Books We’re Looking Forward To In April

Here is a look at some of the new books coming out in April…

April 4

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett — Seventeen-year-old Bailey moves to California to live with her father and, perhaps, finally meet an online friend and fellow film buff, but soon finds herself attracted to an annoying co-worker. “You’ve Got Mail gets a teenage spin in this story…movie quotes kick off each chapter, and the California backdrop is an ideal setting for this uncommonly nuanced summer romance” (Booklist starred review).

But Then I Came Back by Estelle Laure — After a month in a coma, eighteen-year-old Eden finds it hard to resume her life and relationships but forms an unlikely connection with Joe, who visits his best friend, Jaz, another coma patient, every day. “Rendered with insight and compassion, Eden’s struggles to make peace with the human condition add up to a riveting coming-of-age story” (Kirkus starred review).

Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr — Gem has never known what it is to have security. She’s never known an adult she can truly rely on. But the one constant in her life has been Dixie. Gem grew up taking care of her sister when no one else could: not their mother, whose issues make it hard for her to keep food on the table, and definitely not their father. “Readers’ hearts will ache for Gem, who so desperately wants to follow a different path than her parents, as she tries to carve out a better life for herself and her sister” (Publishers Weekly starred review).

The Last Thing You Said by Sara Biren — When Trixie dies, her brother and her best friend, who are falling in love, struggle with grief and guilt which threatens their fledgling romance. “Biren’s debut novel offers a tender look at a particular moment in the lives of two teens, a moment that feels real and uncontrived, [and she] proves deft at filling in the back story without overshadowing the problems of the present” (Kirkus starred review).

Looking For Group by Rory Harrison — Dylan doesn’t have a lot of experience with comfort. His room in the falling-down Village Estates can generously be categorized as squalid, and he sure isn’t getting any love from his mother, who seemed to—no, definitely did—enjoy the perks that went along with being the parent of a “cancer kid”. His only escape has been in the form of his favorite video game—World of Warcraft—and the one true friend who makes him feel understood, even if it is just online. “This book is a triumph, allowing honesty, excitement, humor, and heart to step over gender and sexuality constraints and tell a beautiful story” (Kirkus starred review).

Pointe, Claw by Amber J. Keyser — Jessie is killing her body to become a ballerina. Dawn is blacking out and waking in strange places. At every turn, the friends encounter the many ways girls are judged and discarded. Should they play it safe or go feral? “Alternating between Dawn and Jessie’s perspectives, Keyser’s writing shimmers with raw emotion and empathy, and her finale, much like in dance, is poetic, bittersweet, and life affirming” (Publishers Weekly starred review).

Racial Profiling: Everyday Inequality by Alison Marie Behnke — In the United States, racial profiling affects thousands of Americans every day. Combining rigorous research with powerful personal stories, Behnke explores the history, the many manifestations, and the consequences of this form of social injustice. “A mandatory addition to teen collections for discussions on inequality and social justice” (School Library Journal starred review).

What Girls Are Made Of by Elana K. Arnold — When Nina’s mother told her there was no such thing as unconditional love, Nina believed her. Now she’s desperate to keep her boyfriend–but he leaves her anyway. What is she if not a girlfriend? What is she made of? “[Arnold weaves] a narrative wholeness that is greater than its parts. Unflinchingly candid, unapologetically girl, and devastatingly vital” (Kirkus starred review).

Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant — Eva Walker is a seventeen-year-old math genius. And if that doesn’t do wonders for her popularity, there’s another thing that makes it even worse: when she touches people, she sees a vision of their emotions. “This story could be classified as speculative fiction, romance, or a contemporary realistic novel. It is indeed all of the above, and well done on all fronts” (Booklist starred review).

April 11

Beck by Mal Peet and Meg Rosoff — Born of a brief encounter between a Liverpool prostitute and an African soldier in 1907, Beck finds himself orphaned as a young boy and sent overseas to the Catholic Brothers in Canada. At age fifteen he is sent to work on a farm, from which he eventually escapes. Finally in charge of his own destiny, Beck starts westward, crossing the border into America and back, all while the Great Depression rages on. “A heartbreaking, painful work that gives hope to the restorative power of true human connection” (School Library Journal starred review).

