These Feathered Flamesby Alexandra Overy Inkyard Press / Harlequin Publication Date: April 20, 2021 ISBN: 978-1335147967
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.
Each quarter, the Selected Lists teams compile the titles that have been officially nominated to date. These are titles that have been suggested by the team or through the title suggestion form, read by multiple members of the team, and received approval to be designated an official nomination. At the end of the year, the final list of nominations and each Selected List’s Top Ten will be chosen from these titles.
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Between Perfect and Real. By Ray Stoeve. Read by MW Cartozian Wilson. Recorded Books, LLC/Recorded Books, Inc., $70 (9781705028339).
Dean is a trans guy struggling with coming out to his friends and family. Exploring the internet and joining community groups allows him to more clearly define himself while acting as Romeo in a play helps his self discovery. Wilson’s voice is well matched and he skillfully narrates this emotional story.
Black Girl, Call Home. By Jasmine Mans. Read by Jasmine Mans. Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group/Penguin Audio, $22.80 (9780593346884).
Mans calls herself and other Black girls home in this love letter and essential companion to girls and women on a journey to find truth, belonging, and healing. Mans narrates this powerful and painful collection with many poems read and produced in unique ways.
Each quarter, the Selected Lists teams compile the titles that have been officially nominated to date. These books have been suggested by the team or through the title suggestion form, read by multiple members of the team, and received approval to be designated an official nomination. At the end of the year, the final list of nominations and each Selected List’s Top Ten will be chosen from these titles.
Across the Tracks: Remembering Greenwood, Black Wall Street, and the Tulsa Race Massacre. By Alverne Ball. Art by Stacey Robinson. Abrams/Megascope, $15.99 (9781419755170).
Greenwood—also known as Black Wall Street—was a bustling district in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with many successful Black-owned businesses. In 1921, a white mob descended on Greenwood, destroying businesses and devastating the community. One hundred years later, Across the Tracks pays homage to Greenwood.
Alone. By Megan E. Freeman.2020. Penguin Random House/Crown, $17.99 (9780593176399).
Maddie finds herself completely, totally alone when she wakes up from a secret sleepover and discovers that everyone was evacuated overnight from her town, her state, and maybe her whole half of the country. She has to survive natural disasters, the elements, looters, wild animals, and her own crushing loneliness.
Home is Not a Country by Safia Elhillo; narrated by Safia Elhillo Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group / Listening Library Publication Date: March 2, 2021 ISBN: 9780593343715
Nima, feeling like an outsider trying to be part of her mother’s culture, misses the father who died before she was born and begins to resent her mother. When her childhood friend Haitham is jumped and hospitalized, Nima turns inward to see who she could have been in her homeland and with a father. Nima discovers something about her father that changes her entire life.
T. S. Eliot famously opened his classic poem “The Waste Land” by proclaiming April “the cruelest month,” and students everywhere might agree when April rolls around and teachers pull out their well-worn poetry unit. April is National Poetry Month, which for poetry lovers means the spotlight shines on their favorites, old and new. We encourage the celebration of poetry year round, but in honor of the 25th anniversary of this special designation, here are 25 new titles, ideas, and resources to mark the occasion.
1. Though she needs no real introduction, we would be remiss if we didn’t start our list with NY Times #1 bestseller Amanda Gorman and her forthcoming collection, which includes her inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb.”
2. Invite your teens to participate in the Dear Poet project, where young people get to engage directly with award-winning poets, such as Janice Lobo Sapigao: