Celebrate Disability Pride Month

Celebrate Disability Pride Month

In July we celebrate Disability Pride Month by reading and sharing stories about the disabled community. Celebrate in your school or library by sharing the history of Disability Pride Month and by introducing readers to disabled fiction and memoir writers sharing their stories.

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Picture BooksChapter BooksMiddle GradeYoung Adult
Cesaria Feels the Beat

Cesaria Feels the Beat by Denise Rosario Adusei; illustrated by Priscila Soares

In this powerful and inspiring picture book, a deaf girl stands up for herself and takes off her shoes while dancing at her Carnival performance so she can feel the music through her bare feet.

Cesaria is going to perform for the seaside Carnival. She skips past the beach barefoot, dressed in her favorite peacock leotard.

But when her dance director tells her she must put on her shoes to go on stage, Cesaria signs, “Peacocks don’t wear shoes!”

You see, Cesaria hears the music through the soles of her feet, but no one seems to understand…

…That is, until all the dancers take off their shoes, and learn to feel the music, just like Cesaria.

Cesaria Feels the Beat is a lyrical and heartfelt story about deafness, community, and Carnival.

Homegrown by DeAnn Wiley

Homegrown by DeAnn Wiley

A touching and stunningly illustrated ode to the homes—and loved ones—that raise us, perfect for fans of Black Is a Rainbow ColorSaturday, and Last Stop on Market Street.

While her mother puts the finishing touches on her twists, a young girl asks what it means to be “homegrown”. Touring precious memories and lively rooms warmed by family, Mama and Granny explain that home isn’t just a place, but rather a reflection of people who support and love one another.

With lush, cozy illustrations, Homegrown is a beautiful author-illustrator debut picture book that reminds us to lift up the places—and people—we call home.

Butterfly on the Wind

Butterfly on the Wind by Adam Pottle; illustrations by Ziyue Chen

A magical picture book about a Deaf girl who creates a butterfly with Sign Language and sends it on a journey around the world.

On the day of the talent show, Aurora’s hands tremble. No matter how hard she tries to sign, her fingers stumble over one another and the words just won’t come. But as she’s about to give up, she spots a butterfly.

Using her hands to sign the ASL word for “butterfly,” Aurora sends a magical butterfly of her own into the world, inspiring Deaf people across the globe to add their own. The butterflies grow in numbers and strength as they circle back to Aurora, bolstering her with the love and support of her worldwide Deaf community.

Deaf picture book creators author Adam Pottle and artist Ziyue Chen combine powerful text and sweeping art into a moving story of resilience and self-belief.

Cute Toot

Cute Toot by Breanna J. McDaniel; illustrated by Olivia de Castro

An explosive ode to the bonds of sisterhood, the time-honored tradition of hide and seek, and the hilarious gas we pass.

Everyone knows attics are the best place to play hide and seek on a rainy day. That is, unless your stomach is rumbling with a bubbly gas that you absolutely cannot keep in. When Baby sister lets one sneaky fart slip out, she betrays her hiding spot and begins the most phenomenal fart fest this attic has ever seen…

A battle of the good, the bad and the stinky, young readers will surely revisit Cute Toot time and again, improving their various mouth fart sounds with each read.

You Be Grandpa

You Be Grandpa by Karla Clark; illustrated by Debby Rahmalia

Karla Clark’s You Be series continues with You Be Grandpa, all about a grandpa who is just too tired to do the bedtime routine after a long day of activities and asks his grandson to take over for him.

Grandpa’s too tired to be Grandpa tonight.
Can you be Grandpa, just for the night?

Pick out my pjs and snuggle up close?
Read me the book I love the most?

In this clever, rhyming picture book, a grandpa tells his grandson that after a long day of playing pirates, gardening, skateboarding and more—he’s simply too tired to be Grandpa at bedtime and asks that the grandson take over for him.

An utterly relatable theme told with humor and heart provides a story parents, grandparents, and children will delight in reading together at bedtime.

The Boy Who Found His Voice

The Boy Who Found His Voice by Tyler Gordon

From teen activist and artistic prodigy Tyler Gordon comes a heartwarming picture book inspired by his own life about a boy with a speech difference who learns the power of self-expression through art.

There once was a young boy who had trouble with words. He paused and stuttered and stammered, which made school really tough. But with encouragement from his mom and a paintbrush in hand, he learns that finding your voice isn’t about being perfect—it’s about being true to yourself.

For fans of I Talk Like a River and Amanda Gorman,The Boy Who Found His Voice is a joyful and empowering testament to art, empathy, and having self-confidence even in the face of doubt.

Don’t miss Tyler Gordon’s bold picture book debut We Can: Portraits of Power.

Who Took My Lollipop?

Who Took My Lollipop? by Doug Cenko; illustrated by Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn

A devastated squirrel questions his friends about his missing lollipop in this laugh-out-loud picture book about controlling your temper.

Someone took Squirrel’s lollipop…and he’s BIG MAD.

It was pink and blue and stripey and delicious. He bought it with his own lemonade stand money!

And now it’s GONE!

Who took it? Was it Badger? Mouse? Rabbit?! Can the lollipop thief be found before Squirrel loses his temper? Or will his friendship with the other playground animals be hurt by his anger as he madly searches for the culprit?

Wacky, funny, and dramatic (but never preachy) Who Took My Lollipop? will have young readers cracking up while also exploring the subtle message about managing anger. For those who really love getting into reading aloud, this book was made for you!

