Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu (Random House)
The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list … Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.
Black Girl Magic by Mahogany L. Brown and Jess X. Snow (Roaring Brook Press)
Much of what twenty-first century culture tells black girls is not pretty: Don’t wear this; don’t smile at that. Don’t have an opinion; don’t dream big. And most of all, don’t love yourself. In response to such destructive ideas, internationally recognized poet Mahogany Browne challenges the conditioning of society by crafting an anthem of strength and magic undeniable in its bloom for all beautiful Black girls. She has travelled the world sharing her vision of Black Girl Magic, and now in collaboration with artist Jess X. Snow, presents her acclaimed tribute in a visual form.
Black Panther the Young Prince by Ronald L. Smith (Disney)
Black Panther. Ruler of Wakanda. Avenger. This is his destiny. But right now, he’s simply T’Challa-the young prince.
Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz with Renée Watson (Farrar Straus and Giroux) ages 8-12
Raised by her aunt until she is six, Betty, who will later marry Malcolm X, joins her mother and stepfamily in 1940s Detroit, where she learns about the civil rights movement.
Chainbreaker (Timekeeper #2) by Tara Sim (Sky Pony Press)
Clock mechanic Danny Hart knows he’s being watched. But by whom, or what, remains a mystery. To make matters worse, clock towers have begun falling in India, though time hasn’t Stopped yet. He’d hoped after reuniting with his father and exploring his relationship with Colton, he’d have some time to settle into his new life. Instead, he’s asked to investigate the attacks.
After inspecting some of the fallen Indian towers, he realizes the British occupation may be sparking more than just attacks. And as Danny and Colton unravel more secrets about their past, they find themselves on a dark and dangerous path―one from which they may never return.
Escape From Aleppo by N. H. Senzai (Simon and Shuster) ages 8-12
After Nadia is separated from her family while fleeing the civil war, she spends the next four days with a mysterious old man who helps her navigate the checkpoints and snipers of the rebel, ISIS, and Syrian armies that are littering Aleppo on her way to meeting her father at the Turkish border.
Facing Frederick: The Life of Frederick Douglass, A Monumental American Man by Tonya Bolden (Abrams) ages 10-14
Frederick Douglass (1818 1895) is best known for the telling of his own emancipation. But there is much more to Douglass s story than his time spent enslaved and his famous autobiography. Facing Frederick captures the whole complicated, and at times perplexing, person that he was. Statesman, suffragist, writer, and newspaperman, this book focuses on Douglass the man rather than the historical icon.
A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 by Claire Hartfield (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) ages 12 and up
Examines the events and forces leading up to 1919 race riots in Chicago.
Harley Quinn at Super Hero High by Lisa Yee (Random House)
Harley Quinn loves fighting crime with her classmates like Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and Supergirl, but she always does it her with own madcap style–and a big mallet! It’s no surprise that Harley can’t resist getting involved with an upcoming inter-school battle of the bands and a fantastic cosmic carnival that appears only once a year–and this year, it’s coming to Earth! But as things get stranger, Harley knows how to get to the bottom of a mystery–and deliver a great punch line while doing it.
The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis (Scholastic) Ages 8-12
When his poor sharecropper father is killed in an accident and leaves the family in debt, twelve-year-old Little Charlie agrees to accompany fearsome plantation overseer Cap’n Buck north in pursuit of people who have stolen from him; Cap’n Buck tells Little Charlie that his father’s debt will be cleared when the fugitives are captured, which seems like a good deal until Little Charlie comes face-to-face with the people he is chasing.
King Geordi the Great by Gene Gant (Harmony Ink Press)
Growing up means overcoming obstacles: facing reality even when it hurts, being brave enough to stand up for yourself, and being your own man even when going along with others’ expectations is easier.
Geordi is learning these lessons the hard way when his overbearing but well-meaning parents out him before he’s ready. It leads to a declaration of love from Geordi’s best friend Toff–a love that isn’t reciprocated. But with a neglectful father at home, Toff is already struggling, and Geordi can’t bear to break his heart, so he goes along with the romance–until things move to the next level and it’s too hard to live the lie. Geordi must take a long hard look at his life and face some truths that would be easier to avoid, because a disastrous event will mean his friends Toff and Jess need someone to lean on like never before. For Geordi to be that person, he must figure out how to be true to himself.
A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi (Philomel Books) ages 12 and up.
After their home in Syria is bombed, Tareq, his father, and his younger sister seek refuge, first with extended family in Raqqa, a stronghold for the militant group, Daesh, and then abroad.
Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann (Swoon Reads) ages 13-18 Debut Author
Alice had her whole summer planned. Nonstop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting—working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating—no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison (Little Brown and Co.) ages 8-12 Debut Author
Based on her popular Instagram posts, debut author/illustrator Vashti Harrison shares the stories of 40 bold African American women who shaped history.
Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed (Soho Teen) ages 12-18 Debut Author
Maya Aziz, seventeen, is caught between her India-born parents world of college and marrying a suitable Muslim boy and her dream world of film school and dating her classmate, Phil, when a terrorist attack changes her life forever.
Love Sugar Magic : A Dash of Trouble by
Leonora Logroño’s family owns the most beloved bakery in Rose Hill, Texas, spending their days conjuring delicious cookies and cakes for any occasion. And no occasion is more important than the annual Dia de los Muertos festival.
Leo hopes that this might be the year that she gets to help prepare for the big celebration—but, once again, she is told she’s too young. Sneaking out of school and down to the bakery, she discovers that her mother, aunt, and four older sisters have in fact been keeping a big secret: they’re brujas—witches of Mexican ancestry—who pour a little bit of sweet magic into everything that they bake. Leo knows that she has magical ability as well and is more determined than ever to join the family business—even if she can’t let her mama and hermanas know about it yet. And, when her best friend, Caroline, has a problem that needs solving, Leo has the perfect opportunity to try out her craft. It’s just one little spell, after all…what could possibly go wrong?
March Forward, Girl: From Young Warrior to Little Rock Nine by Melba Pattillo Beals (HMH Books) ages 10-12.
Long before she was one of the Little Rock Nine, Melba Pattillo Beals was a warrior. Frustrated by the laws that kept African-Americans separate but very much unequal to whites, she had questions. Why couldn’t she drink from a “whites only” fountain? Why couldn’t she feel safe beyond home—or even within the walls of church? Adults all told her: Hold your tongue. Be patient. Know your place. But Beals had the heart of a fighter—and the knowledge that her true place was a free one.
Markswoman by Rati Mehrotra (HarperVoyager)
Kyra is the youngest Markswoman in the Order of Kali, one of a handful of sisterhoods of highly trained elite warriors. Armed with blades whose metal is imbued with magic and guided by a strict code of conduct, the Orders are sworn to keep the peace and protect the people of Asiana. Kyra has pledged to do so—yet she secretly harbors a fierce desire to avenge her murdered family. But to be a Markswoman means disconnecting from one’s past completely.
Marley Dias Gets it Done (and so can you!) by Marley Dias and Siobán McGowan. (Scholastic) Debut Author
In this accessible “keep-it-real” guide, Marley explores activism, social justice, volunteerism, equity and inclusion, and using social media for good. Drawing from her experience, Marley shows kids how they can galvanize their strengths to make positive changes in their communities, while getting support from parents, teachers, and friends to turn dreams into reality.
A Sky Full of Stars by Linda Williams Jackson. (HMH Books) ages 10-12.
After the murder of Emmett Till, thirteen-year-old Rose is struggling with her decision to stay in Mississippi. Torn between the opinions of Shorty, a boy who wants to meet violence with violence, and Hallelujah, her best friend who believes in the power of peaceful protests, Rose is scared of the mounting racial tension and is starting to lose hope. But when Rose helps Aunt Ruthie start her own business, she begins to see how she can make a difference in her community. Life might be easier in the North, but Mississippi is home and that’s worth fighting for. Mid-Century Mississippi comes alive in this sequel to Midnight Without a Moon.
Someone to Love by Melissa de la Cruz (HarlequinTeen).
Constantly in the spotlight thanks to her politician father’s rising star, Olivia Blakely feels the pressure to be perfect. As the youngest girl in her class, she tries hard to keep up and to seem mature to the older boy she’s crushing on, even as she catches his eye. But the need to look good on camera and at school soon grows into an all-consuming struggle with bulimia.
As Liv works toward her goal of gaining early admission to art school, including taking part in an upcoming student show, her life spirals out of control. Swept up in demands to do more than she’s ready for, to always look perfect and to succeed, Liv doesn’t know who she is anymore. It will take nearly losing her best friend and even her life for Liv to learn that loving herself is far more important than earning the world’s approval.
Stella Diaz Has Something to Say by Angela Dominguez (Roarking Brook Press) Ages 7-10
Introducing Stella D az, a sweet new young middle-grade character who will win your heart! When a new boy named Stanley arrives in Stella’s class, she really wants to be his friend, but sometimes Stella accidentally speaks Spanish instead of English and pronounces words wrong, which makes her turn roja. Plus, she has to speak in front of her whole class for a big presentation at school! But she better get over her fears soon, because Stella Diaz has something to say!
Stormspeaker (Spirit Animals: Fall of the Beasts #7) by Christina Diaz Gonzalez (Scholastic)
The four heroes of Erdas are fugitives on the run in this new chapter of the New York Times best-selling series!
Shadowsong (Wintersong) by S. Jae-Jones (Wednesday Books) Ages 12-18
Six months after the end of Wintersong, Liesl is working toward furthering both her brother’s and her own musical careers. Although she is determined to look forward and not behind, life in the world above is not as easy as Liesl had hoped. Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.
When troubling signs arise that the barrier between worlds is crumbling, Liesl must return to the Underground to unravel the mystery of life, death, and the Goblin King―who he was, who he is, and who he will be. What will it take to break the old laws once and for all? What is the true meaning of sacrifice when the fate of the world―or the ones Liesl loves―is in her hands?
Martin Rising: Requiem for a King by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney (Scholastic) Ages 8-12
In a rich embroidery of visions, musical cadence, and deep emotion, Andrea and Brian Pinkney convey the final months of Martin Luther King’s life — and of his assassination — through metaphor, spirituality, and multilayers of meaning.
For Everyone by Jason Reynolds (Antheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books) Ages 12 and up
Originally performed at the Kennedy Center for the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and later as a tribute to Walter Dean Myers, this stirring and inspirational poem is New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist Jason Reynolds’s rallying cry to the dreamers of the world. Jump Anyway is for kids who dream. Kids who dream of being better than they are. Kids who dream of doing.
The Middle Passage by Tom Feelings (Dial) ages 12 and up
[reprint] Alex Haley’s Roots awakened many Americans to the cruelty of slavery. The Middle Passage focuses attention on the torturous journey which brought slaves from Africa to the Americas, allowing readers to bear witness to the sufferings of an entire people.
American Panda by Gloria Chao (Simon Pulse) ages 12-18 Debut Author
A freshman at MIT, seventeen-year-old Mei Lu tries to live up to her Taiwanese parents’ expectations, but no amount of tradition, obligation, or guilt prevent her from hiding several truths–that she is a germaphobe who cannot become a doctor, she prefers dancing to biology, she decides to reconnect with her estranged older brother, and she is dating a Japanese boy.
Beautiful Broken Hearts by Kami Garcia (Imprint)
Before, Peyton was a star soccer player with the perfect boyfriend, Reed. Now, she has a torn knee ligament, a scholarship on the line, and a shattered sense of self. No one believes Reed pushed her, causing her injury, and Peyton just wants to leave the trauma behind. Living with her uncle and twin cousins in their small, football-obsessed town seems like a great escape plan.
There, Peyton meets Owen—high school classmate and local MMA fighter. Though Owen is charming and gentle, Peyton is determined to repress her growing attraction. But when her old and new life collide, Peyton must reclaim the truth of her past in order to save her future.
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton (Freeform) ages 12-18
Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orleans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orleans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful. But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite, the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orleans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land.
But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie, that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision. With the future of Orleans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide: save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles, or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.
Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes (Penguin). ages 12 and up
A group of nine high school students grow in understanding of each other’s challenges and forge unexpected connections as they prepare for a boys vs. girls poetry slam. Includes author’s note about foster home care.
Bingo Love by Tee Franklin, Jenn St Onge and Joy San (Image Comics) GN
When Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray met at church bingo in 1963, it was love at first sight. Forced apart by their families and society, Hazel and Mari both married young men and had families. Decades later, now in their mid-’60s, Hazel and Mari reunite again at a church bingo hall. Realizing their love for each other is still alive, what these grandmothers do next takes absolute strength and courage.
Blood of a Thousand Stars by Rhoda Belleza (Razorbill) ages 12-18
Vicious politics and high-stakes action culminate in an epic showdown that will determine the fate of the universe.
Checked by Cynthia Kadohata (Ahtaneum)
To help his dog through cancer treatment, Conor gives up hockey and finds himself considering who he is without the sport that has defined him, and connecting more with his family and best friend.
The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary by Nonieqa Ramos (Carolrhoda Lab) Debut Author
Macy’s school officially classifies her as “disturbed,” but Macy isn’t interested in how others define her. She’s got more pressing problems: her mom can’t move off the couch, her dad’s in prison, her brother’s been kidnapped by Child Protective Services, and now her best friend isn’t speaking to her. Writing in a dictionary format, Macy explains the world in her own termscomplete with gritty characters and outrageous endeavors. With an honesty that’s both hilarious and fearsome, slowly Macy reveals why she acts out, why she can’t tell her incarcerated father that her mom’s cheating on him, and why her best friend needs protection . . . the kind of protection that involves Macy’s machete.
Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi (Viking Press) Debut Author
Scott Ferdowsi has a track record of quitting. His best friends know exactly what they want to do with the rest of their lives, but Scott can hardly commit to a breakfast cereal, let alone a passion. With college applications looming and his parents pushing him to settle on a “practical” career, Scott sneaks off to Washington, DC, seeking guidance from a famous psychologist who claims to know the secret to success.
He never expects an adventure to unfold. But that’s what Scott gets when he meets Fiora Buchanan, a ballsy college student whose life ambition is to write crossword puzzles. When the bicycle she lends him gets Scott into a high-speed chase, he knows he’s in for the ride of his life. Soon, Scott finds himself sneaking into bars, attempting to pick up girls at the National Zoo, and even giving the crossword thing a try—all while opening his eyes to fundamental truths about who he is and who he wants to be.
A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena (Farrar, Straus, Giroux) Debut Author
In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, sixteen-year-old half-Hindu/half-Parsi Zarin Wadia is the class troublemaker and top subject for the school rumor blogs, regularly leaving class to smoke cigarettes in cars with boys, but she also desperately wants to grow up and move out of her aunt and uncle’s house, perhaps realizing too late that Porus, another non-Muslim Indian who risks deportation but remains devoted to Zarin, could help her escape.
The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore by Kim Fu (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
A group of young girls descend on Camp Forevermore, a sleepaway camp in the Pacific Northwest, where their days are filled with swimming lessons, friendship bracelets, and camp songs by the fire. Filled with excitement and nervous energy, they set off on an overnight kayaking trip to a nearby island. But before the night is over, they find themselves stranded, with no adults to help them survive or guide them home.
