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Sunday Reflections: At Least They’re Coming to the Library ISN’T Always the Right Idea

tltbutton5Yesterday 95 people came into my library asking about solar eclipse glasses. The day before it was 75. I wasn’t there either day, but the Circulation staff started keeping track. That’s 170 people who came into the library and walked away empty handed. That’s a lot of negative experiences for patrons and staff both.

We did have solar eclipse glasses. We gave out roughly 1,000 pairs beginning on August 14th, first come first served while supplies last. They were gone in less than an hour. And yet all week long they read online or heard from their friends that they could go to the library to get solar eclipse glasses. The media kept pushing the narrative that you could get solar eclipse at the library, and many libraries have been struggling this week with this very same scenario.

I’ve seen several of my fellow librarians comment that well at least they’re coming into the library. But I maintain that this isn’t necessarily a good thing. Yes, they’re coming into the library, but many of them are leaving empty handed and upset and this is a bad thing. In their mind, we failed to deliver this one time they finally came to us for something and for many people, they won’t be coming back. They came to us, we failed to deliver, and now we’ve broken trust.

This is not the first time something like this has happened to libraries. We are often a victim of the infamous “They”. It goes something like this.

Patron: They said that you have x, y or z.

Staff: I’m sorry, but we don’t have that.

Patron: But THEY said you did, that I could get it at the local public library.

Staff: Well, THEY don’t work here, and I’m sorry but we don’t have that. (We don’t really say this, we just think it in our head. We always do our best to try and satisfy the patron or re-direct them to someone who can genuinely help them.)

We can try and offer an alternative solution. For example, we can have a handout prepared with solar eclipse information and a DIY tutorial for making your own solar eclipse glasses. But for those people who want solar eclipse glasses and want them now, this will not be a way to satisfy them. We’ll do our best, as we always do. But the truth is, for some people this is the first time they have come to us for something and we have failed them. They’re not coming back. And that’s too bad. Because we have lots to offer, but it can be hard to come back from a negative experience.

We can’t always control the narrative, unfortunately. Though we need to work really hard to do so. But this is another one of those moments when forces outside of the library put the library in a really unfortunate position. The solar eclipse is tomorrow, and patrons will stop coming in and asking for eclipse glasses. But I hope they keep coming in and asking for things we can provide for them, because we have lots to offer and we work hard at it.

A Grief Moderated: Middle Grade Fiction for Young Readers Dealing with Loss – Guest Post by Kerry Sutherland

middlegrademondayMost tweens and young teens have experienced death, perhaps of a distant, elderly relative or of a beloved pet. What about those who have lost a parent, sibling, or close friend? When a teacher, guidance counselor, or concerned adult approaches us for recommendations for middle grade fiction that will support the management of the complicated emotional and social issues only a child who is suffering over the death of a someone close to them can understand, here are a few recent titles with characters who are on the same difficult journey as these young readers.

Five Elements series by Dan Jolley

Twelve-year-old Gabe has lived with his Uncle Steve since his parents died in a car wreck when he was three, so when Gabe and his friends disobey his uncle’s orders and create a dangerous situation for them all, Gabe feels responsible for his uncle’s ensuing disappearance. His quest to find his uncle as well as the hope that his mother may be alive in an evil shadow dimension creates emotional drama within the adventure this group of Elementalist friends undertakes. Gabe’s friend Brett brings along some devastating emotional baggage of his own: he blames himself for the drowning of his older brother Charlie while the two of them were the only ones in a boat together (“he knew it was his fault”) and is sure that his family hates him for their loss. His overwhelming guilt (“more than he can handle”) leaves him open to manipulation, as this fantasy series deals with much more than fictional monsters and powerful artifacts. As his twin sister Lily stands by him through the dangers they face, the greatest support she offers him is the acceptance of the reality they face in a future without their brother, because “no matter what we do, Charlie’s still gone.”

 The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd

Convalescing in a hospital for children with tuberculosis in World War II England, twelve-year-old Emmaline sees what no one else in the converted mansion can see: winged horses in mirrors. The Horse Lord, who asks for Emmaline’s help to keep an injured horse, Foxfire, safe, tells Emmaline in a letter that “death isn’t the end,” but what Emmaline discovers after her closest friend dies and her obsession with the horses hits an overwhelming pitch is horrifying for both her and readers. She endangers her own life to protect Foxfire, but she finds out that the sister and parents with whom she has been looking forward to reuniting died in a fire before she came to Briar Hill, and as the only survivor, she has somehow blocked her memories of the tragedy, as well as her helplessness to save those she loved most. As she struggles for her own life through her illness, she has the chance to carry the hope and strength she feels when she is with Foxfire into reality and share it with other children who are sick and alone. She knows that “certain special people who die before their time become winged horses,” so her desire to help Foxfire is clearly an attempt to atone for her failure to save her family. This bittersweet story seems like a sure hit for girls who love horses, but the depth of Emmaline’s grief is revealed in the suppression of her memories, a coping mechanism that some young readers may relate to and need help working through as they manage their grief.

The Girl with the Ghost Machine by Lauren DeStefano

When ten-year-old Emmaline’s mother dies, her father is unable to let go, holding them both hostage to his grief, as “it seemed as though everything else had died” with his wife. He crafts a machine that he is sure will bring her back, ignoring his living child for two years as he pours his love and time into a dream of the past. Emmaline hates the machine and what it has done, reprimanding him for not accepting the finality of death, essentially reversing roles and pressing him to take care of her and practical matters as a parent should. The machine proves itself by using memories to provide a few moments with a loved one, but Emmaline knows that memories are irreplaceable, and while she misses her mother, she is thrown into a new grief when one of her close friends drowns as they are ice skating together. The brief time she takes to cry for her mother distracts her from Oliver, as she and Oliver’s brother Gully leave Oliver behind when Emmaline becomes upset over Oliver’s comments about the machine. The two share the guilt and forge ahead, leaning on each other with a hard lesson learned that “everything could be taken away in heartbeat.” Memories are vital, but holding on to the past keeps us from continuing to live and love in the present and future: “if someone was still close enough to hold on to, then you should hold on.” This story is a heartbreaking reality of emotions packaged in a fantasy, much like the author’s other titles, most of which speak to grief in accessible ways.

More titles that may be helpful for young readers dealing with grief:

Waiting for Augusta by Jessica Lawson (death of father)

Lemons by Melissa Savage (death of mother)

Jelly Bean Summer by Joyce Magnin (brother who is MIA)

Stay by Katherine Lawrence (father is dying of cancer, protagonist speaks to twin brother, who died in utero)

The Kane Chronicles trilogy by Rick Riordan (death of mother is a motivating force in the Kane siblings’ quest)

Keeper of the Lost Cities series by Shannon Messenger (death of adoptive parents’ daughter in the past affects protagonist’s relationship with her new family)

Bio:

Kerry Sutherland is the young adult librarian at the Ellet branch of the Akron-Summit County Public Library in Akron, Ohio. She has a PhD in American literature from Kent State University, along with a MLIS from the same. She reviews middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction for School Library Journal, and is a published author of short fiction, novels, poetry, professional and academic work. She loves cats, Shadowhunters, Henry James, anime, and NASCAR.

Twitter: @catfriends

Instagram: @superpurry

Recently in book mail

tltbutton7Books, books, and more books! My neighbors probably wonder what exactly goes on over here at the house where UPS of FedEx stops nearly every day. The following are the books that have arrived here in the past few weeks. I will be reviewing many of them in the upcoming months on TLT. See something you’ve already read and need to make sure I don’t skip? Or something you’re super excited to read when it comes out? Let me know with a comment here or on Twitter, where I’m @CiteSomething.

All descriptions from the publishers.

 

call of theCall of the Alphas #1 by Ellis Byrd (ISBN-13: 9780451534477 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 06/27/2017Series: Animal Jam Series, #1)

The first novel in a new fiction series based on the hugely popular online game, Animal Jam, enjoyed by over 65 million users! Learn all about the origin of the Animal Jam home called Jamaa, a lush natural environment, and its brave, adventurous animal leaders called the Alphas.

Welcome to Jamaa, a peaceful place full of forests, canyons, and beaches where all kinds of animals have adventures together! But did you know that Jamaa wasn’t always so peaceful? A long time ago, evil phantoms wreaked havoc and destroyed the land. Luckily, brave animal leaders called the Alphas came to the rescue. They battled the phantoms and restored Jamaa to its natural state. Now Jamaa is back to its old self and ready to be explored by you and all the other Animal Jammers!

Fans of the popular Animal Jam game (as well as newcomers) are sure to love Call of the Alphas, which expands the online world. And readers will be given exclusive access to new online adventures through a special code in the text!

 

 

phantomThe Phantoms’ Secret #2 by Christa Roberts (ISBN-13: 9780451534484 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 06/27/2017 Series: Animal Jam Series, #2)

The second novel in a fiction series based on the popular online game, Animal Jam, enjoyed by over 65 million users! The brave and intrepid animals’ adventures continue as they protect their natural habitat, Jamaa.

Something’s going on in Jamaa. Plants are dying, the water is murky, and animals are spooked. Are the Phantoms back? Some of the Alphas investigate a suspicious volcano while others are hot on the trail of another lead. Can the Alphas work together to face the newest threat? It will take all of them save Jamaa…and time is running out.

Fans of the popular Animal Jam game (as well as newcomers) are sure to love this book that expands the online world. And readers will be given exclusive access to new online adventures through a special code in the text!

 

 

prettyPretty by Justin Sayre (ISBN-13: 9780448484174 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 07/04/2017)

Sophie’s perspective on what being pretty really means changes drastically in the second adjective-busting novel by the author of Husky, Justin Sayre.

Sayre details the private and public life of a thirteen-year-old burdened with far more than the middle-school adjective of Pretty. Though she appears confident, stylish, and easygoing at school, Sophie lives a nightmare at home. When her mother’s alcohol addiction spirals out of control, Sophie’s Auntie Amara steps in to help. She teaches Sophie new lessons about her family and heritage, while also challenging her to rethink how she feels about friends, boys, and even her sense of place in the Brooklyn neighborhood where she lives. Sayre, a master storyteller in the coming-of-age genre, asks readers to confront superficial assumptions about gender and beauty, and breathes new life into the canon of middle-grade realistic fiction.

 

 

cosmicCosmic Commandos by Christopher Eliopoulos (ISBN-13: 9781101994481 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 07/04/2017)

In this graphic novel adventure for readers of Hilo and Roller Girl, a pair of twin brothers accidentally bring their favorite video game to life—and now they have to find a way to work together to defeat it.

Jeremy and Justin are twins, but they couldn’t be any more different from each other. Jeremy is a risk taker who likes to get his hands dirty; Justin prefers to read, focus, and get all his facts straight before jumping in. But they do have one important thing in common: They both love video games. When Jeremy wins a cereal-box charm that brings his favorite video game to life, villains and all, he finds that he’s in way over his head. Justin knows everything there is to know about the rules of the game—he read the handbook, of course—and Jeremy isn’t afraid to try new things. Can these two mismatched brothers work together to beat the video game that has become their life?

 

lake effectThe Lake Effect by Erin McCahan (ISBN-13: 9780803740525 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 07/11/2017)

 

A funny, bracing, poignant YA romance and coming-of-age for fans of Huntley Fitzpatrick, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and The Beginning of Everything

lake effect | n.
1. The effect of any lake, especially the Great Lakes, in modifying the weather in nearby areas
2. The effect of elderly ladies, mysterious girls, and countless funerals, in upending your life, one summer at the beach

It’s the summer after senior year, and Briggs Henry is out the door. He’s leaving behind his ex-girlfriend and his parents’ money troubles for Lake Michigan and its miles of sandy beaches, working a summer job as a personal assistant, and living in a gorgeous Victorian on the shore. It’s the kind of house Briggs plans to buy his parents one day when he’s a multi-millionaire. But then he gets there. And his eighty-four-year-old boss tells him to put on a suit for her funeral.

