2018

January
I Believe In A Thing Called Love
young adult
I Believe In A Thing Called Love written by Maurene Goo

Smart nerdy Desi wants a boyfriend so she analyzes Korean soap operas to find a path to success. In this funny romance, the steps include “Be Caught in an Obviously Lopsided Love Triangle” and “Prove That You Are Different from All Other Women—IN THE ENTIRE WORLD” and “Reveal Your Vulnerabilities in a Heartbreaking Manner.” Author Goo both honors and deconstructs formulaic romance stories.

Far From The Tree
young adult
Far From The Tree written by Robin Benway

The 2017 National Book Award Winner for Young Readers is a story of three teens, told by the three teens—Grace, Maya, and Joaquin. They each live in a different family, they know they’re adopted, but only Grace knows she has siblings. Grace sets out to find her siblings, and possibly their mother in this honest story of love and family.

2017

November
One Leaf, Two Leaves, Count with Me!
picture book
One Leaf, Two Leaves, Count with Me! written by John Micklols Jr. | illustrated by Clive McFarland

In this delightful introduction to counting, a young boy rejoices in the living treasures of his own front yard - and it might just make you want to rake a pile of leaves and jump in, too!

What Girls Are Made Of
young adult
What Girls Are Made Of written by Elana K. Arnold

Sugar and spice and all things nice? Wrong. This is a gritty novel showing the erasure of women. Nina’s mother says there’s no such things as unconditional love. Nina’s mother is an art historian specializing in Renaissance virgin saints. This underlies Nina’s experience.

October
You Bring the Distant Near
young adult
You Bring the Distant Near written by Mitali Perkins

Sisterhood, romance, immigration, assimilation from India, Ghana, London, New York—five women of three generations come of age.

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.

September
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.

July
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.

May
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.