As the year 2021 comes to an end, I wanted to give you another list of short reads to help boost your reading for your GoodReads challenge, either to meet the goal at the end of this year, or to set off 2022 on a high. This post has been separated into different genre/age categories. Check out the first post of this here.
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Middle Grade Reads
Two Of A Kind Mary-Kate and Ashley books: 112 pages per book. Ashley can’t wait to go back to school. The new school year means shopping for new clothes, meeting boys…shopping for more new clothes! Her twin sister, Mary-Kate, thinks she’s crazy. Mary-Kate would much rather hit a softball than hit the mega-mall. But they do agree on one thing: They’re way too old for a baby-sitter!
Skellig by David Almond: 208 pages. When a move to a new house coincides with his baby sister’s illness, Michael’s world seems suddenly lonely and uncertain. Then, one Sunday afternoon, he stumbles into the old, ramshackle garage of his new home, and finds something magical. A strange creature – part owl, part angel, a being who needs Michael’s help if he is to survive. With his new friend Mina, Michael nourishes Skellig back to health, while his baby sister languishes in the hospital. But Skellig is far more than he at first appears, and as he helps Michael breathe life into his tiny sister, Michael’s world changes for ever . . .
Young Adult Reads
The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: 184 pages. Charlie is a freshman. And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix-tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.
The Girls series by Jacqueline Wilson: 190 pages per book. Meet Ellie and her best friends Nadine and Magda, three teenage girls just starting Year Nine with a lot on their minds – mainly boys! Told in the bright, sparky and authentic voice of Ellie, Girls in Love is a funny, frank and revealing look at their friendships, problems and heartaches that older fans of bestselling author Jacqueline Wilson will adore.
Darling by K. Ancrum: 288 pages. On Wendy Darling’s first night in Chicago, a boy called Peter appears at her window. He’s dizzying, captivating, beautiful—so she agrees to join him for a night on the town. Wendy thinks they’re heading to a party, but instead they’re soon running in the city’s underground. She makes friends—a punk girl named Tinkerbelle and the lost boys Peter watches over. And she makes enemies—the terrifying Detective Hook, and maybe Peter himself, as his sinister secrets start coming to light. Can Wendy find the courage to survive this night—and make sure everyone else does, too?
Running Upon the Wires: Poems by Kate Tempest: 64 pages. Running Upon The Wires is, in a sense, a departure from her previous work, and unashamedly personal and intimate in its address – but will also confirm Tempest’s role as one of our most important poetic truth-tellers: it will be no surprise to readers to discover that she’s no less a direct and unflinching observer of matters of the heart than she is of social and political change. Running Upon The Wires is a heartbreaking, moving and joyous book about love, in its endings and in its beginnings.
Human Enough by E.S. Yu: 199 pages. When Noah Lau joined the Vampire Hunters Association, seeking justice for his parents’ deaths, he didn’t anticipate ending up imprisoned in the house of the vampire he was supposed to kill—and he definitely didn’t anticipate falling for that vampire’s lover. Six months later, Noah’s life has gotten significantly more complicated. On top of being autistic in a world that doesn’t try to understand him, he still hunts vampires for a living…while dating a vampire himself. Awkward. Yet Jordan Cross is sweet and kind, and after braving their inner demons and Jordan’s vicious partner together, Noah wouldn’t trade him for the world. But when one of Jordan’s vampire friends goes missing and Noah’s new boss at the VHA becomes suspicious about some of his recent cases, what starts off as a routine paperwork check soon leads Noah to a sinister conspiracy. As he investigates, he and Jordan get sucked into a deadly web of intrigue that will test the limits of their relationship—and possibly break them. After all, in a world where vampires feed on humans and humans fear vampires, can a vampire and a vampire hunter truly find a happy ending together?
Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu: 108 pages. In an isolated castle deep in the Austrian forest, Laura leads a solitary life with only her ailing father for company. Until one moonlit night, a horse-drawn carriage crashes into view, carrying an unexpected guest – the beautiful Carmilla. So begins a feverish friendship between Laura and her mysterious, entrancing companion. But as Carmilla becomes increasingly strange and volatile, prone to eerie nocturnal wanderings, Laura finds herself tormented by nightmares and growing weaker by the day…Pre-dating Dracula by twenty-six years, Carmilla is the original vampire story, steeped in sexual tension and gothic romance.
Dear Azula, I Have a Crush On Danny Phantom by Azura Tyabji, Jackson Neal: 56 pages. Dear Azula, I Have a Crush on Danny Phantom is a crossover of our coming of age universes. Exploring the interplay of adolescence and media, Dear Azula is a masterclass on how Generation Z see themselves reflected on screen, how they find themselves in characters when the world does not grant them the possibility. These poems pay homage to the cartoon characters who made us the wicked lovestruck people that we are. These ubiquitous stories of teen ghost boys and water bending women gave wonder to a generation raised by recession. In illustrious villains we learned our own glamour. In chiseled chins and 2D teeth we learned desire. In Dear Azula, I Have a Crush on Danny Phantom we bring the early 2000s renaissance of animation into our modern lives to unpack, celebrate, revel, and remember.
