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Category: new reads

Ask the Author: Amy Noelle Parks

“The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss is a dual POV young adult romantic comedy about a mathy, anxious girl who wants to overcome her anxiety to take on physics and maybe more. When her meet-cute with the new guy horrifies her BFF Caleb, shenanigans ensue – in real life and online.”

Ask the Author: Frank Morelli Returns

On the Way to Birdland follows the epic journey of sixteen-year-old, self-proclaimed philosopher, Cordell Wheaton as he attempts to reunite his family before his father loses his battle with a terminal illness. Cordy packs his duffel with forty bucks, a few clean pairs of underwear, and a page of his estranged brother’s prized sheet music and hits the open road, the rails, and even a steamship at one point, to travel from his hometown of High Point, North Carolina to Philadelphia to find a brother ravaged by addiction. He hopes to convince his brother, Travis, to travel with him to New York City to watch a show at the world famous Birdland Jazz Club, where Cordy thinks he can help Travis remember his musical past, acknowledge the traits he holds in common with his hero, John Coltrane, and convince him to come home to Carolina again. But along the way, Cordy is wracked by chaotic nightmares, haunted by disembodied voices, and shocked by strange visions that make him wonder if he’s hearing the voices of the fates willing him toward his destiny, or if he’s losing touch with reality altogether.

Ask the Author: Jasmine Warga

“I’m going to talk about two of my books! The first one is OTHER WORDS FOR HOME. OTHER WORDS FOR HOME is the story of 12-year-old Jude who due to the growing violence in her home country of Syria moves across the Atlantic Ocean to resettle in Cincinnati, Ohio. The book is about the struggles and joys of making a new life in a new place. My newest book, which comes out in May 2021, is called THE SHAPE OF THUNDER. The book is about two best friends–Cora and Quinn–who haven’t spoken to each other in over a year since a school shooting happened in their small Ohio town. Cora is still grieving with the loss of her sister, and Quinn is still dealing with the guilt and grief of her brother’s violent actions. The book begins with Quinn leaving a box on Cora’s doorstep. The box contains research and articles about time travel. She tries to convince Cora that they can fix the tragedy of what happened by time traveling to stop Quinn’s brother. The book is about the magic of friendship, believing in impossible things, the trauma of mass gun violence, and most of all the immense power of imagination and love to shape our world for the better.”

Ask the Author: Jess Hernandez

“FIRST DAY OF UNICORN SCHOOL is the story of Milly, a donkey with dreams of attending the prestigious unicorn school. With a few creative photos in her application, she’s accepted and must make it through the school without anyone realizing what she really is: a donkey in a party hat.”

Ask the Author: Danika Stone Returns

“Switchback is about Vale and her best friend Ash, two teens on a back country hiking trip with their school. When the weather changes and they get separated from the rest of the group, they find themselves lost deep in the Rockies, facing the dangers of weather and the animals who inhabit the forest. It’s a tense nail-biting read!

Fall of Night is also a high-tension story, but for different reasons. In it, a body is discovered in a lake that borders Waterton park and officer Sadie Black Plume must track down a killer who has targeted people in the tiny border town. With the same group of core characters as the previous two books in the series, this final book ties together all the loose ends and brings the trilogy to a climactic close.”

Ask the Author: Alyssa Zaczek

“Seventh-grader Martin McLean doesn’t know how to express himself. His mother is an artist, his colorful Tío Billy works in theater, and his best friends Carmen and Pickle are outgoing and confident. But Martin can only find the right words when he’s answering a problem at a Mathletes competition—until his tío introduces him to the world of drag. In a swirl of sequins and stilettos, Martin creates his fabulous drag queen alter ego, Lottie León. As Lottie, he is braver than he’s ever been; but as Martin, he doesn’t have the guts to tell anyone outside of his family about her. Not Carmen and Pickle, not his Mathletes teammates, and definitely not Chris, an eighth-grader who gives Martin butterflies. When Martin discovers that his first-ever drag show is the same night as the most important Mathletes tournament, he realizes that he can only pull off both appearances by revealing his true self to his friends—and channeling his inner drag superstar. MARTIN explores both self-discovery and self-acceptance, and touches on themes every middle grader will recognize: Friendship, family, and first crushes, plus tougher topics like homophobia and bullying.”

