August offers quite an eclectic select of books! From Milati Perkins comedic collections by authors of color to Margarita Engle’s story of a mountain rescue dog, this month has a lot to off middle grade and young adult readers!
Open life: Riffs on life between cultures edited by Mitali Perkins; Candlewick; August Listen in as ten YA authors — some familiar, some new — use their own brand of humor to share their stories about growing up between cultures. Henry Choi Lee discovers that pretending to be a tai chi master or a sought-after wiz at math wins him friends for a while — until it comically backfires. A biracial girl is amused when her dad clears seats for his family on a crowded subway in under a minute, simply by sitting quietly between two uptight women. Edited by acclaimed author and speaker Mitali Perkins, this collection of fiction and nonfiction uses a mix of styles as diverse as their authors, from laugh-out-loud funny to wry, ironic, or poignant, in prose, poetry, and comic form.
Sunday you learn how to box: a novel by Bil Wright; Scribner; August “Sunday You Learn How to Box”: presents an unforgettable portrait of fourteen-year-old Louis Bowman in a boxing ring- a housing project circa 1968- fighting “just to get to the end of the round.” Sharing the ring is his mother, Jeanette Stamps, a ferociously stubborn woman battling for her own dreams to be realized; his stepfather, Ben Stamps, the would-be savior, who becomes the sparring partner to them both; and the enigmatic Ray Anthony Robinson, the neighborhood “hoodlum” in purple polyester pants, who sets young Louis’s heart spinning with the first stirrings of sexual longing. Blending quirky humor and clear-eyed unsentimentality, Bil Wright deftly evokes an unrelenting world with lyricism and passion.
Chasing shadows by Swati Avasthi. Alfred A. Knopf; August Chasing Shadows is a searing look at the impact of one random act of violence. Before: Corey, Holly, and Savitri are one unit—fast, strong, inseparable. Together they turn Chicago concrete and asphalt into a freerunner’s jungle gym, ricocheting off walls, scaling buildings, leaping from rooftop to rooftop. But acting like a superhero doesn’t make you bulletproof. After: Holly and Savitri are coming unglued. Holly says she’s chasing Corey’s killer, chasing revenge. Savitri fears Holly’s just running wild—and leaving her behind. Friends should stand by each other in times of crissi. But can you hold on too tight? Too long? (Amazon) release moved to September
If you could be mine by Sara Farizan; Algonquin, August In Iran, where homosexuality is punishable by death, seventeen-year-olds Sahar and Nasrin love each other in secret until Nasrin’s parents announce their daughter’s arranged marriage and Sahar proposes a drastic solution.
Mountain dog by Margarita Engle; O. Ivanov; A. Ivanov; Henry Holt and Co., August When his mother is sent to jail in Los Angeles, eleven-year-old Tony goes to live with his forest ranger great-uncle in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where Tony experiences unconditional love for the first time through his friendship with a rescue dog.
If I ever get out of here by Eric Gansworth; Arthur A. Levine; August Seventh-grader Lewis “Shoe” Blake from the Tuscarora Reservation has a new friend, George Haddonfield from the local Air Force base, but in 1975 upstate New York there is a lot of tension and hatred between Native Americans and Whites–and Lewis is not sure that he can rely on friendship.
Danny Blackgoat: Navajo prisoner by Tim Tinge; 7th Generation; August Danny Blackgoat, a sixteen-year-old Navajo, is labeled a troublemaker during the Long Walk of 1864 and sent to a prisoner outpost in Texas, where fellow captive Jim Davis saves him from a bully and starts him on the road to literacy–and freedom.
Kizzy Ann Stamps by Jeri Hanel Watts; Candlewick; August n 1963, as Kizzy Ann prepares for her first year at an integrated school, she worries about the color of her skin, the scar running from the corner of her right eye to the tip of her smile, and whether anyone at the white school will like her. She writes letters to her new teacher in a clear, insistent voice, stating her troubles and asking questions with startling honesty. The new teacher is supportive, but not everyone feels the same, so there is a lot to write about. Her brother, James, is having a far less positive school experience than she is, and the annoying white neighbor boy won’t leave her alone. But Shag, her border collie, is her refuge. Even so, opportunity clashes with obstacle. Kizzy Ann knows she and Shag could compete well in the dog trials, but will she be able to enter?”
Burn for burn by Jenny Han and Sioban Vivian; Simon and Schuster; August Three teenaged girls living on Jar Island band together to enact revenge on the people that have hurt them
Little brother of war by Gary Robinson; 7th Generation; August Sixteen-year-old Mississippi Choctaw Randy Cheska lives under the shadow of his brother who was a football hero, later killed in Iraq, until proves himself to his parents and others through the ancient game of stickball.
Oh, snap! by Walter Dean Myers; Scholastic, August: When their journalistic counterparts at a school in England begin to add incriminating photographs to their articles, the Cruisers and students at Harlem’s DaVinci Academy realize that words and pictures do not always tell the whole story.
Alvin Ho: allergic to babies, burglars and other bumps in the night by Lenore Looke; LeUyen Pham; Schwartz and Wade Books; August: When fearful seven-year-old Alvin Ho learns that his mother is expecting a baby, he develops a sympathetic pregnancy–adding to his worry about the burglar who is targeting Concord, Massachusetts.