#12DaysOfKidlit 2022

Posted on Updated on

I am an affiliate of Bookshop.org and Libro.fm, online retailers that support independent booksellers. If you make a purchase by clicking through the links in this post, I will receive a commission. For more information, see my “About” page.

I received Advance Reader Copies of most of these books from the publishers in order to write my initial reviews.

Happy December! The holiday buying season is well under way and I fervently, devoutly, fanatically believe there is no greater gift than a good book. For the next twelve days I’ll be celebrating the 12 Days Of Kidlit, posting a book a day to add up to my six favorite Middle Grade and six favorite Young Adult novels released this year.

Of course, this list will be limited by a) Books I Happened to Read and b) Books I Happened to Like. So…I need your help! Hop on your favorite social media platform and post your favorite titles of 2022 with #12DaysOfKidlit. I’m excited to check out your recommendations.

Now, let’s dive in with today’s pick…

Day 12: YA Mysteries

As usual, I really struggled to narrow down my list of YAs. So I decided to share two today, both mysteries, but oh so different!


What it’s about:

Set in 1758 Korea (Joseon), this mystery follows a young nurse who gets assigned to treat a prince with a dark and secretive past (and present) and winds up getting embroiled in an investigation of a murder that the prince may or may not have committed while dodging the suspicions of an attractive young detective on the police force.

Who it’s for:

Teens and 20-somethings (and on up!). Great for book clubs for all ages. Historical mystery fans and historical romance fans (yes, Romancelandia, this will satisfy you).

Why I can’t get it out of my head:

I love how atmospheric June Hur’s writing is. I get sucked into this world and I never want to leave. The mystery is suspenseful, the subplots gripping, and by now you know I’m a sucker for enemies-to-lovers storylines, so…


What it’s about:

They Wish They Were Us meets The Queen’s Gambit in this “stunning…unforgettable” (Publishers Weekly) thriller set in the world of competitive Scrabble, where a teen girl is forced to investigate the mysterious death of her best friend when her Instagram comes back to life with cryptic posts and messages.” Salaam Reads/Simon and Schuster

Who it’s for:

Teen (ages 12 & up) fans of mysteries and competition dramas (“The Queen’s Gambit”is an apt comparison title). It’s not really a thriller, but it is a murder mystery so there’s plenty of suspense from both the investigation and the Scrabble tournament as it ramps up in intensity.

Why I can’t get it out of my head:

What set this one apart for me was the setting—not just that it was set in cosmopolitan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and representing competitors from a variety of Asian cultures and religious backgrounds, but also the competitive Scrabble world which I’d not seen before in Kidlit. It was so intense—just as intense as the suspicious death, threatening social media messages, and suspected poisonings of the mystery plot, and plenty cutthroat enough to prompt a murder…

Day 11: THE DOOR OF NO RETURN by Kwame Alexander

What it’s about:

“From the Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award winning author Kwame Alexander, comes the first book in a searing, breathtaking trilogy that tells the story of a boy, a village, and the epic odyssey of an African family.” Little, Brown & Company

Who it’s for:

4th-8th graders who like historical fiction, epic adventures, and/or novels-in-verse. In fact, this is a great “gateway” novel-in-verse due to the smooth, transparent language. It flows beautifully and is easy to understand. It is also a phenomenal choice for MG book clubs, especially at the middle school level due to darker subject matter and the potential for mature discussions of colonization in West Africa and its lingering impacts.

Why I can’t get it out of my head:

Set in the Asante Kingdom (modern Ghana) in 1860, this is literary middle grade at its best—the language worming its way into my heart, the characters jumping off the page like real people, the world enveloping me from the first page, and the adventure so gripping I couldn’t put it down. Sublime. And despite the maturity of the writing that will speak to even adult readers, Alexander perfectly captures an 11-year-old’s point of view and emotions as he experiences the life shattering hardships of white colonization in his homeland.

Day 10: VIOLET MADE OF THORNS by Gina Chen

What it’s about:

“A darkly enchanting fantasy about a lying witch, a cursed prince, and a sinister prophecy that ignites their doomed destinies—perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince.” Delacorte Press

Who it’s for:

YA high fantasy people! Especially fans of Holly Black, Marisa Meyer, Heather Walter, Melissa Bashardoust, and similar.

Why I can’t get it out of my head:

I’m still stunned this is a debut. It is absolutely everything I want in a dark high fantasy. Politics that shape the story but aren’t excessive and don’t require tons of backstory/explanation. Interweaving of fairytales without it feeling derivative. All Of The Morally Gray Characters! Enemies-to-lovers romance! And TWISTS!! It was just intense, addictive FUN in fantasy form.


What it’s about:

“In her first novel since winning the Newbery Medal for When You Trap a Tiger, Tae Keller offers a gripping and emotional story about friendship, bullying, and the possibility that there’s more in the universe than just us.” Random House Books for Young Readers

Who it’s for:

4th-7th grade fans of contemporary fiction with sci-fi vibes. And book clubs! There is a great exploration of the nuances of bullying culture in middle schools that could fuel some excellent conversations.

Why I can’t get it out of my head:

What sticks in my mind about this book is how much Keller focused on the possibilities: all the little choices that added up to the ultimate disaster, how what each character did and did not do created their school culture, and of course the big possibility—are the aliens in the book real?? I love books where there are no easy answers and books where the characters have fallen into the crevice between two aspects of their identity and are struggling to see themselves. Plus, Keller perfectly captures middle school clique culture in all of its nuances without writing off a single character as a lost cause, however bad their choices at one time or another. This book is just perfection in so many ways.

Day 8: HOW TO EXCAVATE A HEART by Jake Maia Arlow

What it’s about:

“Stonewall Honor author Jake Maia Arlow delivers a sapphic Jewish twist on the classic Christmas rom-com in a read perfect for fans of Kelly Quindlen and Casey McQuiston.” HarperTeen

Who it’s for:

This is YA/NA Rom Com gold!! Set during freshman year of college, this would also make a great pick for college and 20-something women’s book clubs.

