The Mirror Season by Anna-Marie McLemore Macmillan / Feiwel & Friends Publication Date: March 16, 2021 ISBN: 978-1250624123
Latinx teen Graciela attends a party and is sexually assaulted along with a white boy she’s never met before. The boy has been drugged, so Ciela drops him off at the hospital before heading home, vowing to herself that she’ll forget everything that happened that night. Unfortunately, it turns out that forgetting the incident will prove to be difficult as Ciela discovers she has lost her talent for identifying which type of pan dolce the customers at her tia’s pasteleria want before they even know – the talent that earned her the nickname “La Bruja de los Pasteles.” She’s also noticing that objects around her are turning into mirrors, neighborhood trees are disappearing and the annual Santa Ana winds are conspicuously missing this year. To make matters worse, the boy Ciela took to the hospital is her school’s newest student and helping him might be the only way Ciela can start to get her life back.
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.
Amari and the Night Brothers. By B.B. Alston. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (9780062975164).
Amari’s brother Quinton has disappeared, and her only hope of finding him is to follow in his footsteps and become a Junior Agent with the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs.
Amber and Clay. By Laura Amy Schlitz. Candlewick Press, $22.99 (9781536201222).
In ancient Greece, two unlikely friends Rhaskos and Melisto find their lives intertwined in a search for freedom and purpose. As a ghost bound to Rhaskos, Melisto must help free him before she can find her own rest in the Halls of Hades.
The Project by Courtney Summers; narrated by Emily Shaffer and Therese Plummer Publisher: Macmillian Audio Publication Date: February 2, 2021 ISBN: 9781250760630
After Lo’s parents died in a car accident her big sister Bea joined the secretive religious group The Unity Project looking for a renewed sense of hope. The sisters used to be very close, but haven’t seen each other in years. Lo is convinced The Unity Project is a cult and responsible for why the sisters have been kept apart. She begins investigating The Project and plans to expose the group and finally see her sister. But as Lo digs deeper into the Project and it’s charismatic leader Lev, she uncovers dark secrets and shameful actions from both her family and The Project, that threaten to unravel her delicate sense of truth and justice.
The Cost of Knowing by Brittney Morris Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers Publication Date: April 6, 2021 ISBN: 978-1534445451
Since his parents’ death in a car crash, Black sixteen-year-old Alex Rufus has somehow developed the ability to see the future of any object or person his hand touches. Seeing himself scooping ice cream whenever he touches the handle of a scoop at work is not much more than a nuisance, but with every inadvertent foreseeing, Alex becomes more certain that his abilities are a curse. When Alex touches a family photo and sees a series of events leading to his brother Isaiah’s death, he resolves to do something, anything, to repair their relationship and save Izzy in what little time he has left.
McCullough’s debut novel, which garnered critical acclaim and a Morris nomination in 2018 deftly fictionalizes the true story of a young woman named Artemisia Gentileschi. Gentileschi made waves as a 17th century baroque painter, as well as the first woman to try her rapist in court. McCullough’s beautiful novel is told in lyrical verse, framing Antemisia’s difficult story with the greek chorus of two strong biblical woman, who also happened to be her favorite painting subjects.
Where did you first come across Artemisia’s story? Did you immediately know it was a story you wanted to shine light on? I discovered Artemisia many moons ago as a passing reference in a Margaret Atwood novel. I’d never heard of her, so I went searching. When I learned about her story, I was outraged I hadn’t heard of her before. The transcripts from her rapist’s trial still exist, and I read those with horror over how much hasn’t changed in how we treat women and sexual violence. I was immediately obsessed and wanted more people to know her story.
The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson Simon Pulse / Simon & Schuster Publication Date: February 6, 2018 ISBN: 978-1481498548
Elena lives a fairly normal teen life despite the notoriety and ridicule she endures due to her scientifically proven virgin birth. However, Elena believes the voices she hears from inanimate objects prove her destiny is something extraordinary. When she heals her longtime crush who is dying from a gunshot wound, Elena’s voices send her on a mission to possibly save the world–or end it.