Check out these exciting easy and fiction titles published in May. Happy reading!
ELEMENTARY PICTURE BOOKS
Abner & Ian Get Right-Side Up by Dave Eggers ill. by Laura Park). 9780316485869. Little, Brown. 2019. Gr PK-3.
Abner and Ian are excited about their first picture book, but there is a problem: they are stuck sideways on the page. The problem is made worse because Ian is dizzy and afraid of heights. But the reader can help! Just wiggle the book to shake Abner and Ian into their proper place at the bottom of the page. [Shake, shake] Oh no! Now they are hanging from the top of the page! Will the reader ever get the characters to their proper place?
Being Edie Is Hard Today by Ben Brashares & Elizabeth Bergeland. 9780316521741. Little, Brown. 2019. Gr PK-3.
Young Edie struggles with isolation and bullying at school, and to cope with her intense emotions, imagines herself and others as different animals.
Butterflies on the First Day of School by Annie Silvestro (ill. by Dream Chen). 9781454921196. Sterling. 2019. PK-2.
Rosie is excited to start kindergarten—until the night before her first day. Her mother tells her that she’s OK; she just has butterflies in her stomach. And at school, she is surprised to find other new students who feel the same way—and they are not the only ones!
Camp Tiger by Susan Choi (ill. by John Rocco). 9780399173295. Penguin. 2019. Gr K-1.
A family goes camping at the remote Mountain Pond and happen upon a talking tiger. The youngest boy, ruminating on starting first grade, finds strength in the tiger who leads the family through the woods on a grand adventure and helps the family connect.
Cyril and Pat by Emily Gravett. 9781534439504. Simon & Schuster. 2019. Gr PK-1.
Lonely Cyril the squirrel is the only one of his kind in Lake Park, until Pat shows up and becomes “his new best friend, a big gray…” However, Cyril doesn’t realize that Pat is not a squirrel like himself, but is actually a rat. But when a mother and son spill the beans, their friendship ends, because as everyone knows, “SQUIRRELS CAN’T BE FRIENDS WITH RATS!” But both are miserable apart, and Cyril decides he wants Pat as a friend, no matter what he is. Along with a lesson about prejudice, this book also makes a fun read-aloud.
Daniel’s Good Day by Micha Archer. 9780399546723. Nancy Paulsen Books. 2019. Gr PK-1.
Young Daniel walks through his neighborhood and contemplates the saying “have a good day” as he shares a poem about the beauty all around him and what makes people in his neighborhood happy.
Except When They Don’t by Laura Gehl (ill. by Joshua Heinsz). 9781499808049. Little Bee Books. 2019. Gr PK-3.
Boys wear blue and girls wear pink—except when they don’t. Girls play with dolls and boys play with trucks—except when they don’t. Encourage children to ignore gender stereotypes and be exactly who they are and do what they enjoy
Field Trip to the Moon by John Hare. 9780823442539. Margaret Ferguson Books. 2019. Gr PK-3.
In this wordless picture book, a girl accidentally misses the bus that’s taken her class to the moon, but the moon’s secret residents come out and help the girl color until the bus comes back to take the girl home.
The Fisherman and the Whale by Jessica Lanan. 9781534415744. Simon & Schuster. 2019. Gr PK-3.
A wordless picture book in which A fisherman finds a whale caught in fishing nets and sets it free in this wordless picture book. The author includes a note about the impact of today’s commercial fishing practices on the environment.
The Fox and the Box by Yvonne Ivinson. 9780062842879. Greenwillow. 2019. Gr PK-2.
Using minimal text, Ivinson tells the story of a fox with a great imagination who sets out to sail the ocean. With a mouse as a companion and using his tail as a rudder, Fox sets sail in a box just as clouds gather, and the resulting storm turns their small voyage into an adventure.
Hello by Fiona Woodcock. 9780062644565. Greenwillow. 2019. Gr PK-2.
Two siblings enjoy a day of adventure and surprise. Text consists of only a single double L word per page, with the two letters creatively illustrated. (By the author of Look.)
I Am a Wolf by Kelly Leigh Miller. 9780525553298. Penguin. 2019. Gr PK-1.