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More than Words: So Many Ways to Say What We Mean by Roz MacLean

In the tradition of All Are Welcome and The Day You Begin comes a touching picture book about the many unique ways we communicate, and how we can better listen to and respect these different modes of expression.

Nathan doesn’t say much.
He sure has a lot on his mind, though.

At school, Nathan quietly observes the ways his peers communicate. Even when they’re not talking, they’re expressing themselves in all sorts of ways!

By witnessing the beauty of communication diversity, Nathan learns and shows his classmates the essential lesson: Not only does everyone have something to say, but seeking to understand one another can be the greatest bridge to friendship and belonging.

This tender, stunningly illustrated picture book explores and celebrates the many forms of expression—signing, speaking, singing, smiling, among others—and culminates in a poignant story about connection and understanding.

Includes additional material at the end of the book with vocabulary, an introduction to various forms of communication, and information about communication access, perfect for back-to-school and classroom discussions.

Desi, Mami, and the Never-Ending Worries

Desi, Mami, and the Never-Ending Worries by Roz MacLean

From actress Eva Mendes comes her debut picture book Desi, Mami, and the Never-Ending Worries, the story of a little girl facing endless scary worries.

Every night begins with the same refrain: “MAMI! THERE’S A MONSTER UNDER MY BED!”

Desi has so many scary thoughts! Is her brain a monster?!

Of course it’s not a real monster, and Mami assures Desi of this. Sometimes we just have scary worries running through our minds. And like anything in life, you just need to work to make things better.

With gentle guidance from Mami, Desi realizes she’s the boss of her thoughts. Together they try different approaches to clear their minds of these never-ending worries.

While Desi may still have scary thoughts from time to time, she realizes that they can tackle anything!

Actress Eva Mendes writes a deeply relatable story about a subject that all parents can likely connect with: the bedtime struggle! Pulling from her own experiences as a mother, she has written a fun and instructive story of a mother and daughter working together to quash those scary thoughts and be off to bed at last.

Desi, Mami, and the Never-Ending Worries is also available in Spanish!


She Kept Dancing: The True Story of a Professional Dancer with a Limb Difference by Sydney Mesher and Catherine Laudone; illustrated by Natelle Quek
Author and main character have a limb difference
On sale October 2023

This warm and inviting picture book, cowritten with Catherine Laudone and brightly illustrated by Natelle Quek, takes young readers along on Sydney’s journey—through the joyous ups as well as the crushing downs—and tells the story of how through it all, she kept dancing.

No two dances were the same. Each one was beautiful because it was different—just like how Sydney’s body was also beautiful because it was different.

Sydney Mesher was born with ten toes and five fingers. But it was her toes that her mom noticed first. “I can tell she’s going to be a dancer,” she said.

And it turned out Mom was right—after years of hard work, Sydney eventually danced her way onto the famous stage of Radio City Music Hall, becoming the first Rockette with a visible disability.


Everybody Has a Body by Molli Jackson Ehlert; illustrated by Lorian Tu

In this body neutral picture book, debut author Molli Jackson Ehlert and illustrator Lorian Tu show us many of the different ways bodies can look and all of the things they can do.

Everybody has a body. Whether you’re short, tall, fat, thin, hairy, bald, whether you use a wheelchair or have a limb difference, we all rely on our bodies to take us through the world.

From hiking a mountain to playing baseball to exploring an aquarium, Molli Jackson Ehlert and illustrator Lorian Tu show us all the different ways that bodies can look and the things they can do, with representation of many different types of bodies.With a body neutral approach – your body isn’t good or bad, it just is – this is an accessible and fun read that’s perfect for kids who have questions about the different bodies they encounter every day.

Rachel Friedman Breaks the Rules

Rachel Friedman Breaks the Rules by Sarah Kapit; illustrated by Genevieve Kote

Introducing a charming chapter book series starring Rachel Friedman, a sweet and silly Jewish girl renowned for her peanut butter challah baking skills and larger-than-life personality!

Rachel loves being Jewish, but she hates following the rules at synagogue—and everywhere else. To encourage her to see the value of rules, Rachel and her father strike a deal: If Rachel can stick to the rules for one whole week, she can go to a meet and greet for her favorite gymnast!

But when Rachel finds herself in a tricky situation that forces her to choose between following the rules or doing what she believes is right, she learns that some rules are worth breaking. And yet, when the consequences of her rule breaking spin out of control, she learns that some rules are still worth following.

Sarah Kapit creates a refreshing chapter book heroine in Rachel Friedman, featuring her Jewish identity, ADHD, and personality with care. The book also features Genevieve Kote’s adorable illustrations throughout.

Keep an eye out for the next books in the series!


The Girl Who Sang: A Holocaust Memoir of Hope and Survival by Estelle Nadel with Bethany Strout; illustrated by Sammy Savos

A heartrending graphic memoir about a young Jewish girl’s fight for survival in Nazi occupied Poland, The Girl Who Sang illustrates the power of a brother’s love, the kindness of strangers, and finding hope when facing the unimaginable.

Born to a Jewish family in a small Polish village, Estelle Nadel—then known as Enia Feld—was just seven years old when the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939. Once a vibrant child with a song for every occasion, Estelle would eventually lose her voice as, over the next five years, she would survive the deaths of their mother, father, their eldest brother and sister, and countless others.

