Courage by B. A. Binns (HarperCollins)
T’Shawn has worked hard to get his family’s life back on track after his father died. But as things are returning to normal, his world is suddenly turned upside down when his older brother, Lamont, returns from prison. T puts his frustrations into his diving practice — especially when he gets a scholarship to join a prestigious diving team at the local private swim club. But when crimes start increasing in the neighborhood and Lamont is the prime suspect, T’Shawn begins to question the hope that he and Lamont can put the broken pieces of their damaged relationship back together.
Lovely Dark and Deep by Justina Chen (Arthur A. Levine Books) ages 12 and up
Viola Li returns from a trip, she develops a sudden and extreme case of photosensitivity — an inexplicable allergy to sunlight. Thanks to her crisis-manager parents, she doesn’t just have to wear layers of clothes and spaceship-sized hat. She has to avoid all hint of light. Say goodbye to windows and running outdoors. Even her phone becomes a threat. Viola is determined to maintain a normal life, particularly after she meets Josh. He’s a funny, talented Thor look-alike with his own mysterious grief. But their romance makes her take more risks, and when a rebellion against her parents backfires dangerously, she must find her way to a life — and love — as deep and lovely as her dreams.
My Family Divided : One Girls Journey of Home, Loss, and Hope by Diane Guerrero and Erica Moroz (Henry Holt and Co) ages 10-14
Before landing a spot on the megahit Netflix show Orange is the New Black; before wow-ing audiences as Lina on Jane the Virgin; and before her incredible activism and work on immigration reform, Diane Guerrero was a young girl living in Boston. One day, while Guerrero was at school, her undocumented immigrant parents were taken from their home, detained, and deported. Guerrero’s life, which had been full of the support of a loving family, was turned upside down.
Reflective of the experiences of millions of undocumented immigrant families in the United States, Guerrero’s story is at once heartbreaking and hopeful.
My Year In the Middle by Lila Quintero Weave (Candlewick)
Sixth-grader Lu Olivera just wants to keep her head down and get along with everyone in her class. Trouble is, Lu’s old friends have been changing lately — acting boy crazy and making snide remarks about Lu’s newfound talent for running track. Lu’s secret hope for a new friend is fellow runner Belinda Gresham, but in 1970 Red Grove, Alabama, blacks and whites don’t mix. As segregationist ex-governor George Wallace ramps up his campaign against the current governor, Albert Brewer, growing tensions in the state — and in the classroom — mean that Lu can’t stay neutral about the racial divide at school. Will she find the gumption to stand up for what’s right and to choose friends who do the same?
Night of the Zombie Zookeeper (Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol) by Andres Miedoso and Victor Rivas
For this case, we’re off to the zoo! Zoo field trips are the best. You get to ride in a bus, you get to spend the day outside, and all the animals are safely far away in their enclosures. Nothing scary here, right? Wrong! Leave it to Desmond Cole to find the one zookeeper who’s also a zombie.
Wrong in All the Right Ways by Tiffany Brownlee (Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt) DEBUT AUTHOR
Sixteen-year-old high school senior Emma’s life is transformed by Dylan, her new foster brother, but she finds herself torn between romantic and familial feelings in a tale reminiscent of Wuther Heights.