a composite image of book covers recommended in the story

Bookish in the ‘Burgh: Recommended Reading

Fri, Mar 27, 2020

Written by: Bookish in the 'Burgh Team

Hello, fellow book nerds! We know that you, like all of us, are so disappointed that the 2020 edition of Bookish in the ‘Burgh, Pittsburgh’s Teen Book Festival presented by Riverstone Books was cancelled due to COVID-19. However, the Bookish team has been hard at work to bring you lots of bookish fun at home with the help of our Teen Ambassadors.


Our 2020-2021 Teen Ambassadors have been reading lots of books they’d love to recommend to all of you stuck at home for a while! To see book recommendations and book reviews from more of our Teen Ambassadors, please visit our new Bookish in the ‘Burgh Goodreads page.

You can order all of these books from our festival sponsor, Riverstone Books. Their retail doors might be closed, but they’re still taking phone and online orders and doing curbside and home deliveries of books! This is a great time to support independent businesses however we can. We’ve also linked all of the book recommendations below on Riverstone’s website.

Book Recommendations by 2020 Bookish Authors:

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

This music-based historical fantasy is perfect for both fantasy and romance lovers alike. Though I am not typically one for fantasy, I was intrigued by this twisty story set in a breathtaking world. S. Jae-Jones does an excellent job building the world that this story takes place in and gives music a unique role in the story as well. I was so intrigued while reading, I couldn’t wait to pick up the next book in the duology.

-Teen Ambassador Mia DeAngelis Naccarato (she/her), Age 16

Shatter the Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells

Shatter the Sky is a beautiful story of a bisexual girl, Maren, finding that there is more to life than her small village, and that there may be more secrets to dragon lore than she knows.

-Teen Ambassador Frances Huffman (she/her), Age 14

The Beauty that Remains by Ashley Woodfolk

This book was an absolutely beautiful look into recovery after grief; what was even more stunning about it was the connection between three seemingly separate stories through music. Overall, I highly recommend this book because of its illustrious style and incredible storyline.

-Teen Ambassador Aditi Srivastava (she/her), Age 15

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

The worldbuilding throughout The Sky in the Deep was absolutely amazing! The romance blended well with the storyline and the twists throughout the plot were great.

-Teen Ambassador Sarah Seader (she/her), Age 17

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

I recommend Aru Shah and the End of Time. It’s really good and taught me about Hindu mythology. I would recommend it if you like Percy Jackson or other Rick Riordan Presents books.

-Teen Ambassador Deven Doshi (he/him), Age 12

books stacked on top of each other


More Book Recommendations:

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

This is an interesting retelling of the 12 dancing princesses fairy tale with some fantastic worldbuilding.

-Teen Ambassador Josephine Reiter (she/her), Age 16

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

With the Fire on High is a contemporary focusing on high school senior Emoni Santiago and her love to cook. I haven’t read many books about food, and I really enjoyed how each dish was brought to life through the amazing writing style of the novel.

-Teen Ambassador Sophia Menke (she/her), Age 14

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Serpent and Dove is such a dark, enchanting take on the beauty of witchcraft and the disconnection that often comes with. The unlikely romance element encourages growth of the characters as well as laughter and feelings of affinity from the reader.

-Teen Ambassador Molly A. Green (she/her), Age 14

Are You Listening? By Tillie Walden

This graphic novel is a story of a road trip with a dash of surrealist magic mixed in. Two young women drive across America and grow closer as they do so.

-Teen Ambassador Sammi Cooper (she/her), Age 15

The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

This book contains a wonderful story about a strong female character and her thrilling journey of mischief, romance, and royalty. It is a true page-turner!

-Teen Ambassador Ivy B. (she/her), Age 15

Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne

In this science fiction adventure, Stella leaves her life of poverty to work as a governess aboard the Rochester. On this private ship that seems to be haunted, Stella meets the secretive Captain Hugo (and his friends and crew members) and discovers a secret that may affect the entire fleet. This sci-fi retelling of Jane Eyre is a fast-paced, immersive read that you won’t be able to put down.

-Teen Ambassador Tess Malnight (she/her), Age 17

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

We Are the Ants is a book that depicts the life of a teenager in many difficult situations ranging from his grandmother losing her thoughts to Alzheimer’s to his boyfriend who killed himself. It is a masterpiece of a story and stretches reality to give him a choice of whether or not he should save the world from destruction.

-Teen Ambassador Hudson Hackley (he/him), Age 13

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

This book’s captivating characters and brilliant world-building dragged me deeper into the world of faerie and now I never want to leave.

-Teen Ambassador Novalie Vesely (she/her), Age 17

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