This August, Beaverdale Books is celebrating what we call The New State of the Art! We’re living in a new golden age of science fiction, when the genre’s voices and viewpoints are more diverse than they’ve ever been, and the stories the genre can tell have never been wilder and more insightful than right now.
Here, we’re highlighting a few modern classics in Young Adult and Middle Grade science fiction! We’ve got life-extension therapies (and all the ways it can go wrong), giant mecha fighting giant monsters (and why it might not be so fun to pilot one of those mechs), superheroes (and why dating one might… okay, you’re probably seeing a pattern). And robots! At least one robot! Maybe more!
The Arc of a Scythe series
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so to keep the size of the population under control. Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice with a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own. When they try to break free of their roles, the two apprentices discover those in power will not peacefully relinquish their control. Can Citra and Rowan change things for the better without being silenced themselves?
Some people are extraordinary. Some are just extra. Nick Bell? Not extraordinary. But he is the most popular fanfiction writer in the Extraordinaries fandom. After a chance encounter with Shadow Star, Nova City’s mightiest hero (and Nick’s biggest crush), Nick sets out to make himself extraordinary. And he’ll do it with or without the reluctant help of Seth Gray, Nick’s best friend (and maybe the love of his life).
H.D. Hunter, Khadijah Khatib
Random House Books for Young Readers
Welcome to the most spectacular theme park in the world. Everyone wants a ticket to Futureland, where you can literally live out your wildest dreams. Want to step inside your favorite video game? Go pro in a sports arena? Perform at a real live concert? Grab your ticket and come right in. Yet with all its attractions, Futureland has always just been home to Cam Walker, the son of the park’s famous creators. And when Futureland arrives at its latest stop, Atlanta, Cam is thrilled for what promises to be the biggest opening ever . . . But things aren’t quite right with the Atlanta opening. Park attractions are glitching. Kids go missing. And when his parents are blamed, Cam must find the missing kids and whoever’s trying to take down his family . . . before it’s too late.
Xiran Jay Zhao
The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall of China. It doesn’t matter that the girls die from the mental strain. When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But when she gets her vengeance, it becomes clear that she is an Iron Widow, a rare kind of female pilot who can sacrifice males to power up Chrysalises instead. To tame her frightening yet valuable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest male pilot in Huaxia, yet feared and ostracized for killing his father and brothers. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will take over instead, then leverage their combined strength to force her society to stop failing its women and girls. Or die trying.
Milo and Marcos at the End of the World
Kevin Christopher Snipes
Milo Connolly has managed to survive the first three years of high school without any major disasters, so by his calculations, he’s well past due for some sort of Epic Teenage Catastrophe. Even so, all he wants his senior year is to keep his head down and fly under the radar like the quiet, well-behaved, churchgoing boy that everyone thinks he is. Everything is going exactly as planned until the dreamy and charismatic Marcos Price saunters back into his life after a three-year absence and turns his world upside-down. Suddenly Milo is forced to confront the long-buried feelings that he’s kept hidden not only from himself but also from his deeply religious parents and community. To make matters worse, strange things have been happening around his sleepy Florida town ever since Marcos’s return—sinkholes, blackouts, hailstorms. Mother Nature seems out of control, and the closer Milo and Marcos get, the more disasters seem to befall them. In fact, as more and more bizarre occurrences pile up, Milo and Marcos find themselves faced with the unthinkable: Is there a larger, unseen force at play, trying to keep them apart? And if so, is their love worth risking the end of the world?
The Wild Robot series
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Can a robot survive in the wilderness? When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is all alone on a remote, wild island. She has no idea how she got there or what her purpose is — but she knows she needs to survive. After battling a violent storm and escaping a vicious bear attack, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to adapt to her surroundings and learn from the island’s unwelcoming animal inhabitants. As Roz slowly befriends the animals, the island starts to feel like home — until, one day, the robot’s mysterious past comes back to haunt her.