So begins a summer of social gaffes, stomach cramps, fraught beach volleyball games, moonlit epiphanies, and a drawer full of funeral programs. Add to this Abigail, the mystifying girl next door on whom Briggs’s charms just won’t work, and “the lake effect” is taking on a whole new meaning.

Smart, funny, and honest, The Lake Effect is about realizing that playing along is playing it safe, and that you can only become who you truly are if you’re willing to take the risk.

 

 

rosieRosie Girl by Julie Shepard (ISBN-13: 9780399548642 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 07/11/2017)

Little Peach meets We Were Liars in this haunting YA debut about a troubled teen searching for her birth mom who uncovers disturbing family secrets along the way.

After her father passes away, seventeen-year-old Rosie is forced to live with her abusive stepmom Lucy and her deadbeat boyfriend, Judd, who gives Rosie the sort of looks you shouldn’t give your girlfriend’s step-daughter. Desperate for a way out, Rosie would do just about anything to escape the life she’s been handed. Then she finds a letter her dad wrote years ago, a letter confessing that Rosie’s birth mother isn’t dead, as she believed, but alive somewhere—having left them when Rosie was a little girl for reasons he won’t reveal.
Rosie resolves to find her birth mom, and she’ll put everything on the line to make that happen. She hires a PI paid for by her best friend, Mary, who turns tricks for money. Unlike Rosie, Mary’s no delicate flower and when she sees the opportunity to make some cash and help out her closest friend, she takes it. Romance blooms when the PI Rosie hires hands the case off to his handsome nephew Mac, but Rosie struggles to keep her illicit activities with Mary a secret. Things begin to unravel when Rosie starts getting creepy anonymous texts from johns looking for Mary. And then there’s Mary, the one person Rosie can count on, who’s been acting strangely all of a sudden. As Rosie and Mary get closer to finally uncovering the truth about Rosie’s mom, Rosie comes face to face with a secret she never saw coming. A visceral, poignant tale of friendship, sacrifice and identity, Rosie Girl is an unforgettable debut that will leave you guessing till the very last page.

 

 

 

because youBecause You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy by Ameriie (ISBN-13: 9781681193649 Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Publication date: 07/11/2017)

Leave it to the heroes to save the world–villains just want to rule the world.

In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains’ points of view.

These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like “Medusa,” Sherlock Holmes, and “Jack and the Beanstalk” provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains’ acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage–and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on. No fairy tale will ever seem quite the same again!

Featuring writing from . . .

Authors: Renée Ahdieh, Ameriie, Soman Chainani, Susan Dennard, Sarah Enni, Marissa Meyer, Cindy Pon, Victoria Schwab, Samantha Shannon, Adam Silvera, Andrew Smith, April Genevieve Tucholke, and Nicola Yoon

BookTubers: Benjamin Alderson (Benjaminoftomes), Sasha Alsberg (abookutopia), Whitney Atkinson (WhittyNovels), Tina Burke (ChristinaReadsYA blog and TheLushables), Catriona Feeney (LittleBookOwl), Jesse George (JessetheReader), Zoë Herdt (readbyzoe), Samantha Lane (Thoughts on Tomes), Sophia Lee (thebookbasement), Raeleen Lemay (padfootandprongs07), Regan Perusse (PeruseProject), Christine Riccio (polandbananasBOOKS), and Steph Sinclair & Kat Kennedy (Cuddlebuggery blog and channel).

 

 

library of fatesThe Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana (ISBN-13: 9781595148582 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 07/18/2017)

A romantic coming-of-age fantasy tale steeped in Indian folklore, perfect for fans of The Star-Touched Queen and The Wrath and the Dawn

No one is entirely certain what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. Until now, the idyllic kingdom has been immune to his many violent conquests. To keep the visit friendly, Princess Amrita has offered herself as his bride, sacrificing everything—family, her childhood love, and her freedom—to save her people. But her offer isn’t enough.

The palace is soon under siege, and Amrita finds herself a fugitive, utterly alone but for an oracle named Thala, who was kept by Sikander as a slave and managed to escape amid the chaos. With nothing and no one else to turn to, Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on one another. But while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. To go back to before Sikander took everything from them.

Stripped of all that she loves, caught between her rosy past and an unknown future, will Amrita be able to restore what was lost, or does another life—and another love—await?

 

 

what goes upWhat Goes Up by Katie Kennedy (ISBN-13: 9781619639126 Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Publication date: 07/18/2017)

Rosa and Eddie are among hundreds of teens applying to NASA’s mysterious Interworlds Agency. They’re not exactly sure what the top-secret program entails, but they know they want in. Rosa has her brilliant parents’ legacies to live up to, and Eddie has nowhere else to go–he’s certainly not going to stick around and wait for his violent father to get out of jail. Even if they are selected, they have no idea what lies in store. But first they have to make it through round after round of crazy-competitive testing.

And then something happens that even NASA’s scientists couldn’t predict . . .

From the author of the acclaimed Learning to Swear in America comes another high-stakes adventure that’s absolutely out of this world.

 

 

a promising lifeA Promising Life: Coming of Age with America, A Novel by Emily Arnold McCully (ISBN-13: 9780439314459 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.Publication date: 07/25/2017)

For as long as he can remember, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau has been told that a promising future lies ahead of him. After all, his mother is the great Sacagawea, who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their expedition of discovery. And thanks to his mother, Baptiste’s life changes forever when Captain Clark offers him an education in the bustling new city of St. Louis.

There, his mother charges him to “learn everything” – reading, writing, languages, mathematics. His life becomes a whirl of new experiences: lessons, duels, dances, elections. He makes friends and undertakes unexpected journeys to far-off places.

But he also witnesses the injustices Clark, as a US agent for Indian Affairs, forces upon the Osage, the Arikara, the Mandan, and so many others. He sees the effect of what some call “progress” on the land and on the people who have lived there for generations. And he must choose what path he will take and what place he will have in a rapidly changing society.

 

 

shadowhouseShadowhouse Fall (The Shadowshaper Cypher Series #2) by Daniel José Older (ISBN-13: 9780545952828 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 09/12/2017 Series: Shadowshaper Cypher Series, #2)

SHADOWHOUSE RISING

Sierra and her friends love their new lives as shadowshapers, making art and creating change with the spirits of Brooklyn. Then Sierra receives a strange card depicting a white beast called the Hound of Light — an image from the enigmatic, influential Deck of Worlds. The Deck tracks the players and powers of all the magical houses in the city, and when the real Hound begins to stalk Sierra through the streets, the shadowshapers know their next battle has arrived.

WORLDS IN REVOLUTION

Sierra and Shadowhouse have been thrust into an ancient struggle with enemies old and new — a struggle they didn’t want, but are determined to win. Revolution is brewing in the real world as well, as the shadowshapers join the fight against systems that oppress and incarcerate their community. To protect her family and friends in every sphere, Sierra must take down the Hound and master the Deck of Worlds … or else she could lose everything that matters most.

 

 

run awayRun Away with Me by Mila Gray (ISBN-13: 9781481490962 Publisher: Simon Pulse Publication date: 11/28/2017)

Two friends fall into a passionate romance, but first they must confront a painful past, or else lose out on the one thing they’ve been searching for in this heartrending novel from the author of Come Back to Me and Stay with Me.

Emerson Lowe and popular ice-hockey player Jake McCallister have been best friends since third grade but as their friendship starts to morph into something more a terrible event occurs that heralds the end of innocence for both of them.

Within a week, Jake’s living on the other side of the country and Emerson is left alone to pick up the pieces of her life in a small town determined to paint her as a liar.

Seven years later, Emerson is still living on the beautiful Pacific West island of Bainbridge, helping run her family’s business. The last thing she needs is Jake turning up, bringing with him old memories and opening up old wounds. But Jake—even better looking than Emerson remembers—seems determined to revive their friendship no matter how much Emerson tries to push him away.

Forced to work alongside him for the summer Emerson can’t help but fall for Jake, and soon they’re in the midst of a passionate romance that neither of them wants to end.

But both Emerson and Jake know that if they’re to have any kind of future they must first confront the past—a past that most people want to stay buried.

 

 

you'll missYou’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon (ISBN-13: 9781481497732 Publisher: Simon Pulse Publication date: 01/02/2018)

A moving, lyrical debut novel about twins who navigate first love, their Jewish identity, and opposite results from a genetic test that determines their fate—whether they inherited their mother’s Huntington’s disease.

Eighteen-year-old twins Adina and Tovah have little in common besides their ambitious nature. Viola prodigy Adina yearns to become a soloist—and to convince her music teacher he wants her the way she wants him. Overachiever Tovah awaits her acceptance to Johns Hopkins, the first step on her path toward med school and a career as a surgeon.

But one thing could wreck their carefully planned futures: a genetic test for Huntington’s, a rare degenerative disease that slowly steals control of the body and mind. It’s turned their Israeli mother into a near stranger and fractured the sisters’ own bond in ways they’ll never admit. While Tovah finds comfort in their Jewish religion, Adina rebels against its rules.

When the results come in, one twin tests negative for Huntington’s, and the other tests positive.

These opposite outcomes push them farther apart as they wrestle with guilt, betrayal, and the unexpected thrill of first love. How can they repair their relationship, and is it even worth saving?

From debut author Rachel Lynn Solomon comes a luminous, heartbreaking tale of life, death, and the fragile bond between sisters.

 

 

cruel princeThe Cruel Prince (Folk of the Air Series #1) by Holly Black (ISBN-13: 9780316310277 Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Publication date: 01/02/2018 Series: Folk of the Air Series, #1)

By #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, the first book in a stunning new series about a mortal girl who finds herself caught in a web of royal faerie intrigue.

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.


And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.


Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

 

 

snapSnapstreak by Suzanne Weyn (ISBN-13: 978-1328713469 Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers Publication date: 02/06/2018)

Eighth-grader Vee is doomed to move to a new town, away from her BFFs Megan and Lulu. To get a jump on her new social life, she starts snapping with local Queen Bee, Gwynneth. Megan and Lulu have mixed feelings about G., but Vee’s snapstreak with her is well under way when they get the biggest news EVER: The local radio station is hosting a Boys Being Dudes concert for the pair of students from different schools who can prove the longest running snapstreak! Vee could win this!

The girls’ BBD dreams are in reach when a gym class concussion lands Vee in bed, under a strict phone ban. It’s up to Megan and Lulu to keep the streak going.

 

american pandaAmerican Panda by Gloria Chao (ISBN-13: 9781481499101 Publisher: Simon Pulse Publication date: 02/06/2018)

An incisive, laugh-out-loud contemporary debut about a Taiwanese-American teen whose parents want her to be a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer despite her germophobia and crush on a Japanese classmate.

At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth—that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?

From debut author Gloria Chao comes a hilarious, heartfelt tale of how unlike the panda, life isn’t always so black and white.

What’s New in LGBTQIA+ YA July 2017

tltbutton7It’s time for another roundup for new and forthcoming YA (and sometimes not YA) books featuring LGBTQIA+ characters.  The titles I’m including here have LGBTQIA+ main characters as well as secondary characters (in some cases parents), as well as anthologies that include LGBTQIA+ stories. Know of a title I missed in this list? Or know of a forthcoming title that should be on my radar for an upcoming list? Leave a comment or tweet me @CiteSomething. This list covers July 2017 titles. Head over to this link for the previous post (June 2017 titles) in this series. All annotations here are via the publishers/Goodreads. I also have a 2017 master list that I’m always working on. I’m happy to send you the list if you’re interested. Tweet at me or email me to request the list. I’m amanda DOT macgregor AT gmail DOT com.