A tiny pup at an animal shelter insists that she is actually a wolf, that she is not cute and cuddly, and that she is just fine on her own. A small girl, however, understands how animals are when the feel afraid, and knows that kindness might help the pup feel less afraid and more like a dog than a wolf.
If I Was the Sunshine by Julie Fogliano (ill. by Loren Long). 9781481472432. Atheneum BYR. 2019. Gr PK-1.
Text and illustrations explore relationships and love through the connections in nature.
Jeannie Houdini : A Hamster’s Tale by Mary-Anne Stouck (ill. by Rebecca Evans). 9780940719408. Gryphon Press. 2019. Gr PK-2.
Though Jeannie the hamster belongs to twins Martina and Mateo, they don’t really like caring for her. Sophie, their little sister, loves Jeannie, and sets out to discover why and how the little rodent keeps escaping from her cage.
The Last Peach by Gus Gordon. 9781626723504. Roaring Brook Press. 2019. Gr PK-2.
Two indecisive bugs debate eating the last peach of the season, coming to the eventual conclusion that the fruit is too beautiful to devour.
Me, Toma and the Concrete Garden by Andrew Larsen & Anne Villeneuve. 9781771389174. Kids Can Press. 2019. Gr PK-2.
Vincent, staying with his aunt Mimi in the city for the summer, thinks the city is ugly, especially the empty dirt lot across the street. He is bored until he meets Toma, and when Aunt Mimi asks the boys to help her get rid of a box of dirt balls, their friendship blooms as they throw the balls into the empty lot. That’s not all that blooms, however; those balls were made of more than dirt. Soon shoots are popping up, flowers begin to bloom, and a community comes together to care for the new garden.
My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero (ill. by Zeke Pena). 9780525553410. Kokla. 2019. Gr PK-3.
Daisy eagerly awaits her nightly motorcycle ride with her father. As they ride through their California town, Daisy takes in the sights, sounds, and smells of her ever-changing immigrant neighborhood, and relishes in the love of her hardworking father and memories of home.
My Shoes and I : Crossing Three Borders = Mis Zapatos y Yo : Cruzando tres fronteras by Rene Colato Lainez (ill. by Fabricio Vanden Broeck). 9781558858848. Pinata Books. 2019. Gr K-2.
René is overjoyed to get a new pair of shoes from his mother in America. He and Papa escape the violence in El Salvador and begin walking from El Salvador through Guatemala and Mexico, René finds comfort in his new shoes even as they grow scuffed and dirty and worn. He is exhausted but focuses on his shoes until they can meet Mamá across the border.
Out There by Tom Sullivan. 9780062854490. Balzer + Bray. 2019. Gr PK-2.
Two children contemplate outer space and wonder what kind of beings live in the stars. Are they fearsome and dangerous, or are they like us, just living their lives on a remote planet? Readers are encouraged to show empathy and an awareness of the differences of others.
Papa Put a Man on the Moon by Kristy Dempsey (ill. by Sarah Green). 9780735230743. Penguin. 2019. Gr PK-3.
Most stories about Apollo 11 focus on the astronauts, but they weren’t the only ones that made the moon landing a success. In this one, a daughter is proud of her father’s part in putting a man on the moon; he weaves fabric that will become one of the layers in the astronauts’ space suits.
Red Light, Green Lion by Candace Ryan & Jennifer Yerkes. 9781525300158. Kids Can Press. 2019. Gr PK-2.
Modeled after the game Red Light, Green Light, a green lion waits for the red traffic light to change, and with each subsequent page is met by an unusual occurrence involving unexpected words beginning with “li-” After a grand adventure, and a massive storm, the green lion finally gets the green light.
Sea Glass Summer by Michelle Houts (ill. by Bagram Ibatoulline). 9780763684433. Candlewick Press. 2019. Gr PK-2.
Thomas visits his grandmother at her seaside cottage. She gives him a magnifying glass to use while exploring the beach. He is stunned by all the patterns and colors he finds there, especially transfixed when his grandmother shows him sea glass. For the duration of summer, Thomas looks for more sea glass, imagining elaborate explanations for its origin.
