Vanessa’s Fashion Face-Off (Confidentially Yours) by Jo Whittemore; HarperCollins. Ages 8-12
Perfect for fans of The Cupcake Diaries and The Babysitters Club, this new series is about four best friends who are confidentially yours when writing their middle school newspaper’s advice column.
Vanessa Jackson has style to spare and an amazing ability to rock any look. She’s always had a flair for fashion, and dreams of being a designer one day. She’s loving middle school, and being on the newspaper staff with her two best friends is a blast. Vanessa knows her fashion advice is always on point for the group’s popular advice column.
But then she meets her new neighbor, Katie Kestler. Katie is cute, super-stylish, and just moved from glamorous LA. When Katie ends up attending the same middle school, suddenly it seems like Katie’s everywhere, and not in a good way. But when an advice-off competition threatens Vanessa’s spot on the column, she’s determined to take Katie down. (ages 8-12)
American Ace by Marilyn Nelson; Dial Books. Ages 8-12
Connor’s grandmother leaves his dad a letter when she dies, and the letter’s confession shakes their tight-knit Italian-American family: The man who raised Dad is not his birth father.
But the only clues to this birth father’s identity are a class ring and a pair of pilot’s wings. And so Connor takes it upon himself to investigate—a pursuit that becomes even more pressing when Dad is hospitalized after a stroke. What Connor discovers will lead him and his father to a new, richer understanding of race, identity, and each other.
Cleo Edison Oliver, Playground Millionaire by Sundee T. Frazier; Arthur A. Levine. ages 8-12
Cleopatra Edison Oliver has always been an entrepreneur, just like her inspiration, successful businesswoman Fortune A. Davies. So when Cleo’s fifth-grade teacher assigns her class a “Passion Project,” Cleo comes up with her best business idea yet: the finest “tooth-pulling” company in town. With the help of her best friend Caylee, a Nerf gun, her dad’s tablet, and her patented Persuasion Power, Cleo’s Quick and Painless Tooth Removal Service starts to take off.
But even the best made plans, by the best CEOs, go awry sometimes. A minor barfing incident during a tooth-pulling operation causes Cleo to lose customers. Caylee, initially enthusiastic about the business, grows distant as Cleo neglects their friendship in lieu of getting more customers. And when a mean classmate makes fun of Cleo for being adopted, everything comes crashing down. Will she be able to rescue her business, salvage her friendship with Caylee, and discover that her true home has been here all along? (ages 8-12)
To Catch a Cheat by Varian Johnson; Scholastic. ages 8-12
When a video frames Jackson Greene and his friends for a crime they didn’t commit, Gang Greene battles the blackmailers in this sequel to the acclaimed The Great Greene Heist. Jackson Greene is riding high. He is officially retired from conning, so Principal Kelsey is (mostly) off his back. His friends have great new projects of their own. And he’s been hanging out a lot with Gaby de la Cruz, so he thinks maybe, just maybe, they’ll soon have their first kiss. Then Jackson receives a link to a faked security video that seems to show him and the rest of Gang Greene flooding the school gym. The jerks behind the video threaten to pass it to the principal — unless Jackson steals an advance copy of the school’s toughest exam.
So Gang Greene reunites for their biggest job yet. To get the test adn clear their names, they’ll have to outrun the school’s security cameras, outwit a nosy member of the Honor Board, and outmaneuver the blackmailers while setting a trap for them in turn. And as they execute another exciting caper full of twists and turns, they’ll prove that sometimes it takes a thief to catch a cheat. (ages 8-12)
The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork; Scholastic. ages 12 and up
When Vicky Cruz wakes up in the Lakeview Hospital Mental Disorders ward, she knows one thing: After her suicide attempt, she shouldn’t be alive. But then she meets Mona, the live wire; Gabriel, the saint; E.M., always angry; and Dr. Desai, a quiet force. With stories and honesty, kindness and hard work, they push her to reconsider her life before Lakeview, and offer her an acceptance she’s never had. But Vicky’s newfound peace is as fragile as the roses that grow around the hospital. And when a crisis forces the group to split up, sending Vick back to the life that drove her to suicide, she must try to find her own courage and strength. She may not have them. She doesn’t know.
Inspired in part by the author’s own experience with depression, The Memory of Light is the rare young adult novel that focuses not on the events leading up to a suicide attempt, but the recovery from one — about living when life doesn’t seem worth it, and how we go on anyway. (12 and up)
Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera; Riverdale Avenue Books. released for adults
“Even if Holden Caulfield was born in the Bronx in the 1980s, he could never be this awesome.” Inga Muscio, author of Cunt Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn’t sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But Juliet has a plan, sort of, one that’s going to help her figure out this whole “Puerto Rican lesbian” thing. She’s interning with the author of her favorite book: Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women’s bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff. Will Juliet be able to figure out her life over the course of one magical summer? Is that even possible? Or is she running away from all the problems that seem too big to handle? With more questions than answers, Juliet takes on Portland, Harlowe, and most importantly, herself.
Firelight (Amulet #7) by Kazu Kibuishi; Scholastic. ages 8-12
Emily, Trellis, and Vigo visit Algos Island, where they can access and enter lost memories. They’re hoping to uncover the events of Trellis’s mysterious childhood — knowledge they can use against the Elf King. What they discover is a dark secret that changes everything. Meanwhile, the Voice of Emily’s Amulet is getting stronger, and threatens to overtake her completely. (ages 8-12)
Brothers of the Buffalo: A Novel of the Red River Way by Joseph Bruchac; Fulcrum Group. ages 8-12
A captivating and historical story of two young men on opposing sides of war.In 1874, the U.S. Army sent troops to subdue and move the Native Americans of the southern plains to reservations. “Brothers of the Buffalo” follows Private Washington Vance Jr., an African-American calvaryman, and Wolf, a Cheyenne warrior, during the brief and brutal war that followed. Filled with action and suspense from both sides of the battle, this is a tale of conflict and unlikely friendship in the Wild West.
Little White Lies by Brianna Baker and F. Bowman Hastie III; Soho. ages 12 and up
Seventeen-year-old honors student Coretta White’s Tumblr, Little White Lies—her witty thoughts on pretty much . . . everything—has gone viral. She’s got hundreds of thousands of followers; she’s even been offered a TV deal. But Coretta has a secret. She hasn’t been writing all her own posts. Stressed from the demands of the sudden attention, she hired an expert ghostwriter, forty-one-year-old Karl Ristoff, to keep the Tumblr going. Now consumed with guilt, she confesses. Almost instantly, she suffers a public humiliation. The TV deal disappears. Her boyfriend breaks up with her. Then Karl is thrust into the limelight, only to suffer a dramatic fall himself. Together, they vow to find out who is responsible for ruining both of their lives, and why. But in order to exact justice and a wicked revenge, they must first come clean with each other. (12 and up)
Peas and Carrots by Tanita S. Davis; Knopf Books for Young Readers. ages 12 and up
Dess knows that nothing good lasts. Disappointment is never far away, and that’s a truth that Dess has learned to live with. Dess’s mother’s most recent arrest is just the latest in a long line of disappointments, but this one lands her with her baby brother’s foster family. Dess doesn’t exactly fit in with the Carters. They’re so happy, so comfortable, so normal, and Hope, their teenage daughter, is so hopelessly naïve. Dess and Hope couldn’t be more unlike each other, but Austin loves them both like sisters. Over time their differences, insurmountable at first, fall away to reveal two girls who want the same thing: to belong.
Dorothy Must Die Stories Volume 2: Heart of Tin, The Straw King, Ruler of Beasts by Danielle Paige; HarperCollins. ages 12 and up.
Follow Dorothy’s iconic companions from the beloved classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as each of their gifts becomes key to the downfall of Oz. After Dorothy Gale wished her way home and long before Amy Gumm found herself in Oz, Dorothy’s friends left the Road of Yellow Brick to go their separate ways. But in a place like Oz, where magic and temptation lurk, the gifts from the Wizard begin to take on a life of their own. The Tin Woodman becomes twisted with longing. The Scarecrow develops a taste for plotting. And doubt consumes the Cowardly Lion. Kiss the land where troubles melt like lemon drops good-bye. Here there’s danger around every corner, and magical shoes won’t be able to save you.
Same but Different: Life on the Teen Autism Express by Holly Robison Peete; Scholastic. ages 12-17
Being a teen is hard enough. But when you have autism–or when your brother or sister is struggling with the condition–life can be challenging. It’s one thing when you’re a kid in grade school, and a play date goes south due to autism in a family. Or when you’re a little kid, and a vacation or holiday turns less-than-happy because of an autistic family member. But being a teen with autism can get pretty hairy–especially when you’re up against dating, parties, sports, body changes, school, and other kids who just don’t “get” you. In this powerful book, teenagers Ryan Elizabeth Peete and her twin brother, Rodney, who has autism, share their experiences of what it means to be a teen living with autism. Same But Different explores the funny, painful, and unexpected aspects of teen autism, while daring to address issues nobody talks about.Same But Different underscores tolerance, love, and the understanding that everybody’s unique drumbeat is worth dancing to.
Dove Exiled by Karen Bao. Penguin. Ages 12 and up
Hiding in plain sight with her friend Wes’s family on the drowned planet Earth, Phaet discovers the rugged beauty of the world her ancestors once called home. All her life, she’s been taught to fear the “Earthbound,” and their generosity and kindness surprise and touch Phaet. But when the Lunar Bases attack Wes’s isolated village, Phaet’s past catches up with her, and she’s forced to choose: stay on Earth and fight beside the boy she’s falling for, or stow away on a Moon-bound ship so she can save her brother and sister from the government that killed their mother.
The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig. Greenwillow. ages 12 and up Debut Author
Heidi Heilig’s debut teen fantasy sweeps from modern-day New York City, to nineteenth-century Hawaii, to places of myth and legend. Sixteen-year-old Nix has sailed across the globe and through centuries aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. But when he gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end. The Girl from Everywhere, the first of two books, blends fantasy, history, and a modern sensibility. Its witty, fast-paced dialogue, breathless adventure, multicultural cast, and enchanting romance will dazzle readers of Sabaa Tahir, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman.
Nix’s life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix’s mother died in childbirth. Nix’s life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who’s been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.
