New Nonfiction

Here’s a closer look at some of the new nonfiction books in the CA Library collection, with suggested curriculum connections. Teachers, if you are interested in finding out more about how you might integrate narrative nonfiction into the curriculum, let me know!

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Astrophysics For People In A Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson — What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There’s no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson, who brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly. “Even readers normally averse to anything to do with physics or chemistry will find Tyson’s wittily delivered explanations compelling and disarmingly entertaining” (Booklist).

Be The One: Six True Stories of Teens Overcoming Hardship With Hope by Byron Pitts — ABC News chief national correspondent and Nightline coanchor Byron Pitts shares the heartbreaking and inspiring stories of six young people who overcame impossible circumstances with extraordinary perseverance. “They beat the odds against them — surviving and later thriving — despite the torments of abandonment, sexual abuse, bullying, war, drug addiction, mental illness, and violence. Pitts’s sensitive storytelling and deep empathy for young people provide the backdrop for these compelling narratives” (School Library Journal).

Choose To Matter: Your Guide To Being Courageously You by Julie Foudy — Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and former captain of the US women’s national soccer team Foudy takes readers on a journey to discover their authentic selves, believing every young woman has the power to be a leader who makes a positive impact. Along with sharing stories from her playing days and personal experiences, Julie taps into the wisdom of other incredible female leaders including “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts, soccer stars Mia Hamm and Alex Morgan, and Facebook superwoman and Lean In founder Sheryl Sandberg. “Foudy offers easy exercises for readers and asks them to develop a “choose to matter” plan as a way to improve their community. Large collections could use this title to foster leadership skills” (School Library Journal).

Compassionate Soldier: Remarkable True Stories of Mercy, Heroism and Honor From The Battlefield by Jerry Borrowman — Arranged by war from the American Revolution to the Iraq War and global in perspective, this book features extraordinary stories of grace under fire from valiant soldiers and noncombatants who rose above the inhumanity of lethal conflict and chose compassion, even knowing their actions could put their lives and liberty at risk. “A top choice for proficient readers of military history” (School Library Journal).

Civilianized: A Young Veteran’s Memoir by Michael Anthony — After twelve months of military service in Iraq, Michael Anthony stepped off a plane, seemingly happy to be home–or at least back on US soil. He was twenty-one years old, a bit of a nerd, and carrying a pack of cigarettes that he thought would be his last. Two months later, Michael was stoned on Vicodin, drinking way too much, and picking a fight with a very large Hell’s Angel. Civilianized is a memoir chronicling Michael’s search for meaning in a suddenly destabilized world. “Teens who have grown up witnessing America’s involvement in wars and who may know veterans who experienced warfare firsthand will be drawn to this raw, unsentimental memoir. This fast, immersive work will especially appeal to reluctant readers for its grittiness and humor” (School Library Journal).

Come On In, America: The United States In World War I by Linda Barrett Osborne — On April 6, 1917, the United States declared war on Germany and joined World War I. German submarine attacks on American ships in March 1917 were the overt motive for declaring war, but the underlying reasons were far more complex. Even after the United States officially joined, Americans were divided on whether they should be a part of it. Osborne explores not only how and why the United States joined World War I, but also the events–at home and overseas–that changed the course of American history. “A study of World War I offers a context for discussing world events today, so this volume is a good bet for libraries and classrooms—a well-written treatment that can replace dry textbook accounts. A slim volume big on historical information and insight” (Kirkus Reviews).

Deep Water by Katherine Nichols — This true crime story begins in Coronado, a small southern California beach town, in 1971. For seventeen-year-old Eddie Otero, a skilled waterman and avid surfer, life is simple. Then a friend makes him an offer: Swim an illicit package across the border from Mexico. The intense workout is dangerous. Thrilling. Lucrative. And the beginning of a small business. When the young entrepreneurs involve their former high school Spanish teacher, the smuggling adventure grows into a one hundred million dollar global operation. Soon they become fugitives. Living on the edge, they vow to return to their normal lives–right after one last run. “Deeply researched and evocative, Nichols’ narrative clearly illustrates where a single bad decision can lead. As events unfold, readers experience the emotional roller coaster inherent to dangerous, illegal activities. Readers who love true crime will find themselves engrossed in this true tale of excess” (Booklist).

Dust Bowl Girls: The Inspiring Story of the Team That Barnstormed Its Way To Basketball Glory by Lydia Reeder — The Boys in the Boat meets A League of Their Own in this true story of a Depression-era championship women’s basketball team. In the early 1930s, Sam Babb began to dream. Like so many others, this charismatic Midwestern basketball coach wanted a reason to have hope. Traveling from farm to farm near the tiny Oklahoma college where he coached, Babb recruited talented, hardworking young women and offered them a chance at a better life: a free college education in exchange for playing on his basketball team, the Cardinals. Despite their fears of leaving home and the sacrifices that their families would face, the women joined the team. And as Babb coached the Cardinals, something extraordinary happened. These remarkable athletes found a passion for the game and a heartfelt loyalty to one another and their coach–and they began to win. “[Reeder’s] personable narrative is as much about the daily lives of the players as it is about the sport of basketball, and young adults will love details that bring the time and place to life. Useful for curriculum support, this compelling offering makes for good recreational reading, too. Hand it to anyone who relishes a good sports underdog tale” (School Library Journal).

