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Kids Book Review- Staff’s 2021 Teen Favorites

With 2021 coming to a close, Boone County Public Library staff shares their favorite teen books published this year:

Teen Titles

Ground Zero
by Alan Gratz 

The thing that gripped me the most about this book is the way the author chose to tell this particular story of 9/11. Going back and forth between a child trying to survive the attack on the World Trade Center and a different child trying to survive the conflict in Afghanistan had me on the edge of my seat until the very end.
–D Pina, Teen Librarian, Scheben Branch

Solo Leveling
by Chugong 

This modern and thrilling tale combines fantasy with video game elements. Taking place in South Korea, some humans on Earth suddenly awoke to enhanced abilities a decade ago, now they use these abilities to take on dungeons that appear mysteriously around the world. Jinwoo Sung is the weakest hunter of mankind… until he suddenly levels up!
–D Pina, Teen Librarian, Scheben Branch

The Girls I’ve Been
by Tess Sharpe 

I really enjoyed this thriller about a morally grey main character, Nora, using skills she honed in her con artist past to outsmart bank robbers as she is held in a hostage situation. It’s gritty, dark, and takes on some tough issues, but Nora tackles it all with sass and snark as you uncover her past to find out how she’s going to live through the present. 
–Kilee Donaldson, Youth Services Associate, Main Library

This Poison Heart
by Kalynn Bayron

If you are looking for a book that incorporates elements of Greek mythology in a new and exciting way, this one is for you! Bri has a supernatural power over plants and discovers she is immune to the poisonous ones.  After inheriting her birth mother’s family home, Bri discovers that not everything is quite what it seems. With a mystery to solve, action sequences, and a main character you will be rooting for, this fun read will definitely leave you anxiously waiting for book two!
— Pamela Jayne, Youth Services Librarian, Florence Branch

One Great Lie
by Deb Caletti

Set in the beautiful city of Venice, this book tackles the difficult issue of how for centuries men have gotten all the credit in history for creating books, art, and things in general. It looks at how women were treated in the past and present day. It’s written beautifully and left me with all the feels. 
— Taylor Rasor, Youth Services Associate, Main Branch 

Words Composed of Sea and Sky
by Erica George

Alternating between present times and the mid-1800s, Words Composed of Sea and Sky tells the story of two female poets and their relationships with love, history, and the sea.
— Adrianna Waters, Youth Services Associate, Hebron Branch

Firekeeper’s Daughter
by Angeline Boulley 

A thrilling mystery that dives deep into Native American culture, complicated family relationships, and identity, Firekeeper’s Daughter will keep you turning the pages until the end.
— Adrianna Waters, Youth Services Associate, Hebron Branch


-Selection compiled by Pamela Jayne, Youth Services Librarian, Florence Branch

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