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Project LIT Community — a national grassroots LITeracymovement that aims to get students excited about reading by highlighting diverse, high-interest, culturally relevant books and promoting a love of reading in our schools and communities. We work together to:
Empower students as READERS and LEADERS in their school and community.
Host monthly or quarterly Project LIT Book Clubs.
Flood our schools and communities with high-quality, culturally relevant books.
Champion & celebrate reading daily.
Inspire and support one another through sharing of lesson plans, resources, strategies, and book recommendations.
Create opportunities for students to connect with peers around the country.
Advocate for policies & practices that will help our students become lifelong leaders.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
First, educators apply to become a Project LIT chapter leader. Once accepted, chapter leaders access our resources and checklists and connect with our community to develop a game plan for their school. From there, they empower their students to organize Project LIT Book Club events and engage in service & project-based learning that address literacy needs in their community. Through the process, our Project LIT educators & students become passionate readers and leaders who change the world.
Slay by Brittney MorrisA Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2019! "Gripping and timely." --People "The YA debut we're most excited for this year." --Entertainment Weekly "A book that knocks you off your feet while dropping the kind of knowledge that'll keep you down for the count. Prepare to BE slain." --Nic Stone, New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin and Odd One Out Ready Player One meets The Hate U Give in this dynamite debut novel that follows a fierce teen game developer as she battles a real-life troll intent on ruining the Black Panther-inspired video game she created and the safe community it represents for Black gamers. By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm, who believes video games are partially responsible for the "downfall of the Black man." But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Even worse, an anonymous troll infiltrates the game, threatening to sue Kiera for "anti-white discrimination." Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically Black in a world intimidated by Blackness. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process?
Publication Date: 2019-09-24
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds; Ibram X. KendiThe #1 New York Times bestseller and a USAToday bestseller! A timely, crucial, and empowering exploration of racism--and antiracism--in America This is NOT a history book. This is a book about the here and now. A book to help us better understand why we are where we are. A book about race. The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi's National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future. It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited. Through a gripping, fast-paced, and energizing narrative written by beloved award-winner Jason Reynolds, this book shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas--and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives.
Publication Date: 2020-03-10
Black Brother, Black Brother
Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker RhodesFrom award-winning and bestselling author, Jewell Parker Rhodes comes a powerful coming-of-age story about two brothers, one who presents as white, the other as black, and the complex ways in which they are forced to navigate the world, all while training for a fencing competition. Framed. Bullied. Disliked. But I know I can still be the best. Sometimes, 12-year-old Donte wishes he were invisible. As one of the few black boys at Middlefield Prep, most of the students don't look like him. They don't like him either. Dubbing him "Black Brother," Donte's teachers and classmates make it clear they wish he were more like his lighter-skinned brother, Trey. When he's bullied and framed by the captain of the fencing team, "King" Alan, he's suspended from school and arrested for something he didn't do. Terrified, searching for a place where he belongs, Donte joins a local youth center and meets former Olympic fencer Arden Jones. With Arden's help, he begins training as a competitive fencer, setting his sights on taking down the fencing team captain, no matter what. As Donte hones his fencing skills and grows closer to achieving his goal, he learns the fight for justice is far from over. Now Donte must confront his bullies, racism, and the corrupt systems of power that led to his arrest. Powerful and emotionally gripping, Black Brother, Black Brother is a careful examination of the school-to-prison pipeline and follows one boy's fight against racism and his empowering path to finding his voice.
Publication Date: 2020-03-03
Not so Pure and Simple
Not So Pure and Simple by Lamar GilesAn Indie Next List Pick! In his first contemporary teen novel, critically acclaimed author and two-time Edgar Award finalist Lamar Giles spotlights the consequences of societal pressure, confronts toxic masculinity, and explores the complexity of what it means to be a "real man." Del has had a crush on Kiera Westing since kindergarten. And now, during their junior year, she's finally available. So when Kiera volunteers for an opportunity at their church, Del's right behind her. Though he quickly realizes he's inadvertently signed up for a Purity Pledge. His dad thinks his wires are crossed, and his best friend, Qwan, doesn't believe any girl is worth the long game. But Del's not about to lose his dream girl, and that's where fellow pledger Jameer comes in. He can put in the good word. In exchange, Del just has to get answers to the Pledgers' questions...about sex ed. With other boys circling Kiera like sharks, Del needs to make his move fast. But as he plots and plans, he neglects to ask the most important question: What does Kiera want? He can't think about that too much, though, because once he gets the girl, it'll all sort itself out. Right?
Publication Date: 2020-01-21
Clean Getaway by Nic StoneFrom #1 New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone comes a middle-grade road-trip story through American race relations past and present, perfect for fans of Jacqueline Woodson and Jason Reynolds. How to Go on an Unplanned Road Trip with Your Grandma: Grab a Suitcase: Prepacked from the big spring break trip that got CANCELLED. Fasten Your Seatbelt: G'ma's never conventional, so this trip won't be either. Use the Green Book: G'ma's most treasured possession. It holds history, memories, and most important, the way home. What Not to Bring: A Cell Phone: Avoid contact with Dad at all costs. Even when G'ma starts acting stranger than usual. Set against the backdrop of the segregation history of the American South, take a trip with this New York Times bestseller and an eleven-year-old boy who is about to discover that the world hasn't always been a welcoming place for kids like him, and things aren't always what they seem--his G'ma included."
Publication Date: 2020-01-07
Free Lunch by Rex OgleA distinctive new voice: Rex Ogle's story of starting middle school on the free lunch program is timely, heartbreaking, and true.
Publication Date: 2019-09-10
Maybe He just Likes You
Maybe He Just Likes You by Barbara DeeA 2020 ALA Notable Children's Book A Washington Post Best Children's Book of 2019 Barbara Dee explores the subject of #MeToo for the middle grade audience in this heart-wrenching--and ultimately uplifting--novel about experiencing harassment and unwanted attention from classmates. For seventh-grader Mila, it starts with some boys giving her an unwanted hug on the school blacktop. A few days later, at recess, one of the boys (and fellow trumpet player) Callum tells Mila it's his birthday, and asks her for a "birthday hug." He's just being friendly, isn't he? And how can she say no? But Callum's hug lasts a few seconds too long, and feels...weird. According to her friend, Zara, Mila is being immature and overreacting. Doesn't she know what flirting looks like? But the boys don't leave Mila alone. On the bus. In the halls. During band practice--the one place Mila could always escape. It doesn't feel like flirting--so what is it? Thanks to a chance meeting, Mila begins to find solace in a new place: karate class. Slowly, with the help of a fellow classmate, Mila learns how to stand her ground and how to respect others--and herself. From the author of Everything I Know About You, Halfway Normal, and Star-Crossed comes this timely story of a middle school girl standing up and finding her voice."
Publication Date: 2019-10-01
Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue ParkPrairie Lotus is a powerful, touching, multilayered 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. Acclaimed, award-winning author Linda Sue Park has placed a young half-Asian girl, Hanna, in a small town in America's heartland, in 1880. Hanna's adjustment to her new surroundings, which primarily means negotiating the townspeople's almost unanimous prejudice against Asians, is at the heart of the story. Narrated by Hanna, the novel has poignant moments yet sparkles with humor, introducing a captivating heroine whose wry, observant voice will resonate with readers.Afterword.
Publication Date: 2020-03-03
All Boys Aren't Blue
All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. JohnsonIn a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys. Both a primer for teens eager to be allies as well as a reassuring testimony for young queer men of color,All Boys Aren't Bluecovers topics such as gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, structural marginalization, consent, and Black joy. Johnson's emotionally frank style of writing will appeal directly to young adults.
