A GOOD KIND OF TROUBLE
From debut author Lisa Moore Ramée comes this funny and big-hearted debut middle grade novel about friendship, family, and standing up for what’s right, perfect for fans of Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give and the novels of Renée Watson and Jason Reynolds.
Twelve-year-old Shayla is allergic to trouble. All she wants to do is to follow the rules. (Oh, and she’d also like to make it through seventh grade with her best friendships intact, learn to run track, and have a cute boy see past her giant forehead.)
But in junior high, it’s like all the rules have changed. Now she’s suddenly questioning who her best friends are and some people at school are saying she’s not black enough. Wait, what?
Shay’s sister, Hana, is involved in Black Lives Matter, but Shay doesn’t think that’s for her. After experiencing a powerful protest, though, Shay decides some rules are worth breaking. She starts wearing an armband to school in support of the Black Lives movement. Soon everyone is taking sides. And she is given an ultimatum.
Shay is scared to do the wrong thing (and even more scared to do the right thing), but if she doesn’t face her fear, she’ll be forever tripping over the next hurdle. Now that’s trouble, for real.
ALL THE LOVELY BAD ONES
ALL-AMERICAN MUSLIM GIRL
A Kirkus Best Book of 2019
Nadine Jolie Courtney’s All-American Muslim Girl is a relevant, relatable story of being caught between two worlds, and the struggles and hard-won joys of finding your place.
Allie Abraham has it all going for her—she’s a straight-A student, with good friends and a close-knit family, and she’s dating popular, sweet Wells Henderson. One problem: Wells’s father is Jack Henderson, America’s most famous conservative shock jock, and Allie hasn’t told Wells that her family is Muslim. It’s not like Allie’s religion is a secret. It’s just that her parents don’t practice, and raised her to keep it to herself.
But as Allie witnesses Islamophobia in her small town and across the nation, she decides to embrace her faith—study, practice it, and even face misunderstanding for it. Who is Allie, if she sheds the façade of the “perfect” all-American girl?
BEFORE THE EVER AFTER
WINNER OF THE CORETTA SCOTT KING AUTHOR AWARD!
National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson’s stirring novel-in-verse explores how a family moves forward when their glory days have passed and the cost of professional sports on Black bodies.
For as long as ZJ can remember, his dad has been everyone’s hero. As a charming, talented pro football star, he’s as beloved to the neighborhood kids he plays with as he is to his millions of adoring sports fans. But lately life at ZJ’s house is anything but charming. His dad is having trouble remembering things and seems to be angry all the time. ZJ’s mom explains it’s because of all the head injuries his dad sustained during his career. ZJ can understand that–but it doesn’t make the sting any less real when his own father forgets his name. As ZJ contemplates his new reality, he has to figure out how to hold on tight to family traditions and recollections of the glory days, all the while wondering what their past amounts to if his father can’t remember it. And most importantly, can those happy feelings ever be reclaimed when they are all so busy aching for the past?
BETTER YOU THAN ME
It’s Freaky Friday meets Hannah Montana when two twelve-year-old girls–one a famous TV star, the other an obsessive fan–switch bodies with hilarious and disastrous results.
It began with a wish. . . .
Ruby Rivera is a twelve-year-old superstar with millions of followers. Skylar Welshman is a seventh grader who wants to be cool–and she’s Ruby’s biggest fan. When Skylar and Ruby meet on the set of Ruby’s hit show, Ruby of the Lamp, and wish they could switch places . . . it happens!
Now Ruby is living Skylar’s life–going to a normal school, eating fro-yo, sleeping in, texting boys . . . it’s amazing. And being Ruby is even better than Skylar imagined–her fancy closet is huge, everyone wants to be her friend, and she gets to spend every day with Ryder Vance, her dreamy costar. Life is a blast!
But when Ruby finds herself dealing with mean girls and Skylar discovers that being a celebrity isn’t all red-carpet glamour, the girls start to wonder if being yourself isn’t so bad after all. Can they swap bodies again? Or are they stuck being each other forever?
