A recent microtrend I noticed lately is an odd one, but it's one that's been present in YA books for years: the witness protection program. Because its recent emergence in a number of titles has me fascinated (why so many at once?), I thought it'd be worth looking at the trend over time. We'll start with the most recent, as well as a forthcoming title or two, then I'll call out back list titles -- and classics of YA -- which feature the witness protection program in some capacity.
All descriptions come from WorldCat, unless otherwise noted. If I missed any titles I should know about, leave 'em in the comments. All of my titles are YA, but I would be interested in adult titles with YA crossover appeal that feature this as well. I suspect there are a number of great genre titles, particularly in the mystery/thriller arena, that feature witness protection and have appeal to teen readers.
Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst: Haunted by disturbing dreams and terrifying visions, a teenaged girl in a paranormal witness protection program must remember her past and why she has strange abilities before a magic-wielding serial killer hunts her down.
The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston: High school student "Meg" has changed identities so often that she hardly knows who she is anymore, and her family is falling apart, but she knows that two of the rules of witness protection are be forgettable and do not make friends--but in her new home in Louisiana a boy named Ethan is making that difficult.
Shadowlands by Kate Brian: Rory, a girl in witness protection, thinks the serial killer she turned in has found her and is killing people around her. But as she investigates, she discovers a dark, disturbing truth about her new hometown
Don't Look Behind You by Lois Duncan: Seventeen-year-old April finds her comfortable life changed forever when death threats to her father, a witness in a federal case, force her family to go into hiding under assumed names and flee the pursuit of a hired killer.
See Jane Run by Hannah Jayne (January 2014): Riley Spencer never thought twice about keeping secrets from her parents, but when she finds a birth certificate with the name Jane O'Callahan hidden in her baby book, she must consider that her parents are lying to her.
When I Was Joe by Keren David: After Ty and his mother are placed in a witness protection program because he can identify his friend's murderers, he finds himself adjusting, but when his grandmother is hurt in a deliberate attack designed to get him to return to London, he knows he must make a choice.
Fake ID by Lamar Giles (January 2014): An African-American teen in the Witness Protection Program moves to a new town and finds himself trying to solve a murder mystery when his first friend is found dead.
By Any Other Name by Laura Jarratt: Holly is fifteen years old, but she's only been "Holly" for a matter of months. Because of something that happened, she and her family have had to enter witness protection and have all assumed new identities. Starting at a new school mid-term is hard enough at the best of times, and Holly has no clue who she is any more.
Hush by Jacqueline Woodson: Twelve-year-old Toswiah finds her life changed when her family enters the witness protection program.
Safe House by James Heneghan: Northern Ireland. In 1999, one year after the Good Friday peace accord, sectarian violence still runs rampant in Belfast and the hatred between Protestant and Catholic runs deep. Liam's father is a peacemaker to the Catholic community. When his parents are brutally murdered, Liam is forced to run for his life. Taken to a police safe house, Liam is betrayed and forced to run again, from the very people who are supposed to be protecting him.
The Unprotected Witness by James Stevenson: After the murder of his father, who has been hiding under the Witness Protection Program, Pete finds himself the target of sinister men who seem to think he knows where a large sum of money is hidden.
Tunnel Vision by Susan Shaw: After witnessing her mother's murder, sixteen-year-old high school student Liza Wellington and her father go into the witness protection program.