Grace and Fury by Tracy BanghartIn a world...where women are expected to be perfectly submissive, two sisters endure two different kinds of imprisonment: rebellious Nomi is trapped in her role as a Grace, a demure servant of the powerful Heir, while dutiful older sister Serina must survive in a brutal prison where the inmates are forced to fight to the death.
For fans of: descriptive fantasies with dystopian undertones, such as Traci Chee's The Reader and Dhonielle Clayton's The Belles.
Contagion by Erin BowmanFeaturing: microbiology intern Thea, former military pilot Nova, and their teammates on the rescue ship sent to answer a distress call from a drill crew on the planet Achlys.
What happens: By the time the team arrives on Achlys, there's no one left to rescue -- just piles of corpses and an ominous warning note. Can they discover what killed the drill crew without meeting the same fate? Multiple perspectives heighten the suspense in this horror/science fiction hybrid, the 1st in a planned duology.
Fresh Ink: An Anthology by Lamar Giles (editor)What it is: a short story collection that amplifies marginalized voices, presented by the team at We Need Diverse Books.
Featuring: Nicola Yoon's vision of a bulletproof black superhero, Sara Farizan's tale of an Iranian American girl learning to cook for her girlfriend, Melissa de la Cruz’s story about an undocumented college student, plus many more.
Who it's for: anyone who's ever struggled to find themselves in the pages of a book.
Heretics Anonymous by Katie HenryWelcome to: St. Clare's, a private Catholic school where new student (and avowed atheist) Michael is welcomed into Heretics Anonymous, a group for misfits such as Eden (pagan), Avi (Jewish, gay), Max (fashion outlaw), and Lucy (feminist, aspiring priest).
What happens: As Michael and Lucy grow closer, the Heretics decide to quit complaining and take action.
Why you might like it: Believers and nonbelievers of all kinds can appreciate the witty dialogue and non-judgmental tone of this debut novel.
Notes from My Captivity by Kathy ParksWhat it's about: When aspiring journalist Adrienne accompanies her anthropologist stepdad to Siberia, she's determined to disprove his theories about the existence of the Osinovs, a legendary family of mystics. Yet after she's captured by the (very real) Osinovs, Adrienne has to face much bigger problems than being wrong.
For fans of: the offbeat humor of Libba Bray's Beauty Queens and the haunting intensity of Lucy Christopher's Stolen.
#Own Voices: Science Fiction and Fantasy
Children of Blood and Bone
by Tomi Adeyemi
Featuring: Zélie, a divîner with dormant magic abilities who's fed up with King Saran's brutal oppression; Amari, the rebellious princess who hopes to reawaken the magic in Zélie and others like her; and Inan, the crown prince who's determined to stop them.
Book buzz: This vivid, fast-paced trilogy opener is already generating excitement among readers on social media.
Further reading: Looking for another richly drawn Afrofantasy series? Try Nnedi Okorafor's Akata Witch or Tochi Onyebuchi's Beasts Made of Night.
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida CórdovaWhat it's about: Despite coming from a long line of brujas, 17-year-old Alex Mortiz is desperate to ditch her powerful encantrix abilities. After a spell to get rid of her magic backfires and endangers her family, Alex -- along with best friend Rishi and shady brujo Nova – must journey through the underworld of Los Lagos to save them.
Try this next: the sequel, Bruja Born, or Daniel José Older's Shadowshaper Cypher, another mythology-infused fantasy series set in contemporary Brooklyn.
On the Edge of Gone by Corinne DuyvisWhat it's about: With her sister missing, her mom slipping deeper into addiction, and a comet about to decimate the Earth, 16-year-old Denise makes a last-ditch attempt to guarantee her family's safe passage on a generation ship.
Why you might like it: Set in Amsterdam and starring a complex autistic heroine, On the Edge of Gone is a refreshingly atypical apocalyptic thriller.
Did you know? Author Corinne Duyvis coined the "own voices" hashtag.
At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David HutchinsonWhat it's about: Ozzie's boyfriend, Tommy, has been erased from existence and memory, and only Ozzie knows it. The problem of how to get Tommy back, however, is just the most urgent of many: Ozzie's also dealing with his parents' divorce, his brother's decision to join the military, and his own feelings for his physics partner, Calvin.
For fans of: Adam Silvera's speculative stories, which ask similarly painful yet intriguing questions about the nature of relationships and reality.
The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. YeeWhat it's about: Quentin, the new Chinese guy at Genie's high school, is both weird and weirdly attractive -- and that's before he reveals that he's the not-so-mythical Monkey King, Genie's his reincarnated weapon, and together they've got to send a horde of demons back to hell.
Why you might like it: You'll be pulling for snarky perfectionist Genie as she tries to balance schoolwork with demon-fighting in this wildly entertaining blend of fantasy and romantic comedy.
Contact your librarian for more great books for grades 7-12!