The Freemason’s Daughter by Shelley Sackier — Saying good-bye to Scotland is the hardest thing that Jenna MacDuff has had to do—until she met Lord Pembroke. Jenna’s small clan has risked their lives traveling the countryside as masons, secretly drumming up support and arms at every stop for the exiled King James Stuart so that he may retake the British throne. But their next job brings them into enemy territory: England. “An intriguing exploration of the intersection of politics, religion, and customs of the period—historical fiction at its best” (Kirkus starred review).

April 18

Bang by Barry Lyga — Sebastian Cody did something horrible, something no one–not even Sebastian himself–can forgive. At the age of four, he accidentally shot and killed his infant sister with his father’s gun. Now, ten years later, Sebastian has lived with the guilt and horror for his entire life. With his best friend away for the summer, Sebastian has only a new friend–Aneesa–to distract him from his darkest thoughts. “A raw exploration of persistent social stigmas, a beautiful study of forgiveness, and an unflinching portrait of a parent’s worst nightmare” (Publishers Weekly starred review).

Grendel’s Guide To Love and War by A.E. Kaplan — The Perks of Being a Wallflower meets Revenge of the Nerds in this tale of a teen misfit who seeks to take down the bro next door, but ends up falling for his enemy’s sister and uncovering difficult truths about his family in the process. “An outstanding YA novel balancing comedy with substantial themes of love, death, and healing” (School Library Journal starred review).

Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman — Meticulously researched, drawing on the 658 letters Vincent Van Gogh wrote to his brother, Theo, during his lifetime, Heiligman weaves a tale of two lives intertwined and the extraordinary love of the Van Gogh brothers. “This illuminating glimpse into the Van Goghs’ turbulent lives and historical period will add compelling depth to readers’ understanding of the iconic painter. Art-­loving teens will be captivated” (Booklist starred review).

April 25

Between Two Skies by Joanne O’Sullivan — Bayou Perdu, a tiny fishing town way, way down in Louisiana, is home to sixteen-year-old Evangeline Riley. She has her best friends, Kendra and Daniel, her wise, beloved Mamere and back-to-back titles in the under-sixteen fishing rodeo. And then the storm comes, and everything changes. Amid the chaos and pain and destruction comes Tru — a fellow refugee, a budding bluesman, a balm for Evangeline’s aching heart. “Told in a strong, purposeful voice filled with controlled emotion and hope, the impact of Katrina on families is as compelling as Evangeline’s drive to regain her sense of self and belonging” (Booklist starred review).

How Dare The Sun Rises: Memoirs of a War Child by Sandra Uwiringiyimana — This profoundly moving memoir is the remarkable and inspiring true story of Sandra Uwiringiyimana, a girl from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who tells the tale of how she survived a massacre, immigrated to America, and overcame her trauma through art and activism. “The title is a critical piece of literature, contributing to the larger refugee narrative in a way that is complex and nuanced but still accessible for a YA audience” (School Library Journal starred review).

North of Happy by Adi Alsaid — Carlos Portillo has always led a privileged and sheltered life. A dual citizen of Mexico and the United States, he lives in Mexico City with his wealthy family, where he attends an elite international school. But when his older brother, Felix–who has dropped out of college to live a life of travel–is tragically killed, Carlos begins hearing his brother’s voice, giving him advice and pushing him to rebel against his father’s plan for him. “An exceptional tale of grief, ambition, love, and maturity” (Kirkus starred review).

Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick — On the outskirts of Juarez, Mexico, Arturo scrapes together a living working odd jobs and staying out of sight. But his friend Faustino is in trouble: he’s stolen money from the narcos to smuggle his girlfriend and her baby into the US, and needs Arturo’s help to get it back. To help his friend, Arturo must face the remorseless world of drug and human traffickers that surrounds him, and contend with a murky past. “Uncomfortable and at times accusatory, Sedgwick’s unflinching narrative is timely and guaranteed to incite discussion, if not debate” (Booklist starred review).

