Browse a selection of our 2023 paperback releases, including picture books, middle grade, young adult, and adult crossover books!
I Love You More Than… by Taye Diggs; illustrated by Shane W. Evans
On Sale Now!
Some families look different than others. A father who doesn’t live full-time with his son tells him all the ways he misses and loves him.
★ “This book is more than just a beautiful love letter from a father to his child, it also provides the reassurance so many children need when they are separated from their parents. …a true gem.” —School Library Journal, starred review
“In this affirmation of paternal love by the creators of Mixed Me!, an African-American man addresses his child, lamenting that though “I am not always with you as much as I’d like… You are always running around in my mind and chilling inside my heart.” Pictured more often apart than together—it appears that travel often separates them—the two participate, on facing pages, in analogous activities as the narrator lovingly reminds his child that he’s seen and adored: “I love you more than I love the beach… I love the footprints your little feet make when I’m chasing you through the sand.”—Publishers Weekly
How Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz by Jonah Winter; illustrated by Keith Mallett
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In this unusual and inventive picture book that riffs on the language and rhythms of old New Orleans, noted picture book biographer Jonah Winter (Dizzy, Frida, You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?) turns his focus to one of America’s early jazz heroes in this perfectly pitched book about Jelly Roll Morton.
“VERDICT While this book isn’t one of Winter’s strongest works, there is a dearth of material on this star jazz musician, making it suitable supplemental material on the Jazz Age or a possibility for biography collections.” —School Library Journal
This Is Our House by Hyewon Hun
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A tree has bloomed on a city block outside a house for many years. Inside that house, several generations of a family have grown up. Grandma and Grandpa arrived at the house from a country far away, and Mom and her brothers played on the steps on warm summer days. This little girl learned how to walk on that street, too. Hyewon Yum’s This is Our House is a warm story with spare text that follows a family through seasons and generations, from the early days of immigration to the times that made their house into a home.
★ “A lovely, unassuming paean to place and belonging.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“The intergenerational household may not be familiar to many modern American kids, but the idea of close family ties and treasured memories and places is universal. This quiet book could be an effective conversation starter about personal history at home or in the classroom.” —School Library Journal
Sing, Don’t Cry by Angela Dominguez
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In this story inspired by the life of Apolinar Navarrete Diaz—author Angela Dominguez’s grandfather and a successful mariachi musician—Abuelo and his grandchildren sing through the bad times and the good. Lifting their voices and their spirits, they realize that true happiness comes from singing together.
★ “With its uplifting message and smiling characters, Dominguez’s story reminds readers that life’s woes are inevitable but can be mitigated by a song in the heart.” —Booklist, starred review
★ “Authentic, heartfelt, and relatable… A wonderful choice for group sharing.” —School Library Journal, starred review
All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle; illustrated by Mike Curato
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Together, a boy and his parents drive to the city of Havana, Cuba, in their old family car. Along the way, they experience the sights and sounds of the streets—neighbors talking, musicians performing, and beautiful, colorful cars putt-putting and bumpety-bumping along. In the end, though, it’s their old car, Cara Cara, that the boy loves best. A joyful celebration of the Cuban people and their resourceful innovation.
★ “Engle and Curato provide a child’s view of Cuba that is extremely accessible and as striking as it is unforgettable. A vibrant snapshot of modern Cuba, full of rich, sensory detail.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ “He and Engle chronicle Cara’s journey in loving detail as the family moves along the coast and into bustling city streets, giving readers glimpses into daily Cuban lives—newlyweds in a Dodge convertible, laundry hanging from balconies as “a sea breeze sings.” It’s a wonderful introduction to America’s very nearby neighbor.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
★ “Engle’s tone is upbeat throughout: she highlights modest country vistas, picturesque contemporary Havana, busy people going about their daily chores, and the profusion of noisy vintage cars. Curato’s vibrant pencil and digital illustrations depict iconic images of Cuba—small farms, city neighborhoods, and government buildings—all in photographic detail… A lyrical and beautiful offering that should help to humanize views of this island nation.” —Booklist, starred review
★ “A fun addition to the ever-popular genre of transportation picture books—this one with a unique perspective and message of perseverance.” —School Library Journal, starred review
Chinatown by William Low
On Sale 12/05/2023
Chinatown. City within a city. Home to street cobblers and herbalists, tai chi masters and kung fu students, outdoor fish markets and lots and lots of restaurants. And best of all, when the Chinese New Year begins there’s a New Year’s Day parade, complete with a lion dance.
Young readers will be equally fascinated by the tour of this colorful neighborhood–and by their tour guide and his grandma who live there.
I Wonder: Celebrating Daddies Doin’ Work by Doyin Richards
On Sale 12/05/2023
Perfect for Father’s Day or all year round! What do daddies do with their children? They style hair, they carpool, they cuddle (after they look under beds for monsters). They play, they motivate, and they comfort. Dads may sometimes wonder if they’re doing a good job. But one thing they’re sure of is that they love every moment with their children.