The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore traces these five girls—Nita, Kayla, Isabel, Dina, and Siobhan—through and beyond this fateful trip. We see them through successes and failures, loving relationships and heartbreaks; we see what it means to find, and define, oneself, and the ways in which the same experience is refracted through different people. In diamond-sharp prose, Kim Fu gives us a portrait of friendship and of the families we build for ourselves—and the pasts we can’t escape.
March: 30 Postcards to Make Change and Good Trouble Card Book by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell (Chronicle Books)
Showcasing the words and artwork of the March trilogy and featuring a special essay by Andrew Aydin on the power of written engagement, this book of postcards invites civic involvement, whether in support, action, or protest.
Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda (Feiwel and Friends)
Set against a future of marauding space scavengers and deadly aliens who kill with sound, here is a frightening, fast-paced YA adventure from the author of the acclaimed horror novel, Shutter. Tuck has been in stasis on the USS John Muir, a ship that houses Earth’s most valued artifacts—its natural resources. Parks and mountains are preserved in space.
#Prettyboy Must Die by Kimberly Reid (Tor Books)
When Peter Smith’s classmate snaps a picture of him during a late night run at the track, Peter thinks he might be in trouble. When she posts that photo–along with the caption, “See the Pretty Boy Run,”–Peter knows he’s in trouble. But when hostiles drop through the ceiling of his 6th period Chem Class, Peter’s pretty sure his trouble just became a national emergency.
Because he’s not really Peter Smith. He’s Jake Morrow, former foster-kid turned CIA operative. After a massive screw-up on his first mission, he’s on a pity assignment, a dozen hit lists and now, social media, apparently. As #Prettboy, of all freaking things. His cover’s blown, his school’s under siege, and if he screws up now, #Prettyboy will become #Deadboy faster than you can say, ‘fifteen minutes of fame.’ Trapped in a high school with rabid killers and rabid fans, he’ll need all his training and then some to save his job, his school and, oh yeah, his life.
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang (First Second) GN
Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy by Tony Medina (Penny Candy) ages 8-12
A fresh perspective of young men of color depicting thirteen views of everyday life: young boys dressed in their Sunday best, running to catch a bus, and growing up to be teachers, and much more. Each of Tony Medina’s tanka is matched with a different artist including recent Caldecott and Coretta Scott King Award recipients.
Voices in the Air : Poems for Listeners by Naomi Shihab Nye (Greenwillow) ages 13 and up
Ninety-five poems pay tribute to essential voices past and present that have the power to provoke us, lead us, and give us hope.
Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson (Soho Press)
A spare, lyrical Native American coming of age story set in rural Oklahoma in the late 1980s. With his single mother in jail, Sequoyah, a fifteen-year-old Cherokee boy, is placed in foster care with the Troutt family. Literally and figuratively scarred by his unstable upbringing, Sequoyah has spent years mostly keeping to himself, living with his emotions pressed deep below the surface–that is, until he meets the seventeen-year-old Rosemary, another youth staying with the Troutts. Sequoyah and Rosemary bond over their shared Native American backgrounds and tumultuous paths through the foster care system, but as Sequoyah’s feelings toward Rosemary deepen, the precariousness of their lives and the scars of their pasts threaten to undo them both.
After the Shot Drops by Randy Ribay (HMH) ages 12-18 Debut Author
Told from alternating perspectives, Bunny takes a basketball scholarship to an elite private school to help his family, leaving behind Nasir, his best friend, in their tough Philadelphia neighborhood.
Along the Indigo by Elsie Chapman (Amulet Books)
Marsden yearns to take her sister and escape Glory, a town famous for seedy businesses and suicides, but her friendship with Jude yields secrets that may chain them to the Indigo River forever.
Americanized: Rebel Without A Green Card by Sara Saedi (Knopf) ages 12-18
In San Jose, California, in the 1990s, teenaged Sara keeps a diary of life as an Iranian American and her discovery that she and her family entered as undocumented immigrants.
A Name Earned (Pathfinders) by Tim Tingle (7th Generation Press) ages 11-15
As the basketball playoffs draw near, Chocktaw teen Bobby Byington shares the legend of No Name with his teammates, who are dealing with family problems all too familiar to him.
Aru Shah and the End of Time (APandava Novel Book 1) by Roshani Chokshi (Rick Riordan Presents/Disney)
Best-selling author Rick Riordan introduces this adventure by Roshani Chokshi about twelve-year-old Aru Shah, who has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her classmates are jetting off to family vacations in exotic locales, she’ll be spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, waiting for her mom to return from her latest archeological trip. Is it any wonder that Aru makes up stories about being royalty, traveling to Paris, and having a chauffeur?
One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru’s doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don’t believe her claim that the museum’s Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. Then she can get herself out of this mess and never ever fib again.
The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan (Little Brown and Co) Debut Author
After her mother’s suicide, grief-stricken Leigh Sanders travels to Taiwan to stay with grandparents she never met, determined to find her mother who she believes turned into a bird.
The Beauty that Remains by Ashley Woodfolk (Pisces Books) Debut Author
Music brought Autumn, Shay, and Logan together. Death might pull them apart.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt) Debut Author
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.
Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers―and her growing feelings for an enemy.
Damselfly by Chandra Prasad (Scholastic) ages 12-17 YA Debut
Indian-American teenager Samantha Mishra, her best friend Mel Sharpe, and the other members of the Drake Rosemont Academy fencing team are on their way to Tokyo when their plane crashes on a jungle-choked island, so while they hope for rescue, the teens will need to use all their ingenuity to survive the jungle, the old man who is stalking them–and each other.
Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi (Simon and Schuster) YA Debut
When Sam and Penny cross paths it s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch via text and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.
The Final Six by Alexandra Monir (HarperTeen)
When Leo and Naomi are drafted, along with twenty-two of the world’s brightest teenagers, into the International Space Training Camp, their lives are forever changed. Overnight, they become global celebrities in contention for one of the six slots to travel to Europa—Jupiter’s moon—and establish a new colony, leaving their planet forever. With Earth irreparably damaged, the future of the human race rests on their shoulders.
For Leo, an Italian championship swimmer, this kind of purpose is a reason to go on after losing his family. But Naomi, an Iranian-American science genius, is suspicious of the ISTC and the fact that a similar mission failed under mysterious circumstances, killing the astronauts onboard. She fears something equally sinister awaiting the Final Six beneath Europa’s surface.
In this cutthroat atmosphere, surrounded by strangers from around the world, Naomi finds an unexpected friend in Leo. As the training tests their limits, Naomi and Leo’s relationship deepens with each life-altering experience they encounter. But it’s only when the finalists become fewer and their destinies grow nearer that the two can fathom the full weight of everything at stake: the world, the stars, and their lives.
Fire Song by Adam Garnett Jones (Annick Press) Debut Author
How can Shane reconcile his feelings for David with his desire for a better life? Shane is still reeling from the suicide of his kid sister, Destiny. How could he have missed the fact that she was so sad? He tries to share his grief with his girlfriend, Tara, but she’s too concerned with her own needs to offer him much comfort. What he really wants is to be able to turn to the one person on the rez whom he loves―his friend, David. Things go from bad to worse as Shane’s dream of going to university is shattered and his grieving mother withdraws from the world. Worst of all, he and David have to hide their relationship from everyone. Shane feels that his only chance of a better life is moving to Toronto, but David refuses to join him. When yet another tragedy strikes, the two boys have to make difficult choices about their future together. With deep insight into the life of Indigenous people on the reserve, this book masterfully portrays how a community looks to the past for guidance and comfort while fearing a future of poverty and shame. Shane’s rocky road to finding himself takes many twists and turns, but ultimately ends with him on a path that doesn’t always offer easy answers, but one that leaves the reader optimistic about his fate.
Heart Forger (The Bone Witch) by Rin Chepeco (Sourcebook Fire)
Armed with the ability to tame and control the monstrous daeva, Tea enacts her revenge against the royals who wronged her, but she is hampered by her disapproving brother and pursued by enemies wishing to use her dark magic for themselves.
Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender (Scholastic) ages 8-12 Debut Author
Born on Water Island in the Virgin Islands during a hurricane, which is considered bad luck, twelve-year-old Caroline falls in love with another girl–and together they set out in a hurricane to find Caroline’s missing mother.
Jabberwalking by Juan Felipe Herrera (Candlewick Press)
Can you walk and talk at the same time? How about Jabberwalk? Can you write and draw and walk and journal all at the same time? If not, you re in luck: exuberant, blue-cheesy cilantro man Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate of the United States, is here to teach you everything he knows about being a real-life, bonified, Jabberwalking poet!
Kick It Off (Sci-Fu Book 1) by Yehudi Mercado. (Oni Press) ages 9-12 COMIC
1980s Brooklyn and Wax, a young mix-master who scratches the perfect beat and accidentally summons a UFO that transports his family, best friend, and current crush to the robot-dominated planet of Discopia. Now Wax and his crew must master the intergalactic musical martial art of Sci-Fu to fight the power and save Earth. Word to your mother.
Lies That Bind by Diana Rodriguez Wallach (Entangled Teen)
What if saving yourself meant destroying everyone you love? Still reeling from everything she learned while searching for her sister in Italy, Anastasia Phoenix is ready to call it quits with spies. Then she and her friends learn that Marcus s her kinda boyfriend brother, Antonio, has also gone missing.
Like Vanessa by Tami Charles and Vanessa Brantley-Newton (Charlesbridge)
In this semi-autobiographical debut novel set in 1983, Vanessa Martin’s real-life reality of living with family in public housing in Newark, New Jersey is a far cry from the glamorous Miss America stage. She struggles with an incarcerated mother she barely remembers, a grandfather dealing with addiction and her own battle with self-confidence. But when a new teacher at school coordinates a beauty pageant and convinces Vanessa to enter, Vanessa’s view of her own world begins to change. Vanessa discovers that her own self-worth is more than the scores of her talent performance and her interview answers, and that she doesn’t need a crown to be comfortable in her own skin and see her own true beauty.
Live in Infamy by Caroline Tung Richmond. (Scholastic) ages 13-17
It has been eighty years since the Axis won World War II, and America was divided between the victors: the Nazis in the East and Imperial Japan in the West; but now resistance is growing in the Eastern territories and sixteen-year-old Chinese American Ren Cabot, who has every reason to hate the Japanese who executed his mother, finds himself drawn into a resistance group and confronted with choices that could lead to freedom–or death.
Me, Frida and the Secret of the Peacock Ring by Angela Cervantes. (Scholastic) Ages 8-12
When Lizzie and Gael share an irresistible challenge, to find the peacock ring that once belonged to artist Frida Kahlo, Paloma decides it is the perfect way to honor her father.
A Name Earned by Tim Tingle (Seventh Generation Books)
Since his father gave up drinking, basketball star Bobby Byington’s life is finally on track, but he wishes he could say the same for his girlfriend and a fellow teammate.
The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani (Dial) ages 8-12
It’s 1947, and India, newly independent of British rule, has been separated into two countries: Pakistan and India. The divide has created much tension between Hindus and Muslims, and hundreds of thousands are killed crossing borders.
Half-Muslim, half-Hindu twelve-year-old Nisha doesn’t know where she belongs, or what her country is anymore. When Papa decides it’s too dangerous to stay in what is now Pakistan, Nisha and her family become refugees and embark first by train but later on foot to reach her new home. The journey is long, difficult, and dangerous, and after losing her mother as a baby, Nisha can’t imagine losing her homeland, too. But even if her country has been ripped apart, Nisha still believes in the possibility of putting herself back together. Told through Nisha’s letters to her mother, The Night Diary is a heartfelt story of one girl’s search for home, for her own identity…and for a hopeful future.
The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson (Scholastic) ages 8-12
Twelve-year-old Candice Miller is spending the summer in Lambert, South Carolina, in the old house that belonged to her grandmother, who died after being dismissed as city manager for having the city tennis courts dug up looking for buried treasure–but when she finds the letter that sent her grandmother on the treasure hunt, she finds herself caught up in the mystery and, with the help of her new friend and fellow book-worm, Brandon, she sets out to find the inheritance, exonerate her grandmother, and expose an injustice once committed against an African American family in Lambert.
The Parking Lot Attendant by Nafkote Tamirat (Henry Holt and Co) Debut Author
A haunting story of fatherhood, national identity, and what it means to be an immigrant in America today, Nafkote Tamirat’s The Parking Lot Attendant explores how who we love, the choices we make, and the places we’re from combine to make us who we are.
The story begins on an undisclosed island where the unnamed narrator and her father are the two newest and least liked members of a commune that has taken up residence there. Though the commune was built on utopian principles, it quickly becomes clear that life here is not as harmonious as the founders intended. After immersing us in life on the island, our young heroine takes us back to Boston to recount the events that brought her here. Though she and her father belong to a wide Ethiopian network in the city, they mostly keep to themselves, which is how her father prefers it.
This detached existence only makes Ayale’s arrival on the scene more intoxicating. The unofficial king of Boston’s Ethiopian community, Ayale is a born hustler―when he turns his attention to the narrator, she feels seen for the first time. Ostensibly a parking lot attendant, Ayale soon proves to have other projects in the works, which the narrator becomes more and more entangled in to her father’s growing dismay. By the time the scope of Ayale’s schemes―and their repercussions―become apparent, our narrator has unwittingly become complicit in something much bigger and darker than she ever imagined.
Potions and Paraments (Secret Coders) by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes. (First Second) ages 8-12
Dr. One-Zero won’t stop until the whole town–no, the whole world–embraces the “true happiness” found in his poisonous potion, Green Pop. And now that he has the Turtle of Light, he’s virtually unstoppable. There’s one weapon that can defeat him: another Turtle of Light. Unfortunately, they can only be found in another dimension! To open a portal to this new world, Hopper, Eni, and Josh’s coding skills will be put to the test.
Puerto Rico Strong by Vita Ayala, Hazel Newlevant and Desiree Rodriguez (Lion Forge)
Puerto Rico Strong is a comics anthology that explores what it means to be Puerto Rican and the diversity that exists within that concept, from today’s most exciting Puerto Rican comics creators. All proceeds go to UNIDOS Disaster Relief & Recovery Program to Support Puerto Rico. Despite being a US territory, Puerto Rico is often thought of as a foreign land, if it’s even a thought in the mind of the average American at all. Its people exist in all corners of America; some of them have parents who immigrated from the home island, others are a part of families that have been on the mainland for generations. Then there are those who have come to the states in search of a dream but struggle to integrate into an unfamiliar culture, while there are those who have lived in the United States all of their lives but still have the same struggle because of the color of their skin or their sexual identity. These stories follow individuals from diverse walks of life but are all part of the culture that is Puerto Rico.Puerto Rico Strong features art and writing by Rosa Colon, Vita Ayala, Naomi Franquiz, Javier Cruz Winnick, Sabrina Cintron, Ronnie Garcia, Fabian Nicieza, Joamette Gil, and many more!