 

July 2017

art of starvingThe Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller (ISBN-13: 9780062456717 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 07/11/2017)

Matt hasn’t eaten in days. His stomach stabs and twists inside, pleading for a meal, but Matt won’t give in. The hunger clears his mind, keeps him sharp—and he needs to be as sharp as possible if he’s going to find out just how Tariq and his band of high school bullies drove his sister, Maya, away.

Matt’s hardworking mom keeps the kitchen crammed with food, but Matt can resist the siren call of casseroles and cookies because he has discovered something: the less he eats the more he seems to have . . . powers. The ability to see things he shouldn’t be able to see. The knack of tuning in to thoughts right out of people’s heads. Maybe even the authority to bend time and space.

So what is lunch, really, compared to the secrets of the universe?

Matt decides to infiltrate Tariq’s life, then use his powers to uncover what happened to Maya. All he needs to do is keep the hunger and longing at bay. No problem. But Matt doesn’t realize there are many kinds of hunger…and he isn’t in control of all of them.

A darkly funny, moving story of body image, addiction, friendship, and love, Sam J. Miller’s debut novel will resonate with any reader who’s ever craved the power that comes with self-acceptance.

 

 

whos that girlWho’s That Girl by Blair Thornburgh (ISBN-13: 9780062447777 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 07/11/2017)

This laugh-out-loud debut is filled with hilarious awkward encounters, a supportive LGBTQ organization, and too many cheesy lyrics to count—all with the compulsive readability of Audrey, Wait! and Boy Meets Boy.

Junior Nattie McCullough has always been that under-the-radar straight girl who hangs out in the cafeteria with her gay-straight alliance friends. She’s never been the girl that gets the guy, let alone the girl that gets a hit song named after her. But when last summer’s crush, smoking-hot musician Sebastian Delacroix—who has recently hit the mainstream big-time—returns home to play a local show, that’s just what she gets. He and his band, the Young Lungs, have written a chart-topping single—“Natalie”—which instantly makes Nattie second guess everything she thought about their awkward non-kiss at that June pool party. That it was horrific. That it meant nothing. That Sebastian never gave her another thought.

To help keep her mind off of Sebastian and his maybe-about-her, maybe-not-about-her song, Nattie throws herself into planning the school’s LGBTQIA dance. That proves problematic, too, when Nattie begins to develop feelings for her good friend Zach. With the song getting major airplay and her once-normal life starting to resemble the cover of a gossip magazine, Nattie is determined to figure out once and for all if her brief moment with Sebastian was the stuff love songs are made of—or just a one-hit wonder.

 

 

savageThe Savage Dawn by Melissa Grey (ISBN-13: 9780385744690 Publisher: Random House Children’s Books Publication date: 07/11/2017 Series: Girl at Midnight Series, #3)

The sides have been chosen and the battle lines drawn.

Echo awakened the Firebird. Now she is the only one with the power to face the darkness she unwittingly unleashed . . . right into the waiting hands of Tanith, the new Dragon Prince. Tanith has one goal in mind: destroy her enemies, raze their lands, and reign supreme in a new era where the Drakharin are almighty and the Avicen are nothing but a memory.

The war that has been brewing for centuries is finally imminent. But the scales are tipped. Echo might hold the power to face the darkness within the Dragon Prince, but she has far to go to master its overwhelming force. And now she’s plagued by uncertainty. With Caius no longer by her side, she doesn’t know if she can do it alone. Is she strong enough to save her home and the people she loves?

Whether Echo is ready to face this evil is not the question. The war has begun, and there is no looking back. There are only two outcomes possible: triumph or death.

 

 

Year of Yes by Annameekee Hesik (ISBN-13: 9781626399525 Publisher: Bold Strokes Books Publication date: 07/18/2017 Series: You Know Who Girls Series)

The pressure is on, and if Abbey Brooks hears one more time how important her junior year of high school is, she just might lose her mind. So, when Mia dares her to stop saying no to fun and yes to at least ten new adventures she would have never before considered, Abbey boldly accepts. What Abbey quickly learns is that “yes” can open doors to places and people that she never could have imagined knowing, and saying yes will also lead to some of the best and worst days she’s ever had at Gila High.

 

 

SOVSovereign by April Daniels (ISBN-13: 9781682308240 Publisher: Diversion Publishing Publication date: 07/25/2017 Series: April Daniels’ Nemesis Series, #2)

The highly anticipated sequel to Dreadnought , featuring “the most exciting new superheroes in decades.” ( Kirkus , starred review)

Only nine months after her debut as the superhero Dreadnought, Danny Tozer is already a scarred veteran. Protecting a city the size of New Port is a team-sized job and she’s doing it alone. Between her newfound celebrity and her demanding cape duties, Dreadnought is stretched thin, and it’s only going to get worse.

When she crosses a newly discovered billionaire supervillain, Dreadnought comes under attack from all quarters. From her troubled family life to her disintegrating friendship with Calamity, there’s no lever too cruel for this villain to use against her.

She might be hard to kill, but there’s more than one way to destroy a hero. Before the war is over, Dreadnought will be forced to confront parts of herself she never wanted to acknowledge.

And behind it all, an old enemy waits in the wings, ready to unleash a plot that will scar the world forever.

 

 

daughterDaughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody (ISBN-13: 9780373212439 Publisher: Harlequin Publication date: 07/25/2017)

A darkly irresistible new fantasy set in the infamous Gomorrah Festival, a traveling carnival of debauchery that caters to the strangest of dreams and desires.

Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca. Their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all her loved ones disappear.

 

cadenCaden’s Comet by Annabelle Jay (ISBN-13: 978-1-63533-453-1 Publisher: Harmony Ink Press Publication date: 07/25/2017 Series: The Sun Dragon Series, #4)

Long ago, in the days before King Roland, the four dragon kingdoms—Ice, Sun, Earth, and Bone—battled for dominion over the bountiful planet Earth. Prince Grian, a young dragon, hid aboard a Sun Dragon ship, traveled to Earth, and met Caden, an Earth Dragon who’d run away from his village. Despite falling in love, destiny’s plans for them turned cruel, and both perished in the war.

The Artists who created the universe could not let this tragic loss of true love go unpunished. They wiped out the race of Sun Dragons, exiled the Bone Dragons to Draman, and banished the Ice Dragons to the North Pole, safely away from the Earth Dragons. Only the rebirth of Grian and Caden could break the curse. One day, the return of their love would usher in an age of peace and prosperity for all dragons.

But when Prince Grian is reborn, he finds reuniting with his soulmate on Earth will be no easy feat. As he searches for his lost love, the Earth Dragon Protection Society, or EDPS, searches for him, ready to kill him when they find him. If Grian can elude the EDPS, he might find that the true love he once had isn’t guaranteed to bloom a second time.

 

galleryThe Gallery of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz (ISBN-13: 9780062467775 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 07/25/2017)

A beautiful and evocative look at identity and creativity, The Gallery of Unfinished Girls is a stunning debut in magical realism. Perfect for fans of The Walls Around Us and Bone Gap.

Mercedes Moreno is an artist. At least, she thinks she could be, even though she hasn’t been able to paint anything worthwhile in the past year.

Her lack of inspiration might be because her abuela is in a coma. Or the fact that Mercedes is in love with her best friend, Victoria, but is too afraid to admit her true feelings.

Despite Mercedes’s creative block, art starts to show up in unexpected ways. A piano appears on her front lawn one morning, and a mysterious new neighbor invites Mercedes to paint with her at the Red Mangrove Estate.

At the Estate, Mercedes can create in ways she hasn’t ever before. But Mercedes can’t take anything out of the Estate, including her new-found clarity. Mercedes can’t live both lives forever, and ultimately she must choose between this perfect world of art and truth and a much messier reality.

Recently in Book Mail

IMG_0886Let me just start off with a disclaimer – I don’t get nearly as much book mail as Amanda or Karen. For a lot of reasons, probably, but mainly because I don’t review as many as they do. That said, it is always fun to come home to a package on my doorstep that obviously contains books!

51d398UkDHL._SY400_First up is the new Ann Dee Ellis, You May Already be a Winner, out July 11th.

Twelve-year-old Olivia knows that luck is real

That’s why she is counting on luck to bring her a million dollars. Preferably by hot-air-balloon so that she and her little sister, Berkeley, can move away from dumb old Sunny Pines Trailer Park. So that she can go to school and not stay home to watch Berkeley because they can’t afford day care. So that her mom doesn’t have to work all the time and be tired, so tired, too tired to put Berkeley to bed or cook dinner or be a mom at all.

And since Dad isn’t responding to Olivia’s letters, she has to take matters into her own hands. This means entering fourteen sweepstakes a day. This means pretending to be a super-secret spy to make a new friend. And this means somehow planning a circus spectacular, right here in Sunny Pines, so that Berk can have something good to look forward to.

So what if Olivia’s hard work isn’t appreciated. So what if no one is taking care of her the way she is taking care of EVERYTHING. So. What.

Because luck IS real. And Olivia may already be a winner. She just doesn’t know it yet.

9780425290408Next is debut author Celia C. Perez’s The First Rule of Punk, out August 22nd.

epic-crush-genie-lo-bookNext up is our only YA in a sea of MG, F.C. Yee’s The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, out August 8th.

The struggle to get into a top-tier college consumes sixteen-year-old Genie’s every waking thought. But when she discovers she’s a celestial spirit who’s powerful enough to bash through the gates of heaven with her fists, her perfectionist existence is shattered.

Enter Quentin, a transfer student from China whose tone-deaf assertiveness beguiles Genie to the brink of madness. Quentin nurtures Genie’s bodacious transformation—sometimes gently, sometimes aggressively—as her sleepy suburb in the Bay Area comes under siege from hell-spawn.

This epic YA debut draws from Chinese folklore, features a larger-than-life heroine, and perfectly balances the realities of Genie’s grounded high school life with the absurd supernatural world she finds herself commanding.

9780399554384And finally, Lights, Camera, Middle School!, first in the Babymouse: Tales from the Locker series, out this Tuesday, July 4th, from Jennifer and Matthew Holm.

What’s New in LGBTQIA+ YA June 2017

tltbutton7It’s time for another roundup for new and forthcoming YA (and sometimes not YA) books featuring LGBTQIA+ characters.  The titles I’m including here have LGBTQIA+ main characters as well as secondary characters (in some cases parents), as well as anthologies that include LGBTQIA+ stories. Know of a title I missed in this list? Or know of a forthcoming title that should be on my radar for an upcoming list? Leave a comment or tweet me @CiteSomething. This list covers June 2017 titles. Head over to this link for the previous post (May 2017 titles) in this series. All annotations here are via the publishers/Goodreads. I also have a 2017 master list that I’m always working on. I’m happy to send you the list if you’re interested. Tweet at me or email me to request the list. I’m amanda DOT macgregor AT gmail DOT com.

 

JUNE 2017

masqMasquerade (Micah Grey, #3) by Laura Lam (ISBN-13: 9781509807789 Publisher: Pan Macmillan Publication date: 06/01/2017)

Micah and his friends have won the magician duel against Maske’s age-old rival—yet despite this glory, trouble still looms. Imachara is under attack by either the anti-monarchy Foresters, or a group even more dangerous. One blast damages the Kymri Theatre, forcing Micah and the others to flee to dingy rooms in a bad part of town and perform street magic to keep their skills sharp. Micah has a vision of the end of the world, and strange dreams of a grave robber stealing bodies. He that discovers many people in his life are lying to him, and he has no idea who he can trust. The Chimaera and the Alder’s powers have returned, and it’s up to Micah to stop the storm of the past from breaking and destroying the world.

