Small Favors by Erin A. Craig
Penguin Random House / Delacorte Press
Publication Date: July 27, 2021
The residents of Amity Falls live small, peaceful lives, toiling away on farms, helping their neighbors, and tending to the town. Ellerie Downing’s life is no different. She helps her father with the beekeeping, cooks and mends for her family, and takes care of her two younger sisters. But something wicked is stirring in the woods surrounding Amity Falls. The monsters of legend that stalked the area have returned and have cut off their peaceful little town from the rest of the world.
As summer turns to fall and supplies start to run low, the residents turn to a tricky and magical creature who promises to give them their heart’s desire in return for a small favor. But when the town folk begin to turn on each other, Ellerie realizes that something even more sinister is at play in Amity Falls and she must race against time to save her town and her family.
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Me (Moth) by Amber McBride
Macmillan / Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: August 17, 2021
After Black teen Moth is in a car accident that kills her parents and brother, she has no other options but living with her aunt in Virginia. Unable to dance since the crash, the only solace and peace she seems to be able to find are in the memories of her grandfather and his Hoodoo practice, but then Sani appears and is everything Moth needs most – stoic, solid, comforting. Moth and Sani decide to take a road trip to Sani’s ancestral Navajo homeland, and as Sani gets closer to his own roots, Moth begins to find her wings again.
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The Secret Life of Kitty Granger by G.D. Falksen
Lerner / Carolrhoda Lab
Publication Date: March 2, 2021
Kitty is an unordinary, autistic, 16-year-old British teenager living in the 1960’s London East End. Kitty is offered the chance to work as a spy for Her Majesty’s government against fascist agents in England, and she soon finds out that the things that made her different (like hyper-awareness of the world around her) could make her a spy. Stumbling into the Cold War spy game, Kitty has gone from being an outsider to being a part of a team trying to protect their nation.
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Don’t Hate the Player by Alexis Nedd
Publication Date: June 15, 2021
Sixteen-year-old Emilia Romero has a secret life. By day, she’s a high-achieving Latinx student who takes AP classes, leads the field hockey team, has a popular jock for a boyfriend, and will even be running for student council as vice president to her best friend Penny (who is Black). By night (and on weekends), she’s part of Team Fury, an e-sports team competing in the virtual reality game Guardians League Online, who has just been tapped to participate in a live tournament with a pot of two hundred thousand dollars. No one at school knows her secret, and she’d like to keep it that way. But when Jake Hooper, who is also playing in the tournament on another team, shows up as a new student, Emilia’s two worlds threaten to collide.
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Jay’s Gay Agenda by Jason June
HarperCollins / HarperTeen
Publication Date: June 1, 2021
Jay Collier is an out and proud white gay teen in rural Washington. As everyone in school has paired off and are busy experiencing their first relationships, Jay has no one to date. He creates “Jay’s Gay Agenda”: a bucket list of relationship experiences he wants to have. When his family moves to Seattle at the start of his senior year, he is overjoyed at the idea of being surrounded by other queer teens and hopes to start marking things off his list. As Jay jumps into life at his new school and starts making new friends, he discovers that the balancing act between balancing his time and energy between his new and old friends is hard; throw in dating and crossing off agenda experiences and suddenly life is really complicated.
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Perfectly Parvin by Olivia Abtahi
Penguin Random House / G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 18, 2021
Parvin Mohammadi can’t wait to start high school after a magical summer at the beach with her first-ever boyfriend — but when he dumps her on the first day of high school in front of her friends for being “too loud,” Parvin hatches a scheme to become the perfect rom-com girl so hunky sophomore Matty Fumero will ask her to homecoming. Parvin will do whatever it takes to suppress her loud, hairy, flashy, prank-obsessed self and live her high school dream, even if the boy she’s growing closer to in her Farsi classes seems to like those things about her.
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A Sitting in St. James by Rita Williams-Garcia
HarperCollins / Quill Tree Books
Publication Date: May 25, 2021
Louisiana, 1860: Elderly white matriarch Madame Sylvie Guilbert presides over La Petite Cottage, her family’s plantation. She is determined to sit for a portrait in spite of the financial troubles that are threatening to ruin the Guilbert family. After all, that’s what the heads of all the great families do, and Sylvie will do almost anything to project that kind of power and influence. Also caught up in Sylvie’s scheming are her son, grandson, and the enslaved people forced to work at La Petite Cottage.
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Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa
Amazon Publishing / Skyscape
Publication Date: June 8, 2021
Julián Luna has his senior year all figured out – spend time with his friends, get into UCLA, get the heck out of Texas and away from the pressure to be anyone other than his whole, true self. Unfortunately, with one drunken Tweet he outs himself to the whole world, and suddenly Jules finds himself having to navigate a blossoming romance with the perfect boy, Mat (who is 1500 miles away in LA) and the worst-case-scenario with his homophobic father while trying to hang on to his hope of leaving Texas at the end of the school year.
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These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy
Inkyard Press / Harlequin
Publication Date: April 20, 2021
Everyone knows that using magic comes with a price. Sometimes it’s a small lock of hair as payment for a simple spell, but the greater the magic, the more deadly the cost. No one knows this better than Aysa, the future Firebird. As a part of her training, she learns how to balance the world’s magic by exacting payment from those who try to use it freely. But before she can finish her training, she feels the call of the Firebird. Now she must return to Court to present herself to the new queen, her estranged twin sister Izaveta. Together the two must navigate their new roles as Queen and Firebird to solve the mystery behind their mother’s death and save their country from wayward magic.
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When We Were Infinite by Kelly Loy Gilbert
Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 9, 2021
This is it. Senior year. And all Beth wants is to be with her friends as much as possible. Bonded long ago through their shared orchestra experience, Sunny, Jason, Brandon, and Grace are all the family Beth needs. She’s determined to keep them all together and connected, this year and beyond, even if it means losing herself. And she’s also secretly harboring a major crush on Jason.
When Beth and Brandon accidentally witness Jason’s father assault him, Beth is heartbroken that none of them had any idea what he was going through. As Jason spirals into anger and depression, she anxiously tries to both fix him and hold the whole group together. As often happens in senior year though, each friend must choose their own adventure and find a way to hold on to each other as they go forward.
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