★ “Writing in the voice of a parent expressing his hopes for his child, author and Daddy Doin’ Work blogger Richards strikes an affecting balance between insecurity and strength. Photographs—collected from Richards’s Instagram followers—show a diverse range of fathers and children spending time together: snowboarding, cooking, swimming, and even providing a patient potty-training audience. “I wonder if you think I’m being too hard on you when I tell you to never give up,” reads a typical entry. “I do it because I know you have the toughness within you to do anything.” Dads (and kids) of all types should find Richards’s message deeply reassuring and relatable.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border by Mitali Perkins; illustrated by Sara Palacios
On Sale 12/05/2023
It’s almost time for Christmas, and Maria is traveling with her mother and younger brother, Juan, to visit their grandmother on the border of California and Mexico.
★ “A story of family strength and unity overcoming fences along the Mexican/United States border. Another poignant piece to add to the current national discussion about the border. A must for any collection.” –School Library Journal, starred review
★ “A powerful picture book debut… Cartoon drawings emphasize the resilience of Abuela and her family as they navigate the border landscape, the impenetrable wall, and a situation that feels unfathomable—but is, unfortunately, all too based in reality.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
Grandma and the Great Gourd by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni; illustrated by Susy Pilgrim Waters
On Sale 12/05/2023
And so, Grandma begins a perilous journey to the far side of the jungle. Along the way, she encounters three very hungry animals: a sly fox, an intimidating black bear, and a sleek, striped tiger. Can Grandma use her sharp wit to escape the jungle animals and make it safely home?
“Colorful in more than one sense of the word.” —Booklist
“This fresh new version will soon have young listeners and readers telling the story themselves.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Clever and crafty, this well-told tale will be a fun addition to most collections.” —School Library Journal
“Grandma’s witty resourcefulness and the opportunity to compare cross-cultural story traditions make this a useful resource and a good readaloud.” —Publishers Weekly
Gone to the Woods: Surviving a Lost Childhood by Gary Paulsen
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His name is synonymous with high-stakes wilderness survival adventures. Now, beloved author Gary Paulsen portrays a series of life-altering moments from his turbulent childhood as his own original survival story.
★ “A rich, compelling read that is emotive and expressive without forcing empathy from the reader. Both brightly funny and darkly tragic, it is fresh in its honest portrayal of difficult themes… Readers will fall into this narrative of succeeding against overwhelming odds amid deep trauma.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ “A riveting, hopeful survival story about personal resilience amid trauma.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
★ “Paulsen exposes his early life with raw honesty and heartwarming humor… This literary treasure is written for book lovers of any age… [A] spectacular memoir that will engage readers as intensely as his award-winning fiction.” —Shelf Awareness, starred review
★ “The prolific Paulsen dips into his seemingly inexhaustible well of memories to pen yet another memoir… Resonant themes and beautiful writing unify the memoir’s episodic structure.” —The Horn Book, starred review
The Ghost of Windydown Vale by Jake Burt
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A thrilling middle-grade mystery, The Ghoul of Windydown Vale is from the author of Cleo Porter and the Body Electric.
★ “Here Burt really puts the swamp into swamp gothic (and the gothic, too), as he repeatedly sends his stunned protagonist diving into the glutinous, sucking mud on which the town is built (nothing metaphorical here!) to hide, rescue a companion, or, in the course of a nightmarish climax, discover a mass of moldering corpses. He also surrounds Copper with a vivid supporting cast, highlighted by a set of scene-stealing young triplets but led by Liz, the blacksmith’s daughter and a literally as well as figuratively sturdy friend. The agony Copper feels as both his assumptions and his loyalties are severely tested is as tangible as the muck in this magnificent, macabre melodrama.” —Booklist, starred review
“Offbeat and immersive… Chapters are short with cliffhanger endings, and [characters] are all memorable.This tale for middle grade readers has a vivid sense of place, an unusual mystery with genuine scares, and a satisfying, if bittersweet, ending that will appeal to readers looking for something a little different.” —School Library Journal
Moonwalking by Zetta Elliott and Lyn Miller-Lachmann
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For fans of Jason Reynolds and Jacqueline Woodson, this middle-grade novel-in-verse follows two boys in 1980s Brooklyn as they become friends for a season.
★ “The coauthors’ equally strong contributions evocatively bring the characters and setting to life through visual poetry. The even pacing makes for an engrossing read, and the characters’ pain and promise will remain with readers. A stellar, hauntingly beautiful narrative.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ “In an authentic look at the racial divide that continues today, authors Elliott and Miller-Lachman bring varying degrees of own-voices authenticity to the characterizations and emotions represented. Their multilayered exposure of a specific time in history will resonate with modern readers, who will see these racist acts echoed all too loudly in current events.” — Booklist, starred review
Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa by Julian Randall
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The Land of Stories meets Dominican myths and legends come to life in Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa, a blockbuster contemporary middle-grade fantasy duology starter from Julian Randall. Fans of Tristan Strong and The Storm Runner, here is your next obsession.
★ “Magic awaits around every corner in Zafa. Nonstop action and plenty of heart create a story worth escaping into.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ “Fusing a vibrant, self-assured narrative voice; subtly wrought intergenerational concerns; and rich, Dominican-inspired worldbuilding, Randall creates an undeniable page-turner.” —Publisher’s Weekly, starred review
Race to the Bottom of the Earth: Surviving Antarctica by Rebecca E.F. Barone
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Equal parts adventure and STEM, Rebecca E. F. Barone’s Race to the Bottom of the Earth: Surviving Antarctica is a thrilling nonfiction book for young readers chronicling two treacherous, groundbreaking expeditions to the South Pole—and includes eye-catching photos of the Antarctic landscape.
