Young Adult Anthologies to Add to Your TBR List
Young Adult Anthologies

2019’s Best Young Adult Anthologies to Add to Your TBR List

Anthologies are the perfect read for any young adult who needs a bit of diversity in a book. To have a mix of different stories keeps the book fresh and enjoyable. Anthologies can be teaching moments or examples for writers-to-be on how to tell a short story.

This year, you’ll want to read some of the best authors’ short stories in these top anthologies for young adults.

The Other F Word: a Celebration of the Fat & Fierce edited by Angie Manfredi

otherfwordSynopsis from Amazon: Chubby. Curvy. Fluffy. Plus-size. Thick. Fat. The time has come for fat people to tell their own stories. This dazzling collection of art, poetry, essays, and fashion tips is meant for people of all sizes who desire to be seen and heard in a culture consumed by a narrow definition of beauty. 

Why you should pick it up: Being made fun of because of your appearance is something nobody should ever have to deal with. Sadly in our society, body shaming happens all too frequently. In this young adult anthology, teens will hear from authors in middle grade as well as other adult influencers on how to embrace your body and feel good about who you are.

Fresh Ink: An Anthology edited by Lamar Giles

freshinkSynopsis from Amazon: Thirteen of the most accomplished YA authors deliver a label-defying anthology that includes ten short stories, a graphic novel, and a one-act play from Walter Dean Myers never before in-print. 

Why you should pick it up: Today’s teens are facing more challenges than ever. The stories you’ll find in Fresh Ink address those topics and inspire readers. Inside this young adult anthology, you’ll find pieces that talk about gentrification, acceptance, death, coming out, and poverty.


Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy edited by Amerie

lovetohateSynopsis from Amazon: In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains’ points of view. These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like “Medusa,” Sherlock Holmes, and “Jack and the Beanstalk” provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains’ acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage–and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on.

Why you should pick it up: Because You Love to Hate Me is a young adult anthology that is one of the most creative books by far. The different points of view the authors inside have on the most well-known villains is insightful. Maybe the “bad guy” isn’t what they seem.

(Don’t) Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation about Mental Health edited by Kelly Jensen

dontcallmecrazySynopsis from Amazon: To understand mental health, we need to talk openly about it. Because there’s no single definition of crazy, there’s no single experience that embodies it, and the word itself means different things—wild? Extreme? Disturbed? passionate?—to different people. In (Don’t) Call Me Crazy, thirty-three actors, athletes, writers, and artists offer essays, lists, comics, and illustrations that explore a wide range of topics.

Why you should pick it up: The Washington Post named (Don’t) Call Me Crazy as the best children’s book of 2018, and it is clear why. If you (or a friend) has ever struggled with anxiety, depression, or any other type of mental illness, you’ll want to pick this book up. Contributors share their personal experiences with mental illness and discuss why we don’t talk about it as much as we should. It’s a must-read. 

Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World edited by Kelly Jensen

hereweareSynopsis from Amazon: Forty-four writers, dancers, actors, and artists contribute essays, lists, poems, comics, and illustrations about everything from body positivity to romance to gender identity to intersectionality to the greatest girl friendships in fiction. 

Why you should pick it up: Many times the news and social media can be confusing on what feminism is and isn’t. All of the authors who contributed a piece to Here We Are share diverse perspectives on what feminism means and what it looks like. Teens will get a better idea for how they can stand tall and find their own path to be a feminist themselves.

Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond

hungryheartsSynopsis from Amazon: Told in interconnected short stories, Hungry Hearts explores the many meanings food can take on beyond mere nourishment. It can symbolize love and despair, family and culture, belonging and home.

Why you should pick it up: The stories in Hungry Hearts are all interconnected making for a fun book for teens to read. This young adult anthology discusses family, culture, and of course, food! The best-selling young adult authors who contributed answer some of life’s hardest questions. Teens will all take away something from these short stories.

It’s a Whole Spiel: Love, Latkes, and Other Jewish Stories Edited by Laura Silverman

wholespielSynopsis from Amazon: It’s a Whole Spiel features one story after another that says yes, we are Jewish, but we are also queer, and disabled, and creative, and political, and adventurous, and anything we want to be. You will fall in love with this insightful, funny, and romantic Jewish anthology from a collection of diverse Jewish authors.

Why you should pick it up: In just a few more week’s you’ll be able to shop for It’s a Whole Spiel! These funny and insightful stories go deep into what the true meaning of identity is all about. With a special introduction by Mayim Bialik, star of The Big Bang Theory, you’ll be hooked right away and want to read more!

His Hideous Heart: 13 of Edgar Allan Poe’s Most Unsettling Tales Reimagined edited by Dahlia Adler

heartSynopsis from Amazon: Edgar Allan Poe maybe a hundred and fifty years beyond this world, but the themes of his beloved works have much in common with modern young adult fiction. Whether the stories are familiar to readers or discovered for the first time, readers will revel in Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tales, and how they’ve been brought to life in 13 unique and unforgettable ways.

Why you should pick it up: Edgar Allen Poe is somewhat a legend here at Iris Reading. His eerie tales have haunted people for years, and to see how authors have revamped them is awesome. The short stories written by contributors are still as spooky as ever! Be sure to pre-order your copy today for some haunting tales to read this October.

Take the Mic: Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance edited by Bethany Morrow and Bethany C. Morrow

takethemicSynopsis from Amazon: This anthology features fictional stories–in poems, prose, and art–that reflect a slice of the varied and limitless ways that readers like you resist every day. Take the Mic’s powerful collection of stories features work by literary luminaries and emerging talent alike.

Why you should pick it up: This October you’ll want to pick up a copy of the young adult anthology, Take the Mic. If you’ve ever wanted to say something to someone to make a point or be the person who stands up for others, this book will inspire you to do so.

Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America edited by Ibi Zoboi

blackenoughSynopsis from Amazon: Black Enough is an essential collection of captivating stories about what it’s like to be young and Black in America. 17 young adult authors contributed stories that talk about black being urban and rural, wealthy and poor, mixed race, immigrants, and more—because there are countless ways to be Black enough. 

Why you should pick it up: Black Enough is becoming one of the most talked-about young adult anthologies to hit shelves early next year. You’ll find some of your favorite young adult authors, along with authors in the middle grade who are contributing for their first time. You’ll want to pre-order your copy today before supplies run out.

Cheers to short stories and how you can read more in less time! Curious to know more about Iris Reading and all of the courses we have to offer? Find out more about us and see what we can do to increase your reading speed and make you more productive.

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