Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Recently in Book Mail

The following are books that have arrived here recently. I’ll be reviewing many of them in the upcoming months.  

 

 

everydayBrief Histories of Everyday Objects by Andy Warner (ISBN-13: 9781250078650 Publisher: Picador Publication date: 10/04/2016)

Hilarious, entertaining, and illustrated histories behind some of life’s most common and underappreciated objects – from the paperclip and the toothbrush to the sports bra and roller skates.

In the tradition of A Cartoon History of the Universe and, most recent, Randall Munroe’s What If? comes Brief Histories of Everyday Objects, a graphic tour through the unusual creation of some of the mundane items that surround us in our daily lives. Chapters are peppered with ballpoint pen riots, cowboy wars, and really bad Victorian practical jokes. Structured around the different locations in our home and daily life—the kitchen, the bathroom, the office, and the grocery store—award-nominated illustrator Andy Warner traces the often surprising and sometimes complex histories behind the items we often take for granted. Readers learn how Velcro was created after a Swiss engineer took his dog for a walk; how a naval engineer invented the Slinky; a German housewife, the coffee filter; and a radical feminist and anti-capitalist, the game Monopoly. This is both a book of histories and a book about histories. It explores how lies become legends, trade routes spring up, and empires rise and fall—all from the perspective of your toothbrush or toilet.

 

terribleTerrible But True: Awful Events in American History by Dinah Williams (ISBN-13: 9780545909730 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 10/25/2016)

Think American history is all boring battles and snooze-worthy old dudes? Think again! Welcome to TERRIBLE BUT TRUE, where you’ll dig deep into America’s forgotten past to uncover some creepy, disgusting, and just plain bizarre stories. From America’s first serial killers and deadly vampire-like diseases to haunted ghost ships and vicious river pirates, our nation’s history is weirder than you could have ever imagined. So dive in and prepare to be shocked, because sometimes the truth is even stranger than fiction.

 

 

its-not-meIt’s Not Me, It’s YOU by Stephanie Kate Strohm (ISBN-13: 9780545952583 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 10/25/2016)

Avery Dennis is a high school senior and one of the most popular girls in her class. But a majorly public breakup with the guy she’s been dating causes some disastrous waves. It is right before prom and Avery no longer has the perfect date. She runs the prom committee, how could she not show up with somebody?

Post-breakup, Avery gets to thinking about all of the guys that she has ever dated. How come none of those relationships ever worked out? Could it be her fault? Avery decides to investigate. In history class she’s learning about this method of record-keeping called “oral history” and she has a report due. So Avery decides to go directly to the source. Avery tracks down all of the guys she’s ever dated, and uses that information along with her friends, family, and even teachers thoughts, to compile a total account of her dating history.

Avery discovers some surprises about herself and the guys she’s spent time with just in time for prom night!

 

truthThe Truth of Right Now by Kara Lee Corthron (ISBN-13: 9781481459471 Publisher: Simon Pulse Publication date: 01/03/2017)

Two isolated teens struggle against their complicated lives to find a true connection in this heartwrenching debut novel about first love and the wreckage of growing up.

Lily is returning to her privileged Manhattan high school after a harrowing end to her sophomore year and it’s not pretty. She hates chemistry and her spiteful lab partner, her friends are either not speaking to her or suffocating her with concerned glances, and nothing seems to give her joy anymore. Worst of all, she can’t escape her own thoughts about what drove her away from everyone in the first place.

Enter Dari (short for Dariomauritius), the artistic and mysterious transfer student, adept at cutting class. Not that he’d rather be at home with his domineering Trinidadian father. Dari is everything that Lily needs: bright, creative, honest, and unpredictable. And in a school where no one really stands out, Dari finds Lily’s sensitivity and openness magnetic. Their attraction ignites immediately, and for the first time in what feels like forever, Lily and Dari find happiness in each other.

In twenty-first-century New York City, the fact that Lily is white and Dari is black shouldn’t matter that much, but nothing’s as simple as it seems. When tragedy becomes reality, can friendship survive even if romance cannot?

 

 

great-greenIn the Great Green Room: The Brilliant and Bold Life of Margaret Wise Brown by Amy Gary (ISBN-13: 9781250065360 Publisher: Flatiron Books Publication date: 01/10/2017)

For decades children and their parents around the world have cuddled together to read Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny. While the lulling words of these stories have formed nighttime rituals for millions, few know that these classic works were part of a publishing revolution led by Margaret Wise Brown, who was renowned not only for her prolific writing and creative genius, but also for her stunning beauty and thirst for adventure.

In 1990, author Amy Gary discovered unpublished manuscripts, songs, personal letters, and diaries from Margaret tucked away in a trunk in the attic of Margaret’s sister’s barn. Since then, Gary has pored over these works and with this unique insight in to Margaret’s world she chronicles her rise in the literary world. Clever, quirky, and wildly imaginative, Margaret embraced life with passion, threw wild parties, attended rabbit hunts, and lived extravagantly off of her royalties. She carried on long and troubled love affairs with both men and women, including the ex-wife of John Barrymore, and was engaged to a younger man (who was the son of a Carnegie and a Rockefeller) when she died unexpectedly at the age of 42.

In the Great Green Room captures the exceptional spirit of Margaret whose unrivaled talent breathed new life in to the literary world.

 

radiusThe Radius of Us by Marie Marquardt (ISBN-13: 9781250096890 Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Publication date: 01/17/2017)

What happens when you fall in love with someone everyone seems determined to fear?

Ninety seconds can change a life — not just daily routine, but who you are as a person. Gretchen Asher knows this, because that’s how long a stranger held her body to the ground. When a car sped toward them and Gretchen’s attacker told her to run, she recognized a surprising terror in his eyes. And now she doesn’t even recognize herself.

Ninety seconds can change a life — not just the place you live, but the person others think you are. Phoenix Flores Flores knows this, because months after setting off toward the U.S. / Mexico border in search of safety for his brother, he finally walked out of detention. But Phoenix didn’t just trade a perilous barrio in El Salvador for a leafy suburb in Atlanta. He became that person — the one his new neighbors crossed the street to avoid.

Ninety seconds can change a life — so how will the ninety seconds of Gretchen and Phoenix’s first encounter change theirs?

Told in alternating first person points of view, The Radius of Us is a story of love, sacrifice, and the journey from victim to survivor. It offers an intimate glimpse into the causes and devastating impact of Latino gang violence, both in the U.S. and in Central America, and explores the risks that victims take when they try to start over. Most importantly, Marie Marquardt’s The Radius of Us shows how people struggling to overcome trauma can find healing in love.

 

the-youThe You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins (ISBN-13: 9781481442909 Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books Publication date: 01/24/2017)

How do you live your life if your past is based on a lie? A new novel in both verse and prose from #1 New York Times bestselling author, Ellen Hopkins.

For as long as she can remember, it’s been just Ariel and Dad. Ariel’s mom disappeared when she was a baby. Dad says home is wherever the two of them are, but Ariel is now seventeen and after years of new apartments, new schools, and new faces, all she wants is to put down some roots. Complicating things are Monica and Gabe, both of whom have stirred a different kind of desire.

Maya’s a teenager who’s run from an abusive mother right into the arms of an older man she thinks she can trust. But now she’s isolated with a baby on the way, and life’s getting more complicated than Maya ever could have imagined.

Ariel and Maya’s lives collide unexpectedly when Ariel’s mother shows up out of the blue with wild accusations: Ariel wasn’t abandoned. Her father kidnapped her fourteen years ago.

What is Ariel supposed to believe? Is it possible Dad’s woven her entire history into a tapestry of lies? How can she choose between the mother she’s been taught to mistrust and the father who has taken care of her all these years?

In bestselling author Ellen Hopkins’s deft hands, Ariel’s emotionally charged journey to find out the truth of who she really is balances beautifully with Maya’s story of loss and redemption. This is a memorable portrait of two young women trying to make sense of their lives and coming face to face with themselves—for both the last and the very first time.