★ “A riveting tribute to epic tests of men against the elements.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ “Readers will be caught up in the real-time action sequences and should end up rooting for everybody as these determined individuals face unimaginable physical and mental hardships.” —Booklist, starred review
★ “Exemplary organization… keeps the narratives gliding effortlessly.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (BCCB), starred review
★ “A compelling narrative focused on science and technology, embedded in a cluster of thrilling adventure stories… Highly recommended.” —School Library Journal, starred review
Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
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An oak tree and a crow help their neighbors embrace their differences in this beautiful, nuanced, New York Times-bestselling middle-grade novel from Newbery Medalist author Katherine Applegate.
★ “The simplicity of Newbery Medalist Applegate’s graceful novel contrasts powerfully with the prejudice it confronts. Narration comes from Red, an enormous red oak near an elementary school that also serves as a “wishtree” for the neighborhood—once a year, residents deposit wishes in Red’s branches and hollows…. It’s a distinctive call for kindness, delivered by an unforgettable narrator.“—Publishers Weekly, starred review
★ “Inspires hope for positive change. Perfect for a powerful classroom read, Wishtree is another winner for Applegate.”—Voices of Youth Advocates, starred review
★ “Timely, necessary, and brimming with heart.”—Booklist, starred review
★ “Newbery Award–winning author Applegate meets high expectations in this tale told by a tree named Red, a red oak who is “two hundred and sixteen rings old”… Another stunning effort from Applegate. This thoughtful read is a top choice for middle graders.”—School Library Journal, starred review
★ “This swiftly moving yet contemplative read is great for early middle grade, reluctant or tentative readers, or precocious younger students. A deceptively simple, tender tale in which respect, resilience, and hope triumph.“—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Dog Star by Megan Shepherd
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Based on an incredible true story, Carnegie Medal nominee and New York Times–bestselling author Megan Shepherd crafts a harrowing, propulsive girl-and-her-dog tale that will linger in your heart long after the last page.
“Shepherd’s tautly paced historical novel portrays the friendship between a stray dog and an empathic 12-year-old, both in the orbit of the Starflyer mission to launch animals into space… [S]ympathetic characters deliver a tense and compelling adventure that stays true to historical events.” —Publishers Weekly
“A poignant story that accessibly illuminates a milestone in space exploration history.” —Kirkus Reviews
Team Chu and the Battle of Blackwood Arena by Julie C. Dao
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A rollicking, action-packed adventure of laser tag and fierce sibling rivalries, Team Chu and the Battle of Blackwood Arena is the first book in a commercial middle grade fantasy series by Julie C. Dao.
★ “Dao is a bright voice in middle grade fiction, crafting characters and plot in a way that feels effortless…A fresh title that weaves elements of sports stories and sci-fi with realism and beautifully developed characters, in a way that makes this story irresistible.” —School Library Journal, starred review
“Through the siblings’ alternating perspectives and respective internal struggle… Dao (Song of the Crimson Flower) delves into the Chu’s intergenerational dynamics, pressures, and expectations. A rousing adventure and heartwarming series opener.” —Publishers Weekly
“Chapters alternate between sports-loving Clip’s voice and academically inclined Sadie’s point of view as the siblings unravel the mystery in the most challenging—and imaginative—game of laser tag they’ve ever played. Young gamers, and readers who enjoy rooting for a strong sibling relationship full of competition and support, will revel in this fun, fast-paced adventure.” —Booklist
Con Cuba en el bolsillo / Cuba In My Pocket (Spanish edition) by Adrianna Cuevas
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«No recuerdo. Cuéntamelo todo, Pepito. Cuéntame de Cuba».
★ “Inspirada por las historias de la infancia de su padre, el libro más reciente de Cuevas es un triunfo del corazón… Un compasivo y emocionalmente astuto retrato de un joven cubano en el exilio.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ “Cuevas, con su recuento intenso y profundo de la experiencia de un niño cubano después de la fallida invasión a Bahía de Cochinos, da vida a un punto específico de la historia… Basándose en las experiencias de la niñez de su padre, Cuevas hace una labor excepcional al sacar a la luz la confusa variedad de emociones que siente Cumba al ser lanzado a una vida en un país nuevo.” —Booklist, starred review
★ “Cuevas llena esta segunda novela con emociones palpables y temas de amistad, amor, añoranza y trauma y muestra cuidadosamente tumultuosos eventos históricos desde el prisma de un joven refugiado.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
Consider the Octopus by Nora Raleigh Baskin and Gae Polisner
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When chance, or fate, throws two twelve-year-olds together on board a scientific research ship at the edge of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, it’s not all smooth sailing!
Nora Raleigh Baskin and Gae Polisner’s Consider the Octopus is a comedy of errors, mistaken identity, and synchronicity. Above all, it is a heartfelt story about friendship and an empowering call to environmental protection, especially to our young people who are already stepping up to help save our oceans and our Earth.
★ “Superlative writing and character development uplift this timely story… An inspiring tale of friendship and conservation.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Mihi Ever After by Tae Keller; illustrated by Geraldine Rodríguez
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Newbery Medalist Tae Keller and illustrator Geraldine Rodríguez deliver a middle grade fantasy adventure in Mihi Ever After about three girls who fall into a fairy tale world. Should they stay forever, or find a way to escape?
