Perfert Liars by Kimberly Reid; Tu Books. Ages 12 and up.
Andrea Faraday is junior class valedictorian at the exclusive Woodruff School, where she was voted Most Likely to Do Everything Right. But looks can be deceiving. When her parents disappear, her life and her Perfect Girl charade begins to crumble, and her scheme to put things right just takes the situation from bad to so much worse. Pretty soon she’s struck up the world’s least likely friendship with the juvenile delinquents at Justice Academy, the last exit on the road to jail and the first stop on the way out.
If she were telling it straight, friendship might not be the right word to describe their alliance, since Drea and her new associates could not be more different. She’s rich and privileged; they re broke and, well, criminal. But Drea’s got a secret: she has more in common with the juvie kids than they d ever suspect. When it turns out they share a common enemy, Drea suggests they join forces to set things right. Sometimes, to save the day, a good girl’s gotta be bad.
OMG…issues OMG…I Did it Again?! by Talia Aikens-Nuñez; Central Avenue. ages 9-12
April Appleton wakes up to quite the sight: a herd of elephants marching down her street! She realizes that her powers of witchcraft have done it again. With her friends, Grace and Eve, April must figure out how the elephants got to her town in the first place and then how to get them back home. But with elephants playing in the neighbor’s pool, sitting on cars and eating everyone’s trees, how will they do it? Early readers will delight in the misadventures of this reluctant witch and her plucky friends as they try to figure out how to use April’s powers to do good in the world.
Even if the Stars Fall by Mia Garcia; Katherine Tegen Books. ages 14 and up. Debut author.
One midsummer night. Two strangers. Three rules: No real names. No baggage. No phones. A whirlwind twenty-four-hour romance about discovering what it means to feel alive in the face of one of life’s greatest dangers: love. Who would you be if you had one night to be anyone you want?
Incriminated (Emancipated series) by M. G. Reyes. Katherine Tegen Books. ages 14 and up
There’s trouble in paradise. Six teens legally liberated from parental control the bad boy, the good girl, the diva, the hustler, the rocker, and the nerd all share a house in Venice Beach, and they all have one thing in common: murder.After a streak of hookups, heartbreaks, and bad decisions, the housemates once perfect life is falling apart. One is caught in a forbidden romance with a Hollywood heartthrob, while another puts her dreams on the line for one little kiss. One harbors a dark truth that could save a life, while another’s risky business puts all their lives in danger. And before they know it, the friends are fighting like family.But when an uninvited houseguest and a deadly accident entangle them in a conspiracy none of them saw coming, pulling together is the only way out. Alone, none of them can cover up the lies. Together, none of them can be trusted.Packed with conspiracies, intrigue, and scandalous romance, this gripping sequel told from multiple perspectives will have readers suspecting them all.
The Disappearance of Ember Crow (The Tribe, Book Two) by Ambelin Kwaymullina. Ages 12 and up
In this fast-paced sequel to “The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf, ” Ashala and her friends face a new danger from the least expected source one of their own.
After a daring raid on Detention Center 3 to rescue their trapped peers, Ashala Wolf and her Tribe of fellow Illegals children with powerful and inexplicable abilities are once again entrenched in their safe haven, the Firstwood. Existing in alliance with the ancient trees and the giant intelligent lizards known as saurs, the young people of the Tribe do their best to survive and hide. But the new peace is fractured when Ashala’s friend Ember Crow goes missing, leaving only a cryptic message behind. Ember claims to be harboring terrible secrets about her past that could be a threat to the Tribe and all Illegals. Ashala and her boyfriend, Connor, spring into action, but with Ashala’s Sleepwalking ability functioning erratically and unknown enemies lying in wait, leaving the Firstwood is a dangerous proposition. Can Ashala and Connor protect the Tribe and bring Ember home, or must they abandon one to save the other?
It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas. HMH Clarion. Ages 10-12
Zomorod (Cindy) Yousefzadeh is the new kid on the block . . . for the fourth time. California’s Newport Beach is her family’s latest perch, and she’s determined to shuck her brainy loner persona and start afresh with a new Brady Bunch name Cindy. It’s the late 1970s, and fitting in becomes more difficult as Iran makes U.S. headlines with protests, revolution, and finally the taking of American hostages. Even mood rings and puka shell necklaces can’t distract Cindy from the anti-Iran sentiments that creep way too close to home. A poignant yet lighthearted middle grade debut.
Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas by Gwendolyn Hooks. Lee and Low. Ages 7-12.
Vivien Thomas’s greatest dream was to attend college to study medicine. But after the stock market crashed in 1929, Vivien lost all his savings. Then he heard about a job opening at the Vanderbilt University medical school under the supervision of Dr. Alfred Blalock. Vivien knew that the all-white school would never admit him as a student, but he hoped working there meant he was getting closer to his dream.
As Dr. Blalock s research assistant, Vivien learned surgical techniques. In 1943, Vivien was asked to help Dr. Helen Taussig find a cure for children with a specific heart defect. After months of experimenting, Vivien developed a procedure that was used for the first successful open-heart surgery on a child. Afterward, Dr. Blalock and Dr. Taussig announced their innovative new surgical technique, the Blalock-Taussig shunt. Vivien s name did not appear in the report. Overcoming racism and resistance from his colleagues, Vivien ushered in a new era of medicine children s heart surgery. Tiny Stitches is the compelling story of this incredible pioneer in medicine.”
Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee; Penguin. Ages 12 and up
San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare sSchool for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance througha mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch ofspoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong until disaster strikes.
On April 18, an historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy s home and school. With martial law in effect, she is forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Mercy can’t sit by while they wait for the Army to bring help. Fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, yet Mercy still has the ‘bossy’ cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenaged girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?
Breakout author Stacey Lee masterfully crafts another remarkable novel set against a unique historical backdrop. Strong-willed Mercy Wong leads a cast of diverse characters in this extraordinary tale of survival.
The Rose and the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh; G.P.Putnam. ages 12 and up
Renee Ahdieh is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In her spare time, she likes to dance salsa and collect shoes. She is passionate about all kinds of curry, rescue dogs, and college basketball. The first few years of her life were spent in a high-rise in South Korea; consequently, Renee enjoys having her head in the clouds. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband and their tiny overlord of a dog. She is the author ofThe Wrath and the Dawn.
The Case of the Three Kings: The Flaca files/El Cso de lost reyes Magos: Los expedientes de Flaca by Alidis Vicente; Piñata Books. ages 8-12
Flaca, or Detective Flaca as she prefers to be called, is pleased with her Christmas gifts. Finally, she has the tools needed to do her job: a fingerprint-taking kit, a police-quality mini flashlight, and most exciting of all, police tape to block off crime scenes! However, she is not at all pleased with the airline tickets to Puerto Rico she and her sister La Bruja are given. She has case deadlines to meet! La Bruja isn’t very happy either since their grandmother’s house doesn’t have air conditioning, cable TV or Wi-Fi.
Their parents are sure the girls will enjoy celebrating Three Kings Day, a huge holiday in Latin America that takes place on January 6 and involves putting grass in a box under the bed for the wise men’s camels. Three men on flying camels sounds very suspicious to Detective Flaca, who once again is faced with a case begging to be solved. Where do the Three Kings get the gifts to put in the boxes? Do they steal presents from Santa Claus? Or do they take them from under Christmas trees around the world?
A Mystery Bigger Than Big/Un misterio mas grande que grandisimo by Rene Saldana Jr; Pinata Press. ages 8-12
In this fourth installment of the bilingual Mickey Rangel Mystery series, acclaimed author and educator Rene Saldana, Jr. writes a thought-provoking novel for intermediate readers that explores the contemporary issue of immigration from the perspective of young people. And in this case, Mickey learns some hard truths about being a detective and a good person, ultimately realizing that some mysteries are best left unsolved.
Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan; Scholastic. ages 9-12
Joe and Ravi might be from very different places, but they’re both stuck in the same place: SCHOOL.
Joe’s lived in the same town all his life, and was doing just fine until his best friends moved away and left him on his own.
Ravi’s family just moved to America from India, and he’s finding it pretty hard to figure out where he fits in.
Joe and Ravi don’t think they have anything in common — but soon enough they have a common enemy (the biggest bully in their class) and a common mission: to take control of their lives over the course of a single crazy week.
You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Jeffery Boston Weatherford; Atheneum. ages 9-12
“I WANT YOU ” says the poster of Uncle Sam. But if you re a young black man in 1940, he doesn t want you in the cockpit of a war plane. Yet you are determined not to let that stop your dream of flying.
So when you hear of a civilian pilot training program at Tuskegee Institute, you leap at the chance. Soon you are learning engineering and mechanics, how to communicate in code, how to read a map. At last the day you ve longed for is here: you are flying
From training days in Alabama to combat on the front lines in Europe, this is the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the groundbreaking African-American pilots of World War II. In vibrant second-person poems, Carole Boston Weatherford teams up for the first time with her son, artist Jeffery Weatherford, in a powerful and inspiring book that allows readers to fly, too.
The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye. Balzer+Bray. ages 13 and up Debut author
Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters the only two in Russia and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side. And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death. Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?
For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with beautiful, whip smart, imaginative and he can t stop thinking about her. And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself. As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.
Summer of Sloan by Erin L. Schneider. Disney-Hyperion. ages 12 and up. Debut author
Warm Hawaiian sun. Lazy beach days. Flirty texts with her boyfriend back in Seattle.
These are the things seventeen-year-old Sloane McIntyre pictured when she imagined the summer she’d be spending at her mom’s home in Hawaii with her twin brother, Penn. Instead, after learning an unthinkable secret about her boyfriend, Tyler, and best friend, Mick, all she has is a fractured hand and a completely shattered heart.
Once she arrives in Honolulu, though, Sloane hopes that Hawaii might just be the escape she needs. With beach bonfires, old friends, exotic food, and the wonders of a waterproof cast, there’s no reason Sloane shouldn’t enjoy her summer. And when she meets Finn McAllister, the handsome son of a hotel magnate who doesn’t always play by the rules, she knows he’s the perfect distraction from everything that’s so wrong back home.
But it turns out a measly ocean isn’t nearly enough to stop all the emails, texts, and voicemails from her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, desperate to explain away their betrayal. And as her casual connection with Finn grows deeper, Sloane’s carefree summer might not be as easy to come by as she’d hoped. Weighing years of history with Mick and Tyler against their deception, and the delicate possibility of new love, Sloane must decide when to forgive, and when to live for herself.