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St. Louis County Library will host the St. Louis Teen Book Festival on Saturday, December 2, 2023 from 1:00-5:30 p.m. at Ladue Horton Watkins High School. The festival is free and open to all readers. 



Keynote Author

Headshot of Neal Shusterman (by Gaby Gerster)

Neal Shusterman

Gleanings: Stories from the Arc of a Scythe
Courage to Dream: Tales of Hope in the Holocaust

Bestselling author of over 30 novels for young readers and winner of the National Book Award, Neal Shusterman returns to the world of his science fiction series, “Arc of a Scythe.” In “Gleanings,” Shusterman collaborates with several popular YA authors on new stories about the origin stories and secret histories from the dystopian universe and introduces several new heroes and villains. 

Shusterman will also discuss “Courage to Dream: Tales of Hope in the Holocaust,” a graphic novel exploring the Holocaust through stories of resistance and uplift.



Alex Aster headshot with her dark brown hair down, black sleeveless dress in front of a white background

Alex Aster


#1 bestselling author and TikTok sensation Alex Aster presents the second installment in her spellbinding fantasy series. In “Lightlark,” young ruler Isla Crown secured the love of two powerful rulers and broke a curse that plagued her realm for centuries. Now, in the wake of a crushing betrayal, Isla discovers her fellow rulers haven’t ceded victory quietly. As certain death races toward Lightlark, Isla must weigh her responsibility to her people against the whims of the most dangerous traitor of all: her heart.



Catherine Bakewell headshot taken on a sunny day outdoors with her smiling, light brown hair down, in a blue shirt

Catherine Bakewell


Catherine Bakewell presents a stunning cottagecore fantasy romance. Clara’s magic has always been wild, but it’s never been dangerous. Then, a simple touch causes poisonous flowers to bloom in her father’s chest. The only way to heal him is to cast an extremely difficult spell that requires perfect control. As she hunts for the knowledge to save her father, she finds the root of a terrible darkness that’s taken hold in the queendom—a darkness only Clara’s magic is powerful enough to stop. 

St. Louis Author



 Kendare Blake headshot taken outside by a river and bridge with her wearing glasses and a black short sleeve shirt

Kendare Blake

Champion of Fate

#1 bestselling author Kendare Blake presents the first installment in an epic fantasy duology. Aristene are an order of mythical female warriors. Raised by the order after being orphaned, Reed grew up surrounded by her future sisters-in-arms and the incredible stories of their quests. She’s been counting the days until her initiation, and now one final test stands in her way: shepherding her first hero to glory on the battlefield. Succeed, and her place in the order is secured. Fail, and she’ll be cast out of the only home she’s ever known. 



 Alexandra Bracken black and white headshot of her looking over her right shoulder

Alexandra Bracken

Silver in the Bone

From the critically acclaimed author of “Lore” comes a stunning contemporary fantasy inspired by Celtic legends. Born without a trace of magic, Tamsin Lark is no match for the sorceresses who populate the magical underground of Boston. But when the only parent she’s ever known disappears, she has no choice but to join in their cutthroat pursuit of enchanted relics. As she joins a quest for a powerful ring from Arthurian legend, Tamsin dives headfirst into a vipers’ nest of dark magic, exposing a deadly secret with the power to awaken ghosts of the past.



Sharon Cameron headshot with her leaning against a wall with her dishwater blonde hair down and wearing a white shirt with a beige cardigan over it

Sharon Cameron


Bestselling author of young adult historical fiction, Sharon Cameron presents a riveting World War II thriller inspired by the true stories of Han Van Meegeren, a master art forger, and Johann van Hulst, credited with saving 600 Jewish children. Isa de Smit was raised in the vibrant, glittering world of her parents’ small art gallery in Amsterdam. As the world around her descends into war, Isa is determined to save lives, as well as her artistic community. From the acclaimed author of “The Light in Hidden Places,” “Artifice” is a dramatic story of duplicity and resistance, betrayal and loyalty.