Why I can’t get it out of my head:

Enemies to lovers!! A meet-cute where one hits the other with a car!! But what really set this one apart for me was the humor. This voice had me cracking up from the first page. It was such a fast, smooth read and I was having so much fun with the characters, I didn’t want it to end. Plus, Arlow works in some lovely layers of thematic depth as the characters and their relationship evolve.

Day 7: HUMMINGBIRD by Natalie Lloyd

The cover of HUMMINGBIRD by Natalie Lloyd

What it’s about:

Tired of being treated as “fragile,” a twelve-year-old girl with a brittle bone disease convinces her parents to let her go to a real middle school and gets her heart set on playing the lead in a school play—until rumors of a magical wish-granting hummingbird sends her off on a mission to solve a riddle and (maybe) ask for normal bones.

Who it’s for:

4th-6th graders who like contemporary fiction set in small towns and “light” fantasy where the magic is real but almost a metaphor for the main themes of the story (think: Savvy by Ingrid Law, The Stars of Whistling Ridge by Cindy Baldwin, or Lloyd’s A Snicker of Magic.) This one is also an excellent candidate for book clubs, chock full of the kind of humor and suspense that makes it hard to resist but plenty of meat for discussion, too.

Why I can’t get it out of my head:

SO many reasons. First, voice (a theme of my MG faves this year). The main character’s voice not only immediately hooked me on who she was as a person, it threw me headlong into this small Appalachian town—and that setting is another thing that has stuck with me. A small town, full of colorful characters supporting one another, with some little bits of literal magic more bits of community growth that feels as magical as the fantasy. And then there’s the disability representation in this book. Lloyd doesn’t shy away from the prickliest issues and uncertainties and struggles of developing your identity when you have a disability and how you see yourself and your disability as part of yourself but not your who self but also a key component of your identity and not a negative but also sometimes painful and… well, you’ll have to read the book. But even though the main character (and Lloyd) has a different disability from me, everything she’s going through psychologically resonated so strongly and authentically with me that this story hasn’t let go of my heart.

Day 6: THE ONE TRUE ME AND YOU by Remi K. England

The cover of THE ONE TRUE ME AND YOU by Remi K. England

What it’s about:

One small fandom convention. One teen beauty pageant. One meet cute waiting to happen.A big-hearted, joyful romance and a love letter to all things geek, Remi K. England’s The One True Me and You is a *witness me* celebration of standing up for, and being, yourself.” Wednesday Books

Who it’s for:

Teens 12 & up. Rom Com fans! Comic-con fans! Comic-Rom-Com-Con Fans! It’s solidly in the LGBTQ+ Rom Com genre, BUT there is so much going on in each of the character’s lives that readers who like YA contemporary coming-of-age stories will find lots to love, even if they’re not typically into romance.

Why I can’t get it out of my head:

What I loved about this one is first and foremost the geeky joy—and how this was like my teenage self’s DREAM! I mean, I remember staying in hotels with fellow teens on band trips, which was exciting enough, but if there had been a nerd con in the same hotel? With my favorite fandom?! Beyond the geeky joy, I loved the exploration of having different interests that feel like different worlds—the tension that can create in forming your identity and the beauty and complexity it can add to your life. Plus, those thorny questions of how much of yourself you should share with your crush and when that crush becomes falling in love… and a spotlight on homophobic and transphobic bullying, authentic conversations and interiority surrounding sexual identity and gender identity, and a cheerful, triumphant, fist-pumping ending that would make John Hughes proud.

Day 5: YONDER by Ali Standish

Cover of YONDER by Ali Standish

What it’s about:

“From Ali Standish, award-winning author of The Ethan I Was Before, August Isle, How to Disappear Completely, and The Mending Summer, comes a captivating historical fiction middle grade novel about a boy on the home front in World War II who must solve the mystery of the disappearance of his best friend.” HarperCollins 

Who it’s for:

This one is a stunner for book clubs, overflowing with substance for group discussions and an immediate hook that will convince even reluctant participants to keep reading. It will snag 4th-7th grade fans of character-driven mysteries, character-driven historical fiction (think Okay for Now) or both!

Why I can’t get it out of my head:

This book has one of those perfect first chapters that serve as a microcosm for the book as a whole: the killer voice that roots you in the character and the Appalachian world you’ll be inhabiting, a glimpse of the theme that will be explored in depth going forward (What is heroism? And what does it mean to be a hero—or to be labeled a hero?), and a suspenseful hook at the end, setting up the mystery to come and making it impossible for me to put the book down. The book delivered on every promise the prologue made, and then some; I’m an absolute sucker for books that don’t give me any easy answers but still somehow give me hope.

Day 4: THE WORDS WE KEEP by Erin Stewart

What it’s about:

Struggling to balance her own mental health when her sister returns home after receiving treatment for bipolar disorder after a near-fatal experience with self-harm, overachiever Lily reluctantly teams up with a boy from her sister’s treatment program and goes all in on a school project, leaving subversive poetry around the school and community.

Who it’s for:

Mature teen readers who like darker contemporary and book clubs that can handle themes of suicide and self-harm. The primary access points are mental health, art, and creative writing.

Why I can’t get it out of my head:

I’m a sucker for writing about writing, and this book took it to the next level by making the poetry into a form of performance art that has the power to transform a community as well as helping the main character explore her own identity and come to terms with her mental illness. Also, therapy positivity is a must for me in mental health-themed books, and this depiction was extremely nuanced, showing a character going through the process of frustration, failure, and struggle to find the right therapy and right treatment for her. Not just a gripping read, but so hopeful and necessary!


Book cover of Sir Fig Newton and the Science of Persistence

What it’s about:

From the Desk of Zoe Washington meets Ways to Make Sunshine in this “noteworthy” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) middle grade novel about a determined young girl who must rely on her ingenuity and scientific know-how to save her beloved cat.” Simon and Schuster

Who it’s for:

4th-6th graders (can definitely skew younger for advanced readers), especially STEM lovers and animal lovers.