The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares — A novel about love, class differences, and betrayal playing out over the course of a fractured American family’s Long Island summer. Sasha’s dad was once married to Ray’s mom, but the marriage crumbled and the bitterness lingered. Now there are two new families–and neither one will give up the beach house that holds the memories, happy and sad, of summers past. “Brashares’s masterful orchestration of plot, multidimensional characters, and intriguing subplots will delight her fans and newcomers alike” (Publishers Weekly starred review).

Books We’re Looking Forward To In March

Here’s a look at some of the new book releases we’re looking forward to in March:

March 7th

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner — Carver Briggs never thought a simple text would cause a fatal crash, killing his three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake. But now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident and even worse, a powerful judge is pressuring the district attorney to open up a criminal investigation. “The story builds suspense while developing not only empathetic but also multidimensional characters…the result is an absorbing effort with emotional and psychological integrity” (Booklist starred review).

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz — Sal used to know his place with his adoptive gay father, their loving Mexican American family, and his best friend, Samantha. But it’s senior year, and suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and realizing he no longer knows himself. “[Saenz] offers another stellar, gentle look into the emotional lives of teens on the cusp of adulthood” (Kirkus starred review).

Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali — Nazi Germany. 1936. In the Lebensborn program, carefully selected German women are recruited by the Nazis to give birth to new members of the Aryan race. Inside one of these women is Max, literally counting the minutes until he is born and he can fulfill his destiny as the perfect Aryan specimen. “A heartrending portrait of unlikely friendship and fierce defiance, and an impeccably researched glimpse into a deeply disturbing point in history” (Booklist starred review).

The Other F-Word by Natasha Friend — Milo has two great moms, but he’s never known what it’s like to have a dad. When Milo’s doctor suggests asking his biological father to undergo genetic testing to shed some light on Milo’s extreme allergies, he realizes this is a golden opportunity to find the man he’s always wondered about. “With convincing dialogue, multidimensional characters (including the adults), and a timely topic, this compelling story movingly proves that there are no stereotypes when it comes to family” (Booklist starred review).

Traitor To The Throne by Alwyn Hamilton — In Rebel of the Sands, gunslinger Amani al’Hiza fled her dead-end hometown on the back of a mythical horse with the mysterious foreigner Jin, seeking only her own freedom. Now she’s fighting to liberate the entire desert nation of Miraji from a bloodthirsty sultan who slew his own father to capture the throne. “Palace intrigue, military stratagems, even cosmic powers can’t eclipse the complex tangle of love, loss, and loyalty in this Arabian Nights–inspired fantasy sequel” (Kirkus starred review).

Wonderful Feels Like This by Sara Lovestam — For Steffi, going to school everyday is an exercise in survival. She’s never fit in with any of the groups at school, and she’s viciously teased by the other girls in her class. The only way she escapes is through her music–especially jazz. When Steffi hears her favorite jazz song playing through an open window of a retirement home on her walk home from school, she decides to go in and introduce herself. “Sensitive and deeply moving: outstanding” (Kirkus starred review).

March 14th

The Book That Made Me, edited by Judith Ridge — Just as authors create books, books create authors — and these essays by thirty-one writers for young people offer a fascinating glimpse at the books that inspired them the most. “Impassioned and intimate, these essays create an eloquent ode to the power of story” (Publishers Weekly).

Freya by Matthew Laurence — There’s far more to Sara Vanadi than meets the eye. In her prime, she was Freya, the Norse goddess of love, beauty, war, and death – though that past hardly seems to matter now. For an ancient goddess in the 21st century, true believers – and the strength they bring – are painfully hard to find. “Like a Rick Riordan–Terry Pratchett mashup, this series debut blends philosophy (free will, destiny, faith), humor, multidimensional characters, and a fast-moving, well-constructed plot into a compulsively entertaining read” (Kirkus starred review).

