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This powerful historical verse novel (2014 Pura Belpre Honor Book, 2014 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults) celebrates nineteenth-century Cuban abolitionist poet Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda, better known as Tula. In this stunning coming-of-age memoir, Hernandez richly details the lessons taught to her by the women in her Cuban-Colombian family. I thought Loteria, by Mario Alberto Zambrano, was fabulous, and even though it’s not a YA book per se, it gets circulated a lot in my high school library. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. While some of us welcome summer (more relaxed schedules, wearing tank tops, going to the beach), others dread it (kids are not in school, family reunions, it’s hot!).
Here at Book Riot we’ve had a lot of questions come in about this very topic, especially among kids ages twelve to thirteen. After a school year full of analyzing texts, drawing sentence diagrams, and writing persuasive first paragraphs, kids need books that will draw them in and keep them interested. Swindle series by Gordon Korman (first book in series: Swindle): Ocean’s 11 for 11-year-olds! Ungifted by Gordon Korman: When Donovan Curtis pulls a major prank at his middle school, he thinks he’s finally gone too far.
The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang: Lucy Wu, aspiring basketball star and interior designer, is on the verge of having the best year of her life.
Lucy’s vision of a perfect year begins to crumble, and in its place come an unwelcome roommate, foiled birthday plans, a bully who tries to scare Lucy off the basketball team, and Chinese school with the annoying know-it-all Talent Chang. Frank: who figured out that an official club, say a pickle-making club, could receive funding from the PTA. Oliver: who once convinced half of the class that his real parents had found him and he was going to live in a submarine. TOGETHER, they are an unstoppable prank-pulling force, and Fountain Point Middle School will never be the same.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie: A story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation.
When her family visits a cuarto de milagros, a miracle room in a famous church, Erica decides to make a promesa to God in exchange for her mom’s health. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate: Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. With his Tio and a search-and-rescue dog named Gabe by his side, he learns how to track wild animals, is welcomed to the Cowboy Church, and makes new friends at the Mountain School. Manjiro, a 14-year-old boy, is curious and eager to learn everything he can about this new culture. As someone who works in a primarily Spanish-speaking community, this national observance is especially meaningful for myself, my colleagues, and the patrons we serve. The teen’s mother constantly lectures her about sex and losing weight and her father is a meth addict. These lessons relate to immigration, sexuality, and class. In addition to navigating her cultural identity, Hernandez also explores her bisexuality.
Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, by Meg Medina, is also a popular title among my Latino students. Decibel levels have crept into the danger zone, kids are literally bouncing off the walls (scuffed sneaker prints on the walls to prove it), and teachers are gulping down Advil.
When his guardian and uncle, Ian, is mysteriously killed, Alex discovers that his uncle was not the bank vice-president he purported to be, but rather a spy for the British government.
She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. After a mean collector named Swindle cons him out of his most valuable baseball card, Griffin Bing must put together a band of misfits to break into Swindle’s compound and recapture the card. But thanks to a mix-up by one of the administrators, instead of getting in trouble, Donovan is sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction, a special program for gifted and talented students.


