Addie is dragged along on her newlywed mom and step dad’s honeymoon trip to a remote tropical island. She is recovering from a deadly freediving accident and wants nothing but to return to the water. Eulalie Island promises to be the best place to heal, but Addie quickly learns that the island is hiding many deadly secrets. After discovering the trapped spirit of a young girl, Addie is determined to solve the island’s mysteries and set her free. But, she will need to be careful because she could easily become the island’s next victim.
Author Lesperance crafts a setting that feels like a character in its own right. The beauty of the island artfully hides the rotting horrors within and the narration of the story send chills down listeners’ spines. Each time the narrator, Strole, mimics the island’s birds trilling Addie’s name, the story becomes more haunting and impossible to shake.
The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.
Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.
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 Sky Blues by Robbie Couch Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers Publication Date: April 6, 2021 ISBN: 978-1534477858
White teen Sky is one of the only openly gay people in his small town of Rock Ledge, MI, and he has a major crush on a fellow classmate named Ali, an Arab-American. Sky and his best friend Bree, also white, concoct a plan for Sky to enact a dramatic promposal that will get Ali to go to prom with him. Plans get derailed when photos involving Sky and Ali are sent out to the entire senior class through a hacked email newsletter, along with racist and homophobic comments. Sky is devastated, believing that his classmates will shun him. Much to his surprise, his classmates show support in growing numbers. Sky, Bree, Ali and their friends Marshall, a straight black teen, and Teddy, Marshall’s athletic white friend, join forces to suss out the bully responsible for the offensive email while publicly showing support for Sky and Ali with DIY t-shirts and clever hashtags.