Library Blog

Art in YA Fiction

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Hello, art lovers! A picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes words paint a pretty awesome picture, too. And these YA books featuring art create some pretty fantastic portraits of their characters. After all, writing is a form of art! So take some time to give your brushes and pencils a rest so you can check out these awesome books today!


Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert









Danny has been an artist his whole life, and he knows he’s lucky because not only do his parents support his chosen career path, but because he’s also been accepted to RISD. So when Danny uncovers a box filled with family secrets and realizes his picture-perfect life might not be so perfect, he’s left questioning everything—what his parents have told him, his future, even his true feelings for his best friend Harry—and facing a past he’s been avoiding. Available as an e-audiobook on Hoopla.



You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner











Julia decides to help her best friend out by putting some graffiti over a slur aimed at her best friend. But her (supposed) best friend rats Julia out to the principal, who expels her. Now not only is Julia stressing about being the only deaf student in her new school, she finds herself in a graffiti war when someone starts adding to her tags…which makes them better. But Julia has no intention of giving up her art or the war. Available as an e-book on OverDrive.



Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough











This novel in verse tells the story of real-life artist Artemisia Gentileschi. Women don’t have many options in Rome, 1610. But Artemisia knows she is a great artist, so she paints even though no one knows who she is. And when Artemisia is violently assaulted, the ensuing trial and torture will not break her. Instead, she draws strength from the stories of her two favorite subjects to stand tall in society determined to break her down. Available as an e-book and e-audiobook on OverDrive.



How to be Luminous by Harriet Reuter Hapgood











Together with her sisters, Minnie has been through a lot—growing up without fathers and with a famous artist as a mother. And Minnie is the one who is supposed to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Then one day, her mother disappears, and Minnie isn’t sure she can continue down the artistic path. The world has dulled. And Minnie has to learn to see all the beautiful colors again before she loses it all. Available as an e-book on OverDrive.

Happy reading!




Sarah is a youth services librarian in Canfield. She pretty much only reads YA books, but she is easily distracted by a good picture book or anything Doctor Who related. Sarah loves to crochet and knit and can usually be found with a pile of yarn in her lap with one of her three dogs nearby. Originally from Texas, she still says “y’all” all the time and refuses to call carbonated beverages “pop.”