Ask the Author: Denise Williams

“Dr. Naya Turner is a professor who threw herself into work following the end of an abusive relationship. Feeling in a rut, her friends encourage her to make a to-do list to aid in her attempts to “get a life.” After her initial failed attempts at flirting lead her to Jake, Naya finds herself falling in love. Unfortunately, her new happiness comes with strings that could endanger her career.”

Ask the Author: Elisa Bonnin

“a Filipino-inspired YA fantasy about a girl named Seri who just wants to start a new life somewhere far away from her hometown. But along the way, Seri gets roped into a heroic adventure. She meets and falls in love with Tsana, a girl who comes from a place Seri never thought existed, but in order for the two of them to keep their love alive, they have to keep their peoples from going to war.

It’s an epic fantasy full of magical, sentient beasts, high-stakes battles and heroic characters, but it’s also the story of a girl learning to be herself, no matter what anyone else says.”

Ask the Author: Elizabeth Kilcoyne

“WAKE THE BONES is a YA Southern Gothic about the ugliness and beauty of the rural South and the complicated feelings that arise when the place you call home becomes hostile. Nineteen-year-old Laurel Early drops out of college, hoping to resume life as a tobacco hand and taxidermist, but the sleepy little farm she grew up on has awakened in her absence. The woods are shifting, the soil is dead under her hands, and her bone pile has stood up and walked away. Even worse, a devil from her past has returned to court her, as he did her late mother years earlier. Now Laurel must unravel her mother’s terrifying legacy and tap into her own innate magic before her own future, and the fate of everyone she loves, is doomed.”

Ask the Author: Kristin Wright

“Kira Grant, a woman who is accused of poisoning another mother at the PTA-sponsored fifth grade graduation party, and Allison Barton, the single mom lawyer she hires to represent her. It’s a courtroom thriller told in alternating points of view with lots of PTA-mom juiciness along the way. Both women desperately need a victory, but as the court case proceeds, it becomes clear that this case isn’t as simple as innocent or guilty, and that a win may be the worst thing ever to happen to them both.”

Ask the Author: Angelo Surmelis

“It’s about a young Greek boy (Evan Panos) who comes back home after spending time at summer camp, and his best friend (Henry) all of sudden is hot. Evan struggles to be himself in a strict, conservative home while trying to pretend everything is fine. Ultimately, it’s about finding the power is standing out as you are.”

Ask the Author: Candace Ganger

“Naima Rodriguez doesn’t want your patronizing sympathy as she grieves her father, her hero—a fallen Marine. She’ll hate you forever if you ask her to open up and remember him “as he was,” though that’s all her loving family wants her to do in order to manage her complex OCD and GAD. She’d rather everyone back the-eff off while she separates her Lucky Charms marshmallows into six, always six, Ziploc bags, while she avoids friends and people and living the life her father so desperately wanted for her. 
Dew respectfully requests a little more time to process the sudden loss of his parents. It’s causing an avalanche of secret anxieties, so he counts on his trusty voice recorder to convey the things he can’t otherwise say aloud. He could really use a friend to navigate a life swimming with pain and loss and all the lovely moments in between. And then he meets Naima and everything’s changed—just not in the way he, or she, expects. 
Six Goodbyes We Never Said is no love story. If you ask Naima, it’s not even a like story. But it is a story about love and fear and how sometimes you need a little help to be brave enough to say goodbye.” 

Ask the Author: Joe Gatto

“a coffee table book that is a mixture of my photography, personal stories from my childhood growing up in an Italian household, and most importantly, my fabulous dogs affectionately known as The Gatto Pups. Each of them are named after an Italian dessert.”

Ask the Author: Leslie Vedder

“The Bone Spindle is a genderflipped Sleeping Beauty x Indiana Jones!

Fi, a bookish treasure hunter out to break a dark curse, teams up with Shane, a queer ax-wielding huntswoman with a lot of attitude and a dangerous treasure map!

Together they take on a lost ruin—but instead of riches, all Fi gets is more trouble when she pricks her finger on a bone spindle and comes face to face with the mysterious spirit of the sleeping prince, Briar Rose. Now she’s stuck with him until she can break the ancient curse.

Traps, ruins, riddles—a little bit of true love—and a whole lot of snark!”