Looking for some new YA titles to read this January? Take a look at our top picks, from reimagined Scandanavian fairytales to dystopian coming-of-age novels.
The sad ghost club, volume 2, by Lize Meddings
When two strangers meet at a party and realise they both feel different from everyone else there, they start the The Sad Ghost Club - a secret society for the anxious and alone, a club for people who think they don't belong. But when a third ghost wants to join the club, things get a bit more complicated. Can the two ghosts overcome thier insecurities and uncertainties in thier new friendship, and find a way to welcome new members to the club?
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Echo north, by Joanna Ruth Meyer
Echo's carefully structured world falls apart after her father leaves for the city and mysteriously disappears. Believing he is lost forever, Echo is shocked to find him half-frozen in the winter forest six months later, guarded by a strange talking wolf - the same creature who attacked her as a child.
A reimagining of the Norwegian fairytale East of the Sun and West of the Moon.
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The blue book of Nebo, by Manon Steffan Ros
Dylan was six when The End came, back in 2018; when the electricity went off for good, and the 'normal' 21st century world he knew disappeared. Now he's 14 and he and his mam have survived in their isolated hilltop house above the village of Nebo in north-west Wales, learning new skills, and returning to old ways of living. Despite their close understanding, the relationship between mother and son changes subtly as Dylan must take on adult responsibilities. And they each have their own secrets, which emerge as, in turn, they jot down their thoughts and memories in a found notebook - the Blue Book of Nebo.
In this prize-winning novel, Manon Steffan Ros not only explores the human capacity to find new strengths when faced with the need to survive, but also questions the structures and norms of the contemporary world.
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The burning swift, by Joseph Elliott
With the deadly phantom sgilean defeated, Jaime and Agatha prepare to help their clan reclaim their compound from the treacherous Raasay people. But Sigrid, sent at the behest of Queen Beatrice, arrives with a warning: the kings of Norveg and Ingland have joined forces and plan to march north to annihilate the people of Scotia. The clan quickly turns to the Badhbh and his powerful blood magic.
But instead of aiding them, the mage kidnaps Agatha, seemingly as an offering to the kings. Now Sigrid and Jaime must rally unlikely allies to face a common enemy, even as Jaime finds himself drawn to a boy from another clan. Meanwhile, Agatha garners unexpected support among the Inglish as well as from an animal of Scotian legend, and discovers the extraordinary secrets of her past.
The burning swift is the third novel in the Shadow Skye series.
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Never shall I ever forget you, by Jamila Gavin
England, 1937. Gwen, Noor, Dodo and Vera are four very different teenage girls, with something in common. Their parents are all abroad, leaving them in their English boarding school, where they soon form an intense friendship. The four friends think that no matter what, they will always have each other. Then the war comes. The girls find themselves flung to different corners of the war, from the flying planes in the Air Training Auxiliary to going undercover in the French Resistance.
Each journey brings danger and uncertainty as each of them wonders if they can make it through - and what will be left of the world. But at the same time, this is what shows them who they really are - and against this impossible backdrop, they find new connections and the possibility of love.
From the author of the Costa Children's Book Prize for Coram boy comes an enthralling work of historical fiction.
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