“Newbery-winning Keller includes some familiar characters from well-known stories while adding some new dimension with a contemporary spin. The girls are told they cannot make changes to the stories as written, but when they start seeing the dark side of things, they decide they’ll do anything to get back home. Themes of friendship, honesty, and integrity really shine here, and the girls’ journey to safety makes for an exciting page-turner.” –Booklist
“Keller leans into the power of fairy tales, friendship, and self-acceptance via this quickly paced fantasy. Familiar elements combine with vivid storytelling and cartoon renderings by Rodríguez (Bella’s Recipe for Success) to underline themes of adventure and self-discovery.” – Publishers Weekly
Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy: Racism, Injustice, and How You Can Be A Changemaker by Emmanuel Acho
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Adapted from Emmanuel Acho’s New York Times bestseller Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, comes an essential young readers edition aimed at opening a dialogue about systemic racism with our youngest generation.
★ “There is humor, lightness, and relatability in Acho’s reliance on pop culture and experience that will make this title a standout for use in classrooms, libraries, and homes. [W]hether you are 18 or 80, there’s something to learn from in this thought-provoking pick.” —Booklist, starred review
“Readers of all races can use this resource to begin having crucial conversations about the need to dismantle systemic racism in this country. A strong addition for public and school libraries who want to offer safe spaces for these necessary conversations.” —School Library Journal
“A popular YouTube series on race, “Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man,” turns how-to manual and history lesson for young readers.” —Kirkus Reviews
Bright by Brigit Young
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In this poignant middle grade novel, a struggling student joins her school’s celebrated quiz team in a bid to avoid failing eighth grade.
“[A] pitch-perfect narrative… A winner, indeed, especially for readers who question their own worth.” —Kirkus Reviews
“[A] thoughtfully rendered novel that… organically explores concepts of what it means to work hard and be smart through Marianne’s realistically bumpy arc.” —Publishers Weekly
“A gentle reminder that not everyone is who they seem and a great pick for middle-grade readers searching for where they belong.“ —Booklist
Treasure Tracks by S.A. Rodriguez
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A debut middle-grade adventure about a young teen who goes on a treasure hunt for undersea riches to help his ailing abuelo.
“Rodriguez packs a ton of local historical know-how and genuine humor into a seaworthy debut adventure. Lighthearted yet solid prose and quirky, delightful characters round out this swell tale of plucky fun under (and above) the sea. Here be treasure indeed.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Hits the mark with prickly characters, clues to a lost treasure, scuba diving, and blacktip sharks and barracudas… The author weaves in a strong sense of reverence for Floridian natural elements and marine life. The characters’ Cuban heritage is also worked into the plot, and Spanish is seamlessly sprinkled throughout… A high-octane middle grade adventure for fans of James Ponti’s City Spies.” —School Library Journal
The Second Chance of Benjamin Waterfalls by James Bird
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A middle-grade novel by James Bird about a boy sent to his Ojibwe family to straighten out his life.
“The bravado and feigned indifference in Benny’s voice is spot-on for a kid hiding the pain of his father’s abandonment, and the times he lets himself contemplate how truly awful it felt to be left behind are heartbreakingly realistic. ….It’s a hard lesson, but it’s grounded in love, and readers will be happy to see Benny and his father get their second chances.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (BCCB)
“Bird’s strengths include his multidimensional characters (each of whom has flaws that they struggle to overcome) as well as the vivid descriptions of Grand Portage, Minnesota, home of the Gitchi Onigaming Ojibwe. Of equal importance is the more understated message that Indigenous ways of knowing and approaches to problems can be extremely effective, despite the dominant culture’s insistence on discounting them. … Benny’s progress is heartening and sure to encourage readers.” —Booklist
“A heartfelt, endearing, and inspiring story of second chances and first steps toward greatness.” —School Library Journal
Stinetinglers: All New Stories by the Master of Scary Tales by R. L. Stine
On Sale Now!
From New York Times bestselling author R.L. Stine, the master of horror for young readers, comes ten new stories that are sure to leave you shivering.
“This collection of 10 scary short stories from the bestselling Goosebumps author promises—and delivers—chills, twists, and surprises… Each story ends with a classic Stine twist and campy humor. This combination is sure to appeal to returning fans and surprise those new to his writing…Quick doses of horror that send a tingle up your spine.” —Kirkus
“Stine’s collection, full of disaffected or downright miserable narrators, and bullies who take the form of friends, parents, and siblings, is a harrowing look at myriad current real-life horrors plaguing tweens, and foregrounds the idea that, more often than not, one must be brave enough to save oneself.” —Publishers Weekly
“Another collection of tales from the most trusted name in kids’ horror…A must-have volume wherever Stine’s other work has a following.” —School Library Journal
The Marvellers by Dhonielle Clayton; illustrated by Khadijah Khatib
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Dhonielle Clayton makes her middle-grade debut with a fantasy adventure set in a global magic school in the sky —an instant New York Times and #1 Indie Bestseller!