 

 

exoExo by Fonda Lee (ISBN-13: 9780545933438 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 01/31/2017)

It’s been a century of peace since Earth became a colony of an alien race with far reaches into the galaxy. Some die-hard extremists still oppose their rule on Earth, but Donovan Reyes isn’t one of them. His dad holds the prestigious position of Prime Liaison in the collaborationist government, and Donovan’s high social standing along with his exocel (a remarkable alien technology fused to his body) guarantee him a bright future in the security forces. That is, until a routine patrol goes awry and Donovan’s abducted by the human revolutionary group Sapience.

When Sapience realizes whose son Donovan is, they think they’ve found the ultimate bargaining chip. But the Prime Liaison doesn’t negotiate with terrorists, not even for his own son. Left in the hands of terrorists who have more uses for him dead than alive, the fate of Earth rests on Donovan’s survival. Because if Sapience kills him, it could spark another intergalactic war. And Earth didn’t win the last one…

 

 

american-streetAmerican Street by Ibi Zoboi (ISBN-13: 9780062473042 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 02/14/2017)

American Street is an evocative and powerful coming-of-age story perfect for fans of Everything, Everything; Bone Gap; and All American Boys. In this stunning debut novel, Pushcart-nominated author Ibi Zoboi draws on her own experience as a young Haitian immigrant, infusing this lyrical exploration of America with magical realism and vodouculture.

On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life.

But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.

Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?

 

hate-uThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (ISBN-13: 9780062498533 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 02/28/2017)

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Angie Thomas’s searing debut about an ordinary girl in extraordinary circumstances addresses issues of racism and police violence with intelligence, heart, and unflinching honesty. Soon to be a major motion picture from Fox 2000/Temple Hill Productions.

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

 

 

here-we-areHere We Are: Feminism for the Real World edited by Kelly Jensen (ISBN-13: 9781616205867 Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill Publication date: 02/28/2017)

Let’s get the feminist party started!

Here We Are is a scrapbook-style teen guide to understanding what it means to be a twenty-first-century feminist. It’s packed with contributions from a diverse range of voices, including TV, film, and pop-culture celebrities and public figures such as ballet dancer Michaela DePrince and her sister Mia and politician Wendy Davis, as well as popular authors like Nova Ren Suma, Malinda Lo, Brandy Colbert, Courtney Summers, and many more. All together, the book features more than forty-four pieces and illustrations.

Here We Are is a response to lively discussions about the true meaning of feminism on social media and across popular culture and is an invitation to one of the most important, life-changing, and exciting parties around.

 

 

campCamp So-and-So by Mary McCoy (ISBN-13: 9781512415971 Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group Publication date: 03/01/2017)

The Cabin In The Woods meets A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a darkly whimsical adventure.

Twenty-five campers. Five cabins.

One very dangerous summer camp.

Cabin 1 must face off against their ultimate rivals, the posh campers across the lake — who may be more than they seem.

Cabin 2 is being stalked by a murderous former camper.

Cabin 3 sets off on a quest to break an age-old curse.

Cabin 4 will meet their soulmates — who also pose a deadly threat.

And Cabin 5…well, it might already be too late for Cabin 5.

This is no ordinary camp. Survival will require courage, cunning, and perhaps even magic.

And the hot dogs are terrible.

 

 

ultimatumUltimatum by KM Walton (ISBN-13: 9781492635079 Publisher: Sourcebooks Publication date: 03/07/2017)

From the author of Cracked and Empty comes a gripping, emotional story of two brothers who must make the ultimate decision about what’s more important: family or their differences.

It’s not Oscar’s fault he’s misunderstood. Ever since his mother died, he’s been disrespected by his father and bullied by his self-absorbed older brother, so he withdraws from his fractured family, seeking refuge in his art.

Vance wishes his younger brother would just loosen up and be cool. It was hard enough to deal with their mother’s death without Oscar getting all emotional. At least when Vance pushes himself in lacrosse and parties, he feels alive.

But when their father’s alcoholism sends him into liver failure, the two brothers must come face-to-face with their demons–and each other–if they are going to survive a very uncertain future.

 

 

fish-girlFish Girl by David Wiesner and Donna Jo Napoli (ISBN-13: 9780547483931 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 03/07/2017)

The triple Caldecott winner David Wiesner brings his rich visual imagination and trademark artistry to the graphic novel format in a unique coming-of-age tale that begins underwater. A young mermaid, called Fish Girl, in a boardwalk aquarium has a chance encounter with an ordinary girl. Their growing friendship inspires Fish Girl’s longing for freedom, independence, and a life beyond the aquarium tank. Sparkling with humor and brilliantly visualized, Fish Girl’s story will resonate with every young person facing the challenges and rewards of growing up.

 

 

 

just-flyJust Fly Away by Andrew McCarthy (ISBN-13: 9781616206291 Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill Publication date: 03/28/2017)

A debut novel about one girl’s discovery of family secrets, first love, the limits of forgiveness, and finding one’s way in the world, written with wisdom and sympathy by the bestselling memoirist, actor, and director.

When fifteen-year-old Lucy Willows discovers that her father has a child from a brief affair, a eight-year-old boy named Thomas who lives in her own suburban New Jersey town, she begins to question everything she thinks she knows about her family and her life. Lucy can’t believe her father betrayed the whole family, or that her mother forgave him, or that her sister isn’t rocked by the news the way Lucy is. Worse, Lucy’s father’s secret is now her own, one that isolates her from her friends, family, and even her boyfriend, Simon, the one person she expected would truly understand. When Lucy escapes to Maine, the home of her mysteriously estranged grandfather, she finally begins to get to the bottom of her family’s secrets and lies.

Fans of the rebels and antiheroes in the novels of Rainbow Rowell, A. S. King, and Meg Wolitzer will welcome this sharp, observant new voice in young adult fiction.

 

 

gem-andGem & Dixie by Sara Zarr (ISBN-13: 9780062434593 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 04/04/2017)

From renowned author and National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr comes a deep, nuanced, and gorgeously written story about the complex relationship between two sisters from a broken home.

Gem has never known what it is to have security. She’s never known an adult she can truly rely on. But the one constant in her life has been Dixie. Gem grew up taking care of her sister when no one else could: not their mother, whose issues make it hard for her to keep food on the table, and definitely not their father, whose intermittent presence is the only thing worse than his frequent absence. Even as Gem and Dixie have grown apart, they’ve always had each other.

When their dad returns home for the first time in years and tries to insert himself back into their lives, Gem finds herself with an unexpected opportunity: three days with Dixie—on their own in Seattle and beyond. But this short trip soon becomes something more, as Gem discovers that that to save herself, she may have to sever the one bond she’s tried so hard to keep.

 

 

letters-to-the-lostLetters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer (ISBN-13: 9781681190082 Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Publication date: 04/04/2017)

Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

 

 

but-thenBut Then I Came Back by Estelle Laure (ISBN-13: 9780544531260 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 04/04/2017)

From the author of This Raging Light comes the story of Eden Jones, a seventeen-year-old girl who feels lost after surviving a near fatal accident. Unable to connect with her family and friends, Eden forms an unlikely relationship with Joe, a boy who comes to the hospital to visit Jasmine, a friend who may soon be gone forever. Eden is the only person who can get through to Jasmine, but is she brave enough to face a world that’s bigger and more magical than she ever would have allowed? Lyrical, unexpected, and romantic, Estelle Laure’s new novel is about interwoven lives, long goodbyes, and the imperfect beauty of young love.

 

 

defyDefy the Stars by Claudia Gray (ISBN-13: 9780316394031 Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Publication date: 04/04/2017)

In her most epic and ambitious work to date, bestselling author Claudia Gray takes readers on an interstellar journey exploring what it means to be human.

Noemi Vidal is a teen soldier from the planet Genesis, once a colony of Earth that’s now at war for its independence. The humans of Genesis have fought Earth’s robotic “mech” armies for decades with no end in sight.

After a surprise attack, Noemi finds herself stranded in space on an abandoned ship where she meets Abel, the most sophisticated mech prototype ever made. One who should be her enemy. But Abel’s programming forces him to obey Noemi as his commander, which means he has to help her save Genesis–even though her plan to win the war will kill him.

Together they embark on a daring voyage through the galaxy. Before long, Noemi begins to realize Abel may be more than a machine, and, for his part, Abel’s devotion to Noemi is no longer just a matter of programming.