Hidden Human Computers: The Black Women of NASA by Sue Bradford Edwards — Explores how black women made critical contributions to NASA in the 1950s by performing calculations that made it possible for the nation’s astronauts to fly into space and return safely to Earth. “Archival photos and sidebars enhance the appealing text, which concludes with a brief look at black women who made more advances as astronauts. Extensive back matter, including a time line, facts, additional resources, and a glossary, extend the research value. An essential purchase for STEM collections” (Booklist).

How Dare The Sun Rise: 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. “This 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…a must-have for teen collections” (School Library Journal).

A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty and Power Really Look Like by Ashley Graham — Model Ashley Graham shares the story of her life and career, from her childhood in Nebraska to smashing beauty standards in New York City as the first plus-size supermodel to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated. “A public figure who embraces social media, she understands that comments—sometimes shockingly hurtful—about her body will be tossed around carelessly, but from her unique position she is working on a different conversation, of body diversity and inclusion for all women. Positive, understanding, and uplifting” (Booklist).

PhilanthroParties: A Party-Planning Guide For Kids Who Want To Give Back by Lulu Cerone — PhilanthroParties are “parties with a purpose.” In 2010, then ten-year-old Lulu Cerone was deeply affected by the earthquake in Haiti. She set out to raise money for Haitian relief by selling lemonade, but she upped the ante on the classic lemonade stand: she got her entire class to participate, boys against girls. Their lemonade “war” raised $4,000! Now seventeen, Lulu is bringing her message of social activism to kids and teens around the world, showing them how to have fun while taking action, giving back, and generally having an impact on the world and the communities they live in. “An excellent, well-organized resource for schools or youth organizations” (School Library Journal).

Racial Profiling: Everyday Inequality by Alison Marie Behnke — The high-profile deaths of unarmed people of color at the hands of police officers have brought renewed national attention to racial profiling and have inspired grassroots activism from groups such as Black Lives Matter. Combining rigorous research with powerful personal stories, Racial Profiling explores the history, the many manifestations, and the consequences of this form of social injustice. “The extensive back matter makes this valuable for research. [This is] a mandatory addition to teen collections for discussions on inequality and social justice” (School Library Journal).

Rest In Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin — This portrait of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teen killed by a neighborhood watchman in 2012, shares previously untold insights into the movement he inspired from the perspectives of his parents, who also describe their efforts to bring meaning to his short life through the movement’s pursuit of redemption and justice. “Highly recommended. This historic memoir captures the heartbreak of loss complicated by a broken legal system, and will appeal to anyone interested in the ongoing struggle for civil rights” (Library Journal).

The Science of Science Fiction by Matthew Brenden Wood — Explore the science behind classic and modern science fiction stories, including artificial intelligence, androids, and the search for alien life, and learn how cutting edge concepts, including time dilation and genetic manipulation, influence today’s fiction. “Jam-packed with high-interest material, this selection will be useful for science classes or literature units that cover the books mentioned within” (School Library Journal).

Sioux Code Talkers of World War II by Andrea M. Page — Many have heard of the role of the Navajo Code Talkers during World War II, but less well-known are the Sioux Code Talkers, who used the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota dialects as a secure, reliable means of coded communication. Told by the great-niece of John Bear King, who served in the First Cavalry as a Sioux Code Talker, this informative title explores not only the importance of the indigenous peoples to the war but also their culture and values. “A valuable work for teens studying code talkers and American Indian contributions to the U.S. victory in the Pacific theater” (School Library Journal).

A Soldier’s Sketchbook: The Illustrated First World War Diary of R.H. Rabjohn by John Wilson — Private Rabjohn was a trained artist, and as such he was assigned to draw dugouts and map newly captured trenches. This allowed him to carry an artist’s sketchbook on the battlefield – a freedom he put to good use, drawing everything he saw. Author John Wilson brings his skills as a historian and researcher to bear, carefully curating the diary to provide context and tell the story of Private Rabjohn’s war. “This unique compilation of firsthand impressions of the Great War will be a valuable resource for adults and teens with an interest in this turning point in world history” (Kirkus Reviews).

Talking Guitar: Conversations with Musicians Who Shaped Twentieth-Century American Music by Jas Obrecht — In this lively collection of interviews, music writer Jas Obrecht presents a celebration of the world’s most popular instrument as seen through the words, lives, and artistry of some of its most beloved players. In their own words, these guitar players reveal how they found their inspirations, mastered their instruments, crafted classic songs, and created enduring solos. “For music fans, especially those with an affection for the guitar, it’s essential reading” (Booklist).

Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman — The deep and enduring friendship between Vincent and Theo Van Gogh shaped both brothers’ lives. Confidant, champion, sympathizer, friend—Theo supported Vincent as he struggled to find his path in life. Meticulously researched, drawing on the 658 letters Vincent wrote to 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).

The Whydah: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked and Found by Martin W. Sandler —  The exciting true story of the captaincy, wreck, and discovery of the Whydah — the only pirate ship ever found — and the incredible mysteries it revealed. For more than two hundred years, the wreck of the Whydah (and the riches that went down with it) eluded treasure seekers, until the ship was finally found in 1984 by marine archaeologists. The artifacts brought up from the ocean floor are priceless, both in value and in the picture they reveal of life in that much-mythologized era, changing much of what we know about pirates. “Sandler’s approach to the Whydah and other submerged ships as “sunken time capsules” is an interesting angle that is sure to resonate with aspiring archaeologists. A captivating read on pirates, with insights into contemporary underwater research techniques” (School Library Journal).

We Have No Idea: A Guide To The Known Universe by Jorge Cham & Daniel Whiteson — Prepare to learn everything we still don’t know about our strange, mostly mysterious universe. PHD Comics creator Jorge Cham and particle physicist Daniel Whiteson have teamed up to spelunk through the enormous gaps in our cosmological knowledge, armed with their popular infographics, cartoons, and unusually entertaining and lucid explanations of science. “Its irreverent sensibility, clearheaded writing, and optimistic outlook make this a great read for reluctant science readers and even for young adults interested in the big ideas on the scientific horizon” (Booklist).


Books We’re Looking Forward To In June

Here is a preview of some of the books we are looking forward to in June:

June 6

Arrow of Lightning (Killer of Enemies, Book 3) by Joseph Bruchac — Months after she has been healed from the Enemy Sickness that afflicted her in Trail of the Dead, Lozen and her family have gathered a community around them in Valley Where First Light Paints the Cliffs and have begun to rebuild. “This gripping saga suggests that where change is possible, hope for the future remains” (Kirkus starred review).

Breaking by Danielle Rollins — Charlotte, an outsider at prestigious Underhill Preparatory Institute, must decide if she is willing to risk her own safety and sanity to discover the truth about her two best friends’ suicides. “This tightly wound, sci-fi-tinged mystery is a beautifully plotted combination of unexpected twists, sudden scares, and uncanny moments…this mystery belongs on all shelves” (Booklist starred review).

Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau — Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure. But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. “The world of Eden is not always fully developed—readers will likely walk away with a few questions—but Charbonneau’s skill as a thriller writer will hook readers as the tension between the siblings grows and the Trial of Succession rushes towards an explosive end” (Booklist).

Firebrand (Steeplejack, Book 2) by A.J. Hartley — Once a steeplejack, Anglet Sutonga is used to scaling the heights of Bar-Selehm. Nowadays she assists politician Josiah Willinghouse behind the scenes of Parliament. The latest threat to the city-state: Government plans for a secret weapon are stolen and feared to be sold to the rival nation of Grappoli. “Readers who come for the tightly plotted mystery will stay for the heroine who does all she can to resist” (Kirkus starred review).

The Hush by Skye Melki-Wegner — Chester has taken to the road, traveling from village to village desperately searching for his father, who has disappeared. One night while fiddling to earn a few coins, he accidentally connects to the Song—the music that fuels every aspect of the world, and that it’s illegal for him to interact with. He’s caught and sentenced to death for his crime. Only a licensed Songshaper can bend music to his will. “Masterfully drawn details are so crisp, so tangible, that readers will be surprised they can’t just reach out and touch this rich world. A steampunk-tinged fantasy adventure with plenty of breath-holding action” (Kirkus starred review).

Liberty: The Spy Who (Kind of) Liked Me by Andrea Portes — What is a hero? Paige Nolan knows. Edward Raynes, the young man who exposed America’s unconstitutional spying techniques, is a hero, even if half the dum-dums in the country think he’s a traitor. Or Paige’s parents, journalists who were captured by terrorists while telling stories of the endangered and oppressed. They were heroes, too. Were. . . or are—no one has ever told Paige if they’re still alive, or dead. “An entertaining girl-power, kick-butt, espionage romp that belongs in all libraries” (School Library Journal starred review).

Once and For All by Sarah Dessen — Is it really better to have loved and lost? Louna’s summer job is to help brides plan their perfect day, even though she stopped believing in happily-ever-after when her first love ended tragically. But charming girl-magnet Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged now that he’s met the one he really wants. Maybe Louna’s second chance is standing right in front of her. “Romance, humor, kindhearted characters, and a touch of painful reality make this another sure bet for Dessen fans” (Kirkus).