Publication Date: 2020-04-28
We are Not from Here
We Are Not from Here by Jenny Torres SanchezA poignant novel of desperation, escape, and survival across the U.S.-Mexico border, inspired by current events. Pulga has his dreams. Chico has his grief. Pequeña has her pride. And these three teens have one another. But none of them have illusions about the town they've grown up in and the dangers that surround them. Even with the love of family, threats lurk around every corner. And when those threats become all too real, the trio knows they have no choice but to run: from their country, from their families, from their beloved home. Crossing from Guatemala through Mexico, they follow the route of La Bestia, the perilous train system that might deliver them to a better life--if they are lucky enough to survive the journey. With nothing but the bags on their backs and desperation drumming through their hearts, Pulga, Chico, and Pequeña know there is no turning back, despite the unknown that awaits them. And the darkness that seems to follow wherever they go. In this striking portrait of lives torn apart, the plight of migrants at the U.S. southern border is brought to light through poignant, vivid storytelling. An epic journey of danger, resilience, heartache, and hope. Praise for We Are Not From Here: "With poignant, exhausting lyricism and heart wrenching poetic prose, Jenny Torres Sanchez digs deep and shows us the throbbing, aching corazón--the hopeful, unbreakable spirit of the embattled immigrant. A book for the starving, lost soul." --Guadalupe García McCall, Pura Belpré Award-winning author of Under the Mesquite "An incredibly powerful, soul-searing YA. [I]mportant and necessary.... I could not put this book down." --Padma Venkatraman, award-winning author of The Bridge Home "We Are Not From Here is one of the most relevant and needed young adult novels of the year, a must-read." --Jennifer Mathieu, critically acclaimed author of The Liars of Mariposa Island and Moxie "An achingly beautifully story...masterfully told...Jenny Torres Sanchez is a true leader within young adult fiction." --Christina Diaz Gonzalez, award-winning author of The Red Umbrella "We Are Not From Here is absolutely stunning. It's raw and real, gritty and gorgeously told. A story that's painfully relevant today, and told with such precision and beauty, you can feel it. It's breathtaking and left me absolutely breathless." --Lauren Gibaldi, author of This Tiny Perfect World "We Are Not From Here is a book that will mark your heart. Jenny Torres Sanchez challenges us to feel, empathize and understand. A searing, necessary and ultimately beautiful book." --Alexandra Villasante, critically acclaimed author of The Grief Keeper * "A brutally honest, not-to-be-missed narrative...gripping, heart-wrenching, and thrilling." --Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW * "A candid, realistic story that will leave readers thinking about the characters--and about our own world--long after the last page." --SLJ, STARRED REVIEW * "Gripping, poignant...this soul-shaking narrative [recalls] the works of Gabriel García Márquez." --Booklist, STARRED REVIEW * "A devastating read that is difficult to put down, this unforgettable book unflinchingly illuminates the experiences of those leaving their homes to seek safety in the United States." --Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
Publication Date: 2020-05-19
Let Me Hear a Rhyme
Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. JacksonIn this striking new novel by the critically acclaimed author of Allegedly and Monday's Not Coming, Tiffany D. Jackson tells the story of three Brooklyn teens who plot to turn their murdered friend into a major rap star by pretending he's still alive. Brooklyn, 1998. Biggie Smalls was right: Things done changed. But that doesn't mean that Quadir and Jarrell are cool letting their best friend Steph's music lie forgotten under his bed after he's murdered--not when his rhymes could turn any Bed Stuy corner into a party. With the help of Steph's younger sister Jasmine, they come up with a plan to promote Steph's music under a new rap name: the Architect. Soon, everyone wants a piece of him. When his demo catches the attention of a hotheaded music label rep, the trio must prove Steph's talent from beyond the grave. As the pressure of keeping their secret grows, Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine are forced to confront the truth about what happened to Steph. Only, each has something to hide. And with everything riding on Steph's fame, they need to decide what they stand for or lose all that they've worked so hard to hold on to--including each other.
Publication Date: 2019-05-21
They Called Us Enemy
They Called Us Enemy by George Takei; Justin Eisinger; Steven Scott; Harmony Becker (Illustrator)New York Times Bestseller! A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei's childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon -- and America itself -- in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love. George Takei has captured hearts and minds worldwide with his captivating stage presence and outspoken commitment to equal rights. But long before he 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. What does it mean to be American? Who gets to decide? When the world is against you, what can one person do? To answer these questions, George Takei joins co-writers Justin Eisinger & Steven Scott and artist Harmony Becker for the journey of a lifetime.
Publication Date: 2019-07-16
Like a Love Story
Like a Love Story by Abdi NazemianStonewall Honor Book! "A love letter to queerness, self-expression, and individuality (also Madonna) that never shies away from the ever-present fear within the queer community of late '80s New York, Like a Love Story made me feel so full--of hope, love, courage, pride, and awe for the many people who fought for love and self-expression in the face of discrimination, cruelty, and death. "A book for warriors, divas, artists, queens, individuals, activists, trend setters, and anyone searching for the courage to be themselves."--Mackenzi Lee, New York Times bestselling author of The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue It's 1989 in New York City, and for three teens, the world is changing. Reza is an Iranian boy who has just moved to the city with his mother to live with his stepfather and stepbrother. He's terrified that someone will guess the truth he can barely acknowledge about himself. Reza knows he's gay, but all he knows of gay life are the media's images of men dying of AIDS. Judy is an aspiring fashion designer who worships her uncle Stephen, a gay man with AIDS who devotes his time to activism as a member of ACT UP. Judy has never imagined finding romance...until she falls for Reza and they start dating. Art is Judy's best friend, their school's only out and proud teen. He'll never be who his conservative parents want him to be, so he rebels by documenting the AIDS crisis through his photographs. As Reza and Art grow closer, Reza struggles to find a way out of his deception that won't break Judy's heart--and destroy the most meaningful friendship he's ever known. This is a bighearted, sprawling epic about friendship and love and the revolutionary act of living life to the fullest in the face of impossible odds.
