Do you ever get focused on a certain period of time and want to read books only set during that time period? Well, here’s a spotlight on teen novels set in the 1920’s, also known as the Jazz Age or the Roaring Twenties. It was a time when Flappers were popular, silent films were being replaced by Talkies, jazz music was all the rage, the Harlem Renaissance inspired many writers and artists, and the Prohibition Law had a huge impact on American society.
YA BRAY, L.
Seventeen-year-old Evie O’Neill is thrilled when she is exiled from small-town Ohio to New York City in 1926, even when a rash of occult-based murders thrusts Evie and her uncle, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, into the thick of the investigation.
YA HESSE, K.
A series of poems express the views of various people in a small Vermont town, including a young black girl and a young Jewish girl, during the early 1920’s when the Ku Klux Klan is trying to infiltrate the town.
YA LARKIN, J.
In 1923 Chicago, seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody rebels against her upcoming society wedding by visiting a speakeasy, while her Pennsylvania cousin, Clara, hides similar tastes and her best friend, Lorraine, makes plans of her own.
YA LISLE, J.
Years afterwards, Ruben Hart tells the story of how, in 1929 Newport, Rhode Island, his family and his best friend’s family were caught up in the violent competition among groups trying to control the local rum-smuggling trade.
YA CASANOVA, M.
Unable to speak or remember the events surrounding her mother’s mysterious death eleven years earlier, sixteen-year-old Sadie Rose, the foster child of a corrupt senator in 1920’s northern Minnesota, struggles to regain her voice, memory, and identity.
YA GODBERSEN, A.
In the spring of 1929, eighteen-year-old Cordelia Grey and her stage-struck friend Letty Larkspur run away from their small Ohio town to seek their fortunes in New York City and soon find themselves drawn into situations and relationships, particularly with the dazzling Astrid Donal, that change their lives forever.
YA GRIFFIN, M.
During the summer of 1926 in the lake resort town of Excelsior, Minnesota, sixteen-year-old Garnet, who dreams of indulging her passion for ornithology, is resigned to marrying a nice boy and settling into middle-class homemaking until she takes a liberating job in a hat shop and begins an intense, secret relationship with a daring and beautiful flapper.
YA IBBOTSON, E.
In 1920’s Austria, no one in the Viennese opera company knows that their wardrobe mistress Tessa is really a princess. But when the dashing self-made millionaire Guy Farne arrives at the opera, Tessa realizes that there may be more to life–and love–than just music.
YA JOCELYN, M.
When fifteen-year-old Annie Grey and her “clairvoyant” mother arrive in Peach Hill, New York, in 1924, each finds a reason for wanting to finally settle down, but to reach their goals they will have to do some serious lying and Annie will have to stand up for herself.
If you are big into baseball, check out some of these teen novels where baseball plays an important part in the story:
YA JASPER, R.
When Danny makes a catch that ends up on SportsCenter’s Top Plays, he is approached by a sports-gear executive with an offer too tempting to pass up.
YA HAZELGROVE, W.
The pitcher, is a classic story of baseball, the price of dreams, and the lessons of life. A mythic baseball story about a broken down World Series Pitcher is mourning over the death of his wife and an under-priveledged Mexican-American boy who lives across the street and wants to learn to pitch. This is a mainstream contemporary novel about dreams lost and found.
YA LUPICA, M.
When fourteen-year-old baseball player Hutch feels threatened by the arrival of a new teammate named Darryl, he tries to work through his insecurities about both Darryl and his remote and silent father, who was once a great ballplayer too.
YA SULLIVAN, D.
Henry “Biggie” Abbott has hidden behind his weight for years, and although he is the son and stepson of two of Finch, Minnesota’s most famous athletes, he prefers academic success until the girl of his dreams suggests he join the baseball team, and, with his stepbrother’s help, he discovers he is a great pitcher.
YA GLASER, J.
Nick Cosimo is a star pitcher on his high school team and always puts his team first, but when a scout appears in the stands he has to decide if he is going to change his game to make an impression on the scout.
YA LUPICA, M.
It is every baseball kid’s dream summer job: batboy for your hometown Major League team. Yet for fourteen year-old Brian, the job means more than just the chance to hang around his idols. Baseball was the job his father loved so much, in the end he couldn’t leave it. Yet he could leave his family. Now Brian sees the job as the way to win back his father. There is no winning back some people, though. Just ask Hank Bishop–once the most popular player in baseball before he was banned for using steroids. Now he is making his comeback. And an unlikely friendship slowly develops between this man in need of a family and this boy in need of a father.
YA DEUKER, C.
When sophomore Shane Hunter’s father is arrested for money laundering at his Lexus dealership, the star pitcher’s life of affluence and private school begins to fall apart.
