Click on the book cover image for each book to go to the book in our PAUSD Middle School Sora ebook collection. You will need your PAUSD library card number, printed on your student ID card, to access these books.
Love from A to Z
Muslim teens with a shared passion for a 13th-century Islamic text and a shared conundrum: “How do you meet that one exact person who’s right for you?” On a plane to Doha, Qatar, outspoken Indiana high-school senior Zayneb feels an instant, mutual connection with Adam, an artist who has just dropped out of university in London after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, the same illness that caused his mother’s death. When Zayneb’s aunt turns out to be Adam’s former teacher, the teens find themselves thrown together socially.
The Canyon’s Edge
One year after a random shooting changed their family forever, Nora and her father are exploring a slot canyon deep in the Arizona desert, hoping it will help them find peace. Nora longs for things to go back to normal, like they were when her mother was still alive, while her father keeps them isolated in fear of other people. But when they reach the bottom of the canyon, the unthinkable happens: A flash flood rips across their path, sweeping away Nora’s father and all of their supplies. Suddenly, Nora finds herself lost and alone in the desert, facing dehydration, venomous scorpions, deadly snakes, and, worst of all, the Beast who has terrorized her dreams for the past year. If Nora is going to save herself and her father, she must conquer her fears, defeat the Beast, and find the courage to live her new life.
Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker
Ten-tear-old Della has always had her older sister, Suki: When their mom went to prison, Della had Suki. When their mom’s boyfriend took them in, Della had Suki. When that same boyfriend did something so awful they had to run fast, Della had Suki. Suki is Della’s own wolf–her protector. But who has been protecting Suki? Della might get told off for swearing at school, but she has always known how to keep quiet where it counts. Then Suki tries to kill herself, and Della’s world turns so far upside down, it feels like it’s shaking her by the ankles. Maybe she’s been quiet about the wrong things. Maybe it’s time to be loud.
King and the Dragonflies
Twelve-year-old Kingston James is sure his brother Khalid has turned into a dragonfly. When Khalid unexpectedly passed away, he shed what was his first skin for another to live down by the bayou in their small Louisiana town. Khalid still visits in dreams, and King must keep these secrets to himself as he watches grief transform his family.
The Voting Booth (YA)
Marva Sheridan was born ready for this day. She’s always been driven to make a difference in the world, and what better way than to vote in her first election? Duke Crenshaw is do done with this election. He just wants to get voting over with so he can prepare for his band’s first paying gig tonight. Only problem? Duke can’t vote. When Marva sees Duke turned away from their polling place, she takes it upon herself to make sure his vote is counted. She hasn’t spent months doorbelling and registering voters just to see someone denied their right. And that’s how their whirlwind day begins, rushing from precinct to precinct, cutting school, waiting in endless lines, turned away time and again, trying to do one simple thing: vote. They may have started out as strangers, but as Duke and Marva team up to beat a rigged system (and find Marva’s missing cat), it’s clear that there’s more to their connection than a shared mission for democracy.
I can make this promise
All her life, Edie has known that her mom was adopted by a white couple. So, no matter how curious she might be about her Native American heritage, Edie is sure her family doesn’t have any answers.
Until the day when she and her friends discover a box hidden in the attic—a box full of letters signed “Love, Edith,” and photos of a woman who looks just like her.
Suddenly, Edie has a flurry of new questions about this woman who shares her name. Could she belong to the Native family that Edie never knew about? But if her mom and dad have kept this secret from her all her life, how can she trust them to tell her the truth now?
Courtney, Nadine Jolie
All-American Muslim Girl
Allie Abraham has it all going for her—she’s a straight-A student, with good friends and a close-knit family, and she’s dating cute, popular, and sweet Wells Henderson. One problem: Wells’s father is Jack Henderson, America’s most famous conservative shock jock…and Allie hasn’t told Wells that her family is Muslim. It’s not like Allie’s religion is a secret, exactly. It’s just that her parents don’t practice and raised her to keep her Islamic heritage to herself. But as Allie witnesses ever-growing Islamophobia in her small town and across the nation, she begins to embrace her faith—studying it, practicing it, and facing hatred and misunderstanding for it. Who is Allie, if she sheds the façade of the “perfect” all-American girl? What does it mean to be a “Good Muslim?” And can a Muslim girl in America ever truly fit in?
I Wish You All the Best
After coming out to their parents as non-binary, Ben De Backer is thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas . . . 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 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.
Molly Frost is FED UP… Because Olivia was yelled at for wearing a tank top. Because Liza got dress coded and Molly didn’t, even though they were wearing the exact same outfit. Because when Jessica was pulled over by the principal and missed a math quiz, her teacher gave her an F. Because it’s impossible to find shorts that are longer than her fingertips. Because girls’ bodies are not a distraction. Because middle school is hard enough. And so Molly starts a podcast where girls can tell their stories, and before long, her small rebellion swells into a revolution. Because now the girls are standing up for what’s right, and they’re not backing down.
Every Body Looking (YA)
When Ada leaves home for her freshman year at a Historically Black College, it’s the first time she’s ever been so far from her family–and the first time that she’s been able to make her own choices and to seek her place in this new world. As she stumbles deeper into the world of dance and explores her sexuality, she also begins to wrestle with her past–her mother’s struggle with addiction, her Nigerian father’s attempts to make a home for her. Ultimately, Ada discovers she needs to brush off the destiny others have chosen for her and claim full ownership of her body and her future.
You Should See Me in a Crown
Liz Lighty has always done her best to avoid the spotlight in her small, wealthy, and prom-obsessed midwestern high school, after all, her family is black and rather poor, especially since her mother died; instead she has concentrated on her grades and her musical ability in the hopes that it will win her a scholarship to elite Pennington College and their famous orchestra where she plans to study medicine–but when that scholarship falls through she is forced to turn to her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen, which plunges her into the gauntlet of social media which she hates and leads her to discoveries about her own identity and the value of true friendships.
