Book Mail: Retellings, graphic novels, thrillers, anthologies, nonfiction, and more!
There was a time during this pandemic when I would go weeks without getting book mail. Not the case any longer! My cart of books to attempt to read is overflowing and no matter how many books I send out the door (to my kid’s high school, to my elementary school, through giveaways), just as many reappear soon after. Good problems to have, I know.
Here’s a look at what has arrived here lately. Get out your TBR lists, your order lists, your library card, and be ready to dive into lots of new and interesting books!
All descriptions from the publishers.
The Seventh Raven by David Elliott, Rovina Cai (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9780358252115 Publisher: HMH Books Publication date: 03/16/2021, Ages 14-18)
Best-selling author David Elliott examines the timeless themes of balance, transformation, and restoration in this evocative tale about a girl who will stop at nothing to reverse a curse that turned her seven brothers into ravens.
And these are the sons
Of good Jack and good Jane
The eldest is Jack
And the next one is Jack
And the third one’s called Jack
And the fourth’s known as Jack
And the fifth says he’s Jack
And they call the sixth Jack
But the seventh’s not Jack
The seventh is Robyn
And this is his story
When Robyn and his brothers are turned into ravens through the work of an unlucky curse, a sister is their only hope to become human again. Though she’s never met her brothers, April will stop at nothing to restore their humanity. But what about Robyn, who always felt a greater affinity to the air than to the earth-bound lives of his family?
David Elliott’s latest novel in verse explores the unintended consequences of our actions, no matter our intentions, and is filled with powerful messages teased from a Grimms’ fairy tale. Stunning black-and-white illustrations throughout by Rovina Cai.
Where There’s a Whisk by Sarah J. Schmitt (ISBN-13: 9780762496815 Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers Publication date: 10/12/2021, Ages 13-18)
Life is what you bake it.
Peyton Sinclaire wants nothing more than to escape her life as a diner waitress in her small, North Florida town and attend culinary school. Top Teen Chef, Food TV’s new show that pairs reality TV drama with a fast-paced culinary competition, is her ticket out of her boring future. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make her dreams come true and Peyton is determined to prove to herself, and the world, that where you’re born does not determine where you can go. However, once on the show, Peyton quickly discovers that there is more to the competition than just a well-seasoned dish.
As things start to heat up on and off the set, Peyton will have to prove to the judges that she deserves to win while trying to untangle what is real and what is scripted drama, and decide what she is willing to risk to win before her dreams end up on the chopping block.
City of Shattered Light by Claire Winn (ISBN-13: 9781635830712 Publisher: North Star Editions Publication date: 10/19/2021, Ages 14-18)
As darkness closes in on the city of shattered light, an heiress and an outlaw must decide whether to fend for themselves or fight for each other.
As heiress to a powerful tech empire, seventeen-year-old Asa Almeida strives to prove she’s more than her manipulative father’s shadow. But when he uploads her rebellious sister’s mind to an experimental brain, Asa will do anything to save her sister from reprogramming—including fleeing her predetermined future with her sister’s digitized mind in tow. With a bounty on her head and a rogue AI hunting her, Asa’s getaway ship crash-lands in the worst possible place: the neon-drenched outlaw paradise, Requiem.
Gunslinging smuggler Riven Hawthorne is determined to claw her way up Requiem’s underworld hierarchy. A runaway rich girl is exactly the bounty Riven needs—until a nasty computer virus spreads in Asa’s wake, causing a citywide blackout and tech quarantine. To get the payout for Asa and save Requiem from the monster in its circuits, Riven must team up with her captive.
Riven breaks skulls the way Asa breaks circuits, but their opponent is unlike anything they’ve ever seen. The AI exploits the girls’ darkest memories and deepest secrets, threatening to shatter the fragile alliance they’re both depending on. As one of Requiem’s 154-hour nights grows darker, the girls must decide whether to fend for themselves or fight for each other before Riven’s city and Asa’s sister are snuffed out forever.
With Great Power: The Marvelous Stan Lee by Annie Hunter Eriksen, Lee Gatlin (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9781645672852 Publisher: Page Street Publishing Publication date: 10/19/2021, Ages 4-8)
Every superhero has their origin story: a radioactive spider bite turns ordinary teen Peter Parker into Spider-Man, wealthy Tony Stark escapes captivity by building his Iron Man suit, scientist Bruce Banner survives gamma rays only to transform into the Hulk.