 

 

 

tash heartsTash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee (ISBN-13: 9781481489331 Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers Publication date: 06/06/2017)

From the author of Lucky Few comes a quirky teen novel about Internet fame, peer pressure, and remembering not to step on the little people on your way to the top!

After a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar vloggers, Natasha “Tash” Zelenka suddenly finds herself and her obscure, amateur web series, Unhappy Families, thrust in the limelight: She’s gone viral.

Her show is a modern adaption of Anna Karenina—written by Tash’s literary love Count Lev Nikolayevich “Leo” Tolstoy. Tash is a fan of the 40,000 new subscribers, their gushing tweets, and flashy Tumblr gifs. Not so much the pressure to deliver the best web series ever.

And when Unhappy Families is nominated for a Golden Tuba award, Tash’s cyber-flirtation with a fellow award nominee suddenly has the potential to become something IRL—if she can figure out how to tell said crush that she’s romantic asexual.

Tash wants to enjoy her newfound fame, but will she lose her friends in her rise to the top? What would Tolstoy do?

 

 

 

felixFelix Yz by Lisa Bunker (ISBN-13: 9780425288504 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 06/06/2017)

“If it wasn’t for the fused-with-Zyx thing, I suppose I would just be normal—whatever that means.”

When Felix Yz was three years old, a hyperintelligent fourth-dimensional being became fused inside him after one of his father’s science experiments went terribly wrong. The creature is friendly, but Felix—now thirteen—won’t be able to grow to adulthood while they’re still melded together. So a risky Procedure is planned to separate them . . . but it may end up killing them both instead.

This book is Felix’s secret blog, a chronicle of the days leading up to the Procedure. Some days it’s business as usual—time with his close-knit family, run-ins with a bully at school, anxiety about his crush. But life becomes more out of the ordinary with the arrival of an Estonian chess Grandmaster, the revelation of family secrets, and a train-hopping journey. When it all might be over in a few days, what matters most?

Told in an unforgettable voice full of heart and humor, Felix Yz is a groundbreaking story about how we are all separate, but all connected too.

 

 

 

perfect tenPerfect Ten by L. Philips (ISBN-13: 9780425288115 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 06/06/2017)

Who is Sam Raines’s Perfect Ten? 

It’s been two years since Sam broke up with the only other eligible gay guy in his high school, so to say he’s been going through a romantic drought is the understatement of the decade. When Meg, his ex-Catholic-turned-Wiccan best friend, suggests performing a love spell, Sam is just desperate enough to try. He crafts a list of ten traits he wants in a boyfriend and burns it in a cemetery at midnight on Friday the thirteenth.

Enter three seemingly perfect guys, all in pursuit of Sam. There’s Gus, the suave French exchange student; Jamie, the sweet and shy artist; and Travis, the guitar-playing tattooed enigma. Even Sam’s ex-boyfriend, Landon, might want another chance.

But does a Perfect Ten even exist? Find out in this delectable coming-of-age romcom with just a touch of magic.

 

 

 

gentlemansThe Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (ISBN-13: 9780062382801 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 06/27/2017)

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets the 1700s in this hilarious and swashbuckling stand-alone teen historical fiction novel. A young bisexual British lord who embarks on an unforgettable Grand Tour of Europe with his best friend/secret crush stars. An 18th-century romantic adventure for the modern age written by This Monstrous Thing author Mackenzi Lee.

Henry “Monty” Montague doesn’t care that his roguish passions are far from suitable for the gentleman he was born to be. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quests for pleasure and vice are in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

So Monty vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Witty, dazzling, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is an irresistible romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.

 

 

impossibleThe Impossible Vastness of Us by Samantha Young (ISBN-13: 9780373212422 Publisher: Harlequin Publication date: 06/27/2017)

“I know how to watch my back. I’m the only one that ever has.”

India Maxwell hasn’t just moved across the country—she’s plummeted to the bottom rung of the social ladder. It’s taken years to cover the mess of her home life with a veneer of popularity. Now she’s living in one of Boston’s wealthiest neighborhoods with her mom’s fiancé and his daughter, Eloise. Thanks to her soon-to-be stepsister’s clique of friends, including Eloise’s gorgeous, arrogant boyfriend, Finn, India feels like the one thing she hoped never to be seen as again: trash.

But India’s not alone in struggling to control the secrets of her past. Eloise and Finn, the school’s golden couple, aren’t all they seem to be. In fact, everyone’s life is infinitely more complex than it first appears. And as India grows closer to Finn and befriends Eloise, threatening the facades that hold them together, what’s left are truths that are brutal, beautiful and big enough to change them forever…

From New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young comes a story of friendship, identity and acceptance that will break your heart—and make it whole again.

Recently in book mail + giveaways

tltbutton7Books, books, and more books! My neighbors probably wonder what exactly goes on over here at the house where UPS of FedEx stops nearly every day. The following are the books that have arrived here in the past few weeks. I will be reviewing many of them in the upcoming months on TLT. See something you’ve already read and need to make sure I don’t skip? Or something you’re super excited to read when it comes out? Let me know with a comment here or on Twitter, where I’m @CiteSomething.

All descriptions from the publishers.

 

And, because seeing all the book mail but not getting to have any of it isn’t that fun, here’s a giveaway! Enter via the Rafflecopter or by retweeting this post when you see it on my Twitter feed (@CiteSomething). Ends midnight, June 19. I will send four winners (two from Twitter and two from the Rafflecopter) one book each. U.S. ONLY. 

 

 

crown of wishesA Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi (ISBN-13: 9781250085498 Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Publication date: 03/28/2017 Series: Star-Touched Series, #2)

Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes – a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.

Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.

Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

 

 

give me a killGive Me a K-I-L-L: A Fear Street Novel by R. L. Stine (ISBN-13: 9781250058966 Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Publication date: 04/04/2017)

At Shadyside High, cheerleading can be a scream!

For the first time since the original series, R.L. Stine brings back his most beloved characters—the cheerleaders of Shadyside High.

The cheerleading squad at Shadyside has always been strong, but now there are rumors that lack of funds may mean the end of cheerleading at Shadyside. That would be a shame for Heather Wyatt, who has just transferred from her old school, where she was a star, and is eager to join the squad. There’s only one other girl who stands in her way—rich, spoiled Devra Dalby, who is also trying out for the one open slot. The competition to join the squad is anything but friendly—and it ends in murder. Will Heather make the squad—if there’s even a squad anymore—or will she end up dead?

Packed with screams and guaranteed to send a shiver up your spine, Give Me a K-I-L-L is a terrifying installment in Stine’s bestselling Fear Street series.

 

 

this is reallyThis Is Really Happening by Erin Chack (ISBN-13: 9780448493589 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 04/25/2017)

BuzzFeed senior writer Erin Chack hits you in the guts, the feels, and the funny bone all at once with this collection of personal essays that reads like Sloane Crosley for the Snapchat generation.

In turns hysterically funny and heartbreakingly poignant, Erin recounts everything from meeting her soulmate at age 14 to her first chemotherapy session at age 19 to what really goes on behind the scenes at a major Internet media company.

She authentically captures the agony and the ecstasy of the millennial experience, whether it’s her first kiss (“Sean’s tongue! In my mouth! Slippery and wet like a slug in the rain.”) or her struggles with anxiety (“When people throw caution to the wind, I am stuck imagining the poor soul who has to break his back sweeping caution into a dustpan”).

Yet Erin also offers a fresh perspective on universal themes of resilience and love as she writes about surviving cancer—including learning of her mother’s own cancer diagnosis within the same year and her attempts to hide the diagnosis from friends to avoid “un-normaling” everything.

Perfect for fans of Jenny Lawson, Amy Poehler, and Kelly Williams Brown, this sharply observed memoir introduces Erin Chack as a strikingly original new voice.

 

 

the one memoryThe One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr (ISBN-13: 9780399547010 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 05/02/2017)

It’s not a lie if you can’t remember the truth.

Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora’s brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend’s boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this one memory breaks through Flora’s fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake is responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So, when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world—in Svalbard, Norway—Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step toward reclaiming her life.

But will following Drake be the key to unlocking Flora’s memory? Or will the journey reveal that nothing is quite as it seems?

 

 

girling upGirling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular by Mayim Bialik (ISBN-13: 9780399548604 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 05/09/2017)

Mayim Bialik, star of The Big Bang Theory, puts her Ph.D. to work as she talks to teens about the science of growing up and getting ahead. A must-have book for all teenage girls.

Growing up as a girl in today’s world is no easy task. Juggling family, friends, romantic relationships, social interests and school…sometimes it feels like you might need to be a superhero to get through it all! But really, all you need is little information.

Want to know why your stomach does a flip-flop when you run into your crush in the hallway? Or how the food you put in your body now will affect you in the future? What about the best ways to stop freaking out about your next math test?

Using scientific facts, personal anecdotes, and wisdom gained from the world around us, Mayim Bialik, the star of The Big Bang Theory, shares what she has learned from her life and her many years studying neuroscience to tell you how you grow from a girl to a woman biologically, psychologically and sociologically.

Want to be strong? Want to be smart? Want to be spectacular? You can! Start by reading this book.

 

 

hamsterHamster Princess: Giant Trouble by Ursula Vernon (ISBN-13: 9780399186523 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 05/09/2017 Series: Hamster Princess Series)

A magical beanstalk leads to a GIANT surprise in book four of the series that’s chock-full of girl power and perfect for fans of Princess in Black and Babymouse

Princess Harriet Hamsterbone doesn’t go looking for trouble. She prefers to think of it as looking for adventure. But when she climbs to the top of an enormous beanstalk and sneaks into the castle at the top, Harriet finds plenty of both. The castle is home to one very poetically challenged giant rabbit with two unusual prisoners—a girl who is half harp, half hamster, and an extremely large goose. This calls for a heroic rescue, and Harriet is just the hamster for the job.

The fourth installment of the critically acclaimed Hamster Princess series turns the story of Jack and the Beanstalk upside down, with plenty of laughs along the way.

 

 

dear readerDear Reader by Mary O’Connell (ISBN-13: 9781250077080 Publisher: Flatiron Books Publication date: 05/09/2017)

Gilmore Girls meets Wuthering Heights in Mary OConnell’s Dear Reader, a whip-smart, poignant, modern-day take on Emily Brontë’s classic novel.

For seventeen-year-old Flannery Fields, the only respite from the plaid-skirted mean girls at Sacred Heart High School is her beloved teacher Miss Sweeney’s AP English class. But when Miss Sweeney doesn’t show up to teach Flannery’s favorite book, Wuthering Heights, leaving behind her purse, Flannery knows something is wrong.

The police are called, and Flannery gives them everything—except Miss Sweeney’s copy of Wuthering Heights. This she holds onto. And good thing she does, because when she opens it, it has somehow transformed into Miss Sweeney’s real-time diary. It seems Miss Sweeney is in New York City—and she’s in trouble.

So Flannery does something very unFlannery-like: she skips school and sets out for Manhattan, with the book as her guide. But as soon as she arrives, she meets a boy named Heath. Heath is British, on a gap year, incredibly smart—yet he’s never heard of Albert Einstein or Anne Frank. In fact, Flannery can’t help thinking that he seems to have stepped from the pages of Brontë’s novel. Could it be?

 

 

flameFlame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh (ISBN-13: 9780399171635 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 05/16/2017)

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn, comes a sweeping, action-packed YA adventure set against the backdrop of Feudal Japan where Mulan meets Throne of Glass.

