During our first year running this site, the MG Book Village team has had a number of goals. One of them has been to help spread the word about the work of debut authors — those new-on-the-scene creators who are actively trying to build an audience and get their books into readers’ hands. Another goal has been to actively respond to the needs, wants, and wishes of YOU, our community members.
Recently, both here and, even more so, over on Twitter, there’s been talk of the need for more so-called “Upper MG” books, or novels that are appropriate for MG-aged kids but that tackle issues or explore situations that have been traditionally reserved for YA. For that reason (and because we know that many of you are educators, and that your former students often come back to you to ask for book recommendations, and that many the librarians among you have teenage patrons!), we figure it can’t hurt to now and again venture outside of our MG world and see what’s going on in YA.
When Diane approached me with the idea for this post — to highlight some of the November and December 2018 MG and YA debuts — I was excited, because it helps accomplish a number of our goals at once. It also recognizes that the six authors featured below are debuting at a particularly difficult time, when many end-of-the-year lists have already been compiled and readers are pushed to start looking forward to next year’s books. But hold off just a little longer, and don’t miss the last of what 2018 has to offer!
. . .
We debut authors get a lot of jitters about how our books will be received. Fortunately, most of us have at least several months during our debut year to connect with teachers, students, and other readers. During those months, being a published author becomes a reality. But for authors whose works are published near the end of the year, there are no extra months. December 31 feels like the end of the end, and the celebration of being an author is short. I’m proud of my fellow debut #kidlit authors, and I wanted to give a shoutout to our November and December authors and their incredible books so we can help them feel beloved, like the rest of us. Read on to learn more!
—Diane Magras (The Mad Wolf’s Daughter)
Love Like Sky, Leslie C. Youngblood
November 6, 2018, Disney-Hyperion
In this expertly-voiced, heartfelt middle-grade debut, a young girl copes with her new “blended-up” family and her little sister’s sudden illness.
The Prophet Calls, Melanie Sumrow
November 6, 2018, Yellow Jacket
Gentry lives in a polygamous community among God’s chosen, but when the Prophet’s revelations put her family in danger, she must decide whether to adhere to his terrible demands or discover what it truly means to be free.
Synchro Boy, Shannon McFerran
November 6, 2018, Arsenal Pulp Press
Bart Lively, a 16-year-old competitive swimmer, is wooed over to the synchronized team. But things get complicated when he falls for his female duet partner – and crushes on a guy on the diving team.
Outrun the Wind, Elizabeth Tammi
November 27, 2018, Flux
When the legendary huntress Atalanta discovers her parentage, she and her handmaiden must devise a dangerous game to avoid marriage to dreadful suitors, and find a way for them both to reclaim their independence.
Paper Girl, Cindy R. Wilson
December 4, 2018, Entangled Teen
A girl who hasn’t left her house in over a year falls in love with a homeless boy and discovers that she’s the only one who can battle her own demons.
The Disasters, M.K. England
December 18, 2018, Harper Teen
When hotshot pilot Nax fails out of Ellis Station Academy on his first day like a champ, his life is as good as over… right up until he gets blamed for a horrific crime, crashes a spaceship, and pulls a daring heist with his fellow rejects to hopefully stop an intergalactic terrorist group. Maybe. If they live long enough.
Website (with preorder prizes!): http://www.mkengland.com/