American Street
young adult
American Street written by Ibi Zoboi

Fabiola Toussaint, with her mother is on her way from Haiti to Detroit to start a new life with her aunt and cousins. But her mother is detained by ICE in NYC. Fabiola carries on to Detroit and finds that her aunt—at one time in control of the extended family--is now disabled. Chantal, the eldest, is wise but she’s only about 20. The twins are still in high school, where Fabiola joins them, falls in love and . . .

Genuine Fraud
young adult
Genuine Fraud written by E. Lockhart

Through Jule’s eyes we see her relationship with fellow orphan Imogen. Imogen is rich, Jule is poor. Both are pretty. They’re living a jet-setting life that few of us will ever know. Both are powerful—Imogen is charismatic, Jule has extreme athletic prowess. The book starts at the end and works to the beginning.

Forest World
middle grade
Forest World written by Margarita Engle

Sister and brother meet as pre-teens in Cuba, after being separated for ten years by 90 miles of ocean and laws restricting travel. American Edver (originally verde or green) is sent to Cuba for the summer to live with his father, grandfather, and his sister Luza (originally azul or blue), who he didn’t know existed. Told in verse, Engle explores opposing cultures, technologies in this eco-adventure.

If I Was Your Girl
young adult
If I Was Your Girl written by Meredith Russo

Amanda keeps a huge secret that endangers her life—she used to be Andrew. She was born a boy and has transitioned to being a girl. She needs a fresh start so she moves from Georgia to Tennessee to live with her father—but it’s still in the South. If that’s not dangerous enough, a football player, Grant, at her new school is falling in love with her—and she with him. How will her secret be revealed?

Time For Bed With Ford And Red
picture book
Time For Bed With Ford And Red written by Jacqueline Leigh | illustrated by Mackenzie Fink

How can a bedtime tale be soothing, fun, and exciting all at the same time? Jacqueline Leigh pulls it off in her beautifully crafted debut picture book, Time for Bed with Ford and Red.

The Bitter Side of Sweet
young adult
The Bitter Side of Sweet written by Tara Sullivan

Where does your chocolate come from? Where do the cacao pods grow? Who harvests it, ferments it, transports it? Why is there “fair trade” cacao? This suspenseful story about young people from Mali and Ivory Coast—teens who are kidnapped into slavery explains a lot and might change what chocolate you do eat.

Exit, Pursued by a Bear
young adult
Exit, Pursued by a Bear written by E.K. Johnston

Hermione is raped, but she won’t be a victim. She doesn’t want people looking at her thinking, Oh, that poor girl. She isn’t going to let this stop her from finishing school—but this year, her senior year, was supposed to be her best ever. She’s co-captain of the cheerleading squad along with her best friend Polly, who is a dream-of-a best friend. Thank heavens.

From Ant to Eagle
young adult
From Ant to Eagle written by Alex Lyttle

How Calvin handles a move to the country, an annoying little brother who gets very sick, a new friend who won’t talk about her mother and all the other things an eleven-year-old has to contend with makes this an engaging read. Calvin learns a lot about himself and his relationships while he struggles to deal with the realities of life.

The Hate U Give
young adult
The Hate U Give written by Angie Thomas

Starr Carter lives in the black ghetto of Garden Heights but goes to private Williamson High School in a very white suburb. Her being is split between the be-careful-to-show the right Williamson Starr and the slangy ghetto Starr. Her life implodes when her best friend Khalil is shot by a cop.

Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time
young adult
Girl Rising: Changing the World One Girl at a Time written by Tanya Lee Stone

Interested in changing the world? Get to know these indomitable girls in third world countries. Learn about their cultures. Marvel at how they overcome child marriages, sometimes with the help of a brother. Be awed by their desire for equality, for their will to be educated. Enjoy the many full color photographs that accompany each of the girls’ stories. Become an activist.

Henry and the Chalk Dragon
middle grade
Henry and the Chalk Dragon written by Jennifer Trafton | illustrated by Benjamin Schipper

Henry, a young boy with an active imagination, draws a chalk dragon on his closet door; when the dragon comes to life and wreaks havoc at his school, Henry has to join forces with his best friend – and get past their disagreements – to get things back to normal.

Dreamland Burning
young adult
Dreamland Burning written by Jennifer Latham

Set in the 1921 Tulsa race riots we follow 17 year old Will who is part Osage Indian and part white, alternating with 17 year old Rowan Chase who is the privileged daughter of a white father and black attorney mother in contemporary Tulsa. Rowan solves the mystery of a 1921 murder that begins in the “back house” of her spiffy home. The reader sees racism of today as well as that of 1921.