It Sounded Better in My Head (YA)
When her parents announce their impending divorce, Natalie can’t understand why no one is fighting, or at least mildly upset. Then Zach and Lucy, her two best friends, hook up, leaving her feeling slightly miffed and decidedly awkward. She’d always imagined she would end up with Zach one day—in the version of her life that played out like a TV show, with just the right amount of banter, pining, and meaningful looks. Now everything has changed, and nothing is quite making sense. Until an unexpected romance comes along and shakes things up even further.
Darius the Great Deserves Better (YA)
In this companion to the award-winning Darius the Great Is Not Okay, Darius suddenly has it all: a boyfriend, an internship, a spot on the soccer team. It’s everything he’s ever wanted–but what if he deserves better? Darius Kellner is having a bit of a year. Since his trip to Iran this past spring, a lot has changed. He’s getting along with his dad, and his best friend Sohrab is only a Skype call away. Between his first boyfriend, Landon, his varsity soccer practices, and his internship at his favorite tea shop, Darius is feeling pretty okay. Like he finally knows what it means to be Darius Kellner. Then, of course, everything changes. Darius’s grandmothers are in town for a long visit while his dad is gone on business, and Darius isn’t sure whether they even like him. The internship isn’t what Darius thought it would be, and now he doesn’t know about turning tea into his career. He was sure he liked Landon, but when he starts hanging out with Chip–soccer teammate and best friend of Trent Bolger, epic bully–well, he’s just not so sure about Landon anymore, either. Darius thought he knew exactly who he was and what he wanted, but maybe he was wrong. Maybe he deserves better.
I’ll Be the One
Skye Shin has heard it all. Fat girls can’t dance. Shouldn’t wear bright colors. Shouldn’t call attention to themselves. But Skye dreams of joining the glittering, intense world of K-Pop, and to do that, she’s about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother have set for girls like her. When Skye nails her audition in an internationally televised competition looking for the next K-pop star, she’s immediately swept into a whirlwind of countless practices, shocking performances, and the drama that comes with reality TV.
Tweet Cute (YA)
Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming–mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account. Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time. All’s fair in love and cheese–that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life–on an anonymous chat app.
Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers
After Ofelia, Aster, Cat, and Lane fail to persuade a local girls club to change an outdated tradition, they form an alternative group that shakes up their sleepy Florida town. Includes tips for beginning birders, characteristics of crystals, a cookie recipe, tips for aspiring journalists, directions for creating badges, and facts about the killing of birds for fashion.
Ramee, Lisa Moore
A Good Kind of Trouble
Twelve-year-old Shayla is allergic to trouble. All she wants to do is to follow the rules. (Oh, and she’d also like to make it through seventh grade with her best friendships intact, learn to run track, and have a cute boy see past her giant forehead.) But in junior high, it’s like all the rules have changed. Now she’s suddenly questioning who her best friends are and some people at school are saying she’s not black enough. Wait, what?
Rhodes, Jewell Parker
Black Brother, Black Brother
When an incident with “King” Alan leads to Donte’s arrest and suspension, he knows the only way to get even is to beat the king of the school at his own game: fencing. With the help of a former Olympic fencer, Donte embarks on a journey to carve out a spot on Middlefield Prep’s fencing team and maybe learn something about himself along the way.
The List of Things That Will Not Change
Despite her parents’ divorce, her father’s coming out as gay, and his plans to marry his boyfriend, ten-year-old Bea is reassured by her parents’ unconditional love, excited about getting a stepsister, and haunted by something she did last summer at her father’s lake house.
Zoboi, Ibi Aanu
Punching the Air
A single punch leads to a fight between Amal and his friends—all Black—and a group of white boys from a gentrifying part of his neighborhood. Amal is found guilty of assault while his friends are given plea deals. All are sent to prison, while the white boys involved are not charged at all. In prison, Amal gets a stark education on how unjust the justice system is as he witnesses guards abusing their power, administrators carelessly ignoring the welfare of the imprisoned as if their lives are disposable, and the avenues of “rehabilitation” proving to be decrepit and empty.
Amari and the Night Brothers
Amari Peters has never stopped believing her missing brother, Quinton, is alive. Not even when the police told her otherwise, or when she got in trouble for standing up to bullies who said he was gone for good.
So when she finds a ticking briefcase in his closet, containing a nomination for a summer tryout at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she’s certain the secretive organization holds the key to locating Quinton–if only she can wrap her head around the idea of magicians, fairies, aliens, and other supernatural creatures all being real.
Now she must compete for a spot against kids who’ve known about magic their whole lives. No matter how hard she tries, Amari can’t seem to escape their intense doubt and scrutiny–especially once her supernaturally enhanced talent is deemed “illegal.” With an evil magician threatening the supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she’s an enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn’t stick it out and pass the tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton.
Girl, Serpent, Thorn
Soraya has always known the story: a girl saved a young woman who was being held captive by a div, a monster. The angry div laid a curse upon the girl so that her firstborn daughter would be poisonous to the touch. That is why Soraya wears gloves and remains sequestered among her rose gardens, hidden from the public, while her twin brother, Sorush, prepares to become shah. As Sorush’s wedding approaches, a hero arrives in the palace, one who is said to have performed heroic deeds. Instead of fleeing from Soraya, he seems desperate to save her, and though she has convinced herself that she is content in her isolation, Soraya feels, for the first time, the stirrings of a more dangerous impulse.
Maya and the Rising Dark
Twelve-year-old Maya is seeing things, or so she thinks, as weird creatures start appearing in her Chicago neighborhood. Add to that her dreams about a scary shadow-man, and Maya has cause for concern. That concern turns to outright fear when her father, who guards the veil between dimensions, is kidnapped by the Lord of the Shadows, the scary man in her dreams. Maya and her friends, Frankie and Eli, set off on a quest to find Maya’s missing dad, face their fears, and contend with powers and worlds they never knew existed.
The Fowl Twins
With their big brother Artemis off to Mars, 11-year-old twins Myles and Beckett are swept up in a brangle with murderous humans and even more dangerous magical creatures. Unsurprisingly, the fraternal Irish twins ultimately prove equal to the challenge—albeit with help from, Colfer as omniscient narrator admits early on, a “hugely improbable finale.