A child at the mercy of her neighbors during a terrifying time in history, The Girl Who Sang is an enthralling first-hand account of Estelle’s fight for survival during World War II. She would weather loss, betrayal, near-execution, and spend two years away from the warmth of the sun—all before the age of eleven. And once the war was over, Estelle would walk barefoot across European borders and find remnants of home in an Austrian displaced persons camp before finally crossing the Atlantic to arrive in New York City—a young woman carrying the unseen scars of war.

Beautifully rendered in bright hues with expressive, emotional characters, debut illustrator Sammy Savos masterfully brings Estelle story of survival during the Holocaust to a whole new generation of readers. The Girl Who Sang is perfect for fans of MarchMaus, and Anne Frank’s Diary.

DnDoggos: Get the Party Started

DnDoggos: Get the Party Started by Scout Underhill; colors by Liana Sposto

Four adorable dogs are tail-waggingly excited to play their favorite role-playing game in DnDoggos: Get the Party Started, the middle grade graphic novel debut from online comic creator Scout Underhill.

They’ve picked their characters and favorite dice, and are ready to set off on the adventure their game master Magnus has created for them.

Pickles, a rough and tumble fighter; Tonka, a playful and fun-loving bard; and Zoey, a wise and caring cleric, are given a quest to fetch a magical dog collar from a nearby swamp. But when they triumphantly return, they soon find that the collar isn’t the only thing that has gone missing from Tail’s Bend. All the squeaky toys in town have disappeared and Squish, the mayor’s young son, has set off on his own to find them.

It’s up to the Doggos to rescue Squish, track down the missing toys, and save the day!

Three Summers

Three Summers: A Memoir of Sisterhood, Summer Crushes, and Growing Up on the Eve of War by Amra Sabic-El-Rayess with Laura L. Sullivan

An epic middle-grade memoir about sisterhood and coming-of-age in the three years leading up to the Bosnian Genocide.

Three Summers is the story of five young cousins who grow closer than sisters as ethnic tensions escalate over three summers in 1980s Bosnia. They navigate the joys and pitfalls of adolescence on their family’s little island in the middle of the Una River. When finally confronted with the harsh truths of the adult world around them, their bond gives them the resilience to discover and hold fast to their true selves.

Written with incredible warmth and tenderness, Amra Sabic-El-Rayess takes readers on a journey that will break their hearts and put them back together again.

Onyx & Beyond

Onyx & Beyond by Amber McBride

Onyx lives with his mother, who is showing signs of early-onset dementia. He doesn’t want to bring attention to his home — if Child Protective Services finds out, they’ll put him into foster care.

As he’s trying to keep his life together, the Civil Rights Movement is accelerating. Is there anywhere that’s safe for a young Black boy? Maybe, if only Onyx can fulfill his dream of becoming an astronaut and exploring space, where none of these challenges will follow him. In the meantime, Onyx can dream. And try to get his mom the help she needs.

Based on her own father’s story of growing up in the 1960s and facing the same challenge with his own mother, award winner Amber McBride delivers another affecting depiction of being young and Black in America.

Monster Tree

Monster Tree by Sarah Allen

Stranger Things meets A Monster Calls in this spine-tingling, emotionally rich middle grade novel about a boy who must protect his neighborhood from a malevolent monster tree while dealing with the recent loss of his father.

Something evil is growing . . .

Linus used to be an artist, like his dad. Now his father is gone, and Linus’s mom has moved them to the other side of the city, hoping for a fresh start. Maybe, for the first time in months, Linus will even draw again.

But there’s something unusual about their neighbor Maude and something wrong with the grotesque tree in her backyard. At night Linus sees it moving, changing, growing. When increasingly bizarre events plague the neighborhood—massive claw marks appearing on doors and cars, pets going missing, sightings of a red-eyed creature—he suspects Maude and her tree are to blame.

With his home under threat, Linus teams up with his goofy best friend, Spencer, and no-nonsense new girl Abby to unearth whatever sinister seeds have been planted next door . . . where something truly monstrous is just taking root.

Sarah Allen weaves together spooky supernatural adventure with a poignant tale of grief, the healing power of art, and the uniting force of friendship in Monster Tree.

My So-Called Family

My So-Called Family by Gia Gordon

A moving middle grade debut about foster care, self-advocacy, and realizing that a found family is a real family.

It’s the first week of middle school, and Ash (don’t call her “Ashley”) already has a class assignment: Make a family tree. But how can Ash make a family tree if she doesn’t have a family? Ever since she was four years old, Ash has been in foster care, living with one so-called family after another. Now she’s stuck with Gladys. And the only place Ash feels safe is in the branches of her favorite tree, drawing in her sketchbook, hidden from the view of Gladys’ son Jordan.

As Jordan becomes harder to hide from, and more dangerous to be around, Ash isn’t sure who she can trust. A new friend, an old friend, some teachers at school? Sometimes the hardest part of asking for help is knowing who to ask.

In My So-Called Family, Gia Gordon weaves a lyrical story about complicated family dynamics that’s perfect for fans of Fish in a Tree and Counting by 7s.

The Flicker

The Flicker by H.E. Edgmon

Perfect for fans of The Marrow ThievesHatchet and The City of Ember, H.E. Edgmon’s middle grade debut offers a bittersweet tale of hope and survival, a modern classic for the climate change generation.