The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.
Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and track down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

 

 

fashionThe Fashion Committee by Susan Juby (ISBN-13: 9780451468789 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 05/23/2017)

“The Fashion Committee is another winner by one of my all time favorite authors.”—Meg Cabot, New York Times bestselling author of the The Princess Diaries and Mediator series

Charlie Dean is a style-obsessed girl who eats, sleeps, and breathes fashion. John Thomas-Smith is a boy who forges metal sculptures in his garage and couldn’t care less about clothes. Both are gunning for a scholarship to the private art high school that could make all their dreams come true. Whoever wins the fashion competition will win the scholarship—and only one can win.

Told in the alternating voices of Charlie’s and John’s journals, this hilarious and poignant YA novel perfectly captures what it’s like to have an artistic drive so fierce that nothing—not your dad’s girlfriend’s drug-addicted ex-boyfriend, a soul-crushing job at Salad Stop, or being charged with a teensy bit of kidnapping—can stand in your way.

With black and white art custom-created by fashion and beauty illustrator Soleil Ignacio, the book is a collector’s item, perfect for anyone with a passion for fashion.

 

 

juniperJuniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel (ISBN-13: 9780735228177 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 05/30/2017)

Funny, warm, and moving, Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index is a contemporary YA novel about loss, how deeply we can know others, and making our own happiness; perfect for fans of Sara Zarr and Jandy Nelson’s The Sky Is Everywhere.

Sixty-five days after the death of her older sister, sixteen-year-old Juniper Lemon discovers the break-up letter addressed to “You” Camilla wrote the day she died. Juni is shocked—she knew nothing of this You, and now the gaping hole in her life that was her sister feels that much bigger. She’s determined to uncover the identity of You and deliver the letter. Maybe that would help fill the hole, even if only a bit.

But what Juniper doesn’t expect is that in searching for You she will unearth other notes and secrets—and that may be just what she needs to sort out her own mess.

 

 

no good deedNo Good Deed by Goldy Moldavsky (ISBN-13: 9780545867511 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 05/30/2017)

Gregor Maravilla doesn’t want much. Just to feed all the starving children. That’s why he goes to Camp Save the World, a summer program for teen activists who care about making a difference. What could be better?

It’s almost perfect. Except some of these causes are kind of…strange. Like Eat Dirt–a campaign started by up-and-coming actress Ashley Woodstone. Gregor wasn’t a fan of her work before, and he’s certain she’s only there now because of her fame. But Gregor is determinged to not let her ruin his experience.

And then the contest is announced. That’s when the sabotage starts. They want to see who can do the most good. But that leads to the most bad.

No good deed goes unpunished.

 

 

felixFelix Yz by Lisa Bunker (ISBN-13: 9780425288504 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 06/06/2017)

“If it wasn’t for the fused-with-Zyx thing, I suppose I would just be normal—whatever that means.”

When Felix Yz was three years old, a hyperintelligent fourth-dimensional being became fused inside him after one of his father’s science experiments went terribly wrong. The creature is friendly, but Felix—now thirteen—won’t be able to grow to adulthood while they’re still melded together. So a risky Procedure is planned to separate them . . . but it may end up killing them both instead.

This book is Felix’s secret blog, a chronicle of the days leading up to the Procedure. Some days it’s business as usual—time with his close-knit family, run-ins with a bully at school, anxiety about his crush. But life becomes more out of the ordinary with the arrival of an Estonian chess Grandmaster, the revelation of family secrets, and a train-hopping journey. When it all might be over in a few days, what matters most?

Told in an unforgettable voice full of heart and humor, Felix Yz is a groundbreaking story about how we are all separate, but all connected too.

 

 

 

this impossible lightThis Impossible Light by Lily Myers (ISBN-13: 9780399173721 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 06/06/2017)

From the YouTube slam poetry star of “Shrinking Women” (more than 5 million views!) comes a novel in verse about body image, eating disorders, self-worth, mothers and daughters, and the psychological scars we inherit from our parents.

Fifteen-year-old Ivy’s world is in flux. Her dad has moved out, her mother is withdrawn, her brother is off at college, and her best friend, Anna, has grown distant. Worst of all, Ivy’s body won’t stop expanding. She’s getting taller and curvier, with no end in sight. Even her beloved math class offers no clear solution to the imbalanced equation that has become Ivy’s life.

Everything feels off-kilter until a skipped meal leads to a boost in confidence and reminds Ivy that her life is her own. If Ivy can just limit what she eats—the way her mother seems to—she can stop herself from growing, focus on the upcoming math competition, and reclaim control of her life. But when her disordered eating leads to missed opportunities and a devastating health scare, Ivy realizes that she must weigh her mother’s issues against her own, and discover what it means to be a part of—and apart from—her family.

This Impossible Light explores the powerful reality that identity and self-worth must be taught before they are learned. Perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson and Ellen Hopkins.

 

 

perfect tenPerfect Ten by L. Philips (ISBN-13: 9780425288115 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 06/06/2017)

Who is Sam Raines’s Perfect Ten? 

It’s been two years since Sam broke up with the only other eligible gay guy in his high school, so to say he’s been going through a romantic drought is the understatement of the decade. When Meg, his ex-Catholic-turned-Wiccan best friend, suggests performing a love spell, Sam is just desperate enough to try. He crafts a list of ten traits he wants in a boyfriend and burns it in a cemetery at midnight on Friday the thirteenth.

Enter three seemingly perfect guys, all in pursuit of Sam. There’s Gus, the suave French exchange student; Jamie, the sweet and shy artist; and Travis, the guitar-playing tattooed enigma. Even Sam’s ex-boyfriend, Landon, might want another chance.

But does a Perfect Ten even exist? Find out in this delectable coming-of-age romcom with just a touch of magic.

 

 

an uninterruptedAn Uninterrupted View of the Sky by Melanie Crowder (ISBN-13: 9780399169007 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 06/13/2017)

Modern history unearthed as a boy becomes an innocent victim of corruption in the underbelly of Bolivia’s crime world, where the power of family is both a prison and the only means of survival.

It’s 1999 in Bolivia and Francisco’s life consists of school, soccer, and trying to find space for himself in his family’s cramped yet boisterous home. But when his father is arrested on false charges and sent to prison by a corrupt system that targets the uneducated, the poor, and the indigenous majority, all hope is lost. Francisco and his sister are left with no choice: They must move into the prison with their father. There, they find a world unlike anything they’ve ever known, where everything—a door, a mattress, protection from other inmates—has its price.

Prison life is dirty, dire, and dehumanizing. With their lives upended, Francisco faces an impossible decision: Break up the family and take his sister to their grandparents in the Andean highlands, fleeing the city and the future that was just within his grasp, or remain together in the increasingly dangerous prison. Pulled between two equally undesirable options, Francisco must confront everything he once believed about the world around him and his place within it.

In this heart-wrenching novel inspired by real events, Melanie Crowder sheds light on a little-known era of modern South American history—where injustice still darkens the minds and hearts of people alike—and proves that hope can be found, even in the most desperate places.

Perfect for fans of Ruta Sepetys, Matt de la Pena, and Jacqueline Woodson.

 

 

wantWant by Cindy Pon (ISBN-13: 9781481489225 Publisher: Simon Pulse Publication date: 06/13/2017)

From critically acclaimed author Cindy Pon comes an edge-of-your-seat sci-fi thriller, set in a near-future Taipei plagued by pollution, about a group of teens who risk everything to save their city.

Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits, protecting them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.

With the help of his friends, Zhou infiltrates the lives of the wealthy in hopes of destroying the international Jin Corporation from within. Jin Corp not only manufactures the special suits the rich rely on, but they may also be manufacturing the pollution that makes them necessary.

Yet the deeper Zhou delves into this new world of excess and wealth, the more muddled his plans become. And against his better judgment, Zhou finds himself falling for Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO. Can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is, or destroying his own heart?

 

 

the girlThe Girl in Between by Sarah Carroll (ISBN-13: 9780735228603 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 06/20/2017)

Told in the naïve voice of a homeless girl sheltered by her mother from the world, this is a moving debut perfect for fans of David Almond, A Monster Calls, and Room.

I’m invisible. Ma says I’m supposed to be so the Authorities don’t get me. She goes out into the streets almost every day but I’m not allowed. I’ve got to stay inside the mill so they don’t see me. 

In an old, abandoned mill, a girl and her ma take shelter from their memories of life on the streets, and watch the busy world go by. The girl calls it the Castle because it’s the biggest place they’ve ever stayed, a home of her own like no other. The windows are boarded up and the floorboards are falling in, but for her neither of those things matter.

Then developers show up, and it’s clear that their lives are about to change forever. Desperate to save their refuge from the Authorities and her mother from her own personal demons, the girl seeks out the ghosts of the mill. And with only Caretaker—the old man who’s slept outside the mill for decades—around to answer her questions, she begins to wonder what kind of ghosts are haunting both the mill and her mother.

The Girl in Between is a compelling, witty, and at times heartbreaking novel that explores themes of loneliness and grief with effortless warmth and an unforgettable voice that will stick with you long after you’ve finished.

 

 

 

twistedThe Twisted Ones (Five Nights at Freddy’s Series #2) by Scott Cawthon, Kira Breed-Wrisley (ISBN-13: 9781338139303 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.Publication date: 06/27/2017)

The highly anticipated sequel to the bestselling Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Silver Eyes.

It’s been a year since the horrific events at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, and Charlie is just trying to move on. Even with the excitement of a new school and a fresh start, she’s still haunted by nightmares of a masked murderer and four gruesome animatronic puppets. Charlie thinks her ordeal is over, but when a series of bodies are discovered near her school-bearing wounds that are disturbingly familiar-she finds herself drawn back into the world of her father’s frightening creations. Something twisted is hunting Charlie, and this time if it finds her, it’s not letting her go.

 

 

beanstalkerBeanstalker and other Hilarious Scarytales by Kiersten White (ISBN-13: 9780545940603 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 07/25/2017)

Once upon a time, a girl skipped into the forest and became a zombie.

Wait, no, that’s not how this story is supposed to go. Let’s try again.

Once upon a time, a boy did a horrible job as a sheep-sitter and burned his tongue on stolen pie.

No, children in these stories are always good and virtuous. From the top.

Once upon a time, a king and queen tried to find a princess for their son to marry, and he wound up fleeing from a group of very hairy vampires.

Hmmm…

What about, once upon a time, a bunch of fairy tales got twisted around to be completely hilarious, a tiny bit icky, and delightfully spooky scarytales… in other words, exactly what fairy tales were meant to be. Grab some flaming torches, maybe don’t accept that bowl of pease porridge, and get ready for a wickedly fun ride with acclaimed author Kiersten White and fairy tales like you’ve never heard them before.

 

 

becoming mariaBecoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx by Sonia Manzano (Paperback ISBN-13: 9780545621854 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.Publication date: 07/25/2017)

Set in the 1950s in the Bronx, this is the story of a girl with a dream. Emmy award-winning actress and writer Sonia Manzano plunges us into the daily lives of a Latino family that is loving–and troubled. This is Sonia’s own story rendered with an unforgettable narrative power. When readers meet young Sonia, she is a child living amidst the squalor of a boisterous home that is filled with noisy relatives and nosy neighbors. Each day she is glued to the TV screen that blots out the painful realities of her existence and also illuminates the possibilities that lie ahead. But–click!–when the TV goes off, Sonia is taken back to real-life–the cramped, colorful world of her neighborhood and an alcoholic father. But it is Sonia’s dream of becoming an actress that keeps her afloat among the turbulence of her life and times. Spiced with culture, heartache, and humor, this memoir paints a lasting portrait of a girl’s resilience as she grows up to become an inspiration to millions.