 

 

fireworksFireworks by Katie Cotugno (ISBN-13: 9780062418272 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 04/11/2017)

From the New York Times bestselling author of 99 Days and How to Love comes a stunning new contemporary novel—all about boy bands, girl bands, best friends, and first love—perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson.

It was always meant to be Olivia. She’s the talented one, the one who’s been training to be a star her whole life. Her best friend, Dana, is the levelheaded one, always on the sidelines, cheering Olivia on.

But everything changes when Dana tags along with Olivia to Orlando for the weekend, where superproducer Guy Monroe is holding auditions for a new singing group, and Dana is discovered too. Dana, who’s never sung more than Olivia’s backup. Dana, who wasn’t even looking for fame. Next thing she knows, she and Olivia are training to be pop stars, and Dana is falling for Alex, the earnest, endlessly talented boy who’s destined to be the next big thing.

It should be a dream come true, but as the days of grueling practice and constant competition take their toll, things between Olivia and Dana start to shift . . . and there’s only room at the top for one girl. For Olivia, it’s her chance at her dream. For Dana, it’s a chance to escape a future that seems to be closing in on her. And for these lifelong best friends, it’s the adventure of a lifetime—if they can make it through.

Set in evocative 1990s Orlando, Fireworks brings to life the complexity of friendship, the excitement of first love, and the feeling of being on the verge of greatness.

 

upsideThe Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (ISBN-13: 9780062348708 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 04/11/2017)

From the award-winning author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda comes a funny, authentic novel about sisterhood, love, and identity.

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.
There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.

Right?

 

 

literallyLiterally by Lucy Keating (ISBN-13: 9780062380043 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 04/11/2017)

From the author of Dreamology comes a young adult love story that blurs the line between reality and fiction…

Annabelle’s life has always been Perfect with a capital P. Then bestselling young adult author Lucy Keating announces that she’s writing a new novel—and Annabelle is the heroine.

It turns out that Annabelle is a character that Lucy Keating created. And Lucy has a plan for her.

But Annabelle doesn’t want to live a life where everything she does is already plotted out. Will she find a way to write her own story—or will Lucy Keating have the last word?

The real Lucy Keating’s delightful contemporary romance is the perfect follow-up for readers who loved her debut novel, which School Library Journal called “a sweet, quirky romance with appealing characters.”

 

higherHigher, Steeper, Faster: The Daredevils Who Conquered the Skies by Lawrence Goldstone (ISBN-13: 9780316350235 Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Publication date: 04/18/2017)

Discover the daring aviation pioneers who made the dream of powered flight a reality, forever changing the course of history.

Aviator Lincoln Beachey broke countless records: he looped-the-loop, flew upside down and in corkscrews, and was the first to pull his aircraft out of what was a typically fatal tailspin. As Beachey and other aviators took to the skies in death-defying acts in the early twentieth century, these innovative daredevils not only wowed crowds, but also redefined the frontiers of powered flight.

Higher, Steeper, Faster takes readers inside the world of the brave men and women who popularized flying through their deadly stunts and paved the way for modern aviation. With heart-stopping accounts of the action-packed race to conquer the skies, plus photographs and fascinating archival documents, this book will exhilarate readers as they fly through the pages.

 

bangBang by Barry Lyga (ISBN-13: 9780316315500 Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Publication date: 04/18/2017)

A heartbreaking novel about living with your worst mistake, from New York Times bestselling author Barry Lyga.

A chunk of old memory, adrift in a pool of blood.

Sebastian Cody did something horrible, something no one–not even Sebastian himself–can forgive. At the age of four, he accidentally shot and killed his infant sister with his father’s gun.

Now, ten years later, Sebastian has lived with the guilt and horror for his entire life. With his best friend away for the summer, Sebastian has only a new friend–Aneesa–to distract him from his darkest thoughts. But even this relationship cannot blunt the pain of his past. Because Sebastian knows exactly how to rectify his childhood crime and sanctify his past. It took a gun to get him into this.

Now he needs a gun to get out.

Unflinching and honest, Bang is as true and as relevant as tomorrow’s headlines, the story of one boy and one moment in time that cannot be reclaimed.

 

 

luckyLucky Girl by Amanda Maciel (ISBN-13: 9780062305336 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 04/25/2017)

Lucky Girl is an unflinching exploration of beauty, self-worth, and sexual assault, from the author of the acclaimed Tease.

Rosie is a beautiful girl—and it’s always been enough. Boys crush on her, men stare at her, girls (begrudgingly) admire her. She’s lucky and she knows it. But it’s the start of a new school year and she begins to realize that she wants to be more. Namely, she’s determined to be better to her best friend, Maddie, who’s just back from a summer program abroad having totally blossomed into her own looks. Rosie isn’t thrilled when Maddie connects with a football player who Rosie was hooking up with—but if it makes her friend happy, she’s prepared to get over it. Plus, someone even more interesting has moved to town: Alex, who became semifamous after he stopped a classmate from carrying out a shooting rampage at his old high school. Rosie is drawn to Alex in a way she’s never experienced before—and she is surprised to discover that, unlike every other guy, he seems to see more to her than her beauty.

Then at a party one night, in the midst of a devastating storm, something happens that tears apart Rosie’s life and sets her on a journey of self-discovery that forces her to face uncomfortable truths about reputation, identity, and what it means to be a true friend.

 

tenTen: A Soccer Story by Shamini Flint (ISBN-13: 9780544850019 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 05/02/2017)

Maya is a passionate soccer fan eager to start playing soccer herself. This is extra challenging because soccer is considered a “boys’ game” in Malaysia in 1986. She teaches herself basic soccer skills with only her mother and a potted rosebush as training partners, then gradually persuades enough girls to join her to form a team, all the while trying to keep her unpredictable biracial family together. Reading Maya’s witty, observant first-person narrative will make readers want her on their team, and they’ll cheer her on as she discovers that winning is great—but losing doesn’t mean defeat.

 

 

 

say-noSay No to the Bro by Kat Helgeson (ISBN-13: 9781481471930 Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers Publication date: 05/02/2017)

The hijinks of Miss Congeniality meet the high school gender politics of The List in Kat Helgeson’s timely contemporary novel about two teens who become entangled in a cut-throat prom date auction.

Ava’s plan for surviving senior year at her new school is simple: fly under the radar until graduation. No boys. No attachments. No drama. But all that goes out the window when she gets drafted into the Prom Bowl—a long-standing tradition where senior girls compete in challenges and are auctioned off as prom dates to the highest bidder.

Ava joins forces with star quarterback Mark Palmer to try and get herself out of the competition, but their best laid schemes lead to self-sabotage more than anything else. And to make matters worse, they both begin to realize that the Prom Bowl isn’t all fun and games. When one event spirals dangerously out of control, Ava and Mark must decide whether shutting down the Prom Bowl once and for all is worth the price of sacrificing their futures.

 

when-dimpleWhen Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (ISBN-13: 9781481478687 Publisher: Simon Pulse Publication date: 05/30/2017)

A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

 

unlikeliesThe Unlikelies by Carrie Firestone (ISBN-13: 9780316382861 Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Publication date: 06/06/2017)

Five teens embark on a summer of vigilante good samaritanism in a novel that’s part The Breakfast Club, part The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and utterly captivating.

Rising high school senior Sadie is bracing herself for a long, lonely, and boring summer. But things take an unexpected turn when she steps in to help rescue a baby in distress and a video of her good deed goes viral.

Suddenly internet-famous, Sadie’s summer changes for the better when she’s introduced to other “hometown heroes.” These five very different teens form an unlikely alliance to secretly right local wrongs, but when they try to help a heroin-using friend, they get in over their heads and discover that there might be truth in the saying “no good deed goes unpunished.” Can Sadie and her new friends make it through the summer with their friendships–and anonymity–intact?

This rich and thought-provoking novel takes on timely issues and timeless experiences with a winning combination of romance, humor, and wisdom.

 

 

boynelsonBoy by Blake Nelson (ISBN-13: 9781481488136 Publisher: Simon Pulse Publication date: 06/06/2017)

In the style of Blake Nelson’s cult favorite, Girl comes a brand-new story about the moments in life that change how you see everything and everyone you always thought you knew—including yourself.