What Kind of Car Does a T. Rex Drive? by Mark Lee & Brian Biggs. 9781524741235. Penguin. 2019. Gr PK-2.
Uncle Otto has no idea what kind of car a stegosaurus should get-or a pterodactyl or a triceratops either. But Ava and Mickey know a lot about dinosaurs, and they are able to help each customer find the perfect car. But what about the T. Rex?
ELEMENTARY CHAPTER BOOKS & FICTION
All the Ways Home by Elsie Chapman. 9781250166791. Feiwel & Firends. 2019. Gr 4-6.
After his mother died, Kaede Hirano now lives with his grandfather, who is practically a stranger. Kaede has been having problems in school and might have to repeat seventh grade. He is given a summer assignment to write about what home means to him, which will be even harder since he will be spending the summer in Japan with his estranged father and older half-brother.
Dream Within a Dream by Patricia MacLachlan. 9781534429598. Margaret K. McElderry Books. 2019. Gr 4-6.
Louisa is forced to stay with her grandparents on their Deer Island farm, but as an aspiring writer, wishes she could be with her globetrotting ornithographer parents for actual inspiration rather than the boring farm. But then she meets George, an imaginative boy, who helps see what’s right in front of her in a whole new light.
Finding Orion by John David Anderson. 9780062643896. Walden Pond Press. 2019. Gr 4-6.
Ron Kwirk feels like the odd one in his family because he is the only one in his family who is NOT odd. The oddest one of all is his grandfather, Papa Kwirk. So when they receive news that Papa Kwirk has died, the whole family piles in the car to go to the funeral. But like his grandfather, the funeral is anything but normal, leading them on an adventure that will teach Ron some very unexpected things about his family.
Jaclyn Hyde by Annabeth Bondor-Stone & Connor White. 9780062671455. Harpercollins. 2019. Gr 4-6.
Jaclyn discovers a perfection potion in an abandoned laboratory and decides that though she almost never makes mistakes, she can never be perfect enough. Unfortunately, the potion turns her into Jackie, a monster who does whatever it takes to win, even hurt those closest to her. Jaclyn must now find a way to stop her alter-ego even if she has to admit she’s not perfect.
Juana & Lucas : Big Problems (Juana & Lucas, Book 2) by Juana Medina. 9781536201314. Candlewick Press. 2019. Gr 1-3.
Juana believes she has nearly the perfect life with her mother and dog in the city of Bogotá. However, Juana isn’t overly fond of how things are changing, such as her mother spending more time with her friend Luis. And even though Luis is nice, Juana wishes things could go back to how they were. When her mother announces that she and Luis are getting married and the whole family is moving. Juana is devastated, but soon learns that not everything is changing, such as how much her mother loves her.
Just Jaime by Terri Libenson. 9780062851079. Balzer + Bray. 2019. Gr 4-6.
On the last day of seventh grade, Maya gets nominated by the mean, popular girl to inform Maya’s BFF, Jaime, that she is being kicked out of their friend group. Eager to please, Maya agrees. Jaime, sensing something is wrong with Maya spends an awkward day wondering why her friends are ostracizing her. The two girls go through the day and Jaime discovers a new, more supportive group, and Maya realizes how she doesn’t want to be pushed around by mean girls.
Just South of Home by Karen Strong. 9781534419384. Simon & Schuster. 2019. Gr 4-6.
Sarah is disappointed to lose her carefree summer when her younger cousin, Janie, travels to visit Sarah in her small Georgia town. One night, Janie steals a necklace from the ruins of an old church once burned out by the Klan. The theft disturbs the spirits living in the woods, and Sarah, Janie, her brainy brother Ellis, and his best friend, Jasper, travel deep into the woods during the Witching Hour to communicate with the spirits and restore peace. Meanwhile, the town struggles with the dark, deep-seated history of their community and their own prejudice
Knights vs. Monsters by Matt Phelan. 9780062686268. Greenwillow. 2019. Gr 3-6.
Having defeated dinosaurs in their first book, the Knights of the Round Table are magically sent to Scotland to do battle with evil Queen Morgause and her monsters.
Me and Sam-Sam Handle the Apocalypse by Susan Vaught. 9781534425019. Simon & Schuster. 2019. Gr 4-6.
Autistic middle-schooler Jesse witnesses the arrest of her father for allegedly stealing money from the library fund. Convinced of his innocence, Jesse recruits her one and only friend, Springer, to investigate. Jesse begins to think that she’s not cut out for crime fighting since she will sometimes “get stuck on lots of stuff. When a tornado hits the town, Jesse finally thinks she can show people what she’s made of, and maybe even help her father at the same time.
Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga. 9780062747808. Balzer + Bray. 2019. Gr 3-6.
When violence erupts in her seaside home in Syria, young Jude and her mother flee and go to stay with family in America. Though she’s seen American movies, Jude doesn’t feel prepared for the loud, fast lifestyle that Americans lead, nor is she prepared for starting a new school with the label of Middle Easterner. But Jude soon meets new friends, enjoys her family, and just might try out for the school musical.
Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai. 9781250314093. Henry Holt. 2019. Gr 3-6.
To cope with his new life as an immigrant in Australia, Jingwen and his little brother Yanghao decide to bake every cake that his now-deceased father had planned for their new family bakery. The problem? Jingwen’s mother will not let him use the oven while she’s at work. Undeterred, the two boys go ahead with the baking and come up with elaborate excuses to keep it secret from their mother.
Planet Earth Is Blue by Nicole Panteleakos. 9780525646570. Wendy Lamb Books. 2019. Gr 4-6.
In 1986, Nova Vezina, autistic and nearly nonverbal, is on her eleventh foster home in seven years, but is now starting to enjoy school and make friends without the help of her big sister, Bridget, who understands Nova better than anyone. Nova is excited about the upcoming Challenger launch, which Bridget promised to watch with her, and she is literally counting down the days.
Shipwreckers : The Curse of the Cursed Temple of Curses by Scott Peterson & Joshua Pruett. 9781368008471. Disney-Hyperion. 2019. Gr 4-6.
On a family vacation on the Amazon, book-loving Mike must try to keep his thrill-seeking younger sister Dani out of trouble. It doesn’t help that they get caught up with Capt. Kevin Adventureson who is searching for treasure. Give this to readers who like puns, bad jokes, and swash-buckling adventures.
Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. 9780399175152. Nancy Paulsen Books. 2019. Gr 4-6.
Delsie loves tracking the weather, living with her grandmother, and the support of friends and neighbors, but misses having a “regular family,” especially after her best friend outgrows her.
Spark by Sarah Beth Durst. 9781328973429. Clarion. 2019. Gr 4-7.
Storm beasts and their human guardians control the weather on Alorria, and ensure that the climate is productive and safe. Mina’s weather beast is a lightning dragon, which typically requires a “brash and loud and brave” guardian, but the quiet Mina and the beast form an immediate bond. Training at the academy, she learns about the price to be paid for controlling the weather—a secret the most powerful in her world will do anything to protect. Along with a group of young guardians, Mina defies authority to reveal the truth to the world.
Super Jake & the King of Chaos by Naomi Milliner. 9780762466153. Running Press Kids. 2019. Gr 4-6.
Ethan learns magic as a way of escaping the constant attention his parents pay to his disabled younger brother, Jake. When Ethan learns about a magic contest where the top prize is a chance to meet his hero, Ethan is determined to compete. He makes it to the final five, but then his brother gets very sick. Ethan hopes magic could cure his brother, but learns Jake has the real magic of the family.
The Unbelievable Oliver and the Four Jokers by Pseudonymous Bosch. 9780525552321. Penguin. 2019. Gr 2-4.
Despite a bad case of stage fright, Oliver wants to become a professional magician. When his friends get him a job (paid!) at a kid’s birthday party, he hopes to find something at the Magic Emporium to help. Unfortunately, all he could find was a moth-eaten top hat. Fortunately, hiding inside the hat is Benny, a wisecracking rabbit, who agrees to help. Unfortunately, the birthday boy’s favorite present is stolen at the party, and Oliver and his friends are blamed. Will they be able to solve the mystery?
A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Parry. 9780062895936. Greenwillow. 2019. Gr 4-6.
Swift, a young wolf, is left alone when a rival wolf pack destroys his own pack. Injured, he sets out on his own to find a new home, crossing into unfamiliar terrain where he encounters a giant world he never knew existed. As he reaches new mountains, Swift revels in the new scents and sight and renames himself Wander.
MIDDLE SCHOOL FICTION
Girl of the Southern Sea by Michelle Kadarusman. 9781772780819. Pajama Press. 2019. Gr 5-8.
Nia lives in a slum in Jakarta with her little brother and alcoholic father. She wants to continue her education, but she has to watch her brother, clean their house, and earn money. There is no extra money for school fees and supplies. When Nia survives a minibus crash, her community thinks it was a miracle. She tries to use this to her advantage, though she knows that is not what the heroine from her favorite folktale would have done.
Hurricane Season by Nicole Melleby. 9781616209063. Algonquin. 2019. Gr 5-7.
Fig tries to connect with her artistic, bipolar father, after her art teacher calls social services when her father wanders into school looking for Fig. She researches the artist Van Gogh to try to understand the links between mental illness and creativity. Her new neighbor, Mark, understands more than Fig does about the issues beyond bipolar disorder that plague her father. Fig suffers drama at school too as she deals with a boy who likes her and the girl she has a crush on.
A Kind of Paradise by Amy Rebecca Tan. 9780062795410. Harpercollins. 2019. Gr 4-7.
Because of a mistake she made in school, Jamie is assigned community service at the local public library for the summer—and she has to write a letter of apology to her crush, Trey. As her punishment becomes pleasure, Jaimie thinks back to what led up to her mistake and gains a connection to the regulars at the library.
A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata. 9781481446648. Caitlyn Dlouhy Books. 2019. Gr 5-8.
Devastated by their treatment in the internment camps, a Japanese American family is coerced to renounce their American citizenship and go back to Japan. Hanako feels the loss deeply as America is the only home she’s known. When they arrive in Japan, they seek out her grandparents who live near Hiroshima, which is completely destroyed and starving. As they struggle to survive, Hanako’s father teaches her about the tradition of kintsukuroi, which involves fixing broken things with a strengthening golden lacquer. Hanako wants to find her own gold to strengthen her family and new country.
Stone River Crossing by Tim Tingle. 9781620148235. Tu Books. 2019. Gr 5-8.
Martha Tom, a Choctaw girl, crosses the Bok Chitto river to harvest blackberries knowing that the other side is controlled by a slave-owning plantation; if she is captured, she will become a slave herself. When a young slave boy named Lil Mo tells her that his family is about to be sold, Martha shows the family how to cross the river to freedom. As the new family settles in the Choctaw town, Lil Mo eagerly adapts, while facing the dangers of the plantation’s henchmen and a supernatural owl.
Time Sight by Lynne Jonell. 9781250117670. Henry Holt. 2019. Gr 4-7.
A family emergency overseas sends twelve-year-old Will and five-year-old Jamie to live with family in Scotland. Using a “magic eye” book to entertain his brother, Will discovers that he has the ability to look into the past. Jamie, in an impetuous move, accidentally jumps into the past, leaving Will and their cousin, Nan, to follow the young boy. While he jumps from the Middle Ages to ancient Rome, he learns about cruelty, love, and bravery, as each jump into the history brings him more danger.
Up for Air by L.aurie Morrison. 9781419733666. Amulet Books. 2019. Gr 5-8.
With her learning disability, Annabelle struggles in school despite a painstaking tutoring schedule. She excels, however, at swimming, and when she’s asked to try out for the high school swim team, she is ecstatic. But as she meets new high school-age friends, including the flirtatious Connor, Annabelle begins blowing off not only her tutoring but her old friends as well. And when a prank goes wrong, she turns to an unlikely ally.
The Usual Suspects by Maruice Broadus. 9780062796318. Katherine Tegen Books. 2019. Gr 5-8.