Why I can’t get it out of my head:

Mostly, the voice. I fell for Mira on page one because she made me laugh, feel for her not fitting in (and oh, did my inner 12-year-old relate!), and admire her scientific motivation and tenacity–not to mention that she has a “nemesis” (who should obviously be her BFF). This book executed everything I love in a voicey, character-driven contemporary and hooked me by the heart with the protagonist’s desperation to save her pet. (I was rooting for a nemeses-to-besties transformation, too!)

Day 2: RUST IN THE ROOT by Justina Ireland

Cover of RUST IN THE ROOT by Justina Ireland

What it’s about:

In 1937, mage Laura Ann Langston adopts the moniker the Peregrine and joins a corps of Black government operatives to find the source of a deadly magical blight in the Midwest, only to discover that the government hasn’t been honest about the waiting dangers and their sinister source.

Who it’s for:

Teen (YA) and young adult (NA) fans of immersive, grounded fantasies—especially historical fantasy, but honestly, the historical setting is so integrated into the world building and magical politics that I think it could pull fans of contemporary and secondary world fantasies, too. It also has the perfect blend of unputdownable drive and meaty themes for YA and 20-something book clubs (and tbh, I’ve pitched it to my book club of 30- and 40-somethings, too).

Why I can’t get it out of my head:

Justina Ireland’s world building is always off the hook, and this one is my new favorite. She takes history, adds fantasy, and somehow makes it more real, more relevant to what I’m witnessing and experiencing in my contemporary, non-magical life. And boy do I love a meticulously constructed, well-founded, logical yet novel magic system. Add the unbelievable stakes, nuanced characters, and ever-increasing suspense from snippets of future news clippings… *chef’s kiss* Absolute exquisite perfection. 10/10. 11/10, actually.

Day 1: TREX by Christyne Morrell

Cover of TREX by Christyne Morrell

What it’s about:

“This middle grade mystery follows the adventures of a boy with an experimental brain implant, and a reclusive girl training to be a spy, as they’re pitted against school bullies, their own parents, and an evil, brain-hacking corporation.” Penguin Random House

Who it’s for:

Compared by the publisher to Stranger Things, this is for middle grade readers who like sci-fi with big mystery-thriller energy and resilient underdog characters. It also has the perfect blend of unputdownable drive and meaty themes for MG book clubs.

Why I can’t get it out of my head:

This one was right up my alley genre-wise (I’m all about big mystery-thriller energy in my speculative middle grade!) but it stood out from the pack because of how well Morrell balances agency between her two protagonists, because of the realistic and ultimately therapy-positive depiction of a character with an anxiety disorder, and because I genuinely did not see one of the twists coming. It’s rare for me to be surprised by a well-founded twist for this age group, but Morrell pulled it off in a big way. The character interactions were authentic, the stakes high, and the suspense driving. What a ride!

LAWLESS SPACES by Corey Ann Haydu

Posted on Updated on

I am an affiliate of Bookshop.org and Libro.fm, online retailers that support independent booksellers. If you make a purchase by clicking through the links in this post, I will receive a commission. For more information, see my “About” page.

Mimi’s sixteenth birthday isn’t what she’d hoped. She’s not surprised that her mother chooses to go on an impromptu trip with her boyfriend and leave Mimi alone for days. It’s just like her mom. But she is shocked when the news story breaks that her mother is the accuser in a high-profile sexual assault case that’s been all over the news.

Home alone, and unable to get in touch with her mom, Mimi isn’t sure how to handle this news–especially because of how her mom reacted about an incident in Mimi’s life last year, an incident which her mother seemed to think was all Mimi’s fault simply because of how her body is shaped. But as Mimi struggles to navigate these overwhelming revelations–all the while dealing with her own struggles with dating and her body image–she finds a stack of journals in the attic and begins to connect with the journey of the generations of women in her family before her, women who have had struggles that are dishearteningly similar to the sexism Mimi is still experiencing decades later.

Told through Mimi’s poetry, this story is beautifully told, but heavy. There are very few lighter moments in this book that deals with such important but difficult themes. It is a strong, feminist coming-of-age novel that will appeal most to older teens and twenty-somethings who want to immerse themselves in this struggle and come out the other side feeling connected to a community of women–generations of women–who have experienced gender-based violence and discrimination and feeling inspired to join them in the fight.

VINYL MOON by Mahogany L. Browne

Posted on Updated on

I am an affiliate of Bookshop.org and Libro.fm, online retailers that support independent booksellers. If you make a purchase by clicking through the links in this post, I will receive a commission. For more information, see my “About” page.

I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book from the publisher in order to write this review.

It’s been five weeks since Angel’s mother sent her to the live with her uncle in Brooklyn, and Angel knows it’s her own fault. Her fault that she had to leave California. Her fault that her arm is in a sling. Her fault that Darius, the first boy who called her beautiful, the boy who loved her so much he couldn’t help but hurt her, is in jail.

Angel isn’t eager to share her past–or her guilt–with the other girls in her advisory class at her new school or with her teacher, however cool she might seem. But when she rediscovers the poetry of Maya Angelou, which she had loved to read until Darius tore up her book, the words of Angelou and soon other Black artists take root in her soul. And as she confronts the darkness in her past, she begins to open herself up to love: the love of a boy, the love of a friend, the love of her uncle, and most incredibly, the love of herself.

Exquisite poetry and prose intertwine in this uplifting novel about a Black trauma survivor finding herself through the powerful voices of BIPOC artists. Writers like Cisneros, Morrison, and Angelou influence both the character on her journey to becoming a musical artist and the style of narration, a combination of vignettes, poems, and conversations. Browne also surrounds her protagonist with a community of Black women and girls, each with her own developed identity and arc, who flesh out not only the world of the story but the message about the strength, resilience, ingenuity, and above all value of Black girls, despite how society teaches them that they don’t matter or can’t achieve. This book is an essential purchase for any YA collection and an emotional, uplifting literary read for teens and adults.

