The beauty of a short story anthology is that it allows readers to delve into many different worlds, characters, and modes of storytelling back-to-back. This anthology is a glorious, bright celebration of sci-fi and fantasy, each story as unique and wondrous as the next!
Havenfall is a place on Earth where portals to other worlds converge. This overlap means that we the readers get the treat of encountering multiple realms--each with their own distinct world building and magic--all in one fantasy book. This fantastical setting is backed up by a well-filled cast and a plot with plenty of twists and turns.
Raybearer is one of the best stand-alone fantasy books I've read in years. It has a vast and diverse (but not overwhelming) world, a cast of powerful and complex characters, and a plot that swept me along. The details of the magic, the resonance of the relationships, and the depth of the worldbuilding engrossed me and I can't recommend this book enough!
Elatsoe can raise the spirits of the dead, a precarious skill passed down through her Lipan Apache family, that she has only ever used innocuously to reunite with her dog Kirby. But when her cousin is brutally murdered, Elatsoe is determined to uncover the dark forces behind his strange death and prevent his vengeful human ghost from causing chaos. Set in a spooky parallel present-day America, where faerie rings, vampires, and modern technology co-exist, Elatsoe is one of the most hauntingly original stories I’ve ever read.
Perfect for the true crime, thriller, or mystery lover in your life! Tiffany D. Jackson bases all her suspenseful and unique books on real cases, but fictionalizes them to keep readers mesmerized and guessing. I read this book in five hours and barely stopped to breathe while doing so. Enchanted’s story is enthralling, and the text conversations, flash-forwards, and transcripts throughout keep everything in context. Don’t miss this book!
In Camila’s family, soccer is a man’s game. Her secret: She’s a talented player who yearns to go pro. Just when an international tournament gives her the opportunity to catch scouts’ eyes, tensions at home – and first love – threaten to derail her dreams. Set against the backdrop of Argentina’s burgeoning feminist movement, Furia is an inspiring story of a young woman finding strength on and off the field.
Tiến is not just working through the cultural and language barrier between himself and his mother by reading her fairy tales in English, he’s also trying to make it through as a queer teenager at a Catholic school. A gentle, loving, and gorgeously-illustrated story from local author Trung Le Nguyen—see if you can spot Minneapolis in the backgrounds!
A well-done and touching graphic novel memoir! While visiting America, Robin's mother suddenly announces they will not be returning to South Korea – she's getting married! Angry at her mom and missing everything back home, Robin must quickly adapt while feeling like an outsider at home and school. But it's her beloved Korean comics she misses most and things start looking up when she's enrolled in a comics class.
As a teen mom, Emoni strives to balance motherhood, work, and school while also nurturing her passion and dreams of becoming a chef. Although that dream seems impossible, Emoni is not one to shy away from hard work and must find a way to not let others' expectations nor her own fears get in her way. Beautifully written and quietly inspiring. I strongly recommend!
Thomas (The Hate U Give) once again brilliantly shines her light on the harsh reality of racism. Life in the hood hasn’t been easy for Bri but she’s not about to let that get in the way of her dream to succeed as a rapper. Suddenly at the center of racial tensions, Bri comes to realize that Every. Word. Matters. and that her songs have the power to influence change."
Based upon the true story of Sophie Scholl, a young non-Jew in Nazi Germany, this novel carries a message relevant and necessary to current events. Sophie, and others in the White Rose group, risked their lives to speak up against the horrific acts of their government. This story will hopefully inspire readers to fight against injustices they see not only towards themselves but to ALL others!
Kiera created SLAY, a multiplayer online roleplaying game, as a place for Black gamers like her to celebrate Black culture and be themselves -- not to mention escape the racism rampant in other parts of the gaming world. When a SLAY dispute turns deadly in IRL, Kiera must fight to defend her creation while grappling with issues of race, gender and online ethics. Gamers and fantasy buffs will especially enjoy the scenes set in the richly imagined SLAY virtual universe.
I've always been fascinated by Lady Bathory, the historical figure this book is based on. Lana Popovic's writing is twisting, dark, and totally engrossing. I finished this book at 4 am and couldn't sleep for another couple hours because I was just too wired. If you like gory, gothic historical fiction, let yourself fall down the rabbit hole of this book!
This book is so smart. Though the subtitle brings to mind classic stories about kids being mentored into their magical powers, Echo Brown turns all those on their heads when she mixes fantasy and memoir in this one-of-a-kind book. Brown uses magical realism to uniquely and insightfully represent her younger years, largely in incredibly difficult circumstances, and how she grew through connection, community, and literal Black Girl Magic.
Missing your March Madness basketball? From the opening tip-off to the buzzer-beating ending, Gene Luen Yang’s graphic documentary/memoir--following the Bishop O’Dowd Dragons in their quest for state championship glory--had me on the edge of my seat. Mixing in basketball’s often-complicated history, and Yang’s own efforts to understand and ultimately love the sport, this book will win over life-long fans and newbies alike!
I want everyone to read this book: it's funny, heartbreaking, eye-opening, and so much more. Juliet Milagros Palante is an infectious, pied piper of a character--I felt honored to follow her on her journey of discovery, as she is at turns boosted up by and let down by well-meaning people in her life, ultimately finding her own voice and the will to speak up, even in a world that isn't always ready to listen.