Two black boys, Thelonius and Nehemiah, are notorious pranksters who feel abandoned in their special ed class. Thelonius especially feels overly-labeled by the adults around him and is tired of adults trying to fix him and not recognize his gifts. When the boys find a gun near their typical hangout, they are worried they will be blamed, so they work out the mystery of its existence before someone adds the labels “criminal” or “snitch” to their litany of others.
Zenobia July by Lisa Bunker. 9780451479402. Penguin. 2019. Gr 5-8.
Zenobia has moved from Arizona where she lived with her father and is living in Maine with her aunts, and wants to start a new life. Instead of improving her coding and hacking skills on the computer, she is making new friends. And she is able to live openly as a girl for the first time. But when hateful memes are posted on the school’s website, Zenobia knows she has the skills to locate and identify the culprit, but is worried how her new community will react.
HIGH SCHOOL FICTION
Again, But Better by Christine Riccio. 9781250299253. Wednesday Books. 2019. Gr 9-12.
Shane is so wrapped up in college success that she forgot to have a social life, and as her collegiate life winds down, she knows she has to make a change. She signs up for a semester in London where she can hopefully get a jump start on making friends, and possibly find love. But life outside her bubble proves more difficult than she could’ve imagined and the new life she wants for herself begins to unravel.
All Our Broken Pieces by L.D. Crichton. 9781368023962. Disney-Hyperion. 2019. Gr 9-12.
Musically gifted Kyler and his new neighbor Lennon, who is crippled by her OCD, discover that the strength to survive, live, and love can be found in unexpected places.
Amelia Westlake Was Never Here by Erin Gough. 9780316450669. Poppy. 2019. Gr 9-12.
When the male swim coach at their elite, all-girl school is seen sexually harassing the students, the institution covers it up. Harriet, a star student and prefect and Will, a rebellious troublemaker join up and create a fictional student, Amelia Westlake, to begin posting student newspaper columns denouncing the school’s complicity. As the rebellion grows, and more and more attention is given to who Amelia Westlake is, the series of pranks to shed light on injustice grows out of the two girl’s control, and they must decide how far they’re willing to further the legend of Amelia. Through it all, the two find their feelings for each other growing.
Aurora Rising (Aurora Cycle, Book 1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff. 9781524720964. Knopf Books. 2019. Gr 9-12.
In 2380, Tyler, the top graduate of Aurora Academy, is left with the bottom dregs of recruits after a misguided heroic act causes him to miss the Draft. The six misfits go on their first mission as members of the Aurora Legion, an interplanetary peacekeeping coalition, but soon learn they have a stowaway—a cryogenically frozen girl named Aurora, who’s been asleep for over 200 years. But the recently awakened Auri might be the catalyst for an intergalactic war millions of years in the making, and the motley crew of losers and degenerates might be the galaxy’s only hope.
The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad. 9781338306040. Scholastic. 2019. Gr 9-12.
When Noor was attacked by a tribe of dangerous djinn, only three humans, including Fatima, survived the massacre. As a result, Maharajah Arjun asks the Ifrit, the djinn of order and reason, for help protecting the city, and now, Arjun’s son, Maharajah Aarush, rules the city in peace. Then a powerful Ifrit dies and Fatima changes dramatically, discovering she has the power of the djinn inside her. As she struggles with her new identity, she must find a way to protect her friends and family as a civil war threatens.
Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen. 9781250317728. Tor Teen. 2019. Gr 9-12.
The newly elected Empire senator, Lucius Cassius, captures Teriana, the sea-faring heir to the Maarin Tiumvirate, and Marcus, the commander of the feared Thirty-Seventh legion, and blackmails them to find and help conquer the Dark Shores—a place once only thought to be legend. The pair become unwilling partners in a quest not of their choosing, and each is hiding their own devastating secret.
Deposing Nathan by Zack Smedley. 9781624147357. Page Street Kids. 2019. Gr 9-12.
In his deposition, Nate describes how he met Cam in eleventh-grade biology class and quickly formed an intimate connection, as a friendship based on shared life experience and turmoil became physical. As they grew more enmeshed in each other’s lives, tensions also grew as pressures from Nate’s family, his girlfriend, his own Catholic guilt, and questions over his bisexuality. When a fistfight got out of hand, Cam stabbed Nate, and while Cam is in jail, Nate now tells his side of a story more complex than a simple fight.