New Books to Look for in 2017 (Children’s and YA)

Posted on Updated on

What do we have to look forward to in 2017?  Quite a lot of new Middle Grade and YA novels!  While not comprehensive, this list should supply you with numerous titles to consider for your 2017 reading list.  If you are looking forward to a soon-to-be released book that I’ve neglected, feel free to add it in the comments.

For highlights of upcoming adult novels, check out the Publisher’s Weekly Adult Announcements: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/new-titles/adult-announcements/article/72250-spring-2017-announcements-all-our-coverage.html.

Please note:  The dates listed below may change, especially for titles due to be released later in the year!  Also, I haven’t read any of them yet, so the plot blurbs and age ranges below are based on info from publisher’s websites and reviews.


Robot Revolution by James Patterson  (Jan 16, 2017)
Newest book in the House of Robots series.  Ages 9-12.

Secret Origins by James Riley (Jan 17, 2017)
Book 3 of Story Thieves.  Ages 8-12.

Fenway and Hattie and the Evil Bunny Gang by Victoria J. Coe (Jan 24, 2017)
Sequel to Fenway and Hattie. Ages 8-12.

Long Live the Queen by Gerry Swallow (Jan 24, 2017)
Sequel to Blue in the Face: Magnificent Tales of Misadventure. Ages 812.

The Unwanteds Quests #1: Dragon Captives by Lisa McMann
Book 1 in a continuation of The Unwanteds.  Ages 8-12.

The Bodies of the Ancients by Lydia Millet (Feb 14, 2017)
Book 3 of The Dissenters series.  Ages 10-12.

Tut: My Epic Battle to Save the World by P.J. Hoover (Feb 28, 2017)
Book 2 of Tut: My Immortal Life.  Ages 8-12.

Point Guard by Mike Lupica (Mar 7, 2017)
Home Team  Book 3.  Ages 8-12.

In Over Their Heads by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Apr 11, 2017)
Sequel to Under Their Skin.  Ages 8-12.

The Song of Glory and Ghost by N.D. Wilson (Apr 18, 2017)
Outlaws of Time #2.  Ages 8-12.

Hello Stars! by Alena & Wynter Pitts (Apr 25, 2017)
Faithgirlz/Lena in the Spotlight.  Ages 8-12.

The Fallen Star by Tracey Heche (May 2, 2017)
Book 3 of The Nocturnals.  Ages 7-12.

The Emperor of Mars by Patrick Samphire  (July 18, 2017)
Sequel to Secrets of the Dragon Tomb. Ages 8-12.

The Ship of the Dead  by Rick Riordan (Oct 3, 2017)
Book 3 of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard.  Ages 10 & up.

Frank Einstein and the Bio-Action Gizmo by Jon Scieszka  (Oct 17, 2017)
Book 5 in the Frank Einstein series. Ages 8-12.


One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes (Jan 3, 2017)
A poetry collection weaving the words of Harlem Renaissance poets with Grimes’ own poems. Ages 10-14.

Jay Versus the Saxophone of Doom by Kara Kootstra (Jan 3, 2017)
A young hockey player finds a new challenge learning the saxophone. Ages 8-12.

The Wardens Daughter by Jerry Spinelli (Jan 3, 2017)
Through her unique experiences growing up in a prison, a girl comes to terms with the sacrifice that took her mother’s life. Ages 9-12.

The Sweetest Sound by Sherri Winston (Jan 3, 2017)
After being abandoned by her mother, a shy girl discovers her own talent and a community in a church choir.  Ages 9-12.

The Silver Gate by Kristin Bailey (Jan 10, 2017)
When a father threatens to sell his daughter into servitude because of her disability, two children seek freedom in a fairy realm.  Age 8-12.

The Matchstick Castle by Keira Graff (Jan 10, 2017)
Two children discover a wooden castle and eccentric family in the forest of Boring, Illinois.  Ages 8-12.

Hideout by Watt Key (Jan 10, 2017)
A boy finds another kid repairing a cabin in the woods and uncovers a web of secrets. Ages 10-13.

Train I Ride by Paul Mosier (Jan 24, 2017)
On a long train trip to her new home, orphan Rydr comes to terms with her own past through her interactions with fellow passengers.   Ages 8-12.

Gorilla Dawn by Gill Lewis (Jan 31, 2017)
Two children imprisoned in a rebel camp rescue a baby gorilla and escape into the jungles of the Congo.  Ages 9-14.

Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan (Jan 31, 2017)
A girl finds a sense of purpose playing a munchkin in a school production of The Wizard of Oz.  Ages 8-12.

The Castle in the Mist by Amy Ephron (Feb 7, 2017)
Two children discover a mysterious castle in the English countryside.  Ages 8-12.

Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson (Feb 14, 2017)
Two of the last kids left on Mars get ready to flee the planet with the rest of the humans until they make a startling discovery.  Ages 8-12.

See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng (Feb 28, 2017)
To give aliens a taste of life on Earth, a boy records an epic roadtrip on his iPod and plans to launch it into space .  Ages 10-13.

The Many Reflections of Miss Jane Deming by J. Anderson Coats (Feb 28, 2017)
A girl joins the stream of Civil War orphans and widows moving to Washington territory and finds a rough, challenging new life in the West. Ages 8-12.

Well, That Was Awkward by Rachel Vail (Feb 28, 2017)
A version of Cyrano de Bergerac with texting.  Ages 10-14.

Effie Starr Zook Has One More Question by Martha Freeman (Mar 7, 2017)
A city girl uncovers secrets spending the summer on a family farm.  Ages 8-12.

Baseball Genius by Tim Green and Derek Jeter (Mar 7, 2017)
A boy with a talent for predicting pitches tries to save his favorite Yankee’s career.  Ages 8-12.

The Enemy: Detroit, 1954 by Sara Holbrook (Mar 7, 2017)
A teen is forced to confront her prejudices when a German girl moves to her class.  Ages 10-14.