Graphic Novels and Comics
Harley Quinn: Eat Bang Kill Tour! by Tee Franklin: 75 pages a comic. Harley and Ivy on the road trip of the century! Following the wedding disaster of the decade, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy end up on the run from Commissioner Gordon and the GCPD! But as fun as all that sounds, Ivy still worries over leaving Kite Man at the altar…Luckily, Harley’s got the perfect scheme to shake her out of her wedding-day blues!
Fence by C.S. Pacat: 100 pages per volume. Nicholas Cox is determined to prove himself in the world of competitive fencing, and earn his place alongside fencing legends like the dad he never knew, but things get more complicated when he’s up against his golden-boy half-brother, as well as sullen fencing prodigy, Seiji Katayama. Nicholas, the illegitimate son of a retired fencing champion, is a scrappy fencing wunderkind, and dreams of getting the chance and the training to actually compete. After getting accepted to the prodigious Kings Row private school, Nicholas is thrust into a cut-throat world, and finds himself facing not only his golden-boy half-brother, but the unbeatable, mysterious Seiji Katayama… Through clashes, rivalries, and romance between teammates, Nicholas and the boys of Kings Row will discover there’s much more to fencing than just foils and lunges. From acclaimed writer C.S. Pacat ( The Captive Prince ) and fan-favorite artist Johanna the Mad.
Glass Syndrome by Eiko Ariki: 194 pages. Nijou is the perfect student. He’s class president, great at sports, and beloved by all his classmates, especially the girls. But he hides his true feelings; deep down he’s terrified of letting everyone down with anything less than perfection and being rejected. As the most responsible and respected member of the class, he’s asked by their teacher to check in on Toomi, a student who hasn’t been to school in a while. / Toomi sees straight through Nijou’s insecurities and acts belligerent, but he has a secret of his own; in order to pay off his father’s gambling debts, he performs in drag on an adult cam site as “Haruka”. When Nijou accidentally discovers the truth, he struggles with whether he should tell Toomi, or continue to feign ignorance. But at the same time he finds himself developing feelings for Haruka… or is it really Toomi he’s falling in love with?
Artie and The Wolf Moon by Olivia Stephens: 245 pages. After sneaking out against her mother’s wishes, Artie Irvin spots a massive wolf–then watches it don a bathrobe and transform into her mom. Thrilled to discover she comes from a line of werewolves, Artie asks her mom to share everything–including the story of Artie’s late father. Her mom reluctantly agrees. And to help Artie figure out her own wolflike abilities, her mom recruits some old family friends.
The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner: 256 per volume. Thirteen-year-old Moth Hush loves all things witchy. But she’s about to discover that witches aren’t just the stuff of movies, books, and spooky stories. When some eighth-grade bullies try to ruin her Halloween, something really strange happens. It turns out that Founder’s Bluff, Massachusetts, has a centuries-old history of witch drama. And, surprise: Moth’s family is at the center of it all! When Moth’s new powers show up, things get totally out-of-control. She meets a talking cat, falls into an enchanted diary, and unlocks a hidden witch world. Secrets surface from generations past as Moth unravels the complicated legacy at the heart of her town, her family, and herself.
Boys Run The Riot by Keito Gaku: 224 per volume. A transgender teen named Ryuu finds an escape from the expectations and anxieties of his daily life in the world of street fashion. This personal, heartfelt, fictional story from a Japanese transgender manga creator is completely unique, and comes presented in two extra-large, 400-page volumes. High schooler Ryuu knows he’s transgender. But he doesn’t have anyone to confide in about the confusion he feels. He can’t tell his best friend, who he’s secretly got a crush on, and he can’t tell his mom, who’s constantly asking why Ryuu is always “dressing like a boy.” He certainly can’t tell Jin, the new transfer student who looks like just another bully. The only time Ryuu feels at ease is when he’s wearing his favorite clothes. Then, and only then, the world melts away, and he can be his true self. One day, while out shopping, Ryuu sees an unexpected sight: Jin. The kid who looked so tough in class is shopping for the same clothes that Ryuu loves. And Jin offers Ryuu a proposal: to start their own brand and create apparel to help everyone feel comfortable in their skin. At last, Ryuu has someone he can open up to–and the journey ahead might finally give him a way to express himself to everyone else.