Thirteen-year-old Travis has a secret: he can’t read. But a shrewd teacher and a sassy girl are about to change everything in this witty and deeply moving novel.
Travis is missing his old home in the country, and he’s missing his old hound, Rosco. Now there’s just the cramped place he shares with his well-meaning but alcoholic grandpa, a new school, and the dreaded routine of passing when he’s called on to read out loud. But that’s before Travis meets Mr. McQueen, who doesn’t take “pass” for an answer—a rare teacher whose savvy persistence has Travis slowly unlocking a book on the natural world. And it’s before Travis is noticed by Velveeta, a girl whose wry banter and colorful scarves belie some hard secrets of her own. With sympathy, humor, and disarming honesty, Pat Schmatz brings to life a cast of utterly believable characters—and captures the moments of trust and connection that make all the difference.
Clementine is having not so good of a week.
- On Monday she’s sent to the principal’s office for cutting off Margaret’s hair.
- Tuesday, Margaret’s mother is mad at her.
- Wednesday, she’s sent to the principal?again.
- Thursday, Margaret stops speaking to her.
- Friday starts with yucky eggs and gets worse.
- And by Saturday, even her mother is mad at her.
From debut author Alyssa Hollingsworth comes a moving middle-grade story about living with fear, being a friend, and finding a new place to call home.
They say you can’t get something for nothing, but nothing is all Sami has. When his grandfather’s most-prized possession—a traditional Afghan instrument called a rebab—is stolen, Sami resolves to get it back. He finds it at a music store, but it costs $700, and Sami doesn’t have even one penny. What he does have is a keychain that has caught the eye of his classmate. If he trades the keychain for something more valuable, could he keep trading until he has $700? Sami is about to find out.
The Eleventh Trade is both a classic middle school story and a story about being a refugee. Like Katherine Applegate, author of Wishtree, Alyssa Hollingsworth tackles a big issue with a light touch.
For fans of The Thing About Jellyfish, Counting by 7s, and Fish in a Tree, a heartbreaking and hopeful story about a unique young girl on a journey to find home.
“An amazing debut — filled with heart, lyrical prose, and a heroine who soars!” – Jewell Parker Rhodes, New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Boys
December believes she is a bird. The scar on her back is where her wings will sprout, and one day soon, she will soar away. It will not matter that she has no permanent home. Her destiny is in the sky.
But then she’s placed with foster mom Eleanor, a kind woman who volunteers at an animal rescue and has secrets of her own. December begins to see that her story could end a different way – but could she ever be happy down on the ground?
In her arresting debut, Sandy Stark-McGinnis offers an inspiring story about family, friendship, and finding where you belong.
FIRST RULE OF PUNK
A 2018 Pura Belpré Author Honor Book
The First Rule of Punk is a wry and heartfelt exploration of friendship, finding your place, and learning to rock out like no one’s watching.
There are no shortcuts to surviving your first day at a new school—you can’t fix it with duct tape like you would your Chuck Taylors. On Day One, twelve-year-old Malú (María Luisa, if you want to annoy her) inadvertently upsets Posada Middle School’s queen bee, violates the school’s dress code with her punk rock look, and disappoints her college-professor mom in the process. Her dad, who now lives a thousand miles away, says things will get better as long as she remembers the first rule of punk: be yourself.
The real Malú loves rock music, skateboarding, zines, and Soyrizo (hold the cilantro, please). And when she assembles a group of like-minded misfits at school and starts a band, Malú finally begins to feel at home. She’ll do anything to preserve this, which includes standing up to an anti-punk school administration to fight for her right to express herself!
Black and white illustrations and collage art throughout make The First Rule of Punk a perfect pick for fans of books like Roller Girl and online magazines like Rookie.
“Armed with a microphone and a pair of scissors, this book is all about creating something new and awesome in the world. Malú rocks!” –Victoria Jamieson, author and illustrator of the New York Times bestselling and Newbery Honor-winning Roller Girl