Fish Girl by David Wiesner and Donna Jo Napoli (Mar 7, 2017)
A mermaid in an aquarium befriends a human girl and dreams of escaping her tank.  Ages 10-12.

A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold (Mar 14, 2017)
A boy with autism befriends a baby skunk and hopes to keep it as a pet.  Ages 8-12.

When My Sister Started Kissing by Helen Frost (Mar 14, 2017)
With her mom expecting a new baby and her sister starting to date, a girl fears her family is growing apart.  Ages 10-12.

The Metropolitans by Carol Goodman (Mar 14, 2017)
On the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor, four teens uncover magic in an Arthurian manuscript as they try to prevent another attack on American soil.  Ages 10-13.  

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly (Mar 14, 2017)
The lives of four very different kids intertwine when a prank goes horribly wrong.  Ages 8-12.

Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan (Mar 14, 2017)
A Pakistani-American girl struggles to retain her cultural identity despite pressure to “Americanize” herself.  Ages 8-12.

Love, Ish by Karen Rivers  (Mar 14, 2017)
A girl’s cancer diagnosis threatens her dream of becoming a Mars colonist. Ages 9-14.

Big & Little Questions (According to Wren Jo Byrd) by Julie Bowe (Mar 21, 2017)
A girl tries to keep her parents’ divorce a secret and risks losing her best friend.  Ages 8-12.

Blooming at the Texas Sunrise Motel by Kimberly Willis Holt (Mar 28, 2017)
A girl is sent to live at her grandfather’s old motel and struggles to build a relationship with him.  Ages 8-14.

Girl With a Camera by Carolyn Meyer (Apr 4, 2017)
A historical novel about the first female photojournalist in WWII. Ages 8-14.

Jack and the Geniuses by Bill Nye and Gregory Mone (Apr 4, 2017)
Three children travel to Antarctica to find a missing scientist.  Ages 8-12.

The Emperor’s Treasure by Kat Zhang (May 2, 2017)
On a family trip to China, two children search for a long-lost treasure.  Ages 8-12.

The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby (May 16, 2017)
Three teens must solve an ancient architectural puzzle in order to save their homes. Ages 8-12.

Finding Mighty by Sheela Chari (May 30, 2017)
Two neighbors follow clues to find a boy’s missing brother.  Ages 8-12.

Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder (May 30, 2017)
On a mysterious island, nine children live together until the inevitable day once a year when the eldest is taken away and a new young child is brought to join them.  Ages 8-12.

I Love You, Michael Collins by Lauren Baratz-Logsted (June 20, 2017)
Inspired by a school assignment, a girl begins writing letters to Michael Collins, the astronaut who stayed on the ship during the 1969 lunar landing.  Ages 8-12.

Bubbles by Abby Cooper (July 18, 2017)
A girl whose life seems to be falling apart suddenly starts seeing people’s thoughts in word bubbles above their heads.  Ages 10-12.

One for Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn (July 18, 2017)
A girl dies of the influenza epidemic and returns as a ghost to torment her bullies.  Ages 10-12.


Midnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson (Jan 3, 2017)
The lynching of Emmett Till prompts the granddaughter of a sharecropper to join the fight for justice.  Ages 9-12.

The Someday Birds By Sally J. Pla (Jan 24, 2017)
A boy with autism goes on a wild road trip with his family so that his father, a wounded veteran, can seek medical treatment. Age 8-12.

The Ethan I Was by Ali Standish (Jan 24, 2017)
After losing his best friend in an accident, a boy finds new friendships in a new town.  Ages 8-12.

Crooked Sixpence by Jennifer Bell (Jan 31, 2017)
Two children search for magical treasures in an underground city.  Ages 8-12.

The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson (Feb 28, 2017)
When a toddler disappears, a boy with OCD is the last to have seen the child alive, and all of his neighbors are suspects.  Ages 8-12.

The Fearless Traveler’s Guide to Wicked Places by Pete Begler  (Mar 1, 2017)
A girl embarks on a quest to rescue her mother from witches.  Ages 8-12.

Vilonia Beebe Takes Charge by Kristin L. Gray (Mar 7, 2017)
Believing that a pet might help her mom overcome her sadness at the death of her grandmother, a girl tries to become responsible enough to get a dog. Ages 8-12.

Who Let the Gods Out? by Maz Evans (Mar 28, 2017)
A mortal by gets mixed up with the Greek gods when an evil daemon runs amok on Earth.  Ages 8-12.

The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi (Mar 28, 2017)
A girl and her friends must rescue her baby brother from inside a mechanical puzzle board game.  Ages 8-12.

Viva, Rose! by Susan Krawitz (Mar 30, 2017)
When a girl’s brother joins Pancho Villa’s revolutionaries, she sets out to convince him to come home, but winds up kidnapped.  Ages 8-12.

Prisoner of Ice and Snow by Ruth Lauren (Apr 4, 2017)
A girl intentionally gets sent to an icy prison in order to help her twin sister escape from the inside.  Ages 8-12.

The Wingsnatchers by Sarah Jean Horowitz (Apr 25, 2017
An apprentice who creates mechanical illusions and a magical Faerie princess team up to solve a mystery and win a competition. Ages 10-14.

Dingus by Andrew Larsen (May 2, 2017)
A boy faces a boring summer vacation until he makes a terrible mistake.  Ages 8-12.

Invisible Emmie by Terri Libenson (May 2, 2017)
When a note passed in class is intercepted, a shy girl’s life collides with the life of a popular girl.  Ages 8-12.

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya (May 16, 2017)
A boy uses poetry and protest to take on the land developer threatening his family’s restaurant.  Ages 10 & up.

Felix Yz by Lisa Bunker (Jun 6, 2017)
After a science experiment gone wrong accidentally fuses him to a fourth dimensional being, a boy blogs about his life in the days leading up to the experimental procedure that will be used to separate them.  Ages 10-12.