For Stan Lee, it was books of adventure, monsters, and magic that helped him transform from an ordinary boy to a superstar superhero creator. At first, reading these stories was a pathway to a world bigger than his family’s tiny apartment in New York City, but it wasn’t long until Stan was crafting his own stories, creating comics professionally when he was still just a teenager! Still, writing wasn’t exciting when the heroes were always the same: strong, perfect, and boring. Stan had a revolutionary idea. What if anyone—even an ordinary kid—could be a superhero?
Discover more about the life of the Cameo King, known to many for his appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and how he revolutionized comics with this vibrant introduction bustling with action, humor, and references for fans new and old. ‘Nuff said!
Make Your Own Money: How Kids Can Earn It, Save It, Spend It, and Dream Big, with Danny Dollar, the King of Cha-Ching by Ty Allan Jackson, Nicole Miles (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9781635863710 Publisher: Storey Books Publication date: 10/26/2021, Ages 8-12)
Award-winning author and charismatic motivational speaker Ty Allan Jackson created the young fictional character Danny Dollar, who has inspired countless children around the world to make, save, and spend money wisely, and to dream big. Now the “King of Cha-Ching” returns to take kids on a how-to journey toward financial literacy, with tips and guidance for making money and minding their own businesses. With Danny as their money-savvy guide, readers get answers to questions like “What is money?”, “How do I make money?”, and “Why should I become an entrepreneur?” This lively, easy-to-read blueprint for financial success provides creative and practical tips for earning money by starting a business, and even covers how to write a business plan, raise start-up money, and understand profit and loss. It also teaches important economic vocabulary (needs vs. wants, goods vs. services) as well as essential life skills for handling money (how to open a bank account, create a budget, invest, and donate).
Some Days: A Tale of Love, Ice Cream, and My Mom’s Chronic Illness by Julie A. Stamm, Chamisa Kellogg (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9781615198108 Publisher: The Experiment Publication date: 10/26/2021, Ages 2-5)
Wyatt’s mom Rosie has MS, but nothing can stop their adventures, big and small!
Even when Wyatt’s mom isn’t feeling her best, he still thinks she’s a superhero! Rosie and Wyatt go on adventures every day: On sleepy days, they build a cozy pillow fort just for two. On wobbly days, Wyatt gets out Rosie’s magical walking stick and they cast spells on his toys. And on one super-special day, the whole family heads to town for the big “funraiser”!
Warm and uplifting, Some Days is the perfect story to share with your child about life with multiple sclerosis—or any chronic illness. Although some days are fast and some are slow, Rosie and Wyatt fill each one with love, excitement, and fun . . . not to mention ice cream!
I’m Dreaming of a Wyatt Christmas by Tiffany Schmidt (ISBN-13: 978-1-4197-5401-2 Publisher: ABRAMS Publication date: 10/26/2021, Ages 12-18)
Ballet and babysitting bring two teens together in this very merry holiday rom-com from the author of the acclaimed Bookish Boyfriends series
Noelle Partridge is known for three things: being the best ballet dancer, babysitter, and person with the most Christmas spirit in her small town. But lately she’s bored by the lessons at her dance school, and her friends and father are more bah humbug than deck the halls. So when her favorite babysitting clients ask her to accompany them on a ski trip over winter break, she packs her bags for the slopes. It helps that they’re offering double her rate–she’ll need the money for Beacon, an elite ballet academy that has granted her an audition.
Noelle is ready to have fa la la la fun, until Wyatt, the older half-brother of her babysitting charges, decides to surprise his family for the holiday. He’s one of the best dancers at Beacon, and makes Noelle’s head spin faster than pirouettes. Unfortunately, she also manages to step on his toes–spoiling his surprise and complicating his secret plans. After a few missteps, Noelle and Wyatt begin to thaw toward each other and bond over the big decisions looming in each of their lives. With enough Christmas magic, Noelle might just start the New Year with lots of babysitting cash in her pocket and a chance with the pas de deux partner of her dreams.
Disability Visibility (Adapted for Young Adults): 17 First-Person Stories for Today by Alice Wong (Editor) (ISBN-13: 9780593381670 Publisher: Random House Children’s Books Publication date: 10/26/2021, Ages 12-17)
Disabled young people will be proud to see themselves reflected in this hopeful, compelling, and insightful essay collection, adapted for young adults from the critically acclaimed adult book, Disability Visibility: First Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century that “sheds light on the experience of life as an individual with disabilities, as told by none other than authors with these life experiences.” —Chicago Tribune, “Best books published in summer 2020” (Vintage/Knopf Doubleday edition).
