For fans of The Black Kids, We Deserve Monuments is an astounding YA debut about intergenerational trauma, first love, and how far the past can bury the truth. With a riveting mystery that will leave you breathless to the very end, Jas Hammonds will transport you to this small southern town and all its stark truths.
"An absolute must read." —Buzzfeed
"A gripping portrayal of the South's inherent racism and a love story for queer Black girls." —Teen Vogue
Family secrets, a swoon-worthy romance, and a slow-burn mystery collide in We Deserve Monuments, a YA debut from Jas Hammonds that explores how racial violence can ripple down through generations.
What’s more important: Knowing the truth or keeping the peace?
Seventeen-year-old Avery Anderson is convinced her senior year is ruined when she's uprooted from her life in DC and forced into the hostile home of her terminally ill grandmother, Mama Letty. The tension between Avery’s mom and Mama Letty makes for a frosty arrival and unearths past drama they refuse to talk about. Every time Avery tries to look deeper, she’s turned away, leaving her desperate to learn the secrets that split her family in two.
While tempers flare in her avoidant family, Avery finds friendship in unexpected places: in Simone Cole, her captivating next-door neighbor, and Jade Oliver, daughter of the town’s most prominent family—whose mother’s murder remains unsolved.
As the three girls grow closer—Avery and Simone’s friendship blossoming into romance—the sharp-edged opinions of their small southern town begin to hint at something insidious underneath. The racist history of Bardell, Georgia is rooted in Avery’s family in ways she can’t even imagine. With Mama Letty's health dwindling every day, Avery must decide if digging for the truth is worth toppling the delicate relationships she's built in Bardell—or if some things are better left buried.
Jas Hammonds was raised in many cities and between the pages of many books. They have received support for their writing from Lambda Literary, Baldwin for the Arts, and the Highlights Foundation. They are also a grateful recipient of the MacDowell James Baldwin Fellowship. Their debut novel, We Deserve Monuments, won the 2023 Coretta Scott King John Steptoe Award for New Talent, among many other accolades.
As David Levithan mentioned in his guest post, YA literature has had a tide coming in of LGBTQIA+ books. There are constantly more and more queer books making their way onto our shelves, particularly in this space, and we’re absolutely thrilled to be able to shoutout some of our favorites!
Return to your favorite fantasy realms, lose yourself in some epic romances, and find yourself in stories that will linger in your mind long after you’ve finished reading through our November most anticipated YA books. Put on your reading socks, wrap yourself in a soft, warm throw, grab a hot drink from the café to […]
Jólabókaflód first caught my eye while I was scrolling through Pinterest. I found this gem all about the Icelandic tradition translating to “flood of books,” and my brain started whirring about a thousand miles a minute dreaming of my own celebration of this tradition. The tradition started in 1944 when paper was one of the few […]
We’re so excited to be celebrating our 3rd annual Barnes and Noble Children’s & YA Book Awards. Each year brings stacks of new books that capture our hearts and minds, and this past one has been full of some truly stellar stories. Now, without further ado — we’re excited to announce the books on our […]
The American Library Association honors books, videos, and more with their Youth Media Awards, most notably the Newbery, Caldecott, Coretta Scott King and Printz Book Awards. Representing outstanding children’s and young adult literature, these award winners and honor books are must-read stories and make excellent additions to home and classroom libraries. John Newbery Medal Randolph […]