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.
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!
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.
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.
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 (HarperCollins)
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.
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