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Characters of Color

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

Julie C. Dao

Set in an East Asian-inspired fantasy world, this reimagining of the Evil Queen legend is about one peasant girl's quest to become Empress and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.

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Jaya and Rasa. A Love Story

Sonia Patel

Jaya’s 17, a transgender Gujarati outsider who detests wealth, secrets, and privilege, though he has them all. Only thing 16-year-old Rasa has is siblings, plus a mother who controls men like a black-widow spider. Neither one of them has ever known real love or family. Not until their chance meeting one sunny day on a mountain in Hau’ula.

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Let’s Talk About Love

Claire Kann

Striking a perfect balance between heartfelt emotions and spot-on humor, this debut features a pop-culture enthusiast protagonist with an unforgettable voice sure to resonate with readers. Alice had her whole summer planned. Nonstop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting—working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she's asexual). Alice is done with dating—no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done. But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!). When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library-employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood. Claire Kann’s debut novel Let’s Talk About Love, chosen by readers like you for Macmillan's young adult imprint Swoon Reads, gracefully explores the struggle with emerging adulthood and the complicated line between friendship and what it might mean to be something more. Praise for Let’s Talk About Love from the Swoon Reads community: “A sweet and beautiful journey about self-discovery and identity!... A lovely book with very likable and diverse characters. Cutie Code: Cutest” —Macy Filia, reader on SwoonReads.com “I enjoy the character of Alice and love how different this story is from other novels as the main character is asexual. There aren't many novels that have asexual characters and it's something people need more of.” —Alice, reader on SwoonReads.com “This is a fantastic story!... I've never read a story quite like this one.” —The Kindred Reader, reader on SwoonReads.com “I need this published and I need it now. I want this on my shelf where I can admire it every day.” —Kiara, reader on SwoonReads.com

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Dear Martin

Nic Stone

Raw, captivating, and undeniably real, Nic Stone joins industry giants Jason Reynolds and Walter Dean Myers as she boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning debut. Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can't escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out. Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it's Justyce who is under attack.

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Girl Mans Up

M-E Girard

Like Julie Anne Peters’ Keeping You a Secret, Girl Mans Up is a totally engrossing portrayal of a gay teen’s coming of age. Pen is only comfortable dressing like a boy, but it’s confusing to her friends and unacceptable to her family. And then one day she meets Blake, and little by little, it all begins to make sense. Pen Oliviera is sort of chunky, an amazing gamer and a girl. Mistaken for a boy in restaurants, bathrooms and everywhere else—all she wants is to be the kind of girl she is. “So, you’re like, a girl?” Avery asks. “Like a gay girl?” “Uh…” I say, staring back at her, pulling the straw in and out of my cup, making it squeak against the plastic lid. Colby takes a drag, and exhales liquid smoke in swirls. “I just didn’t want to assume…” Avery says, frowning. “Assume I’m a girl? I am, so that’s cool,” I say. “Do your parents know?” “That I’m a girl?” Colby snorts a laugh. “That you’re gay,” Avery says. “I don’t really know. I guess it’s obvious,” I say, but I don’t think of myself as being gay, because that word sounds like it belongs to some guy. And lesbian sounds like it’s some forty-year-old woman’s. And queer feels like it can mean anything, but like, am I queer because I like girls, or because I look the way I do? Maybe I don’t know enough words. Pen is used to catching hell for looking and acting like a boy—especially from her parents—but in the Canadian suburbs where she lives, there’s nowhere to escape to. No Greenwich Village. No Castro. No LGBT club at school. No one to talk to, either. Her pal Colby, from two doors down, gave Pen respect from the first time he met her playing hockey when they were small, but Colby has become conflicted about Pen’s value to him, and he’s really nasty. Lucky for Pen—she’s met Blake—also a gamer, and a girl who Pen says “wins everything.” Can Pen manage to respect Colby’s “loyalty code” even though his jealousy of her has become cruel and toxic? Pen has to man up and figure it out.