These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas. Swoon Reads. ages 12 and up
In 1882 England when her beloved sister Rose vanishes, Evelyn, bored with society and its expectations, embarks on a search for Rose, encountering the reclusive, young gentleman Sebastian Braddock, who is also looking for Rose and claiming that both sisters have special healing powers.
This Kid Can Fly: It’s about Ability (NOT Disability) by Aaron Philip and Tonya Bolden. Balzer and Bray. ages 8-12
“At once beautiful and heartbreaking, Aaron Philip found a way to make me laugh even as I choked up, found a way to bring on my empathy without ever allowing me to feel sorry for him. An eye-opening debut.” —Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award winner and Newbery Honor author of Brown Girl Dreaming In this heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting memoir, Aaron Philip, a fourteen-year-old boy with cerebral palsy, shows how he isn’t defined so much by his disability as he is by his abilities.
Written with award-winning author Tonya Bolden, This Kid Can Fly chronicles Aaron’s extraordinary journey from happy baby in Antigua to confident teen artist in New York City. His honest, often funny stories of triumph—despite physical difficulties, poverty, and other challenges—are as inspiring as they are eye-opening. Includes photos and original illustrations from Aaron’s personal collection.
Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina. Candlewick. Ages 14 and up.
Nora Lopez is seventeen during the summer of 1977, when New York is besieged by arson, a massive blackout, and a serial killer named Son of Sam. Meg Medina transports us to a time when tempers and temperatures ran high to share the story of a young woman who discovers that the greatest dangers are often closer than we like to admit.
This is Where the World Ends by Amy Zhang. Greewillow/HarperCollins. Ages 14 and up.
A heart-wrenching novel about best friends on a collision course with the real world from Amy Zhang, the critically acclaimed Indies Introduce and Indie Next author of Falling into Place. Janie and Micah, Micah and Janie. That’s how it’s been ever since elementary school, when Janie Vivien moved next door. Janie says Micah is everything she is not. Where Micah is shy, Janie is outgoing. Where Micah loves music, Janie loves art. It’s the perfect friendship—as long as no one finds out about it. But then Janie goes missing and everything Micah thought he knew about his best friend is colored with doubt.
Using a nonlinear writing style and dual narrators, Amy Zhang masterfully reveals the circumstances surrounding Janie’s disappearance in an astonishing second novel that will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver and Jay Asher.
The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly; Greenwillow Press ages 8-12
Two sisters from the Philippines, abandoned by their father and living with their stepmother in Louisiana, fight to make their lives better in this remarkable story for readers of Cynthia Kadohata and Rita Williams-Garcia, and for anyone searching for the true meaning of family.
Beyond the Red by Ava Jae; Sky Pony Press. ages 12 and up. Debut Author
Alien queen Kora has a problem as vast as the endless crimson deserts. She’s the first female ruler of her territory in generations, but her people are rioting and call for her violent younger twin brother to take the throne. Despite assassination attempts, a mounting uprising of nomadic human rebels, and pressure to find a mate to help her rule, she’s determined to protect her people from her brother’s would-be tyrannical rule.
Eros is a rebel soldier hated by aliens and human alike for being a half-blood. Yet that doesn t stop him from defending his people, at least until Kora’s soldiers raze his camp and take him captive. He’s given an ultimatum: be an enslaved bodyguard to Kora, or be executed for his true identitya secret kept even from him.
When Kora and Eros are framed for the attempted assassination of her betrothed, they flee. Their only chance of survival is to turn themselves in to the high court, where revealing Eros’s secret could mean a swift public execution. But when they uncover a violent plot to end the human insurgency, they must find a way to work together to prevent genocide.
Women at Super Hero High by Lisa Yee; Random House. ages 8-12
This groundbreaking new middle grade series follows DC Comics’ most iconic female Super Heroes and Super-Villains . . . as high schoolers. At Super Hero High, the galaxy’s most powerful teens nurture their powers and master the fundamentals of what it means to be a hero.
Infinity Riders/Voyagers Series by Kekla Magoon; ages 8-12
The action is on the page, on your device, and out of this world This multiplatform series is part sci-fi, all action-adventure. And you don t have long to wait six books are coming all in one year
Earth is in danger The only things that can save our planet are six essential elements scattered throughout the galaxy. And it is up to the Voyagers a team of four remarkable kids and an alien to gather them all and return to Earth.
On the fourth planet, Infinity, the Voyagers journey deep underground, through a complex maze of tunnels. The tunnels are full of alien life and danger. And before they can escape, one of their own will be taken from them. . . .
A Dragon’s Guide to Making Your Human Smarter by Laurence Yep;Crown/ Random House. ages 8-12
Three-thousand-year-old Miss Drake has arranged to send her dear pet Winnie to The Spriggs Academy, an extraordinary school for humans and magicals alike. Winnie is particularly excited about magic class and having Sir Isaac Newton for science. She’s also making new friends and frenemies. . . .
The Head of the Saint by Socorro Acioli, translated by Daniel Hahn; Delacorte. ages 12-18
Fourteen-year-old Samuel is newly orphaned and homeless in a small town in Brazil. He lives in a giant, hollow, concrete head of St. Anthony, the lingering evidence of the village’s inept and failed attempt to build a monolith over a decade ago. He didn t know what it was when he crawled into it, seeking shelter during a storm, but since coming there, he hears beautiful singing, echoing like magic in the head twice a day. So he stays.
Miraculously, he can also hear the private prayers and longings of the villagers. Feeling mischievous, Samuel begins to help answer these prayers, hoping that if he does, their noise will quiet down and he can listen to the beautiful singing in peace. Ironically, his miracles gain him so many fans that he starts to worry he will never fulfill his own true longing and find the source of the singing.
Filled with beautiful turns of phrase and wonderfully quirky characters, “The Head of the Saint “is a riotous story of faith and magic that won t soon leave your thoughts.
Allie First at Last by Angela Cervantes; Scholastic. Ages 8-12
No better feeling exists in the world than stepping to the top of a winner’s podium and hoisting a trophy high in the air. At least, that’s what Allie thinks . . . she’s never actually won anything before. Everyone in her family is special in some way — her younger sister is a rising TV star; her brother is a soccer prodigy; her great-grandfather is a Congressional Medal of Honor winner.
Mission Mumbai: A Novel of Sacred Cows, Snakes and Stolen Toilets by Mahtab Narsimhan; Scholastic. ages 9-12
When aspiring photographer Dylan Moore is invited to join his best friend Rohit Lal on a family trip to India, he jumps at the chance to embark on an exciting journey just like their Lord of the Rings heroes, Frodo and Sam. But each boy comes to the trip with a problem: Rohit is desperate to convince his parents not to leave him behind in Mumbai to finish school, and Dylan is desperate to use his time in India to prove himself as a photographer and to avoid his parents’ constant fighting. Keeping their struggles to themselves threatens to tear the boys apart. But when disaster strikes, Dylan and Rohit realize they have to set aside their differences to navigate India safely, confront their family issues, and salvage their friendship.
Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate; Amulet. ages 13-19 Debut Author
In “Seven Ways We Lie,” a chance encounter tangles the lives of seven high school students, each resisting the allure of one of the seven deadly sins, and each telling their story from their seven distinct points of view.
The juniors at Paloma High School all have their secrets, whether it’s the thespian who hides her trust issues onstage, the closeted pansexual who only cares about his drug-dealing profits, or the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal. But it’s Juniper Kipling who has the furthest to fall. No one would argue that Juniper obedient daughter, salutatorian, natural beauty, and loyal friend is anything but perfect. Everyone knows she’s a saint, not a sinner; but when love is involved, who is Juniper to resist temptation? When she begins to crave more and more of the one person she can t have, her charmed life starts to unravel.
Then rumors of a student teacher affair hit the fan. After Juniper accidentally exposes her secret at a party, her fate falls into the hands of the other six sinners, bringing them into one another’s orbits. All seven are guilty of something. Together, they could save one another from their temptations or be ruined by them.
Riley Redgate’s twisty YA debut effortlessly weaves humor, heartbreak, and redemption into a drama that fans of Jenny Han and Stephanie Perkins will adore.
Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige; Harper Collins. ages 12 and up
In this third book in the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die series, new girl from Kansas Amy Gumm is caught between her home and Oz. My name is Amy Gumm. Tornadoes must have a thing about girls from Kansas, because just like Dorothy I got swept away on one too. I landed in Oz, where Good is Wicked, Wicked is Good, and the Wicked Witches clued me in to my true calling: Assassin.
The way to stop Dorothy from destroying Oz and Kansas is to kill her. And I m the only one who can do it. But I failed. Others died for my mistakes. Because of me, the portal between the worlds has been opened. And if I don t find a way to close it? Dorothy will make sure I never get to go home again. Now it’s up to me to: join the Witches, fight for Oz, save Kansas, and stop Dorothy once and for all.
The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye; Pantheon Graphic Books
Now in his early 70s, Chan has been making comics in his native Singapore since 1954, when he was a boy of 16. As he looks back on his career over five decades, we see his stories unfold before us in a dazzling array of art stylesand forms, their development mirroring the evolution in the political and social landscape of his homeland and of the comic book medium itself.
With “The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye” Sonny Liew has drawn together a myriad of genres to create a thoroughly ingenious and engaging work, where the line between truth and construct may sometimes be blurred, but where the story told is always enthralling, bringing us on a uniquely moving, funny, and thought-provoking journey through the life of an artist and the history of a nation.
Fire and Glass (Keepers of the Vault #1) by Marty Chan. Clockwise Press. Ages 8-12.
A fourth floor that is only pretending to be a storage room, stairs that lead to an abyss, and a goth djinn with an attitude who likes to play with fire: Krystina finds more than she bargained for when she moves to a new school. The adventures of the Keepers of the Vault are just beginning. Written in dyslexia-friendly font High interest – low reading level.
Meet Marly: Marly Book 1 by Alice Pung; Penguin Books Australia. Ages 8-12.
It’s 1983 and Marly is just trying to fit in at Sunshine Primary School. But being a refugee from Vietnam doesn’t make things easy, and when Marly’s cousins come to stay and end up at the same school, her friends make fun of them. How can Marly stay loyal to her cousins and keep her school friends as well?