YA GRATZ, A.
While obtaining a Western education at a prestigious Japanese boarding school in 1890, sixteen-year-old Toyo also receives traditional samurai training which has profound effects on both his baseball game and his relationship with his father.
YA KOERTGE, R.
When a fourteen-year-old baseball player catches mononucleosis, he discovers that keeping a journal and experimenting with poetry not only helps fill the time, it also helps him deal with life, love, and loss.
YA LIPSYTE, R.
Mike lives for baseball and hopes to follow his idol into the major leagues one day, but he is distracted by a new player who might take his place in center field, an ankle injury, problems at home, and a growing awareness that something sinister is happening at school.
YA RITTER, J.
Andy and Glory, two fifteen-year-olds from Ocean Beach, California, pursue their respective dreams of becoming a famous musician and a professional softball player.
YA PENA, M.
Sixteen-year-old Danny searches for his identity amidst the confusion of being half-Mexican and half-white while spending a summer with his cousin and new friends on the baseball fields and back alleys of San Diego County, California.
YA TRUEMAN, T.
Varsity baseball player Scott Latimer struggles with his own prejudices and those of others when his best friend reveals that he is gay.
Gaia Warriors: Urgent, the Fight is On! by Nicola Davies
YA 363.7387 DAV
Examines the causes and effects of global warming and offers opinions from leading scientists about what can be done to help the Earth.
47 Things You Can Do for the Environment by Lexi Petronis
YA 363.7 PET
Identifies numerous everyday practices that can be employed to protect and clean up the earth, counseling teens on such options as eating less meat, shopping for vintage clothing, and organizing an environmental task force at school.
Green Career$: You Can Make Money and Save the Planet by Jennifer Power Scott
YA 363.7002 POW
Looks at successful professionals in the diverse environmental career field, how they contribute to the well-being of the planet, and how they are making respectable amounts of money in the process.
Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America by Jon Mooallem
YA 333.9541 MOO
Tracks the dynamic relevance of America’s animals throughout history to illuminate current extinction threats, tracing the author’s tour of environmental regions with his young daughter to examine the conservation efforts for such species as the polar bear and the whooping crane.
Going Blue: A Teen Guide to Saving Our Oceans, Lakes, Rivers, & Wetlands by Cathryn Kaye
YA 333.9116 KAY
Discusses the issues surrounding fresh water resources, including pollution, water as commodity vs. water as human right, and desalination as a solution to fresh water shortages.
The Next Eco-Warriors: 22 Young Women and Men Who are Saving the Planet by Emily Hunter
YA 333.7209 NEX
Emily Hunter, daughter of Robert and Bobbie Hunter, Greenpeace co-founders, introduces us to this feisty and diverse global community of young people that are tackling issues of energy use, over consumption, over fishing, waste management, the disappearance of indigenous cultures and rainforest, and other desperately urgent environmental/social concerns with a sense of possibility and passion.
Girls Gone Green by Lynn Hirshfield
YA 333.72 HIR
Provides stories of how everyday girls are striving to conquer global warming and describes the efforts of such young female celebrities as Mischa Barton and Ellen Page to promote environmentally responsible products.
YA 333.7209 ROH
This inspiring book presents the true stories of 12 people, most of them teenagers or younger adults, from across North America who have done great things for the environment. Heroes include a teenage girl who figured out how to remove an industrial pollutant from the Ohio River, a Mexican superstar wrestler who works to protect turtles and whales, and a teenage boy from Rhode Island who helped his community and his state develop effective e-waste recycling programs. Plenty of photographs and illustrations bring each compelling story vividly to life.
Check out the video below to see the nominees and then click on a title to find it in our collection. The Teens’ Top Ten is a “teen choice” list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year. Teens will vote online between August 15 and Teen Read Week for their favorites and the winners will be announced the week after Teen Read Week.
- Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
- Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout
- Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne
- Mortal Gods by Kendare Blake
- The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare
- The Inventor’s Secret by Andrea Cremer
- Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
- Into the Dark: The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain
- To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
- Unhinged by A.G. Howard
- The Young Elites by Marie Lu
- Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
- Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
- The Shadow Throne by Jennifer A. Nielsen
- My Life with the Walter Boys by Ali Novak
- The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
- The Winner’s Curse by Marie Koski
- Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott
- I Become Shadow by Joe Shine
- Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
- The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
- Boys Like You by Juliana Stone
- We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist
- Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
Visit Young Adult Fiction Universe, a review site created by Chicago area teen – Anastasia. There are over sixty detailed reviews on the site with more added each month. The site focuses on lesser known titles and includes books from different genres. Another cool feature is the “star” rating system given to each book. Check out Anastasia’s site and come away with great reading ideas!