A Girl’s Guide to Love & Magic by Debbie Rigaud Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Imprint: Scholastic Press Release date: August 2, 2022 ISBN: 9781338681741
Cicely’s favorite day of the year is the West Indian Day Parade, which also happens to fall on her fifteenth birthday. Even better, her Hatian Vodou practicing aunt turned social media influencer has invited her and her best friend, Renee, to her podcast interview with mega-star Papash! But everything goes haywire when one of her aunt’s clients performs a ritual that causes her aunt to be possessed by a mischievous, beauty-loving spirit. Cicely, Renee, and Cicely’s crush, Kwame, are in a race around Brooklyn to locate the items they need to exorcise the spirit while avoiding Cicely’s parents, Kwame’s rowdy friends, and the angry client–all before the podcast taping!
Prince is a romantic at heart, but he has not got time for love unless it’s helping the callers on his radio show, Love Radio. Dani is focused on her plan to receive a scholarship to study in New York and become a famous author. She doesn’t have time for love. Then Dani and Prince meet. Prince has had a crush on Dani since middle school and wants to prove he’s worth her time. He gets Dani to promise him three dates, and if after that she’s not in love with him he’ll leave her alone. Dani agrees, and as the dates go on she finds herself falling for the sweet, sincere romantic. But a trauma in Dani’s past just might get in the way of these two finding true love.
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.
A-Okay. By Jarad Greene. HarperCollins Children’s Books/Harper Alley, $12.99 (9780063032859).
Jay deals with acne, acne medicine side effects, friend drama, and figuring out romantic feelings, during a tumultuous eighth grade year.
Blackout. By Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon. HarperCollins/Quill Tree Books, $19.99 (9780063088092).
Six distinct but connected stories highlight black resilience and love in the midst of a New York City-wide blackout.
The Missing Passenger by Jack Heath Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster Publication Date: February 23, 2021 ISBN: 978-1534449893
A plane with no passengers crashes in his hometown and Jarli quickly finds himself in the middle of a mystery. When he gets suspicious of the police working the case and learns that no one can be trusted, Jarli allies himself with his best option: his former bully, Doug. Together they attempt to track down the pilot and outwit a secretive criminal mastermind known as Viper.
The action grabs the reader right away with a plane crash on page one. The pacing is reminiscent of an action movie, with lots of high-risk situations, daring escapes, and chase scenes happening frequently throughout the plot. Short chapters and frequent dialogue help make this an easy read.
Hide and Don’t Seek and Other Very Scary Stories by Anica Mrose Rissi. Art by Carolina Godina Quill Tree Books/HarperCollins Publishers Publication Date: August 3, 2021 ISBN: 978-0063026957
This collection of “all types of” short stories includes twenty short texts ranging from one to eighteen pages in length. Text message exchanges, letters, a script, poetry, and traditional prose comprise this eclectic collection of scary stories geared towards younger teens, but enjoyed by all readers.
Sink or Swim by Tash McAdam Orca Soundings/Orca Book Publishers Publication Date: August 17, 2021 ISBN: 978-1459828513
Bass and his adventurous new girlfriend Rosie skip school for a joyride on a boat. As a storm rolls in and their boat becomes damaged, the pair must find their way to a deserted island and fend for themselves. Bess is transgender and working on self-confiedence, so when he bravely chooses to swim for help, the story evolves from adventure to romance to self-discovery.
Tash McAdam writes in simple sentences using only the present tense and packs a big punch into a short book. Bass’s point of view is well-established, and readers will connect emotionally with his worries that range from whether Rosie actually likes him to how to survive. The plot moves quickly and ends with a hopeful future.
Oh My Gods! by Stephanie Cooke and Insha Fitzpatrick, Art by Juliana Moon Etch/Clarion Books Publication Date: January 5, 2021 ISBN: 978-0358299523
After her mom gets a new job, thirteen-year-old Karen moves to Greece to live with her dad Zed. Her new home and school, Mt. Olympus Junior High, seems a little strange, but fun, until people mysteriously start turning into stone statues. With her new friends Athena, Artemis, and Apollo she decides to investigate before the finger can be pointed at her. Can Karen figure out the mystery of why her classmates are turning to stone and the secrets of her new home?
Fans of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians seriesby Rick Riordanwill be interested in this fun graphic novel. With its simple and clear storyline, readers will enjoy the mythology as well as the mystery plot. In addition, the story of fitting in at a new school and making new friends (even if those friends happen to be Greek gods and goddesses) will be familiar for readers.
Sunkissed by Kasie West Delacorte/Penguin Random House Publication Date: May 5, 2021 ISBN: 978-0593176269
Avery is spending the summer at a camping resort with her family, which isn’t quite the “adventure” her dad promised but does give her some much-needed space from drama at home. It also allows her to focus on discovering who she is and what she really wants, as opposed to what she thinks she’s supposed to want. Enter Brooks, the good-looking and slightly infuriating camp musician, who is also completely off-limits. They seem to have perfect chemistry, but Avery needs to remember that a relationship between the two of them would get Brooks fired, which would be devastating for him and his family.
Last Gate of the Emperor by Kwame Mbalia and Prince Joel Makonnen Scholastic Press Publication Date: May 4, 2021 ISBN: 978-1338665857
Yared Heywat lives a lonely, meagre life with his Uncle Moti and his bionic lioness Besa as his only companions. But when Yared’s forced to sign into his favorite augmented reality game with his real name, he finds himself at the center of a galaxy-spanning conflict. During the attack on his city, Addis Prime, his uncle goes missing. With the help of Besa and the Ibis, an in-game rival turned ally, Yared must track down Uncle Moti and find his place in the galaxy.
Jay is in eighth grade and suddenly he has acne. He doesn’t really think anything of it until there are pimples all over his face. In consultation with a couple doctors, Jay tries various treatments (which don’t really work) until he’s finally put on a stronger medication which has some odd side effects. Everything else seems to spiral from there – his good friend is being distant, he’s not sure where to sit at lunch, and he doesn’t seem to have romantic feelings of any kind for anyone. What’s a teen to do when they don’t know where they fit in and life is just so confusing?