★”An enthralling fantasy adventure full of bravery, love, and humor.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★”[A] myriad [of] global cultural traditions with an intersectionally inclusive, fantastical adventure.” —Publisher’s Weekly, starred review
★”An exemplary example of diversity with a Black girl protagonist, and characters representing a variety of cultures, skin tones, gender identities, sexual orientations, and religious affiliations. This fun, immersive tale is a must-purchase.” —School Library Journal, starred review
“This middle-grade debut will have readers buzzing as much for its best-selling author as for the desperately needed fresh take on magic schools.” —Booklist
“The Marvellers is only the start of Ella’s journey, but Clayton has carefully given Ella everything she needs to one day join the likes of Percy Jackson, Morrigan Crow and Aru Shah in the middle grade fantasy hall of fame.” —BookPage
“[An] inclusive fantasy worlds filled with magic, lore, and beauty. A marvelous middle-grade adventure, indeed.” —Horn Book
Where the Lost Ones Go by Akemi Dawn Bowman
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Where the Lost Ones Go is a middle grade contemporary fantasy by critically acclaimed author Akemi Dawn Bowman, in which a twelve-year-old biracial Japanese American girl grieves the loss of her beloved grandma and attempts to contact her beyond the grave.
★”This is a beautiful story that explores grief and friendship…A captivating story that will appeal to readers who love a mystery, have experienced loss, or anyone who has searched for friendship in a new place.” —School Library Journal, starred review
“Filled with powerful twists and revelations, this is an emotional contemporary fantasy about second chances and the value of holding on to precious memories.” —BCCB
“A beautiful and gripping tale of ghosts, friendships, and moving on without forgetting the ones who have mattered to us. Eliot is a heroine readers are sure to love.” —Katie Zhao, author of Last Gamer Standing and the Winnie Zeng series
“Full of heart and captivating from start to finish, Where the Lost Ones Go takes the sharp pieces of grief and molds them into a story full of warm, radiant love. With both the fantastical elements and profoundness of a Miyazaki film, it’s a story that’ll stick with me for a long time.” —Lyla Lee, author of the Mindy Kim series
The Awakening of Malcolm X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Tiffany D. Jackson
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The Awakening of Malcolm X is a powerful narrative account of the activist’s adolescent years in jail, written by his daughter Ilyasah Shabazz along with 2019 Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe award-winning author, Tiffany D. Jackson.
★ “Shabazz and Jackson effectively illuminate not only the figure’s religious and political awakening, but the injustice historically leveled against the Black community by mass incarceration and systemic racism.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
★”Readers will make connections to persistent injustices faced by Black communities—and the beautiful ways which, despite that terror, Black families have found to craft visions of freedom and lives of dignity and love. A must-read reminder that transformation is made possible through community.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★”Libraries will be incomplete without the inclusion of this captivating historical novel by Malcom X’s daughter.” —School Library Journal, starred review
“An affecting piece of historical fiction . . . a perfect entrée for young adult readers to learn about the formative years of a pivotal leader in the civil rights movement.” —Booklist
“Through Malcolm’s memories of parental guidance and his participation in wide-ranging prison conversations, readers join him in weighing viewpoints on topics from Marcus Garvey’s pan-Africanism to the ill-defined purpose of incarceration in America. A compelling account.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Shabazz depict his experience in a narrative interspersed with real-life quotes from the activist, fictionalized letters from his family and his then-mentor Elijah Muhammad, and dictionary definitions Malcolm records as he educates himself . . . an intensely intimate look into the mind of young Malcolm.” —The Horn Book
Me (Moth) by Amber McBride
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A debut YA novel-in-verse by Amber McBride, Me (Moth) is about a teen girl who is grieving the deaths of her family, and a teen boy who crosses her path.
★ “This searing debut novel-in-verse is told from the perspective of Moth, a Black teen whose life changed forever the day a car crash killed her family. … Each free verse poem is tightly composed, leading into the next for a poignant and richly layered narrative. The story builds softly and subtly to a perfect, bittersweet ending. Fans of Jacqueline Woodson won’t be able to put this one down.”—School Library Journal, starred review
★ “McBride artfully weaves Black Southern Hoodoo traditions with those of the Navajo/Diné people, creating a beautiful and cross-cultural reverence for the earth, its inhabitants, and our ancestors. … Written in verse, this novel is hauntingly romantic, refusing to be rushed or put down without deep contemplation of what it means to accept the tragedies of our lives and to reckon with the ways we metamorphosize as a result of them.” —Booklist, starred review
★”If you think you know where this story is going, think again. Me (Moth) will surprise you.” —BookPage, starred review
“Written in gorgeous verse, Moth’s painful story of heartbreak, connection, and learning to love again unfolds, thanks to a soul connection with cool guy Sani.”—Girls Life Magazine
“With unmatched lyrical writing and a powerful plot, McBride is an absolute must-read author.“—Buzzfeed
One for All by Lillie Lainoff
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One for All is a gender-bent retelling of The Three Musketeers, in which a girl with a chronic illness trains as a Musketeer and uncovers secrets, sisterhood, and self-love.