 

 

 

wrong trainThe Wrong Train by Jeremy De Quidt (ISBN-13: 9781338121254 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 07/25/2017)
Light the candles and shut the door, The Wrong Train is a deliciously creepy and scarily good collection of scary stories, complete with terrifying illustrations from Dave Shelton. Perfect for fans of Patrick Ness, R.L. Stine, and Emily Carroll.

Imagine you’ve just managed to catch your train and you realize it’s the wrong one. You’d be annoyed of course, but not scared . . . Yet.

Imagine you get off the wrong train at the next station hoping to catch one back the way you came. But the station is empty. Again, you’d be annoyed, but not scared . . . Yet.

Imagine someone comes to the station, a stranger who starts to tell you stories to help pass the time. But these aren’t any old stories–they’re nightmares that come with a price to pay. And you want them to stop.

Scared yet? You will be.

 

 

boy seeking bandBoy Seeking Band by Steve Brezenoff (ISBN-13: 9781623708535 Publisher: Capstone Young Readers Publication date: 09/01/2017)

Great music and great friendships aren’t always in harmony. Terence Kato is a prodigy bass player, but he’s determined to finish middle school on a high note. Life has other plans. In eighth grade, he’s forced to transfer from a private arts school to a public school, where the kids seemingly speak a different language. Luckily, Terence knows a universal one: music. The teen sets out to build a rock band and, in the process, make a few friends. From the acclaimed author of Brooklyn, Burning and Guy in Real Life comes a fresh, funny, genuine novel about enjoying life beyond the opening act.

 

 

 

 

girls made ofGirls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust (ISBN-13: 9781250077738 Publisher: Flatiron Books Publication date: 09/05/2017)

Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale

At sixteen, Mina’s mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.

 

nothingNothing by Annie Barrows (ISBN-13: 9780062668233 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 09/05/2017)

Funny and irreverent, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Annie Barrows’s teen debut tells the story of Charlotte and Frankie, two high school students and best friends who don’t have magical powers, fight aliens, crash their cars, get pierced, or discover they are royal. They just go to school. And live at home. With their parents. Perfect for fans of Jesse Andrews and Adi Alsaid.

Nothing ever happens to Charlotte and Frankie. Their lives are nothing like the lives of the girls they read about in their YA novels. They don’t have flowing red hair, and hot romantic encounters never happen—let alone meeting a true soul mate. They just go to high school and live at home with their parents, who are pretty normal, all things considered. But when Charlotte decides to write down everything that happens during their sophomore year, to prove that nothing happens and there is no plot or character development in real life, she’s surprised to find that being fifteen isn’t as boring as she thought. It’s weird, heartbreaking, silly, and complicated. And maybe, just perfect.

From the acclaimed #1 New York Times–bestselling coauthor of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and the author of the Ivy + Bean books, this teen debut is genuine, honest, and a funny flip on the archetypal YA. Charlotte and Frankie’s year of nothing (and absolutely everything) is a great read for fans of Becky Albertalli and Louise Rennison.

 

 

they bothThey Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera (ISBN-13: 9780062457790 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 09/05/2017)

New York Times bestselling author Adam Silvera reminds us that there’s no life without death and no love without loss in this devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day.

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.

In the tradition of Before I Fall and If I Stay, They Both Die at the End is a tour de force from acclaimed author Adam Silvera, whose debut, More Happy Than Not, the New York Times called “profound.”

 

 

feralFeral Youth by Shaun David Hutchinson, Suzanne Young, Marieke Nijkamp, Robin Talley, Stephanie Kuehn, E. C. Myers, Tim Floreen, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Justina Ireland, Brandy Colbert (ISBN-13: 9781481491112 Publisher: Simon Pulse Publication date: 09/05/2017)

Ten teens are left alone in the wilderness during a three-day survival test in this multi-authored novel edited by award-winning author Shaun David Hutchinson.

At Zeppelin Bend, an outdoor-education program designed to teach troubled youth the value of hard work, cooperation, and compassion, ten teens are left alone in the wild. The teens are a diverse group who come all walks of life, and were all sent to Zeppelin Bend as a last chance to get them to turn their lives around. They’ve just spent nearly two weeks hiking, working, learning to survive in the wilderness, and now their instructors have dropped them off eighteen miles from camp with no food, no water, and only their packs, and they’ll have to struggle to overcome their vast differences if they hope to survive.

Inspired by The Canterbury Tales, the characters in Feral Youth, each complex and damaged in their own ways, are enticed to tell a story (or two) with the promise of a cash prize. The stories range from noir-inspired revenge tales to mythological stories of fierce heroines and angry gods. And while few of the stories are claimed to be based in truth, they ultimately reveal more about the teller than the truth ever could.

 

 

projectProject Semicolon: Your Story Isn’t Over by Amy Bleuel (ISBN-13: 9780062466525 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 09/05/2017)

For fans of PostSecret, Humans of New York, and If You Feel Too Much, this collection from suicide-awareness organization Project Semicolon features stories and photos from those struggling with mental illness.

Project Semicolon began in 2013 to spread a message of hope: No one struggling with a mental illness is alone; you, too, can survive and live a life filled with joy and love. In support of the project and its message, thousands of people all over the world have gotten semicolon tattoos and shared photos of them, often alongside stories of hardship, growth, and rebirth.

Project Semicolon: Your Story Isn’t Over reveals dozens of new portraits and stories from people of all ages talking about what they have endured and what they want for their futures. This represents a new step in the movement and a new awareness around those who struggle with mental illness and those who support them. At once heartfelt, unflinchingly honest, and eternally hopeful, this collection tells a story of choice: every day you choose to live and let your story continue on.

Learn more about the project at www.projectsemicolon.com.

 

 

i hateI Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn, Allison Raskin (ISBN-13: 9781250129321 Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Publication date: 09/05/2017)

Dear Best Friend,
I can already tell that I will hate everyone but you.
Sincerely,
Ava Helmer
(that brunette who won’t leave you alone)

We’re still in the same room, you weirdo.
Stop crying.
G

So begins a series of texts and emails sent between two best friends, Ava and Gen, as they head off to their first semesters of college on opposite sides of the country. From first loves to weird roommates, heartbreak, self-discovery, coming out and mental health, the two best friends will document every moment to each other. But as each changes and grows into her new life, will their friendship be able to survive the distance?

I Hate Everyone But You, the debut novel by two emerging major talents in YA, Allison Raskin and Gaby Dunn, is a story about new beginnings, love and heartbreak, and ultimately about the power of friendship.

 

 

neighborhood girlsNeighborhood Girls by Jessie Ann Foley (ISBN-13: 9780062571854 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 09/12/2017)

A powerful coming-of-age story about a girl whose encounters with loss, broken friendships, and newfound faith leave her forever changed, from Printz Honor winner and Morris Award Finalist Jessie Ann Foley

When Wendy Boychuck’s father, a Chicago cop, was escorted from their property in handcuffs, she knew her life would never be the same. Her father gets a years-long jail sentence, her family falls on hard times, and the whispers around their neighborhood are impossible to ignore. If that wasn’t bad enough, she gets jumped walking home from a party one night. Wendy quickly realizes that in order to survive her father’s reputation, she’ll have to make one for herself.

Then Wendy meets Kenzie Quintana—a foul-mouthed, Catholic uniform-skirt-hiking alpha—and she knows immediately that she’s found her savior. Kenzie can provide Wendy with the kind of armor a girl needs when she’s trying to outrun her father’s past. Add two more mean girls to the mix—Sapphire and Emily—and Wendy has found herself in Academy of the Sacred Heart’s most feared and revered clique. Makeover complete.

But complete is far from what Wendy feels. Instead, she faces the highs and lows of a toxic friendship, the exhaustion that comes with keeping up appearances, and a shattering loss—the only one that could hurt more than losing herself.

 

autoAutoboyography by Christina Lauren (ISBN-13: 9781481481687 Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers Publication date: 09/12/2017)

Fangirl meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this funny and poignant coming-of-age novel from New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren about two boys who fall in love in a writing class—one from a progressive family and the other from a conservative religious community.

Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.

But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.

It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

 

 

landscapeLandscape with Invisible Hand by M. T. Anderson (ISBN-13: 9780763687892 Publisher: Candlewick Press Publication date: 09/12/2017)

National Book Award winner M. T. Anderson returns to future Earth in a sharply wrought satire of art and truth in the midst of colonization.

When the vuvv first landed, it came as a surprise to aspiring artist Adam and the rest of planet Earth — but not necessarily an unwelcome one. Can it really be called an invasion when the vuvv generously offered free advanced technology and cures for every illness imaginable? As it turns out, yes. With his parents’ jobs replaced by alien tech and no money for food, clean water, or the vuvv’s miraculous medicine, Adam and his girlfriend, Chloe, have to get creative to survive. And since the vuvv crave anything they deem “classic” Earth culture (doo-wop music, still-life paintings of fruit, true love), recording 1950s-style dates for the vuvv to watch in a pay-per-minute format seems like a brilliant idea. But it’s hard for Adam and Chloe to sell true love when they hate each other more with every passing episode. Soon enough, Adam must decide how far he’s willing to go — and what he’s willing to sacrifice — to give the vuvv what they want.

 

 

trellTrell by Dick Lehr (ISBN-13: 9780763692759 Publisher: Candlewick Press Publication date: 09/12/2017)

From the co-author of Black Mass comes a gripping YA novel inspired by the true story of a young man’s false imprisonment for murder and those who fought to free him.

On a hot summer night in the late 1980s, in the Boston neighborhood of Roxbury, a twelve-year-old African-American girl was sitting on a mailbox talking with her friends when she became the innocent victim of gang-related gunfire. Amid public outcry, an immediate manhunt was on to catch the murderer, and a young African-American man was quickly apprehended, charged, and — wrongly — convicted of the crime. Dick Lehr, a former reporter for the Boston Globe’s famous Spotlight Team who investigated this case for the newspaper, now turns the story into Trell, a page-turning novel about the daughter of an imprisoned man who persuades a reporter and a lawyer to help her prove her father’s innocence. What pieces of evidence might have been overlooked? Can they manage to get to the truth before a dangerous character from the neighborhood gets to them?

 

 

releaseRelease by Patrick Ness (ISBN-13: 9780062403193 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 09/19/2017)

Inspired by Judy Blume’s Forever and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, this novel by award-winning author Patrick Ness is a new classic about teenage relationships, self-acceptance—and what happens when the walls we build start coming down.

Adam Thorn doesn’t know it yet, but today will change his life.

Between his religious family, a deeply unpleasant ultimatum from his boss, and his own unrequited love for his sort-of ex, Enzo, it seems as though Adam’s life is falling apart.  At least he has two people to keep him sane: his new boyfriend (he does love Linus, doesn’t he?) and his best friend, Angela.

But all day long, old memories and new heartaches come crashing together, throwing Adam’s life into chaos. The bindings of his world are coming untied one by one; yet in spite of everything he has to let go, he may also find freedom in the release.

From the New York Times-bestselling author of A Monster Calls comes a raw, darkly funny, and deeply affecting story about the courage it takes to live your truth.

 

foxKaleidoscope Song by Fox Benwell (ISBN-13: 9781481477673 Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers Publication date: 09/19/2017)

Fox Benwell delivers a harrowing and beautifully written novel that explores the relationship between two girls obsessed with music, the practice of corrective rape, and the risks and power of using your voice.

Neo loves music, and all she ever wanted was a life sharing this passion, on the radio. When she meets Tale, the lead singer in a local South African band, their shared love of music grows. So does their love for each other. But not everyone approves. Then Neo lands her dream job of working at a popular radio station, and she discovers that using your voice is sometimes harder than expected, and there are always consequences.

 

 

 

jane unlimitedJane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore (ISBN-13: 9780803741492 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 09/19/2017)

The highly anticipated standalone from the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the Graceling Realm series—a kaleidoscopic novel about grief, adventure, storytelling, and finding yourself in a world of seemingly infinite choices.

Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.

Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family’s island mansion called Tu Reviens.

Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.” With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane doesn’t know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But at Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price.

Read Jane, Unlimited and remember why The New York Times has raved, “Some authors can tell a good story; some can write well. Cashore is one of the rare novelists who do both.”

 

 

disappearedDisappeared by Francisco X Stork (ISBN-13: 9780545944472 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 09/26/2017)

Four Months Ago
Sara Zapata’s best friend disappeared, kidnapped by the web of criminals who terrorize Juarez.

Four Hours Ago
Sara received a death threat – and with it, a clue to the place where her friend is locked away.

Four Weeks Ago
Emiliano Zapata fell in love with Perla Rubi, who will never be his so long as he’s poor.

Four Minutes Ago
Emiliano got the chance to make more money than he ever dreamed – just by joining the web.

In the next four days, Sara and Emiliano will each face impossible choices, between life and justice, friends and family, truth and love. But when the web closes in on Sara, only one path remains for the siblings: the way across the desert to the United States.

 

 

top tenTop Ten by Katie Cotugno (ISBN-13: 9780062418302 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 10/03/2017)

The newest stunning and unforgettable contemporary realistic romance from the New York Times bestselling author of 99 Days, Fireworks, and How to Love. Perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Morgan Matson.

Ryan McCullough and Gabby Hart are the unlikeliest of best friends. Prickly, anxious Gabby would rather do literally anything than go to a party. Ultra-popular Ryan is a hockey star who can get any girl he wants—and frequently does. But somehow their relationship just works; from dorky Monopoly nights to rowdy house parties to the top ten lists they make about everything under the sun.

Now, on the night of high school graduation, everything is suddenly changing—in their lives, and in their relationship. As they try to figure out what they mean to each other and where to go from here, they make a final top ten list: this time, counting down the top ten moments of their friendship.

 

 

everything mustEverything Must Go by Jenny Davis (ISBN-13: 9781250119766 Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Publication date: 10/03/2017)

Flora Goldwasser has fallen in love. She won’t admit it to anyone, but something about Elijah Huck has pulled her under. When he tells her about the hippie Quaker school he attended in the Hudson Valley called Quare Academy, where he’ll be teaching next year, Flora gives up her tony upper east side prep school for a life on a farm, hoping to woo him. A fish out of water, Flora stands out like a sore thumb in her vintage suits among the tattered tunics and ripped jeans of the rest of the student body. When Elijah doesn’t show up, Flora must make the most of the situation and will ultimately learn more about herself than she ever thought possible.

Told in a series of letters, emails, journal entries and various ephemera, Jenny Fran Davis’ Everything Must Go lays out Flora’s dramatic first year for all to see, embarrassing moments and all.

 

 

nowhere girlsThe Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed (ISBN-13: 9781481481731 Publisher: Simon Pulse Publication date: 10/10/2017)

Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.

Who are the Nowhere Girls?

They’re everygirl. But they start with just three:

Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of their former community after her southern Baptist preacher mom turned into a radical liberal after falling off a horse and bumping her head.

Rosina Suarez is the queer punk girl in a conservative Mexican immigrant family, who dreams of a life playing music instead of babysitting her gaggle of cousins and waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant.

Erin Delillo is obsessed with two things: marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they aren’t enough to distract her from her suspicion that she may in fact be an android.

When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students.

Told in alternating perspectives, this groundbreaking novel is an indictment of rape culture and explores with bold honesty the deepest questions about teen girls and sexuality.

 

 

echo after echoEcho After Echo by Amy Rose Capetta (ISBN-13: 9780763691646 Publisher: Candlewick Press Publication date: 10/10/2017)

Debuting on the New York stage, Zara is unprepared — for Eli, the girl who makes the world glow; for Leopold, the director who wants perfection; or for death in the theater.

Zara Evans has come to the Aurelia Theater, home to the visionary director Leopold Henneman, to play her dream role in Echo and Ariston, the Greek tragedy that taught her everything she knows about love. When the director asks Zara to promise that she will have no outside commitments, no distractions, it’s easy to say yes. But it’s hard not to be distracted when there’s a death at the theater — and then another — especially when Zara doesn’t know if they’re accidents, or murder, or a curse that always comes in threes. It’s hard not to be distracted when assistant lighting director Eli Vasquez, a girl made of tattoos and abrupt laughs and every form of light, looks at Zara. It’s hard not to fall in love. In heart-achingly beautiful prose, Amy Rose Capetta has spun a mystery and a love story into an impossible, inevitable whole — and cast lantern light on two young women, finding each other on a stage set for tragedy.

 

 

like waterLike Water by Rebecca Podos (ISBN-13: 9780062373373 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 10/17/2017)

Like Water is an unforgettable story of two girls navigating the unknowable waters of identity, millennial anxiety, and first love, from the acclaimed author of The Mystery of Hollow Places.

In Savannah Espinoza’s small New Mexico hometown, kids either flee after graduation or they’re trapped there forever. Vanni never planned to get stuck—but that was before her father was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, leaving her and her mother to care for him. Now she doesn’t have much of a plan at all: living at home, working as a performing mermaid at a second-rate water park, distracting herself with one boy after another.

That changes the day she meets Leigh. Disillusioned with small-town life and looking for something greater, Leigh is not a “nice girl.” She is unlike anyone Vanni has met, and a friend when Vanni desperately needs one. Soon enough, Leigh is much more than a friend. But caring about another person threatens the walls Vanni has carefully constructed to protect herself and brings up the big questions she’s hidden from for so long.

 

 

here we are nowHere We Are Now by Jasmine Warga (ISBN-13: 9780062324702 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 11/07/2017)

A book about love, loss, and the power of music, perfect for fans of Nick Hornby and Fangirl.

Taliah Sahar Abdallat lives and breathes music. Songs have always helped Tal ease the pain of never having known her father. Her mother, born in Jordan and very secretive about her past, won’t say a word about who her dad really was. But when Tal finds a shoebox full of old letters from Julian Oliver—yes, the indie rock star Julian Oliver—she begins to piece the story together.

She writes to Julian, but after three years of radio silence, she’s given up hope. Then one day, completely out of the blue, Julian shows up at her doorstep, and Tal doesn’t know whether to be furious or to throw herself into his arms. Before she can decide, he asks her to go on a trip with him to meet her long-estranged family and to say good-bye to his father, her grandfather, who is dying.

Getting to know your father after sixteen years of estrangement doesn’t happen in one car ride. But as Tal spends more time with Julian and his family, she begins to untangle her parents’ secret past, and discovers a part of herself she never recognized before.

By the acclaimed author of My Heart and Other Black Holes, this is an intergenerational story of family and legacy and the way love informs both of those things. It’s about secrets and the debt of silence. It’s about the power of songs. And most of all, it’s about learning how to say hello. And good-bye.

 

 

 

frankieFrankie by Shivaun Plozza (ISBN-13: 9781250142993 Publisher: Flatiron Books Publication date: 11/07/2017)

A genre-hopping, darkly funny novel about searching for the truth, finding yourself, and falling in love.

Frankie Vega is angry. Just ask the guy whose nose she broke. Or the cop investigating the burglary she witnessed, or her cheating ex-boyfriend, or her aunt who’s tired of giving second chances.

When a kid shows up claiming to be Frankie’s half brother, it opens the door to a past she doesn’t want to remember. And when that kid goes missing, the only person willing to help is a boy with stupidly blue eyes, a criminal record, and secrets of his own.

Frankie’s search for the truth could change her life, or cost her everything.

 

 

katKat and Meg Conquer the World by Anna Priemaza (ISBN-13: 9780062560803 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 11/07/2017)

For fans of Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything, Emery Lord’s When We Collided, and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Anna Priemaza’s debut novel is a heartwarming and achingly real story of finding a friend, being a fan, and defining your place in a difficult world.

Kat and Meg couldn’t be more different. Kat’s anxiety makes it hard for her to talk to people. Meg hates being alone, but her ADHD keeps pushing people away. But when the two girls are thrown together for a year-long science project, they discover they do have one thing in common: They’re both obsessed with the same online gaming star and his hilarious videos.

It might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship—if they don’t kill each other first.

 

 

 

good and goneGood and Gone by Megan Frazer Blakemore (ISBN-13: 9780062348425 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 11/14/2017)

Honest and emotionally charged, Good and Gone is the story of a teenage girl who must find her way back to herself as she grapples with the truth of what her boyfriend did to her. A gripping YA that will appeal to fans of Jandy Nelson and Sara Zarr.

When Lexi Green’s older brother, Charlie, starts plotting a road trip to find Adrian Wildes, a famous musician who’s been reported missing, she’s beyond confused. Her brother hasn’t said a nice word to her or left the couch since his girlfriend dumped him months ago—but he’ll hop in a car to find some hipster? Concerned at how quickly he seems to be rebounding, Lexi decides to go along for the ride.

Besides, Lexi could use the distraction. The anger and bewilderment coursing through her after getting dumped by her pretentious boyfriend, Seth, has left her on edge. As Lexi, Charlie, and their neighbor Zack hit the road, Lexi recalls bits and pieces of her short-lived romance and sees, for the first time, what it truly was: a one-sided, coldhearted manipulation game. Not only did Seth completely isolate her, but he took something from her that she didn’t give him permission to.

The farther from home they get, the three uncover much more than empty clues about a reclusive rocker’s whereabouts. Instead, what starts off as a car ride turns into an exploration of self as each of them faces questions they have been avoiding for too long. Like the real reason Charlie has been so withdrawn lately. What Seth stole from Lexi in the pool house. And if shattered girls can ever put themselves back together.

 

 

the big lieThe Big Lie by Julie Mayhew (ISBN-13: 9780763691257 Publisher: Candlewick Press Publication date: 11/14/2017)

In a gripping novel set in present-day England under a Nazi regime, a sheltered teen questions what it means to be “good” — and how far she’s willing to go to break the rules.

Nazi England, 2014. Jessika Keller is a good girl — a champion ice skater, model student of the Bund Deutscher Mädel, and dutiful daughter of the Greater German Reich. Her best friend, Clementine, is not so submissive. Passionately different, Clem is outspoken, dangerous, and radical. And the regime has noticed. Jess cannot keep both her perfect life and her dearest friend, her first love. But which can she live without? Haunting, intricate, and unforgettable, The Big Lie unflinchingly interrogates perceptions of revolution, feminism, sexuality, and protest. Back matter includes historical notes from the author discussing her reasons for writing an “alt-history” story and the power of speculative fiction.

 

 

not nowNot Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson (ISBN-13: 9781250142108 Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Publication date: 11/21/2017)

Jennifer E. Smith meets The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy in this deliciously nerdy sequel to The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You (one of Paste’s Best YA Books of 2016)

Elliot Gabaroche is very clear on what she isn’t going to do this summer.

1. She isn’t going to stay home in Sacramento, where she’d have to sit through her stepmother’s sixth community theater production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
2. She isn’t going to mock trial camp at UCLA.
3. And she certainly isn’t going to the Air Force summer program on her mom’s base in Colorado Springs. As cool as it would be to live-action-role-play Ender’s Game, Ellie’s seen three generations of her family go through USAF boot camp up close, and she knows that it’s much less Luke/Yoda/”feel the force,” and much more one hundred push-ups on three days of no sleep. And that just isn’t appealing, no matter how many Xenomorphs from Alien she’d be able to defeat afterwards.