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You’re Welcome, Universe

Whitney Gardner

A vibrant, edgy, fresh new YA voice for fans of More Happy Than Not and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, packed with interior graffiti. When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural. Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up. Out in the ’burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone is adding to her tags, making them better, showing off—and showing Julia up in the process. She expected her art might get painted over by cops. But she never imagined getting dragged into a full-blown graffiti war. Told with wit and grit by debut author Whitney Gardner, who also provides gorgeous interior illustrations of Julia’s graffiti tags, You’re Welcome, Universe introduces audiences to a one-of-a-kind protagonist who is unabashedly herself no matter what life throws in her way. "[A] spectacular debut...a moving, beautifully written contemporary novel full of quirky art and complicated friendships...this book is a gift to be thankful for."—BookRiot

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When Dimple Met Rishi

Sandhya Menon

The arranged marriage YA romcom you didn't know you wanted or needed... Meet Dimple. Her main aim in life is to escape her traditional parents, get to university and begin her plan for tech world domination. Meet Rishi. He's rich, good-looking and a hopeless romantic. His parents think Dimple is the perfect match for him, but she's got other plans... Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways. Perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell, Jenny Han and Nicola Yoon, WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI is a frothy, funny contemporary romance set at a coding convention in San Francisco over one exciting summer. Told from the dual perspectives of two Indian American protagonists, Dimple is fighting her family traditions while Rishi couldn't be happier to follow in the footsteps of his parents. Could sparks fly between this odd couple, or is this matchmaking attempt doomed to fail?

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Wild Beauty

Anna-Marie McLemore

The author of the National Book Award long-listed "When the Moon Was Ours" delivers a spellbinding romance about a lush garden and two lovers who fall under its spell.

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Queens of Geek

Jen Wilde

Three friends, two love stories, one convention: this fun, feminist love letter to geek culture is all about fandom, friendship, and finding the courage to be yourself. "Full of irreverent humor and in-jokes, it’s geeky and funny, with a heavy dose of self-discovery. . . . . Seeing girls and women uplifting, protecting, and loving each other is extremely powerful especially in the context of fandom." —Teen Vogue "This is the geeky, queer book of our dreams." —Seventeen Charlie likes to stand out. She’s a vlogger and actress promoting her first movie at SupaCon, and this is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star Reese Ryan. When internet-famous cool-girl actress Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought. Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with her best guy friend Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about a fan contest for her favorite fandom, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe. Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde, chosen by readers like you for Macmillan's young adult imprint Swoon Reads, is an empowering novel for anyone who has ever felt that fandom is family. Praise for Queens of Geek: "Seeing girls and women uplifting, protecting, and loving each other is extremely powerful especially in the context of fandom. The book deals head on with issues of mental health, body shaming, sexuality, and internet celebrity, handling them with a delicate and skillful touch." —Teen Vogue "This is the geeky, queer book of our dreams. . . . This fluffy, nerdy book is perfect for cosplayers and convention-lovers." —Seventeen “This is one empowering and uplifting girl-power story you don't want to miss.” —PureWow "Jen Wilde's book about two best friends—one a bisexual young woman of color, the other a young [autistic] woman . . . dealing with anxiety—will be a favorite of anyone who is a fan of geek culture. . . . This fun book about fierce friendships gives voice to a group of diverse female characters who are so defined by so much more than just their mental health and sexuality." —Bustle "If you love bisexual characters who actually use the word bisexual, queer characters of color dating each other, geekiness, fan conventions, and realistic but adorable love stories, this book is for you." —Bookriot “Queens of Geek is an emotional, lively story full of characters that leap off the page and slip their hands into yours, inviting you into a world where the geeks and nerds are royalty and fandom is court. Richly realized and defiantly affirming, Queens of Geek reminds us that adventures and romances aren't limited to archetypes but are, in fact, for all of us.” —Katherine Locke, author of Second Position, moderator of #GayYABookClub "The characters’ diversity provides natural opportunities to explore a number of contemporary teen issues, including race, sexual orientation, feminism, and body image. Some of the most compelling chapters are told from the point of view of Taylor, who fears change, hates crowds, and is on the autism spectrum. . . . Part of Macmillan’s crowdsourced imprint, this celebration of geek culture and fandom promotes diversity and being true to oneself." —School Library Journal "Queens of Geek is full of book and movie references and is a fun look at the fandom convention phenomena. Taylor's anxiety and experience with Asperger's are treated with sensitivity. . . . Queens of Geek is a fun, quick read that will appeal to romance readers and self-proclaimed geeks." —VOYA Praise from the Swoon Reads community: "[Queens of Geek] was an incredibly compelling read, just because it contained a storyline I ABSORBED, and characters so diverse they were a pleasure to read! . . . Mix that with the romance, self-discovery of self-worth, and all the geeky references, this made for a perfect read! I honestly couldn't put it down, reading late into the night to see what happened next! " —Zoie K, reader on SwoonReads.com "I love how interesting the story was and how the author addressed the characters' diversity without glossing over it or making it all about that. . . . It reminded me a little of Fangirl." —Lizzie, reader on SwoonReads.com