The Place Between Breaths by An Na (Atheneum)
Grace, sixteen, fears that she will succumb to the schizophrenia that took her mother away, while she and her father work for a genetics lab rushing to find a cure.
Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert (Disney Hyperion) ages 12-18
Daniel, a Chinese-American teen, must grapple with his plans for the future, his feelings for his best friend Harry, and his discovery of a family secret that could shatter everything.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (HarperTeen) ages 12-18 Debut Author
Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.
Restore Me (Shatter Me #4) by Tahereh Mafi (HarperCollins) ages 12-18
Juliette and Warner’s story continues in the electrifying fourth installment of Tahereh Mafi’s New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series.
Juliette Ferrars thought she’d won. She took over Sector 45, was named the new Supreme Commander of North America, and now has Warner by her side. But when tragedy strikes, she must confront the darkness that dwells both around and inside her. Who will she become in the face of adversity? Will she be able to control the power she wields, and use it for good?
The Science of Breakable Things by Tae Keller (Random House) Debut Author
An extraordinary debut about the coming-of-age moment when kids realize that parents are people, too, and that talking about problems is like taking a plant out of a dark cupboard and giving it light.
Sxi-Fu by Yehudi Mercado (Oni Press)
Hip-hop, sci-fi and kung fu all hit the turntables for the mash-up mix of the year! Cartoonist/force of nature Yehudi Mercado (Pantalones, TX, Rocket Salvage) sets his sights on 1980s Brooklyn and Wax, a young mix-master who scratches the perfect beat and accidentally summons a UFO that transports his family, best friend, and current crush to the robot-dominated planet of Discopia. Now Wax and his crew must master the intergalactic musical martial art of Sci-Fu to fight the power and save Earth. Word to your mother.
The Sky At Our Feet by Nadia Hashimi (Harper Collins)
Jason has just learned that his Afghan mother has been living illegally in the United States since his father was killed in Afghanistan. Although Jason was born in the US, it’s hard to feel American now when he’s terrified that his mother will be discovered—and that they will be separated. When he sees his mother being escorted from her workplace by two officers, Jason feels completely alone. He boards a train with the hope of finding his aunt in New York City, but as soon as he arrives in Penn Station, the bustling city makes him wonder if he’s overestimated what he can do.
After an accident lands him in the hospital, Jason finds an unlikely ally in a fellow patient. Max, a whip-smart girl who wants nothing more than to explore the world on her own terms, joins Jason in planning a daring escape out of the hospital and into the skyscraper jungle—even though they both know that no matter how big New York City is, they won’t be able to run forever.
The Stupendous Adventures of Might Marty Hayes by Lora L Hyler (Henschell HAUS Publishing) ages 8-12. DEBUT AUTHOR
The 7th graders of Windsor Middle School are excited to start the new school year in their Advanced Science classroom. They’ll work on CRISPR-Cas9, a new gene editing technology exciting students all over the world. Marty shares his love of science and all things spy-related with his best friend, Christopher, who witnesses incidents Marty can’t explain away. The two are soon testing Marty’s superpowers. What about their classmate, Aisha? Does she have a superpower? A stealth high-tech drone, piloted by international goons, constantly monitors the kids. They awaken the annoying school bully, Wade, to his own superpowers and convince him to steal the valuable CRISPR-Cas9 data. Marty, Christopher and Aisha band together to stop the theft at their beloved International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. Who will win?
Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles (Little Brown and Co) ages 12-18 Debut Author
When Marvin Johnson’s twin brother, Tyler, is shot and killed by a police officer, Marvin must fight injustice to learn the true meaning of freedom.
We Kiss them with Rain by Futhi Ntshingila (Catalyst Press) ages 12-18
Life wasn’t always hard for fourteen-year-old Mvelo. There were good times when they lived with her mother’s boyfriend. Now her mother is dying of AIDS and the terrible thing that happened to Mvelo in the revival tent remains unspoken. But a series of choices, chance meetings, and comedy-style exposures of hidden identities hands Mvelo a golden opportunity to overcome hardship.
When Paul Met Artie : The Story of Simon & Garfunkel by G. Neri and David Litchfield (Candlewick) ages 9-12
Long before they became one of the most beloved and successful duos of all time, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were just two kids growing up in Queens, New York — best friends who met in a sixth-grade production of Alice in Wonderland and bonded over girls, baseball, and rock’n’roll.
Curveball by Derek Jeter. (Simon and Schuster) ages 8-12
While spending the summer with his extended family in New Jersey, Derek finds a team he can play baseball with and earns money to take his best friend to a Yankees game.
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland. (HarperCollins) ages 12-18
At once provocative, terrifying, and darkly subversive, this is Justina Ireland’s stunning vision of an America both foreign and familiar, a country on the brink, at the explosive crossroads where race, humanity, and survival meet.
For Everyone by Jason Reynolds (Atheneum) ages 12-18
Originally performed at the Kennedy Center for the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and later as a tribute to Walter Dean Myers, this poem is a rallying cry to the dreams of the world.
Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Little, Brown and Co.) ages 8-12
After seventh-grader Jerome is shot by a white police officer, he observes the aftermath of his death and meets the ghosts of other fallen black boys including historical figure Emmett Till.
The Girl in the Broken Mirror by Savita Kalhan (Troika Books) ages 12-18
But the way her life is panning out she’s not sure it will ever reach that stage. Jay is an only child whose father died some years earlier. Her father believed that well educated girls could make successful independent lives. Now she has to move with her mother to her Aunt and Uncle’s house where her cousins live. Her aunt is a particular kind of Indian woman with super strict rules for girls and boys. Jay will be expected to have only Indian friends, if she has any at all. How can she see her school friends, Chloe and Matt?
But being forced to conform to conservative Indian customs and traditions is only the beginning of a nightmare for Jay. When her life implodes, how can she hide the shame and how will she find a way to keep going?
Inferno (Talon #5) by Julie Kagawa (HarperCollins)
What if dragons walked among us in human form? Enter a modern fantasy of heroes, sacrifice, forbidden love and enemies turned allies who have no choice but to fight side by side… Don’t miss the epic conclusion as Ember, Riley and Garrett face off against Dante and the Talon dragon clones. Join them…or burn.
Isle of Blood and Stone (Isle of Blood and Stone #1) by Makiia Lucier ( HMH)
Nineteen-year-old Elias is a royal explorer, a skilled mapmaker, and the new king of del Mar’s oldest friend. Soon he will embark on the adventure of a lifetime, an expedition past the Strait of Cain and into uncharted waters. Nothing stands in his way…until a long-ago tragedy creeps back into the light, threatening all he holds dear.
The people of St. John del Mar have never recovered from the loss of their boy princes, kidnapped eighteen years ago, both presumed dead. But when two maps surface, each bearing the same hidden riddle, troubling questions arise. What really happened to the young heirs? And why do the maps appear to be drawn by Lord Antoni, Elias’s father, who vanished on that same fateful day? With the king’s beautiful cousin by his side-whether he wants her there or not-Elias will race to solve the riddle of the princes. He will have to use his wits and guard his back. Because some truths are better left buried…and an unknown enemy stalks his every turn.
Lost Gods by Micah Yongo (Angry Robot Books/Penguin) Debut Author
Neythan is one of five adolescents trained and raised together by a mysterious brotherhood of assassins known as the Shedaím. When Neythan is framed for the murder of his closest friend, he pursues his betrayer, and in so doing learns there’s far more to the Brotherhood, and even the world itself than he’d ever thought possible.
The Lost Kids by Sara Saedi (Viking Books)
Just a few weeks ago, Wylie Dalton was living on a magical island where nobody ages past seventeen, and in love with Phinn, the island’s leader. Now, her home is a creaky old boat where she’s joined a ragtag group of cast-offs from the island, all dead-set on getting revenge on Phinn for betraying them. But when the Lost Kids invade Minor Island, they’re shocked to find it totally deserted, except for one survivor who reveals the shocking news: adults have discovered the island.
Love Double Dutch by Doreen Spicer-Dannelly (Random House) ages 8-12
Brooklyn middle-schooler MaKayla can only think about one thing–taking her double Dutch team all the way to the National Jump-off at Madison Square Garden. That is, until her mother breaks the news. Kayla has to spend the summer at her aunt’s house in North Carolina while her parents work out their problems . . . or decide to call it quits.
Kayla does not feel at home in the South, and she certainly doesn’t get along with her snooty cousin Sally. It looks like her Jump-off dreams are over. Hold the phone! Turns out, double Dutch is huge in the South. She and Sally just need to find two more kids for a team. And a routine. And the confidence to stand up to the double Dutch divas who used to be Sally’s BFFs. Time to show those Southern belles some Brooklyn attitude!
Peasprout Chen, Future Legend and Skate and Sword by Henry Lien (Henry Holt and Co.) ages 10-14
Welcome to Pearl Famous Academy of Skate and Sword, where the blades are sharp and the competition is fierce. Peasprout Chen dreams of becoming a legend of wu liu, the deadly and beautiful art of martial arts figure skating. As the first students from the rural country of Shin to attend Pearl Famous Academy of Skate and Sword, Peasprout and her little brother Cricket have some pretty big skates to fill. They soon find themselves in a heated competition for top ranking.
Tensions rise when the dazzling pearl buildings of the Academy are vandalized and outsider Peasprout is blamed for the attacks by her rivals … and even some friends. Now, she must uncover the true vandal to ensure peace between Shin and Pearl – all while becoming a champion.
Rebound by Kwame Alexander (HMH)
When 18-year-old Janell’s childhood-BFF-turned-rival, Alyssa, is hospitalized due to complications from diabetes, Janell sets their differences aside, defies the risks of racially mixed transplants, and volunteers as a donor. But the test results reveal that Janell is the only kidney donor match in the entire state – a fact that could save (or take) Alyssa’s life.
Running Through Sprinklers by Michelle Kim (Atheneum) ages 8-12 Debut Author
Sara and Nadine have been like two halves of the same person, but when Nadine skips a grade and begins high school first, Sara must discover who she is without Nadine.
The Secret of Purple Lake by Yaba Badoe and Bgolahan Adams (Cassava Republic) ages 9-12
The Secret of the Purple Lake is a collection of five interlinked stories that take us from Ghana to Orkney, and from Spain to Norway and Thailand. As a minor character from one story assumes a major role in the next, we meet a fascinating cast, including Imoro the magic elephant, the Walrus Prince, and the Wild Princesses of Rousay. The protagonist of the opening tale, The Fisherman’s Daughter, has to retrieve her dead father’s bones from the bottom of the sea, in order to bring harmony back to her seaside village. In fulfilling her task, she must evade the clutches of The Fish-man of the Purple Lake. The Fish-man, a monstrous creature with the body of a man and the head of a fish, was once a beautiful boy from the Sahel, and has his own story about how he became the Fish-man.
Sunny by Jason Reynolds (Atheneum)
Ghost. Patina. Sunny. Lu. 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. They all have a lot of lose, but they all have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves. Sunny is the main character in this novel, the third of four books in Jason Reynold’s electrifying middle grade series.
Ten Cents a Pound by Nhung Tran-Davies and illustrated by José Bisaillon (Second Story) Ages 9-11
A girl and her mother talk about leaving their small mountain village to go to school and hae the opportunity for more than a life of labor in the coffee trees.
Trouble Never Sleeps by Stephanie Tromly (Penguin) ages 8-12
Digby and Zoe have been skirting around each other for so long that you might think they’d lose their magic if they ever actually hooked up. But never fear–there’s all the acerbic wit, steamy chemistry, and sarcastic banter you could possibly hope for.
Now that Digby’s back in town he’s plunged Zoe (and their Scooby Gang of wealthy frenemy Sloane, nerd-tastic genius Felix, and aw-shucks-handsome Henry) back into the deep end on the hunt for his kidnapped sister. He’s got a lead, but it involves breaking into a secret government research facility, paying a drug dealer off with a Bentley, and possibly committing treason. The schemes might be over-the-top but this Breakfast Club cast is irresistibly real as they cope with regular high school stuff from social media shaming to dating your best friend, all with a twist no one will see coming.
You Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly (Greenwillow Books)
Funny and poignant, acclaimed author Erin Entrada Kelly’s You Go First is an engaging exploration of family, spelling, art, bullying, and the ever-complicated world of middle school friendships.
All of This is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor (HarperTeen)
In this gripping, genre-defying YA novel, four Long Island teens befriend a bestselling YA novelist, only to find their deepest, darkest secrets in the pages of her next book—with devastating consequences. Told as a series of interviews, journal entries, and even pages from the book within the book, this recounting of a fictional scandal is a total page-turner.
Allied (Ruined #3) by Amy Tintera (HarperTeen)
In the final book in the New York Times bestselling Ruined series, the romance of The Selection and the epic stakes of Red Queen come together in a story of revenge, adventure, and unexpected love.
Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed (Nancy Paulsen Books)
Life is quiet and ordinary in Amal’s Pakistani village, but she had no complaints, and besides, she’s busy pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher one day. Her dreams are temporarily dashed when–as the eldest daughter–she must stay home from school to take care of her siblings. Amal is upset, but she doesn’t lose hope and finds ways to continue learning. Then the unimaginable happens–after an accidental run-in with the son of her village’s corrupt landlord, Amal must work as his family’s servant to pay off her own family’s debt.
Life at the opulent Khan estate is full of heartbreak and struggle for Amal–especially when she inadvertently makes an enemy of a girl named Nabila. Most troubling, though, is Amal’s growing awareness of the Khans’ nefarious dealings. When it becomes clear just how far they will go to protect their interests, Amal realizes she will have to find a way to work with others if they are ever to exact change in a cruel status quo, and if Amal is ever to achieve her dreams.
Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro (Tor Teen)
Six years ago, Moss Jefferies’ father was murdered by an Oakland police officer. Along with losing a parent, the media’s vilification of his father and lack of accountability has left Moss with near-debilitating panic attacks.
Now in his junior year of high school, Moss and his fellow classmates find themselves increasingly treated like criminals their own school. New rules. Random locker searches. Constant intimidation and Oakland Police Department officers stationed in their halls. Despite their youth, the students decide to organize and push back against the administration. When tensions hit a fever pitch and tragedy strikes, Moss must face a difficult choice: give in to fear and hate or realize that anger can actually be a gift.
Bookjoy, Wordjoy by Pat Mora and Raùl Colón (Lee & Low) ages 8-13
An inspiring collection of Pat Mora’s own glorious poems celebrating a love of words and all the ways we use and interact with them: reading, speaking, writing, and singing”–
“A collection of the author’s own poems celebrating a love of words and all the ways we use and interact with them: reading, speaking, writing, singing, and storytelling. Includes a glossary of Spanish words used in the poems.
Cross Fire (Exo series) by Fonda Lee (Scholastic) Ages 13-17
When the peaceful alien-run government decides to simply withdraw from Earth, it seems that the terrorist group Sapience is going to get the “free” Earth it wanted; but Donovan Reyes, member of the security forces, and once a prisoner of Sapience, realizes that freedom comes with a price–other alien races want to strip the planet of its resources, and if anyone is going to survive, what is left of the security forces and Sapience have to work together.