★ “Among the book’s many strengths is its character development, fleshing out each individual with their own charms, quirks, and flaws . . . Lainoff’s debut is a rare treat, telling an honest story about a disabled protagonist in a historical setting without infantilizing the character or glossing over her experience . . . An unforgettable mystery and dashing story woven from threads of chosen family and sisterhood along with bravery, loyalty, and heart.” —Booklist, starred review
“Amid suspenseful spying and code-breaking, Lainoff deftly explores chronic illness and internalized ableism; others’ ignorant comments and Tania’s struggles with pervasive self-doubt are painfully realistic. The Musketeers’ unwavering support is heartwarming . . . An insightful, affirming tale of swordplay and sisterhood.” —Kirkus Reviews
What Beauty There Is by Cory Anderson
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A 2022 William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist, What Beauty There Is is Cory Anderson’s stunning novel about brutality and beauty, and about broken people trying to survive—”Intense, brutal, and searingly honest,” perfect for fans of Patrick Ness, Laura Ruby, and Meg Rosoff.
★ “A gorgeous, intense, and shocking look at chaos, survival, fate, and betrayal… A first purchase and a must-read. Prepare to be haunted and chilled to the bone by this exceptional story.” —School Library Journal, starred review
★ “Intense, brutal, and searingly honest, Anderson’s debut features intricate plotting and action that hold up against the best thriller novels, yet it is all the more remarkable for its tender, multidimensional characterization and sharp, crystalline prose. Riveting and unforgettable.” —Kirkus, starred review
★ “Debut author [Cory] Anderson captures the setting and souls of her characters through her sparse yet lyrical text, creating a suspenseful, throbbing tale of love and survival, choices and consequences. Told in alternating voices, this powerful story will mesmerize.” —Booklist, starred review
“Readers who like their novels pitch dark and bone chilling will revel in the horrifying villain and the trio of kids locked into a dilemma they cannot possibly resolve.” —The Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books
“Anderson’s starkly atmospheric thriller illuminates ways in which cycles of poverty and incarceration can disenfranchise children.” —Publishers Weekly
“[A] taut psychological thriller. Anderson’s spare, lyrical writing yields great insight into her characters, and the unforgiving Idaho winter landscape is almost a character in its own right.” – Horn Book
Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
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With four starred reviews, Angeline Boulley’s debut novel, Firekeeper’s Daughter, is a groundbreaking YA thriller about a Native teen who must root out the corruption in her community, perfect for readers of Angie Thomas and Tommy Orange.
★ “Hitting hard when it comes to issues such as citizenship, language revitalization, and the corrosive presence of drugs on Native communities, this novel will long stand in the hearts of both Native and non-Native audiences.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
★ “Though Firekeeper’s Daughter contains gripping action sequences and gasp-inducing twists, it’s Daunis’ mission of self-discovery, which begins as a low and steady growl and grows to a fierce, proud roar, that has the most impact… Though it both shocks and thrills, in the end, what leaves you breathless is Firekeeper’s Daughter’s blazing heart.” —BookPage, Starred Review
★ “Boulley, herself an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, writes from a place of love for her community and shares some key teachings from her culture, even mixing languages within the context of the story. She doesn’t shy away from or sugar-coat the very real circumstances that plague reservations across the country, and she tackles these through her biracial hero who gets involved in the criminal investigation into the corruption that led to this pain. An incredible thriller, not to be missed.” —Booklist, Starred Review
★ “This suspenseful upper-YA novel will keep readers wondering who Daunis can trust.” —Horn Book, Starred Review
“A suspenseful tale filled with Ojibwe knowledge, hockey, and the politics of status.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A character-driven crime thriller packed with Ojibwe culture and high-stakes tension with themes of identity, trust, and resilience.” —School Library Journal
“A perfectly calibrated pace and a constantly shifting list of suspects keep the tension high.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie
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A teen girl navigates friendship drama, the end of high school, and discovering her queerness in Ophelia After All, a hilarious and heartfelt contemporary YA debut by author Racquel Marie.
“Marie writes Ophelia and her friends through the hurdles and heartaches of senior spring with charm and insight, giving each character complexity and their varied cultural experiences the space, consideration, and depth they deserve. A feel-good and effortlessly inclusive coming-of-age story that deftly captures the aching tension of queer adolescence.” —Kirkus
“Filled with realistic elements, this lovely coming-of-age story follows Ophelia as she explores her identity as well as the ups and downs of high school…This touching debut offers an emotional ride that readers will be happy to embark upon.” —Booklist
“Debut author Marie. . .shows a wonderful knack for creating sweetly complex relationships…and inclusive portrayals, including aromantic, asexual, bisexual, and pansexual representation—the book never feels like a manual: Ophelia, Talia, and their friends are fully human creations.” —Publishers Weekly
“Marie’s debut YA novel adds more welcome queer and multiracial Latinx leading characters to the teens-coming-of-age canon. . .While this engaging story will especially resonate with individuals who share the protagonist’s identities and who seek to see themselves reflected in the stories they read, Ophelia is highly relatable as a soulful and eccentric individual who tries to find her way and reclaim a clear sense of who she is.” —Horn Book
Deep in Providence by Riss M. Neilson
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A spellbinding young adult fantasy debut following three best friends who turn to magic when they’re haunted by a friend’s death…and perhaps her spirit, combining the atmospheric thrills of The Hazel Wood with the nuanced realism of Erika L. Sanchez.
