Our 2015 Favorites: Young Adult

As the year comes to a close, our librarians wanted to share their favorite books, movies, television series, and music that either came out in the past year, or that we just discovered in 2015.

All of these titles are available for checkout from the Kansas City Public Library collection, so why not start off 2016 with an awesome new read from this list?

Many thanks to our library staff who helped contribute to this list and descriptions, including: Crystal, Rachel, Anna, Ron, and Clare in Youth & Family Engagement; Eli in Special Collections; Kaite in Readers' Services; Andy and Courtney in Public Affairs; Heather in Executive Services, John in the Digital Branch; Jill and Ryan in Customer Services; Joel in Branch Administration; and Susan at the Waldo Branch.

Author: 
Robyn Schneider
ISBN: 
9780062217165
One of our staff's favorite Young Adult novels of 2015 was Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider. The premise of an untreatable form of tuberculosis emerging is plausible. And while the YA trope of terminally-ill teen protagonists might seem overdone, Extraordinary Means makes the reader look at the characters and the greater issues of medical ethics in a whole new light. The conversations this story will start make it a terrific pick for any book group.
Author: 
Rainbow Rowell
ISBN: 
9781250049551
Carry On is another entrant in the "Chosen One" genre of fiction, à la Harry Potter. Rowell's characters are superb and may be the best thing about this very good book. Overall, Rowell has created an affectionate parody that perfectly satirizes this beloved genre, while still creating characters and a story that will probably be a beloved part of the genre canon.
Author: 
Steve Sheinkin
ISBN: 
9781596439528
More focused and accessible than Sheinkin's previous works Bomb and The Notorious Benedict Arnold, it tells the story of Daniel Ellsburg, a Harvard graduate, Marine Corp volunteer, and Cold War defender who gradually begins to view the Vietnam War as unwinnable. He leaks the Pentagon Papers: a top secret document that reveals a history of deception by the Executive Branch, a deception designed to save face and win elections.
Author: 
Jason Reynolds; Brendan Kiely
ISBN: 
9781481463331
Sure to be a discussion starter, the two authors of All American Boys tell the story of two teens, one black and one white, who find themselves at the center of exploding racial tensions, all because one wanted to buy a bag of chips.
Author: 
Sophie Kinsella
ISBN: 
9780553536515
Because sometimes all it takes is one person to make a real difference in someone's life, Finding Audrey demonstrates that better than any book we've read lately. A very uplifting and inspiring tale.
Author: 
A. S. King
ISBN: 
9780316222723
The titular character of A. S. King's novel is struggling with some real life issues, including that she has no plan after graduating high school. Then she begins to have visions of a horrible future, one that she has power to divert.