Death by Dinosaur (Sam Stellar Mysteries) by Jacqueline Guest. (Coteau) ages 13-15
Fourteen-year-old Sam Stellar and her cousin Paige have decided to spend the summer working at the Tyrell Dinosaur Museum in Drumheller, Alberta, as part of the Summer Studies andWork Experience Program. While not the ideal scenario for a summer vacation, both girls try to make the best of it: Paige, a whiz with the
computers in the IT department, has one eye on her work and the other on the adorable assistant helping out in the museum, while Sam, a wannabe detective (who has studied online), is convinced there’s a potential theft about to happen.
Sure enough, Sam’s hunch proves correct, and a piece from a fossil goes missing. Determined to solve the crime and apprehend the culprit, Sam drags Paige along as her unwilling accomplice, convinced she can unravel the mystery, despite the fact that no one believes her hunches. As Sam closes in on the truth, things get ugly, as she finds herself kidnapped and threatened. Can Sam outwit her foe and save the museum?
Driving by Starlight by Anat Deracine (Henry Holt)
Sixteen-year-olds Leena and Mishie are best friends. They delight in small rebellions against the Saudi cultural police―secret Western clothing, forbidden music, flirtations. But Leena wants college, independence―she wants a different life. Though her story is specific to her world (a world where it’s illegal for women to drive, where a ten-year-old boy is the natural choice as guardian of a fatherless woman), ultimately it’s a story about friendship, family, and freedom that transcends cultural differences.
Forgiving Moses: The Roosevelt High School Series by Gloria Velásquez (Arte Publico)
Moses Vargas hates his life. He has been forced to move four times in as many years, and he’s tired of starting at another school, having everyone stare at him and trying to make new friends. Most of all, he doesn’t want to have to deal with questions about his father—an inmate in the California Department of Corrections.
From Twinkle With Love by Sandya Menon (Simon and Schuster)
Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories she wants to tell and universes she wants to explore, if only the world would listen. So when fellow film geek Sahil Roy approaches her to direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle is all over it. The chance to publicly showcase her voice as a director? Dream come true. The fact that it gets her closer to her longtime crush, Neil Roy—a.k.a. Sahil’s twin brother? Dream come true x 2.
When mystery man “N” begins emailing her, Twinkle is sure it’s Neil, finally ready to begin their happily-ever-after. The only slightly inconvenient problem is that, in the course of movie-making, she’s fallen madly in love with the irresistibly adorkable Sahil. Twinkle soon realizes that resistance is futile: The romance she’s got is not the one she’s scripted. But will it be enough?
Front Desk by Kelly Yang. (levine/Scholastic) Ages 8-12
Recent immigrants from China and desperate for work and money, ten-year-old Mia Tang’s parents take a job managing a rundown motel in Southern California, even though the owner, Mr. Yao is a nasty skinflint who exploits them; while her mother (who was an engineer in China) does the cleaning, Mia works the front desk and tries to cope with demanding customers and other recent immigrants–not to mention being only one of two Chinese in her fifth grade class, the other being Mr. Yao’s son, Jason.
Give Me Some Truth by Eric Gansworth (Arthur A. Levine)
Carson Mastick is entering his senior year of high school and desperate to make his mark, on the reservation and off. A rock band — and winning the local Battle of the Bands, with its first prize of a trip to New York City — is his best shot. But things keep getting in the way. Small matters like the lack of an actual band, or the fact that his brother just got shot confronting the racist owner of a local restaurant.
Maggi Bokoni has just moved back to the reservation from the city with her family. She’s dying to stop making the same traditional artwork her family sells to tourists (conceptual stuff is cooler), stop feeling out of place in her new (old) home, and stop being treated like a child. She might like to fall in love for the first time too. Carson and Maggi — along with their friend Lewis — will navigate loud protests, even louder music, and first love in this stirring novel about coming together in a world defined by difference.
Home Home by Lisa Allen-Agostini. (Papillote Press)
A coming-of-age tale with a twist: a clinically depressed Trinidadian teenager, who has attempted suicide, is banished by her mother to Canada to live with her aunt. She feels lonely and in exile. But with the help of her lesbian aunt, a gorgeous-looking boy and her Skyping best friend “back home” in Trinidad, she begins to realize that loving families can exist in different shapes and sizes. Then her mother arrives and threatens to take her back to Trinidad. Where then is home?
The If in Life : How to Get off the Sidelines and into the End Zone by Rashad Jennings. (Zonderkids) ages 13 and up
Rashad writes about the decisions that shaped his life. From overcoming injuries and setbacks to reaching goals and everything in between, Rashad’s transparency about his journey will encourage readers to hold on to faith in the midst of uncertainty and win big in life.
Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots by Margarita Engle and Rudy Gutierrez (Antheneum Books for Young Readers)
Thousands of young Navy sailors are pouring into Los Angeles on their way to the front lines of World War II. They are teenagers, scared, longing to feel alive before they have to face the horrors of battle. Hot jazz music spiced with cool salsa rhythms calls them to dance with the local Mexican American girls, who jitterbug all night before working all day in the canneries. Proud to do their part for the war effort, these Jazz Owl girls are happy to dance with the sailors—until the blazing summer night when racial violence leads to murder.
Suddenly the young white sailors are attacking these girls’ brothers and boyfriends. The cool, loose zoot suits they wear are supposedly the reason for the violence—when in reality these boys are viciously beaten and arrested simply because of the color of their skin.
The Memory of Forgotten Things by Kat Zhang (Aladdin)
One of the happiest memories twelve-year-old Sophia Wallace has is of her tenth birthday. Her mother made her a cake that year—and not a cake from a box-mix, but from scratch. She remembers the way the frosting tasted, the way the pink sugar roses dissolved on her tongue. This memory, and a scant few others like it, is all Sophia has of her mother, so she keeps them close. She keeps them secret, too. Because as paltry as these memories are, she shouldn’t have them at all.
The truth is, Sophia Wallace’s mother died when she was six years old. But that isn’t how she remembers it. Not always. Sophia has never told anyone about her unusual memories—snapshots of a past that never happened. But everything changes when Sophia gets assigned a school research project on solar eclipses. She becomes convinced that the upcoming solar eclipse will grant her the opportunity to make her alternate life come true, to enter a world where her mother never died. With the help of two misfit boys, she must figure out a way to bring her mother back to her—before the opportunity is lost forever.
My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma (Crown) Debut Author
Winnie Mehta was never really convinced that Raj was her soul mate, but their love was written in the stars. Literally, a pandit predicted Winnie would find the love of her life before her eighteenth birthday, and Raj meets all the qualifications. Which is why Winnie is shocked when she returns from her summer at film camp to find her boyfriend of three years hooking up with Jenny Dickens. As a self-proclaimed Bollywood expert, Winnie knows this is not how her perfect ending is scripted.
Then there’s Dev, a fellow film geek and one of the few people Winnie can count on. Dev is smart and charming, and he challenges Winnie to look beyond her horoscope and find someone she’d pick for herself. But does falling for Dev mean giving up on her prophecy and her chance to live happily ever after? To find her perfect ending, Winnie will need a little bit of help from fate, family, and of course, a Bollywood movie star.
Not the Girls You’re Looking For by Amina Mae Safi (Feiwel and Friends) Debut Author
Lulu Saad doesn’t need your advice, thank you very much. She’s got her three best friends and nothing can stop her from conquering the known world. Sure, for half a minute she thought she’d nearly drowned a cute guy at a party, but he was totally faking it. And fine, yes, she caused a scene during Ramadan. It’s all under control. Ish.Except maybe this time she’s done a little more damage than she realizes. And if Lulu can’t find her way out of this mess soon, she’ll have to do more than repair friendships, family alliances, and wet clothing. She’ll have to go looking for herself.
Out of Left Field by Kris Hui Lee. (Sourcebooks Fire) ages 14-17
Can Marnie pitch for the boy’s baseball team and field an unexpected crush without striking out at the game…and in love?
Power Forward by Hena Khan and Sally Wern Comport (Salaam Reads) ages 10-12
Fourth grader Zayd Saleem has some serious hoop dreams. He’s not just going to be a professional basketball player. He’s going to be a star. A legend. The first Pakistani-American kid to make it to the NBA. He knows this deep in his soul. It’s his destiny. There are only a few small things in his way. For starters, Zayd’s only on the D-team. (D stands for developmental, but to Zayd it’s always felt like a bad grade or something.) Not to mention, he’s a bit on the scrawny side, even for the fourth grade team. But his best friend Adam is on the Gold Team, and it’s Zayd’s dream for the two of them to play together.
His mom and dad don’t get it. They want him to practice his violin way more than his jump shot. When he gets caught blowing off his violin lessons to practice, Zayd’s parents lay down the ultimate punishment: he has to hang up his high tops and isn’t allowed to play basketball anymore. As tryouts for the Gold Team approach, Zayd has to find the courage to stand up for himself and chase his dream.
The Season of Rebels and Roses by Virginia Sánchez-Korrol. (Piñata Books)
In 1887, Inocencia, eighteen, horrifies her parents when they learn she wants to marry and work with Sotero Figueroa, a mulatto journalist and independence movement activist in Puerto Rico.
Tifanny Sly LIves Here Now by Dana L. Davis (Harlequin Teen) Debut Author
”I’ve got seven days to come clean to my new dad. Seven days to tell the truth” For sixteen-year-old Tiffany Sly, life hasn’t been safe or normal for a while. Losing her mom to cancer has her a little bit traumatized, and now she has to leave her hometown of Chicago to live with the biological dad she’s never known. Anthony Stone is a rich man with four other daughters — and rules for every second of the day. Tiffany tries to make the best of things, but she doesn’t fit into her new luxurious, but super-strict, home — or get along with her standoffish sister London. The only thing that makes her new life even remotely bearable is the strange boy across the street. Marcus McKinney has had his own experiences with death, and the unexpected friendship that blossoms between them is the only thing that makes her feel grounded. But Tiffany has a secret. Another man claims he’s Tiffany’s real dad — and she only has seven days before he shows up to demand a paternity test and the truth comes out. With her life about to fall apart all over again, Tiffany finds herself discovering unexpected truths about her father, her mother and herself, and realizing that maybe family is in the bonds you make — and that life means sometimes taking risks.
Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson (Razorbill)
Mila Flores and her best friend Riley have always been inseparable. There’s not much excitement in their small town of Cross Creek, so Mila and Riley make their own fun, devoting most of their time to Riley’s favorite activity: amateur witchcraft.So when Riley and two Fairmont Academy mean girls die under suspicious circumstances, Mila refuses to believe everyone’s explanation that her BFF was involved in a suicide pact. Instead, armed with a tube of lip gloss and an ancient grimoire, Mila does the unthinkable to uncover the truth: she brings the girls back to life.
Unfortunately, Riley, June, and Dayton have no recollection of their murders, but they do have unfinished business to attend to. Now, with only seven days until the spell wears off and the girls return to their graves, Mila must wrangle the distracted group of undead teens and work fast to discover their murderer…before the killer strikes again.
The Way You Make Me Feel by Maureen Goo (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind?
All That I can Fix by Crystal Chan (Simon Pulse) YA
In Makersville, Indiana, people know all about Ronney–he’s from that mixed-race family with the dad who tried to kill himself, the pill-popping mom, and the genius kid sister. If having a family like that wasn’t bad enough, the local eccentric at the edge of town decided one night to open up all the cages of his exotic zoo–lions, cheetahs, tigers–and then shoot himself dead. Go figure. Even more proof that you can’t trust adults to do the right thing.
Overnight, news crews, gun control supporters, and gun rights advocates descend on Makersville, bringing around-the-clock news coverage, rallies, and anti-rallies with them. With his parents checked out, Ronney is left tending to his sister’s mounting fears of roaming lions, stopping his best friend from going on a suburban safari, and shaking loose a lonely boy who follows Ronney wherever he goes. Can Ronney figure out a way to hold it together as all his worlds fall apart?
All the Stars Denied by Guadalupe Garcia McCall (Tu Books)
In the heart of the Great Depression, Rancho Las Moras, like everywhere else in Texas, is gripped by the drought of the Dust Bowl, and resentment is building among white farmers against Mexican Americans. All around town, signs go up proclaiming “No Dogs or Mexicans” and “No Mexicans Allowed.”
When Estrella organizes a protest against the treatment of tejanos in their town of Monteseco, Texas, her whole family becomes a target of “repatriation” efforts to send Mexicans “back to Mexico” –whether they were ever Mexican citizens or not. Dumped across the border and separated from half her family, Estrella must figure out a way to survive and care for her mother and baby brother. How can she reunite with her father and grandparents and convince her country of birth that she deserves to return home? There are no easy answers in the first YA book to tackle this hidden history.
The Boyfriend Bracket by Kate Evangelista (Swoon Reads) DEBUT AUTHOR – YA
Putting a new spin on a classic trope, Kate Evangelista explores family bonds, changing relationships, and senior year as our heroine tries to get over her brother’s best friend.
Stella has had a hopeless crush on Will, her older brother’s best friend FOREVER, but now that Cam and Will have graduated and are going off to college, this year is her chance to really strike out on her own. Without her overprotective brother and his sidekick around to distract her, she can focus on having all the typical high school experiences that she’s always dreamed of–starting with finding a boyfriend With the help of her best friend, Franklin, she comes up with the perfect plan to have a boyfriend by Christmas: The Boyfriend Bracket.
Or it seems like the perfect plan . . . right up until Will starts showing up again. How is she supposed to find the perfect boyfriend when none of her dates measure up to the one boy she can never have?
Bruja Born (Brooklyn Brujas) Zoraida Caordova (Sourcebooks Fire) YA SFF
Lula Mortiz feels like an outsider. Her sister’s newfound Encantrix powers have wounded her in ways that Lula’s bruja healing powers can’t fix, and she longs for the comfort her family once brought her. Thank the Deos for Maks, her sweet, steady boyfriend who sees the beauty within her and brings light to her life.
Then a bus crash turns Lula’s world upside down. Her classmates are all dead, including Maks. But Lula was born to heal, to fix. She can bring Maks back, even if it means seeking help from her sisters and defying Death herself. But magic that defies the laws of the deos is dangerous. Unpredictable. And when the dust settles, Maks isn’t the only one who’s been brought back…
Final Draft by Riley Redgate (Amulet Books)
The only sort of risk 18-year-old Laila Piedra enjoys is the peril she writes for the characters in her stories: epic sci-fi worlds full of quests, forbidden love, and robots. Her creative writing teacher has always told her she has a special talent. But three months before her graduation, he’s suddenly replaced–by Nadiya Nazarenko, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist who is sadistically critical and perpetually unimpressed.
At first, Nazarenko’s eccentric assignments seem absurd. But before long, Laila grows obsessed with gaining the woman’s approval. Soon Laila is hiking through the Catskills during a thunderstorm in March and discovering the psychedelic highs and perilous lows of nightlife, temporary flings, and instability. Dr. Nazarenko has led Laila to believe that she must choose between perfection and sanity–but rejecting her all-powerful mentor may be the only way for Laila to thrive.