Shadow Magic by Joshua Khan and illustrated by Ben Hibon; Disney-Hyperion. Ages 8-12.
Thorn, a boy sold into slavery who must serve the royalty of Castle Gloom for a year and a day to earn his freedom, and Lilith Shadow, the 13-year-old ruler of Gehenna, who is forbidden to practice the magic that is her heritage, join forces to solve the murders taking place in Gehenna.
Prodigy: The Graphic Novel by Marie Lu; G. P. Putnam. Ages 12 and up.
The second book in the best-selling “Legend “trilogy comes to life in this vibrant graphic novel adaptation.
After escaping from the Republic’s stronghold, Day and June are on the run in Vegas when the country learns that their Elector Primo has died and his son has stepped in to take his place. They meet up with the rebel stronghold of the Patriots a large organization straddling the line between the Republic and its warring neighbor, the Colonies and learn about an assassination plot against the Elector. Using threats and blackmail to get what he wants, the Patriots’ leader, Razor, convinces June to let herself be captured by Republic soldiers so she can win over the Elector and feed him a decoy assassination plan. But when June realizes that the new Elector is nothing like his father, she must work with Day to try to stop the Patriots’ plot before Razor can fulfill his own devastating plans.
Golden (Heart of Dread) by Melissa de la Cruz; G.P. Putnam. Ages 13-17.
With the ruins of New Kandy still smoldering around them and Nat’s bond to her beloved drakon quickly fraying, Nat and Wes are lost amid a sea of destruction with Wes at death’s door. Wes tried to save his sister, Eliza, and protect them from her cruelty, only to see firsthand just how dark her power had become.
Desperate to escape the dangers lurking in New Kandy, Wes accepts help from a mysterious voice calling out to him from the Blue, leading Nat and his crew into even more perilous surroundings. They quickly realize that their only chance for survival lies with Nat and the quest for a new world to replace their broken one but at what cost?
In this epic conclusion to the Heart of Dread trilogy, Nat and Wes must put their love to the ultimate test in hopes of seeing their world reborn.
Fire and Glass (Keepers of the Vault #1) by Marty Chan. Clockwise Press. ages 8-12
A fourth floor that is only pretending to be a storage room, stairs that lead to an abyss, and a goth djinn with an attitude who likes to play with fire: Krystina finds more than she bargained for when she moves to a new school. The adventures of the Keepers of the Vault are just beginning. Written in dyslexia-friendly font High interest – low reading level.
Soldier (Talon Series) by Julie Kagawa; Harlequeen; Teen. ages 14 and up.
When forced to choose between safety with the dragon organization Talon and being hunted forever as an outcast, Ember Hill chose to stand with Riley and his band of rogue dragons rather than become an assassin for Talon. She’s lost any contact with her twin brother, Dante, a Talon devotee, as well as Garret, the former-enemy soldier who challenged her beliefs about her human side.
As Ember and Riley hide and regroup to fight another day, Garret journeys alone to the United Kingdom, birthplace of the ancient and secret Order of St. George, to spy on his former brothers and uncover deadly and shocking secrets that will shake the foundations of dragons and dragon-slayers alike and place them all in imminent danger as Talon’s new order rises.
Nothing Up My Sleeve by Diana López; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Ages 9-12
Sixth graders Dominic, Loop, and Z stumble upon a new magic shop in town and can’t wait to spend their summer mastering cool tricks to gain access to the Vault, a key holders-only back room bound to hold all kinds of secrets. And once they get in, they set their sights even higher: a huge competition at the end of the summer. They work on their card tricks, sleights, and vanishing acts, trying to come up with the most awesome
routines possible….Problem is, the trip is expensive, and it’s money that each guy’s family just doesn’t have.
To make things worse, the shop-owners’ daughter, Ariel (who just so happens to be last year’s competition winner), will do anything to make sure the boys don’t come out on top. Even pit them against one another. Will they make it to the competition? And if so, at what cost?
The Return: Fall of the Beasts Book 3 by Varian Johnson; Scholastic. ages 8-12
Split between two worlds, Conor, Abeke, Meilin, and Rollan are four young heroes who are racing to stop an ancient evil. Even the spirit animal bond, the sacred link between humans and animals, is on the brink of destruction.
The friends face an enemy with the power to enslave others to its will-and to steal spirit animals away from their rightful partners. With their own allies falling to this darkness, the four must look to their bonds to light the way forward.
But one of those lights is about to go out. Briggan, Uraza, Jhi, and Essix. Before their journey is over, one of these legends will be lost.
Unidentified Suburban Objects by Mike Jung; Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic. ages 8-12
The next person who compares Chloe Cho with famous violinist Abigail Yang is going to HEAR it. Chloe has just about had it with people not knowing the difference between someone who’s Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. She’s had it with people thinking that everything she does well — getting good grades, winning first chair in the orchestra, et CETera — are because she’s ASIAN.
Of course, her own parents don’t want to have anything to DO with their Korean background. Any time Chloe asks them a question they change the subject. They seem perfectly happy to be the only Asian family in town. It’s only when Chloe’s with her best friend, Shelly, that she doesn’t feel like a total alien.
Then a new teacher comes to town: Ms. Lee. She’s Korean American, and for the first time Chloe has a person to talk to who seems to understand completely. For Ms. Lee’s class, Chloe finally gets to explore her family history. But what she unearths is light-years away from what she expected.
Keep Me in Mind by Jaime Reed; Scholastic Point. Ages 12 and up
Ellia Dawson doesn’t recognize the handsome boy who sits in tears by her hospital bed. He claims he’s her boyfriend, Liam. But to Ellia, he’s a stranger. She remembers her name. Her parents. Her best friend, Stacey. But Liam is a total blank in her life.
Liam McPherson is devastated. His girlfriend, Ellia, suffered a terrible accident–maybe because of him–and now she’s lost her memory. But the harder Liam tries to reach Ellia, and remind her of what they had, the more she pulls away. As Ellia begins on the slow road to recovery, Liam begins work on a secret project that he hopes will bring back the girl he loved. But can there ever be a future when the past is in pieces?
The Misadventures of Max Crumbly #1: Locker Hero by Rachel Renee Russell; Aladdin. ages 9-12
Max is about to face the scariest place he’s ever been South Ridge Middle School He has been home-schooled by his grandmother until now, and he’s begged his parents to finally let him start attending public middle school. He’s starting to question that choice, though, with the Thomas Silver Problem. As in, Thomas Silver keeps stuffing Max in his locker.
If only Max could be like the hero in all the comics he likes to read or the ones he draws and magically escape the locker and defeat Tommy. Unfortunately, Max’s uncanny, almost superhuman ability to smell pizza from a block away won t exactly save any lives or foil bad guys. But that doesn t mean Max won t do his best to be the hero his school needs.
The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi; St. Martins Griffin. ages 8-12 Debut Author
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…
But Akaran has its own secrets — thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself. A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. The Star-touched Queen is a novel that no reader will soon forget.
A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry; Algonquin. Ages 12-18.
In this stunning debut, legends collide with reality when a boy is swept into the magical, dangerous world of a girl filled with poison. Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl–Isabel, the one the senoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill. Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers–and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.
Booked by Kwame Alexander; HMH. Ages 10-13.
“Like lightning/you strike/fast and free/legs zoom/down field/eyes fixed/””on the checkered ball/on the goal/ten yards to go/can t nobody stop you/””can t nobody cop you ” In this follow-up to the Newbery-winning novel THE CROSSOVER, soccer, family, love, and friendship, take center stage as twelve-year-old Nick learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams.Helping him along are his best friend and sometimes teammate Coby, and The Mac, a rapping librarian who gives Nick inspiring books to read. This electric and heartfelt novel-in-verse by poet Kwame Alexander bends and breaks as it captures all the thrills and setbacks, action and emotion of a World Cup match.
Saving Montgomery Sole by Mariko Tamaki; Roaring Book Press. Ages 13-17
A beautiful and offbeat novel from Mariko Tamaki, co-creator of the bestselling Printz Honor and Caldecott Honor Book “This One Summer.”
Montgomery Sole is a square peg in a small town, forced to go to a school full of jocks and girls who don’t even know what irony is. It would all be impossible if it weren’t for her best friends, Thomas and Naoki. The three are also the only members of Jefferson High’s Mystery Club, dedicated to exploring the weird and unexplained, from ESP and astrology to super powers and mysterious objects. Then there’s the Eye of Know, the possibly powerful crystal amulet Monty bought online. Will it help her predict the future or fight back against the ignorant jerks who make fun of Thomas for being gay or Monty for having lesbian moms? Maybe the Eye is here just in time, because the newest resident of their small town is scarier than mothmen, poltergeists, or, you know, gym.
Thoughtful, funny, and painfully honest, Montgomery Sole is someone you’ll want to laugh and cry with over a big cup of frozen yogurt with extra toppings.
OMG…issues OMG…I Did it Again?! by Talia Aikens-Nuñez; Central Avenue. ages 9-12
April Appleton wakes up to quite the sight: a herd of elephants marching down her street! She realizes that her powers of witchcraft have done it again. With her friends, Grace and Eve, April must figure out how the elephants got to her town in the first place and then how to get them back home. But with elephants playing in the neighbor’s pool, sitting on cars and eating everyone’s trees, how will they do it? Early readers will delight in the misadventures of this reluctant witch and her plucky friends as they try to figure out how to use April’s powers to do good in the world.
Solemn by Kalisha Buckhannon; St. Martin Press. ages 12-18
Solemn Redvine is a precocious Mississippi girl who senses a nearby baby may be her half-sibling: the outcome of her father’s mistakes with a married woman who lives in their trailer park. After Solemn witnesses a man throw the baby down a community well, she struggles to understand the event, leaving her forever changed.
As Solemn finds refuge in fantasies of stardom as well as friendships with her brother’s wife and a nearby girl, the ill-fated baby’s doomed mother disappears without a trace. Solemn remains trapped by connections to the missing other woman and an honest cop who suspects more to the story than others on the small local police force want to see. When her father’s next mistake – a robbery – lands Solemn in a group home for troubled girls, she meets a Chicago delinquent who wants to escape. There, Solemn must face the truth of who she really is and what she is really made of.