These Violent Delights (YA)
The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery. A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang–a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal. But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns–and grudges–aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.
When You Trap a Tiger
A young girl bargaining for the health of her grandmother discovers both her family’s past and the strength of her own voice. For many years, Lily’s Korean grandmother, Halmoni, has shared her Asian wisdom and healing powers with her predominantly white community. When Lily, her sister, Sam—both biracial, Korean and white—and their widowed mom move in with Halmoni to be close with her as she ages, Lily begins to see a magical tiger. What were previously bedtime stories become dangerously prophetic, as Lily begins to piece together fact from fiction.
The Kingdom of Back
Nannerl Mozart, elder sister to Wolfgang, is skilled enough at the clavier that her father believes she could gain renown as a child prodigy. Her passion for music extends beyond her exacting father’s expectations-she composes music in secret, dreaming of achieving fame despite it being a craft forbidden to women. But as she grows and Woferl’s superlative talents begin to become apparent, Nannerl realizes that it is assumed she will eventually abandon her art to become a wife and mother while Woferl pursues musical glory.
Dark and Deepest Red
The story begins in the present day describing Rosella Oliva’s fifth-generation shoe-making family during their town’s yearly “glimmer”: a time of magical happenings one week every October. This time of year the shoes they craft overtake their wearers resulting in impulsive acts of love and desire. To understand why this occurs, readers will travel back to the summer of 1518, when an illness sweeps through Strasbourg, France, causing women to dance uncontrollably until death. Believing that witchcraft or demonic influence is responsible, the authorities blame an unassuming family of Romani descent and endeavor to cast out the evil in their midst.
It’s 1957, and Sarah Dewhurst’s father has hired a dragon to work on their farm despite his prejudices against them. That’s not really big news; in this alternate universe, humankind has maintained an uneasy peace with dragons for centuries. But, as Sarah learns, dragons are more complex than she’d imagined — and the situation is more perilous: a cult of Believers, who worship the magical creatures, has sent a teenage assassin to the United States in an attempt to start a prophesied war (though he’s been told his mission is to stop one), a war that will directly affect Sarah and everyone she loves. Nothing is quite as it seems in this imaginative novel.
The Tower of Nero
Will the Greek god Apollo, cast down to earth in the pathetic moral form of a teenager named Lester Papadopoulos, finally regain his place on Mount Olympus? Lester’s demigod friends at Camp Jupiter just helped him survive attacks from bloodthirsty ghouls, an evil Roman king and his army of the undead, and the lethal emperors Caligula and Commodus. Now the former god and his demigod master Meg must follow a prophecy uncovered by Ella the harpy. Lester’s final challenge will be at the Tower of Nero, back in New York. Will Meg have a last showdown with her father? Will this helpless form of Apollo have to face his arch nemesis, Python? Who will be on hand at Camp Half-Blood to assist? These questions and more will be answered.
A Wish in the Dark
All light in Chattana is created by one man–the Governor, who appeared after the Great Fire to bring peace and order to the city. For Pong, who was born in Namwon Prison, the magical lights represent freedom, and he dreams of the day he will be able to walk among them. But when Pong escapes from prison, he realizes that the world outside is no fairer than the one behind bars. The wealthy dine and dance under bright orb light, while the poor toil away in darkness. Worst of all, Pong’s prison tattoo marks him as a fugitive who can never be truly free. Nok, the prison warden’s perfect daughter, is bent on tracking Pong down and restoring her family’s good name. But as Nok hunts Pong through the alleys and canals of Chattana, she uncovers secrets that make her question the truths she has always held dear.
The Iron Will of Genie Lo
The fate of the heavens is at stake in this hilarious and highly-anticipated sequel to the The Epic Crush of Genie Lo.
Genie Lo thought she was busy protecting the Bay Area from demons. But now, as a Heaven- appointed Guardian, even the well-being of demons is her responsibility–and their numbers are multiplying. Guanyin and Quentin are doing their best to help; but what they really need is for the Jade Emperor to get off his butt and deal with the crisis. While he’s AWOL, Genie nominates Guanyin to fill in his shoes, unaware that the role will go to the god who can defeat a mysterious threat to the supernatural order. Along with a few other contenders for the throne, including a former enemy, Genie and her friends embark on a Heavenly quest to an in-between world. But when faced with true danger, the group realizes that what will save the universe this time is sacrifice, not strength.
Saving Savannah (YA)
Savannah Riddle feels suffocated by her life as the daughter of an upper class African American family in Washington, D.C., until she meets a working-class girl named Nella who introduces her to the suffragette and socialist movements and to her politically active cousin Lloyd.
Lovely war (YA)
The Greek goddess Aphrodite recounts two tales of tragic love during WWI to her husband, Hephaestus, and her lover, Ares, in a luxe Manhattan hotel room at the height of World War II. She seeks to answer the age-old question: “Why are Love and War eternally drawn to one another?” but her quest for a conclusion that will satisfy her jealous husband uncovers a multi-threaded tale of prejudice, trauma, and music revealing that War is no match for the power of Love.
Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker
The War that Saved My Life
Ten-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute–she sneaks out to join him. So begins a new adventure for Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in.
The Betrothed (YA)
When King Jameson declares his love for Lady Hollis Brite, Hollis is shocked–and thrilled. After all, she’s grown up at Keresken Castle, vying for the king’s attention alongside other daughters of the nobility. Capturing his heart is a dream come true. But Hollis soon realizes that falling in love with a king and being crowned queen may not be the happily ever after she thought it would be. And when she meets a commoner with the mysterious power to see right into her heart, she finds that the future she really wants is one that she never thought to imagine.
We Are Not Free (YA)
For fourteen-year-old budding artist Minoru Ito, her two brothers, her friends, and the other members of the Japanese-American community in southern California, the three months since Pearl Harbor was attacked have become a waking nightmare: attacked, spat on, and abused with no way to retaliate–and now things are about to get worse, their lives forever changed by the mass incarcerations in the relocation camps.
Fukuda, Andrew Xia
The Light Between Us (YA)
In 1935, ten-year-old Alex Maki of Bainbridge Island, Washington, is horrified to discover that his new pen pal, Charlie Levy of Paris, France, is a girl, but in spite of his initial reluctance, their letters continue over the years and they fight for their friendship even as Charlie endures the Nazi occupation and Alex leaves his family in an internment camp and joins the Army.
Kelly, Erin Entrada
We Dream of Space
The Thomas children exist in their own orbits, circling a tense and unpredictable household, with little in common except an enthusiastic science teacher named Ms. Salonga. As the launch of the Challenger approaches, Ms. Salonga gives her students a project-they are separated into spacecraft crews and must create and complete a mission. When the fated day finally arrives, it changes all of their lives and brings them together in unexpected ways.
Luck of the Titanic
Southampton, 1912: Seventeen-year-old British-Chinese Valora Luck has quit her job and smuggled herself aboard the Titanic with two goals in mind: to reunite with her twin brother Jamie–her only family now that both their parents are dead–and to convince a part-owner of the Ringling Brothers Circus to take the twins on as acrobats. Quick-thinking Val talks her way into opulent first class accommodations and finds Jamie with a group of fellow Chinese laborers in third class. But in the rigidly stratified world of the luxury liner, Val’s ruse can only last so long, and after two long years apart, it’s unclear if Jamie even wants the life Val proposes. Then, one moonless night in the North Atlantic, the unthinkable happens–the supposedly unsinkable ship is dealt a fatal blow–and Val and her companions suddenly find themselves in a race to survive.
Corey Fletcher has an active imagination. He sees things no one else does. Cracks jokes no one else gets. And goes places few would ever dare go. Like the past.
All he needs is a metal artifact from a point in time, and Corey can go there. Although hundreds of time travelers live in secret throughout the world, including Corey’s own grandfather, none has the ability to change past events.
But when Corey accidentally saves a life while time traveling, he realizes that he is the first-ever “Throwback,” with the power to alter life as we know it. Which means his own life is now in all sorts of danger.
McManis, Charlene Willing
Indian No More
Regina Petit’s family has always been Umpqua, and living on the Grand Ronde reservation is all ten-year-old Regina has ever known. Her biggest worry is that Sasquatch may actually exist out in the forest. But when the federal government signs a bill into law that says Regina’s tribe no longer exists, Regina becomes “Indian no more” overnight–even though she was given a number by the Bureau of Indian Affairs that counted her as Indian, even though she lives with her tribe and practices tribal customs, and even though her ancestors were Indian for countless generations.
With no good jobs available in Oregon, Regina’s father signs the family up for the Indian Relocation program and moves them to Los Angeles. Regina finds a whole new world in her neighborhood on 58th Place. She’s never met kids of other races, and they’ve never met a real Indian. For the first time in her life, Regina comes face to face with the viciousness of racism, personally and toward her new friends.
Meanwhile, her father believes that if he works hard, their family will be treated just like white Americans. But it’s not that easy. It’s 1957 during the Civil Rights Era. The family struggles without their tribal community and land. At least Regina has her grandmother, Chich, and her stories. At least they are all together.
Park, Linda Sue
Prairie Lotus is a book about a girl determined to fit in and realize her dreams: getting an education, becoming a dressmaker in her father’s shop, and making at least one friend. Hanna, a half-Asian girl in a small town in America’s heartland, lives in 1880. Hanna’s adjustment to her new surroundings, and the townspeople’s prejudice against Asians, is at the heart of the story.
After the financial crash, Ellie and her family have lost nearly everything–including their home in town. They have started over, carving out a new life in the unforgiving terrain of Echo Mountain. Though her sister Esther, especially, resents everything about the mountain, Ellie has found more freedom, a new strength, and a love of the natural world that now surrounds them. But there is little joy, even for Ellie, as they all struggle with the sorrow and aftermath of an accident that left her father in a coma. An accident for which Ellie has accepted the unearned weight of blame.
Urgent for a cure to bring her father back, Ellie is determined to try anything. Following her heart, and the lead of a scruffy mutt, Ellie will make her way to the top of the mountain, in search of the healing secrets of a woman known only as “the hag.” But the mountain still has many untold stories left to reveal to Ellie, as she finds her way forward among a complex constellation of strong women spanning generations.
My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich
In the summer of 1984, 12-year-old Ebony-Grace Norfleet makes the trip from Huntsville, Alabama, to Harlem, where she’ll spend a few weeks with her father while her mother deals with some trouble that’s arisen for Ebony-Grace’s beloved grandfather, Jeremiah. Jeremiah Norfleet is a bit of a celebrity in Huntsville, where he was one of the first black engineers to integrate NASA two decades earlier. And ever since his granddaughter came to live with him when she was little, he’s nurtured her love of all things outer space and science fiction–especially Star Wars and Star Trek, both of which she’s watched dozens of time on Grandaddady’s Betamax machine. So even as Ebony-Grace struggled to make friends among her peers, she could always rely on her grandfather and the imaginary worlds they created together. In Harlem, however, she faces a whole new challenge. Harlem in 1984 is an exciting and terrifying place for a sheltered girl from Hunstville, and her first instinct is to retreat into her imagination. But soon 126th Street begins to reveal that it has more in common with her beloved sci-fi adventures than she ever thought possible, and by summer’s end, Ebony-Grace discovers that gritty and graffitied Harlem has a place for a girl whose eyes are always on the stars.
The Girl and the Ghost
I am a dark spirit, the ghost announced grandly. I am your inheritance, your grandmothers legacy. I am yours to command. Suraya is delighted when her witch grandmother gifts her a pelesit. She names her ghostly companion Pink, and the two quickly become inseparable. But Suraya doesn’t know that pelesits have a dark side, and when Pink’s shadows threaten to consume them both, they must find enough light to survive . . . before they are both lost to the darkness.