Soman Chainani headshot with him wearing a black shirt against a gray background

Soman Chainani

The School for Good and Evil: Collector’s Edition

The basis for the #1 Netflix movie, Soman Chainani’s dazzling fantasy series about a magical school where ordinary boys and girls train to be fairy tale heroes and villains now has a deluxe collector’s edition with extensive new content. Fans can celebrate ten years of adventures in the Endless Woods. New readers can start an epic journey into a dazzling new world where the only way out of a fairy tale is to live through one. 

St. Louis Author



Kim Johnson headshot with her looking at the camera wearing a large gold necklace and a teal long sleeve top with her hands folded in front of her

Kim Johnson

Invisible Son

From the acclaimed author of “This Is My America” comes another thriller about a wrongly accused teen desperate to reclaim both his innocence and his first love. Returning from juvie for a crime he did not commit doesn’t feel like coming home to Andre. The one thing he is counting on is his relationship with his longtime crush, Sierra, and her brother, Eric. But Eric is missing, and his adoptive family is acting suspicious. If Andre can find Eric, he might uncover the truth about his own arrest. But in a world where power is held by a few, searching for the truth is a dangerous game.



Adib Khorram smiling wearing a bright blue shirt while standing against a yellow and brown brick wall

Adib Khorram

Kiss & Tell

From the author of “Darius the Great is Not Okay,” Adib Khorram presents a smart YA romance about first love, heartbreak and acceptance. Hunter never expected to be a boy band star, but now he and his band, Kiss & Tell, are on their first major tour of North America. Hunter is the only gay member of the band and feels pressured to play the first perfect queer role model. After a painful public breakup with his first boyfriend, Hunter finds new love with a drummer–causing trouble with his own bandmates and leading him to redefine queerness on his own terms.



Rachael Lippincott close up headshot with her blonde hair down

Rachael Lippincott 

Pride and Prejudice and Pittsburgh

From the bestselling coauthor of “Five Feet Apart” comes a fresh and inventive romantic comedy. After getting dumped by her first love and waitlisted at her dream art school, Audrey has lost her spark. So when a local curmudgeon says he can help her, Audrey is definitely not expecting to be transported back in time to 1812. Lucy isn’t expecting to find an oddly dressed girl claiming to be from two hundred years in the future on her family’s estate, but it’s a welcome distraction from being courted by a man her father expects her to marry. While the two girls try to understand how to send Audrey home, they get lost in their own once-in-a-lifetime love story.



Samantha Markum outdoors looking over her right shoulder with her pink hair down

Samantha Markum

You Wouldn’t Dare

Samantha Markum presents a rom-com about trying to have the summer of your life before everything changes. When Juniper kissed Graham for the first time, she had no idea it would nearly be the end of their friendship. Now, months since the fallout, Junie and Graham spend most of their time sidestepping conversational landmines on the journey back to normalcy. “You Wouldn’t Dare” is about the risks and triumphs that come with being brave enough to take a chance at what you really want, including love.

St. Louis Author



L. L. McKinney smiling, wearing a plaid purple shirt, sitting backwards in a metal chair with left hand at her temple and her right hand over the top of the chair

L. L. McKinney

A Crown So Cursed” 

The highly-anticipated third installment in L. L. McKinney’s irresistible urban fantasy retelling of “Alice in Wonderland” is a thrill-ride on every page with a fearless and unforgettable heroine. In “A Crown So Cursed,” Alice and her crew are doing their best to recover from the last boss battle, but some of them keep having visions of a dark past—and an even darker future. Sadly, the evil in Wonderland may not be as defeated as they’d hoped. Attacked by Nightmares unlike any they’ve ever seen, Alice will have to step between the coming darkness and the mortal world once more.