One year ago, a solar flare scorched the Earth and destroyed life as we know it.

With their parents gone and supplies running dangerously low, step-sisters Millie and Rose only have one chance at survival: leave home with their infant half-brother and loyal dog Corncob in search of Millie’s grandma, a Seminole elder. As they navigate the burning land with a group of fellow survivors, dodging The Hive, a villainous group that has spent the last year hoarding supplies and living in luxury, the siblings have to learn to rely on each other more than ever, and discover how to build a new life from the ashes.

Expertly balancing heartbreak and hope, The Flicker is both a thrilling survival story and a tender exploration of Indigenous ideas of identity and found family.

Ollie In Between

Ollie In Between by Jess Callans

As endearing as it is humorous, this debut middle grade novel by Jess Callans is a tender, queer coming of age story about the courage it takes to find your own voice and choosing to just be.

Puberty, AKA the ultimate biological predator, is driving a wedge between soon-to-be 13 year old Ollie Thompson and their lifelong friends.Too much of a girl for their neighborhood hockey team, but not girly enough for their boy-crazed BFF, Ollie doesn’t know where they fit. And their usual ability to camouflage? Woefully disrupted.

When a school project asks them to write an essay on what it means to be a woman (if anyone’s got an answer, that’d be great), and one of their new friends is the target of bullying, Ollie is caught between the safety of fleeing from their own differences or confronting the risks of fighting to take their own path forward.


Mixed-Up by Kami Garcia; illustrated by Brittney Williams

New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia has returned with a middle grade graphic novel about the struggles of a game-loving girl who gets diagnosed with dyslexia and her loving support network that help her along in the journey.

Stella knows fifth grade will be the best year ever. Her closest friends, Emiko and Latasha, are in her class and they all got the teacher they wanted. Then their favorite television show, Witchlins, announces a new guidebook and an online game!

But when the classwork starts piling up, Stella struggles to stay on top. Why does it take her so long to read? And how can she keep up with friends in the Witchlins game if she can’t get through the text-heavy guidebook?] And when she can’t deal with the text-heavy Witchlins guidebook, she can’t keep up with her friends in the game. It takes loving teachers and her family to recognize that Stella has a learning difference, and after a dyslexia diagnosis she gets the support and tools she needs to succeed.

Bestselling author Kami Garcia was inspired to write this special book by her daughter’s dyslexia journey; her own neurodivergent experience; and the many students she taught over the years. With subtle design and formatting choices making this story accessible to all readers, Mixed-Up shows that our differences don’t need to separate us.

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The Marvellers by Dhonielle Clayton; illustrated by Khadijah Khatib

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!

Eleven-year-old Ella Durand is the first Conjuror to attend the Arcanum Training Institute, a magic school in the clouds where Marvellers from around the world practice their cultural arts, like brewing Indian spice elixirs and bartering with pesky Irish pixies.

Despite her excitement, Ella discovers that being the first isn’t easy—some Marvellers mistrust her magic, which they deem “bad and unnatural.” But eventually, she finds friends in elixirs teacher, Masterji Thakur, and fellow misfits Brigit, a girl who hates magic, and Jason, a boy with a fondness for magical creatures.

When a dangerous criminal known as the Ace of Anarchy escapes prison, supposedly with a Conjuror’s aid, tensions grow in the Marvellian world and Ella becomes the target of suspicion. Worse, Masterji Thakur mysteriously disappears while away on a research trip. With the help of her friends and her own growing powers, Ella must find a way to clear her family’s name and track down her mentor before it’s too late.

Keep An Eye Out for the Next Books in The Conjureverse Series!


Second Chance Summer by Sarah Kapit
Author and main character have anxiety and dyspraxia

Breaking up is hard to do, especially when it’s with your best friend. Can these two ex-besties survive summer camp together?

Maddie and Chloe have always been best friends, until last year, when Chloe’s popularity and budding fame as an actor left Maddie in the dust one too many times. Their friendship is over, and they’re both ready to move on.

But when the girls arrive at summer camp, they discover that the universe isn’t ready to let go of this friendship just yet: They’re cabinmates, and each of them has to spend the summer with her ex–best friend. Is it time to try again, or are they doomed to drift apart for good?

Maddie’s newly diagnosed anxiety disorder and dyspraxia (a movement disorder that causes difficulty with balance and coordination) only add to her disconnection from Chloe, who is a natural on stage. But as Maddie figures out how to adjust her life to accommodate her disabilities, she learns that she can be a star, too.


The Gray by Chris Baron
Author and main character have anxiety disorder

The Gray is a sensitively told middle grade story from Chris Baron about living with anxiety and finding ways to cope.

It’s been a tough year for Sasha—he’s been bullied at his middle school and his anxiety, which he calls the Gray, is growing. Sasha’s dad tells him to “toughen up”—and he does, but with unfortunate, hurtful results. His parents and therapist agree that a summer in the country with his aunt might be the best medicine, but it’s the last place he wants to be. He’ll be away from his best friend, video games, and stuck in the house that reminds him of his beloved uncle who died two years earlier.

His aunt is supportive, and there are lots of places to explore, and even some potential new friends. When Sasha is introduced at a local ranch to a horse coincidentally–incredibly–nicknamed the Gray, he feels he’s found a kindred spirit.

But his own Gray is ever-present. When one of his new friends disappears, Sasha discovers that the country is wilder and more mysterious than he imagined. He tries to muster enough courage to help in the search . . . but will the Gray hold him back?