Every school has them: the cool kids. The insiders. Gavin Meeks is one of them. He lives an easy life of parties, girls, snowboarding adventures and whatever else comes his way.

But when dark, dramatic Antoinette crash-lands at Evergreen High, the entire school feels the impact. Antoinette has seen things, been places, experienced deep tragedy first-hand. She’s not just a rebel, she’s a force of nature. Gavin, for one, is captivated and is soon pursuing interests he never knew he had. With a camera in hand, he finds a way to express his own truth, including his feelings for his favorite subject: Antoinette. It all leads to one passionate, life-altering night in this achingly authentic story from bestselling author Blake Nelson.

 

not-yetEmily and the Spellstone by Michael Rubens (ISBN-13: 9780544790865 Publisher: Clarion Books Publication date: 06/13/17)

Emily picks up a stone that looks like a cell phone but has unexpected magical powers. It’s a Spellstone! Now that she has become an unwilling Stonemaster—one who wields the power of the Stone—she has to figure out Spellstone technology fast if she is to survive a hair-raising adventure among giant dogs, demons, clones, mean girls, and deeply wicked people who want the Stone. A witty tale of a quiet girl who discovers she’s a hero when she needs to be. Stonemasters rule!

 

 

lintboyLint Boy by Aileen Leijten  (ISBN-13: 9780544528604 Publisher: Clarion Books Publication date: 06/27/17)

Lint Boy and Lint Bear live in their cozy dryer home, carefree and happy—until the day Lint Bear is snatched away by a cruel woman with a vendetta against dolls! Can Lint Boy unite a group of lost dolls to vanquish the villain and save his brother?
This magical story is showcased in the stunning full-color art of this young graphic novel. A gently gothic, age-appropriate blend of Roald Dahl and Tim Burton, Lint Boy is a compelling tale of good vs. evil that will leave readers spellbound.

 

 

survivorOverboard! (Survivor Diaries) by Terry Lynn Johnson (ISBN-13: 9780544970106 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers Publication date: 07/04/17)

Stay calm. Stay smart. Survive.

In this exciting episode of the high-stakes adventure series, eleven-year-old Travis and his family are on a whale watching tour off the coast of Washington when disaster strikes. The boat capsizes, throwing everyone into the ice-cold chaotic waves. Separated from their families and struggling to stay afloat, Travis and twelve-year-old Marina must survive the freezing ocean water. Battling hypothermia and using all their knowledge of cold-water safety and outdoor survival, Travis and Marina will have their grit and teamwork tested to the extreme.

With seventeen years of hands-on experience and training in remote areas, real-life survival expert Terry Lynn Johnson (Ice Dogs; Sled Dog School) creates on-the-edge-of-your-seat storytelling featuring the real skills that kids need to survive disaster. Perfect for fans of Lauren Tarshis’ I Survived series and Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet, this books includes Coast Guard-approved cold-water survival tips.

 

disappearancesThe Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy (ISBN-13: 978-0544879362 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books For Young Readers Publication date: 07/04/17)

What if the ordinary things in life suddenly…disappeared?

Aila Quinn’s mother, Juliet, has always been a mystery: vibrant yet guarded, she keeps her secrets beyond Aila’s reach. When Juliet dies, Aila and her younger brother Miles are sent to live in Sterling, a rural town far from home–and the place where Juliet grew up.

Sterling is a place with mysteries of its own. A place where the experiences that weave life together–scents of flowers and food, reflections from mirrors and lakes, even the ability to dream–vanish every seven years.

No one knows what caused these “Disappearances,” or what will slip away next. But Sterling always suspected that Juliet Quinn was somehow responsible–and Aila must bear the brunt of their blame while she follows the chain of literary clues her mother left behind.

As the next Disappearance nears, Aila begins to unravel the dual mystery of why the Disappearances happen and who her mother truly was. One thing is clear: Sterling isn’t going to hold on to anyone’s secrets for long before it starts giving them up.

 

sorrowOne for Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn (ISBN-13: 9780544818095 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers Publication date: 07/18/17)

Against the ominous backdrop of the influenza epidemic of 1918, Annie, a new girl at school, is claimed as best friend by Elsie, a classmate who is a tattletale, a liar, and a thief. Soon Annie makes other friends and finds herself joining them in teasing and tormenting Elsie. Elsie dies from influenza, but then she returns to reclaim Annie’s friendship and punish all the girls who bullied her. Young readers who revel in spooky stories will relish this chilling tale of a girl haunted by a vengeful ghost.

 

 

 

specialThe Special Ones by Em Bailey (ISBN-13: 978-0544912298 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers Publication date: 07/18/17)

Esther is one of the Special Ones: four young spiritual guides who live in a remote farmhouse under the protection of a mysterious cult leader. He watches them around the clock, ready to punish them if they forget who they are—and all the while, broadcasting their lives to eager followers on the outside.

Esther knows that if she stops being Special, he will “renew” her. Nobody knows what happens to the Special Ones who are taken away from the farm for renewal, but Esther fears the worst. Like an actor caught up in an endless play, she must keep up the performance if she wants to survive long enough to escape.

 

sparksSparks of Light by Janet B. Taylor (ISBN-13: 9780544609570 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers Publication date: 08/01/17)

For the first time in her life, Hope Walton has friends . . . and a (maybe) boyfriend. She’s a Viator, a member of a long line of time-traveling ancestors. When the Viators learn of a plan to steal a dangerous device from the inventor Nikola Tesla, only a race into the past can save the natural timeline from utter destruction. Navigating the glitterati of The Gilded Age in 1895 New York City, Hope and her crew will discover that high society can be as deadly as it is beautiful.

In this sequel to the dazzling time-travel romance Into the Dim, sacrifice takes on a whole new meaning as Hope and Bran struggle to determine where—or when–they truly belong.

 

 

little-and-lionLittle & Lion by Brandy Colbert (ISBN-13: 9780316349000 Publisher: Little, Brown Publication date: 08/08/2017)

When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn’t sure if she’ll ever want to go back. L.A. Is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.

But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new…the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel’s disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself—or worse.

 

 

heartsThe Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones (ISBN-13: 9780316314596 Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Publication date: 08/08/17)

When Dee Moreno makes a deal with a demon—her heart in exchange for an escape from a disastrous home life—she finds the trade may have been more than she bargained for. And becoming “heartless” is only the beginning. What lies ahead is a nightmare far bigger, far more monstrous than anything she could have ever imagined.

With reality turned on its head, Dee has only a group of other deal-making teens to keep her grounded, including the charming but secretive James Lancer. And as something grows between them amid an otherworldy ordeal, Dee begins to wonder: Can she give someone her heart when it’s no longer hers to give?

What’s New in LGBTQIA+ YA July and August 2016

It’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). 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 2016 and August 2016 titles. Head over to this link for the previous post (May and June 2016 titles) in this series. All annotations here are via the publishers.

 

July 2016

Help! There’s nothing on my list. If you know of any, leave the titles in the comments or tweet me @CiteSomething.

 

August 2016

athletesLGBTQIA+ Athletes Claim the Field by Kirstin Cronn-Mills (ISBN-13: 9781467780124 Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group Publication date: 08/01/2016)

In the summer of 2015, LGBTQ+ athletes were everywhere. The world watched as soccer star Abby Wambach kissed her wife on the heels of the US women’s World Cup victory. Milwaukee Brewers’ minor league first baseman David Denson came out as a gay man. And Caitlyn (born Bruce) Jenner, an Olympic decathlete, came out as transgender.

Yet it hasn’t always been this way. When tennis great Billie Jean King was outed in 1981, she lost all her endorsements—overnight. Many great athletes have stayed in the closet their whole lives, or at least until retirement. And young transgender athletes across the nation are fighting for equal access to school teams, locker rooms, and bathrooms of the gender with which they identify.

Social attitudes, institutional policies, and laws are slow to change, but they are catching up. Title IX legislation outlaws discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The National Collegiate Athletic Association has antidiscrimination policies that support LGBTQ+ inclusion at all levels. Together, athletes, coaches, families, educators, allies, and fans are pushing for competitive equity so that every athlete, regardless of identity, can have the opportunity to play at their very best.