One Shadow on the Wall by Leah Henderson (Jun 6, 2017)
Although he promised his father he’d keep the family together, a Senegalese orphan is tempted to join a gang of malicious boys to keep them from stealing his spirit.  Ages 8-12.

Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls by Beth McMullen (Jul 4, 2017)
A girl enters spy training to find a missing agent: her mother.  Ages 8-12.



Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken (Jan 3, 2017)
Sequel to Passenger. Ages 14 & up.

Windwitch by Susan Dennard  (Jan 10, 2017)
Witchlands novel.  Ages 14 & up.

Beheld by Alex Flinn (Jan 10, 2017)
New fairytales in the Kendra Chronicles.  Age 14 & up.

The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman (Jan 31, 2017)
A Lady Helen novel.  Ages 12-18.

Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer (Jan 31, 2017)
A graphic novel in the Lunar Chronicles world.  Ages 14 & up.

Rise of Fire by Sophie Jordan (Feb 7, 2017)
Book 2 in Reign of Shadows series.  Ages 14 & up.

The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig (Feb 28, 2017)
Sequel to The Girl From Everywhere.  Ages 12-18.

The Boy She Left Behind by Gregg Olsen (Mar 14, 2017)
Book 2 of Vengeance.  Ages 14 & up.

The Adjustment by Suzanne Young (Apr 18, 2017)
The Program, Book 3.  Ages 12-18.

Black Tempest by Ryan Dalton (Apr 25, 2017)
Book 2 of the Time Shift Trilogy.  Ages 12-17.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han (May 2, 2017)
Book 3 of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.  Ages 14 & up.

Count All Her Bones by April Henry (May 2, 2017)
Sequel to Girl, Stolen.  Ages 12-18.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (May 2, 2017)
Book 3 of A Court of Thorns and Roses.   Age 14 & up.

The Battlemage by Taran Matharu (May 9, 2017)
Conclusion to The Summoner trilogy.  Ages 12-18.

A Million Junes by Emily Henry (May 16, 2017)
Sequel to The Love That Split the World.  Ages 12-18. 

Seeker by Veronica Rossi (May 16, 2017)
Book 2 of Riders.  Ages 12-18.

Refuge for Masterminds by Kathleen Baldwin (May 23, 2017)
Book 3 of A stranje House.  Ages 12-18.

The Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare (May 23, 2017)
Book 2 of The Dark Artifices. Ages 14 & up.

Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead (Jun 27, 2017)
Book 2 of the Glittering Court series.  Ages 14 & up.

Now I Rise by Kiersten White (Jun 27, 2017)
Sequel to And I Darken.  Ages 14 & up.


Because of the Sun by Jenny Torres Sanchez (Jan 3, 2017)
A girl travels from Florida to New Mexico to process her mother’s violent death. Ages 14 & up.

Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist (Jan 3, 2017)
A blind teen falls in love but questions his feelings when an operation restores his sight.  Ages 12 & up.

Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos (Jan 3, 2017)
A teen girl’s terminally ill father auctions himself on eBay.  Ages 14 & up.

The Radius of Us by Marie Marquardt (Jan 17, 2017)
Two teens who have survived trauma find a connection on their first meeting.  Ages 14 & up.

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera (Jan 17, 2017)
A boy’s life begins to unravel when his ex-boyfriend dies.  Ages 14 & up.

The Careful Undressing of Love by Corey Ann Haydn (Jan 31, 2017)
A group of girls believe they are cursed when the boy they love suddenly dies. Ages 14 & up.

That Burning Summer by Lydia Syson (Jan 31, 2017)
A teen girl hides an injured Polish pilot who has crashed in England and does not wish to return to war. Ages 14 & up.

Fire Color One by Jenny Valentine (Jan 31, 2017)
A young arsonist is sent to England to live with the wealthy father she has never met.  Age 12-18.

Factory Girl by Josanne La Valley (Feb 1, 2017)
A girl works in appalling conditions in a factory in China to earn money to save her family’s farm. Age 14 & up.

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza (Feb 7, 2017)
An exiled empress and the boy falsely accused of killing her must unite to overcome a galactic evil.  Ages 14 & up.

At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson (Feb 7, 2017)
A teen’s best friend disappears and seems to have been erased from everyone else’s memories.  Ages 14 & up.

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom (Feb 7, 2017)
A teen fears her friends will abandon her if they find out she has bipolar disorder. Age 14 & up.

The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill (Feb 7, 2017)
In Jazz-Age Chicago, a girl embarks on a mission to find her missing best friend.  Ages 12-18.

Romeo and What’s Her Name by Shani Petroff (Feb 7, 2017)
An understudy wishes she were playing the lead opposite the boy of her dreams, until she has to actually step into the role and realizes she is totally unprepared.  Ages 12-18.

Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham (Feb 21, 2017)
A teen girl discovers a skeleton that provides a link back to the Tulsa race riots a century earlier. Age 14 & up.

Sad Perfect by Stephanie Elliot (Feb 28, 2017)
A girl tries to hide her eating disorder from the boy she loves.  Ages 14 & up.

10 Things I Can See from Here by Carrie Mac (Feb 28, 2017)
A girl struggling with anxiety falls in love with a girl who isn’t afraid of anything.  Ages 14 & up.

The Free by Lauren McLaughlin (Feb 28, 2017)
A teen in juvie comes to terms with his past and who he wants to be in the future.  Ages 12-18.

A Good Idea by Cristina Moracho (Feb 28, 2017)
When her best friend is murdered, a teen returns to her hometown to plot revenge.  Ages 14 & up.

Waking in Time by Angie Stanton (Mar 1, 2017)
A young woman traveling backward in time meets a young man traveling forward in time and falls in love.  Ages 14 & up.

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (Mar 7, 2017)
A young witch accidentally raises her brother from the dead and discovers her own dark powers come at a price.  Ages 12-18.

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz (Mar 7, 2017)
As he nears the end of high school, a boy begins to question his place within his adopted family.  Ages 14 & up.

