Louis Undercover by Fanny Britt; illustrated by Isabelle ArsenaultGraphic Novel. Ever since their parents split up, Louis has been shielding his little brother from Dad's tearful drinking and Mom's constant worrying. Seeing them, Louis thinks that if that's how love ends up, maybe he's better off never expressing his feelings for his beautiful, fearless classmate Billie. Sophisticated, softly colored artwork captures the bittersweet emotions in Louis Undercover.
Greetings from Witness Protection! by Jake BurtFiction. The skill for swindling that got 13-year-old Nicki in trouble with her previous foster families is the deciding factor in her next placement: the U.S. Marshals need an orphan like Nicki to join a family in the Witness Protection Program and become a part of their disguise. Can streetwise Nicki keep up her cover as a totally average seventh-grader? Find out in this page-turning middle school thriller.
Pashmina by Nidhi ChananiGraphic Novel. Teen artist Priyanka has always wondered about her father's identity, and why her mother left him behind when she moved from Calcutta to California. Since her mom isn't talking, Pri finds another way to explore her heritage: her mother's old pashmina, which transports the wearer to a fantastical, color-drenched version of India. If you're enchanted by this magic-tinged graphic novel, you might also like Vera Brosgol's Anya's Ghost.
The Incredible Magic of Being by Kathryn ErskineLow Fantasy. “I am a uni-sensor, which means I’m highly in touch with the universe.” Anxious, thoughtful, astronomy-obsessed Julian has a unique ability to sense things that other people can't, a fact that can be both stressful and useful when it comes to getting along with his classmates, his worried family, and their curmudgeonly new neighbor. Science facts and hints of magic pepper this offbeat story.
The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid by Colin Meloy; illustrated by Carson EllisHistorical Adventure. The team behind the Wildwood Chronicles take a new direction in this highly unusual heist adventure. While living in 1961 France, lonely American Charlie is thrilled to be accepted into a crew of pickpockets -- and shocked to discover that the stakes of his new hobby are higher than he could have imagined. Growing suspense, colorful slang, and funny asides from the narrator will keep you hooked throughout this international caper.
The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay MooreFiction. Grieving the murder of his brother Jermaine, Harlem middle-schooler Wallace "Lolly" Rachapaul throws himself into building an elaborate LEGO city. The project grows fast and leads to an unexpected friendship, but it can't help Lolly escape his anger -- or pressure from Jermaine's old gang. Similar to Jason Reyolds' Track series, The Stars Beneath Our Feet gives you an authentic, unforgettable glimpse of one kid's life in a particular neighborhood.
Have Sword, Will Travel by Garth Nix and Sean WilliamsFantasy. Friends Eleanor and Odo are startled when they accidentally discover an enchanted sword that introduces itself as Hildebrand Shining Foebiter (AKA Biter). Talkative Biter is just as eager for adventure as aspiring knight Eleanor, and together they convince the reluctant Odo to join them on a dangerous quest. If you're looking for an entertaining twist on traditional fantasy, don't miss Have Sword, Will Travel.
Akata Warrior by Nnedi OkoraforFantasy. Sunny Nwazue is 13, Igbo, albino, awesome at soccer, and a new member of the magical Leopard Society. Last year, Sunny and her coven battled the terrifying spirit Ekwensu; now Sunny has to face her destiny and go on a perilous journey to prevent Ekwensu from the destroying the world. Inspired by mythology and set in modern Nigeria, this sequel to Akata Witch offers fresh, imaginative world-building for seen-it-all fantasy readers.
The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica TownsendFantasy. Destined to die on her 11th birthday, Morrigan Crow is rescued by the mysterious Jupiter North, who transports her to the realm of Nevermoor. There, she can escape her unlucky destiny by competing for entrance into the magical Wundrous Society. Without any extraordinary powers, Morrigan will have to pass four trials -- because failure means certain death. Don't miss this exciting, complex 1st book in the Nevermoor series.
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