Perfect Ten by L. Philips — It’s been two years since Sam broke up with the only other eligible gay guy in his high school, so to say he’s been going through a romantic drought is the understatement of the decade. When Meg, his ex-Catholic-turned-Wiccan best friend, suggests performing a love spell, Sam is just desperate enough to try. He crafts a list of ten traits he wants in a boyfriend and burns it in a cemetery at midnight on Friday the thirteenth. “Fans of Stephanie Perkins or David Levithan will discover much to love about this sweet confection of a tale” (School Library Journal).

The Possible by Tara Altebrando — It’s been thirteen years since Kaylee’s biological mother, Crystal, once infamous for her supposed telekinetic ability, got a life sentence for killing Kaylee’s little brother in a fit of telekinetic rage. Today, Kaylee’s living a normal life with her adoptive parents and almost never thinks of Crystal…until a woman shows up on Kaylee’s doorstep, asking to interview her for a podcast about her mother. “This gripping tale, full of unexpected twists and turns, will intrigue readers who enjoy psychological thrillers with a touch of the paranormal” (School Library Journal).

Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo, Book 1: The Road to Epoli by James Parks — Meet Rickety Stitch…a walking, talking, singing skeleton minstrel. He’s the one skeleton in the dungeon who seems to have retained his soul, and he has no idea why. His only clue to his former identity is a song he hears snippets of in his dreams, an epic bard’s tale about the Road to Epoli and the land of Eem. His sidekick and sole friend is the gelatinous Goo, who Rickety alone can understand. Together they set out in search of Rickety’s past, with abundant humor and danger galore. “For those who loved Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona and have struggled to find something similar, this may scratch that itch. Don’t be fooled by the cheery illustrations; this is irreverent, bawdy, and lots of fun” (Kirkus starred review).

Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser — Caroline Oresteia is destined for the river. Her father is a wherryman, as was her grandmother. All Caro needs is for the river god to whisper her name, and her fate is sealed. But at seventeen, Caro may be too late. So when pirates burn ships and her father is arrested, Caro volunteers to transport mysterious cargo in exchange for his release. Secretly, Caro hopes that by piloting her own wherry, the river god will finally speak her name. “This enticingly written tale will take readers on an adventure and leave them craving more” (School Library Journal starred review).

Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee — After a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar vloggers, Natasha “Tash” Zelenka suddenly finds herself and her obscure, amateur web series, Unhappy Families — a modern adaption of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina —  thrust in the limelight: She’s gone viral. “It’s beyond refreshing to see an asexual character, and the complexities of Tash’s relationships with Thom, her friends, her sister, and, yes, fame make this a home run. The flip, irreverent tone, literary references, and peek into the creation of a web series are just icing on the cake” (Booklist starred review).

This Impossible Light by Lily Myers — From the YouTube slam poetry star of “Shrinking Women” (more than 5 million views!) comes a novel in verse about body image, eating disorders, self-worth, mothers and daughters, and the psychological scars we inherit from our parents. Fifteen-year-old Ivy’s world is in flux. Her dad has moved out, her mother is withdrawn, her brother is off at college, and her best friend, Anna, has grown distant. Worst of all, Ivy’s body won’t stop expanding. “Myers makes striking use of the flexibility of free verse to communicate Ivy’s emotions and eventual loss of control. Ivy’s relationship with her mother and her understanding of what she has inherited from her are particularly absorbing and evocative” (Publishers Weekly starred review).

Wildman by J.C. Geiger — When Lance’s ’93 Buick breaks down in the middle of nowhere, he tells himself, Don’t panic. After all, he’s valedictorian of his class. First-chair trumpet player. Scholarship winner. Nothing can stop Lance Hendricks. But the locals don’t know that. They don’t even know his name. Stuck in a small town, Lance could be anyone: a delinquent, a traveler, a maniac. One of the townies calls him Wildman, and a new world opens up. “A thought-provoking, hilarious, eloquent story of a young man realizing that the world is much larger than the one set up for him” (Kirkus starred review).

Words in Deep Blue by Cath  Crowley — Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came. Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But as Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. “This poignant tale exquisitely chronicles the journey from hopelessness to learning to live again. The charismatic and well-crafted cast will immediately draw readers in” ( starred review).

June 13

Be True to Me by Adele Griffin — It’s the summer of 1976 on Fire Island, where sunbathing, lobster bakes, and the Bicentennial celebration reign. Jean, a sometimes cruel, often insecure, and always envious rich girl, is accustomed to living in her glamorous older sister’s shadow. So when Gil Burke, a handsome newcomer with uncertain ties to one of the most powerful families in the exclusive enclave of Sunken Haven, notices Jean–not her sister–Jean is smitten. “An atmospheric and engaging piece of historical fiction, this work will haunt and resonate with readers long after it ends” (School Library Journal starred review).

The Bone Queen by Alison Croggon — In this prequel to the Books of Pellinor, Alison Croggon captivates fans old and new with her ancient, legendary world of Annar. After being seduced into sorcery by an agent of the Dark, the promising Bard Cadvan of Lirigon recklessly unleashed the terrible Bone Queen, bringing destruction down upon Annar. Cast out of the Schools of Barding for his crime, Cadvan now lives in exile, burdened by memories of his dealings with the Dark. “Croggon’s humbly exquisite prose weaves splendor into everything” (Kirkus starred review).