As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds; Atheneum. Ages 8-12
When two brothers decide to prove how brave they are, everything backfires literally in this piercing middle grade novel by the winner of the Coretta Scott King Johnson Steptoe Award.
Genie’s summer is full of surprises. The first is that he and his big brother, Ernie, are leaving Brooklyn for the very first time to spend the summer with their grandparents all the way in Virginia in the COUNTRY The second surprise comes when Genie figures out that their grandfather is blind. Thunderstruck and being a curious kid Genie peppers Grandpop with questions about how he covers it so well (besides wearing way cool Ray-Bans).
How does he match his clothes? Know where to walk? Cook with a gas stove? Pour a glass of sweet tea without spilling it? Genie thinks Grandpop must be the bravest guy he’s ever known, but he starts to notice that his grandfather never leaves the house as in NEVER. And when he finds the secret room that Grandpop is always disappearing into a room so full of songbirds and plants that it’s almost as if it’s been pulled inside-out he begins to wonder if his grandfather is really so brave after all.
Then Ernie lets him down in the bravery department. It’s his fourteenth birthday, and, Grandpop says to become a man, you have to learn how to shoot a gun. Genie thinks that is AWESOME until he realizes Ernie has no interest in learning how to shoot. None. Nada. Dumbfounded by Ernie’s reluctance, Genie is left to wonder is bravery and becoming a man only about proving something, or is it just as important to own up to what you won t do?
Even if the Stars Fall by Mia Garcia; Katherine Tegen Books. ages 14 and up. Debut author.
One midsummer night. Two strangers. Three rules: No real names. No baggage. No phones. A whirlwind twenty-four-hour romance about discovering what it means to feel alive in the face of one of life’s greatest dangers: love. Who would you be if you had one night to be anyone you want?
Incriminated (Emancipated series) by M. G. Reyes. Katherine Tegen Books. ages 14 and up
There’s trouble in paradise. Six teens legally liberated from parental control the bad boy, the good girl, the diva, the hustler, the rocker, and the nerd all share a house in Venice Beach, and they all have one thing in common: murder.After a streak of hookups, heartbreaks, and bad decisions, the housemates once perfect life is falling apart. One is caught in a forbidden romance with a Hollywood heartthrob, while another puts her dreams on the line for one little kiss. One harbors a dark truth that could save a life, while another’s risky business puts all their lives in danger. And before they know it, the friends are fighting like family.But when an uninvited houseguest and a deadly accident entangle them in a conspiracy none of them saw coming, pulling together is the only way out. Alone, none of them can cover up the lies. Together, none of them can be trusted.Packed with conspiracies, intrigue, and scandalous romance, this gripping sequel told from multiple perspectives will have readers suspecting them all.
The Disappearance of Ember Crow (The Tribe, Book Two) by Ambelin Kwaymullina. Ages 12 and up
In this fast-paced sequel to “The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf, ” Ashala and her friends face a new danger from the least expected source one of their own.
After a daring raid on Detention Center 3 to rescue their trapped peers, Ashala Wolf and her Tribe of fellow Illegals children with powerful and inexplicable abilities are once again entrenched in their safe haven, the Firstwood. Existing in alliance with the ancient trees and the giant intelligent lizards known as saurs, the young people of the Tribe do their best to survive and hide. But the new peace is fractured when Ashala’s friend Ember Crow goes missing, leaving only a cryptic message behind. Ember claims to be harboring terrible secrets about her past that could be a threat to the Tribe and all Illegals. Ashala and her boyfriend, Connor, spring into action, but with Ashala’s Sleepwalking ability functioning erratically and unknown enemies lying in wait, leaving the Firstwood is a dangerous proposition. Can Ashala and Connor protect the Tribe and bring Ember home, or must they abandon one to save the other?
It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas. HMH Clarion. Ages 10-12
Zomorod (Cindy) Yousefzadeh is the new kid on the block . . . for the fourth time. California’s Newport Beach is her family’s latest perch, and she’s determined to shuck her brainy loner persona and start afresh with a new Brady Bunch name Cindy. It’s the late 1970s, and fitting in becomes more difficult as Iran makes U.S. headlines with protests, revolution, and finally the taking of American hostages. Even mood rings and puka shell necklaces can’t distract Cindy from the anti-Iran sentiments that creep way too close to home. A poignant yet lighthearted middle grade debut.
Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas by Gwendolyn Hooks. Lee and Low. Ages 7-12.
Vivien Thomas’s greatest dream was to attend college to study medicine. But after the stock market crashed in 1929, Vivien lost all his savings. Then he heard about a job opening at the Vanderbilt University medical school under the supervision of Dr. Alfred Blalock. Vivien knew that the all-white school would never admit him as a student, but he hoped working there meant he was getting closer to his dream.
As Dr. Blalock s research assistant, Vivien learned surgical techniques. In 1943, Vivien was asked to help Dr. Helen Taussig find a cure for children with a specific heart defect. After months of experimenting, Vivien developed a procedure that was used for the first successful open-heart surgery on a child. Afterward, Dr. Blalock and Dr. Taussig announced their innovative new surgical technique, the Blalock-Taussig shunt. Vivien s name did not appear in the report. Overcoming racism and resistance from his colleagues, Vivien ushered in a new era of medicine children s heart surgery. Tiny Stitches is the compelling story of this incredible pioneer in medicine.”
Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee; Penguin. Ages 12 and up
San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare sSchool for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance througha mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch ofspoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong until disaster strikes.
On April 18, an historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy s home and school. With martial law in effect, she is forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Mercy can’t sit by while they wait for the Army to bring help. Fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, yet Mercy still has the ‘bossy’ cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenaged girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?
Breakout author Stacey Lee masterfully crafts another remarkable novel set against a unique historical backdrop. Strong-willed Mercy Wong leads a cast of diverse characters in this extraordinary tale of survival.
The Rose and the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh; G.P.Putnam. ages 12 and up
In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid’s empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.
While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn’t yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.
The Case of the Three Kings: The Flaca files/El Cso de lost reyes Magos: Los expedientes de Flaca by Alidis Vicente; Piñata Books. ages 8-12
Flaca, or Detective Flaca as she prefers to be called, is pleased with her Christmas gifts. Finally, she has the tools needed to do her job: a fingerprint-taking kit, a police-quality mini flashlight, and most exciting of all, police tape to block off crime scenes! However, she is not at all pleased with the airline tickets to Puerto Rico she and her sister La Bruja are given. She has case deadlines to meet! La Bruja isn’t very happy either since their grandmother’s house doesn’t have air conditioning, cable TV or Wi-Fi.
Their parents are sure the girls will enjoy celebrating Three Kings Day, a huge holiday in Latin America that takes place on January 6 and involves putting grass in a box under the bed for the wise men’s camels. Three men on flying camels sounds very suspicious to Detective Flaca, who once again is faced with a case begging to be solved. Where do the Three Kings get the gifts to put in the boxes? Do they steal presents from Santa Claus? Or do they take them from under Christmas trees around the world?
A Mystery Bigger Than Big/Un misterio mas grande que grandisimo by Rene Saldana Jr; Pinata Press. ages 8-12
In this fourth installment of the bilingual Mickey Rangel Mystery series, acclaimed author and educator Rene Saldana, Jr. writes a thought-provoking novel for intermediate readers that explores the contemporary issue of immigration from the perspective of young people. And in this case, Mickey learns some hard truths about being a detective and a good person, ultimately realizing that some mysteries are best left unsolved.
Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan; Scholastic. ages 9-12
Joe and Ravi might be from very different places, but they’re both stuck in the same place: SCHOOL.
Joe’s lived in the same town all his life, and was doing just fine until his best friends moved away and left him on his own.
Ravi’s family just moved to America from India, and he’s finding it pretty hard to figure out where he fits in.
Joe and Ravi don’t think they have anything in common — but soon enough they have a common enemy (the biggest bully in their class) and a common mission: to take control of their lives over the course of a single crazy week.
You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Jeffery Boston Weatherford; Atheneum. ages 9-12
“I WANT YOU ” says the poster of Uncle Sam. But if you re a young black man in 1940, he doesn t want you in the cockpit of a war plane. Yet you are determined not to let that stop your dream of flying.
So when you hear of a civilian pilot training program at Tuskegee Institute, you leap at the chance. Soon you are learning engineering and mechanics, how to communicate in code, how to read a map. At last the day you ve longed for is here: you are flying
From training days in Alabama to combat on the front lines in Europe, this is the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the groundbreaking African-American pilots of World War II. In vibrant second-person poems, Carole Boston Weatherford teams up for the first time with her son, artist Jeffery Weatherford, in a powerful and inspiring book that allows readers to fly, too.
The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye. Balzer+Bray. ages 13 and up Debut author
Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters the only two in Russia and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side. And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death. Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?
For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with beautiful, whip smart, imaginative and he can t stop thinking about her. And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself. As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.
Summer of Sloan by Erin L. Schneider. Disney-Hyperion. ages 12 and up. Debut author
Warm Hawaiian sun. Lazy beach days. Flirty texts with her boyfriend back in Seattle.
These are the things seventeen-year-old Sloane McIntyre pictured when she imagined the summer she’d be spending at her mom’s home in Hawaii with her twin brother, Penn. Instead, after learning an unthinkable secret about her boyfriend, Tyler, and best friend, Mick, all she has is a fractured hand and a completely shattered heart.
Once she arrives in Honolulu, though, Sloane hopes that Hawaii might just be the escape she needs. With beach bonfires, old friends, exotic food, and the wonders of a waterproof cast, there’s no reason Sloane shouldn’t enjoy her summer. And when she meets Finn McAllister, the handsome son of a hotel magnate who doesn’t always play by the rules, she knows he’s the perfect distraction from everything that’s so wrong back home.
But it turns out a measly ocean isn’t nearly enough to stop all the emails, texts, and voicemails from her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, desperate to explain away their betrayal. And as her casual connection with Finn grows deeper, Sloane’s carefree summer might not be as easy to come by as she’d hoped. Weighing years of history with Mick and Tyler against their deception, and the delicate possibility of new love, Sloane must decide when to forgive, and when to live for herself.
