Cece worries how the kids at her new school will react to her hearing aid. Will she be able to make any friends at all? But then she discovers that, with the Phonic Ear, she can hear her teacher anywhere in the school–even the bathroom! Does this mean she has superpowers? A lovable story featuring a smart and fearless heroine.
Rachel Cohen is Jewish. As the Nazis occupy France, she must take on a new name and a new identity to survive. Now Catherine Colin, she travels across the country, always trying to stay one step ahead of those who would deport her. She takes with her a camera, hoping to create a chronicle of her journey for when the war ends. An intimate reflection on the desire to find safety, the feel at home, to make sense of an upside-down world.
Jordan Banks wants to attend art school, not the fancy prep school his mom is in love with. And he’s a little worried about the lack of diversity. It’s difficult to be the new kid in general, but Jordan also has to deal with stuff like the teacher never getting his name right and always looking at him when financial aid is discussed. He’s not sure he’ll ever fit in. Or that he can keep his old friends if he does. A compelling story about trying to navigate middle school that also teaches kids about microaggressions.
Five years ago, Omar and his younger brother Hassan fled from Somalia to the refugee camp of Dadaab in Kenya. Now eleven, Omar has the chance to attend school. He could even learn English in anticipation of getting a visa for himself and Hassan to leave the camp and find a new home in another country. But can Omar leave his younger brother every day? And how do you hold onto hope when it seems no hope is left? When Stars Are Scattered draws attention to an important human rights issue while inspiring readers to take action and make a difference.
Rinn dreams of becoming an apprentice cook but, for now, she is a gatherer. Gathering is how she stumbles upon Aedhan, a dragon who was supposed to protect her village, but who fell asleep decades ago instead. Now Rinn must help Aedhan find his place in the community, while her uncle Erik and his partner Hesekiel search for the beast who caused Aedhan’s enchanted slumber. A companion book to The Tea Dragon Society that features a same-sex couple as well as characters who use sign language.
In Aster’s family, girls grow up to be witches and boys grow up to be shapeshifters. But Aster wants to be a witch, too, even if he has to keep spying on the girls’ lessons. Then the boys starts disappearing. Can Aster help find them with his witch powers? A fast-paced graphic novel with a sympathetic protagonist and a topical message. Readers who enjoy books on witches or books about finding one’s place in one’s family will enjoy this story.
The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell, et al.
Over the summer, sixteen kids will create a kingdom–and costumes–out of cardboard, making friends, dealing with family issues, and confronting their fears. In the Cardboard Kingdom, your imagination, and your friends, give you strength.
The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner
When thirteen-year-old Moth Hush discovers that she comes from a line of witches, she is ecstatic. But her mom fears the town’s tradition of witch hunting and refuses to teach Moth how to use her powers. Can Moth prove that things have changed? Or is she better off hiding her magic from the world? Inspired by the Salem Witch Trials.
Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Modern Retelling of Little Women by Rey Terciero (Author) and Bre Indigo (Illustrator)
Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy is a Little Women updated for a modern audience. This means not only setting the story in modern-day New York City and featuring the Marches as a blended family, but also espousing contemporary values. Where Louisa May Alcott’s original novel may be said to have promoted virtues such as humility, hard work, and cheerfulness, Rey Terciero’s re-imagining promotes values of inclusion, diversity, and feminism. In many ways, this feels like the Little Women many readers have wanted all along.
Christine is not so sure about the new girl, Moon, when she first moves in next door. But Moon turns out to be undeniably cool, and just a little bit of a rebel–at least as far as Christine’s family is concerned. Moon reveals that she sometimes has visions of celestial beings, who assure her that her real home is far from Earth. But Moon’s erratic behavior begins to scare Christine. And when Moon needs her most, Christine might not be around. A sensitive reflection on finding one’s place in the world, not just by growing up, but also by discovering what it means to share a cultural identity as Chinese Americans.