Blog Post

Spring into spring & summer with these 5 new YA & youth titles

By: Sarah Wilsman, Content Specialist

As we continue to practice social distancing and conduct learning at home for the foreseeable future, there might not ever be a better time to add to – or catch up on – your reading list. And spring 2020 brings with it a diverse list of titles sure to pique your students’ interest.

(And just a reminder: Check out the Featured tab in Marketplace for trending lists and titles curated by OverDrive experts to help you refresh your collection.)

To get you started, check out a few titles we’re most excited for as the weather turns.


1. Stamped–Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

Jason Reynolds’ collaboration with Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped–Racism, Anti-racism and You, is a must-read for both students and educators. Reynolds, the beloved National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, has added his voice to the timely discussion of race and racial politics with this young adult re-imagining of Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning (the 2016 National Book Award winner). Last year, TIME featured an article about Stamped–Racism, Antiracism, and You and how it’s designed to help young people better understand and navigate racism.


2. Mañanaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Pam Muñoz Ryan’s Latinx mid-grade fantasy, Mañanaland, is receiving favorable reviews for its elements of magical realism, mystery and a realistic portrayal of immigrants. Ryan is the popular author of Echo and Esperanza Rising.


3. Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim

In this charming mid-grade coming of age novel from Jessica Kim, 11-year-old Yumi dreams of becoming a stand-up comedian – a goal that does not align with her Korean parents’ hopes that she’ll become a doctor like her older sister. This is a great read for fans of New Kid and other works of observational fiction.


4. When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed

Jointly written by Roller Girl author Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed, the Somali man whose life inspired the story, When Stars are Scattered is a graphic novel about growing up in a refugee camp. It is receiving starred reviews and will absolutely be an award contender this year.


5. Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang

Finally, Dragon Hoops (by Michael L. Printz Award-winning author Gene Luen Yang) tells the story of a high school basketball team’s bid for a ninth state championship. Through a combination of graphic memoir and reporting on the historic season, the illustrations and diverse characters have wide appeal for readers. This graphic novel should be another winner for Yang!


Looking for more ideas? Check out our Spring Audio Essentials list to discover new audiobooks, plus our While At Home list for boredom-busting activities.

And don’t forget – from now until May 31, you can stock up on more spring and summer reading during our Yay for YA sale, which includes more than 6,000 young adult titles for the young and young-at-heart at up to 50% off. Set your students up for summer reading success, or get a head start on preparing for fall!

yay for ya sale


About the Author:

Sarah Wilsman is a voracious reader thanks to her grandmother, who managed an independent bookstore and supplied her with stacks of books. She got her BA in English at Kenyon College and her MLIS at Kent State University. Sarah worked at several public libraries in youth services for over a decade, where her favorite part of the job was selecting which books to purchase. She also reviewed kids lit for School Library Journal for years. At OverDrive, Sarah is a content specialist for the Education Team, where she loves helping school partners develop engaging digital collections for their students.

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