The Brave by James Bird
Author is disabled and main character has undiagnosed anxiety disorder

Perfect for fans of Rain Reign, this middle-grade novel The Brave is about a boy with an undiagnosed anxiety issue and his move to a reservation to live with his biological mother.

Collin can’t help himself—he has a mental health condition that finds him counting every letter spoken to him. It’s a quirk that makes him a prime target for bullies, and frustrates the adults around him, including his father.

When Collin asked to leave yet another school, his dad decides to send him to live in Minnesota with the mother he’s never met. She is Ojibwe, and lives on a reservation. Collin arrives in Duluth with his loyal dog, Seven, and quickly finds his mom and his new home to be warm, welcoming, and accepting of his disability.

Collin’s quirk is matched by that of his neighbor, Orenda, a girl who lives mostly in her treehouse and believes she is turning into a butterfly. With Orenda’s help, Collin works hard to learn the best ways for him to manage his anxiety disorder. His real test comes when he must step up for his new friend and trust his new family.

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Button Pusher by Tyler Page
Author and main character have ADHD

A memoir-driven realistic graphic novel about Tyler, a child with ADHD and has to discover for himself how to best manage it.

Tyler’s brain is neurodiverse. Unlike his friends, he has a hard time paying attention in class. He acts out in goofy, over-the-top ways. Sometimes, he even does dangerous things—like cut up a bus seat with a pocketknife or hang out of an attic window.

To the adults in his life, Tyler seems like a troublemaker. But he knows that he’s not. Tyler is curious and creative. He’s the best artist in his grade, and when he can focus, he gets great grades. He doesn’t want to cause trouble, but sometimes he just feels like he can’t control himself.

In Button Pusher, cartoonist Tyler Page uses his own childhood experiences to explore what it means to grow up with ADHD. From diagnosis to treatment and beyond, Tyler’s story is raw and enlightening, inviting you to see the world from a new perspective.

The Baker and the Bard

The Baker and the Bard: A Cozy Fantasy Adventure by Fern Haught

Author-artist Fern Haught weaves an enchanting, gentle fantasy tale of friendship, determination, and respecting nature in their debut graphic novel, The Baker and the Bard. Perfect for fans of The Tea Dragon Society, Legends & Lattes, and Animal Crossing.

Juniper and Hadley have a good thing going in Larkspur, spending their respective days apprenticing at a little bakery and performing at the local inn. But when a stranger makes an unusual order at the bakery, the two friends (and Hadley’s pet snake, Fern) set out on a journey to forage the magical mushrooms needed to make the requested galette pastries.

Along the way, Juniper and Hadley stumble across a mystery too compelling to ignore: Something has been coming out of the woods at night and eating the local farmers’ crops, leaving only a trail of glowy goo behind. Intent on finally going on an adventure that could fuel their bardic craft, Hadley tows Juniper into the woods to investigate.

What started as a simple errand to pick mushrooms soon turns into a thrilling quest to save some furry new friends—and their caretaker, a softspoken little fey named Thistle—who are in danger of losing their home.

Bladesmith Series by Tricia Levenseller

Tricia Levenseller’s exhilarating YA fantasy duology Bladesmith features a teenage blacksmith with social anxiety who’s forced to go on the run to protect the world from the most powerful magical sword she’s ever created.

In Blade of Secrets, the first book in this winning series, the balance of the world rests in the hands of Ziva and her sister, who must destroy the weapon Ziva’s forged—or find a wielder worthy of its great power. “Blade of Secrets was an addictive page-turner. Loaded with action, betrayal, slow-burn romance—honestly, that is the best first kiss scene ever —I couldn’t put it down. — Mary E. Pearson, the New York Times-bestselling author of The Remnant Chronicles

Forever Is Now

Forever Is Now by Mariama J. Lockington

SCHNEIDER FAMILY BOOK AWARD WINNER ● A poignant and lyrical young adult novel-in-verse about a Black teen coming of age in an anxiety-inducing world, from the author of For Black Girls Like Me and In the Key of Us.

I’m safe here.

That’s how Sadie feels, on a perfect summer day, wrapped in her girlfriend’s arms. School is out, and even though she’s been struggling to manage her chronic anxiety, Sadie is hopeful better times are ahead. Or at least, she thought she was safe. When her girlfriend reveals some unexpected news and the two witness a violent incident of police brutality unfold before them, Sadie’s whole world is upended in an instant.

I’m not safe anywhere.

That’s how Sadie feels every day after—vulnerable, uprooted. She retreats inside as the weeks slip by and relies on her phone to stay connected to the outside world. When Sadie’s therapist gives her a diagnosis for her debilitating panic—agoraphobia—she starts on a path of acceptance and healing. Meanwhile, Sadie’s best friend, Evan, updates her on the protests taking place in their city. Sadie wants to be a part of it, to use her voice and affect change. But how do you show up for your community when you can’t even leave your house?

I can build a safe place inside myself.

That’s what Sadie learns over the course of one life-changing summer, with some help from her family, her best friend, an online platform for activists, and a magnetic crush she develops for the new boy next door.

From Schneider Family Book Award and Stonewall Honor–winning author Mariama J. Lockington comes Forever is Now, a powerful young adult novel-in-verse about mental health, love, family, Black joy, and finding your voice and power in an unforgiving world.

