Jane, the Fox and Me
By Fanny Britt, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault, translated by Susan Ouriou (Groundwood)
Gorgeously tying Hélène's teenage growing pains to her consoling reading of Jane Eyre: a graphic novel that deals with childhood cruelties without being a "bullying" book – it has much more going on. A real beauty.
Mermaid in Chelsea Creek
By Michelle Tea, illustrated by Jason Polan (McSweeney's McMullins)
Young Sophie finds euphoria by the filthy creek in her town, meets a crass mermaid, is befriended by the most genial pigeons, finds magic in the local dump, deals with more than one witch, and learns she is destined to save the world.
Fortunately, the Milk
By Neil Gaiman, illustrations by Skottie Young (Middle Grade)
Neil Gaiman is an international superstar these days for fiction, but kids' books (and comics) are where he really shines brightest. A very funny, very clever little book about a time loop, but really, it's about so much more than that.
The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two
By Catherynne M. Valente,
illustrated by Ana Juan (Feiwel and Friends)
Valente writes YA books that are also for adults with prose so rich your teeth might rot out of your head from reading. A little like Oz and a little like Alice in Wonderland, the whole series is crammed with imaginative characters and little flecks of wisdom.
By Sarah Rees Brennan, illustrated by Giorgio Fochesato (Random House)
Heaps of fun with well-written teenage characters, and really written for that age group to enjoy. Spooky towns, imaginary friends who turn out to be real, sorcerers, and a good-against-evil battle make Untold a great pleasure.