Fake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen. 9781250308016. Swoon Reads. 2019. Gr 8-12.
Mia and Jake have practically grown up together, because their moms are best friends who think the teens would make a perfect couple. But Mia and Jake would prefer almost anyone else than the other. Fed up, they come up with a plan: they will pretend to date and then will have such a loud and spectacular break up that their mothers will leave them alone. But like most plans, theirs doesn’t work out as expected.
How It Feels to Float by Helena Fox. 9780525554295. Penguin. 2019. Gr 9-12.
Biz finds comfort in the constant hallucination of her father who died ten years earlier. He talks to her about childhood memories and helps her when she seems to spiral out of control. Though he helps her, she doesn’t tell anyone about him even though she has come to rely on his presence. When an incident triggers her undiagnosed PTSD, Biz spirals, but her father has disappeared.
Keep This to Yourself by Tom Ryan. 9780807541517. Albert Whitman. 2019. Gr 9-12.
Mac struggles to move on after a serial killer, dubbed the Catalog Killer, terrorized his oceanside town of Camera Cove. The last victim was Connor, Mac’s best friend, for whom Mac carried unspoken feelings. When Mac discovers a cryptic note left by Connor, he knows he cannot find closure until he finds the person responsible. He begins investigating, soon joined by the cousin of another victim, and what he finds isn’t the drifting killer the police assumed the man to be, but someone much closer than anyone could’ve imagined.
Last Things by Jacqueline West. 9780062875068. Greenwillow. 2019. Gr 8-12.
Anders seems to have it all. As a high school senior, his band is on the verge of going big-time, and he’s got the fans to go with the steady rise to the top. One fan, Thea, who is new to Anders small, northern Minnesota town, seems to be wherever Anders goes. He can’t decide if there’s something sinister going on as strange things begin to happen to him. And all of it is connected to one night in the woods that neither Anders nor Thea really want to admit could have as much power over their lives as it actually does.
Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson. 9780062840325. Katherine Tegen Books. 2019. Gr 8-12.
Teens Quadir and Jarrell know that their recently murdered friend, Steph, was a genius rapper and feel bad his rhymes are stuck underneath the bed in the form of mixtapes. With the help of Steph’s younger sister, Jasmine, they decide to market Steph’s rhymes as a new, up-and-coming—yet completely fictional—rapper. Soon, the music is in hot demand by record producers, and the trio is forced to reconcile Steph’s death with his music; while trying to continue the charade, they discover the identity of Steph’s murderer. As it turns out, all three have secrets of their own.
The Lost Coast by Amy Rose Capetta. 9781536200966. Candlewick Press. 2019. Gr 9-12.
Four racially diverse, queer, fledgling witches calling themselves the Grays cast a spell that brings them Danny, a young witch who can help the group find their missing friend—and powerful witch—Imogen. In the forests of Northern California, the five learn that something deadly is in the forest and that only by using each of their unique skills can they hope to save Imogen.
Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali. 9781534442726. Salaam Reads. 2019. Gr 9-12.
Muslim high school student Zayneb gets suspended for confronting her teacher about his anti-Muslim prejudice, a move that also gets her friends in trouble. She decides to take a few extra days for spring break in Doha, Qatar. Meanwhile, freshly coping with his mother’s death, Adam also struggles with his new multiple sclerosis diagnosis, an illness he tries to keep secret from his grieving father. The two meet and fall in love, each struggling to cope with their own truths.
The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. 9781484776209. Freeform. 2019. Gr 7-12.
Kira doesn’t remember how long she was alone in the woods, but she does remember when Cady Bennett and her dog found her. Now adopted by the Bennetts, she has trouble interacting with people, but is great with the family’s search-and-rescue dogs. She and two other teens are learning to train these elite canines. When a child goes missing in the Sierra Glades National Forest, the teens find themselves helping in the search. And in the woods, when Kira’s memories start to come back, she learns that there is more involved than just a single lost child.
The Missing Season by Gillian French. 9780062803337. Harperteen. 2019. Gr 9-12.