Perfert Liars by Kimberly Reid; Tu Books. Ages 12 and up.
Andrea Faraday is junior class valedictorian at the exclusive Woodruff School, where she was voted Most Likely to Do Everything Right. But looks can be deceiving. When her parents disappear, her life and her Perfect Girl charade begins to crumble, and her scheme to put things right just takes the situation from bad to so much worse. Pretty soon she’s struck up the world’s least likely friendship with the juvenile delinquents at Justice Academy, the last exit on the road to jail and the first stop on the way out.
If she were telling it straight, friendship might not be the right word to describe their alliance, since Drea and her new associates could not be more different. She’s rich and privileged; they re broke and, well, criminal. But Drea’s got a secret: she has more in common with the juvie kids than they d ever suspect. When it turns out they share a common enemy, Drea suggests they join forces to set things right. Sometimes, to save the day, a good girl’s gotta be bad.
Unplugged by Donna Freitas; HarperTeen. Ages 13 and up.
Humanity is split into a dying physical world for the poor and an extravagant virtual world for the wealthy. Years ago, Skylar Cruz crossed over to the App World for a chance at a better life, and her family stayed behind in the Real World. Now Skye is a virtual teenager, surrounded by glamorous apps and expensive downloads—yet she’s never felt like she fits in, and all she wants is to see her mother and sister again.
Skye is desperate and ready to risk everything to unplug from the App World. But she soon learns that the only person she can trust—in either world, including friends and family—is herself.
Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana; Penguin/Razorbill. ages 12 and up Debut Author
For Tara Krishnan, navigating Brierly, the academically rigorous prep school she attends on scholarship, feels overwhelming and impossible. Her junior year begins in the wake of a startling discovery: A message from an alternate Earth, light years away, is intercepted by NASA. This means that on another planet, there is another version of Tara, a Tara who could be living better, burning brighter, because of tiny differences in her choices.
The world lights up with the knowledge of Terra Nova, the mirror planet, and Tara’s life on Earth begins to change. At first, small shifts happen, like attention from Nick Osterman, the most popular guy at Brierly, and her mother playing hooky from work to watch the news all day. But eventually those small shifts swell, the discovery of Terra Nova like a black hole, bending all the light around it.
As a new era of scientific history dawns and Tara’s life at Brierly continues its orbit, only one thing is clear: Nothing on Earth–or for Tara–will ever be the same again.
Never Ever by Sara Saedi; Viking. ages 12 and up
Wylie Dalton didn t believe in fairy tales or love at first sight.
Then she met a real-life Peter Pan.
When Wylie encounters Phinn confident, mature, and devastatingly handsome at a party the night before her brother goes to juvie, she can t believe how fast she falls for him. And that’s before he shows her how to fly.
Soon Wylie and her brothers find themselves whisked away to a mysterious tropical island off the coast of New York City where nobody ages beyond seventeen and life is a constant party. Wylie’s in heaven: now her brother won t go to jail and she can escape her over-scheduled life with all its woes and responsibilities permanently.
But the deeper Wylie falls for Phinn, the more she begins to discover has been kept from her and her brothers. Somebody on the island has been lying to her, but the truth can’t stay hidden forever.
The Geeks Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash; Simon and Schuster. ages 14 and up
Graham met his best friend, Roxana, when he moved into her neighborhood eight years ago, and she asked him which Hogwarts house he d be sorted into. Graham has been in love with her ever since.
But now they re sixteen, still neighbors, still best friends. And Graham and Roxy share more than ever moving on from their Harry Potter obsession to a serious love of comic books.
When Graham learns that the creator of their favorite comic, “The Chronicles of Althena,” is making a rare appearance at this year’s New York Comic Con, he knows he must score tickets. And the event inspires Graham to come up with the perfect plan to tell Roxy how he really feels about her. He’s got three days to woo his best friend at the coolest, kookiest con full of superheroes and supervillains. But no one at a comic book convention is who they appear to be…even Roxy. And Graham is starting to realize fictional love stories are way less complicated than real-life ones.
Amazing Paper Airplanes: THe Craft and Science of Flight by Kyong Hwa Lee; University of New Mexico Press. ages 9-13
Kyong Hwa Lee holds a doctorate in electrical engineering and has worked for more than twenty-five years in the aerospace industry. Lee has designed over one hundred unique paper airplanes over the last thirty years. His coauthored Paper Airplane Fold-a-Day calendar has been popular worldwide since its first publication in 2006. Every day hundreds of paper airplane enthusiasts visit his website at http://www.amazingpaperairplanes.com.
The Way to Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen, Phuong Anh Nguyen; Swoon Reads. ages 12 and up Debut authors
Taylor Simmons is screwed. Things were hard enough when her single-minded dedication to her studies earned her the reputation of being an Ice Queen, but after getting drunk at a party and waking up next to bad boy surfer Evan McKinley, the entire school seems intent on tearing Taylor down with mockery and gossip. Desperate to salvage her reputation, Taylor persuades Evan to pretend they’re in a serious romantic relationship. After all, it’s better to be the girl who tames the wild surfer than just another notch on his surfboard. Readers will be ready to sign their own love contract after reading The Way to Game the Walk of Shame, a fun and addicting contemporary YA romance by Jenn P. Nguyen.
Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes; Little, Brown Books for Young Children. ages 8-12
When her fifth-grade teacher hints that a series of lessons about home and community will culminate with one big answer about two tall towers once visible outside their classroom window, Deja can’t help but feel confused. She sets off on a journey of discovery, with new friends Ben and Sabeen by her side. But just as she gets closer to answering big questions about who she is, what America means, and how communities can grow (and heal), she uncovers new questions, too. Like, why does Pop get so angry when she brings up anything about the towers?
Uptown Thief by Aya de Leon; Kensington Books. ages 12-18
Marisol Rivera barely survived being abused with nowhere to turn. So there’snothing she won’t do to keep her Lower East Side women’s health clinic open and give disadvantaged women new lives. Running an exclusive escort service for New York City’s rich and powerful 1 percent is the perfect way to bankroll her business–not to mention the perfect cover for robbing corrupt CEOs. And when times get even tougher, pulling a heist on a mega-billionaire will secure the clinic’s future–and her gorgeous crew’s–for good. . .
There’s just one problem: Marisol didn’t anticipate bad news even more dangerous than her curves. A seductive ex-cop who’s too close for comfort, and a powerful thug with a score to settle, are turning Marisol’s precise planning and seductive fail-safes into insidious traps. Now this beautiful modern-day Robin Hood will have to play some lethal wild cards without rules or limits to save those she loves–and live to steal another day. . .
The Darkest Hour by Caroline Tung Richmond; Scholastic Press; ages 12-18
My name is Lucie Blaise.
I am sixteen years old.
I have many aliases, but I am none of the girls you see.
What I am is the newest recruit of Covert Ops.
And we are here to take down Hitler.
After the Nazis killed my brother on the North African front, I volunteered at the Office of Strategic Services in Washington to do my part for the war effort. Only instead of a desk job at the OSS, I was tapped to join the Clandestine Operations–a secret espionage and sabotage organization of girls. Six months ago, I was deployed to German-occupied France to gather intelligence and eliminate Nazi targets.
My current mission: Track down and interrogate a Nazi traitor about a weapon that threatens to wipe out all of Western Europe. Then find and dismantle the weapon before Hitler detonates it. But the deeper I investigate, the more danger I’m in. Because the fate of the free world hangs in the balance, and trusting the wrong person could cause millions of lives to be lost. Including my own.
Shiny Broken Pieces by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton; HarperTeen. ages 12-18
June, Bette, and Gigi are competing one final time for a spot at the prestigious American Ballet Company. With the stakes higher than ever, these girls have everything to lose…and no one is playing nice. June is starting to finally see herself as a prima ballerina. But being the best could mean sacrificing the love of her life. Legacy dancer Bette is determined to clear her name after she was suspended and accused of hurting her rival, Gigi. And Gigi is not going to let Bette—or the other dancers who bullied her—go unpunished. It all comes down to this last dance. Who will make the cut? And who will lose her dream forever?
Born Bright by C. Nicole Mason; St. Martin’s Press.
While showing us her own path out of poverty, Mason examines the conditions that make it nearly impossible to escape and exposes the presumption harbored by many―that the poor don’t help themselves enough.
Zoe in Wonderland by Brenda Woods; Nancy Paulsen Books. ages 8-12
Zoe Reindeer considers herself “just Zoe”—never measuring up to her too-perfect older sister or her smarty-pants little brother. Truthfully, though, she’d rather just blend in with the plants at the family business, Doc Reindeer’s Exotic Plant Wonderland. She does have one friend, Q, and he’s the best one ever—but he’s moving away, leaving Zoe to fend for herself, and she doesn’t know what she’ll do without him. That is until a tall astronomer from Madagascar comes to the nursery looking for a Baobab tree. His visit starts a ball rolling that makes Zoe long for real adventures, not just imaginary ones—and shows her that perhaps her first real adventure is finally beginning.
Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi; Dutton Books for Young Readers. ages 12 and up
There are only three things that matter to twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him. But it’s been almost three years since then, and Alice is determined to find him. She loves her father even more than she loves adventure, and she’s about to embark on one to find the other. But bringing Father home is no small matter. In order to find him she’ll have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. Her only companion is a boy named Oliver whose own magical ability is based in lies and deceit–and with a liar by her side in a land where nothing is as it seems, it will take all of Alice’s wits (and every limb she’s got) to find Father and return home to Ferenwood in one piece. On her quest to find Father, Alice must first find herself–and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.
Lion Island: Cuba’s Warrior of Words by Margarita Engle; Atheneum Books for Young Readers; 10 and up
In a haunting yet hopeful novel in verse, award-winning author Margarita Engle tells the story of Antonio Chuffat, a young man of African, Chinese, and Cuban descent who became a champion of civil rights. Asia, Africa, Europe—Antonio Chuffat’s ancestors clashed and blended on the beautiful island of Cuba. Yet for most Cubans in the nineteenth century, life is anything but beautiful. The country is fighting for freedom from Spain. Enslaved Africans and nearly-enslaved Chinese indentured servants are for.ced to work long, backbreaking hours in the fields. So Antonio feels lucky to have found a good job as a messenger, where his richly blended cultural background is an asset. Through his work he meets Wing, a young Chinese fruit seller who barely escaped the anti-Asian riots in San Francisco, and his sister Fan, a talented singer. With injustice all around them, the three friends are determined that violence will not be the only way to gain liberty.
