Black lives matter at every age, and Ghost Boys is a view into the movement for middle-grade readers. Ghost Boys tells the story of a young Black boy shot by a white police officer. His ghost returns, seeking answers and peace, and can be seen only by the daughter of his shooter. They are joined by the ghost of Emmett Till, and the three voices alternate to tell a story of history, racism, and hopefully, a way forward.
An incredibly clever, beautifully written YA novel about first love, lost love, close friends, and complicated families, with a touch of time travel! Funny, heartbreaking, and honest, this is one of my FAVORITE new reads!
Wondering. Becoming. Testing boundaries, blurring lines. Small-town girl Nima stumbles into a community that shows her a new way to be her truest self. Drag kings, pixie poets, and a divine queen fairy godmother help Nima begin to heal her wounded heart, find her voice, and open up to the possibility of real love. And fabulous outfits.
You’ll root for Cat with all your heart as she navigates a summer with grandparents she’s only just met and a special needs brother to protect and care for. Tears and cheers for a lovely story with a young heroine learning what she needs.
A magnificent, dream-like journey through marriage, memory, war, loss, and love. This is Ishiguro at his lyrical best.
Anyone who has experienced and absorbed trauma of any kind should read this. Actually, EVERYONE should read this. This astonishing memoir in verse had me in tears from the eloquent, painful beauty and the huge, tiny, perfect lines that made me want to read them aloud to anyone who would listen.
In a vast sea of YA literature, there are some titles that make you sit up and pay close attention. This debut novel from Julia Drake is one of them. After a wild year of drinking, drugs, and sex, culminating in her brother Sam’s suicide attempt, 16-year-old Violet finds herself in the small Maine town founded by her mysterious, shipwreck-surviving ancestor. Trying to dim her charismatic light, Violet is intent on disappearing as best she can in an attempt to work through her roiling, guilt-ridden feelings about herself, her brother, and her family. Her disappearing act is thwarted by a group of friends who inadvertently help Violet find a way back to her passionate, creative self. Dealing with shades of grief, love, sexuality, mental illness, family, and forgiveness, Drake is unafraid of making her characters complicated and real, with staggering depth. This book is full of humor, longing, catharsis, and breath-catching moments that made me want to start over the moment I read the last page. It’s been quite a while since I read a book while walking around the house, bumping into things because I was so loath to put it down!
Perfect for fans of Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli, Mason Deaver's stunning debut will rip your heart out before showing you how to heal from tragedy and celebrate life in the process."Heartfelt, romantic, and quietly groundbreaking. This book will save lives." -- Becky Albertalli, New York Times bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
It's just three words: I am nonbinary. But that's all it takes to change everything.
When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they're thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents' rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school. But Ben's attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan's friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.
At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.
"A mighty portrait of poverty amid cruelty and optimism."―Kirkus (starred review)
Free Lunch is the story of Rex Ogle’s first semester in sixth grade. Rex and his baby brother often went hungry, wore secondhand clothes, and were short of school supplies, and Rex was on his school’s free lunch program. Grounded in the immediacy of physical hunger and the humiliation of having to announce it every day in the school lunch line, Rex’s is a compelling story of a more profound hunger―that of a child for his parents’ love and care. Compulsively readable, beautifully crafted, and authentically told with the voice and point of view of a 6th-grade kid, Free Lunch is a remarkable debut by a gifted storyteller.