The Fall of Innocence by Jenny Torres Sanchez (Philomel Books)
For the past eight years, sixteen-year-old Emilia DeJesus has done her best to move on from the traumatic attack she suffered in the woods behind her elementary school. She’s forced down the memories–the feeling of the twigs cracking beneath her, choking on her own blood, unable to scream. Most of all, she’s tried to forget about Jeremy Lance, the boy responsible, the boy who caused her such pain. Emilia believes that the crows who watched over her that day, who helped her survive, are still on her side, encouraging her to live fully. And with the love and support of her mother, brother, and her caring boyfriend, Emilia is doing just that.
But when a startling discovery about her attacker’s identity comes to light, and the memories of that day break through the mental box in which she’d shut them away, Emilia is forced to confront her new reality and make sense of shifting truths about her past, her family, and herself.
The Merciless IV: Last Rites (Merciless series) by Danielle Vega (Razorbill)
he ropes tighten on Berkley Hubbard’s wrists. Blood drips down her fingers and lands with a smack on the cold floor of the church basement. She’s trapped, bound, and petrified by fear. A knife punctures her fragile skin as Berkley’s captors search for the mark of the devil on her body. They say they want to save her–drive the devil away and cleanse her soul–but will she make it out alive?
When Berkley arrived in Italy a week ago, the last thing she expected was that she’d end up fighting for her life. After spending six months at the Institute, confined to a room with the dangerous-yet-alluring Sofia Flores, Berkley was certain that a vacation in Italy with her two best friends would be the perfect getaway. But Berkley is hiding a terrible secret, one that threatens to undo everything. As she’s forced to face her wicked past, she learns that the devil is always watching, and no one is coming to save her.
Learning to Breathe by Janice Lynn Mather (Simon and Schuster) DEBUT – YA
Sixteen-year-old Indy struggles to conceal her pregnancy while searching for a place to belong in this stunning debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Amber Smith and Sara Zarr.
Indira Ferguson has done her best to live by her Grammy’s rules–to study hard in school, be respectful, and to never let a boy take advantage of her. But it hasn’t always been easy, especially while living in her mother’s shadow.
When Indy is sent to live with distant relatives in Nassau, trouble follows her. Now she must hide an unwanted pregnancy from her aunt, who would rather throw Indy out onto the street than see the truth.
Completely broke with only a hand-me-down pregnancy book as a resource, Indy desperately looks for a safe space to call home. After stumbling upon a yoga retreat, she wonders if perhaps she’s found the place. But Indy is about to discover that home is much bigger than just four walls and a roof–it’s about the people she chooses to share it with.
Mariam Sharma Hits the Road by Sheba Karim (HarperTeen)
he summer after her freshman year of college, Mariam is looking forward to working and hanging out with her best friends: irrepressible and beautiful Ghazala, and religious but closeted Umar.
But when a scandalous photo of Ghaz appears on a billboard in Times Square, Mariam and Umar come up with a plan to rescue her from her furious parents. And what could be a better escape than a spontaneous road trip down to New Orleans?
With the heartbreaking honesty of Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’ mixed with with the cultural growing pains and smart snark of When Dimple Met Rishi, this wry, remarkable road-trip story is about questioning where you come from—and choosing the family that chooses you back.
Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson (Katherine Tegen Books)
Monday’s Not Coming is a heartbreaking story of a missing teenager, a community that seems not to notice, and a best friend who will go to whatever lengths it takes to find her missing friend. Tiffany D. Jackson weaves together multiple timelines, increasing the tension and emotion until you reach an ending that will haunt you long after you finish the book. This is a difficult but important and timely story.
Not the Girls You’re Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi (Feiwel and Friends) DEBUT AUTHOR -YA
Lulu Saad doesn’t need your advice, thank you very much. She’s got her three best friends and nothing can stop her from conquering the known world. Sure, for half a minute she thought she’d nearly drowned a cute guy at a party, but he was totally faking it. And fine, yes, she caused a scene during Ramadan. It’s all under control. Ish.
Except maybe this time she’s done a little more damage than she realizes. And if Lulu can’t find her way out of this mess soon, she’ll have to do more than repair friendships, family alliances, and wet clothing. She’ll have to go looking for herself.
Reaper at the Gates (Ember in the Ashes) by Sabaa Tahir YA – SFF
Beyond the Martial Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.
Helene Aquilla, the Blood Shrike, is desperate to protect her sister’s life and the lives of everyone in the Empire. But she knows that danger lurks on all sides: Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable and violent, while Keris Veturia, the ruthless Commandant, capitalizes on the Emperor’s volatility to grow her own power–regardless of the carnage she leaves in her path.
Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But in the hunt to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would help her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight.
And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that demands his complete surrender–even if that means abandoning the woman he loves.
Running with Lions by Julian Winters (Duet Books) DEBUT AUTHOR
Bloomington High School Lions’ star goalie Sebastian Hughes should be excited about his senior year: His teammates are amazing, and he’s got a coach who doesn’t ask anyone to hide their sexuality. But when his estranged childhood-best-friend Emir Shah shows up at summer training camp, Sebastian realizes the team’s success may end up in the hands of the one guy who hates him. Determined to reconnect with Emir for the sake of the Lions, he sets out to regain Emir’s trust. But to Sebastian’s surprise, sweaty days on the pitch, wandering the town’s streets, and bonding on the weekends spark more than just friendship between them.
Smoke in the Sun (Flame in the Mist) by Renee Ahdieh (Putnam)
After Okami is captured in the Jukai forest, Mariko has no choice–to rescue him, she must return to Inako and face the dangers that have been waiting for her in the Heian Castle. She tricks her brother, Kenshin, and betrothed, Raiden, into thinking she was being held by the Black Clan against her will, playing the part of the dutiful bride-to-be to infiltrate the emperor’s ranks and uncover the truth behind the betrayal that almost left her dead.
With the wedding plans already underway, Mariko pretends to be consumed with her upcoming nuptials, all the while using her royal standing to peel back the layers of lies and deception surrounding the imperial court. But each secret she unfurls gives way to the next, ensnaring Mariko and Okami in a political scheme that threatens their honor, their love and the very safety of the empire.
Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Pérez (Imprint) Ages 12-18
When she unwittingly saves the life of an enemy, lady-in-waiting Branwen awakens an ancient healing magic within herself, warming her heart to her enemy’s cause and setting herself at odds with her best friend, the princess.
There’s No Base Like Home by Jessica Mendoza, Alana Mendoza Dusan and Tuth McNally Barshaw (Tu Books)
This will be twelve-year-old Sophia Maria Garcia’s best year ever: she’s trying out for the same championship softball team her sister played on at her age, and she’s starting middle school. New school, new team, new Sophia
But all does not go according to plan. Sophia does not make the Waves softball team and her best friend is suddenly more interested in boys than Sophia. As the middle school blues set in, and her family is pulled in different directions, Sophia must reach deep down and find a little UMPH–the difference between being good and great–to figure out her own place, on and off the field.
A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by Ellen Oh (ed.) (Greenwillow Books) YA Short Stories
Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate.
A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place. From fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge, these stories will beguile readers from start to finish.
Trail of Lightening (Sixth World series) by Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga Press) DEBUT AUTHOR – YA SFF
While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Din tah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters.
Maggie Hoskie is a Din tah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last best hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much more terrifying than anything she could imagine.
Maggie reluctantly enlists the aid of Kai Arviso, an unconventional medicine man, and together they travel the rez, unraveling clues from ancient legends, trading favors with tricksters, and battling dark witchcraft in a patchwork world of deteriorating technology.
As Maggie discovers the truth behind the killings, she will have to confront her past if she wants to survive. Welcome to the Sixth World.
Minecraft : The Crash : An Official Minecraft Novel by Tracey Baptiste (Del Rey)
Bianca has never been good at following the plan. She’s more of an act-now, deal-with-the-consequences-later kind of person. But consequences can’t be put off forever, as Bianca learns when she and her best friend, Lonnie, are in a terrible car crash.
Waking up in the hospital, almost paralyzed by her injuries, Bianca is faced with questions she’s not equipped to answer. She chooses instead to try a new virtual-reality version of Minecraft that responds to her every wish, giving her control over a world at the very moment she thought she’d lost it. As she explores this new realm, she encounters a mute, glitching avatar she believes to be Lonnie. Bianca teams up with Esme and Anton, two kids who are also playing on the hospital server, to save her friend.
But the road to recovery isn’t without its own dangers. The kids are swarmed by mobs seemingly generated by their fears and insecurities, and now Bianca must deal with the uncertainties that have been plaguing her: Is Lonnie really in the game? And can Bianca help him return to reality?
Proud : Living My American Dream by Ibthaj Muhammad (Little, Brown) ages 10-13
Ibtihaj’s inspiring journey from humble beginnings to the international stage is told in her own words and enhanced with helpful advice and never-before-published photographs. Proud is an all-American tale of faith, family, hard work, and self-reliance.
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 SFF
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 Nonfiction
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) MG-Fiction
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 (LIttle Simon) SFF
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.
Apple in the Middle by Dawn Quigley (North Dakota State University Press) DEBUT AUTHOR
Bouncing in the middle of two cultures, Apple meets her Indian relatives, shatters Indian stereotypes, and learns what it means to find her place in a world divided by color.
Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram (Dial) DEBUT AUTHOR
Darius Kellner doesn’t make friends easily. He gave up on the Boy Scouts years ago—to his father’s lasting disappointment—and after being diagnosed with depression, he quit the neighborhood soccer club, too. As the only Persian boy at his Portland high school, he’s an easy target for Trent Bolger and his Soulless Minions of Orthodoxy. Then Darius goes to Iran for spring break and even surrounded by Persians, he can’t fit in. Not until he meets Sohrab Rezaei, his grandparents’ Bahá’í neighbor.
Finding Yvonne by Brandi Colbert (Little Brown Books)
Since she was seven years old, Yvonne has had her trusted violin to keep her company, especially in those lonely days after her mother walked out on their family. But with graduation just around the corner, she is forced to face the hard truth that she just might not be good enough to attend a conservatory after high school.
Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome. (Holiday House)
Discovering a book of Langston Hughes’ poetry in the library helps Langston cope with the loss of his mother, relocating from Alabama to Chicago as part of the Great Migration, and being bullied.
Fresh Ink by Lamar Giles (ed) (Random House) ages 12-17
All it takes to rewrite the rules is a little fresh ink in this remarkable YA anthology from thirteen of the most recognizable, diverse authors writing today including Nicola Yoon, Jason Reynolds, Melissa de la Cruz, and many more, and published in partnership with We Need Diverse Books. This collection features ten short stories, a graphic short story, and a one-act play from Walter Dean Myers never before in-print. It will give readers the opportunity to discover how the next chapter is up to them.
Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson (Nancy Paulsen Books). ages 8-12.
When six students are chosen to participate in a weekly talk with no adults allowed, they discover that when they’re together, it’s safe to share the hopes and fears they have to hide from the rest of the world.
Krista Kim-Bap by Angela Ahn (Second Story Press) DEBUT AUTHOR
Krista and Jason have been best friends since preschool. It never mattered that he was a boy with reddish brown hair and she was “the Korean girl” at school. Now in fifth grade, everyone in their class is preparing their Heritage Month projects. Jason has always loved Krista’s Korean family, and particularly her mom’s cooking, but Krista is conflicted about being her school’s “Korean Ambassador.” She’s also worried about asking her intimidating grandma to teach the class how to cook their traditional kim-bap. Combine that with her new friends pulling her away from Jason, and Krista has a lot to deal with this year!
Lucky Luna by Diana López (Scholastic)
Luna Ramos has too many primas to count, but there’s one cousin that’s always getting her into trouble, Claudia. After locking her in the bathroom at their other cousin’s quinceañera, Luna is grounded for a month. Her punishment? Not being allowed to wear her signature hats, which she uses to hide her birthmark, a streak of white in her otherwise dark hair. The only thing that gives Luna the tiniest bit of satisfaction is knowing that Claudia is also being teased because she has a big nose.
Eventually, Luna discovers that Claudia was not being teased after all. Every joke Luna heard was actually directed at her! Luckily, Claudia comes to her rescue, standing up for Luna by telling the other kids to leave her alone. That’s when Luna realizes the true meaning of her grandmother’s wise advice — “blood is thicker than water.” She and Claudia may not like each other, but they are still primas. And it’s the job of primas to stand up for each other.
Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya (Viking Books)
Marcus Vega is six feet tall, 180 pounds, and the owner of a premature mustache. When you look like this and you’re only in the eighth grade, you’re both a threat and a target. After a fight at school leaves Marcus facing suspension, Marcus’s mom decides it’s time for a change of environment. She takes Marcus and his younger brother to Puerto Rico to spend a week with relatives they don’t remember or have never met. But Marcus can’t focus knowing that his father–who walked out of their lives ten years ago–is somewhere on the island.
So begins Marcus’s incredible journey, a series of misadventures that take him all over Puerto Rico in search of his elusive namesake. Marcus doesn’t know if he’ll ever find his father, but what he ultimately discovers changes his life. And he even learns a bit of Spanish along the way.
Mirage : A Novel by Somaiya Daud (Flatiron) DEBUT AUTHOR
In a world dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated home.
But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.
As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty―and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.
Scream Site by Justine Ireland.(Capstone Editions(ages 12-18)
Sabrina Sebastian’s goal in life is to be an investigative reporter. For her first big story, she researches a popular website called Scream Site, where people post scary videos and compete for the most “screams.” While Sabrina’s friends and her sister, Faith, talk nonstop about the creepy viral videos, Sabrina just hopes that covering this trend will get her the internship she’s wishing for. But as she digs into the truth behind the website, she begins to suspect that these aren’t only aspiring actors and videographers at work. Some clips seem a little too real. And when Faith goes missing, Sabrina must race against time to save her sister from becoming the next video “star.”
So Done by Paula Chase (Greenwillow) ages 8-12
Jamila Phillips and Tai Johnson have been inseparable since they were toddlers, having grown up across the street from each other in Pirates Cove, a low-income housing project. As summer comes to an end, Tai can’t wait for Mila to return from spending a month with her aunt in the suburbs. But both girls are grappling with secrets, and when Mila returns she’s more focused on her upcoming dance auditions than hanging out with Tai.
Star Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi (Wednesday Books) ages 12-18
A fantasy collection of three lush and adventurous stories set in the Star-Touched world.
When A Ghost Talks Listen (How I Became A Ghost Book 2) by Tim Tingle
As Book 2 in Tim Tingle’s award-winning How I Became A Ghost Series begins, his family continues the long walk to Indian Territory, and ten-year-old Isaac, our narrator and now a ghost, meets the famed Choctaw Chief and U.S. Army General Pushmataha. There have been surprises aplenty on the Trail thus far, but this one tops them all or so he thinks, until Isaac and his three Choctaw comrades learn they can now also time travel. With Pushmataha as their guide, Isaac and friends head back in time to the Washington,D.C., of 1824 to bear witness for the Choctaw chief who has come to the nation s capital at the invitation of his dear friend Andrew Jackson. You cannot blame the people before you for mistakes their ancestors made, Chief Pushmataha tells the little band, making a powerful and timeless lesson one made more so as the reader travels from graveyards to boarding schools, from 1824 to 2018, experiencing firsthand the joy of never leaving.