Craig, Erin A.
House of Salt and Sorrows
On an isolated island in a manor overlooking the sea, Annaleigh Thaumas lives with her wealthy father, her young stepmother, and her many sisters. People call the sisters the Thaumas Dozen, but it’s a misnomer now: four are dead, lost to illness or strange accidents, and people are beginning to say that the family is cursed. When her littlest sister begins seeing the ghosts of the dead girls, Annaleigh dismisses it as imagination until she, too, finds herself haunted by terrible visions. As she begins to wonder about the deaths—how accidental could they be if her sisters are not at peace?—the living Thaumas girls discover a magical doorway that transports them to lavish parties. As they dance nightly through the soles of their shoes, Annaleigh’s nightmarish visions intensify, and she fears the curse may be coming to claim another sister. This moody maritime retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses blends elements of suspense and horror for a gothic twist on a familiar tale.
Hide and Seeker
Something is wrong with twelve-year-old Zee, who has returned after a year’s absence; nobody knows where he was or what happened to him, but now he is distracted and violent, freaking out when he sees his friends, Justin, Nia, and Lyric, playing an odd game of hide-and-seek, and talking wildly about some danger that is approaching–and soon his friends are pulled into a shadowy world ruled by a monstrous, shape-shifting Seeker, forced to play a terrifying game of hide-and-seek where they will have to confront their worst nightmares in order to find their way home.
The bone houses (YA)
When a bullying incident sends twelve-year-old Nico Holland over the edge of a cliff into the icy waters of Still Cove, where no one ever goes, friends Tyler and Ella – and even ‘cool kid’ Opal – rush to his rescue… only to discover an island hidden in the swirling mists below.Shrouded by dense trees and murky tides, the island appears uninhabited, although the kids can’t quite shake the feeling that something about it is off. Their suspicions grow when they stumble upon an abandoned houseboat with an array of curiosities inside: odd-looking weapons, unnerving portraits, maps to places they’ve never heard of, and a glass jar containing something completely unidentifiable.As the group delves deeper into the unknown, their discoveries – and their lives –begin to intertwine in weird and creepy ways. Something ancient has awakened… and it knows their wishes and dreams – and their darkest, most terrible secrets. Do they have what it takes to face the shadowy things that lurk within their own hearts?
The Way Back
For the Jews of Eastern Europe, demons are everywhere: dancing on the rooftops in the darkness of midnight, congregating in the trees, harrowing the dead, even reaching out to try and steal away the living. But the demons have a land of their own: a Far Country peopled with the souls of the transient dead, governed by demonic dukes, barons, and earls. When the Angel of Death comes strolling through the little shtetl of Tupik one night, two young people will be sent spinning off on a journey through the Far Country. There they will make pacts with ancient demons, declare war on Death himself, and maybe– just maybe–find a way to make it back alive.
My Life as a Potato
Twelve-year-old Ben Hardy is the new kid in school. Adjusting to life in the middle of Idaho has not been easy, but Ben manages to make new friends, and the most popular girl at school has asked him to the school dance. However, an incident in the school cafeteria involving a thrown hot dog lands Ben in hot water. He is faced with suspension or performing at basketball games as the school mascot, a dumpy potato. Being the school mascot will mess up his chances with the popular kids, but he reluctantly dons the costume. What follows is a madcap series of incidents involving Ben trying to keep his role as the mascot secret.
Chase does not remember falling off the roof, in fact he does not remember anything about himself, and when he gets back to middle school he begins to learn who he was through the reactions of the other kids–trouble is, he really is not sure he likes the Chase that is being revealed, but can he take the opportunity amnesia has provided and restart his life?
Middle School Bites
When 11-year-old Tom Marks is bitten by a bat, a wolf, and a zombie, his plans to survive middle school by flying under the radar are dashed. This new novel by the head writer of SpongeBob SquarePants combines typical middle school angst with a hilariously over-the-top monster movie premise.
The best of Iggy
Meet Iggy Frangi. He’s not a bad kid, he’s really not. Okay, so he’s done a few (a few is anything up to 100) bad things. And okay, he’s not very sorry about most of them. People make a big deal about nothing. What’s a little pancake here and there? Is that something to get mad about? Iggy doesn’t think so. No one got hurt, so there’s not problem. No one got hurt except for that one time, that one time when the Best Idea Ever turned into the Worst Idea of All Time.
Iggy is sorry he did it. He is really, really, really sorry.
“For what?” you might ask.
“What did he do?”
Well, you’ll have to listen to and/or read the book to find out.
Things Iggy will NOT do this book:
Be the most polite kid ever.
Play the cello.
Think before acting.
Learn a lesson.
Regret his actions. (Most of them, anyway.)
It’s the night before dress rehearsal, and the school theater troupe is working late and very hungry. Eleven-year-old twins Axl and Ivan—along with their sixteen-year-old driver, Sid—volunteer to make a late-night fast-food run. At the drive-through, their tacos start to . . . move. And they don’t seem friendly. Even after they get rid of the food, the world around them isn’t quite right. There are strangely moving cars, buildings, and people—and they seem intent on swallowing everything in their path. Now the trio will have to use their wits, their truck, and even their windshield scraper to escape . . . before they’re replaced by monstrous versions of themselves!
All Ross really wants to do is keep his head down in public as he goes through an operation and 45 sessions of proton radiotherapy. Unfortunately, what with having to endure all the “Concern Face” from grown-ups and certain peers and the mortifying necessity of wearing a protective broad-brimmed hat at all times—not to mention the series of ugly Cancer Cowboy memes that show up on everyone’s phones at school—there’s no hope of anonymity.
