YA Friday: Back to School

Back To School

It feels like summer just began, and then before you know it, the stores are filled with school supplies and back-to-school fashion. The air is peppered with the quiet screams of teachers and students alike, who realize it is time to begin a new school year again.

And a new school year brings new friends and possibly some new enemies. Between navigating the cliques, keeping up your GPAs (or, um, not), excelling at sports (or avoiding them), dating, and rebelling against your parents; it's easy to see why high school is something we talk about surviving rather than experiencing.

So it's time we bid farewell to this year's beach vacations, sleeping in until after noon, roaming the mall with your friend group, playing Fortnite all-day and night, and bingeing Netflix until 2:00 AM.

We'll miss you Summer Break!

Back-to-School Reads

Beginning a new school year can be exciting and nerve-wracking in equal measure. The teens in these books are trying to get off on the right foot, often against steep odds.

Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index book cover

Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index by Julie Israel

Discovering a break-up letter to an unnamed recipient months after the death of her sister, grieving sixteen-year-old Juniper resolves to discover the identity of the person her sister was writing to in the hope of finding closure.

American Street book cover

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

When Fabiola's mother is detained upon their arrival to the United States, Fabiola must navigate her loud American cousins, the grittiness of Detroit's west side, a new school, and a surprising romance all on her own.

Saint Anything book cover

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Sydney's charismatic older brother, Peyton, has always been the center of attention in the family but when he is sent to jail, Sydney struggles to find her place at home and the world until she meets the Chathams, including gentle, protective Mac, who makes her feel seen for the first time.

Without Annette book cover

Without Annette by Jane B. Mason

Josie Little and her girlfriend Annette Anderson have traveled halfway across the country to attend Brookwood Academy, a prestigious boarding school in Connecticut, and get away from Annette's abusive mother, but as soon as they get there things begin to unravel--the undercurrents in the school are poisonous, Annette seems more interested in drinking with the in-crowd, and a boy declares that he is in love with her.

Speak book cover

Speak : The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson, illustrated by Emily Carroll

A traumatic event near the end of the summer has a devastating effect on Melinda's freshman year in high school.

Anger Is A Gift book cover

Anger Is A Gift by Mark Oshiro

A young adult debut by the popular social media personality and critic reflects the racial and economic struggles of today's teens in the story of high school junior Moss, who in the face of a racist school administration decides to organize a protest that escalates into violence.

Further Reading

Chloe Winter's Diary : Confessions of a High School Disaster book cover What to Say Next book cover Friends With Boys book cover Waiting For You book cover Even When You Lie To Me book cover Rites of Passage book cover