Click here to see all of the current Quick Picks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.
Shuri: A Black Panther Novel by Nic Stone
Publication Date: May 5, 2020
Princess Shuri must race to figure out what is happening to the Heart Shaped Herb, (the source for the Black Panther’s powers), before her brother’s rule as the Black Panther and Wakanda itself are threatened.
In this novelization of thePrincess Shuri story arc from the Black Panther universe, Nic Stone stays true to the Shuri cannon laid out in the Marvel movie, but with a story that has its own story and feel. There is lots of techy action that would draw in readers interested in futuristic technology, mild science fiction, and the Black Panther world overall. The book has a straightforward plot, short chapters, and is under 300 pages. This book is exciting enough to be of interest to older readers looking for a quick action-adventure story, and is very accessible to younger teen readers as well.
Hand this to fans of action, adventure, and anyone who has enjoyed more Marvel movie marathons than readathons. Fans of this one will enjoy any of the recently released Black Panther comic books as well as Miles Morales: Spider-Man by Jason Reynolds.
Kent State by Deborah Wiles
Publication Date: April 21, 2020
May 4, 1970. Four students murdered, 9 wounded on the grounds of Kent State University by the Ohio National Guard. Why? Because Kent State students were protesting the Vietnam War.
This is a novel told in verse about the tragic events that unfolded on May 4, 1970. Though a historical novel about a time some students may know little about, the echoes of political protests and violence can be seen in more contemporary situations which make this novel extremely relatable. Anger, frustration, sorrow, horror are timeless emotions. Reluctant readers will feel invested in the story.
Recommended titles for students interested in the 1960’s and the Vietnam War include Summer of ‘69 by Todd Strasser, Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin, and the graphic nonfiction series, March, by politician and Civil Rights leader, John Lewis. Teens interested in social activism should check out Nevertheless, We Persisted: 48 Voices of Defiance, Strength and Courage, Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults): A True Story of the Fight for Justice by Bryan Stevenson, Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro, All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, and Dear Martin by Nic Stone.