, but they only see each other once a year when they work at a pumpkin patch for the Halloween rush.

Now that it’s their senior year, Deja is determined (and Josiah reluctant) that their last Halloween shift should be memorable – maybe Josiah should talk to that Fudge Shoppe girl he’s been crushing on for so long? There’s pumpkin patch pursuits, endless snacks and nostalgia in this funny and highly entertaining story of two teens who are close friends, and maybe something more…


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Tim and Tigon by Tim Cope

Adventurer Tim Cope had a childhood dream that he turned in reality in 2004 to 2007: to travel the 10,000 kilometres from Mongolia to Hungary on horseback – a journey undertaken centuries ago by the legendary leader of the Mongols, Genghis Khan. On this journey, Tim met a dog called Tigon, who accompanied him on his trip and became his best friend.

Cope detailed his perilous, emotionally and physically challenging adventure in his bestselling travel memoir, On the Trail of Genghis Khan. Tim and Tigon is a special young reader’s edition of this memoir, and teens are sure to be fascinated with Cope’s old-school pioneering spirit, and the amazing cultures and geography he experienced in Central Asia.


YA NEWS & RECOMMENDATIONS


The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) has announced their Book of the Year Awards winners for 2019! Clare Atkins won the Older Readers category with her moving love story, Between Us.

We’ve inducted our brand new Teen Advisory Board! The Teen Advisory Board is a volunteer group of teenagers that meets at Readings head office once a month to learn more about books, authors, and the book industry, and provide feedback to Readings staff members on a range of subjects. Our new teen advisors have been busy already, recommending books for sci-fi fans and alien enthusiasts.

And if you’re feeling a little nostalgic for the teen books of the eighties and nineties, or if you may have read Sweet Valley High in your murky past, check out our pairing of teen classics with contemporary YA soulmates.


EVENTS SUITABLE FOR TEENS


Rebekah Robertson’s extraordinary personal story, About a Girl, is about raising her transgender child, actress and activist Georgie Stone (who is soon to appear on Neighbours). Join us on Tuesday 3 September 2019, 6:30pm at Readings Hawthorn for the launch of this profoundly moving true story. This event is free, no booking required.

Join us for the launch of The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim on Thursday 12 September 2019, 6:30pm at Readings Kids. This is a nourishing YA novel about the crevices of culture, mental wellness and family. Free, no booking required.


Leanne Hall is a children’s and YA specialist at Readings Kids. She also writes books for children and young adults.

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This is How We Change the Ending

This is How We Change the Ending

Vikki Wakefield

$19.99Buy now

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