The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses but it’s really a school for spies.
She’s ready to rule the school as a sixth grader, go out for captain of the school basketball team, and take over the bedroom she has always shared with her sister.
Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. As her mom gets sicker, Erica quickly learns that juggling family, friends, school, and fulfilling a promesa is stressful, but with a little bit of hope and a lot of love, she just might be able to figure it out. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition.
When she arrives at school, however, Jessica quickly realizes that following the tips will be harder than she expected. The sisters learn they are descendants of the Brothers Grimm, whose famous book of fairy tales is actually a collection of case files. An irreverent, witty narrator leads us through encounters with witches, warlocks, dragons, and the devil himself.
Most importantly though, it is through Gabe that Tony discovers unconditional love for the first time, in Mountain Dog by Margarita Engle. Even more stunning: His father is the Greek god Poseidon, ruler of the sea, making Percy one of the most powerful demigods alive.
Its crew is forced to swim to a small, unknown island, where they are rescued by a passing American ship.
His father is an animal wrangler, so he’s grown up with all manner of gators, snakes, parrots, rats, monkeys, and snappers in his backyard. Hispanic Heritage Month presents the opportunity to showcase literature in which many of our readers see their personal and unique experiences reflected, celebrated, and made visible to the world around them.
The Prince of Mist (2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults) was lauded for its gorgeous attention to historical detail, haunting mood, and suspenseful twists.
Things on the friendship front are tough, too – her best friend, Cindy is dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, and their other friend, Sebastian has been kicked out of his home after coming out as gay to his parents. In a time when women were expected to marry and raise families, Tula spurns two arranged marriages, falls deeply in love with a freed slave, and, through her rich poetry, agitates for equality and social change. Cos we've got enough Podcast material to keep you occupied for roughly 2 years and 147 days. Those nightly reading assignments and endless five-hundred word essays for school may have made reading a chore rather than a joy. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom—the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. Although it wasn’t exactly what Donovan had intended, the ASD couldn’t be a more perfectly unexpected hideout for someone like him. He shouldn’t tell you his real name, his real hometown, or why his family just moved to Stepton, Virginia. Her best friend has had a makeover and attracts the attention of freshmen football players, her new classmates have outlandish and confusing methods for trying to gain popularity, and she has mistakenly been scheduled for Woodshop, which includes a class full of smart-aleck boys led by a ridiculously off-the-wall teacher. The girls are the latest in a long line of fairy-tale detectives, and their new hometown is filled with Everafters (as magical folks like to be called)—some good and some very, very bad. As the siblings roam a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind the famous tales, as well as how to take charge of their destinies and create their own happily ever after.
But slowly, against a remote and remarkable backdrop, the scars from Tony’s troubled past begin to heal.
He’s been telling lies, getting into trouble at school, hanging out with a tougher crowd, even getting into fights. Japan’s borders remain closed to all Western nations, so the crew sets off to America, learning English on the way. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.


The Young Lords, a Puerto Rican activist group, dump garbage in the street and set it on fire, igniting a powerful protest. Millman, librarians extraordinaire, for their help in compiling this list!), plus some more tips for keeping your reluctant readers turning those pages throughout the summer. But when Sammy eventually spills her story to Officer Borsch, he doesn’t believe her. But as the students and teachers of ASD grow to realize that Donovan may not be good at math or science (or just about anything), he shows that his gifts may be exactly what the ASD students never knew they needed. And he definitely shouldn’t tell you about his friend Eli Cruz and the major conspiracy Eli was uncovering when he died. Now, instead of enjoying a triumphant track season and planning for college with her best friends, Phoebe is trying to keep her head above water at the super-exclusive Academy. As Jessica navigates this strange new world, she inevitably finds herself in situations both amusing and awkward, and she eventually starts to accept the fact that her sister’s methods for surviving junior high might not work for her. When a mysterious Everafter sets a giant loose on the town, it’s up to the Sisters Grimm to save the day. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes. When Justin finally discovers that Sean’s been secretly going to visit his father in prison and is dealing with the shame of that, Justin wants to do something to help before his friend spirals further out of control. All too soon, a cryptic prophecy from the Oracle sends Percy on his first quest, a mission to the Underworld to prevent a war among the gods of Olympus. But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought. Fifteen-year old Oscar Drai’s adventure begins when he encounters the mysterious Marina while exploring an older part of Barcelona. Written poignantly in diary format, Gabi is a remarkable story about a girl who is determined to beat the odds and make a better life for herself. If it isn’t hard enough being the new kid in school, Phoebe’s classmates are all descendents of the Greek gods! In this striking futuristic rendition of an alternate past where machines are pitted against genetically modified beasts, Aleksandar Ferdinand, a Clanker, and Deryn Sharp, a Darwinist, are on opposite sides in the First World War. With his hard-won knowledge of the West, Manjiro is in a unique position to persuade the emperor to ease open the boundaries around Japan; he may even achieve his unlikely dream of becoming a samurai.
They go to a cemetery where they witness a woman dressed in black placing a rose on an unmarked grave. In fact, most people in the small town of Blackwell, South Dakota, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt’s classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke. When you’re running against teammates with superpowers, dealing with a stepsister from Hades, and nursing a crush on a boy who is quite literally a god, the drama takes on mythic proportions!
But their paths cross in the most unexpected way, and together they embark on an around-the-world adventure….One that will change both their lives forever. Derek Badger foolishly believes his own PR and insists on using wild animals for his stunts. Through it all, Evelyn learns important truths about her Latino heritage and the history makers who shaped a nation.
Marina and Oscar choose to follow the woman, and are soon drawn into a world full of dark secrets involving a dead actress, a reclusive industrial tycoon, and creepy science experiments.



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