Emma Mills black and white headshot of her outside, the breeze and light coming through her long curled hair and she is wearing glasses with a jean jacket

Emma Mills 

Something Close to Magic

Author of five young adult novels, Emma Mills’ latest is a delicious romantic fantasy full of magic, new friendships, and a prince in distress. It’s not all sugar and spice at Basil’s Bakery, where seventeen-year-old Aurelie is an overworked apprentice. Aurelie doesn’t dare to dream big—until a stranger hands her a set of magic Seeking stones and asks for her help rescuing the aptly-named Prince Hapless. Suddenly, Aurelie finds herself on a quest filled with magic portals, a troll older than many trees, and dangerous palace intrigue.

St. Louis Author



Lio Min headshot with their teal hair, white button down shirt with various images against a light teal background

Lio Min

Beating Heart Baby

Lio Min’s “Beating Heart Baby” is a love letter to internet friendships, anime and indie rock. When artistic and sensitive Santi arrives at his new high school, everyone in the wildly talented marching band welcomes him with open arms. Everyone except for the prickly, proud musical prodigy Suwa. But Santi and Suwa share painful pasts, and a tentative friendship begins. Soon, that friendship turns into something more. Will their fresh start rip at the seams as Suwa seeks out a solo spotlight, and both boys come to terms with what it'll take to realize their dreams?



Doan Phuong Nguyen smiling with her black hair down over one shoulder and wearing a dark top with spaghetti straps

Doan Phuong Nguyen

Mèo and Bé” 

Doan Phuong Nguyen was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the United States when she was in elementary school. Set just before the United States enters the Vietnam War, Nguyen’s stunning middle grade novel shares the story of eleven-year-old  Bé and her three-footed kitten Mèo who must rise above the injustices of war to find the comfort, safety and love of a found family. 

St. Louis Author



Laura Nowlin close-up with her brown hair down and glasses on the edge of her nose

Laura Nowlin

If He Had Been With Me

An achingly authentic portrait of love and the life-altering impact of relationships, Laura Nowlin’s YA love story has become a viral BookTok sensation! Autumn and Finn used to be inseparable. Now, they do their best to ignore each other. That still doesn't stop the way Autumn feels every time she and Finn cross paths, and the growing, nagging thought that maybe things could have been different. But come August, Autumn will be forced to confront how else life might have been different if they had never parted ways.

St. Louis Author



Lynn Painter headshot with her smiling, chin resting in her left hand, and wearing glasses and blue jacket

Lynn Painter

Betting on You

From the bestselling author of “Better Than the Movies,” this swoon-worthy rom-com follows a teen girl who unwittingly finds herself at the center of a bet. When seventeen-year-old Bailey starts a new job at a waterpark, she is less than thrilled that she’ll be working alongside an old acquaintance, Charlie. Bailey and Charlie are polar opposites, but instead of everything about him rubbing Bailey the wrong way, she starts to look forward to betting with him about the love lives of their co-workers; while Charlie works to deflect his own growing crush and hide a secret bet he made about Bailey. 



Justin A. Reynolds wearing dark rimmed glasses with a dark blue button down shirt against a light gray background

Justin A. Reynolds

House Party

Bestselling author of “Opposite of Always,” Justin Reynolds presents a collaborative novel of interconnected stories, edited by Reynolds and written with ten popular YA authors. Florence Hills High School’s senior class is gathering for the last hurrah before graduation. Kisses will be swapped, friendships tested, secrets spilled–and there’s a good chance the whole neighborhood will be disrupted. “House Party” offers a delightful snapshot of diverse classmates getting ready to say goodbye to high school and hello to life’s next chapter, but not before they make their final night together one they’ll never forget!



Lauren Roberts black and white headshot of her hair down to her shoulders and wearing a scoop neck shirt

Lauren Roberts


Debut author Lauren Roberts presents the first installment in a heart-pounding new fantasy series. Only the extraordinary belong in the kingdom of Ilya. The powers these Elites have possessed for decades were graciously gifted to them following the Plague. Those born Ordinary and without special powers are banished. Surviving in the slums as an Ordinary is no simple task, and Paedyn, a felon and thief, knows this better than most. When Paedyn unsuspectingly saves one of Ilya’s princes, she is forced to compete in a brutal competition designed to showcase the Elites’ powers.