Tiger Boy by Mitali Perkins; Charlesbridge. (ages 8-12)
When a tiger cub escapes from a nature reserve near Neel’s island village, the rangers and villagers hurry to find her before the cub’s anxious mother follows suit and endangers them all. Mr. Gupta, a rich newcomer to the island, is also searching—he wants to sell the cub’s body parts on the black market. Neel and his sister, Rupa, resolve to find the cub first and bring her back to the reserve where she belongs. The hunt for the cub interrupts Neel’s preparations for an exam to win a prestigious scholarship at a boarding school far from home. Neel doesn’t mind—he dreads the exam and would rather stay on his beloved island in the Sunderbans of West Bengal with his family and friends. But through his encounter with the cub, Neil learns that sometimes you have to take risks to preserve what you love. And sometimes you have to sacrifice the present for the chance to improve the future.
Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams Garcia; Amistad. (ages 8-12)
Newbery Honor winner and New York Times bestselling author Rita Williams-Garcia tells the story of the Gaither sisters, who are about to learn what it’s like to be fish out of water as they travel from the streets of Brooklyn to the rural South for the summer of a lifetime.
Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are off to Alabama to visit their grandmother, Big Ma, and her mother, Ma Charles. Across the way lives Ma Charles’s half sister, Miss Trotter. The two half sisters haven’t spoken in years. As Delphine hears about her family history, she uncovers the surprising truth that’s been keeping the sisters apart. But when tragedy strikes, Delphine discovers that the bonds of family run deeper than she ever knew possible.
Powerful and humorous, this companion to the award-winning One Crazy Summer and P.S. Be Eleven will be enjoyed by fans of the first two books as well as by readers meeting these memorable sisters for the first time.
None of the Above by I. W. Gregorio; Balzer+Bray. (ages 12 -18)
A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she’s intersex . . . and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between. What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant? When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She’s a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she’s madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she’s decided that she’s ready to take things to the next level with him. But Kristin’s first time isn’t the perfect moment she’s planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy “parts.” Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin’s entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?
Taking Hold: From Migrant Childhood to Columbia Univesity by Francisco Jiménez; HMH. (ages 14 and up)
In this fourth book in his award-winning memoir series, Francisco Jimenez leaves everything behind in California—a loving family, a devoted girlfriend, and the culture that shaped him— to attend Columbia University in New York City. With few true accounts of the Latino experience in America, Francisco Jimenez’s work comes alive with telling details about the warmth and resiliency of family and the quest for identity against seemingly impossible odds.
Endangered by Lamar Giles; HarperTeen. (ages 12 and up)
The one secret she cares about keeping—her identity—is about to be exposed. Unless Lauren “Panda” Daniels—an anonymous photoblogger who specializes in busting classmates and teachers in compromising positions—plays along with her blackmailer’s little game of Dare or . . . Dare. But when the game turns deadly, Panda doesn’t know what to do. And she may need to step out of the shadows to save herself . . . and everyone else on the Admirer’s hit list.
Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee; Flux. (ages 12 and up)
Carr “the Raptor” Luka is a rising star in the weightless combat sport called zeroboxing. To help him win the championship title, the Zero Gravity Fighting Association assigns Risha, an ambitious and beautiful Martian colonist, to be his brandhelm—a personal marketing strategist. It isn’t long before she’s made Carr into a popular celebrity and stolen his heart along the way. But as his fame grows, Carr becomes an inspirational hero on Earth, a once-great planet that’s fallen into the shadow of its more prosperous colonies. And when Carr learns of a far-reaching criminal scheme, he becomes the keeper of a devastating secret. Not only will his choices place everything he holds dear into jeopardy, they may also spill the violence from the sports arena into the solar system.
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir; Razorbill. (ages 12 and up)
LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.
ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier— and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor. When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself. (ages 14 and up)
The Way Home Looks Now by Wendy Wan-Long Shang; Scholastic. (ages 8-12)
From the award-winning author of THE GREAT WALL OF LUCY WU comes a beautifully written and poignant story of family and loss, healing and friendship, and the great American pastime, baseball. Twelve-year-old Peter Lee and his family are baseball lovers, who bond over back lot games and talk of the Pittsburgh Pirates. But when tragedy strikes, the family flies apart and baseball no longer seems to matter. Is that true? Peter wonders if just maybe the game they love can pull them together and bring them back, safe at home.
Vietnamese Children’s Favorite Stories by Phuoc Thi Minh Tran illus by Nguyen Dong, THi Hop Nguyen and Dong Nguyen; Tundra. (ages 6-12)
Vietnamese Children’s Favorite Stories, is a charming collection of fifteen tales as told by prominent storyteller Tran Thi Minh Phuoc. In it, Tran—Minnesota’s first Vietnamese librarian and an active member of the Vietnamese-American community—recounts cherished folktales such as “The Story of Tam and Cam” (the Vietnamese version of Cinderella), “The Jade Rabbit,” and “The Legend of the Mai Flower.” With beautiful illustrations by veteran artists Nguyen Thi Hop and Nguyen Dong, children and adults alike will be enchanted by Tran’s English retellings. Stories in which integrity, hard work and a kind heart triumph over deception, laziness, and greed—as gods, peasants, kings and fools spring to life in legends of bravery and beauty, and fables about nature. (ages 5-14)
Chook Chook: Saving the Farm by Wai Chim; Unversity of Queensland Press. (ages 9-12)
The third book in the Chook Chook series set against the backdrop of rural China
It’s Chinese New Year, and for Mei and her family things are looking grim. It’s been another bad harvest and a disappointing year for their farm. And now, the government is building a major freeway that will rip right through their village and tear their little farm apart. One by one, Mei’s neighbors are convinced to sell their land and despite Ma’s and stepfather Jin’s best efforts to fight, it looks like their farm will be next. What can Mei and her beloved chickens, Little and Lo, do to save their farm and keep the family together? As the deadline for bulldozing draws near, villagers young and old will come to realize that it takes a village to save a farm. (ages 9-12)
The Way Home Looks Now by Sendy Wan-Long Shange; Scholastic. (ages 8-12)
From the award-winning author of THE GREAT WALL OF LUCY WU comes a beautifully written and poignant story of family and loss, healing and friendship, and the great American pastime, baseball.
Twelve-year-old Peter Lee and his family are baseball lovers, who bond over back lot games and talk of the Pittsburgh Pirates. But when tragedy strikes, the family flies apart and baseball no longer seems to matter. Is that true? Peter wonders if just maybe the game they love can pull them together and bring them back, safe at home.
The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey; Delacorte Press. (ages 12 and up)
For fans of Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones and Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone, The Girl at Midnight is the story of a modern girl caught in an ancient war.
Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she’s ever known.
Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she’s fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act.
Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, though if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it’s how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.
But some jobs aren’t as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.
Rogue (Talon Saga) by Julie Kagawa; Harlequin Teen. (ages 12 and up)
Ember Hill left the dragon organization Talon to take her chances with rebel dragon Cobalt and his crew of rogues. But Ember can’t forget the sacrifice made for her by the human boy who could have killed her—Garret Xavier Sebastian, a soldier of the dragonslaying Order of St. George, the boy who saved her from a Talon assassin, knowing that by doing so, he’d signed his own death warrant.
Determined to save Garret from execution, Ember must convince Cobalt to help her break into the Order’s headquarters. With assassins after them and Ember’s own brother helping Talon with the hunt, the rogues find an unexpected ally in Garret and a new perspective on the underground battle between Talon and St. George. A reckoning is brewing and the secrets hidden by both sides are shocking and deadly. Soon Ember must decide: Should she retreat to fight another day…or start an all-out war?