You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero: 250 pages. In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, bestselling author and success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bitesized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word, helping you to:. Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviours that stop you from getting what you want. Create a life you totally love. And create it NOW. Make some damn money already. The kind you’ve never made before. By the end of You Are a Badass, you’ll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love, and how to use The Force to kick some serious ass.
Ghost Hunting With Derek Acorah: 250 pages. Derek Acorah, well-known from the television programme “Most Haunted,” has written a guide to ghosts that will fulfil your every ghost-related desire! Whether you want to find your very own ghost, learn more about how Derek does it, or just share more of Derek’s exciting experiences with the spirit world, Ghost Hunting With Derek Acorah is sure to satisfy you! Along with numerous entertaining and occasionally frightening true-life accounts of Derek’s own experiences with ghosts, Ghost Hunting With Derek Acorah will give you intriguing insights into Derek’s world and the world of the spirits.
The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read by Phillippa Perry: 240 pages. In this Sunday Times bestseller, leading psychotherapist Philippa Perry reveals the vital do’s and don’ts of relationships. This is a book for us all. Whether you are interested in understanding how your upbringing has shaped you, looking to handle your child’s feelings or wishing to support your partner, you will find indispensable information and realistic tips in these pages. Philippa Perry’s sane, sage and judgement-free advice is an essential resource on how to have the best possible relationships with the people who matter to you most.
Queer Body Power by Essie Dennis: 250 pages. Inviting you to challenge accepted beauty standards and the concept of ‘the perfect body’, Essie takes everything they have learned on their journey to self-acceptance and body satisfaction to help guide you towards loving your queer body. From gender, sexuality and reclaiming your body, through to food, politics, social media and fatphobia, this radical book starts a conversation about body image and mental health that queer people are so often left out of. Fiercely and unapologetically written, and with honest advice and powerful stories from a diverse range of queer people throughout, this is an inspiring and necessary book that will show you that you are enough.
The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle The Master’s House by Audre Lorde: 64 pages. Penguin Modern: fifty new books celebrating the pioneering spirit of the iconic Penguin Modern Classics series, with each one offering a concentrated hit of its contemporary, international flavour. Here are authors ranging from Kathy Acker to James Baldwin, Truman Capote to Stanislaw Lem and George Orwell to Shirley Jackson; essays radical and inspiring; poems moving and disturbing; stories surreal and fabulous; taking us from the deep South to modern Japan, New York’s underground scene to the farthest reaches of outer space.
Deep Sniff: a history of poppers and Queer futures by Adam Zmith: 180 pages. This is the intriguing story of how poppers wafted out of the lab and into gay bars, corner shops, bedrooms and porn supercuts. Blending historical research with wry observation, Adam Zmith explores the cultural forces and improbable connections behind the power of poppers. What emerges is not just a history of pub raids, viral panics and pecs the size of dinner plates. It is a collection of fresh and provocative ideas about identity, sex, utopia, capitalism, law, freedom and the bodies that we use to experience the world.In Deep Sniff, what starts as a thoughtful enquiry into poppers becomes a manifesto for pleasure.
Notable Native People: 50 Indigenous Leaders, Dreamers, and Changemakers from Past and Present by Adrienne Keene, Ciara Sana: 144 pages. Celebrate the lives, stories, and contributions of Indigenous artists, activists, scientists, athletes, and other changemakers in this beautifully illustrated collection. From luminaries of the past, like nineteenth-century sculptor Edmonia Lewis–the first Black and Native American female artist to achieve international fame–to contemporary figures like linguist jessie little doe baird, who revived the Wampanoag language, Notable Native People highlights the vital impact Indigenous dreamers and leaders have made on the world. This informative and inspiring collection also offers accessible primers on important Indigenous issues, from the legacy of colonialism and cultural appropriation to food sovereignty, land and water rights, and more. Notable Native People is an indispensable read for people of all backgrounds seeking to learn about Native American heritages, histories, and cultures, and will educate and inspire readers of all ages.
Demystifying Disability: what to know, what to say, and how to be an ally by Emily Ladau: 176 pages. An approachable guide to being a thoughtful, informed ally to disabled people, with actionable steps for what to say and do (and what not to do) and how you can help make the world a more accessible, inclusive place. Disabled people are the world’s largest minority, an estimated 15 percent of the global population. But many of us–disabled and non-disabled alike–don’t know how to act, what to say, or how to be an ally to the disability community.
Leave any of your recommendations of short books, under 300 pages, in the comments! Don’t forget to check out and subscribe to my youtube channel. Follow me on tiktok, twitter, IG, and Facebook. Consider leaving me a tip on my kofi as I am unable to maintain a full time job. I also have numerous membership tiers if you feel like you’d want to or are able to support me regularly from £1-£2 a month. Check out my recent work on my portfolio here. If you have a work opportunity or an idea for a collaboration, contact me through this form. Don’t forget to follow my blog here with your wordpress account, or with your email!