The Fallen Kingdom (The Falconer Trilogy, Book 3) by Elizabeth May — Aileana Kameron, resurrected by ancient fae magic, returns to the world she once knew with no memory of her past and with dangerous powers she struggles to control. Desperate to break the curse that pits two factions of the fae against each other in a struggle that will decide the fate of the human and fae worlds, her only hope is hidden in an ancient book guarded bythe legendary Morrigan, a faery of immense power and cruelty.

Garbage Night by Jen Lee — In this graphic novel, a dog named Simon lives with his two best friends, a raccoon and a deer, in a barren and ransacked backyard. The unlikely gang spends their days looting the desolate supermarket and waiting for the return of the hallowed ‘garbage night’ – but week after week, the bins remain empty. While scavenging one day, the trio meets another abandoned dog who tells them about the ‘other town’ where humans are still rumored to live. “[Lee’s] verbal worldbuilding gives readers just enough information about animal society and what came before to spark the imagination, and vivid, expressive cartooning fills in the gaps” (Publishers Weekly starred review).

Hell and High Water by Tanya Landman — Mystery turns to mortal danger as one young man’s quest to clear his father’s name ensnares him in a net of deceit, conspiracy, and intrigue in 1750s England. Caleb has spent his life roaming southern England with his Pa, little to their names but his father’s signet ring and a puppet theater for popular, raunchy Punch and Judy shows — until the day Pa is convicted of a theft he didn’t commit and sentenced to transportation to the colonies in America. “Landman brings to life the sights, sounds, and injustices of a bygone era and is just as attentive to Caleb’s strong emotions as his life becomes increasingly dangerous” (Publishers Weekly starred review).

Julia Defiant (Witch’s Child, Book 2) by Catherine Egan — Fans of The Rose Society, Graceling, and Six of Crows will thrill to the masterful world-building and fiercely flawed heroine in this heart-pounding follow-up to Julia Vanishes, book two in the Witch’s Child trilogy. Julia and a mismatched band of revolutionaries, scholars, and thieves have crossed the world searching for a witch. But for all the miles traveled, they are no closer to finding Ko Dan. No closer to undoing the terrible spell he cast that bound an ancient magic to the life of a small child. “Fans of the first book will be well-satisfied with this outing, packed with primordial mysteries, convoluted twists, international politics, romance, and friendships aplenty—and a high body count” (Kirkus starred review).

The Leaf Reader by Emily Arsenault — Marnie Wells knows that she creeps people out. It’s not really her fault; her brother is always in trouble, and her grandmother, who’s been their guardian since Mom took off is…eccentric. So no one even bats an eye when Marnie finds an old tea-leaf-reading book and starts telling fortunes. “Arsenault’s page-ripping whodunit not only will send readers running for their tea kettles, but packs the thrill of self-discovery and acceptance amid base adversity: a rich, rewarding teen debut” (Kirkus starred review).

Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson — This epic tale—told through three points of view—is an exploration of how love, determination, and hope can change a person’s fate. Kansas, 2065: Adri has been handpicked to live on Mars. Oklahoma, 1934: Amid the fear and uncertainty of the Dust Bowl, Catherine’s family’s situation is growing dire. England, 1919: In the recovery following World War I, Lenore tries to come to terms with her grief for her brother, a fallen British soldier. “[Anderson] threads mystery into each teen’s story, keeping an even pace as she reveals secrets, betrayals, and heartbreak” (School Library Journal starred review).

Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity, Book 2) by Victoria Schwab — The sequel—and conclusion—to Schwab’s bestseller, This Savage Song. Kate Harker is a girl who isn’t afraid of the dark. She’s a girl who hunts monsters. And she’s good at it. August Flynn is a monster who can never be human. No matter how much he once yearned for it. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost. “The price of violence, even for a reason, is high, and Schwab folds questions of identity, morality, and judgment into her stunningly crafted narrative” (Booklist starred review).

Roar (Stealing Storms, Book 1) by Cora Carmack — In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them. Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people. “While leaving readers with many questions, Carmack creates enough suspense that they’ll be scrambling for the sequel” (Kirkus Reviews).

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali — An unforgettable debut novel that feels like a modern day My So-Called Life…starring a Muslim teen. “For readers unfamiliar with Muslim traditions, Ali offers plenty of context clues and explanations, though she always keeps the story solidly on Janna’s struggle to maintain friendships, nurse a crush, deal with bullies and predatory people in her life, and discover her own strength in the process” (Booklist starred review).

