With many students and professionals working from home, this is the perfect time to take advantage of the flexibility and fly to a seaside resort or the UK countryside. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has made travel a risky and coveted event more than ever. I was supposed to get on a plane to London just a few weeks after the school I work at closed. One way how I get by? I’m planning my next trip while reading about YA characters leaving their home in the US to see the world. Travel with five teenagers in YA books about teenagers traveling, from learning to cook in a restaurant in Spain to the unexpected inheritance of a French apartment.
With the fire at the height of Elizabeth Acevedo
Emoni has been doing magic in the kitchen all her life. She dreams of a career in culinary arts, but caring for her daughter, graduation and work don’t leave much room to make this dream a reality. Then she gets the chance of a lifetime: a class trip to Spain. If Emoni and her classmates can raise enough money to fund the trip, she will have the opportunity to cook among chefs in Spain and taste the glory of Spanish cuisine.
A Cuban Girls Guide to Tea and Mornings by Laura Taylor Namey
Lila is a proud Cuban American and talented cook who can’t wait to run her family’s Florida restaurant when the time comes. Before that time arrives, Lila is taken to Winchester, England. Her family members believe England will help heal her aching heart after losing her Abuela, a traumatic breakup, and a breakup with her best friend. However, England is the last place she wants to be … until she meets a British boy named Orion who may possibly change her mind. How will Lila decide in the face of two different futures?
The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor
Alice thought she knew everything about her gram. But when Gram dies, she leaves secret doors that Alice and her parents can unlock. The story begins with Alice finding the Paris apartment that her grandmother left her. The apartment is in perfect condition, basically a time capsule that is long gone. Not only does Alice spend her time in France checking out cafes and the usual tourist attractions – the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower – she also reads the great-aunt’s 70-year-old diary, which she never knew existed.
Love from A to Z from SK Ali
After an argument with an Islamophobic teacher suspended Zayneb at school and became a target on social media, her parents fly her away to spend an extra week with her aunt in Doha, Qatar. The hope is that their absence will allow things to be sorted out. But on the flight there, she meets a boy who will tip her life around his axis. Adam is an artist who recently decided to leave college. He believes that even if the timing doesn’t feel perfect, he and Zayneb should meet as he struggles to get a grip on his own secrets. Adam shares his city and heart with Zayneb through exhibitions at the Museum of Islamic Art and delicious cups of Karak.
Somewhere only we know of Maurene Goo
This list of YA teenagers traveling wouldn’t be complete without Lucky and Jack. Lucky saw the world from the stage. As a K-pop sensation, she is constantly touring the world. But when she arrives in Hong Kong, her fast life slows down and her life is changed forever. Jack lives in Hong Kong. He dreams of becoming a photographer without his parents knowing, but he is content with an undercover tabloid job. When the two meet, they spend a day exploring the glory of Hong Kong, from eating congee and bao to taking a tram ride to the highest mountain peak in Hong Kong. (Somewhere only we know, Roman Holiday is often described as a retelling of the film.)
Is your literary wanderlust still unsatisfied? Read about YA Teens Traveling with a YA Theme in 3: 3 YA Romances About Finding Love Abroad.
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