Misfits. Outsiders. Weirdos. Call them what you will, but the concerns of the protagonists in three new young-adult novels are universal.
In Printz honoree A.S. King’s lovely and earnest “Ask the Passengers,” Astrid Jones eats Rolaids as if they were a food group. Maybe it’s because the 17-year-old can’t wait to leave the narrow-minded people of Unity Valley, Pa., behind forever. Maybe it’s because her dad smokes more weed than a Phish fan, and her reputation-obsessed mom has turned her younger sister against her. Or maybe it’s because she may or may not be gay. Sure she has a girlfriend, and her best friend is a closeted lesbian, but she’s not ready to define herself and doesn’t understand why everyone around her wants her to check off “a nifty little box.”