Teen Novels by Debut Authors

Always looking for the newest teen fiction? Check out these four debut authors talking about their books at the Teen Debut Author Panel at Sulzer Regional Library on Saturday, July 14.

Their novels represent a variety of genres including realistic fiction, fantasy and fairy tale retellings.

In Megan Bannen's The Bird and the Blade, a Chinese slave girl named Jinghua helps Prince Khalaf and his father escape an invasion of their kingdom. This fantasy, set in the 13th century and inspired by the opera Turnadot, incorporates elements of magic, history and romance.

Romance also plays a role in Gloria Chao's American Panda, but the plot mainly focuses on MIT freshman Mei's struggle to live up to her Taiwanese American parents' expectations. They want her to become a doctor and then marry a Taiwanese guy and have kids. So it's unfortunate that she's afraid of germs and falling for her Japanese American classmate Darren.

Sarah Henning's Sea Witch also focuses on complicated relationships. In this retelling of the Little Mermaid, Evie, a poor village girl, mourns the death of her best friend, Anna. When her other BFF Prince Nik almost drowns, he's rescued by a mermaid that looks an awful lot like Anna. Soon a girl named Annemette shows up in town looking for Nik.

In a more modern romance, Jessica Pennington's Love Songs & Other Lies, songwriter and musician Vee appears on a reality TV band competition with her ex-boyfriend Cameron. Told from both Vee and Cameron's perspectives, the story reveals the reasons why the couple broke up and why they might come back together.

What's your favorite debut summer read?

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