Ghost by Jason Reynolds; Atheneum. ages 10 and up.
Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down in this first electrifying novel of a brand-new series from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award–winning author Jason Reynolds.
Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves. Ghost has a crazy natural talent, but no formal training. If he can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons—it all starting with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who blew his own shot at success by using drugs, and who is determined to keep other kids from blowing their shots at life.
Makoons (Birchbark House) by Louise Erdrich; HarperCollins. ages 8-12
In the sequel to Chickadee, acclaimed author Louise Erdrich continues her award-winning Birchbark House series with the story of an Ojibwe family in nineteenth-century America. Named for the Ojibwe word for little bear, Makoons and his twin, Chickadee, have traveled with their family to the Great Plains of Dakota Territory. There they must learn to become buffalo hunters and once again help their people make a home in a new land. But Makoons has had a vision that foretells great challenges—challenges that his family may not be able to overcome.
Based on Louise Erdrich’s own family history, this fifth book in the series features black-and-white interior illustrations, a note from the author about her research, as well as a map and glossary of Ojibwe terms.
A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Night) by Sabaa Tahir. Razorbill. ages 12 and up
Following the events of the Fourth Trial, an army led by Masks hunts the two fugitives as they escape the city of Serra and journey across the vast lands of the Martial Empire.Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—and save her brother, whose knowledge of Serric steel is the key to the Scholars’ future. And Elias is determined to stay by Laia’s side…even if it means giving up his own chance at freedom. But Elias and Laia will have to fight every step of the way if they’re going to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike. Helene’s mission is horrifying, unwanted, and clear: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.
Unscripted Joss Byrd: A Novel by Lygia Day Peñaflo; Roaring Book Press. ages 12-18
Hollywood critics agree. Joss Byrd is “fiercely emotional,” a young actress with “complete conviction,” and a “powerhouse.” Joss Byrd is America’s most celebrated young actress, but on the set of her latest project, a gritty indie film called The Locals, Joss’s life is far from glamorous. While struggling with her mother’s expectations, a crush on her movie brother, and a secret that could end her career, Joss must pull off a performance worthy of a star. When her renowned, charismatic director demands more than she is ready to deliver, Joss must go off-script to stay true to herself.
Enter Title Here by Rahul Kanakia; Disney Hyperion. ages 12 and up
Reshma is a college counselor’s dream. She’s the top-ranked senior at her ultra-competitive Silicon Valley high school, with a spotless academic record and a long roster of extracurriculars. But there are plenty of perfect students in the country, and if Reshma wants to get into Stanford, and into med school after that, she needs the hook to beat them all. What’s a habitual over-achiever to do? Land herself a literary agent, of course. Which is exactly what Reshma does after agent Linda Montrose spots an article she wrote forHuffington Post. Linda wants to represent Reshma, and, with her new agent’s help scoring a book deal, Reshma knows she’ll finally have the key to Stanford.
But she’s convinced no one would want to read a novel about a study machine like her. To make herself a more relatable protagonist, she must start doing all the regular American girl stuff she normally ignores. For starters, she has to make a friend, then get a boyfriend. And she’s already planned the perfect ending: after struggling for three hundred pages with her own perfectionism, Reshma will learn that meaningful relationships can be more important than success-a character arc librarians and critics alike will enjoy.
The Last Cherry Blossom by Kathleen Burkinshaw; Sky Pony Press. (ages 11-13) Debut Author
Yuriko is happy growing up in Hiroshima when it’s just her and Papa. But her aunt Kimiko and her cousin Genji are living with them now, and the family is only getting bigger with talk of a double marriage! And while things are changing at home, the world beyond their doors is even more unpredictable. World War II is coming to an end, and Japan’s fate is not entirely clear, with any battle losses being hidden from its people. Yuriko is used to the sirens and air raid drills, but things start to feel more real when the neighbors who have left to fight stop coming home. When the atomic bomb hits Hiroshima, it’s through Yuriko’s twelve-year-old eyes that we witness the devastation and horror.
This is a story that offers young readers insight into how children lived during the war, while also introducing them to Japanese culture. Based loosely on author Kathleen Burkinshaw’s mother’s first-hand experience surviving the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, The Last Cherry Blossom hopes to warn readers of the immense damage nuclear war can bring, while reminding readers that the “enemy” in any war is often not so different from ourselves.
Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter; Tor Teen. ages 13–18
Inspired by a Russian folktale, this novel tells of a girl’s search for home, love, and belonging.
The Reader by Traci Chee; Putnam. ages 12 and up Debut Author
Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is brutally murdered, she flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped, leaving Sefia completely alone, none of her survival skills can help her discover where Nin’s been taken, or if she’s even alive. The only clue to both her aunt’s disappearance and her father’s murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book—a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed—and punish the people responsible.
Every Falling Star: The True Story of How I Survived and Escaped North Korea by Sungju Lee and Susan Elizabeth McClelland; AgeAmulet Books.(ages 13–up)
Every Falling Star, the first book to portray contemporary North Korea to a young audience, is the intense memoir of a North Korean boy named Sungju who is forced at age twelve to live on the streets and fend for himself. To survive, Sungju creates a gang and lives by thieving, fighting, begging, and stealing rides on cargo trains. Sungju richly re-creates his scabrous story, depicting what it was like for a boy alone to create a new family with his gang, his “brothers”; to be hungry and to fear arrest, imprisonment, and even execution. This riveting memoir allows young readers to learn about other cultures where freedoms they take for granted do not exist.
Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige; Bloomsbury.(ages 14–up)
Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent the majority of her life within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she’s not crazy and doesn’t belong there. When she meets a mysterious, handsome new orderly and dreams about a strange twisted tree she realizes she must escape and figure out who she really is.
Using her trusting friend Bale as a distraction, Snow breaks free and races into the nearby woods. Suddenly, everything isn’t what it seems, the line between reality and fantasy begins to blur, and she finds herself in icy Algid–her true home–with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai, none of whom she’s sure she can trust. As secret after secret is revealed, Snow discovers that she is on the run from a royal lineage she’s destined to inherit, a father more powerful and ruthless than she could have imagined, and choices of the heart that could change the fate of everything . . . including Snow’s return to the world she once knew. This breathtaking first volume begins the story of how Snow becomes a villain, a queen, and ultimately a hero.
Rani Patel in Full Effect by Sonia Patel; CInco Puntos. (ages 12–18)
Almost seventeen, Rani Patel appears to be a kick-ass Indian girl breaking cultural norms as a hip-hop performer in full effect. But in truth, she’s a nerdy flat-chested nobody who lives with her Gujarati immigrant parents on the remote Hawaiian island of Moloka’i, isolated from her high school peers by the unsettling norms of Indian culture where “husband is God.” Her parents’ traditionally arranged marriage is a sham. Her dad turns to her for all his needs even the intimate ones. When Rani catches him two-timing with a woman barely older than herself, she feels like a widow and, like widows in India are often made to do, she shaves off her hair. Her sexy bald head and hard-driving rhyming skills attract the attention of Mark, the hot older customer who frequents her parents’ store and is closer in age to her dad than to her. Mark makes the moves on her and Rani goes with it. He leads Rani into 4eva Flowin’, an underground hip hop crew and into other things she’s never done. Rani ignores the red flags. Her naive choices look like they will undo her but ultimately give her the chance to discover her strengths and restore the things she thought she’d lost, including her mother.
Aluta by Adwoa Badoe; Groundwood Books. (ages 14–up)
For eighteen-year-old Charlotte, university life is better than she d ever dreamed a sophisticated and generous roommate, the camaraderie of dorm living, parties, clubs and boyfriends. Most of all, Charlotte is exposed to new ideas, and in 1981 Ghana, this may be the most exciting and most dangerous adventure of all.
At first Charlotte basks in her wonderful new freedom, especially being out of the watchful eye of her controlling and opinionated father. She suddenly finds herself with no shortage of male attention, including her charismatic political science professor, fellow student activist Banahene, and Asare, a wealthy oil broker who invites Charlotte to travel with him and showers her with expensive gifts, including a coveted passport.
But Ghana is fraught with a history of conflict. And in the middle of her freshman year, the government is overthrown, and three judges are abducted and murdered. As political forces try to mobilize students to advance their own agendas, Charlotte is drawn into the world of student politics. She’s good at it, she’s impassioned, and she’s in love with Banahene. The struggle continues Aluta Aluta continua she shouts, rallying the crowd with the slogan of the oppressed. But her love of the spotlight puts her in the public eye. And when Asare entrusts her with a mysterious package of documents, she suddenly realizes she may be in real danger.
But it’s too late. As she is on her way to a meeting, Charlotte is picked up by national security, and her worst nightmares come true. And in the end, she must make a difficult and complicated decision about whether to leave her education, and her beloved Ghana, behind.
Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz; Harlequin Teen. (ages 14–up)
Jasmine de los Santos has always done what’s expected of her. Pretty and popular, she’s studied hard, made her Filipino immigrant parents proud and is ready to reap the rewards in the form of a full college scholarship. And then everything shatters. A national scholar award invitation compels her parents to reveal the truth: their visas expired years ago. Her entire family is illegal. That means no scholarships, maybe no college at all and the very real threat of deportation
For the first time, Jasmine rebels, trying all those teen things she never had time for in the past. Even as she’s trying to make sense of her new world, it’s turned upside down by Royce Blakely, the charming son of a high-ranking congressman. Jasmine no longer has any idea where or if she fits into the American Dream. All she knows is that she’s not giving up. Because when the rules you lived by no longer apply, the only thing to do is make up your own.
Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom by Booki Vivat; Harper Collins. (ages 8–12) DEBUT AUTHOR
Meet Abbie Wu. Abbie is in crisis and not just because she’s starting middle school or because she’s stuck in a family that doesn t quite get her or because everyone seems to have a Thing except her. Abbie Wu is always in crisis.