“A spellbinding tale of friendship and grief told with startling tenderness and emotional truth.” —Ryan Douglass, New York Times-bestselling author of The Taking of Jake Livingston
“Equal parts haunting and healing, Deep in Providence takes an intricate look at grief, family, spirituality, and love through the lenses of three magical girls on the edge of adulthood. A bittersweet story that’s sure to linger in readers’ hearts.” —Racquel Marie, author of Ophelia After All
“Neilson harnesses the electric power of young female friendship, grief, and magic, in spooky and spellbinding ways. Deep in Providence will have you mesmerized from the first page.” —Goldy Moldavsky, New York Times-bestselling author of The Mary Shelley Club
“Reader beware: This book will enthrall you. Once I opened it, I could not put it down! By braiding together the perspectives of three bold and nuanced best friends who are grieving the loss of their fourth, Neilson casts a powerful spell that will haunt readers long after the final page. The friendships feel so tangibly real that I miss these girls already—and that’s the best kind of magic.” —Romina Garber, bestselling author of Lobizona
“A beautiful exploration of friendship, grief, and love that transcends everything—even death—Deep in Providence is a searing debut novel. It is the perfect combination of terror and tenderness.” —Lillie Lainoff, author of One for All
The Burning (Young Readers Edition): Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 by Tim Madigan; adapted by Hilary Beard
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One of the worst acts of racist violence in American history took place in 1921, when a White mob numbering in the thousands decimated the thriving Black community of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The Burning recreates Greenwood at the height of its prosperity, explores the currents of hatred, racism, and mistrust between its Black residents and Tulsa’s White population, narrates events leading up to and including Greenwood’s devastation, and documents the subsequent silence that surrounded this tragedy. Delving into history that’s long been pushed aside, this is the true story of Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre, with updates that connect the historical significance of the massacre to the ongoing struggle for racial justice in America.
Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
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Gossip Girl meets Get Out in Ace of Spades, a YA contemporary thriller by debut author Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé about two students, Devon & Chiamaka, and their struggles against an anonymous bully.
★ “Àbíké-Íyímídé excels in portraying the conflict of characters who exist in two worlds…Devon and Chiamaka are dynamic and multifaceted, deeply human in the face of Aces’ treatment.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
★ “Readers will love this thriller-mystery… A revelatory, buzzworthy debut.” —School Library Journal, starred review
“Told in alternating chapters that capture each character’s unique voice and personality, Àbíké-Íyímídé’s adeptly crafted debut brings to life an unforgettable thriller that fuses intricate world building with compelling character development.” —Booklist
“Ace of Spades is a clever thriller that, just as you think you’ve got it figured out, pulls the rug out from under you. What makes the twist all the more chilling is its plausibility. Debut author Faridah Ábíké-Íyímídé is a revelation, her protagonists — Chiamaka and Devon — are wonderfully captivating and nuanced. And her epilogue is the best I’ve ever read. This is one magnificent debut!” —Angeline Boulley, New York Times-bestselling author of Firekeeper’s Daughter
“Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé is an absolute artist of crafting tension and suspense.Ace of Spades will leave readers tearing through chapters, desperate to see what happens next. Packed with killer twists that gave me goosebumps, Ace of Spades is a phenomenal debut here to knock you off your feet and send your heart racing.” —Aiden Thomas, New York Times-bestselling author of Cemetery Boys
When You Call My Name by Tucker Shaw
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In the spirit of the author’s massively popular Twitter thread, Tucker Shaw’s When You Call My Name is a heartrending novel about two gay teens coming of age in New York City in 1990 at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, perfect for fans of Adam Silvera and Mary H. K. Choi.
★ “This book is historical fiction. . .but the frank, personable writing style circumvents many of the challenges the genre often has in generating teen appeal. . . an invaluable addition to a genre that has largely excluded this piece of history.” —School Library Journal, starred review
“In 1990 Manhattan the paths of two young men intertwine. . .but the story is not just about their connection; it’s about the history of New York and the people who fought and coped, loved and lost, died and survived during the years when an HIV diagnosis was a death sentence. The novel is a love letter to this time and place and to the people of Manhattan. It masterfully pulls at the heartstrings. . .a touching and beautiful story.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Copious period-specific pop culture references pepper the novel, whose assured pacing and intimate tone balances elements of promise, possibility, and reality. In Adam and Ben, Shaw effectively captures the era’s feeling of pain, uncertainty, and liberation for the gay community.” —Publishers Weekly
“Poignant and uplifting . . . The novel explores the tenacity and strength of queer friendship during the toughest of times, while paying homage to a city that faced significant loss.” —GAY TIMES
The Silent Unseen: A Novel of World War II by Amanda McCrina
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A mesmerizing historical novel of suspense and intrigue about a teenage girl who risks everything to save her missing brother.