Maid of the King’s Court by Lucy Worsley — Clever, headstrong Elizabeth Rose Camperdowne knows her duty. As the sole heiress to an old but impoverished noble family, Eliza must marry a man of wealth and title — it’s the only fate for a girl of her standing. But when a surprising turn of events lands her in the royal court as a maid of honor to Anne of Cleves, Eliza is drawn into the dizzying, dangerous orbit of Henry the Eighth. “Exhilarating, romantic, and illuminating; has the potential to turn casual readers into Tudor history buffs” (Kirkus starred review).

A Psalm For Lost Girls by Katie Bayerl — Tess da Costa is a saint–a hand-to-god, miracle-producing saint. At least that’s what the people in her hometown of New Avon, Massachusetts, seem to believe. And when Tess suddenly and tragically passes away, her small city begins feverishly petitioning the Pope to make Tess’s sainthood official. “Richly and evocatively written, Bayerl’s story is ideal for fans of Jandy Nelson and Melina Marchetta” (Publishers Weekly starred review).

The White Road of the Moon by Rachel Neumeier — Imagine you live with your aunt, who hates you so much she’s going to sell you into a dreadful apprenticeship. Imagine you run away before that can happen. Imagine that you can see ghosts–and talk with the dead. Now imagine . . . the first people you encounter after your escape are a mysterious stranger and a ghost boy, who seem to need you desperately. “A richly rewarding stand-alone story evoking far more color than its titular tint might suggest” (Kirkus starred review).

Who Killed Christopher Goodman by Allan Wolf — Inspired by a tragic true event in his past, Allan Wolf examines the circumstances of one boy’s inexplicable murder and the fateful summer leading up to it. “Recommended for most YA collections, this fast-paced novel will appeal to reluctant readers as well as fans of mystery and suspense” (School Library Journal starred review).

Yvain, The Knight of the Lion by M.T. Anderson — In his first graphic novel, National Book Award winner M. T. Anderson turns to Arthurian lore, with captivating art by Andrea Offermann bringing the classic legend to life. “Anderson uses the format’s sparseness of text to maximum effect, fashioning a thought-provoking narrative that reflects the grandiosity of Arthurian England while never relinquishing the human element at the core of this story” (Kirkus starred review).

March 21st

Blood Family by Anne Fine — Edward is four years old when he is locked away with his mother by her abusive, alcoholic partner, Harris. By the time an elderly neighbor spots his pale face peering through a crack in the boarded-up window and raises the alarm, he is seven. Rescue comes, but lasting damage has been done. “A powerhouse of a story about a boy who survives” (Kirkus starred review).

Nemesis by Brendan Reichs — It’s been happening since Min was eight. Every two years, on her birthday, a strange man finds her and murders her in cold blood. But hours later, she wakes up in a clearing just outside her tiny Idaho hometown–alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the horrifying crime erased. “Reichs truly keeps readers guessing throughout, with twists on nearly every page” (Booklist starred review).

Ten Miles One Way by Patrick Downes — Nest and Q walk through the city. Nest speaks and Q listens. Mile by mile, Nest tells Q about her life, her family, her past . . . and her Chimaera, the beast that preys on her mind and causes her to lose herself. “An intricate, unusual love story for readers attuned to compassion” (Kirkus starred review).

March 28th

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi — Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. “Careful plotting, multiple viewpoints, high-stakes action, and a slow-burn relationship makes this heady fantasy completely engrossing” (School Library Journal starred review).

Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos — Robert Capa and Gerda Taro were young Jewish refugees, idealistic and in love. As photographers in the 1930s, they set off to capture their generation’s most important struggle—the fight against fascism. Among the first to depict modern warfare, Capa, Taro, and their friend Chim took powerful photographs of the Spanish Civil War that went straight from the action to news magazines. “Thoroughly researched and cited, the text offers a unique perspective on WWII by focusing on two expatriates unaligned with a specific country” (Booklist starred review).