Stand Up Yumi Chung
On the outside, Yumi Chung suffers from #shygirlproblems, a perm-gone-wrong, and kids calling her “Yu-MEAT” because she smells like her family’s Korean barbecue restaurant. On the inside, Yumi is ready for her Netflix stand-up special. Her notebook is filled with mortifying memories that she’s reworked into comedy gold. All she needs is a stage and courage.Instead of spending the summer studying her favorite YouTube comedians, Yumi is enrolled in test-prep tutoring to qualify for a private school scholarship, which will help in a time of hardship at the restaurant. One day after class, Yumi stumbles on an opportunity that will change her life: a comedy camp for kids taught by one of her favorite YouTube stars. The only problem is that the instructor and all the students think she’s a girl named Kay Nakamura–and Yumi doesn’t correct them.As this case of mistaken identity unravels, Yumi must decide to stand up and reveal the truth or risk losing her dreams and disappointing everyone she cares about.
Crying Laughing (YA)
Winnie is funny, but she’s also in high school, where not everyone appreciates true comic genius. Having grown up learning comedy from her dad, Winnie knows she’s funny, and that’s enough—until classmate Evan actually laughs at her jokes and suggests she join the school improv troupe, that is. However, when her attempt at sharing with her parents that she’s considering joining a performance group is interrupted by the news that her father might have ALS, Winnie’s world starts to crumble.
Ruby Redfort Look Into My Eyes
Everyone knows that Clarice Bean is exceptionordinarily keen on the Ruby Redfort books. Now in her own starring role, Ruby, a genius code-cracker and daring detective, along with her sidekick butler, Hitch, work for a secret crime-busting organization called Spectrum. Ruby gets into lots of scrapes with evil villains, but she’s always ice-cool in a crisis. Just take a classic screwball comedy, add heaps of breathtaking action, and multiply it by Lauren Child’s writing genius, and what have you got? Only the most exciting new middle-grade series since, like, ever.
Charlie Thorne and the Lost City
After saving the world, Charlie is ready to take it easy in the Galapagos Islands. That is, until she’s approached by the mysterious Esmeralda Castle, who has a code she knows only Charlie can decipher.In 1835, Charles Darwin diverted his ship’s journey so he could spend ten months in South America on a secret solo expedition. When he returned, he carried a treasure that inspired both awe and terror in his crew. Afterward, it vanished, never to be seen again…But Darwin left a trail of clues behind for those brave and clever enough to search for it.Enter Charlie Thorne.
The Vanishing Stair (YA)
The Truly Devious case–an unsolved kidnapping and triple murder that rocked Ellingham Academy in 1936–has consumed Stevie for years. It’s the very reason she came to the academy. But then her classmate Hayes Major was murdered, and though she identified his killer, her parents quickly pull her out of school. For her safety, they say. Stevie’s willing to do anything to get back to Ellingham, be back with her friends, and solve the case. Even if it means making a deal with the despicable Senator Edward King.
Everything Sad is Untrue
At the front of a middle school classroom in Oklahoma, a boy named Khosrou (whom everyone calls ‘Daniel’) stands, trying to tell a story. His story. But no one believes a word he says. To them he is a dark-skinned, hairy-armed boy with a big butt whose lunch smells funny; who makes things up and talks about poop too much. But Khosrou’s stories, stretching back years, and decades, and centuries, are beautiful, and terrifying, from the moment he, his mother, and sister fled Iran in the middle of the night, stretching all the way back to family tales set in the jasmine-scented city of Isfahan, the palaces of semi-ancient kings, and even the land of stories.
Pinkney, Andrea Davis
Loretta Little Looks Back
“Right here, I’m sharing the honest-to-goodness.” — Loretta”I’m gon’ reach back, and tell how it all went. I’m gon’ speak on it. My way.” — Roly”I got more nerve than a bad tooth. But there’s nothing bad about being bold.” — Aggie B.Loretta, Roly, and Aggie B., members of the Little family, each present the vivid story of their young lives, spanning three generations. Their separate stories — beginning in a cotton field in 1927 and ending at the presidential election of 1968 — come together to create one unforgettable journey.
Stewart, Trenton Lee
The Secret Keepers
When Reuben discovers an extraordinary antique watch with a secret power, his life takes an intriguing turn. As one secret leads to another, Reuben finds himself torn between his honest nature and the lure to be a hero. Now he is on a dangerous adventure–full of curious characters, treacherous traps, and hairsbreadth escapes–as he races to solve the mystery before it is too late. With fearless Penny, mighty Jack, and the wise Mrs. Genevieve on his side, can Reuben outwit a sly villain called The Smoke and save the city from a terrible fate?
All the Greys on Greene Street
SoHo, 1981. Twelve-year-old Olympia is an artist–and in her neighborhood, that’s normal. Her dad and his business partner Apollo bring antique paintings back to life, while her mother makes intricate sculptures in a corner of their loft, leaving Ollie to roam the streets of New York with her best friends Richard and Alex, drawing everything that catches her eye. Then everything falls apart. Ollie’s dad disappears in the middle of the night, leaving her only a cryptic note and instructions to destroy it. Her mom has gone to bed, and she’s not getting up. Apollo is hiding something, Alex is acting strange, and Richard has questions about the mysterious stranger he saw outside. And someone keeps calling, looking for a missing piece of art . . . Olympia knows her dad is the key–but first, she has to find him, and time is running out.
Gansworth, Eric L.
Apple, Skin to the Core: A Memoir in Words and Pictures
The term “Apple” is a slur in Native communities across the country. It’s for someone supposedly “red on the outside, white on the inside.”nEric Gansworth is telling his story in Apple (Skin to the Core). The story of his family, of Onondaga among Tuscaroras, of Native folks everywhere. From the horrible legacy of the government boarding schools, to a boy watching his siblings leave and return and leave again, to a young man fighting to be an artist who balances multiple worlds. Eric shatters that slur and reclaims it in verse and prose and imagery that truly lives up to the word heartbreaking.
When Stars are Scattered
Omar and his younger brother Hassan live in a refugee camp, and when an opportunity for Omar to get an education comes along, he must decide between going to school every day or caring for his nonverbal brother in this intimate and touching portrayal of family and daily life in a refugee camp.
This Book is Anti-Racist
Learn about identities, true histories, and anti-racism in twenty lessons. This book is written so young people will feel empowered to stand up to the adults in their lives. This book will give them the language and ability to understand racism and a drive to undo it.