The seventeen eye-opening essays in Disability Visibility, all written by disabled people, offer keen insight into the complex and rich disability experience, examining life’s ableism and inequality, its challenges and losses, and celebrating its wisdom, passion, and joy.
The accounts in this collection ask readers to think about disabled people not as individuals who need to be “fixed,” but as members of a community with its own history, culture, and movements. They offer diverse perspectives that speak to past, present, and future generations. It is essential reading for all.
Courageous Creatures (I Survived True Stories #4) by Lauren Tarshis (ISBN-13: 9781338317947 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 11/02/2021 Series: I Survived True Stories Series #4, Ages 7-10)
Lauren Tarshis’s New York Times bestselling I Survived series tells tales of brave kids who survive harrowing events. Now, Lauren Tarshis tells the true stories of several animals who face challenges of their own and the humans who help them survive.
ANIMALS. SURVIVORS. HEROES. The author of the New York Times bestselling I Survived series shares four thrilling true stories of animals who have faced disaster—and come through. You’ll meet courageous animals and also inspiring humans who show how we can help protect the creatures who share our precious Earth.
Includes real-life stories about:
- The pigeon hero of World War I
- Two captured dolphins and the hero who helped them return to the sea
- 20,000 penguins saved from an oil spill disaster
- Two orphaned cheetahs and their unlikely new dad
This fourth book in the I Survived True Stories series is perfect for fans of the I Survived chapter books or anyone who loves stories about animals beating the odds. It’s a great choice for reading alongside I Survived the Battle of D-Day, 1944, which features a carrier pigeon character.
Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong (ISBN-13: 9781534457720 Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books Publication date: 11/16/2021 Series: These Violent Delights Series #2, Ages
Shanghai is under siege in this captivating and searingly romantic sequel to These Violent Delights, which New York Times bestselling author Natasha Ngan calls “deliciously dark.”
The year is 1927, and Shanghai teeters on the edge of revolution.
After sacrificing her relationship with Roma to protect him from the blood feud, Juliette has been a girl on a mission. One wrong move, and her cousin will step in to usurp her place as the Scarlet Gang’s heir. The only way to save the boy she loves from the wrath of the Scarlets is to have him want her dead for murdering his best friend in cold blood. If Juliette were actually guilty of the crime Roma believes she committed, his rejection might sting less.
Roma is still reeling from Marshall’s death, and his cousin Benedikt will barely speak to him. Roma knows it’s his fault for letting the ruthless Juliette back into his life, and he’s determined to set things right—even if that means killing the girl he hates and loves with equal measure.
Then a new monstrous danger emerges in the city, and though secrets keep them apart, Juliette must secure Roma’s cooperation if they are to end this threat once and for all. Shanghai is already at a boiling point: The Nationalists are marching in, whispers of civil war brew louder every day, and gangster rule faces complete annihilation. Roma and Juliette must put aside their differences to combat monsters and politics, but they aren’t prepared for the biggest threat of all: protecting their hearts from each other.
The Art of Running Away by Sabrina Kleckner (ISBN-13: 9781631635779 Publisher: North Star Editions Publication date: 11/16/2021, Ages 8-12)
Twelve-year-old Maisie is an artist. When she’s in front of her sketchbook or apprenticing at Glenna’s Portraits, the family-run art shop her grandmother started, the world makes sense. She doesn’t think about Calum, her brother who mysteriously left home and cut ties with her family six years ago, or her parents’ insistence that she “broaden her horizons” and try something new—something that isn’t art.
But when Glenna’s Portraits falls on hard times, Maisie’s plan to take over the shop when she’s older and become a lifelong artist starts to crumble. In desperation to make things right, Maisie runs away to London to reconnect with her adult brother, hoping he might be the key to saving the shop. But as Maisie learns about her family’s past from Calum, she starts to rethink everything she’s ever known. Maisie must decide not only if saving her family’s art shop is worth it, but if she can forgive her parents for the mistakes they’ve made.
Lifetime Passes by Terry Blas, Claudia Aguirre (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9781419746673 Publisher: Abrams ComicArts – Surely Publication date: 11/23/2021, Ages 12-18)
In this darkly comedic YA graphic novel, a group of teens starts a program to bring senior citizens to a local theme park to take advantage of the unofficial park policy: If someone dies on the property, the rest of their party is given lifetime passes!