 

 

whateverWhatever.: Or How Junior Year Became Totally F$@cked by S.J. Goslee (ISBN-13: 9781626723993 Publisher: Roaring Brook Press Publication date: 08/02/2016)

It’s like the apocalypse came, only instead of nuclear bombs and zombies, Mike gets school participation, gay thoughts, and mother-effin’ cheerleaders.

Junior year is about to start. Here’s what Mike Tate knows:

His friends are awesome and their crappy garage band is a great excuse to drink cheap beer. Rook Wallace is the devil. The Lemonheads rock. And his girlfriend Lisa is the coolest. Then Lisa breaks up with him, which makes Mike only a little sad, because they’ll stay friends and he never knew what to do with her boobs anyway. But when Mike finds out why Lisa dumped him, it blows his mind. And worse—he gets elected to homecoming court.

With a standout voice, a hilariously honest view on sex and sexuality, and enough f-bombs to make your mom blush, this debut YA novel is a fresh, modern take on the coming-out story.

 

three truthsThree Truths and a Lie by Brent Hartinger (ISBN-13: 9781481449601 Publisher: Simon Pulse Publication date: 08/02/2016)

A weekend retreat in the woods and an innocent game of three truths and a lie go horribly wrong in this high-octane psychological thriller filled with romantic suspense by a Lambda Award–winning author.

Deep in the forest, four friends gather for a weekend of fun.

Truth #1: Rob is thrilled about the weekend trip. It’s the perfect time for him to break out of his shell…to be the person he really, really wants to be.

Truth #2: Liam, Rob’s boyfriend, is nothing short of perfect. He’s everything Rob could have wanted. They’re perfect together. Perfect.

Truth #3: Mia has been Liam’s best friend for years…long before Rob came along. They get each other in a way Rob could never, will never, understand.

Truth #4: Galen, Mia’s boyfriend, is sweet, handsome, and incredibly charming. He’s the definition of a Golden Boy…even with the secrets up his sleeve.

One of these truths is a lie…and not everyone will live to find out which one it is.

 

 

edge of lightThe Edge of the Light (Whidbey Island Saga #4) by Elizabeth George (ISBN-13: 9780670012992 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 08/16/2016)

The climactic final installment of New York Times bestseller Elizabeth George’s award-winning saga.

Seth Darrow is a straightforward guy, and he likes life to be simple.  Lately, it’s been anything but.

Since his beloved grandfather’s stroke, Seth has been focused on getting Grand home again, before his aunt can take advantage of the situation to get her hands on Grand’s valuable real estate. Seth would also like to get his relationship with Prynne on solid ground. He loves her, but can he believe she has her drug use under control?

Meanwhile, things are complicated for the other Whidbey Island friends. Derric has found Rejoice, the sister he left behind in Uganda, but no one – including Rejoice – knows she is his sister. Jenn is discovering feelings for her teammate Cynthia, feelings her born-again Christian mother would never find acceptable. And Becca, hiding under a false identity since her arrival on the island, is concealing the biggest secret of all.

In the final book of the Whidbey Island saga, events build to an astonishing climax as secrets are revealed, hearts are broken, and lives are changed forever.

 

 

been hereBeen Here All Along by Sandy Hall (ISBN-13: 9781250100658 Publisher: Feiwel & Friends Publication date: 08/30/2016)

Gideon always has a plan. It includes running for class president, becoming head of the yearbook committee, and having his choice of colleges. It does NOT include falling head over heels for his best friend, Kyle. It’s a distraction, it’s pointless—Kyle is already dating the head cheerleader, Ruby—and Gideon doesn’t know what to do.

Kyle finally feels like he has a handle on life. He has a wonderful girlfriend, a best friend willing to debate the finer points of Lord of the Rings, and social acceptance as captain of the basketball team. So when both Ruby and Gideon start acting really weird, just as his spot on the team is threatened, Kyle can’t quite figure out what he did wrong.

Sandy Hall, the author of A Little Something Different, is back with her signature wit in this quirky and heartfelt LGBT YA novel.

 

 

georgiaGeorgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown (ISBN-13: 9780062270986 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 08/30/2016)

Joanna meets the perfect girl for her and must decide whether to break a promise that could change everything for her and her family or lose out on love in this charming young adult romance that’s perfect for fans of Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’ and Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.

Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, but when her popular radio evangelist father remarries and decides to move all three of them from Atlanta to the more conservative Rome, Georgia, he asks Jo to do the impossible: to lie low for the rest of her senior year. And Jo reluctantly agrees.

Although it is (mostly) much easier for Jo to fit in as a straight girl, things get complicated when she meets Mary Carlson, the oh-so-tempting sister of her new friend at school. But Jo couldn’t possibly think of breaking her promise to her dad. Even if she’s starting to fall for the girl. Even if there’s a chance Mary Carlson might be interested in her, too. Right?

What’s New in LGBTQIA+ YA May and June 2016 + Two Giveaways

It’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). 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 May 2016 and June 2016 titles. Head over to this link for the previous post (March and April 2016 titles) in this series. All annotations here are via the publishers.

 

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION: For teachers, librarians, and teens ONLY.

Since it’s June and Pride month I will run two giveaways with this post. US only, please. 

First giveaway: Three titles from this post, winner’s choice. The catch: you need to be a high school teacher or a librarian/work in a library. You can enter via Rafflecopter, by retweeting this post, or by commenting on this post. If it’s not obvious from your Twitter profile that you’re a teacher/librarian, please indicate so (via tweet or dm or in your comment etc).

Second giveaway: Three titles from this post, winner’s choice. The catch: you need to be a teenager. You can enter via Rafflecopter, by retweeting this post, or by commenting on this post. If it’s not obvious from your Twitter profile that you’re a teenager, please indicate so (via tweet or dm or in your comment etc).

Both of these rely on people being honest. This giveaway is specifically designed to get these books into the hands of actual teens.

Contest runs from June 7 until midnight on June 13.

 

MAY 2016

ifi wasIf I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo (ISBN-13: 9781250078407 Publisher: Flatiron Books Publication date: 05/03/2016)

REVIEW HERE

A new kind of big-hearted novel about being seen for who you really are.

Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school. Like anyone else, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret, and she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.

But when she meets sweet, easygoing Grant, Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she realizes just how much she is losing by guarding her heart. She finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself, including her past. But Amanda’s terrified that once she tells him the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that at her old school, she used to be Andrew. Will the truth cost Amanda her new life, and her new love?

Meredith Russo’s If I Was Your Girl is a universal story about feeling different—and a love story that everyone will root for.

 

bloodThe Blood Between Us by Zac Brewer (ISBN-13: 9780062307910 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 05/03/2016)

Family secrets turn deadly in this edgy page-turner about the insidious limits of labels and the ties that bind just a little too tightly, from the New York Times bestselling author of the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod.

Growing up, Adrien and his sister, Grace, competed viciously for everything. It wasn’t easy being the adopted sibling, but Adrien tried to get along; it was Grace who didn’t want anything to do with him. When their scientist parents died in a terrible lab fire, there was nothing left to hold them together.

Now, after years apart, Adrien and Grace are forced to reunite at the elite boarding school where their parents were teachers. Being back around everyone he used to know makes Adrien question the person he’s become, while being back around Grace makes him feel like someone he doesn’t want to be.

For as much as Adrien wants to move on, someone seems determined to reopen old wounds. And when Adrien starts to suspect that Grace knows more about their parents’ deaths than she let on, he realizes there are some wounds no amount of time can heal. If Adrien isn’t careful, they may even kill him.

 

 

may queenThe May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude (ISBN-13: 9780544640412 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 05/03/2016)

Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night. 

Those are the rules in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton’s family has lived for centuries. It’s an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it. The other kids at school may think the Glen kids are weird, but Ivy doesn’t care—she has her cousin Heather as her best friend. The two girls share everything with each other—or so Ivy thinks. When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her beloved hometown are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them.

 

 

ask meAsk Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann (ISBN-13: 9780062387950 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 05/03/2016)

REVIEW HERE

How do you define yourself? By your friends? Your family? Your boyfriend? Your grades? Your trophies? Your choices? By a single choice? From the author of the acclaimed Poisoned Applescomes a novel in verse about a young woman and the aftermath of a life-altering decision. Fans of Laurie Halse Anderson and Ellen Hopkins will find the powerful questions, the difficult truths, and the inner strength that speak to them in Ask Me How I Got Here.