Honestly Ben by Bill Konigsberg — The companion to the award-winning Openly Straight. Ben Carver is back to normal. He’s working steadily in his classes at the Natick School. He just got elected captain of the baseball team. He’s even won a full scholarship to college, if he can keep up his grades. All that foolishness with Rafe Goldberg the past semester is in the past. Except… “Equal parts serious and funny as it addresses homophobia, hazing rituals, and cheating while also delighting readers with a slice-of-life tale set at a private academy” (School Library Journal starred review).

Just A Girl by Carrie Mestrobian — By her senior year of high school, Rianne has exhausted all the fun there is to have in small-town Wereford, Minnesota. Volleyball season is winding down, the parties feel tired, and now that she’s in a serious relationship with reformed player Luke Pinsky, her wild streak has ended. Not that she ever did anything worse than most guys in her school…but she knows what everyone thinks of her. “Rianne’s rich inner life, especially when it’s at odds with what’s expected of her, is captivatingly full of meaningful, compelling drama, and Mesrobian’s frank, realistic depiction of teenage sexuality is a particular bright spot” (Booklist starred review).

Overturned by Lamar Giles — Nikki Tate’s father has been on death row for killing his best friend in a gambling dispute, but he has always maintained his innocence, and now his conviction has been overturned and he is back at the casino, where high school junior Nikki has been operating illegal poker games in the hopes of saving enough money to get out of Vegas after graduation. Now he is determined to find the real killer, and Nikki is inevitably drawn into his dangerous search for the truth. “Nikki is a totally appealing character: gutsy, practical, and strong, at the head of a cast of well-drawn supporting characters. An utterly compelling whodunit” (Kirkus starred review).

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman — Frances Janvier spends most of her time studying. Everyone knows Aled Last as that quiet boy who gets straight As. You probably think that they are going to fall in love or something. Since he is a boy and she is a girl. They don’t. They make a podcast. “Oseman vividly illustrates that the world and its technologies offer opportunities for connection and fulfillment that go far beyond traditional definitions of success” (Publishers Weekly starred review).

Sophie Someone by Hayley Long — Sophie Nieuwenleven is sort of English and sort of Belgian. She and her family came to live in Belgium when she was only four or five, but she’s fourteen now and has never been sure why they left England in the first place. She loves her international school, adores her friend Comet, and is protective of her little brother, Hercule. But it’s hard to feel carefree when her mom never leaves the apartment and her dad has a dead-end job as a car mechanic. Then one day Sophie makes a startling discovery, a discovery that unlocks the mystery of who she really is. “An original narrative that zigs and zags in inspired ways, with a sympathetic heroine leading the way” (Booklist starred review).

Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor — The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around–and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever. “Has all the rich, evocative imagery and complex world-building typical of Taylor’s best work. This outstanding fantasy is a must-purchase for all YA collections” (School Library Journal starred review).

Things I Should Have Known by Claire Lazebnik — Meet Chloe Mitchell, a popular Los Angeles girl who’s decided that her older sister, Ivy, who’s on the autism spectrum, could use a boyfriend. Chloe already has someone in mind: Ethan Fields, a sweet, movie-obsessed boy from Ivy’s special needs class. “LaZebnik paints a vivid picture of what the sibling of a person with high-functioning autism might go through. Never resorting to stereotype, she depicts appealing, three-­dimensional characters who flesh out a narrative that is compassionate, tender, funny, and wise all at once” (Booklist starred review).

New Nonfiction

Here are some of the latest nonfiction titles available at CA Library — look for them in the New Books section!

All Heart: My Dedication and Determination To Become One of Soccer’s Best by Carli Lloyd with Wayne Coffey — Lloyd tells the full inspiring story of her journey to the top of the soccer world–an honest, action-packed account that takes readers inside the mind of a hardworking athlete. “While soccer fans will especially enjoy the detailed descriptions of key matches from her career, there’s much to glean about teamwork and determination for any teen. An inspiring story of perseverance” (Booklist).