Sixteen-year-old Jackie Chavez loves her local amusement park, Kingdom Adventure, maybe more than anything else in the world. The park is all she and her friends Nikki, Daniel, and Berke—although they aren’t always the greatest friends—talk about. Kingdom Adventure is where all Jackie’s best memories are, and it’s where she feels safe and happy. This carries even more weight now that Jackie’s parents have been deported and forced to go back to Mexico, leaving Jackie in the United States with her Tía Gina, who she works with at the Valley Care Living seniors’ home. When Gina tells Jackie that they can’t afford a season pass for next summer, Jackie is crushed. But on her next trip to Kingdom Adventure, she discovers a strictly protectedsecret: If a member of their party dies at the park, the rest of their group gets free lifetime passes.
Jackie and her friends hatch a plot to bring seniors from Valley Care Living to the park using a fake volunteer program, with the hopes that one of the residents will croak during their visit. The ruse quickly gets its first volunteer—a feisty resident named Phyllis.
What starts off as a macabre plan turns into a revelation for Jackie as Phyllis and the other seniors reveal their own complex histories and connections to Kingdom Adventure, as well as some tough-to-swallow truths about Jackie, her friends, and their future.
With artist Claudia Aguirre, Terry Blas has crafted a graphic novel that is dark and deeply moving. This book is Cocoon meets Heathers—a twisted satire about a magical land and the people who love it, even to the point of obsession. Jackie’s summer is about to turn into a wild ride filled with gallows humor, friendship, and fun—or is it?
Waking Romeo by Kathryn Barker (ISBN-13: 9781250174109 Publisher: Flatiron Books Publication date: 01/04/2022, Ages 12-18)
Kathryn Barker’s Waking Romeo is a spectacularly genre-bending retelling of Romeo & Juliet asking the big questions about true love, fate, and time travel
Year: 2083. Location: London. Mission: Wake Romeo.
It’s the end of the world. Literally. Time travel is possible, but only forward. And only a handful of families choose to remain in the “now,” living off of the scraps left behind.
Among them are eighteen-year-old Juliet and the love of her life, Romeo. But things are far from rosy for Jules. Romeo lies in a coma and Jules is estranged from her friends and family, dealing with the very real fallout of their wild romance.
Then a mysterious time traveler, Ellis, impossibly arrives from the future with a mission that makes Juliet question everything she knows about life and love.
Can Jules wake Romeo—and rewrite her future?
Medusa by Jessie Burton, Olivia Lomenech Gill (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9781547607594 Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Publication date: 01/11/2022, Ages 14-17)
A dazzling, lyrical, feminist YA retelling of Greek myth, from Jessie Burton, internationally bestselling author of The Miniaturist and The Muse.
If I told you that I’d killed a man with a glance, would you wait to hear the rest? The why, the how, what happened next?
Exiled to a far-flung island by the whims of the gods, Medusa has little company except the snakes that adorn her head instead of hair. But when a charmed, beautiful boy called Perseus arrives on the island, her lonely existence is disrupted with the force of a supernova, unleashing desire, love, betrayal . . . and destiny itself.
With stunning, full-color illustrations and a first person narrative illuminating the fierce, vulnerable, determined girl behind the myth, this astonishing retelling is perfect for readers of Circe, and brings the story of Medusa to life for a new generation.
Anything But Fine by Tobias Madden (ISBN-13: 9781645674382 Publisher: Page Street Publishing Publication date: 01/25/2022, Ages 14-17)
All it takes is one missed step for your life to change forever.
Luca Mason knows exactly who he is and what he wants: In six months, he’s going to be accepted into the Australian Ballet School, leave his fancy private high school, and live his life as a star of the stage—at least that’s the plan until he falls down a flight of stairs and breaks his foot in a way he can never recover from.
With his dancing dreams dead on their feet, Luca loses his performing arts scholarship and transfers to the local public school, leaving behind all his ballet friends and his whole future on stage.
The only bright side is that he strikes up unlikely friendships with the nicest (and nerdiest) girl at his new school, Amina, and the gorgeous, popular, and (reportedly) straight school captain, Jordan Tanaka-Jones.
As Luca’s bond with Jordan grows stronger, he starts to wonder: who is he without ballet? And is he setting himself up for another heartbreak?
Forward March by Skye Quinlan (ISBN-13: 9781645674405 Publisher: Page Street Publishing Publication date: 02/01/2022, Ages 14-17)
What’s worse? Someone using your face for catfishing or realizing you actually do have a crush on the catfished girl?