Nemesis by Brendan Reichs (Mar 21, 2017)
Brought together by murder and nightmares, two teens must sift through lies and conspiracy, hoping to save their doomed planet.  Ages 14 & up.

Worthy by Donna Cooner (Mar 28, 2017)
An app that asks students whether girls are worthy of their boyfriends causes high school relationship chaos.  Ages 14 & up.

Just Another Girl by Elizabeth Eulberg (Mar 28, 2017)
Two best friends struggle with their crush on the same guy and the secrets they keep from each other.  Ages 14 & up.

Frogkisser! by Garth Nix (Mar 28, 2017)
A princess whose kiss can break curses goes on a quest to reclaim her kingdom from her evil stepparents.  Ages 12 & up.

100 Hours by Rachel Vincent (Mar 28, 2017)
A Spring Break beach trip turns into a nightmare when six teens are kidnapped.  Ages 14 & up.

The Inconceivable Life of Quinn by Marianne Baer (Apr 4, 2017)
A teen becomes the center of attention when she discovers she is pregnant but has no memory of ever having sex.  Ages 14 & up.

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray (Apr 4, 2017)
A soldier and a machine on opposite sides of an interstellar war find themselves on a joint mission.  Ages 14& up.

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemper (Apr 4, 2017)
A grieving girl leaves letters at her mother’s grave and makes an unlikely connection with the troubled classmate who finds them and responds.  Ages 14 & up.

Toward a Secret Sky by Heather Maclean (Apr 4, 2017)
An orphaned girl is targeted by the enemies her parents left behind and embarks on a frantic mission to save the lives of those around her.  Ages 14 & up.

Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr (Apr 4, 2017)
Two sisters struggling to care for each other despite their poverty find surprising challenges and opportunities when their estranged father returns.  Ages 12-18.

Duels & Deception by Cindy Anstey (Apr 11, 2017)
A young heiress is kidnapped along with a poor law clerk and, to her dismay, finds herself falling in love with him.  Ages 12-18.

Unearthly Things by Michelle Gagnon (Apr 11, 2017)
A modern Jane Eyre, in which an orphan moves in with a wealthy family with dark secrets.  Ages 12-18.

Missing by Kelley Armstrong (Apr 18, 2017)
A girl discovers that the scores of teens who supposedly left her hometown over the years may actually have been murdered.  Ages 14 & up.

The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares (Apr 25, 2017)
Though their parents were once married and they share half siblings, a boy and girl have never met until one summer at a shared beach house when their lives intersect.  Ages 12-18.

Dreamfall by Amy Plum (May 2, 2017)
Teens must battle their worst nightmares in virtual reality when an experimental insomnia treatment goes horribly wrong.  Ages 14 & up.

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate (May 2, 2017)

A girl masquerades as a boy to join an all-male a capella group. Ages 12-18.

My Future Ex-girlfriend by Jake Gerhard (May 16, 2017)
Three eighth graders struggle with their first relationships, hoping to hang onto their girlfriends so they don’t start high school as losers. Ages 12-18.

The Go-Between by Veronica Chambers (May 9, 2017)
When her actress mom gets a job in LA, a girl goes from being the most envied teen in Mexico City to the kid everyone assumes is the daughter of a “domestic.”  Ages 12-18.

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord ( May 16, 2017)
A girl finds her faith challenged when her mother’s cancer returns and her life begins to unravel. Ages 14 & up.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo (May 30, 2017)
A girl studies Korean romance movies to figure out how to get the attention of the boy she likes.  Ages 12-18.

House of Furies by Madeleine Roux (May 30, 2017)
A maid at a Gothic boarding house hopes to save a young man from the harsh punishments inflicted by her employer on his house guests. Ages 14 & up.

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley (Jun 6, 2017)
After her brother dies, a girl returns to her hometown and exchanges letters with the boy she once loved by hiding them in the pages of books.  Ages 14 & up.

Internet Famous by Danika Stone (Jun 6, 2017)
When a teen blogger begins flirting with a fan online, a troll starts harassing her.  Ages 12-18.

Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson (Jun 13, 2017)
A girl about to embark on a journey to Mars discovers a journal from the past and the stories of two other girls facing life-changing moments.  Ages 12-18.

Roar by Cora Carmack (Jun 13, 2017)
A Stormling princess, born without her family’s signature magic power, tries to steal power for herself in order to avoid an arranged marriage.  Ages 14 & up.

Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios (Jun 13, 2017)
When her relationship turns abusive, a teen struggles to escape it.  Ages 14 & up.

Be True To Me by Adele Griffin (Jun 13, 2017)
Two teen tennis rivals compete for the love of the boy of their dreams.  Ages 14 & up.

All the Ways the World Can End by Abby Sher (July 11, 2017)
With her dad dying and her best friend moving away, a girl feels like the world is ending.  Ages 12-18.

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell (Jul 18, 2017)
A young thief is sent back in time to steal a book and save a mysterious and perhaps sinister magical order.  Ages 12-18.

Lucky in Love by Kasie West (Jul 25, 2017)
A teen wins the lottery and everyone starts treating her differently–except the boy she has a crush on, who hasn’t heard the news yet.  Ages 12-18.

Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle (Aug 8, 2017)
Two teens begin to lose important things, until they find a mysterious spellbook that lets them bring things back from the past–even things that should have stayed lost.  Ages 14 & up.


The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser (Jan 3, 2017)
A girl discovers the power to jump into books and must stop a mysterious thief from altering her life.  Ages 12-18.

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti (Jan 3, 2017)
Following a wild theory, a teen tries to track down a girl who disappeared.  Ages 14 & up.

Frostblood by Ella Blake (Jan 10, 2017)
A teenage Fireblood conceals her powers from the Frostblood rulers until she must use them to save her world and avenge her mother’s death.  Ages 14 & up.

You Don’t Know My Name by Kristen Orlando (Jan 10, 2017)
A teenage spy’s career is jeopardized when she falls in love.  Ages 12-18.