Publication Date: 2019-06-04
Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen YangIn his latest graphic novel, Gene Luen Yang turns the spotlight on his life, his family, and the high school where he teaches.Gene doesn't get sports. But at Bishop O'Dowd High School, it's all anyone can talk about. The men's varsity basketball team, the Dragons, is having a phenomenal season that's been decades in the making. Each victory brings them closer to their ultimate goal: the California State Championships.Once Gene gets to know these young all-stars, he realizes that their story is just as thrilling as anything he's seen on a comic book page. What he doesn't know yet is that this season is not only going to change the Dragons' lives, but his own life as well.
Publication Date: 2020-03-17
From the desk of Zoe Washington
From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae MarksAn Amazon Best Book of the Month * #1 Kids Indie Next List * A Junior Library Guild Selection * Four Starred Reviews * From debut author Janae Marks comes a captivating mystery full of heart, as one courageous girl questions assumptions, searches for the truth, and does what she believes is right--even in the face of great opposition. A perfect book for fans of Front Desk and All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook! Zoe Washington isn't sure what to write. What does a girl say to the father she's never met, hadn't heard from until his letter arrived on her twelfth birthday, and who's been in prison for a terrible crime? A crime he says he never committed. Could Marcus really be innocent? Zoe is determined to uncover the truth. Even if it means hiding his letters and her investigation from the rest of her family. Everyone else thinks Zoe's worrying about doing a good job at her bakery internship and proving to her parents that she's worthy of auditioning for Food Network's Kids Bake Challenge. But with bakery confections on one part of her mind, and Marcus's conviction weighing heavily on the other, this is one recipe Zoe doesn't know how to balance. The only thing she knows to be true: Everyone lies.
Publication Date: 2020-01-14
Some Places More than Others
Some Places More Than Others by Renée Watson; Renée WatsonFrom New York Times bestselling and multi award-winning author Renee Watson comes a heartwarming and inspiring middle grade novel about finding deep roots and exploring the past, the present, and the places that make us who we are. 'Some of the places I am still getting to know, some of these places I have known all my life. All of these places made me, are making me.' All Amara wants for her birthday is to visit her father's family in New York City Harlem. She can't wait to finally meet her Grandpa Earl and cousins in person, and to stay in the brownstone where her father grew up. Maybe this will help her understand her family and herself in a new way. But New York City is not exactly what Amara thought it would be. It's noisy, crowded, confusing, and her cousins can be mean. Plus her father is too busy working to spend time with her and too angry to fix his relationship with Grandpa Earl. Amara can't help wondering, even if she does discover more about where she came from, will it help her know where she belongs?
Publication Date: 2019-09-03
Efrén Divided by Ernesto Cisneros"We need books to break open our hearts, so that we might feel more deeply, so that we might be more human in these unkind times. This is a book doing work of the spirit in a time of darkness." --Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street Efrén Nava's Amá is his Superwoman--or Soperwoman, named after the delicious Mexican sopes his mother often prepares. Both Amá and Apá work hard all day to provide for the family, making sure Efrén and his younger siblings Max and Mía feel safe and loved. But Efrén worries about his parents; although he's American-born, his parents are undocumented. His worst nightmare comes true one day when Amá doesn't return from work and is deported across the border to Tijuana, México. Now more than ever, Efrén must channel his inner Soperboy to help take care of and try to reunite his family.
Publication Date: 2020-03-31
Clap When You Land
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth AcevedoIn a novel-in-verse that brims with grief and love, National Book Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives. Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people... In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal's office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash. Separated by distance--and Papi's secrets--the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they've lost everything of their father, they learn of each other. Plus don't miss Elizabeth Acevedo's The Poet X and With the Fire on High!