Soldier Boy by Keely Hutton — Begins with the story of Ricky Richard Anywar, abducted at age fourteen in 1989 to fight with Joseph Kony’s rebel army in Uganda’s decades-long civil war. Ricky is trained, armed, and forced to fight government soldiers alongside his brutal kidnappers, but never stops dreaming of escape. The story continues twenty years later, with a fictionalized character named Samuel, representative of the thousands of child soldiers Ricky eventually helped rehabilitate as founder of the internationally acclaimed charity Friends of Orphans. “While the subject matter is mature, the story is accessible and addresses topics such as world history, civil war, and shifting political powers. A must-purchase for teen collections” (School Library Journal starred review).

Thief’s Cunning by Sarah Ahiers — The companion novel to Assassin’s Heart, this novel picks up eighteen years later and follows Allegra Saldana as she uncovers the secrets about the line of killers she descends from. Allegra has always had to look over her shoulder. As the niece of the infamous assassin Lea Saldana, Allegra is used to hiding from people who want her dead. “Fans of the previous installment will tune in as it becomes clear how Allegra and her family became such legendary assassins” (School Library Journal).

An Uninterrupted View of the Sky by Melanie Crowder — In 1999 Bolivia, Francisco’s life consists of school, soccer, and trying to find space for himself in his family’s cramped yet boisterous home. But when his father is arrested on false charges and sent to prison by a corrupt system that targets the uneducated, the poor, and the indigenous majority, all hope is lost. Francisco and his sister are left with no choice: They must move into the prison with their father. “This poetic, historical novel is an important addition to libraries given its focus on the consequences of U.S. involvement in Bolivian politics” (School Library Journal starred review).

June 20

Such A Good Girl by Amanda K. Morgan — Pretty Little Liars meets Luckiest Girl Alive in this riveting novel about a practically perfect girl who is willing to do anything to make sure it stays that way. Absolutely anything. “Give this strong addition to fans of unreliable narrators, antiheroines, and page-turners” (School Library Journal).

Toni (Blacktop #4) by LJ Alonge — A street-smart, action-packed basketball series with action on and off the court. Toni isn’t Coach Wise’s favorite player on Team Blacktop. Honestly, she’s not even in his top five. And if she’s being real, her own teammates keep siding with him during practice. But this isn’t the first time she’s been on her own, and it won’t be the last. If you can’t count on yourself, who can you count on?

Trusting You & Other Lies by Nicole Williams — Phoenix can’t imagine anything worse than being shipped off to family summer camp. Her parents have been fighting for the past two years–do they seriously think being crammed in a cabin with Phoenix and her little brother, Harry, will make things better? On top of that, Phoenix is stuck training with Callum–the head counselor who is seriously cute but a complete know-it-all. “This is a charming summer romance with realistic responses and relatable characters” (Booklist).

Twisted Summer by Willo Davis Roberts — Two kids, two lives, ruined before they even began. One, a girl, dead—strangled in an empty cabin. The other, a boy, spending the rest of his life in jail for her murder. To Cici, it all seems so unreal. These were kids she had grown up with, whom she had known. She can’t believe Brody Shurik could have murdered Zoe Cyrek. Something’s going on here, and Cici’s going to find out exactly what it is.

Two Roads From Here by Teddy Steinkellner — Five high school seniors. Two different roads. One life-changing decision. For fans of Tommy Wallach and Patrick Ness comes a thoughtful, funny novel that explores what happens to five teens when they choose the road…and the road not taken. “A must-have coming-of-age story that will resonate with all types of YA readers” (School Library J0urnal).

June 27

Generation One (Lorien Legacies Reborn series, Book 1) by Pittacus Lore — The first book in a new series set in the world of I Am Number Four series. It has been over a year since the invasion of Earth was thwarted in Pittacus Lore’s United as One. But in order to win, our alien allies known as the Garde unleashed their Loric energy that spread throughout the globe. Now human teenagers have begun to develop incredible powers of their own, known as Legacies.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee — Henry “Monty” Montague doesn’t care that his roguish passions are far from suitable for the gentleman he was born to be. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quests for pleasure and vice are in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy. “Modern-minded as this may be, Lee has clearly done invaluable research on society, politics, and the reality of same-sex relationships in the eighteenth century. Add in a handful of pirates and a touch of alchemy for an adventure that’s an undeniable joy” (Booklist starred review).

If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak — Linny has kept a journal of famous disappearances ever since her sister Grace ran away in the middle of the night. Sebastian is an aspiring astrophysicist with a working theory for everything—but the one thing he can’t figure out is the identity of his birth father. They haven’t met—yet—but Linny and Sebastian have one thing in common: an obsession with famous novelist and filmmaker Àlvaro Herrera, who who went missing three years ago and has just reappeared. As their lives converge around the mystery of Àlvaro, they begin to uncover the answers they’ve been looking for. “Fans of brainy romance will likely like this one” (Booklist).

Midnight Jewel (Glittering Court series, Book 2) by Richelle Mead — Mira is not like the other Glittering Court girls. She is a war refugee, cast out of her home country and thrust into another, where she has learned to fight against the many injustices around her. For some, the Glittering Court offers a chance at a life they’ve only ever dreamed of, one of luxury, glamour, and leisure. But for Mira, it’s simply a means to an end. In the new world, she plans to earn off her marriage contract price, and finally be free.