From debut author and professional doodler Booki Vivat, Frazzled dives right into the mind of this hilariously neurotic middle school girl as she tries to figure out who she is and where she belongs. Akin to Smile by Raina Telgemeier, Frazzled is heavily illustrated, embarrassingly honest, and sure to appeal to anyone in the middle of figuring out how to survive the everyday disasters of growing up.
One Half from the East by Nadia Hashimi; HarperCollins. (ages 8–12)
Perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia, Thanhha Lai, and Rebecca Stead, internationally bestselling author Nadia Hashimi’s first novel for young readers is a coming-of-age journey set in modern-day Afghanistan that explores life as a bacha posh a preteen girl dressed as a boy. Obayda’s family is in need of some good fortune, and her aunt has an idea to bring the family luck dress Obayda, the youngest of four sisters, as a boy, a bacha posh. Life in this in-between place is confusing, but once Obayda meets another bacha posh, everything changes. Their transformation won t last forever, though unless the two best friends can figure out a way to make it stick and make their newfound freedoms endure.
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake; Harper Teen. (ages 14–up)
In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions. But becoming the Queen Crowned isn t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.
The Three Lucys by Hayan Charara, illus. by Sara Kahn; Lee & Low. (ages 7–12)
Luli likes to sit in the shade of an olive tree with his beloved cats: Lucy the Fat, Lucy the Skinny, and Lucy Lucy. But when Luli and his parents go to the city to see his aunt and uncle one weekend, the cats must stay behind at home. After a fun visit with family, Luli is looking forward to going home and seeing the Lucys. But then Luli’s hometown comes under attack and the family must seek refuge at his aunt and uncle’s house. Luli doesn t understand what is happening and worries about his pets. Who will keep the three Lucys safe? And when will he and his family be able to return home?
Recipient of Lee & Low’s New Voices Honor award, The Three Lucys is inspired by real events of the July War in Lebanon. This tender story of loss, rebuilding, and healing is a tribute to the sustaining love of family, and to the power of the human spirit to hope for a peaceful future.
Metaltown by Kristen Simmons; Tor Teens. (ages 13–18)
The rules of Metaltown are simple: Work hard, keep your head down, and watch your back. You look out for number one, and no one knows that better than Ty. She’s been surviving on the factory line as long as she can remember. But now Ty has Colin. She’s no longer alone; it’s the two of them against the world. That’s something even a town this brutal can t take away from her. Until it does. Lena’s future depends on her family’s factory, a beast that demands a ruthless master, and Lena is prepared to be as ruthless as it takes if it means finally proving herself to her father. But when a chance encounter with Colin, a dreamer despite his circumstances, exposes Lena to the consequences of her actions, she ll risk everything to do what’s right.
In Lena, Ty sees an heiress with a chip on her shoulder. Colin sees something more. In a world of disease and war, tragedy and betrayal, allies and enemies, all three of them must learn that challenging what they thought was true can change all the rules.
Pasadena by Sherri L. Smith; PG Putnam’s Sons. (ages 14–up)
Bad things happen everywhere. Even in the land of sun and roses.
When Jude’s best friend is found dead in a swimming pool, her family calls it an accident. Her friends call it suicide. But Jude calls it what it is: murder. And someone has to pay.
Now everyone is a suspect–family and friends alike. And Jude is digging up the past like bones from a shallow grave. Anything to get closer to the truth. But that’s the thing about secrets. Once they start turning up, nothing is sacred. And Jude’s got a few skeletons of her own.
In a homage to the great noir stories of Los Angeles, award-winning author Sherri L. Smith’s”Pasadena”is a tale of love, damage and salvation set against the backdrop of California’s City of Roses.
Into White by Randi Pink; Feiwel & Friends; ages 12 and up. Debut Author
LaToya Williams lives in Montgomery, Alabama, and attends a mostly white high school. It seems as if her only friend is her older brother, Alex. Toya doesn t know where she fits in, but after a run-in with another student, she wonders if life would be different if she were . . . different. And then a higher power answers her prayer: to be anything but black. Toya is suddenly white, blond, and popular. Now what?
Randi Pink’s audacious fiction debut dares to explore a subject that will spark conversations about race, class, and gender.
Going Geek by Charlotte Huang; Delacorte. (ages 12–up)
It wasn t supposed to be this way. Skylar Hoffman’s senior year at her preppy East Coast boarding school should have been perfect:
the coolest friends
the most desirable dorm
But it’s far from it. To her dismay, Skylar’s not going to rule senior year because she’s stuck in Abbot House, a tiny dorm known for, well, nothing. Living with a group of strangers everyone thinks is lame is bad enough. Worse is that Skylar wasn t exactly truthful about how she spent summer break in Los Angeles and her little white lie is causing her once rock-solid romance to crumble fast. And when it turns out that Skylar’s best friend is the one responsible for having her booted from Lincoln? It’s an all-out war.
Stepping out of her comfort zone never felt so scary or necessary. But everything is different now. Including, maybe, Skylar herself.
Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung; Alfred A. Knopf. (ages 12–up)
Lucy is a bit of a pushover, but she’s ambitious and smart, and she has just received the opportunity of a lifetime: a scholarship to a prestigious school, and a ticket out of her broken-down suburb. Though she’s worried she will stick out like badly cut bangs among the razor-straight students, she is soon welcomed into the Cabinet, the supremely popular trio who wield influence over classmates and teachers alike.
Linh is blunt, strong-willed, and fearless everything Lucy once loved about herself. She is also Lucy’s last solid link to her life before private school, but she is growing tired of being eclipsed by the glamour of the Cabinet.
As Lucy floats further away from the world she once knew, her connection to Linh and to her old life threatens to snap. Sharp and honest, Alice Pung’s novel examines what it means to grow into the person you want to be without leaving yourself behind.
Watched by Marina Budhos; Wendy Lamb Books. (ages 12–up)
Naeem is far from the model teen. Moving fast in his immigrant neighborhood in Queens is the only way he can outrun the eyes of his hardworking Bangladeshi parents and their gossipy neighbors. Even worse, they re not the only ones watching.Cameras on poles.Mosques infiltrated. Everyone knows: Be careful what you say and who you say it to. Anyone might be a watcher.
Naeem thinks he can charm his way through anything, until his mistakes catch up with him and the cops offer a dark deal. Naeem sees a way to be a hero a protector like the guys in his brother’s comic books. Yet what is a hero? What is a traitor? And where does Naeem belong?
Freedom over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan.; Atheneum. (ages 6–10)
Using original slave auction and plantation estate documents, Ashley Bryan offers a moving and powerful picture book that contrasts the monetary value of a slave with the priceless value of life experiences and dreams that a slave owner could never take away.
Imagine being looked up and down and being valued as less than chair. Less than an ox. Less than a dress. Maybe about the same as a lantern.
You, an object. An object to sell.
In his gentle yet deeply powerful way, Ashley Bryan goes to the heart of how a slave is given a monetary value by the slave owner, tempering this with the one thing that CAN T be bought or sold dreams. Inspired by the actual will of a plantation owner that lists the worth of each and every one of his workers, Bryan has created collages around that document, and others like it. Through fierce paintings and expansive poetry he imagines and interprets each person’s life on the plantation, as well as the life their owner knew nothing about their dreams and pride in knowing that they were worth far more than an Overseer or Madam ever would guess. Visually epic, and never before done, this stunning picture book is unlike anything you.ve seen.
The Only Road by Alexandra Diaz; Paula Wiseman Books. ages 8-12.
Twelve-year-old Jaime makes the treacherous and life-changing journey from his home in Guatemala to live with his older brother in the United States in this gripping and realistic middle grade novel.
Jaime is sitting on his bed drawing when he hears a scream. Instantly, he knows: Miguel, his cousin and best friend, is dead.
Everyone in Jaime’s small town in Guatemala knows someone who has been killed by the Alphas, a powerful gang that’s known for violence and drug trafficking. Anyone who refuses to work for them is hurt or killed like Miguel. With Miguel gone, Jaime fears that he is next. There’s only one choice: accompanied by his cousin Angela, Jaime must flee his home to live with his older brother in New Mexico.
Inspired by true events, The Only Road is an individual story of a boy who feels that leaving his home and risking everything is his only chance for a better life. It is a story of fear and bravery, love and loss, strangers becoming family, and one boy’s treacherous and life-changing journey.
Rebellion of Thieves by Kekla Magoon; Bloomsbury. ages 8-12.
Robyn Loxley can’t rest now that she’s the #1 Most Wanted Fugitive, Robyn Hoodlum. The harsh Nott City governor, Ignomus Crown, may have increased the reward for her capture, but this won’t stop Robyn from masterminding her biggest mission yet: infiltrating the governor’s mansion to rescue her parents.
The perfect opportunity arises when the Iron Teen contest comes to Sherwood. If Robyn scores high enough, she’ll be invited to a dinner at the mansion. But performing well in the contest could put her directly in Crown’s sights. Can she and her crew of misfit friends pull off such a grand scheme, or are they walking into bigger trouble than they can handle?
Garvey’s Choice by Nikki Grimes; Boyds Mills/WordSong. ages 8-12.
Garvey’s father has always wanted Garvey to be athletic, but Garvey is interested in astronomy, science fiction, reading—anything but sports. Feeling like a failure, he comforts himself with food. Garvey is kind, funny, smart, a loyal friend, and he is also overweight, teased by bullies, and lonely. When his only friend encourages him to join the school chorus, Garvey’s life changes. The chorus finds a new soloist in Garvey, and through chorus, Garvey finds a way to accept himself, and a way to finally reach his distant father—by speaking the language of music instead of the language of sports. This emotionally resonant novel in verse by award-winning author Nikki Grimes celebrates choosing to be true to yourself.
Mice of the Round Table: A Tail of Camelot by Julie Leung, illus. by Lindsey Carr; Harper Collins. ages 8-12.
Young mouse Calib Christopher dreams of becoming a Knight of the Round Table. For generations, his family has led the mice who live just out of sight of the humans, defending Camelot from enemies both big and small. But when Calib and his friend Cecily discover that a new threat is gathering—one that could catch even the Two-Leggers unaware—it is up to them to unmask the real enemy, unite their forces, and save the castle they all call home.