Addie has always known what she was running toward, whether in cross country, in her all-girls Catholic school, or in love. Until she and her boyfriend—her sensitive, good-guy boyfriend—are careless one night, and she gets pregnant. Addie makes the difficult choice to have an abortion. And after that—even though she knows it was the right decision for her—nothing is the same. She doesn’t want anyone besides her parents and her boyfriend to know what happened; she doesn’t want to run cross country anymore; she can’t bring herself to be excited about anything. Until she reconnects with Juliana, a former teammate who’s going through her own dark places. Once again, Christine Heppermann writes with an unflinching honesty and a deep sensitivity about the complexities of being a teenager, being a woman. Her free verse poems are moving, provocative, and often full of wry humor and a sharp wit.

 

lilyLily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart (ISBN-13: 9780553536744 Publisher: Random House Children’s Books Publication date: 05/03/2016)

Author Donna Gephart crafts a dual narrative about two remarkable young people: Lily, a transgender girl, and Dunkin, a boy dealing with bipolar disorder.

Sometimes our hearts see things our eyes can’t.

Lily Jo McGrother, born Timothy McGrother, is a girl. But being a girl is not so easy when you look like a boy. Especially when you’re in the eighth grade.

Dunkin Dorfman, birth name Norbert Dorfman, is dealing with bipolar disorder and has just moved from the New Jersey town he’s called home for the past thirteen years. This would be hard enough, but the fact that he is also hiding from a painful secret makes it even worse.

One summer morning, Lily Jo McGrother meets Dunkin Dorfman, and their lives forever change.

 

 

jerkbaitJerkbait by Mia Siegert (ISBN-13: 9781631630668 Publisher: Jolly Fish Press Publication date: 05/10/2016)

REVIEW HERE

Even though they’re identical, Tristan isn’t close to his twin Robbie at all—until Robbie tries to kill himself. Forced to share a room to prevent Robbie from hurting himself, the brothers begin to feel the weight of each other’s lives on the ice, and off. Tristan starts seeing his twin not as a hockey star whose shadow Tristan can’t escape, but a struggling gay teen terrified about coming out in the professional sports world.

Robbie’s future in the NHL is plagued by anxiety and the mounting pressure from their dad, coach, and scouts, while Tristan desperately fights to create his own future, not as a hockey player but a musical theatre performer. As their season progresses and friends turn out to be enemies, Robbie finds solace in an online stranger known only as “Jimmy2416.” Between keeping Robbie’s secret and saving him from taking his life, Tristan is given the final call: sacrifice his dream for a brother he barely knows, or pursue his own path.

How far is Robbie willing to go—and more importantly, how far is Tristan willing to go to help him?

 

 

love blindLove Blind by Christa Desir and Jolene Perry (ISBN-13: 9781481416931 Publisher: Simon Pulse Publication date: 05/10/2016)

Shy high schooler Kyle Jamieson and Hailey Bosler, a musician with degenerative blindness, team up to tackle a bucket list of greatest fears in this compelling novel that explores what it means to take risks.

It starts with a list of fears. Stupid things really. Things that Hailey shouldn’t worry about, wouldn’t worry about if she didn’t wake up every morning with the world a little more blurry. Unable to see her two moms clearly. Unable to read the music for her guitar. One step closer to losing the things she cares about the most.

For a while, the only thing that keeps Hailey moving forward is the feeling she gets when she crosses something off the list.

Then she meets Kyle. He mumbles—when he talks at all—and listens to music to drown out his thoughts. He’s loaded down with fears, too. So Hailey talks him into making his own list.

Together, they stumble into an odd friendship, helping each other tackle one after another of their biggest fears. But fate and timing can change everything. And sometimes facing your worst fear makes you realize you had nothing to lose after all.

 

 

fam fletchThe Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island by Dana Alison Levy (ISBN-13: 9780553521306 Publisher: Random House Children’s Books Publication date: 05/10/2016)

Love the TV show Modern Family? Wait until you meet the family Fletcher! With two dads, four adopted brothers, two cats, and one pug, the Fletchers will have you laughing out loud! 
 
Welcome to Rock Island, Where Time Stands Still!

The Fletchers are back on Rock Island, home of all their best summer memories. But from their first day on vacation, it’s clear that this year, things have changed. Their favorite lighthouse is all boarded up‘ and the Fletcher boys can’t figure out why or how to save it. Add a dose of Shakespeare, a very tippy kayak, a video camera, (maybe, possibly, or not) a swimming cat, and some new neighbors, and the recipe for a crazy vacation is complete.

Over the course of the summer, the Fletchers will learn that sometimes, even in a place where time stands still, the wildest, weirdest, and most wonderful surprises await.

 

illogicalHighly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley (ISBN-13: 9780525428183 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 05/10/2016)

Teen and adult fans of All The Bright Places, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and Everything, Everything will adore this quirky story of coming-of-age, coming out, friendship, love…and agoraphobia.

Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left the house in three years, which is fine by him.

Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychology program for college (she’s being realistic). But how can she prove she deserves a spot there?

Solomon is the answer.

Determined to “fix” Sol, Lisa thrusts herself into his life, introducing him to her charming boyfriend Clark and confiding her fears in him. Soon, all three teens are far closer than they thought they’d be, and when their facades fall down, their friendships threaten to collapse, as well.

A hilarious and heartwarming coming-of-age perfect for readers of Matthew Quick and Rainbow Rowell, Highly Illogical Behavior showcases the different ways in which we hide ourselves from the world—and the ways in which love, tragedy, and the need for connection may be the only things to bring us back into the light.

 

genaGena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson (ISBN-13: 9781452138398 Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC Publication date: 05/17/2016)

Gena and Finn would have never met but for their mutual love for the popular show Up Below. Regardless of their differences—Gena is a recent high school graduate whose social life largely takes place online, while Finn is in her early twenties, job hunting and contemplating marriage with her longtime boyfriend—the two girls realize that the bond between them transcends fanfiction. When disaster strikes and Gena’s world turns upside down, only Finn can save her, and that, too, comes with a price. Told through emails, text messages, journal entries, and blog posts, Gena/Finn is a story of friendship and love in the digital age.

 

 

 

ironThe Iron Phoenix by Rebecca Harwell (ISBN-13: 9781626397446 Publisher: Bold Strokes Books Publication date: 05/17/2016)

Seventeen-year-old Nadya Gabori lives a life of secrets in the island city of Storm’s Quarry. By day, she is the dutiful Nomori daughter, but by night, she sprints across rooftops, testing her abilities of speed and strength, abilities no normal girl should have. And she keeps her growing feelings for her friend Kesali from her conservative family. If her secrets were discovered by her people, the price would be banishment.

But when a murderer strikes again and again while a prophesied storm bears down
on the city, Nadya disguises herself and uses her gifts to fight the chaos that
threatens her home. When Kesali’s life is put in peril by the madness, Nadya will do anything to save her, even if it means risking all and revealing she is the one the city calls the Iron Phoenix.

 

 

draw the lineDraw the Line by Laurent Linn (ISBN-13: 9781481452809 Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books Publication date: 05/17/2016)

REVIEW HERE

After a hate crime occurs in his small Texas town, Adrian Piper must discover his own power, decide how to use it, and know where to draw the line in this stunning debut novel exquisitely illustrated by the author.

Adrian Piper is used to blending into the background. He may be a talented artist, a sci-fi geek, and gay, but at his Texas high school those traits would only bring him the worst kind of attention.

In fact, the only place he feels free to express himself is at his drawing table, crafting a secret world through his own Renaissance-art-inspired superhero, Graphite.

But in real life, when a shocking hate crime flips his world upside down, Adrian must decide what kind of person he wants to be. Maybe it’s time to not be so invisible after all—no matter how dangerous the risk.

 

withoutWithout Annette  by Jane B. Mason (ISBN-13: 9780545819954 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.Publication date: 05/31/2016)

REVIEW HERE

Josie Little has been looking forward to moving halfway across the country to attend Brookwood Academy, a prestigious boarding school, with her girlfriend, Annette, for ages. But underneath Brookwood’s picture-perfect image lies a crippling sense of elitism that begins to tear the girls apart from the moment they arrive.