Who Were The Tuskegee Airmen? (Who Was Series) by Sherri L. Smith. (Penguin Workshop) ages 8-12 During World War II, black Americans were fighting for their country and for freedom in Europe, yet they had to endure a totally segregated military in the United States, where they weren’t considered smart enough to become military pilots. After acquiring government funding for aviation training, civil rights activists were able to kickstart the first African American military flight program in the US at Tuskegee University in Alabama. While this book details thrilling flight missions and the grueling training sessions the Tuskegee Airmen underwent, it also shines a light on the lives of these brave men who helped pave the way for the integration of the US armed forces.
500 Words or Less by Juleah del Rosario (Simon Pulse)
High school senior Nic, seventeen, tries to salvage her tattered reputation by helping her Ivy League-obsessed classmates with college admission essays and finds herself in the process.
Above and Beyond: NASA’s Journey to Tomorrow by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich (Macmillan) Ages 9–12
Through stunning images provided by NASA and fascinating profiles and sidebars of lesser known contributors to the NASA program, young space fans will learn how NASA started, how it faced challenges along the way, how much it has achieved, and how it will continue to move forward in the future.
American Road Trip by Patrick Flores-Scott (Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt & Co)
Brothers Teodoro and Manny Avila take a road trip to address Manny’s PTSD following his tour in Iraq, and to help T. change his life and win the heart of Wendy Martinez. Includes information and resources about PTSD.
Analee, in Real Life by Janelle Milanes (Simon & Schuster) Ages 12–up.
Anxious, awkward Analee Echevarria only feels confident playing her favorite online game, but with a potential real-world romance and her father’s remarriage looming, she begins to rediscover herself.
The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor by Sonia Sotomayor (RandomHouse) Ages 10–18.
Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic and third woman appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States, was a young girl when she dared to dream big. Her dream? To become a lawyer and a judge.
As Justice Sotomayor explains, “When I was a child my family was poor and we knew no lawyers or judges and none lived in our neighborhood. I knew nothing about the Supreme Court and how much its work in reinterpreting the Constitution and the laws of the United States affected peoples’ lives. You cannot dream of becoming something you don’t even know about. That has been the most important lesson of my life. You have to learn to dream big dreams.”
Sonia did not let the hardships of her background–which included growing up in the rough housing projects of New York City’s South Bronx, dealing with juvenile diabetes, coping with parents who argued and fought personal demons, and worrying about money–stand in her way. Always, she believed in herself. Her determination, along with guidance from generous mentors and the unwavering love of her extended Puerto Rican family, propelled her ever forward.
A Blade So Black by L. L. McKinney (Imprint)
Pitched as a retelling of Alice in Wonderland with the butt-kicking of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with a black teen heroine at its center, Alice is a warrior who battles Nightmares in the dark and terrifying dream realm known as Wonderland.
Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani and Vivianna Mazza
(Katherine Tegen Books) Cowritten by Nigerian journalist and author Nwaubani, based on deep research into the Boko Haram kidnappings, including talking to some of the girls who were kidnapped, this is a heartrending look at what really happened to the more than two hundred schoolgirls taken by the terrorist group. This is a dark, heavy read, but a critically important story, told by an unnamed narrator in vignette-style prose, peppered throughout with articles and other pieces that frame the events of the story in greater context.
Check, Please! #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu (FirstSecond) Ages 14–18
A collection of the first half, freshmen and sophmore year, of the megapopular webcomic series of the same name, Check, Please!: #Hockey is the first book of a hilarious and stirring two-volume coming-of-age story about hockey, bros, and trying to find yourself during the best four years of your life. This book ncludes updated art and a hilarious, curated selection of Bitty’s beloved tweets.
The Crossroads by Alexandra Diaz (Simon & Schuster) Ages 8–12
Jaime, twelve, and Angela, fifteen, discover what it means to be living as undocumented immigrants in the United States, while news from home gets increasingly worse. A sequel to Only Road.
Dream Country by Shannon Gibney (Dutton) ages 12-18
The novel begins in suburban Minneapolis at the moment when seventeen-year-old Kollie Flomo begins to crack under the strain of his life as a Liberian refugee. He’s exhausted by being at once too black and not black enough for his African American peers and worn down by the expectations of his own Liberian family and community. When his frustration finally spills into violence and his parents send him back to Monrovia to reform school, the story shifts. Like Kollie, readers travel back to Liberia, but also back in time, to the early twentieth-century and the point of view of Togar Somah, an eighteen-year-old indigenous Liberian on the run from government militias that would force him to work the plantations of the Congo people, descendants of the African-American slaves who colonized Liberia almost a century earlier. When Togar’s section draws to a shocking close, the novel jumps again, back to America in 1836, to the children of Yasmine Wright, who leave a Virginia plantation with their mother for Liberia, where they’re promised freedom and a chance at self-determination by the American Colonization Society. The Wrights begin their section by fleeing the whip and by its close, they are then ones who wield it. With each new section, the novel uncovers fresh hope and resonating heartbreak, all based on historical fact.
For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig (Greenwillow/HarperCollins) Ages 13–up
Jetta, a teen who possesses secret, forbidden powers, must gain access to a hidden spring and negotiate a world roiling with intrigue and the beginnings of war.
Grand Theft Horse by G. Neri, illus. by Corban Wilkin (Tu Books) Ages 12–up
Gail Ruffu was a rookie trainer known for her unconventional methods and ability to handle dangerous horses. When she became part owner of an untamed thoroughbred named Urgent Envoy, everything changed. After Urgent Envoy showed real promise, her co-owners forced Gail to speed up training and race him too early, causing the horse to develop a hairline shin fracture. Refusing to drug the horse to keep it running, Gail lost Urgent Envoy to her partners, who pushed the horse even harder. One more race would kill him. When nobody heeded her warnings, Gail had to act.
In this gorgeous graphic biography, G. Neri, author of the acclaimed Yummy and Ghetto Cowboy, retells the life of his cousin Gail, a pioneer who challenged the horse racing world for the sake of one extraordinary horse. With illustrations by brilliant newcomer Corban Wilkin, it is a must-read for horse lovers everywhere.
Here to Stay by Sarah Farizan (Algonquin) ages 12-18
When a cyberbully sends the entire high school a picture of basketball hero Bijan Majidi, photo-shopped to look like a terrorist, the school administration promises to find and punish the culprit, but Bijan just wants to pretend the incident never happened and move on.
The Hidden City by David Bowles (Garza Twins #3) (IFWG Publishing) ages 8-12
When Carol and Johnny learn of the Ollamat, an ancient stone that can channel savage magic, they convince their parents to take them to the cloud forests of Oaxaca. With Pingo’s help, they search for the legendary city where it has been protected for a thousand years. But the twins aren’t the only ones hunting for the Ollamat. After it is stolen, they must travel through an emerald mirror into the beautiful yet dangerous Tlalocan: the paradise of the rain god. To retrieve the stone, they must face talking apes and forest elementals, rock worms and vicious elves, demons of lightning and something even more unexpected: the souls of people they have watched die. As always, they are aided by allies old and new, though nothing can quite prepare them for the biggest foe of all – a member of their very family.
Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan (Whitman) DEBUT AUTHOR ages 12-18
When the notorious I.A. Cōcha is captured by the Olympus Commonwealth and revealed to be a sixteen-year-old girl, she is sentenced to correctional rehabilitation at a training ground for the elite Star Force where she forms unlikely alliances.
Jaclyn and the Beanstalk by Mary Ting (Vesuvian) Ages 13–up
Sixteen-year-old Jaclyn looks up to her father. An honest man who once fought for the king, he now teaches Jaclyn how to use her wits—and her sword.
Just Mercy : A True Story of the Fight for Justice adapted for young adults by Bryan Stevenson (Delacorte)
In this young adult adaptation of the acclaimed bestselling Just Mercy, which the New York Timescalls “as compelling as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so,” Bryan Stevenson delves deep into the broken U.S. justice system, detailing from his personal experience his many challenges and efforts as a lawyer and social advocate, especially on behalf of America’s most rejected and marginalized people.
Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina (Candlewick) ages 8-12
Merci Suarez knew that sixth grade would be different, but she had no idea just how different. For starters, Merci has never been like the other kids at her private school in Florida, because she and her older brother, Roli, are scholarship students. They don’t have a big house or a fancy boat, and they have to do extra community service to make up for their free tuition. So when bossy Edna Santos sets her sights on the new boy who happens to be Merci’s school-assigned Sunshine Buddy, Merci becomes the target of Edna’s jealousy. Things aren’t going well at home, either: Merci’s grandfather and most trusted ally, Lolo, has been acting strangely lately — forgetting important things, falling from his bike, and getting angry over nothing. No one in her family will tell Merci what’s going on, so she’s left to her own worries, while also feeling all on her own at school. In a coming-of-age tale full of humor and wisdom, award-winning author Meg Medina gets to the heart of the confusion and constant change that defines middle school — and the steadfast connection that defines family.
Monk! Thelonious, Pannonica, and the Friendship Behind a Musical Revolution by Youssef Daoudi (FirstSecond) Ages 18–up
Set against the backdrop of New York during the heyday of jazz, Monk! explores the rare alchemy between two brilliant beings separated by an ocean of social status, race, and culture, but united by an infinite love of music. This breathtaking graphic novel by Youssef Daoudi beautifully captures the life of the “the high priest of bop” in spontaneous, evocative pen and ink that seems to make visible jazz itself.
My Beijing Four Stories of Everyday Wonder by Nie Jun (Graphic Universe) ages 8-11 GN
Yu’er and her grandpa live in a small neighborhood in Beijingand it’s full of big personalities. There’s a story around every corner, and each day has a hint of magic.
Naomis Too (Two Naomis) by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich and Audrey Vernick(Balzer/BrayHarperCollins) Ages 8–12
In this sequel to Two Naomis, now that Naomi Marie’s mom and Naomi E.’s dad are married, the girls have learned to do a lot of things together, like All-Family Sunday dinners, sixth-grade homework, navigating the subway system by themselves, and visiting their favorite bakeries. Until sixth grade in a new school presents a whole new set of surprises and challenges.
Path to the Stars : My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist by Sylvia Acevedo (Clarion/HMH Kids) ages 10-12
The inspiring memoir for young readers about a Latina rocket scientist whose early life was transformed by joining the Girl Scouts and who currently serves as CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA
Pride by Ibi Zoboi (Balzer and Bray) ages 12-18
National Book honoree Zoboi—author of the stunning debut American Street—returns with a Brooklyn-set Pride & Prejudice retelling with a Haitian Dominican protagonist. Yes, really. Liz becomes Zuri Benitez, a Bushwick-bred teen who bristles as she watches new neighbors the Darcys move into the brownstone across the street. Gentrifiers, of course. But she can’t help but be intrigued by the wealthy Darius—he of the disarming smile to go with that prep school chic. And yes, Pride is just as confounding and swoonworthy as the Austen original.
Resist: 35 Profiles of Ordinary People Who Rose Up Against Tyranny and Injustice by Veronica Chambers, illus. by Paul Ryding. (HarperCollins) Ages 8–12
Resist profiles men and women who resisted tyranny, fought the odds, and stood up to bullies that threatened to harm their communities. Along with their portraits and most memorable quotes, their stories will inspire you to speak out and rise up—every single day.
A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna (Sky Pony Press) ages 12-18
This follow-up to Mandanna’s debut, The Lost Girl, is a Mahabharat retelling—set in space. The potential heir to the throne of Kali, Esmae was sent away (abandoned) by her mom, the Queen, as a baby because of a curse. Now she has returned to a kingdom ravaged by the new king, and has only one chance to save it. She enters the tournament held by the King of Wychstar, planning to reveal herself for who she really is—and must join forces with her twin brother, Alexi, a stranger, to reclaim the throne. Confounding connections, stunning worldbuilding, and manipulative gods mark this epic, whirling space opera.
Someone Like Me: How One Undocumented Girl Fought for Her American Dream by Julissa Arce (Little, Brown Books)
Julissa Arce explores her days in Mexico separated from her parents and her daily fears while growing up undocumented in Texas.
Storm Runner (Storm Runner book 1) by Jennifer Cervantes (Rick Riordan Presents)
To prevent the Mayan gods from battling each other and destroying the world, thirteen-year-old Zane must unravel an ancient prophecy, stop an evil god, and discover how the physical disability that makes him reliant on a cane also connects him to his father and his ancestry.
Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman (Simon & Schuster) Ages 13–17
Rumi Seto spends a lot of time worrying she doesn’t have the answers to everything. What to eat, where to go, whom to love. But there is one thing she is absolutely sure of—she wants to spend the rest of her life writing music with her younger sister, Lea.
Then Lea dies in a car accident, and her mother sends her away to live with her aunt in Hawaii while she deals with her own grief. Now thousands of miles from home, Rumi struggles to navigate the loss of her sister, being abandoned by her mother, and the absence of music in her life. With the help of the “boys next door”—a teenage surfer named Kai, who smiles too much and doesn’t take anything seriously, and an eighty-year-old named George Watanabe, who succumbed to his own grief years ago—Rumi attempts to find her way back to her music, to write the song she and Lea never had the chance to finish.
They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid’s Poems by David Bowles (Cinco Puntos) Sep 4, 2018
Twelve-year-old Güero, a red-headed, freckled Mexican American border kid, discovers the joy of writing poetry, thanks to his seventh grade English teacher.
Tight by Torrey Maldonado (Nancy Paulsen Press) ages 10 and up
After his quick-tempered father gets in a fight and is sent back to jail, sixth-grader Bryan, known for being quiet and thoughtful, snaps and follows new friend Mike into trouble.
Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake (HarperCollins) ages 14–up
Queen Katharine has waited her entire life to wear the crown. But now that she finally has it, the murmurs of dissent grow louder by the day. There’s also the alarming issue of whether or not her sisters are actually dead—or if they’re waiting in the wings to usurp the throne.
Mirabella and Arsinoe are alive, but in hiding on the minland and dealing with a nightmare of their own: being visited repeatedly by a specter they think might be the fabled Blue Queen. Though she says nothing, her rotting, bony finger pointing out to sea is clear enough: return to Fennbirn.
Jules, too, is in a strange place—in disguise. And her only confidants, a war-gifted girl named Emilia and her oracle friend Mathilde, are urging her to take on a role she can’t imagine filling: a legion-cursed queen who will lead a rebel army to Katharine’s doorstep.
This is an uprising that the mysterious Blue Queen may have more to do with than anyone could have guessed—or expected.
Voyage of the Dogs by GregVan Eekhout (HarperCollins) ages 8-12
Lopside is a Barkonaut—a specially trained dog who assists human astronauts on missions in space. He and the crew aboard the spaceship Laika are en route to set up an outpost on a distant planet.