The School the Aztec Eagles Built by Dorinda Makanaonalani Nicholson; Lee & Low Books. ages 8-11.
In May 1942, German U-boats torpedoed two unarmed Mexican oil tankers off the Gulf Coast, forcing Mexico to enter World War II. With the help of United States President Roosevelt, Mexican President Camacho arranged to send one Air Force squadron to fight in the war. Thirty-eight of Mexico s top pilots, and about two hundred sixty additional military crew were carefully selected to form the 201st Air Force Squadron, also known as the Aztec Eagles. The squadron was the first unit in history to leave Mexico on a fighting mission. To mark this historic event, President Camacho asked the men if they had any last minute requests before they went to war. Sergeant Angel Bocanegra, a former teacher and now squadron ground crewmember, stepped forward and made a request. He asked that a school be built in his small village of Tepoztlan. The School the Aztec Eagles Built tells the exciting story of how a Mexican Air Force squadron and an unknown schoolteacher made their mark in history.”
The Treasure of Barracuda by Llanos Martinez Campos; ages 9-12. Little Pickle Stories. Sparks is an 11-year-old cabin boy on the Southern Cross, a pirate ship led by Captain Barracuda. When he and the crew discover a book left by the infamous pirate Phineas Johnson Krane, they must learn to read in order to decipher its contents and go in search of Krane’s hidden treasure. A satisfying tale packed with pirates, outlaws, danger and, in the words of its narrator, “no second chances.”
When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. ages 9-12.
Pinmei’s gentle, loving grandmother always has the most exciting tales for her granddaughter and the other villagers. However, the peace is shattered one night when soldiers of the Emperor arrive and kidnap the storyteller. Everyone knows that the Emperor wants something called the Luminous Stone That Lights the Night. Determined to have her grandmother returned, Pinmei embarks on a journey to find the Luminous Stone alongside her friend Yishan, a mysterious boy who seems to have his own secrets to hide. Together, the two must face obstacles usually found only in legends to find the Luminous Stone and save Pinmei’s grandmother–before it’s too late.
The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia; Macmillan. ages 12-18
Seventeen year-old Frankie Devereux would do anything to forget the past. Haunted by the memory of her boyfriend’s death, she lives her life by one dangerous rule: nothing matters. At least, that’s what Frankie tells herself after a reckless mistake forces her to leave her privileged life in the Heights to move in with her dad―an undercover cop. She transfers to public school in the Downs, where fistfights in the halls don’t faze anyone and illegal street racing is more popular than football.
Marco Leone is the fastest street racer in the Downs. Tough, sexy, and hypnotic, he makes it impossible for Frankie to ignore him…and how he makes her feel. But the risks Marco takes for his family could have devastating consequences for them both. When Frankie discovers his secret, she has to make a choice. Will she let the pain of the past determine her future? Or will she risk what little she has left to follow her heart.
And The Midnight Star by Marie Lu; G. P. Putnam’s Son. ages 12-18. Adelina Amouteru is done suffering. She’s turned her back on those who have betrayed her and achieved the ultimate revenge: victory. Her reign as the White Wolf has been a triumphant one, but with each conquest her cruelty only grows. The darkness within her has begun to spiral out of control, threatening to destroy all she’s gained.
When a new danger appears, Adelina’s forced to revisit old wounds, putting not only herself at risk, but every Elite. In order to preserve her empire, Adelina and her Roses must join the Daggers on a perilous quest—though this uneasy alliance may prove to be the real danger.
The Only Road by Alexandra Diaz; Simon and Schuster. ages 8-12.
Twelve-year-old Jaime makes the treacherous and life-changing journey from his home in Guatemala to live with his older brother in the United States in this gripping and realistic middle grade novel. Jaime is sitting on his bed drawing when he hears a scream. Instantly, he knows: Miguel, his cousin and best friend, is dead. Everyone in Jaime’s small town in Guatemala knows someone who has been killed by the Alphas, a powerful gang that’s known for violence and drug trafficking. Anyone who refuses to work for them is hurt or killed—like Miguel. With Miguel gone, Jaime fears that he is next. There’s only one choice: accompanied by his cousin Ángela, Jaime must flee his home to live with his older brother in New Mexico.
Inspired by true events, The Only Road is an individual story of a boy who feels that leaving his home and risking everything is his only chance for a better life. It is a story of fear and bravery, love and loss, strangers becoming family, and one boy’s treacherous and life-changing journey.
Riding Chance by Christine Kendall, Scholastic.
Troy is a kid with a passion. And dreams. And wanting to do the right thing. But after taking a wrong turn, he’s forced to endure something that’s worse than any juvenile detention he can imagine-he’s “sentenced” to the local city stables where he’s made to take care of horses. The greatest punishment has been trying to make sense of things since his mom died but, through his work with the horses, he discovers a sport totally unknown to him-polo. Troy has to figure out which friends have his back, which kids to cut loose, and whether he and Alisha have a true connection. Laced with humor and beating with heartache, this novel will grip readers, pull them in quickly, and take them on an unforgettable ride. Set in present day Christine Kendall’s stunning debut lets us come face-to-face with the challenges of a loving family that turn hardships into triumphs.
Bessie Stringfield: Tales of the Talented Tenth by Joel Christian Gill; Fucrum Publishing. ages 12 and up.
Imagine a five-foot-two-inch-tall woman riding a Harley eight times across the continental United States. Now imagine she is black and is journeying across the country in the pre-Civil Rights era of the 1930s and ’40s. That is the amazing true story of Bessie Stringfield, the woman known today as The Motorcycle Queen of Miami and the first black woman to be inducted into the American Motorcyclist Association Hall of Fame and the Harley Davidson Hall of Fame. Stringfield was a pioneer in motorcycling during her lifetime; she rode as a civilian courier for the US military and founded the Iron Horse Motorcycle Club in Miami, all while confronting and overcoming Jim Crow in every ride.
Phoenix by SF Said, illus. by Dave McKean; Candlewick. Ages 10–up.
Lucky lives a relatively normal life on a remote moon of the planet Aries One, safe from the turmoil and devastation of the interstellar war between Humans and Aliens. Lucky has seen images of the horned, cloven-hooved Aliens before, but he’s never seen one up close. Then one night, he dreams that the stars are singing to him—and wakes to evidence suggesting that he is not so normal after all. When Lucky’s mother sacrifices herself to help him escape an elite Human military force called the Shadow Guards, he must rely on the Alien crew of a ramshackle starship, where he finds that humanity’s deadly enemies seem surprisingly Human up close. In fact, they may be more Human than Lucky himself, who has a dangerous power that could change the course of the war and the fate of the galaxy—if he can learn how to use it. Star Wars fans seeking another saga to love need look no further than this epic middle-grade adventure’
Girls Like Me by Lola Stvil; HMH Books for Young Readers. ages 12-18
Fifteen-year-old Shay Summers is trying to cope with the death of her father, being overweight, and threats from a girl bully in school. When she falls in love with Blake, a mysterious boy online, insecure Shay doesn’t want to tell him who she is. But with the help of her two best friends, as well as an assist by Kermit and Miss Piggy, ultimately Shay and Blake’s love prevails. Girls Like Meis a fun and fresh poetic take on teen angst, social media and online anonymity, and high school romance.
The Mermaid Girl by Xequina; Bedazzled Press. ages 9-12
A series of big storms flood the sea town where Camila lives and she finds a tiny, newborn mermaid in a puddle of water. Camila adopts her and names her Mermary. She tells no one, especially her mother, a marine biologist who would take the mermaid away for research and study. Camila is extremely shy and the mermaid becomes her only friend. She reads everything she can about mermaids and earns the nickname “The Mermaid Girl” from her classmates. Before long, rumors spread of a mermaid in the lake. Now Camila has to figure out how to protect Mermary not only from scientists but from people who want to do more than just catch a glimpse of a mermaid.
Dear Yvette by Ni-Ni Simone; Kensington. ages 14 and up
All sixteen year old Yvette Simmons wanted was to disappear. Problem is: she has too many demons for that. Yvette’s life changed forever after a street fight over a boy ended in a second degree murder charge. Forced to start all over again, she’s sentenced to live in a group home far from anything or anyone she’s ever known. She manages to keep her past hidden, until a local cutie, known as Brooklyn, steps in. Slowly, Yvette lets him into her heart and he gives her the summer of her dreams…
But in Yvette’s world things are never as they seem.
Brooklyn has a few secrets of his own and Yvette’s past comes back with a vengeance. Will she face life head-on? Will she return to her old ways? Or will an unexpected letter decide her fate?
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon; Delacorte Press. ages 12-18
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.
Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
Dork Diaries 11: Tales from a Not-So-Friendly Frenemy by Rachel Renée Russell; Aladdin. ages 9-13
Nikki and her friends Brandon, Chloe, and Zoey are up for another adventure.
Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina, Young Readers Edition by Misty Copeland and Brandy Colbert; Simon and Schuster. ages 8-12
Determination meets dance in this middle grade adaptation of the New York Times bestselling memoir by the first African-American principal dancer in American Ballet Theatre history, Misty Copeland.
As the first African-American principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland has been breaking down all kinds of barriers in the world of dance. But when she first started dancing at the late age of thirteen no one would have guessed the shy, underprivileged girl would one day make history in her field.
Her road to excellence was not easy a chaotic home life, with several siblings and a single mother, was a stark contrast to the control and comfort she found on stage. And when her home life and incredible dance promise begin to clash, Misty had to learn to stand up for herself and navigate a complex relationship with her mother, while pursuing her ballet dreams.
The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee; Harper Collins. ages 12-18
Sometimes love is right under your nose.As one of only two aromateurs left on the planet, sixteen-year-old Mimosa knows what her future holds: a lifetime of weeding, mixing love elixirs, and matchmaking all while remaining incurably alone. For Mim, the rules are clear: falling in love would render her nose useless, taking away her one great talent. Still, Mimosa doesn t want to spend her life elbow-deep in soil and begonias. She dreams of a normal high school experience with friends, sports practices, debate club, and even a boyfriend. But when she accidentally gives an elixir to the wrong woman and has to rely on the lovesick woman’s son, the school soccer star, to help fix the situation, Mim quickly begins to realize that falling in love isn t always a choice you can make.