Now I Rise (And I Darken, Book 2) by Kiersten White — Lada Dracul has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself. After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart. “The subject matter has become even more mature as this lush and ominous retelling of the Vlad Dracul legend continues, but teens will be entranced” (School Library Journal).

Books We’re Looking Forward To In May

Here are some of the new books we are looking forward to in May…

May 2

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han — While helping plan her father’s wedding, senior Lara Jean struggles with choosing a college and questions how graduation is going to change her relationship with her boyfriend Peter.

The Battlemage (Summoner, Book 3) by Tarah Matharu — Fletcher and his classmates from Vocans Academy — including the elf Sylva and the dwarf Othello — travel through the ether, where they must pursue a mortally dangerous quest to rebuild their world and broker peace.

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, Book 3) by Sarah J. Maas — Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr — Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora’s brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend’s boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this one memory breaks through Flora’s fractured mind, and sticks. “[A] remarkable odyssey…an enthralling story…a deftly, compassionately written mystery” (Booklist starred review).

Rebel Rising (Star Wars: Rogue One) by Beth Revis — When Jyn Erso was five years old, her mother was murdered and her father taken from her to serve the Empire. But despite the loss of her parents she is not completely alone-Saw Gerrera, a man willing to go to any extremes necessary in order to resist Imperial tyranny, takes her in as his own, and gives her not only a home but all the abilities and resources she needs to becomea rebel herself.

May 9

A Face Like Glass by Francis Hardinge — When Neverfell, who has no memory, arrives in Caverna, her facial expressions make her very dangerous to the people who live with blank faces or pay dearly to learn to simulate emotions. “A compelling and triumphant follow-up to The Lie Tree for those who love to become immersed in a good story” (School Library Journal starred review).

The Lines We Cross by Randa Abdel-Fattah — Michael’s parents are leaders of a new anti-immigrant political party called Aussie Values which is trying to halt the flood of refugees from the Middle East; Mina fled Afghanistan with her family ten years ago, and just wants to concentrate on fitting in and getting into college–but the mutual attraction they feel demands that they come to terms with their family’s concerns and decide where they stand in the ugly anti-Muslim politics of the time. “Though the setting is Australia, readers will find direct parallels to current situations in the U.S., and given the fallout of the 2016 election, this book could not be more necessary” (Booklist starred review).

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy — Ramona Blue has to be the adult of her family while questioning if she is a lesbian or bisexual when she develops feelings about her friend Freddie. “Murphy beautifully incorporates conversations about identity and diversity…with nuance and care. An exquisite, thoughtful exploration of the ties that bind and the fluidity of relationships, sexuality, and life” (Kirkus starred review).

The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty — Sage Fowler, the apprentice to a matchmaker, becomes a spy for the army to uncover a treasonous plot and finds herself entangled in a romance with a soldier. “This is an action-packed, expertly plotted story, drenched in double crosses and intrigue, with an irresistible heroine and a sweet and sexy romance” (Publishers Weekly starred review).

We Have No Idea: A Guide To The Known Universe by Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson — PHD Comics creator Jorge Cham and particle physicist Daniel Whiteson have teamed up to spelunk through the enormous gaps in our cosmological knowledge, armed with their popular infographics, cartoons, and unusually entertaining and lucid explanations of science. “[The] irreverent sensibility, clearheaded writing, and optimistic outlook make this a great read for reluctant science readers and even for young adults interested in the big ideas on the scientific horizon” (Booklist).

May 16

Flame In The Mist by Renée Ahdieh — The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place — she may be an accomplished alchemist, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort — a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace. “Ahdieh is immensely skilled at crafting vibrant settings inhabited by sympathetic characters with rich pasts, and she also treats readers to a slow-burning romance that does not impede Mariko’s independence or goals, illustrating the power of a well-matched pairing” (Publishers Weekly starred review).

Grace and the Fever by Zan Romanoff — In middle school, everyone was a Fever Dream fan. Now, a few weeks after her high school graduation, Grace Thomas sometimes feels like the only one who never moved on. She can’t imagine what she’d do without the community of online fans that share her obsession. Or what her IRL friends would say if they ever found out about it. “Romanoff’s novel will resonate with teens who have favorite bands, but it will hit home with those who think about those bands a little too much” (Booklist starred review).

Grit by Gillian French — A disturbing secret keeps seventeen-year-old Darcy Prentiss wondering how she let her reputation get this far, as everything she’s been trying to keep down comes bubbling to the surface. “The mysteries…weave together beautifully, and the fallout is achingly real. Gorgeously written and helmed by a protagonist with an indelibly fierce heart” (Kirkus starred review).

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord — When her perfectly planned summer of quality time with her parents, her serious boyfriend, and her Bible camp unravels and long-hidden family secrets emerge, Lucy must figure out what she is made of and what grace really means. “This solid coming-of-age story with family drama and personal growth is a must-have for libraries with Jenny Han and Jennifer Niven fans” (School Library Journal).