New in the town of Pender, Clara meets a motley collection of friends who tell her of a monster in the marshes who steal trouble-making children—an explanation for unsolved disappearances over the last few decades. While Clara is hesitant to believe in monsters, as Halloween approaches, she does get the feeling that something evil and dangerous is lurking in Pender, and that she might be the trouble-making kid who will be the monster’s next victim.
On a Scale of One to Ten by Ceylan Scott. 9781338323764. Chicken House. 2019. Gr 9-12.
Tamar did not go through with her part in a suicide pact with her best friend, Iris. Now feeling overwhelming guilt that she might have murdered her friend, Tamar is admitted into a psychiatric hospital for teenagers. While there, she learns from the other patients and begins to carve out a path towards forgiveness and healing.
Road Tripped by Pete Hautman. 9781534405905. Simon & Schuster. 2019. Gr 9-12.
After his father’s suicide and getting ghosted by his girlfriend, Stiggy steals his detached mother’s credit card and a handful of cash and drives his father’s Mustang out of his Minnesota suburb to run from his problems. He soon learns that freedom doesn’t offer him peace, and through a series of unfortunate but enlightening encounters, Stiggy begins to learn some truths about himself.
Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly. 9781338268461. Scholastic. 2019. Gr 10-12.
“Ugly” stepsister Isabelle has already cut off her toes in an attempt to fit in the glass slipper, and now lives in exile after the town turned their backs on her family and its abusive matriarch. Isabelle prefers riding horses and swordplay to more lady-like princess activities. When she is offered a chance at redemption, she finds herself at the center of a battle between France and an evil warlord.
There’s Something about Sweetie by Shandhya Menon. 9781534416789. Simon Pulse. 2019. Gr 8-12.
After a particularly bad break up, Ashish agrees to have his parents set up a match. They come up with a contract that promises, among other things, that he will date only an Indian American girl. Meanwhile, Sweetie Nair is a star athlete, straight-A student, and talented singer, and also happens to be heavy. When Ashish’s mother approaches Sweetie’s mother about the contract, her mother declines because of Sweetie’s weight. To prove what she’s really made of, she begins a secret relationship with Ashish.
The Things She’s Seen by Ambelin & Ezekiel Kwaymullina. 9781984848789. Knopf BYR. 2019. Gr 9-12.
Beth dies in an accident but returns as a spirit that only her grief-stricken father can see. Desperate to get him out among the land of the living, Beth comes across a mystery that could reignite the old passion in the detective. The two travel to a remote Australian town to investigate a suspicious fire, with the only witness being an unreliable girl who speaks in riddles. As Beth and her father unwrap the mystery, they learning shocking truths about the small town.
We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra. 9780316524650. Little, Brown. 2019. Gr 10-12.
As part of a high school English assignment, artistic sophomore Jonathan and popular senior Adam are paired together as pen-pals. As they share their weekly letters, an unlikely friendship develops that slowly turns into something more. As they face their growing feelings for one another, they also contend with a high school culture of bullying, homophobia, and toxic masculinity, not to mention family secrets that will all challenge their burgeoning romance.
We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, Book 1) by Jafsah Faizal. 9780374311544. Farrar Straus Giroux. 2019. Gr 9-12.
The cursed forest of the Arz is engulfing the land in evil, and Zafira, the Hunter, must journey there to retrieve an ancient artifact that could restore magic to her people and fend off the Arz. However, to legitimize her efforts, she is forced to disguise herself as a man. Meanwhile, Nasir, the Prince of Death, is also tasked by his father the sultan with finding the artifact and killing the Hunter. As Nasir and Zafira race to beat each other to the powerful object, they learn that the magic is far more powerful and deadly than they both realized, and that though they are both legends, they only want to protect their people and true identity.
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo. 9780062662835. Harperteen. 2019. Gr 8-12.
Bi-racial high school senior Emoni balances school with her job and raising her two-year-old daughter in Philadelphia. Her supportive abuela helps develop Emoni’s love of cooking, but Emoni also knows that to pursue culinary school is impossible. Despite the challenges, she has no choice but to follow her passion.