The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!

Young Adult Nonfiction

Maybe An Artist, A Graphic Memoir by Liz Montague

This graphic memoir should be put into every middle and high school library in the country! As kids we are often told to do what we love, but there’s so much pressure on kids to succeed before they get a chance to figure out what success may look like for them. In this book Liz Montague documents the stress of trying to become something she wasn’t and how she eventually acknowledged and achieved her dreams of becoming an artist. I loved her illustration style — it is so simple and so effective!

Maybe An Artist, A Graphic Memoir by Liz Montague, (List Price: $17.99, Random House Studio, 9780593307823, October 2022)

Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

My Name Is Jason. Mine Too by Jason Reynolds

Calling this the coolest most creative young adult book I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, just wow! Powerhouse Jason Reynolds teams up with longtime best friend and artist Jason Griffin to bring the most interesting memoir I’ve ever read. Originally published in 2009 as Reynolds’s first book, this tiny but mighty memoir follows the two as they chase huge aspirations in New York City. Worlds, collages, and paint splatters cover the pages rather than paragraphs and it works so perfectly. Almost like a zine nonfiction novella, and if that wasn’t a thing it is now and I want more!

My Name Is Jason. Mine Too by Jason Reynolds, (List Price: $10.99, Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, 9781534478220, June 2022)

Reviewed by Grace Sullivan, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed by Saraciea J. Fennell

These are the voices. The voices we need to hear, to represent the voices that need to be heard. This collection from fifteen influential Young Adult writers from the Latinx diaspora is the perfect launch pad for conversations and the perfect door to new ideas.

Wild Tongues Can’t Be Tamed by Saraciea J. Fennell, (List Price: $18.99, Flatiron Books, 9781250763426, November 2021)

Reviewed by Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina

Passport by Sophia Glock

As though growing up wasn’t tough enough on its own. Let’s add a sink-or-swim Spanish immersion school that you transfer to years after your classmates start learning Spanish, even if your parents yank you out after their great experiment (you) fails. Add constantly moving house from country to country, AND your parents don’t even tell you what it is they do (because it’s <redacted>). This memoir told in graphic novel is for young people looking for their people, trying to avoid the watchful eye of their parents, and trying to (depending on the sibs) live up to or escape the shadow of the older sibs. Oh and maybe get a first kiss out of the deal. The art conveys much depth to an already affecting story, particularly in the opening chapters where the sense of place is established.

Passport by Sophia Glock, (List Price: 17.99, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316459006, November 2021)

Reviewed by Lisa Yee Swope, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina


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