While Josie struggles to navigate her new life, Annette seems to fit in perfectly. Yet that acceptance comes with more than a few strings. And consequently, Annette insists on keeping their relationship a secret.

At first, Josie agrees. But as Annette pushes her further and further away, Josie grows closer to Penn, a boy whose friendship and romantic feelings for her tangle her already-unraveling relationship. When Annette’s need for approval sets her on a devastating course for self-destruction, Josie isn’t sure she can save her this time-or if Annette even wants her to try.

 

art ofThe Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson (ISBN-13: 9780374302375 Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux Publication date: 05/31/2016)

REVIEW HERE

David Piper has always been an outsider. His parents think he’s gay. The school bully thinks he’s a freak. Only his two best friends know the real truth: David wants to be a girl.
On the first day at his new school Leo Denton has one goal: to be invisible. Attracting the attention of the most beautiful girl in his class is definitely not part of that plan. When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely friendship forms. But things are about to get messy. Because at Eden Park School secrets have a funny habit of not staying secret for long , and soon everyone knows that Leo used to be a girl.
As David prepares to come out to his family and transition into life as a girl and Leo wrestles with figuring out how to deal with people who try to define him through his history, they find in each other the friendship and support they need to navigate life as transgender teens as well as the courage to decide for themselves what normal really means.

 

frannieFrannie and Tru by Karen Hattrup (ISBN-13: 9780062410207 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 05/31/2016)

Perfect for fans of Prep and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Frannie and Tru is a dazzling YA debut about a transformative summer in the life of a girl whose idol is not what he seems.

Frannie has always idolized her cousin Tru. At seventeen, Tru is charismatic, rich, charming—everything fifteen-year-old Frannie wants to be, and everything she’s not. So when Frannie overhears her parents saying that after a bad coming-out experience Tru will be staying with them in Baltimore for the summer, Frannie is excited and desperate to impress him. But as Frannie gets swept up in Tru’s worldly way of life, she starts to worry that it may all be a mask Tru wears to hide a dark secret. And if Tru isn’t the person Frannie thought he was, what does that mean for the new life she has built with him?

Confronting issues of race, class, and sexuality, Karen Hattrup weaves a powerful coming-of-age story that’s at once timeless and immediate, sharply observed, and recognizable to anyone who has ever loved the idea of a person more than the reality.

 

June 2016

true lettersTrue Letters from a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan (ISBN-13: 9780062380258 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 06/07/2016)

REVIEW HERE

If you asked anyone in his small Vermont town, they’d tell you the facts: James Liddell, star athlete, decent student, and sort-of boyfriend to cute, peppy Theresa, is a happy, funny, carefree guy.

But whenever James sits down at his desk to write, he tells a different story. As he fills his drawers with letters to the people in his world—letters he never intends to send—he spills the truth: he’s trying hard, but he just isn’t into Theresa. It’s his friend, a boy, who lingers in his thoughts.

James’s secret letters are his safe space—but his truth can’t stay hidden for long. Will he come clean to his parents, his teammates, and himself, or is he destined to live a life of fiction?

This heartfelt debut novel explores the muddy landscape of truth and lies and lays bare the sometimes painful but often hopeful work of writing one’s own authentic story.

 

tumblingTumbling by Caela Carter (ISBN-13: 9780451473004 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 06/07/2016)

Work harder than anyone.
Be the most talented.
Sacrifice everything.
And if you’re lucky, maybe you will go to the Olympics.

Grace lives and breathes gymnastics—but no matter how hard she pushes herself, she can never be perfect enough.

Leigh, Grace’s best friend, has it all: a gymnastics career, a normal high-school life… and a secret that could ruin everything.

Camille wants to please her mom, wants to please her boyfriend, and most of all, wants to walk away.

Wilhelmina was denied her Olympic dream four years ago, and she won’t let anything stop her again. No matter what.

Monica is terrified. Nobody believes in her—and why should they?

By the end of the two days of the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials, some of these girls will be stars. Some will be going home with nothing. And all will have their lives changed forever.

 

you knowYou Know Me Well  by David Levithan and Nina LaCour (ISBN-13: 9781250098641 Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Publication date: 06/07/2016)

Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?

Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.

That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.

When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other — and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour, the award-winning author of Hold Still and The Disenchantments, and David Levithan, the best-selling author of Every Day and co-author of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn) and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green), You Know Me Well is a deeply honest story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.

 

jazzBeing Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings (ISBN-13: 9780399554643 Publisher: Random House Children’s Books Publication date: 06/07/2016)

Teen activist and trailblazer Jazz Jennings—named one of “The 25 Most Influential Teens” of the year by Time—shares her very public transgender journey, as she inspires people to accept the differences in others while they embrace their own truths.
 
Jazz Jennings is one of the youngest and most prominent voices in the national discussion about gender identity. At the age of five, Jazz transitioned to life as a girl, with the support of her parents. A year later, her parents allowed her to share her incredible journey in her first Barbara Walters interview, aired at a time when the public was much less knowledgeable or accepting of the transgender community. This groundbreaking interview was followed over the years by other high-profile interviews, a documentary, the launch of her YouTube channel, a picture book, and her own reality TV series—I Am Jazz—making her one of the most recognizable activists for transgender teens, children, and adults.

In her remarkable memoir, Jazz reflects on these very public experiences and how they have helped shape the mainstream attitude toward the transgender community. But it hasn’t all been easy. Jazz has faced many challenges, bullying, discrimination, and rejection, yet she perseveres as she educates others about her life as a transgender teen. Through it all, her family has been beside her on this journey, standing together against those who don’t understand the true meaning of tolerance and unconditional love. Now Jazz must learn to navigate the physical, social, and emotional upheavals of adolescence—particularly high school—complicated by the unique challenges of being a transgender teen. Making the journey from girl to woman is never easy—especially when you began your life in a boy’s body.

 

lookLook Both Ways by Alison Cherry (ISBN-13: 9780553511864 Publisher: Random House Children’s Books Publication date: 06/14/2016)

Thoughtful, funny, and steeped in the wild drama of growing up, Alison Cherry’s new novel is the story of a girl hoping she’s found a place to belong . . . only to learn that neither talent nor love is as straightforward as she thinks.

A summer away from the city is the beginning of everything for Brooklyn Shepard. Her theater apprenticeship at Allerdale is a chance to prove that she can carve out a niche all her own, surrounded by people who don’t know anything about her or her family of superstar performers.
Brooklyn immediately hits it off with her roommate, Zoe, and soon their friendship turns into something more. Brooklyn wants to see herself as someone who’s open to everything and everyone, but as her feelings for Zoe intensify, so do her doubts. She’s happier than she’s ever been—but is it because of her new relationship? Or is it because she’s finally discovering who she wants to be?

 

runRun by Kody Keplinger (ISBN-13: 9780545831130 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 06/28/2016)

Bo Dickinson is a girl with a wild reputation, a deadbeat dad, and a mama who’s not exactly sober most of the time. Everyone in town knows the Dickinsons are a bad lot, but Bo doesn’t care what anyone thinks.

Agnes Atwood has never gone on a date, never even stayed out past ten, and never broken any of her parents’ overbearing rules. Rules that are meant to protect their legally blind daughter — protect her from what, Agnes isn’t quite sure.

Despite everything, Bo and Agnes become best friends. And it’s the sort of friendship that runs truer and deeper than anything else.

So when Bo shows up in the middle of the night, with police sirens wailing in the distance, desperate to get out of town, Agnes doesn’t hesitate to take off with her. But running away and not getting caught will require stealing a car, tracking down Bo’s dad, staying ahead of the authorities, and-worst of all-confronting some ugly secrets.

