Five Great Books to Read While You Wait for The Girl with the Red Balloon


The Girl with the Red Balloon is out in 36 days (!!!) so if you haven't preordered, please consider doing so now! Preorders make a huge difference for authors. Or if you're waiting for one of my events, that's great too! I'm excited to meet a lot of you this fall!But if you've anxiously awaiting The Girl with the Red Balloon, I have a few book recommendations to fill your time over the next month!I hope you like these books--if you read one and like it, let me know here or on Twitter! All the links lead to Goodreads in a new tab :)

  1. IRON CAST by Destiny Soria -- talk about a book that flew under the radar but deserves to be on the top of every list! Iron Cast is the story of Ada and Corinne, two best friends who have supernatural powers (like X-men) and perform in 1919. There's arrest, betrayal, conspiracy, jail breaks, an extremely excellent friendship between Ada and Corinne, and the cast is diverse to its teeth. There's history and magic and friendships, and that's *all* my jam. I highly recommend this book, and I super hope we see more from Soria soon.
  2. THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE by Heidi Heilig -- I can't believe there are YA readers who haven't picked up this time-travel adventure novel about a girl, her addict father, their crew of voyagers, and Kash, the cocky sailor-thief of my heart. Nix uses maps from various times to plot courses for their ship as they try to track down the map that will get her father back to the time and place where her mother was alive. And Nix was not. You see the problem here, correct? It's the first in a duology, and The Ship Beyond Time more than delivers on the promise and perfection of the first book. This is a must-read.
  3. SEKRET by Lindsay Smith -- the first in a duology about teenage psychic Soviet spies in the 1960s. That's right. I said teenage psychic spies during the Cold War. And there are no limits to the twists and turns in Smith's debut novel. While I love every book Smith has done (including her work on Serial Box's The Witch Who Came in From the Cold), Sekret has a special space in my heart as another book strongly grounded in historical reality, with just a splash of the otherworldly, and thinking about all the consequences thereof. Plus, Yulia's a heroine I truly came to love, as prickly as she was at the beginning!
  4. REBEL MECHANICS by Shanna Swendson -- in this reimagining of the Industrial Revolution, Verity is a governess, though still only sixteen herself. Great Britain still rules over the colonies, using magic to subdue the rebels. But now American rebels have discovered nonmagical ways to fight back, and Verity agrees to become a spy. I first learned about this series through Christina at Reader of Fictions and I need to start the second book, because this book was super fun, very well written, and a GREAT cast of characters.
  5. GOING OVER by Beth Kephart -- one of the only other Berlin Wall YA books I know of, GOING OVER is by another Philly-area author, Beth Kephart. This is a literary novel, slower paced than the other books on this list, and historical fiction without any magic in it. That being said, it's the story of Ada and Stefan, Ada in West Berlin and Stefan in East Berlin, and this star-crossed lovers' story of living in a divided city. It's beautiful, evocative, and shows life so clearly in Berlin during the 1980s. An excellent and underrated literary YA.

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