Publication Date: 2020-05-05
Love from A to Z
Love from a to Z by S. K. AliA School Library Journal Best Young Adult Book of 2019 A YALSA 2020 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers From William C. Morris Award Finalist S.K. Ali comes an unforgettable romance that is part The Sun Is Also a Star mixed with Anna and the French Kiss, following two Muslim teens who meet during a spring break trip. A marvel: something you find amazing. Even ordinary-amazing. Like potatoes--because they make French fries happen. Like the perfect fries Adam and his mom used to make together. An oddity: whatever gives you pause. Like the fact that there are hateful people in the world. Like Zayneb's teacher, who won't stop reminding the class how "bad" Muslims are. But Zayneb, the only Muslim in class, isn't bad. She's angry. When she gets suspended for confronting her teacher, and he begins investigating her activist friends, Zayneb heads to her aunt's house in Doha, Qatar, for an early start to spring break. Fueled by the guilt of getting her friends in trouble, she resolves to try out a newer, "nicer" version of herself in a place where no one knows her. Then her path crosses with Adam's. Since he got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November, Adam's stopped going to classes, intent, instead, on perfecting the making of things. Intent on keeping the memory of his mom alive for his little sister. Adam's also intent on keeping his diagnosis a secret from his grieving father. Alone, Adam and Zayneb are playing roles for others, keeping their real thoughts locked away in their journals. Until a marvel and an oddity occurs... Marvel: Adam and Zayneb meeting. Oddity: Adam and Zayneb meeting.
Publication Date: 2019-04-30
Patron Saint of Nothing
Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy RibayA NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST "Brilliant, honest, and equal parts heartbreaking and soul-healing." --Laurie Halse Anderson, author of SHOUT "A singular voice in the world of literature." --Jason Reynolds, author of Long Way Down A powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks a Filipino-American teenager takes to uncover the truth about his cousin's murder. Jay Reguero plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte's war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story. Hoping to uncover more about Jun and the events that led to his death, Jay is forced to reckon with the many sides of his cousin before he can face the whole horrible truth -- and the part he played in it. As gripping as it is lyrical, Patron Saints of Nothing is a page-turning portrayal of the struggle to reconcile faith, family, and immigrant identity.
Publication Date: 2019-06-18
Sadie by Courtney SummersANew York Timesbestseller! An Edgar Award Winner! ABooklistTop 10 YA Book for Adult Readers One of the Best YA Novels of 2018 byPublishers Weekly One of B&N Teen Blog's Best YA Books of 2018 Bustle'sBest Young Adult Books of 2018 Good Morning America's Best Books of 2018 In NPR's Guide to 2018's Greatest Reads In Paste's 30 Best Young Adult Novels of 2018 Nominated for YALSA's 2019 Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers 4 Starred Reviews fromKirkus, School Library Journal, Booklist, Publishers Weekly! "Sadie: a novel for readers of any age, and a character as indelible as a scar. Flat-out dazzling."--A. J. Finn, #1New York Times bestselling author ofThe Woman in the Window "Sadieis an electrifying, high-stakes road trip. Clear your schedule. You're not going anywhere until you've reached the end." --Stephanie Perkins,New York Timesbestselling author ofThere's Someone Inside Your HouseandAnna and the French Kiss "A haunting, gut-wrenching, and relentlessly compelling read." --Veronica Roth, #1New York Timesbestselling author ofCarve the Markand the Divergentseries A missing girl on a journey of revenge. ASerial--like podcast following the clues she's left behind. And an ending you won't be able to stop talking about. Sadie hasn't had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she's been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water. But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie's entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister's killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him. When West McCray--a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America--overhears Sadie's story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie's journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it's too late. Courtney Summers has written the breakout book of her career.Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep you riveted until the last page.