Most Ardently: A Pride & Prejudice Remix

Most Ardently: A Pride & Prejudice Remix by Gabe Cole Novoa

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. This bittersweet Pride & Prejudice remix follows a trans boy yearning for the freedom to live openly, centering queerness in a well-known story of longing and subverting society’s patriarchal and cisheteronormative expectations.

London, 1812. Oliver Bennet feels trapped. Not just by the endless corsets, petticoats and skirts he’s forced to wear on a daily basis, but also by society’s expectations. The world—and the vast majority of his family and friends—think Oliver is a girl named Elizabeth. He is therefore expected to mingle at balls wearing a pretty dress, entertain suitors regardless of his interest in them, and ultimately become someone’s wife.

But Oliver can’t bear the thought of such a fate. He finds solace in the few times he can sneak out of his family’s home and explore the city rightfully dressed as a young gentleman. It’s during one such excursion when Oliver becomes acquainted with Darcy, a sulky young man who had been rude to “Elizabeth” at a recent social function. But in the comfort of being out of the public eye, Oliver comes to find that Darcy is actually a sweet, intelligent boy with a warm heart. And not to mention incredibly attractive.

As Oliver is able to spend more time as his true self, often with Darcy, part of him dares begin to hope that his dream of love and life as a man could be possible. But suitors are growing bolder—and even threatening—and his mother is growing more desperate to see him settled into an engagement. Oliver will have to choose: Settle for safety, security, and a life of pretending to be something he’s not, or risk it all for a slim chance at freedom, love, and a life that can be truly, honestly his own.

Where Sleeping Girls Lie

Where Sleeping Girls Lie by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

In Where Sleeping Girls Lie — a YA contemporary mystery by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé,the New York Times-bestselling author of Ace of Spadesa girl new to boarding school discovers dark secrets and coverups after her roommate disappears.

It’s like I keep stumbling into a dark room, searching for the switch to make things bright again…

Sade Hussein is starting her third year of high school, this time at the prestigious Alfred Nobel Academy boarding school, after being home-schooled. Misfortune has been a constant companion throughout her life, but even Sade doesn’t expect her new roommate, Elizabeth, to disappear after Sade’s first night. Or for people to think she had something to do with it.

With rumors swirling around her, Sade catches the attention of the girls collectively known as the Unholy Trinity and they bring her into their fold. Between learning more about them—especially Persephone, who Sade is inexplicably drawn to—and playing catchup in class, Sade already has so much on her plate. But when it seems people don’t care enough about what happened to Elizabeth, it’s up to her and Elizabeth’s best friend, Baz, to investigate.

And then a student is found dead.

As Sade and Baz keep trying to figure out what’s going on, Sade realizes there’s more to Alfred Nobel Academy and its students than she thought. Secrets lurk around every corner and beneath every surface…Secrets that rival even her own.

This Is Me Trying

This Is Me Trying by Racquel Marie

Perfect for fans of Nina LaCour, This is Me Trying is a profound and tender YA contemporary novel exploring grief, love, and guilt from author Racquel Marie.

Growing up, Bryce, Beatriz, and Santiago were inseparable. But when Santiago moved away before high school, their friendship crumbled. Three years later, Bryce is gone, Beatriz is known as the dead boy’s girlfriend, and Santiago is back.

The last thing Beatriz wants is to reunite with Santiago, who left all her messages unanswered while she drowned alone in grief over Bryce’s death by suicide. Even if she wasn’t angry, Santiago’s attempts to make amends are jeopardizing her plan to keep the world at arm’s length—equal parts protection and punishment—and she swore to never let anyone try that again.

Santiago is surprised to find the once happy-go-lucky Bea is now the gothic town loner, though he’s unsurprised she wants nothing to do with him. But he can’t fix what he broke between them while still hiding what led him to cut her off in the first place, and it’s harder to run from his past when he isn’t states away anymore.

Inevitably drawn back together by circumstance and history, Beatriz and Santiago navigate grief, love, mental illness, forgiveness, and what it means to try to build a future after unfathomable loss.

In Repair

In Repair by A. L. Graziadei

Nathaniel Conti doesn’t feel real when he’s alone. Maybe that’s why he has a reputation as a troublemaker—he’ll do just about anything to have everyone’s eyes on him.

But things are about to change. Nathaniel is in his first year of college, flung into new circumstances with new people to meet. There are public speaking classmates, lacrosse players—and then there’s the aspiring photographer who asks Nathaniel to be their model, who’s interested in more than what’s on
the surface. Nathaniel feels like he’s moving forward—until a former friend shows up, someone who reminds him of habits and hurts he thought he’d left behind.

From the author of Icebreaker comes a deeply felt, gorgeously told story about confronting what’s
buried, coming into your own, and finding your people.

Flawless Girls

Flawless Girls by Anna-Marie McLemore

The Soler sisters are infamous in polite society—brazen, rebellious, and raised by their fashionable grandmother who couldn’t care less about which fork goes where. But their grandmother also knows the standards that two Latina young ladies will be held to, so she secures them two coveted places at the Alarie House, a prominent finishing school that turns out first ladies, princesses, and socialites.

Younger sister Isla is back home within a day. She refuses to become one of the eerily sweet Alarie girls in their prim white dresses. Older sister Renata stays. When she returns months later, she’s unfailingly pleasant, unnervingly polite, and, Isla discovers, possibly murderous. And the same night she returns home, she vanishes.

