Best of young adult (YA) fiction 2020

My top 3 YA recommendations for 2020 are below! Click on the covers or titles to reserve a copy from Cockburn Libraries.

Link to Catalogue record for The boy who steals houses
Link to Catalogue record for The surprising power of a good dumpling
Link to Catalogue record for Peta Lyre's rating normal

THE BOY WHO STEALS HOUSES by C.G. Drews

I decided to read this one after it was listed as an Honour Book in the CBCA Awards Book of the Year for Older Readers – and I really liked it. My 13yo also read and enjoyed it. The subtitle “the girl who steals his heart” portrays this book as a romance but, although there is a love story, the focus is on two brothers who have been rejected by family and just want to fulfil their dream of finding their own home. It was so easy to become invested in the characters and cheer them on, despite their tendencies to make some poor choices.

THE SURPRISING POWER OF A GOOD DUMPLING by Wai Chim

When I started this book, I didn’t realise that it would be such a close look at the effects of mental illness on the rest of a family. The main character, Anna, is trying to balance normal teenage life with caring for her siblings as her mum’s mental health deteriorates. This book also delves into racism, culture, expectations, and acceptance. This book was on the Notable list for the CBCA Awards Book of the Year for Older Readers.

You can read a full review on our website.

PETA LYRE’S RATING NORMAL by Anna Whateley

This book could be the most underrated YA of 2020!

Peta Lyre is a self-titled ‘Alphabet Girl’ with diagnoses of ADHD, ASD, SPD, and giftedness. She has spent years learning social skills from a therapist so she can fit in with the expectations and behaviour of other people.  This book provides an interesting look at the inner thoughts and feelings of a young woman trying to be ‘normal’ and still be true to herself. Her descriptions of the way she manages her medication and how it affects her are something I haven’t read in a YA novel before. Peta’s voice goes a long way to dispel misconceptions of neurodiversity and I enjoyed learning from her.

Read our complete review !