The renowned literary trade-fair has a knack for highlighting future classics. EW has the exclusive on the 15 books to get the honor for 2020.

By EW Staff
February 24, 2020 at 10:00 AM EST
Illustration by EW

Who’s ready to add a few titles to their bookshelves?

BookExpo, the largest annual literary trade-fair in the U.S., has announced the finalists for its three “Buzz” sessions, which highlight the breakout books of the coming year. Among the most prestigious panels in the publishing industry, they’re determined by three committees (adult, young-adult, middle-grade) of industry journalists and publishing insiders, selected in a multi-round process after considering dozens of contenders.

BookExpo’s buzz panels have in the past highlighted such future classics as Room, The Maze Runner, Everything, Everything, and 2020 breakout Such a Fun Age. For the first time this year, the authors of the selected titles will be speaking at BookCon, the fan convention which runs immediately after BookExpo. This year’s selections highlight debut and rising authors, and the bulk of them will hit shelves this fall.

EW can exclusively reveal the finalists below. BookExpo 2020 begins on May 28 at the Javits Center in New York City.

BOOKEXPO 2020 ADULT BUZZ FINALISTS:

Aftershocks: A Memoir
Nadia Owusu
Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: August 18, 2020

Betty
Tiffany McDaniel
Alfred A. Knopf
Publication Date: August 25, 2020

Migrations
Charlotte McConaghy
Flatiron Books
Publication Date: August 25, 2020

Plain Bad Heroines
Emily M. Danforth
William Morrow / HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: October 13, 2020

The Prophets
Robert Jones, Jr.
Putnam
Publication Date: January 5, 2021

The Smallest Lights in the Universe: A Memoir
Sara Seager
Crown
Publication Date: August 18, 2020

BOOKEXPO 2020 YOUNG ADULT BUZZ FINALISTS:

Displacement
Kiku Hughes
First Second
Publication Date: August 18, 2020

Elatsoe
Darcie Little Badger
Levine Querido
Publication Date: August 25, 2020

Eventide
Sarah Goodman
Tor Teen
Publication Date: October 6, 2020

The Magic Fish
Trung Le Nguyen
Random House Graphic, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books
Publication Date: October 13, 2020

Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf
Hayley Krischer
Razorbill
Publication Date: October 6, 2020

BOOKEXPO 2020 MIDDLE GRADE BUZZ FINALISTS:

Chance: A Memoir
Uri Shulevitz
Farrar, Straus, and Giroux Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 25, 2020

Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero
Kelly J. Baptist
Crown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 17, 2020

Land of Cranes
Aida Salazar
Scholastic Press
Publication Date: September 15, 2020

Thirteens
Kate Alice Marshall
Viking Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers
Publication Date: August 18, 2020

Tune It Out
Jamie Sumner
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 1, 2020

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