Publication Date: 2018-09-04
Pet by Akwaeke EmeziNATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST STONEWALL BOOK AWARD WINNER "[A] beautiful, genre-expanding debut. . . . Pet is a nesting doll of creative possibilities." -The New York Times The highly-anticipated, genre-defying new novel by award-winning author Akwaeke Emezi that explores themes of identity and justice. Pet is here to hunt a monster. Are you brave enough to look? There are no monsters anymore, or so the children in the city of Lucille are taught. Jam and her best friend, Redemption, have grown up with this lesson all their life. But when Jam meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colors and claws, who emerges from one of her mother's paintings and a drop of Jam's blood, she must reconsider what she's been told. Pet has come to hunt a monster, and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption's house. Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but also to uncover the truth, and the answer to the question--How do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist? Acclaimed novelist Akwaeke Emezi makes their riveting and timely young adult debut with a book that asks difficult questions about what choices you can make when the society around you is in denial. "Like [Madeleine] L'Engle, Akwaeke Emezi asks questions of good and evil and agency, all wrapped up in the terrifying and glorious spectacle of fantastical theology." -NPR
Publication Date: 2019-09-10
A High Five for Glenn Burke
A High Five for Glenn Burke by Phil BildnerA heartfelt and relatable novel from Phil Bildner, weaving the real history of Los Angeles Dodger and Oakland Athletic Glenn Burke--the first professional baseball player to come out as gay--into the story of a middle-school kid learning to be himself. When sixth grader Silas Wade does a school presentation on former Major Leaguer Glenn Burke, it's more than just a report about the irrepressible inventor of the high five. Burke was a gay baseball player in the 1970s--and for Silas, the presentation is his own first baby step toward revealing a truth about himself he's tired of hiding. Soon he tells his best friend, Zoey, but the longer he keeps his secret from his baseball teammates, the more he suspects they know something's up--especially when he stages one big cover-up with terrible consequences. A High Five for Glenn Burke is Phil Bildner's most personal novel yet--a powerful story about the challenge of being true to yourself, especially when not everyone feels you belong on the field.
Publication Date: 2020-02-25
Ghost Squad by Claribel A. OrtegaCoco meets Stranger Things with a hint of Ghostbusters in this action-packed supernatural fantasy. For Lucely Luna, ghosts are more than just the family business. Shortly before Halloween, Lucely and her best friend, Syd, cast a spell that accidentally awakens malicious spirits, wreaking havoc throughout St. Augustine. Together, they must join forces with Syd's witch grandmother, Babette, and her tubby tabby, Chunk, to fight the haunting head-on and reverse the curse to save the town and Lucely's firefly spirits before it's too late. With the family dynamics of Coco and action-packed adventure of Ghostbusters, Claribel A. Ortega delivers both a thrillingly spooky and delightfully sweet debut novel.
Publication Date: 2020-04-07
Genesis Begins Again
Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. WilliamsA Newbery Honor Book Winner of the Correta Scott King - John Steptoe for New Talent Author Award A Morris Award Finalist An NPR Favorite Book of 2019 A School Library Journal Best Middle Grade Book of 2019 A Kirkus Reviews Best Middle Grade Book of 2019 This deeply sensitive and powerful debut novel tells the story of a thirteen-year-old who must overcome internalized racism and a verbally abusive family to finally learn to love herself. There are ninety-six things Genesis hates about herself. She knows the exact number because she keeps a list. Like #95: Because her skin is so dark, people call her charcoal and eggplant--even her own family. And #61: Because her family is always being put out of their house, belongings laid out on the sidewalk for the world to see. When your dad is a gambling addict and loses the rent money every month, eviction is a regular occurrence. What's not so regular is that this time they all don't have a place to crash, so Genesis and her mom have to stay with her grandma. It's not that Genesis doesn't like her grandma, but she and Mom always fight--Grandma haranguing Mom to leave Dad, that she should have gone back to school, that if she'd married a lighter skinned man none of this would be happening, and on and on and on. But things aren't all bad. Genesis actually likes her new school; she's made a couple friends, her choir teacher says she has real talent, and she even encourages Genesis to join the talent show. But how can Genesis believe anything her teacher says when her dad tells her the exact opposite? How can she stand up in front of all those people with her dark, dark skin knowing even her own family thinks lesser of her because of it? Why, why, why won't the lemon or yogurt or fancy creams lighten her skin like they're supposed to? And when Genesis reaches #100 on the list of things she hates about herself, will she continue on, or can she find the strength to begin again?
Publication Date: 2019-01-15
Tristan Strong punches a hole in the sky
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame MbaliaTristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he failed to save his best friend Eddie when they were in a bus accident together. But on his first night at his grandparents' farm, a sticky creature shows up in his bedroom and steals Eddie's notebook. When Tristan chases after, he finds himself in the middle of a battle that has left black American folk heroes John Henry and Brer Rabbit exhausted. In order to get back home, Tristan and these new allies will need to entice the god Anansi to come out of hiding. Can Tristan save this world before he loses more of the things he loves?