Frank Li has a problem––he’s falling in love with a white girl. But he knows his first-generation Koren-American parents won’t approve. So Frank and his friend Joy devise a plan to pretend to date each other. Beyond the romance, this story explores all forms of love through the lens of race and identity in America. Yoon’s writing is sharp and Frank is a humorously nerdy narrator. This book had me laughing aloud until it moved me to tears.
A refugee story. A cowboy story. A family story. A love story. Butterfly Yellow is all of these, connected through the power of language. When Hang and LeeRoy cross paths in Amarillo, Texas, they have nothing in common and can barely communicate. But after a summer together spent talking, arguing, writing, ignoring, and listening, a bond grows from their fierce determination to understand and be understood. This transformative story is unforgettable.
Ranging from hilarious to heartrending, these twelve stories by notable Jewish writers of young adult fiction feature characters who fall in love for the first time, venture across the globe, grapple with sexuality and mental health, and blunder through the social minefields of adolescence – all while building unique relationships to their Jewish identity. Teen readers of all backgrounds will relate to these tales of young people finding bravery and belonging in unexpected places.Leigh
Usually when I get into bed with a book I’m asleep on the page in less than a chapter. But this book kept me up all night to finish it and I’ve come to the conclusion that it is the perfect balance for a YA book: it simultaneously fulfills the desire for a trope-y romance/coming of age narrative and subverts those tropes with the realities of family, history, and other societal pressures teens face.Linda
Set in 1957 Madrid, this haunting novel centers around Daniel, a young American visiting Fascist ruled Spain. His life soon intertwines with the lives and stories of other young locals and visiting expats. Through these new relationships, Daniel discovers the oppression and fear that grip this country and must navigate his feelings and actions carefully. An engrossing, intricate story that sheds further light upon a lesser-known part of history
It's been a long time since I have been so drawn in by a book! Two unlikely allies find themselves hunting down an old and powerful enemy, even as pieces of their lives they'd rather leave in the past reappear in the present . It's got everything I could ask for in a fantasy adventure--an incredibly imagined and representative world, compelling characters, a brilliant take on magic, and a fast paced plot.
Espionage! Blood feuds! Great representation of a wide variety of races, sexual orientations, and abilities! All set in the magically ever-burning lights of 18th century Paris! If you like historically-based fantasy set in a detailed, puzzle-filled world of aristocratic mystery, join the “acquisition” team from Hotel L’Eden as they use their diverse abilities (magical and otherwise) to topple the international Order of Babel.
This book is unflinching in its depictions of Evan Panos' family, and his awkward, lonely life at school. But Evan is a is a kid worth rooting for, and as he decides in his senior year to take a chance, his struggle to move beyond pain and open up to friends, love and his future, is an honest, heart-wrenching testament to human resilience.
Darius always feels inadequate, especially around his dad, with whom he experiences High Level Awkward Silences. Darius is a Fractional-Persian; his mother is Iranian and he calls his father an Audi-driving Teutonic Übermensch.
Darius fears he will feel even more out of place when his family visits Iran because he can’t speak Farsi, takes medication for his clinical depression, and knows more Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. But things begin to change when Darius befriends Sohrab, who makes even the longest silences comfortable. Hilarious,
heartbreaking, and honest, this book is the perfect companion for a cup of
How do goblin and elfin kingdoms begin to make peace after centuries of bloodshed and war? By catapulting an elf with a gift (inside a barrel) into the heart of the goblin capital, of course—just don’t tell anyone that he’s a spy. Clever text and sharp illustrations follow the adventures of Brangwain Spurge the elf and his
goblin host Werfel as they struggle with the truth of their shared history, how to unite a kingdom, and goblin table manners.
While hiding in a bomb shelter, Evelyn closed her eyes and wished she were anywhere but in a war zone. Her wish was granted, and the three Hapwell siblings were whisked away to a magical world, which became their home…for a while. After returning to their own world, Ev, Phillipa, and Jamie struggle to find a place for themselves in post-World War II Britain. Divided into two narratives, life in the Great Wood and life after the children’s return, this book mixes memory with reality as it investigates the costs of war and poses the question: what does it mean to be home?
When Bina flees family turmoil for the Manhattan boardinghouse her mother once called home, she discovers that the building and its tenants harbor sinister secrets involving a hidden grave, an ominous curfew, and an eerily watchful photograph over the mantle. In the heat of a New York City summer, Bina works to decipher the truths buried within the house’s walls and her mother’s past, only to learn that the darkest truth of all may be the one she’s keeping from herself. In her signature
lyrical style, Nova Ren Suma renders a haunting meditation on women’s
relationships with each other and themselves, one that will leave readers
untangling its many knots long after they turn the final page.
There just aren’t enough books featuring people with disabilities, so this anthology is noteworthy by design. More than noteworthy, however, it is a marvelous, wide-ranging collection, filled with characters who are intriguing, complex, emotional, and true. Told in the authentic voices of authors living with their own disabilities, these tales of friendship, love, struggle, and triumph will resonate with all teens. This is what representation looks like.
Sisterhood is alive and well in this actionpacked first installation of the feminist pirate trilogy you never knew you wanted. Caledonia Styx, the young captain of the all-female crew of the Mors Navis, must navigate the waters controlled by tyrant Aric Athair and his fleet of Bullet ships as she seeks to avenge the deaths of her family and protect her sisters of the sea. A thrilling adventure that will affirm your love for the women who surround you.