Twin Cities Teen Lit Con

TCTLC2This past Saturday I got to spend the day hanging out at Twin Cities Teen Lit Con. I was asked to present two sessions on What to Read Next. The lineup they had was phenomenal. Check out the program, some pictures from my presentation, and some of the swag I got. My talk was about new and forthcoming YA that’s not to be missed, with an emphasis on diverse voices, LGBTQIA+ titles, and mental health issues. I had about 75ish attendees for each session. It was great to watch everyone taking notes or murmuring over summaries. All summaries on the slides are adapted from publishers’ descriptions of the titles. I had handouts with the reading list, #MHYALit handouts (with info about the project and suggested titles), and a ton of books, tshirts, bookmarks, postcards, and more generously donated by kind author friends to be used as raffle items. I went over summaries of the books and shared what I liked about a book, why it was a stand-out title, and if the author had past books that shouldn’t be missed. It was a fantastic day. Authors, you need to get in on this. And YA enthusiasts, you should attend next year. It was a blast.  A big thank you to Teen Lit Con for having me and congratulations on a successful event. For a lot more on the event, check out their Twitter @TeenLitCon and #TeenLitCon.

 

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Fall 2016 Roundup

IMG_7927One of the many really fun aspects of being part of Teen Librarian Toolbox is getting tons of books to consider for review. I try to mainly focus on books that deal with LGBTQIA+ characters, incorporate some kind of diversity, may fly under the radar, or are just exceptional books. I don’t spend a lot of time writing negative reviews unless it’s a book that is either really doing a disservice to a community/topic or is something that’s getting a lot of great press but my view differs. I figure we all have better things to do with our time than write about or read about a book that isn’t worth seeking out.

 

 

While I try to review a lot of the books that come my way, there are many that I get but choose not to review. I’d love to review everything, but between parenting, librarianing, TLTing and writing reviews for various journals, it’s just not possible. I end up passing all of the ARCs (both the ones I read and the ones I skip) along to my teen pals in the young adult book club and teen advisory board that I run through the public library. They then swap them back and forth and we talk about them in our meetings.

What follows are some titles from the 2016 Fall list from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers. All annotations here are via WorldCat, Goodreads, or the publisher.

 

And hey, guess what? Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is offering 2 copies of GIRL ON A PLANE by Miriam Moss to give away to our readers. Head on over to the Rafflecopter to enter. You can also tweet this post or follow me (@CiteSomething) to enter, too. Contest runs 4/7 to 4/14 and winners will be notified via email. US entries only, please. 

 

SeegerLet Your Voice Be Heard: The Life and Times of Pete Seeger by Anita Silvey (ISBN-13: 9780547330129 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 08/02/2016)

Pete Seeger, the iconic folk musician and multiple Grammy winner, discovered early in life that what he wanted to do was make music. His amazing career as singer, songwriter, and banjo player spanned seven decades, and included both low points (being charged with contempt of Congress) and highlights (receiving the Kennedy Center Honor from President Clinton). An activist and protester, Seeger crusaded for the rights of labor, the rights of people of color, and the First Amendment right to let his voice be heard, and launched the successful campaign to clean up the Hudson River. Archival photographs and prints, source notes, bibliography, index.

 

I-AM-DRUMS-R4I am Drums by Mike Grosso (ISBN-13: 9780544707108 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 09/06/2016)

Sam knows she wants to be a drummer. But she doesn’t know how to afford a drum kit, or why budget cuts end her school’s music program, or why her parents argue so much, or even how to explain her dream to other people.
But drums sound all the time in Sam’s head, and she’d do just about anything to play them out loud—even lie to her family if she has to. Will the cost of chasing her dream be too high?
An exciting new voice in contemporary middle grade, Mike Grosso creates a determined heroine readers will identify with and cheer for.

 

 

gutlessGutless by Cark Deuker (ISBN-13: 9780544649613 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date:09/06/2016)

With good speed and good hands, wide receiver Brock Ripley should be a natural for the varsity team, but he shies away from physical contact. He also avoids provoking the star quarterback, Hunter Gates, well known for his bullying tactics. Hunter struggles on the field, causing him to act even more like the bully he is, lashing out at not only Brock but also Brock’s friend, the quiet and smart Richie Fang. Brock wants to stand up for Fang, but he is younger, smaller, and doesn’t want to cause problems. But when the bullying goes too far, will Brock be able to face his fears and prove to himself that he is brave enough?

 

 

girl on a planeGirl on a Plane by Miriam Moss (ISBN-13: 9780544783997 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date:09/13/2016)

Bahrain, 1970.

After a summer spent with her family, fifteen-year-old Anna is flying back to boarding school in England when her plane is hijacked by Palestinian terrorists and taken to the Jordanian desert.
Demands are issued.   If they are not met, the terrorists will blow up the plane, killing all hostages. The heat becomes unbearable; food and water supplies dwindle.   All alone, Anna begins to face the possibility that she may never see her family again.

Inspired by true events in the author’s life, this is a story about ordinary people facing agonizing horror with courage and resilience. Includes Q&A with the author.

 

lost starsLost Stars by Lisa Selin Davis (ISBN-13: 9780544785069 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 10/04/2016)

Before her older sister, Ginny, died, Carrie was a science nerd, obsessively tracking her beloved Vira comet. But now that Ginny is gone, sixteen-year-old Carrie finds herself within the orbit of Ginny’s friends, a close-knit group of seniors who skip school, obsess over bands (not science), and party hard.
Fed up with Carrie’s behavior, her father enrolls her in a summer work camp at a local state park. Carrie actually likes the days spent in nature. And when she meets Dean, a guy who likes the real Carrie—astrophysics obsessions and all—she starts to get to the heart of who she is and who she wants to be.

 

 

girls like meGirls Like Me by Lola StVil (ISBN-13: 9780544706743 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 10/04/2016)

Fifteen-year-old Shay Summers is trying to cope with the death of her father, being overweight, and threats from a girl bully in school.  When she falls in love with Blake, a mysterious boy online, insecure Shay doesn’t want to tell him who she is.   But with the help of her two best friends, as well as an assist by Kermit and Miss Piggy, ultimately Shay and Blake’s love prevails.

     Girls Like Me is a fun and fresh poetic take on teen angst, social media and online anonymity, and high school romance.

 

 

hercufleasHercufleas by Sam Gayton (ISBN-13: 9780544636200 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 10/04/2016)

To protect her village from a giant, Greta recruits a champion: Hercufleas! He may be tiny, but this young flea is certain he’s destined for greatness. Being a hero is harder than it seems, though, and Hercufleas and Greta face unexpected choices—and consequences—in their desperate attempts to save the village, and each other.
Big heroes come in small packages in a superbly imagined tale that is part comedic adventure, part poignant coming-of-age epic, and wholly original.

 

 

 

speed of lifeSpeed of Life by J.M. Kelly (ISBN-13: 9780544747821 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 10/11/2016)

Twins Crystal and Amber have the same goal: to be the first in their family to graduate high school and make something of their lives. When one gets pregnant during their junior year, they promise to raise the baby together. It’s not easy, but between their after-school jobs, they’re scraping by.
Crystal’s grades catch the attention of the new guidance counselor, who tells her about a college that offers a degree in automotive restoration, perfect for the car buff she is. When she secretly applies—and gets in—new opportunities threaten their once-certain plans, and Crystal must make a choice: follow her dreams or stay behind and honor the promise she made to her sister.

 

 

isabellaIsabella for Real by Margie Palatini (ISBN-13: 9780544148468 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date:10/11/2016)

When Isabella Antonelli becomes an overnight YouTube sensation in a documentary detailing her REAL, non-royal Italian American family, she needs to figure out a way to tell everyone at her fancy new school the truth about her family—or come up with some better lies.
Brimming with offbeat humor, Isabella for Real sets the scene for an eccentric, multi-generational family drama that will have readers laughing out loud and giving Isabella’s performance a standing ovation.
florenceFlorence Nightingale: The Courageous Life of the Legendary Nurse by Catherine Reef (ISBN-13: 978-0544535800 Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publication date: 11/08/2016)

Most people know Florence Nightingale was a compassionate and legendary nurse, but they don’t know her full story. This riveting biography explores the exceptional life of a woman who defied the stifling conventions of Victorian society to pursue what was considered an undesirable vocation. She is best known for her work during the Crimean War, when she vastly improved gruesome and deadly conditions and made nightly rounds to visit patients, becoming known around the world as the Lady with the Lamp. Her tireless and inspiring work continued after the war, and her modern methods in nursing became the defining standards still used today. Includes notes, bibliography, and index.