I'll be waiting a while for A Beautiful Friendship by David Weber. This one won't be published until October 4, 2011. While Weber is a very well-known and prolific author of adult science fiction, this is his young adult debut. I have real almost all of his adult works and am especially fond of the Honor Harrington stories. This story is in the same world.
Product description from Amazon:
Stephanie Harrington absolutely hates being confined inside her family’s compound on the pioneer planet of Sphinx, a frontier wilderness world populated by dangerous native animals that could easily tear a human to bits and pieces. Yet Stephanie is a young woman determined to make discoveries—and the biggest discovery of all awaits her: an intelligent alien species.I'll be eager to see how his writing transitions to young adults but I have no doubt that he will have the science fiction elements in place. If you want to sample Weber's style, a number of his books are available in multiple e-formats at the Baen Free Library. Check out the list of Weber's books here.
Treecats are creatures that resemble a cross between a bobcat and a lemur (but with six legs and much more deadly claws). Not only are they fully sentient, they are also telepathic, and able to bond with certain gifted humans such as the genetically-enhanced Stephanie. But Stephanie’s find, and her first-of-its-kind bond with a treecat, brings on a new torrent of danger. An assortment of highly-placed enemies with galactic-sized wealth at stake is determined to make sure that the planet of Sphinx remains entirely in human hands—even if this means the extermination of another thinking species. Stephanie and Lionheart are about to undergo the greatest test two alien species can ever face together: how to survive first contact and win a future with liberty and justice for all!
The first entry in the Star Kingdom teen series and the origin saga for the incredibly-popular, multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling Honor Harrington adult science fiction adventures. Young Stephanie Harrington is none other than the founder of a pioneering family dynasty that is destined to lead the fight for humanity’s freedom in a dangerous galaxy.