Cyberbullying and the Wild, Wild Web: What Everyone Needs To Know by J.A. Hitchcock — Hitchcock, a nationally recognized cybercrime and cyberbullying expert, offers her own perspective on the topic and “interviews several other cyberbullying experts and includes their insights, making this a well-rounded resource for parents and educators” (Booklist).

Elon Musk and the Quest For A Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance — An in-depth look into the extraordinary life of one of the world’s most important entrepreneur, Elon Musk. “Vance maintains a lively pace and explains the groundbreaking technology in a way that is accessible and exciting” (School Library Journal).

Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life by Matin Durrani & Liz Kalaugher — Through more than 30 animal case studies, Durrani and Kalaugher examine various animal’s key features and describe the ways physics is at play in its life, how the connection between physics and animal behavior was discovered, and what remains to be found out. “Readers don’t need a background in physics to enjoy this engaging, educational title. Recommended for fans of popular science, including YA audiences” (Library Journal).

Last Message Received by Emily Trunko — Adapted from the popular Tumblr The Last Message Received, this book features sudden endings and the type of loss that will inspire readers to reflect on what’s essential in their own lives and the importance of celebrating the people they love every day. “Readers will return to this volume again and again, especially those in need of a bit of reassurance about the world” (School Library Journal).

Lazy Crafternoon by Stella Fields — Spend a lazy crafternoon with your friends. From school supplies to colorful tech accessories to perfect party decor, Lazy Crafternoon guides crafters through simple steps to create amazing projects. “With its color photos and attractive, easy-to-navigate layout, this [is] a great purchase for public libraries with large numbers of experienced crafters” (Booklist).

Stop, Breathe, Chill: Meditations for a Less Stressful, More Awesome Life by Beth Stebner — These mindfulness exercises will teach you how to focus on the present and stop freaking out about the future. Each entry tackles the sort of stuff life throws at you every day — whether it’s a situation with friends, issues with family, or the pressures of school, you’ll learn how to live in the moment and stop stressing out.

Storm In A Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life by Helen Czerski — Physicist Helen Czerski provides the tools to alter the way we see everything around us by linking ordinary objects and occurrences, like popcorn popping, coffee stains, and fridge magnets, to big ideas like climate change, the energy crisis, or innovative medical testing. “Certainly this book will delight popular science fans, but it will also enchant reluctant nonfiction readers with its poetic descriptions and narrative appeal” (Library Journal).

Strong Inside: the True Story of How Perry Wallace Broke College Basketball’s Color Line by Andrew Maraniss — A biography of the first African American basketball player in the Southeastern Conference details his struggles against racism, persistence of will, and role as a civil rights trailblazer. “This portrait of the fortitude of a young athlete will make a huge impact on teens and is guaranteed to spark serious discussion” (School Library Journal).

Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin — Jim Thorpe: super athlete, Olympic gold medalist, Native American. Pop Warner: indomitable coach, football mastermind, Ivy League grad. Before these men became legends, they met in 1907 at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, where they forged one of the winningest teams in American football history. “Containing a generous collection of black-and-white period photographs, this is a model of research and documentation, as well as of stylish writing that tells an always absorbing story” (Booklist starred review).

The Unofficial Guide To Crafting The World Of Harry Potter by Jamie Harrington — With a little Hogwarts creativity and the step-by-step guidance of this spellbinding book, you’ll be able to transfigurate simple supplies and things around the house into everything from Remembrall Rings to Butterbeer Lip Balm to Nargles for your front lawn. “Teens are an obvious audience, but with the first generation of Potter fanatics hitting their 30s, their thirst for 1990s nostalgia is unquenchable” (Library Journal).

Who Wins? 100 Historical Figures Go Head-To-Head, created by Clay Swartz — One can read lengthy biographies of historical figures. Or, with Who Wins?, pit them head-to-head in a Ping-Pong match, hot dog eating contest, or a pie bake-off and actually understand first-hand the strengths and weaknesses, the triumphs and losses of the people who have shaped out world. “With no right or wrong answers, there’s ample room for creative debate” (Publishers Weekly).