Thick as Thieves (A Queen’s Thief Novel) by Megan Whalen Turner — Kamet, a secretary and slave to his Mede master, has the ambition and the means to become one of the most powerful people in the Empire. But with a whispered warning the future he envisioned is wrenched away, and he is forced onto a very different path. “This clever book is both a stand-alone introduction for those just discovering Turner’s characters and a way to move the series forward to what promises to be a stirring conclusion for longtime fans” (School Library Journal starred review).

May 23

Crazy House by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet — Seventeen-year-old Becca Greenfield was snatched from her small hometown. She was thrown into a maximum-security prison and put on Death Row with other kids her age. Becca’s only hope is that her twin sister will find her…because her jailers made a mistake that could get them both killed: they took the wrong twin. “Action-packed fight scenes, flickers of romance, and Patterson’s signature speedy chapters should satisfy teens who like their suspense served with a side of political revolt” (Booklist).

The Fashion Committee by Susan Juby — Charlie Dean is a style-obsessed girl who eats, sleeps, and breathes fashion. John Thomas-Smith is a boy who forges metal sculptures in his garage and couldn’t care less about clothes. Both are gunning for a scholarship to the private art high school that could make all their dreams come true. Whoever wins the fashion competition will win the scholarship—and only one can win. “The cleverly deceptive title, cover art, and opening pages belie the strength of the protagonists’ personalities as well as the tragic elements that have shaped their lives and define the story” (School Library Journal starred review).

The Gauntlet (The Cage, Book 3) by Megan Shepherd — Perfect for fans of Scott Westerfeld and The Maze Runner, The Gauntlet is the gripping finale to the thrilling and addictive Cage series about teens abducted from Earth by an otherworldly race.

Lord of Shadows (Dark Artifices, Book 2) by Cassandra Clare — Sunny Los Angeles can be a dark place indeed in Cassandra Clare’s Lord of Shadows, the sequel to Lady Midnight, a Shadowhunters novel.

The Queer, There and Everywhere by Sarah Prager — World history has been made by countless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals—and you’ve never heard of many of them. Queer author and activist Sarah Prager delves deep into the lives of 23 people who fought, created, and loved on their own terms. “Should be placed in the hands of every LGBTQ teen so they’ll know that not only are they not alone, but they have a rich and diverse history–as well as the straight ones, who should know that history, too” (Kirkus starred review).

May 30

Crossing Ebenezer Creek by Tonya Bolden — When Mariah and her young brother Zeke are suddenly freed from slavery, they join Sherman’s march through Georgia. Mariah wants to believe that the brutalities of slavery are behind them, but even as hope glimmers, there are many hardships yet to come. When she meets a free black named Caleb, Mariah dreams in a way she never dared . . . of a future worth living and the possibility of true love. “This moving and engrossing portrayal of a little-known historical tragedy belongs on all YA shelves” (School Library Journal starred review).

Dark Breaks The Dawn by Sara B. Larson — On her eighteenth birthday, Princess Evelayn of Eadrolan, the Light Kingdom, can finally access the full range of her magical powers. The light looks brighter, the air is sharper, and the energy she can draw when fighting feels almost limitless. But while her mother, the queen, remains busy at the war front, in the Dark Kingdom of Dorjhalon, the corrupt king is plotting. King Bain wants control of both kingdoms, and his plan will fling Evelayn into the throne much sooner than she expected. “A sweetly innocent romance underscores the bite of betrayal, and the cliffhanger ending will easily build anticipation for the second book” (Publishers Weekly).

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia — Eighteen-year-old Eliza Mirk is the anonymous creator of Monstrous Sea, a wildly popular webcomic, but when a new boy at school tempts her to live a life offline, everything she’s worked for begins to crumble. “Zappia’s work will resonate with teens who write, create art, and love fandoms. Introverted readers will connect with the protagonist” (School Library Journal starred review).

I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo — Desi Lee knows how carburetors work. She learned CPR at the age of five. As a high school senior, she has never missed a day of school and never had a B. But in her charmed school life, there’s one thing missing―she’s never had a boyfriend. But when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides it’s time to tackle her flirting failures. “Desi’s implementation of measures such as “Be Caught in an Obviously Lopsided Love Triangle,” yields hilarious, at times unintended results, lending this teen rom-com a surprisingly thoughtful conclusion” (Kirkus starred review).

Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel — Sixty-five days after the death of her older sister, sixteen-year-old Juniper Lemon discovers the break-up letter addressed to “You” Camilla wrote the day she died. Juni is shocked—she knew nothing of this You, and now the gaping hole in her life that was her sister feels that much bigger. She’s determined to uncover the identity of You and deliver the letter. Maybe that would help fill the hole, even if only a bit. “A well-told story of teen struggles and grief that will resonate with readers” (School Library Journal starred review).