★ “McCrina soars in her writing as she depicts this complicated piece of forgotten history. Well researched, accurate, and smartly written, this is a page-turner, weaving together the horrors of war and its psychological consequences beautifully. With a touch of romance thrown in, this suspenseful thriller is . . . a must-buy.” —School Library Journal, starred review
“[A] well-researched, thrilling account of two teens in 1944 Poland . . . Clever plot twists highlight this fast-moving tale of espionage, loyalty, and survival, plus a budding romance. Readers will no doubt be drawn to the Ukrainian element, given current events, and better appreciate that country’s situation in light of its history.” —Booklist
“Maria and Kostya are complex characters with realistic romantic chemistry, maintaining different agendas and using lies to get what they want in a world where surviving is more important than romance . . . A historical, high-stakes novel with a fitting romantic subplot.” —The Bulletin
“Vividly wrought. ” —Publishers Weekly
“Fierce and astonishing. It has the sweep and scale of a big historical novel, yet is filled with exquisite nuances that make this a powerfully affecting work. You will finish The Silent Unseen glad for what you have heard and seen in this quietly devastating yet ultimately uplifting novel.” —Andrew Fukuda, author of This Light Between Us
“Taut, twisting, and eloquently gritty, The Silent Unseen brings the shifting realities of post-war Europe to harrowing, heartbreaking life.” —Sharon Cameron, author of The Light in Hidden Places and Bluebird
Rise Up!: How You Can Join the Fight Against White Supremacy by Crystal Marie Fleming
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This urgent book explores the roots of racism and its legacy in modern day, all while empowering young people with actionable ways they can help foster a better world and become antiracists.
★ “A clear and damning appraisal of the United States’ long-standing relationship with White supremacy—with actionable advice for readers to do better.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ “A standout . . . sure to inspire young people to act.” —Booklist, starred review
“Rise Up! is the invigorating, thought-provoking, eye-opening, and essential book about fighting white supremacy that I wish I had when I was a teen. Crystal M. Fleming writes about tough subjects with authority and compassion, and inspires with a roadmap for how we can change the world for the better.” —Malinda Lo, National Book Award-winning author of Last Night at the Telegraph Club
What Souls Are Made Of: A Wuthering Heights Remix by Tasha Suri
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In the Remixed Classics series, authors from marginalized backgrounds reinterpret classic works through their own cultural lens to subvert the overwhelming cishet, white, and male canon. Two British Indian teens cut off from their heritage find solace in each other in this gothic Wuthering Heights YA remix that subverts the default whiteness of the original text.
“With its brooding characters, gorgeous setting, and a romance that sparkles with electricity, this retelling of Wuthering Heightsbreathes fresh air into an old classic.” —Stacey Lee, New York Times-bestselling author of The Downstairs Girl and Luck of the Titanic
“Hopeful and heartbreaking, this remix of Brontë’s classic is a magnificent, beautifully written ode to love, family and belonging.” —Sangu Mandanna, author of The Celestial Trilogy and Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom
Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson; illustrated by Emily Carroll
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The critically acclaimed, award-winning, modern classic Speak is now a stunning graphic novel.
★ “Carroll, well-known for her horror comics, does an excellent job of bringing the vignettes of Anderson’s novel to the graphic format. With spellbinding artwork, this exceptional adaptation masterfully does justice to its source material while adding new depth and nuance.” —Booklist, starred review
★ “This potent retelling of the modern classic Speak blends words and images to create magic: a new representation of a teen whose voice is ripped from her, the battles she must wage to find it again, and the triumph of finally being able to speak out. Carroll’s grayscale artwork perfectly depicts the starkness of Melinda’s depression through strong ink lines and striking panels that rely on pencil and charcoal textural effects for the backgrounds. The characters are distinct and the action flows naturally; it is amazing how closely this version evokes the style and feeling of the original.” —School Library Journal, starred review
★ “Anderson’s timeless and important tale of high-school sexual assault and its aftermath undergoes a masterful graphic novel transformation. Carroll’s stark black-and-white illustrations are exquisitely rendered, capturing the mood through a perfectly calibrated lens. With the rise of women finding their voices and speaking out about sexual assault in the media, this reworking of the enduring 1999 classic should be on everyone’s radar…Powerful, necessary, and essential.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
★ “In this new graphic novel adaptation of Anderson’s Speak (rev. 9/99)—a powerful narrative of a freshman’s year of self-preservation after a brutal sexual assault—artist Carroll starkly renders protagonist Melinda’s pain and healing in black and white, expertly deploying visual perspective and tension to sharpen the emotional impact…Art becomes a means of expression for her, making the graphic novel format especially resonant with the original theme… will give even longtime devotees a new way to experience Melinda’s story.” —The Horn Book, starred review
★ “Strong lines, overlapping panels and clever use of blank space show Carroll’s skill in creating Melinda’s stifling, near-silent world. Speak: The Graphic Novel is hypnotizing and heart-breaking, with the kind of empowering finish that unshackles protagonist and readers alike.” —Shelf Awareness, starred review
A Face for Picasso: Coming of Age with Crouzon Syndrome by Ariel Henley
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I am ugly. There’s a mathematical equation to prove it.
★ “A gripping autobiography and a provocative interrogation of beauty that will resonate with many young readers, especially as they develop their own identities in a social-media focused culture.” —TheBulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review
★ “Expertly crafted, infused with emotional resonance and populated with flawed characters who grow and change as the story unfolds. Ariel’s richly detailed perspective allows the reader to deeply understand the trauma of experiencing so many difficult medical procedures, as well as the lifelong impact of bullying and discrimination… A must-read on self-love, beauty, disability, visibility, and community.” —Booklist, starred review
“Complex and searing… This smart, richly detailed memoir is a compelling meditation on identity as well as a much-needed challenge to an ableist system.” —Publishers Weekly
“With a perceptive analysis of the way beauty standards shape the most basic social values and a fascinating coming-of-age story told from a unique perspective, Henley’s memoir is not to be missed. Captivating, unflinching, and insightful, this title is highly recommend.” —School Library Journal