When the mission takes a disastrous turn, the Barkonauts on board suddenly find themselves completely alone on their severely damaged ship. Survival seems impossible. But these dogs are Barkonauts—and Barkonauts always complete their mission.
We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson and Tonya Bolden (Bloomsbury) Ages 12–18.
This … young adult adaptation brings her ideas to a new audience. When America achieves milestones of progress toward full and equal black participation in democracy, the systemic response is a consistent racist backlash that rolls back those wins. We Are Not Yet Equal examines five of these moments: The end of the Civil War and Reconstruction was greeted with Jim Crow laws; the promise of new opportunities in the North during the Great Migration was limited when blacks were physically blocked from moving away from the South; the Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision was met with the shutting down of public schools throughout the South; the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 led to laws that disenfranchised millions of African American voters and a War on Drugs that disproportionally targeted blacks; and the election of President Obama led to an outburst of violence including the death of black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri as well as the election of Donald Trump.
We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson (Crown/RandomHouse) Ages 8–12
What do we tell our children when the world seems bleak, and prejudice and racism run rampant? With 96 lavishly designed pages of original art and prose, fifty diverse creators lend voice to young activists
Wildcard by Marie Lu (Putnam) Ages 12–18
Teenage hacker Emika Chen embarks on a mission to unravel a sinister plot and is forced to join forces with a shadowy organization known as the Blackcoats.
The Wind Called My Name by Mary Louise Sanchez. (Tu Books) ages 8-12
Some days, ten-year-old Margaríta Sandoval feels as if the wind might blow her away. The country has been gripped by the Great Depression, so times are hard everywhere. Then she has to leave her família in New Mexico — especially her beloved Abuelita — to move to Fort Steele, Wyoming, where her father has taken a job on the railroad.
When Margaríta meets Caroline, she’s excited to have a friend her own age in Wyoming. But it often seems like Caroline, like many other people in town, doesn’t understand or appreciate the Sandovals’ Hispanic heritage. At the same time, the Sandovals discover they might lose Abuelita’s land and their ancestral home unless they can pay off her tax bill. Can Margaríta keep her friend, help her family in New Mexico, and find a place in Fort Steele for good?
Zora & Me : The Cursed Ground by T. R. Simon (Candlewick) ages 10-14
When Zora Neale Hurston and her best friend, Carrie Brown, discover that the town mute can speak after all, they think they’ve uncovered a big secret. But Mr. Polk’s silence is just one piece of a larger puzzle that stretches back half a century to the tragic story of an enslaved girl named Lucia. As Zora’s curiosity leads a reluctant Carrie deeper into the mystery, the story unfolds through alternating narratives. Lucia’s struggle for freedom resonates through the years, threatening the future of America’s first incorporated black township — the hometown of author Zora Neale Hurston (1891–1960). In a riveting coming-of-age tale, award-winning author T. R. Simon champions the strength of a people to stand up for justice.
The Magnificent Mya Tibbs : Mya in the Middle by Crystal Allen (Balzer + Bray) ages 8-12
Things have changed in the Tibbs house, and Mya isn’t happy about it. She’s stuck in the middle between an exceptionally cute baby sister and an exceptionally smart older brother. And her tired parents seem to only notice the “exceptional” kids in the house.
When Mya makes a monumental mistake in an effort to celebrate the twins, she stands to lose everything, including their friendship. Now she has to figure out how to get back in the saddle, grab those reins, and gallop her way toward fixing everything.
Star Wars : Lando’s Luck (Star Wars Flight of the Falcon) by Justina Ireland and Annie Wu (Disney LucasFilm) ages 8-12
When Lando Calrissian gets caught smuggling on the planet Hynestia, the queen agrees to let him go if he delivers something called the Solstice Globe to the Empire on her behalf. Lando is relieved that his punishment is a simple delivery mission-but he soon discovers things are not as simple as they seem. The queen’s daughter, Princess Rinetta, has stowed away on the Millennium Falcon and demands Lando and L3-37 take the globe back to its home planet, which needs the globe to survive. Now Lando has to choose: Do what’s right, or do what’s best for Lando. But if he’s lucky enough, he just might be able to do both….
All the Stars Denied by Guadalupe Garcia McCall (Tu Books)
When resentment surges during the Great Depression in a Texas border town, Estrella, fifteen, organizes a protest against the treatment of tejanos and soon finds herself witih her mother and baby brother in Mexico.
Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria , (Abrams) In a city ruled by ancient prophecies, four teenage survivors of a failed rebellion try to save their city and themselves. ages 13–17. SFF
In the city of Eldra, people are ruled by ancient prophecies. For centuries, the high council has stayed in power by virtue of the prophecies of the elder seers. After the last infallible prophecy came to pass, growing unrest led to murders and an eventual rebellion that raged for more than a decade. In the present day, Cassa, the orphaned daughter of rebels, is determined to fight back against the high council, which governs Eldra from behind the walls of the citadel. Her only allies are no-nonsense Alys, easygoing Evander, and perpetually underestimated Newt. Cassa struggles to come to terms with the legacy of rebellion her dead parents have left her, and the fear that she may be inadequate to shoulder the burden. But by the time Cassa and her friends uncover the mystery of the final infallible prophecy, it may be too late to save the city—or themselves.
Ana Maria Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle by Hilda Eunice Burgos (New Visions Award winner) DEBUT AUTHOR ages 8-12
With a new sibling (her fourth) on the way and a big piano recital on the horizon, Dominican-American Ana María Reyes tries to win a scholarship to a New York City private school.
Blanca and Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore (Feiwel and Friends) ages 12-18
The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they’re also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan. But when two local boys become drawn into the game, the swans’ spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods, and all four of their fates depend on facing truths that could either save or destroy them.
Black Beach by Glynis Guevara (Inanna Publications)ages 12-18
Sixteen-year-old Tamera lives in La Cresta, a rural fishing community on a Caribbean island. Despite having the support of relatives, including her dad, Earl, her elder sister, Mary and her best friend and first cousin, Jan, she struggles to deal with her mom’s mental health issues and the absence of her boyfriend, Dalton who moves out of the village to work. Tamera’s life is further complicated after one of her classmates disappears, and weeks turn to months without any word of the missing girl’s whereabouts. Life gets even more challenging after Tamera suffers a personal loss. This difficulty draws her and Dalton closer, but his long absences remain a test the young couple must contend with. Tamera doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life, but she feels as if her closest friends are moving ahead and leaving her behind. After an environmental disaster wreaks havoc in Tamera’s hometown, she longs to help, but doesn’t have any of the required skills to make an impact. With time on her hands to soul search, she makes a life changing decision that leads her in the path of potential danger. Tamera finds herself at the centre of the mystery of her classmate’s disappearance, the resolution of which shocks the people of La Cresta.
Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore (Macmillan) Ages 13–18. FANTASY
he del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they’re also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan.
But when two local boys become drawn into the game, the swans’ spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods, and all four of their fates depend on facing truths that could either save or destroy them. Blanca & Roja is the captivating story of sisters, friendship, love, hatred, and the price we pay to protect our hearts.
Bounce Back : Zayd Saleem, Chasing the Dream by Hena Khan (Salaam Reads) ages 7–10.
Zayd has a plan. He’s ready to take the reins as team captain of the Gold Team. But when an injury leaves him on the sidelines, his plans get derailed. Can Zayd learn what it means to be a leader if he’s not the one calling the shots?
Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo (SimAladdin) Ages 10–14. SFF DEBUT AUTHOR
Charlie Hernández has always been proud of his Latin American heritage. He loves the culture, the art, and especially the myths. Thanks to his abuela’s stories, Charlie possesses an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the monsters and ghouls who have spent the last five hundred years haunting the imaginations of children all across the Iberian Peninsula, as well as Central and South America. And even though his grandmother sometimes hinted that the tales might be more than mere myth, Charlie’s always been a pragmatist. Even barely out of diapers, he knew the stories were just make-believe—nothing more than intricately woven fables meant to keep little kids from misbehaving.
But when Charlie begins to experience freaky bodily manifestations—ones all too similar to those described by his grandma in his favorite legend—he is suddenly swept up in a world where the mythical beings he’s spent his entire life hearing about seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Hispanic folklore and into his life. And even stranger, they seem to know more about him than he knows about himself.
Crown of Thunder by Tochi Onyebuchi (Razorbill/Penguin) ages 12–18
Taj has escaped Kos, but Queen Karima will go to any means necessary–including using the most deadly magic–to track him down.
Definitely Daphne by Tami Charles (Capstone) Ages 9–12 MG
In front of her followers, Daphne is a hilarious, on-the-rise vlog star. But at school Daphne is the ever-skeptical Annabelle Louis, seventh-grade super geek and perennial new kid. To cope with her mom’s upcoming military assignment in Afghanistan and her start at a brand new middle school, Annabelle’s parents send her to a therapist. Dr. Varma insists Annabelle try stepping out of her comfort zone, hoping it will give her the confidence to make friends, which she’ll definitely need once Mom is gone. Luckily there is one part of the assignment Annabelle DOES enjoy–her vlog, Daphne Doesn’t, in which she appears undercover and gives hilarious takes on activities she thinks are a waste of time. She is great at entertaining her online fans, yet her classmates don’t know she exists. Can Annabelle keep up the double life forever?
Dork Diaries 13 : Tales from a Not So Happy Birthday by Rachel Renee Russell (Aladdin) ages 8-12
Nikki and her BFF’s Chloe and Zoey have been planning a birthday party of epic proportions! There’s just one problem—Nikki’s mom says no way to the budget they need to make it happen. Nikki’s ready to call the whole thing off, but some surprising twists might take that decision out of her hands, and help comes from the person Nikki would least expect. One way or another, this will be a birthday that Nikki will never forget!
Easy Prey by Catherine Lo (Amulet) Ages 13–17 MYSTERY
Only three students had access to a teacher’s racy photos before they went viral. There’s Mouse, a brainy overachiever so desperate to escape his father and go to MIT that he would do almost anything, legal or not. Then there’s Drew, the star athlete who can get any girl’s number—and private photos—with his charm but has a history of passing those photos around. And finally there’s Jenna, a good girl turned rebel after her own shocking photos made the rounds at school last year, who is still waiting for justice. All three deny leaking the photos, but someone has to take the fall. This edgy whodunit tackles hot-button issues of sexting and gossip and will have readers tearing through the pages to reach the final reveal.
Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott, illus. by Geneva B. (Random House) ages 8–12.
When Jaxon is sent to spend the day with a mean old lady his mother calls Ma, he finds out she’s not his grandmother–but she is a witch! She needs his help delivering baby dragons to a magical world where they’ll be safe. There are two rules when it comes to the dragons: don’t let them out of the bag, and don’t feed them anything sweet. Before he knows it, Jax and his friends Vikram and Kavita have broken both rules! Will Jax get the baby dragons delivered safe and sound? Or will they be lost in Brooklyn forever?
Everlasting Nora by Marie Miranda (Starscape) ages 8-12
After a family tragedy results in the loss of both father and home, 12-year-old Nora lives with her mother in Manila’s North Cemetery, which is the largest shanty town of its kind in the Philippines today. When her mother disappears mysteriously one day, Nora is left alone.
With help from her best friend Jojo and the support of his kindhearted grandmother, Nora embarks on a journey riddled with danger in order to find her mom. Along the way she also rediscovers the compassion of the human spirit, the resilience of her community, and everlasting hope in the most unexpected places.
Fraternity by Juan Diaz Canales, José-Luis Munuera (LionForge Comics) COMIC
1863: during the American Civil War, the inhabitants of New Fraternity, Indiana, find themselves far from the front lines of the conflict embroiling the United States but still constantly under threat from it; food is scarce, deserters come to seek asylum, and a mysterious feral beast that walks on two legs prowls the forest around the town. The beast seems to have some connection to Emile, a feral child found a few years earlier who had been taken in by the townsfolk during simpler times. As their fear and paranoia grows, the townsfolk start to hunt the beast and turn on each other, with tragic results that threaten to undo all that they have been working toward.
Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick) ages 14-18. REALISTIC FICTION
When Louise Wolfe’s first real boyfriend mocks and disrespects Native people in front of her, she breaks things off and dumps him over e-mail. It’s her senior year, anyway, and she’d rather spend her time with her family and friends and working on the school newspaper. The editors pair her up with Joey Kairouz, the ambitious new photojournalist, and in no time the paper’s staff find themselves with a major story to cover: the school musical director’s inclusive approach to casting The Wizard of Oz has been provoking backlash in their mostly white, middle-class Kansas town. From the newly formed Parents Against Revisionist Theater to anonymous threats, long-held prejudices are being laid bare and hostilities are spreading against teachers, parents, and students — especially the cast members at the center of the controversy, including Lou’s little brother, who’s playing the Tin Man. As tensions mount at school, so does a romance between Lou and Joey — but as she’s learned, “dating while Native” can be difficult. In trying to protect her own heart, will Lou break Joey’s?
History vs. Women: The Defiant Lives That They Don’t Want You to Know by Anita Sarkeesia, Ebony Adams and T.S. Abe. (Feiwel and Friends) ages 12–18 NON-FICTION
Looking through the ages and across the globe, Anita Sarkeesian, founder of Feminist Frequency, along with Ebony Adams PHD, have reclaimed the stories of twenty-five remarkable women who dared to defy history and change the world around them. From Mongolian wrestlers to Chinese pirates, Native American ballerinas to Egyptian scientists, Japanese novelists to British Prime Ministers, History vs Women will reframe the history that you thought you knew.
Home and Away by Candace Montgomery (Page Street)
Tasia Quirk is young, Black, and fabulous. She’s a senior, she’s got great friends, and a supportive and wealthy family. She even plays football as the only girl on her private high school’s team.
But when she catches her mamma trying to stuff a mysterious box in the closet, her identity is suddenly called into question. Now Tasia’s determined to unravel the lies that have overtaken her life. Along the way, she discovers what family and forgiveness really mean, and that her answers don’t come without a fee. An artsy bisexual boy from the Valley could help her find them―but only if she stops fighting who she is, beyond the color of her skin.
I’m OK by Patti Kim (Atheneum) ages 10 and up
Ok Lee knows it’s his responsibility to help pay the bills. With his father gone and his mother working three jobs and still barely making ends meet, there’s really no other choice. If only he could win the cash prize at the school talent contest! But he can’t sing or dance, and has no magic up his sleeves, so he tries the next best thing: a hair braiding business.
It’s too bad the girls at school can’t pay him much, and he’s being befriended against his will by Mickey McDonald, the unusual girl with a larger-than-life personality. Who needs friends? They’d only distract from his mission, and Ok believes life is better on his own. Then there’s Asa Banks, the most popular boy in their grade, who’s got it out for Ok.
But when the pushy deacon at their Korean church starts wooing Ok’s mom, it’s the last straw. Ok has to come up with an exit strategy—fast.