Harper “Band Geek” McKinley just wants to make it through her senior year of marching band—and her Republican father’s presidential campaign. That was a tall order to start, but everything was going well enough until someone made a fake gay dating profile posing as Harper. The real Harper can’t afford for anyone to find out about the Tinder profile for three very important reasons:
1. Her mom is the school dean and dating profiles for students are strictly forbidden.
2. Harper doesn’t even know if she likes anyone like that—let alone if she likes other girls.
3. If this secret gets out, her father could lose the election, one she’s not sure she even wants him to win.
But upon meeting Margot Blanchard, the drumline leader who swiped right, Harper thinks it might be worth the trouble to let Margot get to know the real her.
With her dad’s campaign on the line, Harper’s relationship with her family at stake, and no idea who made that fake dating profile, Harper has to decide what’s more important to her: living her truth or becoming the First Daughter of America.
The New Girl by Jesse Q. Sutanto (ISBN-13: 9781728215198 Publisher: Sourcebooks Publication date: 02/01/2022, Ages 14-18)
Lia Setiawan has never really fit in. And when she wins a full ride to the prestigious Draycott Academy on a track scholarship, she’s determined to make it work even though she’s never felt more out of place.
But on her first day there she witnesses a girl being forcefully carried away by campus security. Her new schoolmates and teachers seem unphased, but it leaves her unsure of what she’s gotten herself into.
And as she uncovers the secrets of Draycott, complete with a corrupt teacher, a golden boy who isn’t what he seems, and a blackmailer determined to get her thrown out, she’s not sure if she can trust anyone…especially when the threats against her take a deadly turn.
When the World Turned Upside Down by K. Ibura (ISBN-13: 9781338746266 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 02/01/2022, Ages 8-12)
“As clear-eyed as it is engaging, as timely as it is timeless. I fell in love with every single student in this book. And days after reading it, each of them remains with me.” — Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award-winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming“
What do you do when the world shuts down? A heartwarming story of friendship and overcoming adversity in a time of COVID, When the World Turns Upside Down is about community, giving back, and understanding the world around us through the power of generosity from debut middle grade author K. Ibura.
Nobody expected a tiny little virus to change the whole world in such a big way, especially not Shayla, Liam, Ai, and Ben. But when school closes to keep everyone safe, their lives turn upside down. It is one thing to learn that the outside world isn’t safe, but why does it seem that the virus is causing trouble inside their homes too?
As they each struggle to adjust to life in quarantine, they discover they are not alone: their apartment building is full of people who need their help. Working together, they begin to see that there is power in numbers. When they cooperate, they can ease each other’s challenges and help their neighbors through tough times. It’s a lesson they’ll need when protests explode in the streets. Soon, each friend has to decide what it means to be part of a community—and how much they’re willing to do to make this world safer for everyone.
Set against the onset of COVID, When the World Turned Upside Down navigates issues of race and social justice in a heartwarming story of generosity, friendship, and the power of youth.
Ready When You Are by Gary Lonesborough (ISBN-13: 9781338749540 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 02/01/2022, Ages 14+)
A remarkable YA love story between two Aboriginal boys — one who doesn’t want to accept he’s gay, and the boy who comes to live in his house who makes him realize who he is.
It’s a hot summer, and life’s going all right for Jackson and his family on the Mish. It’s almost Christmas, school’s out, and he’s hanging with his mates, teasing the visiting tourists, avoiding the racist boys in town. Just like every year, Jackson’s Aunty and annoying little cousins visit from the city — but this time a mysterious boy with a troubled past comes with them. As their friendship evolves, Jackson must confront the changing shapes of his relationships with his friends, family and community. And he must face his darkest secret — a secret he thought he’d locked away for good.
A Comb of Wishes by Lisa Stringfellow (ISBN-13: 9780063043435 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 02/08/2022, Ages 8-12)
Set against the backdrop of Caribbean folklore, Lisa Stringfellow’s spellbinding middle grade debut tells of a grieving girl and a vengeful mermaid and will enchant readers who loved Kacen Callender’s Hurricane Child or Christian McKay Heidicker’s Scary Stories for Young Foxes.
Ever since her mother’s death, Kela feels every bit as broken as the shards of glass, known as “mermaid’s tears,” that sparkle on the Caribbean beaches of St. Rita. So when Kela and her friend Lissy stumble across an ancient-looking comb in a coral cave, with all she’s already lost, Kela can’t help but bring home her very own found treasure.
Far away, deep in the cold ocean, the mermaid Ophidia can feel that her comb has been taken. And despite her hatred of all humans, her magic requires that she make a bargain: the comb in exchange for a wish.