What she is going to do is pack up her determination, her favorite Octavia Butler novels, and her Jordans, and go to summer camp. Specifically, a cutthroat academic-decathlon-like competition for a full scholarship to Rayevich College, the only college with a Science Fiction Literature program. And she’s going to start over as Ever Lawrence, on her own terms, without the shadow of all her family’s expectations. Because why do what’s expected of you when you can fight other genius nerds to the death for a shot at the dream you’re sure your family will consider a complete waste of time?

This summer’s going to be great.

 

 

image notThe Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody (ISBN-13: 9781481499187 Publisher: Simon Pulse Publication date: 11/28/2017)

Over the course of one chaotic night stranded at the Denver airport, Ryn confronts her shattered past thanks to the charm of romance, the uniqueness of strangers, and the magic of ordinary places in this stunning novel from the author of Boys of Summer.

Ryn has one unread text message on her phone. And it’s been there for almost a year.

She hasn’t tried to read it. She can’t. She won’t. Because that one message is the last thing her best friend ever said to her before she died.

But as Ryn finds herself trapped in the Denver International Airport on New Year’s Eve thanks to a never-ending blizzard on the one-year anniversary of her best friend’s death, fate literally runs into her.

And his name is Xander.

When the two accidentally swap phones, Ryn and Xander are thrust into the chaos of an unforgettable all-night adventure, filled with charming and mysterious strangers, a secret New Year’s Eve bash, and a possible Illuminati conspiracy hidden within the Denver airport. But as the bizarre night continues, all Ryn can think about is that one unread text message. It follows her wherever she goes, because Ryn can’t get her brialliantly wild and free-spirited best friend out of her head.

Ryn can’t move on.

But tonight, for the first time ever, she’s trying. And maybe that’s a start.

As moving as it is funny, The Chaos of Standing Still is a heartwarming story about the earth-shattering challenges life throws at us—and the unexpected strangers who help us along the way.

 

 

here thereHere, There, Everywhere by Julia Durango, Tyler Terrones (ISBN-13: 9780062314055 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 12/19/2017)

A funny and honest coming-of-age story about first love and finding yourself. Perfect for fans of Andrew Smith and Becky Albertalli.

Zeus would rather be anywhere than here—Buffalo Falls—the tiny town his family moved to at the end of the school year. Having left all his friends back in Chicago and with nothing to look forward to except helping out at his mother’s café and biking around town with his weird little brother, Zeus is pretty sure this is destined to be the worst summer of his life.

But then he meets Rose—funny, beautiful, smart, and an incredible musician.

Zeus can hardly believe that someone like her exists, let alone seems interested in being with him. However, while Zeus is counting down the minutes until he can see her next, Rose is counting down the days until she finds out whether she will be able to leave their small town to pursue her dreams. As the afternoons spent going on local adventures pass into nights discussing their deepest hopes, Zeus knows that he doesn’t have long to convince Rose that what they have is more than a summer fling…if only he’s brave enough to seize the chance.

 

 

before nowBefore Now by Norah Olson (ISBN-13: 9780062347077 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 12/26/2017)

A harrowing and heartbreaking teen romance expertly told with a reverse timeline, Before Now is another emotionally charged novel from suspense author Norah Olson about a young couple who runs headlong into tragedy while trying to escape their complicated pasts.

The odds were against them, but somehow aspiring astronomer Atty and her troubled boyfriend, Cole, managed to escape their old lives in the rough neighborhoods of Minneapolis and the judgmental eyes of their parents, who couldn’t see that Atty and Cole were meant to be. But they don’t get away clean. Eventually the mistakes and betrayals from their pasts catch up to them. Atty is lying about why Cole is being hounded by the cops and Cole won’t go quietly to jail—or anywhere without Atty. Then the unthinkable becomes reality and the future is instantly unwritten.

Through Atty’s journal, all the intimate details of her tragic romance with Cole unfold from finish to start, including the mystery of what brought them together—and tore them apart.

 

meet cuteMeet Cute: Some people are destined to meet. by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Dhonielle Clayton, Katie Cotugno, Jocelyn Davies, Nina LaCour, Huntley Fitzpatrick, Emery Lord, Katharine McGee, Kass Morgan, Julie Murphy, Meredith Russo, Sara Shepard, Nicola Yoon, Ibi Zoboi (ISBN-13: 9781328759870 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 01/02/2018)

Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors.

Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a thoughtful, speculate approach to pre-destined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a fun twist on reality dating show contestants.

This incredibly talented group of authors brings us a collection of stories that are at turns romantic and witty, epic and everyday, heartbreaking and real.

 

 

jane sinnerNice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke (ISBN-13: 9780544867857 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 01/09/2018)

It’s Kind of a Funny Story meets Daria in the darkly hilarious tale of a teen’s attempt to remake her public image and restore inner peace through reality TV. The only thing 17-year-old Jane Sinner hates more than failure is pity. After a personal crisis and her subsequent expulsion from high school, she’s going nowhere fast. Jane’s well-meaning parents push her to attend a high school completion program at the nearby Elbow River Community College, and she agrees, on one condition: she gets to move out.

Jane tackles her housing problem by signing up for House of Orange, a student-run reality show that is basically Big Brother, but for Elbow River Students. Living away from home, the chance to win a car (used, but whatever), and a campus full of people who don’t know what she did in high school… what more could she want? Okay, maybe a family that understands why she’d rather turn to Freud than Jesus to make sense of her life, but she’ll settle for fifteen minutes in the proverbial spotlight.

As House of Orange grows from a low-budget web series to a local TV show with fans and shoddy T-shirts, Jane finally has the chance to let her cynical, competitive nature thrive. She’ll use her growing fan base, and whatever Intro to Psychology can teach her, to prove to the world—or at least viewers of substandard TV—that she has what it takes to win.

 

 

girl whoThe Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman (ISBN-13: 9780544717138 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 02/20/2018)

Bugs, of all kinds, were considered to be “born of mud” and to be “beasts of the devil.”  Why would anyone, let alone a girl, want to study and observe them?   One of the first naturalists to observe live insects directly, Maria Sibylla Merian was also one of the first to document the metamorphosis of the butterfly. In this visual nonfiction biography, richly illustrated throughout with full-color original paintings by Merian herself, the Newbery Honor–winning author Joyce Sidman paints her own picture of one of the first female entomologists and a woman who flouted convention in the pursuit of knowledge and her passion for insects.

Revenge of the Fifth Teen Lock-In By Michelle Biwer

I tried implementing our library’s first “Lock-In” this past fall as a way  to draw new teens to our events. The teens currently involved in my teen programs are usually high school-aged library volunteers. We hoped that Lock-Ins would serve as both fun activities for teen volunteers to plan and a new way to draw middle schoolers into the library’s teen program. We conceived of a two hour, teen-only event that would periodically take place on Friday evenings from 6-8pm, after the library has closed to the public.

Planning:

A few months prior to our second Lock-In – a “Revenge of the Fifth”-themed “Star Wars” event – I had interested volunteers from my teen advisory board (TAB) make decorations, pitch station ideas, and of course make sure that we had enough fun activities for both middle and high schoolers. Thankfully, I did not have to purchase anything but food for this event, necessarily supplies came from the children’s department craft room and my brother’s extensive Star Wars memorabilia collection.

Who Is Flying This Thing?:

We had 3 librarians staff the event (one for each floor of our library) and 7 teen volunteers run the stations and sign attendees into the program. This ratio worked well: we had about 35 teens in attendance, including volunteers. The numbers were a bit lower than I’d hoped, but when AP exam season is factored in I was still pleased with the turn-out given the circumstances. We publicized the event through word of mouth at TAB and by getting it onto the morning announcements at some local schools.

Stations:

The teen volunteers and I worked collaboratively to develop the following activities for the “Revenge of the Fifth” Lock-In.

  • escape room 1“Escape Tatooine!” Escape Room: This was the second time I built an escape room for a program, and it was definitely easier once I’d had some experience! It is quite the tall order to turn a library conference room into a spaceship. Thankfully, all I had to do was set a some TAB members loose with access to the children’s department craft closet for a few hours and they came up with this magnificent beast:

 

  • obstacle courseBB8 Obstacle Course: Our Sphero BB8 has to get past X-Wings, the Death Star, and even Darth Vader himself in order to escape! Originally, I wanted the teens to program BB8 to add some STEM into the evening, but the teen volunteer who lead the station was dead set on manually racing it, so alas. That robot, by the way, is the cutest thing in the whole world.

 

 

  • Trivia: using the wonderful phone-based Kahoot! System
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Wii Game: This was honestly supposed to be one of those “we have it in case we need it stations,” but it was SUPER popular).
  • Star Wars Lightsaber Cards: A genius coworker of mine also modified the design so that we did not have to purchase the lilypad switches, making this a cheap and educational activity!
  • Perler Bead Star Wars Creations
  • Scavenger Hunt: I teamed up with our local Escape Room Surelocked In and they created a Star Wars scavenger hunt for us that teens could complete during the lock-in. This was a perfect addition because it encouraged the teens to travel around to every station and appealed to the wide range of ages present. Plus, the presenter was awesome with the teens and an eager Star Wars fan himself.
  • photoboothStar Wars Photobooth (on right)
  • Final Group Activity: I like ending these big events with a final group activity where everyone works together. I had big and elaborate plans for an impressive “Destroy the Death Star” Game…but of course the Death Star was destroyed on the first try, within 5 seconds. Our backup activity was “Han Solo Freeze Tag” with the Star Wars soundtrack blaring in the background. The teens had a blast anyway!

I think the teens and library staff loved helping with this event and we are hoping to run something similar for next year’s May the Fourth!

 

Introducing Michelle!

Michelle is a Teen Services Librarian and Shelving Supervisor in Maryland. She received her MLIS from the University of​ Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2016 and her BA in Sociology from the College of William and Mary. In her free time she loves attending musical theatre, listening to podcasts, and bingeing sci-fi TV shows.​

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Friday Finds: June 2, 2017

fridayfindsThis Week at TLT

Sunday Reflections: The Long Term Effects of Trauma and the Kids We Traumatize

MakerSpace Mondays: Making Wonder Woman Bracers/Cuffs

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Fall 2017 Showcase and Giveaway

TPiB: Soldering with teens: just like hot glue, but metal

Video Games Weekly: Magikarp Jump

Social Justice and Mental Health: Accessibility to Treatment in YA Literature, a guest post by Alyssa Chrisman

Around the Web

More Than One-Third of Teen Girls Have Experienced Depression, Study Finds

When Schools Meet Trauma With Understanding, Not Discipline

School might end, but free lunches don’t have to.

Why Did The Top Student Aid Official Under Betsy DeVos Resign?

Salt Lake City libraries do away with late fees

Montana confirms it: The resistance is working

Friday Finds: May 26, 2017

fridayfindsThis Week at TLT

Maker Mondays: How do you make those cool graphics for social media?

Resources: #MHYALit – Teens and Addiction Brochure

Book Review: Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World by Sarah Prager and Zoe More O’Ferrall

Blog Tour: Shattered Warrior by Sharon Shinn and Molly Knox Ostertag

Maker Spaces and Books: It’s Not Either Or, It’s Both And

Trickle Down Economics May Not Work, But Trickled Down Hate Surely Does

For your summer TBR: Backlist YA you don’t want to miss

Around the Web

The Emotional Labor of Librarianship

For these Philly librarians, drug tourists and overdose drills are part of the job

Texas May Soon Pass Horrific Anti-LGBTQ Laws

Read New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s Remarkable Speech About Removing Confederate Monuments

President Trump’s Budget Proposal Calls For Deep Cuts To Education

President Donald Trump’s FY2018 Budget Cuts Nearly All Funding for IMLS, NEA, NEH, CPB

Nearly 2 Million Kids May Lose After-School Care

How to Talk With Kids About the Ariana Grande Concert Attack

How Roger Ailes Degraded the Tone of Public Life in America