Osborne, Linda Barrett
This Land is Our Land
American attitudes toward immigrants are paradoxical. On the one hand, we see our country as a haven for the poor and oppressed; anyone, no matter his or her background, can find freedom here and achieve the “American Dream.” On the other hand, depending on prevailing economic conditions, fluctuating feelings about race and ethnicity, and fear of foreign political and labor agitation, we set boundaries and restrictions on who may come to this country and whether they may stay as citizens. This book explores the way government policy and popular responses to immigrant groups evolved throughout U.S. history, particularly between 1800 and 1965.
The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights
On July 17, 1944, a massive explosion rocked the segregated Navy base at Port Chicago, California, killing more than 300 sailors who were at the docks, critically injuring off-duty men in their bunks, and shattering windows up to a mile away. On August 9th, 244 men refused to go back to work until unsafe and unfair conditions at the docks were addressed. When the dust settled, fifty were charged with mutiny, facing decades in jail and even execution.The Port Chicago 50 is a fascinating story of the prejudice and injustice that faced black men and women in America’s armed forces during World War II, and a nuanced look at those who gave their lives in service of a country where they lacked the most basic rights.
All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team
On June 23, 2018, twelve young players of the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach enter a cave in northern Thailand seeking an afternoon’s adventure. But when they turn to leave, rising floodwaters block their path out. The boys are trapped! Before long, news of the missing team spreads, launching a seventeen-day rescue operation involving thousands of rescuers from around the globe. As the world sits vigil, people begin to wonder: how long can a group of ordinary kids survive in complete darkness, with no food or clean water? Luckily, the Wild Boars are a very extraordinary “ordinary” group.
Weatherford, Carole Boston
Box: How Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom
The author narrates Henry Brown’s story of how he came to ship himself in a box from slavery to freedom. Told in stanzas of six lines each, each line representing one side of a box, and augmented with historical records and excerpts from Henry Brown’s own writing.
Johnson, Lora Beth
Goddess in the Machine (YA)
When Andra wakes up, she’s drowning.
Not only that, but she’s in a hot, dirty cave, it’s the year 3102, and everyone keeps calling her Goddess. When Andra went into a cryonic sleep for a trip across the galaxy, she expected to wake up in a hundred years, not a thousand. Worst of all, the rest of the colonists—including her family and friends—are dead. They died centuries ago, and for some reason, their descendants think Andra’s a deity. She knows she’s nothing special, but she’ll play along if it means she can figure out why she was left in stasis and how to get back to Earth.
Zhade, the exiled bastard prince of Eerensed, has other plans. Four years ago, the sleeping Goddess’s glass coffin disappeared from the palace, and Zhade devoted himself to finding it. Now he’s hoping the Goddess will be the key to taking his rightful place on the throne—if he can get her to play her part, that is. Because if his people realize she doesn’t actually have the power to save their dying planet, they’ll kill her.
With a vicious monarch on the throne and a city tearing apart at the seams, Zhade and Andra might never be able to unlock the mystery of her fate, let alone find a way to unseat the king, especially since Zhade hasn’t exactly been forthcoming with Andra. And a thousand years from home, is there any way of knowing that Earth is better than the planet she’s woken to?
It’s 2032, and in this near-future America, all citizens are chipped and everyone is tracked–from buses to grocery stores. It’s almost impossible to survive as an undocumented immigrant, but that’s exactly what sixteen-year-old Vali is doing. She and her family have carved out a stable, happy life in small-town Vermont, but when Vali’s mother’s counterfeit chip starts malfunctioning and the Deportation Forces raid their town, they are forced to flee.
Now on the run, Vali and her family are desperately trying to make it to her tía Luna’s in California, a sanctuary state that is currently being walled off from the rest of the country. But when Vali’s mother is detained before their journey even really begins, Vali must carry on with her younger brother across the country to make it to safety before it’s too late.kes.
Rogue Princess (YA)
Princess Delia teams up with a snarky commoner named Aidan in this gender-swapped sci-fi twist on “Cinderella.” Delia struggles with her duty as heir to the throne. She must choose a prince to marry who will secure an alliance and save her failing planet. However, Delia secretly dreams of true love and is determined to find another way to help her kingdom.
Crank Palace (A Maze Runner Novella)
Newt has been to hell and back with his friends.
The Glade. The Maze. The Scorch. The inner halls of WICKED. But now he has a burden that can’t be shared with Thomas and the others—the Flare. And Newt can’t bear the thought of his friends watching him descend into madness as he succumbs to the virus.
Leaving only a note, Newt departs the Berg before the Gladers return from their mission into Denver, Colorado. From there, he experiences the gritty nightmare of life on the streets, running from the infected and those hunting them, until he ends up in the Crank Palace, the last dumping ground of those without hope. Although Newt thought he was running away from his friends to save them from himself, along the way he meets a young mother named Keisha and her son, Dante, who end up saving Newt in a way he could never have imagined.
Hawking’s Hallway (Accelerati Trilogy bk. 3)
Nick Slate, in order to protect his father and little brother, reluctantly must help the Accelerati complete Tesla’s great device. Their power-mad leader wants nothing less than to control the world’s energy–but there are still three missing objects to track down.
Nick’s friends can’t help him, as they are spread across the globe grappling with their own mysteries–with Vince in Scotland, Caitlin and Mitch on their way to New Jersey, and Petula’s whereabouts unknown. On his own, Nick must locate Tesla’s final inventions– which are the most powerful of all, capable of shattering time and collapsing space..
Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe
Sal Vidon creates wormholes. But Sal’s father, a calamity physicist, is trying to shut down all the wormholes Sal creates, because Papi thinks they are eroding the very fabric of our world. All of Papi’s efforts are in vain, however, because a Gabi from another universe has gone rogue and is popping up all over the place, seeking revenge for the fact that her world has been destroyed. While Sal and Gabi work together to keep both Papi and Rogue Gabi under control, they also have to solve the mystery of Yasmany, who has gone missing from school. Could it have something to do with the wormhole in the back of his locker?
Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen!
Vivy Cohen won’t let anything stop her from playing baseball–not when she has a major-league star as her pen pal. Vivy Cohen is determined. She’s had enough of playing catch in the park. She’s ready to pitch for a real baseball team. But Vivy’s mom is worried about Vivy being the only girl on the team, and the only autistic kid. She wants Vivy to forget about pitching, but Vivy won’t give up. When her social skills teacher makes her write a letter to someone, Vivy knows exactly who to choose: her hero, Major League pitcher VJ Capello. Then two amazing things happen: A coach sees Vivy’s amazing knuckleball and invites her to join his team. And VJ starts writing backNow Vivy is a full-fledged pitcher, with a catcher as a new best friend and a steady stream of advice from VJ. But when a big accident puts her back on the bench, Vivy has to fight to stay on the team.
Becoming Muhammad Ali
Before he was a household name, Cassius Clay was a kid with struggles like any other. Kwame Alexander and James Patterson join forces to vividly depict his life up to age seventeen in both prose and verse, including his childhood friends, struggles in school, the racism he faced, and his discovery of boxing. Readers will learn about Cassius’ family and neighbors in Louisville, Kentucky, and how, after a thief stole his bike, Cassius began training as an amateur boxer at age twelve. Before long, he won his first Golden Gloves bout and began his transformation into the unrivaled Muhammad Ali.
Yang, Gene Luen
Gene Luen Yang understands stories — comic book stories, in particular. Big action. Bigger thrills. And the hero always wins. But Gene doesn’t get sports. As a kid, his friends called him ‘Stick’ and every basketball game he played ended in pain. He lost interest in basketball long ago, but at the high school where he now teaches, it’s all anyone can talk about.
This was our pact
It’s the night of the annual Autumn Equinox Festival, when the town gathers to float paper lanterns down the river. Legend has it that after drifting out of sight, they’ll soar off to the Milky Way and turn into brilliant stars, but could that actually be true? This year, Ben and his classmates are determined to find out where those lanterns really go, and to ensure success in their mission, they’ve made a pact with two simple rules: No one turns for home. No one looks back.The plan is to follow the river on their bikes for as long as it takes to learn the truth, but it isn’t long before the pact is broken by all except for Ben and (much to Ben’s disappointment) Nathaniel, the one kid who just doesn’t seem to fit in.Together, Nathaniel and Ben will travel farther than anyone has ever gone, down a winding road full of magic, wonder, and unexpected friendship*.
*And a talking bear.
Anderson, Laurie Halse
Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed
Princess Diana of Themyscira’s 16th birthday celebrations are cut short when refugees break through to her island home and she defies her Amazon elders by trying to bring the outsiders to safety, but a stormy sea sweeps her away to where she must learn to survive in a foreign world full of danger and injustice.
Eighth grader Drew Ellis recognizes that he is’t afforded the same opportunities, no matter how hard he works, that his privileged classmates at the Riverdale Academy Day School take for granted, and to make matters worse, Drew begins to feel as if his good friend Liam might be one of those privileged kids and is finding it hard not to withdraw, even as their mutual friend Jordan tries to keep their group of friends together.
When the Stars are Scattered
Heartbreak and hope exist together in this remarkable graphic novel about growing up in a refugee camp, as told by a Somali refugee to the Newbery Honor-winning creator of Roller Girl. Omar and his younger brother, Hassan, have spent most of their lives in Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya. Life is hard there: never enough food, achingly dull, and without access to the medical care Omar knows his nonverbal brother needs. So when Omar has the opportunity to go to school, he knows it might be a chance to change their future . . . but it would also mean leaving his brother, the only family member he has left, every day.
March: Book Two (YA)
Available via HOOPLA!
In the graphic-memoir trilogy’s second volume, dramatic descriptions and vivid black-and-white illustrations follow Lewis through direct action campaigns in Nashville, Freedom Rides into the Deep South, and his speech at the 1963 March on Washington. The account has the authority of a passionate participant; the pacing ramps up tension and historical import. A standout among the many excellent volumes on civil rights.
March: Book Three (YA)
Available via HOOPLA!
A Wonder story.
This final volume includes the expected and necessary set pieces from the civil rights movement, culminating, finally, with the Voting Rights Act of 1965. But the smaller, lesser-known moments of violence, injustice, and helplessness are no less painful than these major events to read about, and Lewis recalls them with intimate familiarity and bracing honesty. Powell’s kinetic, fluid black-and-white illustrations underscore the period’s brutality.
The okay witch
Magic is harder than it looks.
Thirteen-year-old Moth Hush loves all things witchy. But she’s about to discover that witches aren’t just the stuff of movies, books, and spooky stories. When some eighth-grade bullies try to ruin her Halloween, something really strange happens. It turns out that Founder’s Bluff, Massachusetts, has a centuries-old history of witch drama. And, surprise: Moth’s family is at the center of it all! When Moth’s new powers show up, things get totally out-of-control. She meets a talking cat, falls into an enchanted diary, and unlocks a hidden witch world. Secrets surface from generations past as Moth unravels the complicated legacy at the heart of her town, her family, and herself.
They called us enemy
Long before George Takei braved new frontiers in Star Trek, he woke up as a four-year-old boy to find his own birth country at war with his father’s — and their entire family forced from their home into an uncertain future.
In 1942, at the order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, every person of Japanese descent on the west coast was rounded up and shipped to one of ten “relocation centers,” hundreds or thousands of miles from home, where they would be held for years under armed guard.
They Called Us Enemy is Takei’s firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire, the joys and terrors of growing up under legalized racism, his mother’s hard choices, his father’s faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future.
Yang, Gene Luen
Gene Luen Yang understands stories — comic book stories, in particular. Big action. Bigger thrills. And the hero always wins. But Gene doesn’t get sports. As a kid, his friends called him ‘Stick’ and every basketball game he played ended in pain. He lost interest in basketball long ago, but at the high school where he now teaches, it’s all anyone can talk about.