But what Kela wants most is for her mother to be alive. And a wish that big will exact an even bigger price…
Don’t miss the novel that Newbery-winning author Kelly Barnhill calls “one of the most promising works of fiction in a long time”!
Golden Boys by Phil Stamper (ISBN-13: 9781547607372 Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Publication date: 02/08/2022, Ages 13-17)
National bestselling author Phil Stamper crafts the perfect summer friendship story, starring four queer boys with big hearts and even bigger dreams.
It’s the summer before senior year. Gabriel, Reese, Sal, and Heath are best friends, bonded in their small, rural town by their queerness, their good grades, and their big dreams. But they have plans for the summer, each about to embark on a new adventure.
Gabriel is volunteering at an environmental nonprofit in Boston.
Reese is attending design school in Paris.
Sal is interning on Capitol Hill for a senator.
Heath is heading to Florida, to help out at his aunt’s boardwalk arcade.
What will this season of world-expanding travel and life-changing experiences mean for each of them–and for their friendship?
Phil Stamper treats readers to an emotionally resonant summer story, full of aspirational experiences, sweet romance, and joyously affirming friendship.
Reclaim the Stars: Seventeen Tales Across Realms & Space edited by Zoraida Córdova (ISBN-13: 9781250790637 Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group Publication date: 02/15/2022, Ages 12-18)
From stories that take you to the stars, to stories that span into other times and realms, to stories set in the magical now, RECLAIM THE STARS takes the Latin American diaspora to places fantastical and out of this world.
Follow princesses warring in space, haunting ghost stories in Argentina, mermaids off the coast of the Caribbean, swamps that whisper secrets, and many more realms explored and unexplored, this stunning collection of seventeen short stories breaks borders and realms to prove that stories are truly universal.
RECLAIM THE STARS features both bestselling and acclaimed authors, and two new voices in the genres, including Vita Ayala, David Bowles, J.C. Cervantes, Zoraida Córdova, Sara Faring, Romina Garber, Isabel Ibañez, Anna-Marie McLemore, Yamile Saied Méndez, Nina Moreno, Circe Moskowitz, Maya Motayne, Linda Raquel Nieves Pérez, Daniel José Older, Claribel A. Ortega, Mark Oshiro and Lilliam Rivera.
This Golden State by Marit Weisenberg (ISBN-13: 9781250786272 Publisher: Flatiron Books Publication date: 03/01/2022, Ages 12-18)
A propulsive, breakout novel from Marit Weisenberg, This Golden State follows a family on the run, a restless teenage daughter hungry for the truth, and the simple DNA test that threatens their carefully crafted world
The Winslow family lives by five principles:
1. No one can know your real name.
2. Don’t stay in one place too long.
3. If you sense anything is wrong, go immediately to the meeting spot.
4. Keeping our family together is everything.
5. We wish we could tell you who we are, but we can’t. Please—do not ask.
Poppy doesn’t know why her family has been running her whole life, but she does know that there are dire consequences if they’re ever caught. Still, her curiosity grows each year, as does her desire for real friends and the chance to build on something, instead of leaving behind school projects, teams, and crushes at a moment’s notice.
When a move to California exposes a crack in her parents’ airtight planning, Poppy realizes how fragile her world is. Determined to find out the truth, she mails in a home DNA test. Just as she starts to settle into her new life and even begins opening up to a boy in her math class, the forgotten test results bring her crashing back to reality.
Unraveling the shocking truth of her parents’ real identities, Poppy realizes that the DNA test has undone decades of careful work to keep her family anonymous—and the past is dangerously close to catching up to them. Determined to protect her family but desperate for more, Poppy must ask: How much of herself does she owe her family? And is it a betrayal to find her own place in the world?
Honestly Elliott by Gillian McDunn (ISBN-13: 9781547606252 Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Publication date: 03/01/2022, Ages 8-11)
Highly-acclaimed author of Caterpillar Summer, Gillian McDunn explores boyhood in a funny, big-hearted story about a kid trying to find the best way to be his best self.
Elliott has been struggling since his closest friend moved away, and he’s not too sure where he fits into his own family, especially since his newly remarried dad and stepmom are expecting a baby. His grades aren’t too great, he’s always forgetting things, and he doesn’t really like sports. All together, the result is someone the complete opposite of his dad—a fact they’re both very aware of. Elliott’s only solace is cooking, where he can control the outcome, testing exciting recipes and watching his favorite cooking shows.
