Where to find up-to-date recommendations for MG and YA fiction onlinehttps://i0.wp.com/www.writerandthewolf.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Copy-of-Copy-of-Discovering-middle-grade-and-YA-books-in-the-library-when-you-dont-know-what-youre-looking-for-3.png?fit=1024%2C576&ssl=1 1024 576 Siobhan O'Brien Holmes Siobhan O'Brien Holmes https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/ba3674976788a4e771f9a93e14b42805?s=96&d=mm&r=g
There are loads of places to find genre-specific middle grade and YA recommendations but if you’re new to the kidlit space or you just want to read a few good books and don’t care about the genre or subject matter, here are a few of my favourite resources to start you off. Remember it’s always best to start with recently published books and this post is being published in February 2022 so if you’re reading far in the future (I bow to our new alien overlords) be sure to check these websites for more up-to-date lists.
Read articles written by the pros
- The Horn Book is a children’s literature magazine that’s been going for almost a hundred years and they feature excellent reviews and articles about the latest middle grade and YA releases. I’m subscribed to the lovely print magazine, too.
- Book Riot Children’s and Book Riot YA are really fun, often irreverent blogs full of great recommendations and lists by genre and topic. I’m subscribed to their YA newsletter and there’s a podcast as well.
- Books for Keeps is a lovely online magazine which reviews children’s books. You can filter the reviews by reader age.
- From the Mixed Up Files is a really fun blog written by middle grade authors and regularly recommends books and discusses awards, which are another great way to find good books.
See what’s winning major book awards
- Best Middle Grade Books 2021 | SLJ Best Books
- UKLA Award 2021
- CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals
- Blue Peter Book Awards 2021
- Waterstones Children’s Book Prize winners 2021
- 2021 Caldecott Award
- The YA Book Prize 2021
Check out bookshops’ bestsellers (or the books they’re pushing most heavily)
- Waterstones breaks their middle grade and YA categories down into ‘our best books’, ‘our best new and coming soon books’ and ‘the best of 2021’
- WHSmith publishes their children’s book chart (and it inevitably features a lot of celebrity authors so brace yourself!)
- Foyles offers a ‘staff choice’ children’s and YA list featuring 42 top picks by their own booksellers
- Barnes & Noble feature their own top 100 bestseller lists for children and teens
The following publishers and imprints specialise in children’s and teen’s fiction so take a look at their websites for recent and upcoming releases:
Browse social media
You’ll find MILLIONS of book recommendations on Instagram and Twitter (and TikTok, too, but I’m too old for that). Follow a few publishers and book bloggers and you’ll be inundated with titles to add to your TBR pile, or search hashtags like #iloveya, #mgbooks, #yabooks and #childrensbooks to find middle grade and YA readers and authors. I’ll publish a post soon specifically on using social media to find recommended titles.
The images in this blog are from the gorgeous Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Colouring Book by Johanna Basford, coloured in by my fair hand.
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Siobhan O'Brien Holmes is a developmental editor working with middle grade and YA authors. She specialises in speculative and genre fiction, particularly horror, fantasy, mystery, sci-fi and anything with a dash of magic or macabre. She is a member of the SfEP, EFA, ACES, British Fantasy Society, Horror Writers Association and SCBWI. She has an MA in Novel Writing and an MA in Children's Literature.All stories by: Siobhan O'Brien Holmes