As their grandmother uses every connection she has to find Renata, Isla re-enrolls, intent on finding out what happened to her sister. But the Alarie House is as exacting as it is opulent. It won’t give up its secrets easily, and neither will a mysterious, conniving girl who’s either controlling the house, or carrying out its deadly orders.

Tautly written, tense, and evocative, this is a stunning YA novel by award-winning and critically acclaimed author Anna-Marie McLemore.

Four Eids and a Funeral

Four Eids and a Funeral by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé and Adiba Jaigirdar

Ex-best friends, Tiwa and Said, must work together to save their Islamic Center from demolition, in this romantic story of rekindling and rebuildingby award-winning authors Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé & Adiba Jaigirdar!

The town of New Crosshaven has it all—even its own infamous love story.

These days, Said Hossain spends most of his time away at boarding school. But when his favorite hometown librarian, Ms. Barnes, dies, he must return to New Crosshaven for her funeral and for the summer. Too bad being home makes it a lot harder to avoid facing his ex–best friend, Tiwa Olatunji, or facing the daunting task of telling his Bangladeshi parents that he would rather be an artist than a doctor.

Tiwa doesn’t understand what made Said start ignoring her, but it’s probably that fancy boarding school of his. Though he’s unexpectedly staying at home through the summer, she’s determined to take a page from him and pretend he doesn’t exist. Besides, she has more than enough going on anyway, between grieving her broken family and helping her mother throw the upcoming Eid celebration at the Islamic Center—a place that means so much to Tiwa.

But when the Islamic Center accidentally catches fire, it turns out the mayor plans to demolish the center entirely. Things are still tense between the ex-friends, but Tiwa needs Said’s help if there’s any hope of changing the mayor’s mind, and on top of everything, Said needs a project to submit to art school (unbeknownst to anyone).

Will all their efforts be enough to save the Islamic Center, save Eid, and maybe even save their relationship?

Don't Let the Forest In

Don’t Let the Forest In by CG Drews

As alluring as it is unsettling, award-winning author CG Drews’ debut YA psychological horror will leave readers breathless and hesitant to venture deeper into the woods.

Once upon a time, Andrew had cut out his heart and given it to this boy, and he was very sure Thomas had no idea that Andrew would do anything for him. Protect him. Lie for him.

Kill for him.

High school senior Andrew Perrault finds refuge in the twisted fairytales that he writes for the only person who can ground him to reality—Thomas Rye, the boy with perpetually ink-stained hands and hair like autumn leaves. And with his twin sister, Dove, inexplicably keeping him at a cold distance upon their return to Wickwood Academy, Andrew finds himself leaning on his friend even more.

But something strange is going on with Thomas. His abusive parents have mysteriously vanished, and he arrives at school with blood on his sleeve. Thomas won’t say a word about it, and shuts down whenever Andrew tries to ask him questions. Stranger still, Thomas is haunted by something, and he seems to have lost interest in his artwork—whimsically macabre sketches of the monsters from Andrew’s wicked stories.

Desperate to figure out what’s wrong with his friend, Andrew follows Thomas into the off-limits forest one night and catches him fighting a nightmarish monster—Thomas’s drawings have come to life and are killing anyone close to him. To make sure no one else dies, the boys battle the monsters every night. But as their obsession with each other grows stronger, so do the monsters, and Andrew begins to fear that the only way to stop the creatures might be to destroy their creator…

Under the Heron's Light

Under the Heron’s Light by Randi Pink

Inspired by stories about the real-world Great Dismal Swamp, this dual POV Young Adult fantasy by Randi Pink explores alternate history, a family’s supernatural connections to the swamp, and thestrength that comes in knowing your roots.

On a damp night in 1722, Babylou Mac and her three siblings witness the murder of their mother at the hands of the local preacher’s son—so Babylou kills him in retaliation. With plantation dogs now on their heels, the four siblings breach the treacherous confines of the Great Dismal Swamp. Deeper and deeper into Dismal they delve, amid the biting moccasins and pitch-black waters, toward a refuge where they can live freely within the swamp’s natural—and supernatural—protection.

Three-hundred years later, college student Atlas comes home to North Carolina for the annual Bornday cookout and hog roast: a celebration of the fact that she and her three cousins were all born on the same day nineteen years ago, sharing a birthday with their Grannylou. But this Bornday, Grannylou’s usual riddles and folktales about a marvelous paradise deep in the Great Dismal Swamp start to take on a tangible quality. Change coming.

When Dismal calls, sucking Grannylou in, it’s up to Atlas and her cousins to uncover the history that the black waters hold. Centuries of family tension, with roots all over Virginia and North Carolina, are about to be dug up. Because Babylou and Grannylou are one and the same, and the power she helped cultivate hundreds of years ago—steeped in Black resistance, familial love, and the otherworldly mysteries of the Great Dismal Swamp—is bubbling back up. But so is a bitterness that runs deep as the swamp’s waters. And some are ready to take what they feel they’re owed.


Flamboyants: The Queer Harlem Renaissance I Wish I’d Known by George M. Johnson; illustrated by Charly Palmer

From the New York Times–bestselling author of All Boys Aren’t Blue comes an empowering set of essays about Black and Queer icons from the Harlem Renaissance.