When he’s paired with the super smart and popular Maribel for a school-wide project, Elliott worries they won’t see eye to eye. But Maribel is also looking for a new way to show others her true self and this project could be the chance they’ve both been waiting for. Sometimes the least likely friends help you see a new side to things . . . and sometimes you have to make a few mistakes before you figure out what’s right.
Join the Club, Maggie Diaz by Nina Moreno, Courtney Lovett (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9781338740615 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 03/01/2022, Ages 8-12)
This humorous and heartfelt middle-grade debut by Nina Moreno with illustrations by Courtney Lovett is perfect for fans of Celia C. Pérez and Terri Libenson, and any reader still deciding what their passion in life is.
“MAYBE I’M GOOD AT SOMETHING I DON’T EVEN KNOW ABOUT YET.”
Everyone in Maggie Diaz’s life seems to be finding their true passion. The one thing that defines them as a person. Her best friends Zoey and Julian are too busy to hang out after school thanks to band and comics club. Mom is finishing her last semester in college. And Maggie’s perfect older sister Caro is perfectly-perfect at sports and tutoring.
So Maggie cooks up a plan to join every club she can! But trying to fit in with type-A future leaders, gardening whizzes, and the fearless kids in woodshop is intimidating, exhausting, and seriously confusing. And juggling homework, friends, and all of her after-school activities is way harder than it looks.
Seventh grade is all about figuring out who you are — good thing Maggie Diaz has the perfect plan!
Survive the Dome by Kosoko Jackson (ISBN-13: 9781728239088 Publisher: Sourcebooks Publication date: 03/29/2022, Ages 14-18)
The Hate U Give meets Internment in this pulse-pounding thriller about an impenetrable dome around Baltimore that is keeping the residents in and information from going out during a city-wide protest.
Jamal Lawson just wanted to be a part of something. As an aspiring journalist, he packs up his camera and heads to Baltimore to document a rally protesting police brutality after another Black man is murdered.
But before it even really begins, the city implements a new safety protocol…the Dome. The Dome surrounds the city, forcing those within to subscribe to a total militarized shutdown. No one can get in, and no one can get out.
Alone in a strange place, Jamal doesn’t know where to turn…until he meets hacker Marco, who knows more than he lets on, and Catherine, an AWOL basic-training-graduate, whose parents helped build the initial plans for the Dome.
As unrest inside of Baltimore grows throughout the days-long lockdown, Marco, Catherine, and Jamal take the fight directly to the chief of police. But the city is corrupt from the inside out, and it’s going to take everything they have to survive.
Nothing Burns as Bright as You by Ashley Woodfolk (ISBN-13: 9780358655350 Publisher: HMH Books Publication date: 04/05/2022, Ages 12-18)
From acclaimed author Ashley Woodfolk, Nothing Burns as Bright as You is an impassioned story about queer love, grief, and the complexity of female friendship that will keep your heart racing, and breaking, until the very last page.
Two girls. One wild and reckless day. Years of tumultuous history unspooling like a thin, fraying string in the hours after they set a fire.
They were best friends. Until they became more. Their affections grew. Until the blurry lines became dangerous.
Over the course of a single day, the depth of their past, the confusion of their present, and the unpredictability of their future is revealed. And the girls will learn that hearts, like flames, aren’t so easily tamed.
It starts with a fire.
How will it end?
All the Best Liars by Amelia Kahaney (ISBN-13: 9781250312709 Publisher: Flatiron Books Publication date: 04/05/2022, Ages 14-18)
Amelia Kahaney’s All the Best Liars is a dark, modern psychological thriller and coming-of-age about obsession, manipulation, and the intensity of those first friendships that take hold of you and never let go
Tic-tac-toe, three girls in a row. Nine years old and inseparable. Friends for life, or so they think . . .
Best friends Syd, Rain, and Brie grew up on the wrong side of the tracks in the stifling California desert, desperately wishing for a way out.
When a deadly fire is set two weeks before the end of high school, nothing will ever be the same. In the end, each of them will escape—but not in the way any of them expects. One will do it by dying, another by lying, a third by taking the fall.
With gorgeous, taut prose and twists to the very last page, All the Best Liars alternates between the present and the past to unravel the truth behind the fire and the cost of the secrets at the heart of their friendship.
Burn Down, Rise Up by Vincent Tirado (ISBN-13: 9781728246000 Publisher: Sourcebooks Publication date: 05/03/2022, Ages 14-18)
Mysterious disappearances. An urban legend rumored to be responsible. And one group of friends determined to save their city at any cost. Stranger Things meets Jordan Peele in this utterly original debut from an incredible new voice.
