Coming-of-age novels are known for showcasing character growth and development as the protagonist overcomes a significant challenge. The relatable characters in these books often evoke feelings of nostalgia in older readers, while young bookworms are able to see direct parallels between the novel’s plot and their own lives. Many of these timeless tales have been written throughout the years—these are some of the best new coming-of-age young adult novels in 2019.
Someday We Will Fly (January 22, 2019)
By Rachel DeWoskin
This harrowing tale chronicles the struggle of a young Jewish girl to survive in Warsaw, Poland, during World War II. Following the disappearance of her mother, 15-year-old Lillia flees to Shanghai with her father and little sister. While wondering if she will ever see her mother again, Lillia must find a way to make a life for herself amid the war’s growing conflict.
On the Come Up (February 5, 2019)
By Angie Thomas
Set in the same fictional neighborhood as The Hate U Give, Thomas’s second novel follows the life of 16-year-old Bri, whose goal is to become the greatest rapper of all time. But when her mom unexpectedly loses her job, Bri’s dream becomes a necessity to stop the stream of bills and shut-off notices bombarding her family.
Field Notes on Love (March 5, 2019)
By Jennifer E. Smith
From the best-selling author of Windfall and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight comes this thoughtful love story between two star-crossed strangers. After Hugo gets dumped by his long-term girlfriend and Mae is rejected by the school of her dreams, fate brings the two together. On a life-changing train ride across America, the pair learn about love, life, and starting over.
We Walked the Sky (July 2, 2019)
By Lisa Fiedler
In this multigenerational story, sixteen-year-old Callie’s dream is to become a high wire legend just like her grandmother, Victoria. But when her mother accepts a job in Florida following Victoria’s death, Callie must put her circus dreams behind her and face her next challenge—public high school. Upon finding her grandmother’s old notes, Callie is inspired to embrace change in the same way Victoria had 50 years prior when she ran away to join the circus.
If you enjoy books that chronicle the challenges and growth of relatable characters, these coming-of-age young adult novels in 2019 are must-reads.