- Both Can Be True by Jules Machias Ash is no stranger to feeling like an outcast. For someone who cycles through genders, it’s a daily struggle to feel in control of how people perceive you. Some days Ash is undoubtedly girl, but other times, 100 percent guy. Daniel lacks control too—of his emotions. He’s been told he’s overly sensitive more times than he can count. He can’t help the way he is, and he sure wishes someone would accept him for it. So when Daniel’s big heart leads him to rescue a dog that’s about to be euthanized, he’s relieved to find Ash willing to help. The two bond over their four-legged secret. When they start catching feelings for each other, however, things go from cute to complicated. Daniel thinks Ash is all girl . . . what happens when he finds out there’s more to Ash’s story? With so much on the line—truth, identity, acceptance, and the life of an adorable pup named Chewbarka—will Ash and Daniel forever feel at war with themselves because they don’t fit into the world’s binaries? Or will their friendship help them embrace the beauty of living in between?
- The Call of the Wild by Jack London
The domesticated life of a powerful St. Bernard-Shepherd mix named Buck is quickly turned on end when he stolen away from his master and put to work as a sled dog in Alaska. His once life of luxury turns into a life of survival and adaptation as he learns the ways of the wilderness. Set in the Klondike region of Canada during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush, The Call of the WIld showcases the transformation of a canine as he learns to adapt to what life has given him, fair or not.
- Charlie Hernandez & the League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo
Charlie Hernández has always been proud of his Latin American heritage and thanks to his abuela’s stories, Charlie possesses an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the monsters and ghouls who have spent the last 500 years haunting the imaginations of children all across the Iberian Peninsula, as well as Central and South America. Now that his parents have disappeared and Charlie is has grown horns and feathers… he’s beginning to wonder if there’s more to the myths than he realized. Great choice for fans of Percy Jackson!
- Every Shiny Thing by Cordelia Jensen & Laurie Morrison
Lauren prides herself on being a good sister, and Sierra is used to taking care of her mom. When Lauren’s parents send her brother to a boarding school for teens on the autism spectrum and Sierra moves to a foster home in Lauren’s wealthy neighborhood, both girls are lost until they find a deep bond with each other. But when Lauren recruits Sierra to help with a Robin Hood scheme to raise money for autistic kids who don’t have her family’s resources, Sierra has a lot to lose if the plan goes wrong.
- Ghost by Jason Reynolds
Castle “Ghost” Crenshaw lives with his single mother; his father is serving time in prison after firing a gun at Ghost and his mom three years ago — and Ghost has been running ever since. While running one day, he stops to watch a track practice and decides the crash the race. Impressed, the coach offers him a position on the team. His mom reluctantly agrees to let him join and long as he can behave himself and stay out of trouble in school.
- Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling
Aven Green loves to tell people that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match, or a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is she was born without them. And when her parents take a job running Stagecoach Pass, a rundown western theme park in Arizona, Aven moves with them across the country. Her new life takes an unexpected turn when she bonds with Connor, and they discover a room at Stagecoach Pass that holds bigger secrets than Aven ever could have imagined. It’s hard to solve a mystery, help a friend, and face your worst fears. But Aven’s about to discover she can do it all...even without arms.
- Linked by Gordon Korman
Link, Michael, and Dana live in a quiet town. But it's woken up very quickly when someone sneaks into school and vandalizes it with a swastika. Nobody can believe it. How could such a symbol of hate end up in the middle of their school? Who would do such a thing? Because Michael was the first person to see it, he's the first suspect. Because Link is one of the most popular guys in school, everyone's looking to him to figure it out. And because Dana's the only Jewish girl in the whole town, everyone's treating her more like an outsider than ever. The mystery deepens as more swastikas begin to appear. Some students decide to fight back and start a project to bring people together instead of dividing them further. The closer Link, Michael, and Dana get to the truth, the more there is to face—not just the crimes of the present, but the crimes of the past.
- Making Friends by Kristen Gudsnuk
Seventh grade is a lot harder than sixth for Danielle. What Danny really needs is a new best friend! So when she inherits a magic sketchbook from her eccentric great-aunt in which anything she sketches in it comes to life, she draws Madison, the most amazing, perfect, and awesome best friend ever. The thing is, even when you create a best friend, there's no guarantee they'll always be your best friend. Especially when they discover they've been created with magic!
- March: Book One by John Lewis
Congressman John Lewis was an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper's farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president. He tells his story in graphic novel form.
- Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans
To everyone at school, fourteen-year-old Michael Vey is nothing special, just a kid who has Tourette’s syndrome. But in truth, he has electric powers. Michael thinks he is unique until he discovers a cheerleader with the same mysterious powers. They set out to discover how they got their abilities, and their investigation soon brings them to the attention of a powerful group who wants to control the electric teens—and through them, the world.
- Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga
Through novel-in-verse, Jude tells about the increasing danger in her Syrian home that brings her and her mother to Cincinnati where Jude learns she is "Middle-Eastern" and all the difficult things that means in America. But this life also brings unexpected surprises—there are new friends, a whole new family, and a school musical that Jude might just try out for. Maybe America, too, is a place where Jude can be seen as she really is.
- Spooked by Gail Jarrow
On the night of October 30, 1938, thousands of Americans panicked when they believed that Martians had invaded Earth. What appeared to be breaking news about an alien invasion was in fact a radio drama based on H. G. Wells's War of the Worlds, performed by Orson Welles and his Mercury Theatre players. Some listeners became angry once they realized they had been tricked, and the reaction to the broadcast sparked a national discussion about fake news, propaganda, and the role of radio. In this compelling nonfiction chapter book, Gail Jarrow explores the production of the broadcast, the aftermath, and the concept of "fake news" in the media.
- We Beat the Street: How a Friendship Pact Led to Success by The Three Doctors: Drs. Sampson Davis, George Jenkins, and Rameck Hunt with Sharon Draper
Growing up on the rough streets of Newark, New Jersey, Rameck, George, and Sampson could easily have followed their childhood friends into drug dealing, gangs, and prison. But when a presentation at their school made the three boys aware of professional opportunities, they made a pact among themselves that they would become doctors. It took a lot of determination —and a lot of support from one another—but despite all the hardships along the way, the three succeeded. This younger adaptation of the adult hit novel The Pact is a hard-hitting, powerful, and inspirational book that will speak to young readers everywhere.
- Wink by Rob Harrell
Ross Maloy just wants to be a normal seventh grader. He doesn't want to lose his hair, or wear a weird hat, or deal with the disappearing friends who don't know what to say to "the cancer kid." But with his recent diagnosis of a rare eye cancer, blending in is off the table. Based on Rob Harrell's real life experience, and packed with comic panels and spot art, this incredibly personal and poignant novel is an unforgettable, heartbreaking, hilarious, and uplifting story of survival and finding the music, magic, and laughter in life's weirdness.
- The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
Sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler is marked by suspicion and disapproval from the moment she arrives on the unfamiliar shores of colonial Connecticut in 1687. Alone and desperate, she has been forced to leave her beloved home on the island of Barbados and join a family she has never met. Torn between her quest for belonging and her desire to be true to herself, Kit struggles to survive in a hostile place. Just when it seems she must vie up, she finds a kindred spirit. But Kit's friendship with Hannah Tupper, believe ty the colonists to be a witch, proves more taboo than she could have imagined and ultimately forces Kit to choose between her heart and her duty.
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