For over a year, the Bronx has been plagued by sudden disappearances that no one can explain. Sixteen-year-old Raquel does her best to ignore it. After all, the police only look for the white kids. But when her crush Charlize’s cousin goes missing, Raquel starts to pay attention—especially when her own mom comes down with a mysterious illness that seems linked to the disappearances.
Raquel and Charlize team up to investigate, but they soon discover that everything is tied to a terrifying urban legend called the Echo Game. The game is rumored to trap people in a sinister world underneath the city, and the rules are based on a particularly dark chapter in New York’s past. And if the friends want to save their home and everyone they love, they will have to play the game and destroy the evil at its heart—or die trying.
This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede (ISBN-13: 9781250794055 Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group Publication date: 06/28/2022 Series: The Last Finestra #1, Ages 13-18)
“Riveting, passionate, and full of high stakes danger.” —Tamora Pierce, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Emily Thiede’s exciting fantasy debut, This Vicious Grace, will keep readers turning the pages until the devastating conclusion and leave them primed for more!
Three weddings. Three funerals. Alessa’s gift from the gods is supposed to magnify a partner’s magic, not kill every suitor she touches.
Now, with only weeks left until a hungry swarm of demons devours everything on her island home, Alessa is running out of time to find a partner and stop the invasion. When a powerful priest convinces the faithful that killing Alessa is the island’s only hope, her own soldiers try to assassinate her.
Desperate to survive, Alessa hires Dante, a cynical outcast marked as a killer, to become her personal bodyguard. But as rebellion explodes outside the gates, Dante’s dark secrets may be the biggest betrayal. He holds the key to her survival and her heart, but is he the one person who can help her master her gift or destroy her once and for all?
The Charmed List by Julie Abe (ISBN-13: 9781250830098 Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group Publication date: 07/05/2022, Ages 13-18)
“The best friends to enemies to lovers story I needed in my life! The Charmed List utterly enchants with its delightful characters and heartfelt themes of family, friendship, and first love. I adored this fun-filled and swoony road trip romance with a magical twist!” – Axie Oh, author of XOXO and The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea
Sometimes you need a little magic to fall in love.
Ellie Kobata has spent most of high school on the sidelines, keeping her art Instagram private and shying away from the world. She can’t even tell her only friend, Lia, who she really is: Ellie is part of a secret magical community, and no one outside of it can know it exists. The only person Ellie could fully relate to was Jack Yasuda – her childhood friend who mysteriously started to snub her a few years ago.
But before senior year, Ellie is ready to take some risks and have a life-changing summer, starting with her Anti-Wallflower List – thirteen items she’s going to check off one by one. With this list, she hopes to finally come out of her shell; even though she can’t share her full self with the world. But when number four on Ellie’s list goes horribly wrong—revenge on Jack Yasuda—she’s certain her summer is cursed. Instead of spending her summer with Lia, Ellie finds herself stuck in a car with Jack driving to a magical convention. But as Ellie and Jack travel down the coast of California, number thirteen on her list—fall in love—may be happening without her realizing it.
In The Charmed List, Julie Abe sweeps readers away to a secret magical world, complete with cupcakes and tea with added sparks of joy, and an enchanted cottage where you can dance under the stars.
Wake the Bones by Elizabeth Kilcoyne (ISBN-13: 9781250790828 Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group Publication date: 07/12/2022, Ages 13-18)
“Dark, gripping, and gorgeous, Wake the Bones will lead you into the woods and keep you up late. As lush and sweltering as a Kentucky summer… Elizabeth Kilcoyne is a force.” – Gwenda Bond, New York Times bestselling author
The sleepy little farm that Laurel Early grew up on has awakened. The woods are shifting, the soil is dead under her hands, and her bone pile just stood up and walked away.
After dropping out of college, all she wanted was to resume her life as a tobacco hand and taxidermist and try not to think about the boy she can’t help but love. Instead, a devil from her past has returned to court her, as he did her late mother years earlier. Now, Laurel must unravel her mother’s terrifying legacy and tap into her own innate magic before her future and the fate of everyone she loves is doomed.
Elizabeth Kilcoyne’s Wake the Bones is a dark, atmospheric debut about the complicated feelings that arise when the place you call home becomes hostile.
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About Amanda MacGregor
Amanda MacGregor works in an elementary library, loves dogs, and can be found on Twitter @CiteSomething.
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