Best of 2021 (so far): Teen books

Introducing Oak Park’s Best of 2021 (so far)! We just couldn’t wait until the end of the year to share the titles our library staff loved so far in 2021, so you’ll find our favorite books for teens on this page. Or browse more using the links below.

Adult fiction & nonfiction | Teen books | Kids books & picture books
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Teen books

The Crossroads at Midnight by Abby Howard

Why you should try it: "Ahh! This book is totally spooky, and the black and white art is stunning."—Jenna, Collection Management Librarian

Description: Around the dark edges of reality lurk unknown beings with unknowable intentions—ordinary objects can become cursed possessions, entities who seem like friends can become monstrous, and those who seem monstrous can become the truest companions. In this collection of unnerving slice-of-life horror, five stories explore what happens when one is desperate enough to seek solace in the unnatural.

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A Sitting in St. James by Rita Williams-Garcia

Why you should try it: "This antebellum America-set novel is a must-read for older teens and adults. Its exploration of the legacy of racism in our country is necessary."—Jenna, Collection Management Librarian

Description: 1860, Louisiana. After serving as mistress of Le Petit Cottage for more than six decades, Madame Sylvie Guilbert has decided, in spite of her family's objections, to sit for a portrait. While Madame plots her last hurrah, stories that span generations emerge—from the big house to out in the fields—of routine horrors, secrets buried as deep as the family fortune, and the tangled bonds of descendants and enslaved.

Stream & download with: Media on Demand/Libby (ebook)

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Between Perfect and Real by Ray Stoeve

Why you should try it: "An authentically written book about a trans teen coming into his identity and all the experiences throughout past, present, and future."—Megha, Children's Services Library Assistant

Description: Dean Foster knows he's a trans guy. But everyone at his high school thinks he's a lesbian—including his girlfriend Zoe, and his theater director, who just cast him as a "nontraditional" Romeo. He wonders if maybe it would be easier to wait until college to come out. But as he plays Romeo every day in rehearsals, Dean realizes he wants everyone to see him as he really is now—not just on the stage, but everywhere in his life.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (ebook), Media on Demand/Libby (ebook)

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Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi

Why you should try it: "Intertwining the intimate formative teen experience with a life-and-death diagnosis, Yolk is heart-wrenching and intense but whole."—Megha, Children's Services Library Assistant

Description: Jayne and June Baek are nothing alike. Once thick as thieves, these sisters who moved from Seoul to San Antonio to New York together now don't want anything to do with each other. That is, until June gets cancer. And Jayne becomes the only one who can help her.

Stream & download with: Media on Demand/Libby (ebook, digital audiobook)

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River of Royal Blood/Queen of Gilded Horns by Amanda Joy

Why you should try it: "I really enjoyed this fabulous North African-inspired fantasy duology. Super inventive magic and lots of intrigue."—Jenna, Collection Management Librarian

Description: Seventeen-year-old Eva must harness the magick inside her to defeat her older sister, Isadore, as well as other forces, and win the crown in the Queendom of Myre—or die trying.

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The Girl From the Sea by Molly Ostertag

Why you should try it: "Such a cute and fun queer graphic novel! Bonus: Selkie lore!"—Jenna, Collection Management Librarian

Description: Fifteen-year-old Morgan has a secret: She can't wait to escape the perfect little island where she lives. She's desperate to finish high school and escape her sad divorced mom, her volatile little brother, and worst of all, her great group of friends...who don't understand Morgan at all. Because really, Morgan's biggest secret is that she has a lot of secrets, including the one about wanting to kiss another girl.

Find all available formats in the catalog »