Imagine Us Happy by Jennifer Yu. (Harlequin Teen) ages 12-18
Stella lives with depression, and her goals for junior year are pretty much limited to surviving her classes, staying out of her parents’ constant fights and staving off unwanted feelings enough to hang out with her friends Lin and Katie.Until Kevin. A quiet, wry senior who understands Stella and the lows she’s going through like no one else. With him, she feels less lonely, listened to–and hopeful for the first time since ever…But to keep that feeling, Stella lets her grades go and her friendships slide. And soon she sees just how deep Kevin’s own scars go. Now little arguments are shattering. Major fights are catastrophic. And trying to hold it all together is exhausting Stella past the breaking point. With her life spinning out of control, she’s got to figure out what she truly needs, what’s worth saving–and what to let go.
Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie Dao (Rise of the Empress #2) (Philomel Books) SFF ages 12-18
Princess Jade has grown up in exile, hidden away in a monastery while her stepmother, the ruthless Xifeng, rules as Empress of Feng Lu. But the empire is in distress and its people are sinking into poverty and despair. Even though Jade doesn’t want the crown, she knows she is the only one who can dethrone the Empress and set the world right. Ready to reclaim her place as rightful heir, Jade embarks on a quest to raise the Dragon Lords and defeat Xifeng and the Serpent God once and for all. But will the same darkness that took Xifeng take Jade, too? Or will she find the strength within to save herself, her friends, and her empire?
Lu (Track #4) by Jason Reynolds (Atheneum). Ages 10–up
Lu was born to be cocaptain of the Defenders. Well, actually, he was born albino, but that’s got nothing to do with being a track star. Lu has swagger, plus the talent to back it up, and with all that—not to mention the gold chains and diamond earrings—no one’s gonna outshine him.
Lu knows he can lead Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and the team to victory at the championships, but it might not be as easy as it seems. Suddenly, there are hurdles in Lu’s way—literally and not-so-literally—and Lu needs to figure out, fast, what winning the gold really means.
Expect the unexpected in this final event in Jason Reynold’s award-winning and bestselling Track series.
Lucky You by Saba Kapur (Amberjack). Ages 13–18
Things seem to be looking up for celebrity socialite Gia Winters. She is living in a fabulous penthouse in New York City and getting ready for her first semester at NYU with her hot new beau, officer Milo Fells. As the weeks go by, a mysterious and dangerous drug makes its way around campus, and self-proclaimed Detective Gia is on the case. Between juggling classes and a new relationship and dodging the paparazzi, Gia starts to feel not-so-lucky after all. Sequel to Lucky Me.
Odd One Out by Nic Stone. (Random House) Ages 14–18. Realistic Fiction
No easy answers.
Period Power: A Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement by Nadya Okamoto and Rebecca Elfast. (Simon and Schuster) Ages 12–up. NON-FICTION
Period Power aims to explain what menstruation is, shed light on the stigmas and resulting biases, and create a strategy to end the silence and prompt conversation about periods.
The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon (Wendy Lamb) Ages 8–12
Caleb Franklin and his big brother Bobby Gene have the whole summer for adventures in the woods behind their house in Sutton, Indiana. Caleb dreams of venturing beyond their ordinary small town, but his dad likes the family to stay close to home.
Then Caleb and Bobby Gene meet new neighbor Styx Malone. Styx is sixteen and oozes cool. He’s been lots of different places. Styx promises Caleb and Bobby Gene that together, they can pull off the Great Escalator Trade–exchanging one small thing for something better until they achieve their wildest dream. But as the trades get bigger, the brothers soon find themselves in over their heads. It becomes clear that Styx has secrets–secrets so big they could ruin everything–and Caleb fears their whole plan might fall apart. fabulous penthouse in New York City and getting ready for her first semester at NYU with her hot new beau, officer Milo Fells. As the weeks go by, a mysterious and dangerous drug makes its way around campus, and self-proclaimed Detective Gia is on the case.
Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa (Groundwood) grew up with. Ages 14–18.
There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.
With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.
Star Crossed by Pintip Dunn (Entangled Teen) ages 12-18 SFF
Princess Vela’s people are starving.
Stranded on a planet that lacks food, Vela makes the ultimate sacrifice and becomes an Aegis for her people. Accepting a genetic modification that takes sixty years off her life, she can feed her colony via nutrition pills. But her best friend is still getting worse. And she’s not the only one.
Now the king is dying, too.
When the boy she’s had a crush on since childhood volunteers to give his life for her father’s, Vela realizes her people need more than pills to survive. As tensions rise between Aegis and colonists, secrets and sabotage begin to threaten the future of the colony itself. Unless Vela is brave enough to save them all.
The Summoner’s Handbook by Taran Matharu (Macmillan) ages 12–18. SFF DEBUT AUTHOR
One who is gifted with the ability to summon demonic creatures that are emotionally connected to their human counterparts. As brought to life in the bestselling Summoner series, the magic of summoning is also an art, with a story of its own. The Summoner’s Handbook reveals the story of James Baker — the epic journal that inspired the series hero, Fletcher, to discover his own summoning abilities. Along with a complete demonology, a guide to the basics of summoning, and glorious artwork from the world of the Hominum Empire, this is the volume that fans of the acclaimed and bestselling series must own.
Swing by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess (Blink/HarperCollins) Ages 13–up
When America is not so beautiful, or right, or just, it can be hard to know what to do. Best friends Walt and Noah decide to use their voices to grow more good in the world, but first they’ve got to find cool.
This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story by Kheryn Callender (Balzer + Bray). Ages 14–up ROM-COM
Nathan Bird doesn’t believe in happy endings. Although he’s the ultimate film buff and an aspiring screenwriter, Nate’s seen the demise of too many relationships to believe that happy endings exist in real life.
Playing it safe to avoid a broken heart has been his MO ever since his father died and left his mom to unravel—but this strategy is not without fault. His best-friend-turned-girlfriend-turned-best-friend-again, Florence, is set on making sure Nate finds someone else. And in a twist that is rom-com-worthy, someone does come along: Oliver James Hernández, his childhood best friend.
After a painful mix-up when they were little, Nate finally has the chance to tell Ollie the truth about his feelings. But can Nate find the courage to pursue his own happily ever after?
Too Young to Escape by Van Ho and Marsha Skrypuch (Pajama Press) ages 8-12. DEBUT AUTHOR
During the aftermath of the Vietnam War, Van wakes up one morning to find that her mother, her sisters Loan and Lan, and her brother Tuan are gone. They have escaped the new communist regime that has taken over Ho Chi Minh City for freedom in the West. Four-year-old Van is too young—and her grandmother is too old—for such a dangerous journey by boat, so the two have been left behind. Once settled in North America, her parents will eventually be able to sponsor them, and Van and her grandmother will fly away to safety. But in the meantime, Van is forced to work hard to satisfy her aunt and uncle, who treat her like an unwelcome servant. And at school she must learn that calling attention to herself is a mistake, especially when the bully who has been tormenting her turns out to be the son of a military policeman.
Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake (HarperCollins) ages 14–up. SFF
This is an uprising that the mysterious Blue Queen may have more to do with than anyone could have guessed—or expected.
Two Roads by Joseph Bruchac (Dial Books) Ages 10–18. HISTORICAL FICTION
t’s 1932, and twelve-year-old Cal Black and his Pop have been riding the rails for years after losing their farm in the Great Depression. Cal likes being a “knight of the road” with Pop, even if they’re broke. But then Pop has to go to Washington, DC–some of his fellow veterans are marching for their government checks, and Pop wants to make sure he gets his due–and Cal can’t go with him. So Pop tells Cal something he never knew before: Pop is actually a Creek Indian, which means Cal is too. And Pop has decided to send Cal to a government boarding school for Native Americans in Oklahoma called the Challagi School.
At school, the other Creek boys quickly take Cal under their wings. Even in the harsh, miserable conditions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school, he begins to learn about his people’s history and heritage. He learns their language and customs. And most of all, he learns how to find strength in a group of friends who have nothing beyond each other.
A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi (HarperCollins) Ages 13–up
t’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.
Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.
But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down.
What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera (HarperTeen) ages 12-18
When Arthur goes to New York for the summer, he expects it to be a lot like the Broadway plays he adores. But it’s not. Ben, on the other hand, is much more pragmatic, in that native New Yorker way. When they meet, Arthur falls head over heels almost immediately, and his enthusiasm may rub off a bit on Ben…but things don’t exactly work out in real life the way they do on stage.
Blended by Sharon Draper. (Atheneum Books for Young Readers) MG
Piano-prodigy Isabella, eleven, whose black father and white mother struggle to share custody, never feels whole, especially as racial tensions affect her school, her parents both become engaged, and she and her stepbrother are stopped by police.
Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean. (HMH Books for Young Readers) Ages 13–17. SFF
During a once-in-a-generation competition to find the new empress, Mari, who hides a terrible secret, Taro, the prince who would denounce the imperial throne, and Akira, a half-human outcast, will decide the fate of Honoku.
Empire of Sand (The Books of Ambha) by Tasha Suri. (Orbit Books) SFF DEBUT AUTHOR
A nobleman’s daughter with magic in her blood. An empire built on the dreams of enslaved gods. Empire of Sand is Tasha Suri’s captivating, Mughal India-inspired debut fantasy. The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited. When Mehr’s power comes to the attention of the Emperor’s most feared mystics, she must use every ounce of will, subtlety, and power she possesses to resist their cruel agenda. Should she fail, the gods themselves may awaken seeking vengeance.
German Calendar No December by Sylvia Ofili and Birgit Weyhe. (Cassava Republic)
Olivia Evezi’s childhood is a happy one; her days spent listening to highlife records with her father and poring over the colourful postcards her mother receives from Germany. But Olivia is a dreamer and longs for more, leaving her hometown of Warri behind to live out her Enid Blyton fantasies in boarding school in Lagos. Instead of adventure and lacrosse, however, she is met with punishments, endless chores and hazing rituals, as she struggles to overcome the terror and disdain of the seniors. Olivia’s restlessness takes her to Germany, her mother’s homeland, where she is thrown into a hidden world of workers and migrants; a world of constant vigilance, where a piece of paper can hold the key to survival.
Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan. (Little Brown) SFF ages 12-18
When Lei, seventeen, is stolen from her home to become one of nine Paper Girls, the Demon King’s concubines, she proves to be more fire than paper.
Girls on the Line by Jennie Liu. (Carolrhoda Labs) ages 13–18. DEBUT AUTHOR
Told in two voices, Luli and Yun, raised in an orphanage to age sixteen, work together in a factory until Yun, pregnant, disappears and Luli must confront the dangers of the outside world to find her. Includes facts about China’s One-Child Policy and its effects.
Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix (Rise of the Empress #2) by Jule Dao. (Philomel Books) SFF
Following a changeable map and clues from folktales, Princess Jade embarks on a quest to summon the Dragon Lords, defeat her evil stepmother Empress Xifeng, and bring peace to the kingdoms of Feng Lu.
Legacy of Light (Effigies 3) by Sarah Raughley. First Simon Pulse. 12-18. SFF
The Effigies must uncover the connection between Saul, Blackwell, and the Phantoms before it’s too late.
Love Like Sky by Leslie Youngblood. (Disney Hyperion) DEBUT AUTHOR
Eleven-year-old Georgie is still adjusting to leaving Atlanta for a small town, having a stepfather, and being unable to get close to her stepsister when her six-year-old sister, Peaches, suddenly becomes very ill.
The Resolutions by Mia Garcia. (Katherine Tegen Books) ages 13–up.
Reinstating their usual tradition of making resolutions together on New Year’s Eve, Jess adds a new twist: instead of making their own resolutions, the four friends assign them to one another—dares like kiss someone you know is wrong for you, find your calling outside your mom’s Puerto Rican restaurant, finally learn Spanish, and say yes to everything. But as the year unfolds, Jess, Lee, Ryan, and Nora each test the bonds that hold them together. And amid first loves, heartbreaks, and life-changing decisions, beginning again is never as simple as it seems.
The Storyteller (Sea and Ink #3) by Traci Chee. (GP Putnam’s Sons) ages 12-18. SFF
As Sefia and Archer watch Kelanna start to crumble to the Guard’s will, they will have to choose between their love and joining a war that just might tear them apart.
Toxic by Lydia Kang. (Entagled Publishing) ages 12-18 .SFF
Hana isn’t supposed to exist. She’s grown up hidden by her mother in a secret room of the bioship Cyclo until the day her mother is simply gone–along with the entire crew. Cyclo tells her she was abandoned, but she’s certain her mother wouldn’t leave her there to die. And Hana isn’t ready to die yet. She’s never really had a chance to live. Fenn is supposed to die. He and a crew of hired mercenaries are there to monitor Cyclo as she expires, and the payment for the suicide mission will mean Fenn’s sister is able to live. But when he meets Hana, he’s not sure how to save them both. As Cyclo grows sicker by the day, they unearth more secrets about the ship and the crew. But the more time they spend together, the more Hana and Fenn realize that falling for each other is what could ultimately kill them both.
Umbertouched (Rosemarked, #2) by Livia Blackburne. (Hyperion) ages 12-18. SFF
Zivah and Dineas prepare for battle against the Amparan Empire as Zivah struggles with the effects of rose plague.
Visionary Women Around the World (Little Leaders) by Vashti Harrison. ages 8–12. NONFICTION
Brief, illustrated bios of women creators around the world.
29 Dates by Melissa de la Cruz (Inkyard Press)
Ji-su’s traditional South Korean parents are concerned by what they see as her lack of attention to her schoolwork and her future. Working with Seoul’s premiere matchmaker to find the right boyfriend is one step toward ensuring Ji-su’s success, and going on the recommended dates is Ji-su’s compromise to please her parents while finding space to figure out her own dreams. But when she flubs a test then skips out on a date to spend time with friends, her fed-up parents shock her by shipping her off to a private school in San Francisco. Where she’ll have the opportunity to shine academically—and be set up on more dates!
Navigating her host family, her new city and school, and more dates, Ji-su finds comfort in taking the photographs that populate her ever-growing social media account. Soon attention from two very different boys sends Ji-su into a tailspin of soul-searching. As her passion for photography lights her on fire, does she even want to find The One? And what if her One isn’t parent and matchmaker approved?
The A-Z of Wonder Women by Yvonne Lin (Little, Brown Books) ages 8-12
Profiles of remarkable heroines who have shaped the world.
Blizzard Besties by Yamile Saied Mendez (Scholastic) ages 8-12
Vanesa Campos can’t wait for winter vacation. Skiing on the slopes, sipping hot cocoa . . . her week at Pinecloud Lodge promises to be cozy and perfect. And maybe she can make some new friends! Never mind that glamorous Beck writes off Vanesa right away; twins Emma and Eric are ready to join the fun out in the snow.
But when the flakes start falling, everything changes. Vanesa’s little brother, Hunter, might be stranded out in the blizzard! Vanesa will have to team up with all the kids — plus one giant dog — to rescue him. Can she save her brother and discover which real friends will weather the storm with her?
Creative Coding in Python: 30+ Programming Projects in Art, Games, and More by Sheena Vaidyanathan (Quarry Books) Ages 10–up.
A collection of projects that teach children how to code in Python.