In Flamboyants, George M. Johnson celebrates writers, performers, and activists from 1920s Black America whose sexualities have been obscured throughout history. Through 14 essays, Johnson reveals how American culture has been shaped by icons who are both Black and Queer – and whose stories deserve to be celebrated in their entirety.

Interspersed with personal narrative, powerful poetry, and illustrations by award-winning illustrator Charly Palmer, Flamboyants looks to the past for understanding as to how Black and Queer culture has defined the present and will continue to impact the future. With candid prose and an unflinching lens towards truth and hope, George M. Johnson brings young adult readers an inspiring collection of biographies that will encourage teens today to be unabashed in their layered identities.

Lovely Dark and Deep

Lovely Dark and Deep by Elisa A. Bonnin

From author Elisa A. Bonnin comes Lovely Dark and Deep, a YA dark academia novel exploring magic, loneliness, and the power of found family.

Hidden off the coast of Washington, veiled in mist, there is an island that does not appear on any map. And on that island is Ellery West.

Ellery West has always been home for Faith. After an international move and a childhood spent adjusting to a new culture and a new language, the acclaimed school for magic feels like the only place she can be herself. That is, until Faith and another student walk into the forest, and only Faith walks out.

Marked with the red stripe across her uniform that designates all students deemed too dangerous to attend regular classes, Faith becomes a social pariah, an exile of Ellery West. But all she has to do is keep her head down for one more year to graduate, and she gets to keep her magic. Because when students fail out of Ellery West, they have their magic taken away. Forever. And Faith can’t let that happen.

Except terrifying things are still happening to students, and the dark magic that was unleashed in the forest still seems to be at work. To stop it, Faith and the other Red Stripes will have to work together, risking expulsion from the magical world altogether.


One for All by Lillie Lainoff
Author and main character have Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)

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.

Tania de Batz is most herself with a sword in her hand. Everyone thinks her near-constant dizziness makes her weak, nothing but “a sick girl.” But Tania wants to be strong, independent, a fencer like her father—a former Musketeer and her greatest champion. Then Papa is brutally, mysteriously murdered. His dying wish? For Tania to attend finishing school. But L’Académie des Mariées, Tania realizes, is no finishing school. It’s a secret training ground for new Musketeers: women who are socialites on the surface, but strap daggers under their skirts, seduce men into giving up dangerous secrets, and protect France from downfall. And they don’t shy away from a sword fight.

With her newfound sisters at her side, Tania feels that she has a purpose, that she belongs. But then she meets Étienne, her target in uncovering a potential assassination plot. He’s kind, charming—and might have information about what really happened to her father. Torn between duty and dizzying emotion, Tania will have to decide where her loyalties lie…or risk losing everything she’s ever wanted.

Lillie Lainoff’s debut novel is a fierce, whirlwind adventure about the depth of found family, the strength that goes beyond the body, and the determination it takes to fight for what you love. Includes an author’s note about her personal experience with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome.


A Face for Picasso: Coming of Age with Crouzon Syndrome by Ariel Henley
Author has Crouzon Syndrome

I am ugly. There’s a mathematical equation to prove it.

At only eight months old, identical twin sisters Ariel and Zan were diagnosed with Crouzon syndrome — a rare condition where the bones in the head fuse prematurely. They were the first twins known to survive it.

Growing up, Ariel and her sister endured numerous appearance-altering procedures. Surgeons would break the bones in their heads and faces to make room for their growing organs. While the physical aspect of their condition was painful, it was nothing compared to the emotional toll of navigating life with a facial disfigurement.

Ariel explores beauty and identity in her young-adult memoir about resilience, sisterhood, and the strength it takes to put your life, and yourself, back together time and time again.


We Are All So Good at Smiling by Amber McBride
Author and main character have depression

They Both Die at the End meets The Bell Jar in this haunting, beautiful young adult novel-in-verse about clinical depression and healing from trauma, from National Book Award Finalist Amber McBride.

Whimsy is back in the hospital for treatment of clinical depression. When she meets a boy named Faerry, she recognizes they both have magic in the marrow of their bones. And when Faerry and his family move to the same street, the two start to realize that their lifelines may have twined and untwined many times before.

They are both terrified of the forest at the end of Marsh Creek Lane.

The Forest whispers to Whimsy. The Forest might hold the answers to the part of Faerry he feels is missing. They discover the Forest holds monsters, fairy tales, and pain that they have both been running from for 11 years.


The Dos and Donuts of Love by Adiba Jaigirdar
Author is disabled and main character has an anxiety disorder

A pun-filled YA contemporary romance, The Dos and Donuts of Love by Adiba Jaigirdar finds a teenage girl competing in a televised baking competition, with contestants including her ex-girlfriend and a potential new crush – perfect for fans of The Great British Bake Off and She Drives Me Crazy!

“Welcome to the first ever Junior Irish Baking Show!”

Shireen Malik is still reeling from the breakup with her ex-girlfriend, Chris, when she receives news that she’s been accepted as a contestant on a new televised baking competition show. This is Shireen’s dream come true! Because winning will not only mean prize money, but it will also bring some much-needed attention to You Drive Me Glazy, her parents’ beloved donut shop.

Things get complicated, though, because Chris is also a contestant on the show. Then there’s the very outgoing Niamh, a fellow contestant who is becoming fast friends with Shireen. Things are heating up between them, and not just in the kitchen.

As the competition intensifies , Shireen will have to ignore all these factors and more— including potential sabotage—if she wants a sweet victory!