A List of Cages by Robin Roe (Jan 10, 2017)
As assistant to the school psychologist, a teen boy must help his former foster-brother open up about his troubling secrets.  Ages 14 & up.

Poison’s Kiss by Breeana Shields (Jan 10, 2017)
A teen whose kiss can kill works as an assassin until she gets an assignment she can’t complete: to kill the boy she loves.  Ages 14 & up.

After the Fall by Kate Hart (Jan 24, 2017)
A girl struggles to balance her relationships with her best friend and his brother–her secret boyfriend–when tragedy strikes.  Age 14 & up.

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson  (Jan 24, 2017)
Convicted of murdering an infant when she was nine years old, a pregnant teen must fight for the right to keep her baby.  Ages 14 & up.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber (Jan 31, 2017)
Two sister run away to escape arranged marriage and get swept up in a magical and deadly game. Ages 14 & up.

The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles (Jan 31, 2017)
A teen girl and a bounty hunter from Hell get wrapped up in a romantic adventure.  Ages 14 & up.

Wait for Me by Caroline Leech  (Jan 31, 2017)
A Scottish Red Cross volunteer falls in love with a German POW during WWII. Age 14 & up.

The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom (Feb 7, 2017)
To save her father from the vicious men holding him prisoner, a teen girl must become as cruel as the assassins and spies she faces.  Ages 14 & up.

Traveler by L.E. DeLano (Feb 7, 2017)
When a boy she thought existed only in her imagination shows up in real life, a teen learns that she has the ability to travel to alternate realities and that in every one of them, she is dying.  Ages 14 & up.

#famous  by Jilly Gagnon (Feb 14, 2017)
A photo goes viral and sweeps a girl and her crush into a whirlwind or fame that may or may not be worth it.  Ages 12-18.

American Street by Ibi Zoboi (Feb 14, 2017)
A girl struggles to adjust when her family moves from Haiti to Detroit.  Ages 12-18.

Beast Is an Animal by Peternelle Van Arsdale (Feb 28, 2017)
Although she was raised to fear the soul eaters of the forest, a girl feels a connection to the creatures that killed the adults of her village and goes in search of them.  Ages 14 & up.

Confessions of a High School Disaster: Chloe Snow’s Diary by Emma Chastain (Mar 7, 2017)
While her mom is in Mexico working on a novel, a girl chronicles her life in high school.  Ages 12-18.

A Psalm for Lost Girls by Katie Bayerl (Mar 14, 2017)
When an abducted girl returns, the sister of a dead girl begins an investigation into her sister’s death and uncovers secrets about the abduction.  Ages 14 & up.

Just Fly Away by Andrew McCarthy (Mar 28, 2017)
The discovery that her father has a child from an affair prompts a teen to go on  a rebellious journey of self-discovery.  Ages 14 & up.

Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brandt (Apr 4, 2017)
A math wiz who sees visions of people’s emotions falls in love with a troubled new kid.  Ages 14 & up.

The Exo Project by Andrew DeYoung (Apr 4, 2017)
Desperate money, a boy volunteers for a 100 year mission to search for a new habitable planet after Earth is tainted by solar radiation.  Ages 12-18.

Keeping the Beat by Marie Powell and Jeff Norton (Apr 4, 2017)
A teen girl band wins a talent contest and embarks on an adventure that ends in tragedy.  Ages 14 & up.

Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer (Apr 11, 2017)
Two sisters with different faerie gifts find their lives torn apart when they are plunged into an enchanted dream world.  Ages 12-18.

The Takedown by Corrie Wang (Apr 11, 2017)
A faked video of a girl having sex with her English teacher goes viral and threatens to destroy her life. Ages 14 &  up.

Sucktown, Alaska by Craig Dirkes (May 1, 2017)
After getting kicked out of college his first semester, a young man struggles to find his way in the most boring town in the world.  Ages 16 & up.

Textrovert by Lindsey Summers (May 2, 2017)
When a boy and girl who dislike each other accidentally swap phones, they get to know and like each other better through text messages.  Ages 14 & up.

Just a Normal Tuesday by Kim Turrisi (May 2, 2017)
A girl struggles to deal with the aftermath of her older sister’s suicide.  Ages 14 & up.

The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beatty (May 9, 2017)
A matchmaker’s apprentice is recruited as a spy and enters the world of military espionage.  Ages 12-18.

City of Angels by Kristi Belcamino (May 9, 2017)
A homeless teen investigates the disappearance of another homeless girl she met on the streets of LA.  Ages 14 & up.

It Started with Goodbye by Christina June (May 9, 2017)
After being falsely accused of a crime, a teen under house arrest tries to start a graphic design business.  Ages 12-18.

It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura (May 9, 2017)
Two girls from different cultural backgrounds fall in love.  Ages 14 & up.

Antisocial by Jillian Blake (May 16, 2017)
Private lives become public when students at a wealthy prep school are hacked and their secrets exposed.  Age 14 & up.

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus (May 30, 2017)
A teen who created a school gossip app is murdered in detention, and all four of the other students in the room with him had a motive.  Ages 12-18.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (May 30, 2017)
Two teens whose parents have arranged their marriage meet at summer camp.  Ages 12-18.

Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser (Jun 6, 2017)
In exchange for her father’s release from prison, a girl sail a mysterious cargo over the realm of the river god. Ages 12-18.


Posted on

Commissioned by the Mattatuck Museum in Connecticut, The Manumission Requiem mourns the death and celebrates the life of a man named Fortune, a slave owned by Dr. Preserved Porter who—after Fortune’s death—dissected his body and hung his skeleton for display in his office.  Fortune’s bones passed through many hands, finally coming to rest in the Mattatuck Museum, and Fortune’s identity was only recently rediscovered.  The collection poems with which Marilyn Nelson remembers Fortune is short but powerful; it is a Coretta Scott King Award Honor book.  I would recommend Fortune’s Bones to teens and adults who are interested in reading stories about slavery or who enjoy thought-provoking poetry.