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It’s Not Like It’s a Secret

Misa Sugiura

This charming and bittersweet coming-of-age story featuring two girls of color falling in love is part To All the Boys I've Loved Before and part Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Sixteen-year-old Sana Kiyohara has too many secrets. Some are small, like how it bothers her when her friends don’t invite her to parties. Some are big, like the fact that her father may be having an affair. And then there’s the one that she can barely even admit to herself—the one about how she might have a crush on her best friend. When Sana and her family move to California, she begins to wonder if it’s finally time for some honesty, especially after she meets Jamie Ramirez. Jamie is beautiful and smart and unlike anyone Sana’s ever known. There are just a few problems: Sana's new friends don't trust Jamie's crowd; Jamie's friends clearly don't want her around anyway; and a sweet guy named Caleb seems to have more-than-friendly feelings for her. Meanwhile, her dad’s affair is becoming too obvious to ignore. Sana always figured that the hardest thing would be to tell people that she wants to date a girl, but as she quickly learns, telling the truth is easy…what comes after it, though, is a whole lot more complicated.

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Noteworthy

Riley Redgate

It’s the start of Jordan Sun’s junior year at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts. Unfortunately, she’s an Alto 2, which—in the musical theatre world—is sort of like being a vulture in the wild: She has a spot in the ecosystem, but nobody’s falling over themselves to express their appreciation. So it’s no surprise when she gets shut out of the fall musical for the third year straight. But then the school gets a mass email: A spot has opened up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite a cappella octet. Worshiped . . . revered . . . all male. Desperate to prove herself, Jordan auditions in her most convincing drag, and it turns out that Jordan Sun, Tenor 1, is exactly what the Sharps are looking for.

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Little & Lion

Brandy Colbert

A stunning novel on love, loss, identity, and redemption, from Publishers Weekly Flying Start author Brandy Colbert When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn't sure if she'll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support. But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new...the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel's disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself--or worse.

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You Bring the Distant Near

Mitali Perkins

This elegant young adult novel captures the immigrant experience for one Indian-American family with humor and heart. Told in alternating teen voices across three generations, You Bring the Distant Near explores sisterhood, first loves, friendship, and the inheritance of culture--for better or worse. From a grandmother worried that her children are losing their Indian identity to a daughter wrapped up in a forbidden biracial love affair to a granddaughter social-activist fighting to preserve Bengali tigers, award-winning author Mitali Perkins weaves together the threads of a family growing into an American identity. Here is a sweeping story of five women at once intimately relatable and yet entirely new.

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The Hate U Give

Angie Thomas

Eight Starred Reviews! #1 New York Times Bestseller! "Absolutely riveting!" —Jason Reynolds "Stunning." —John Green "This story is necessary. This story is important." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Heartbreakingly topical." —Publishers Weekly (starred review) "A marvel of verisimilitude." —Booklist (starred review) "A powerful, in-your-face novel." —The Horn Book (starred review) Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

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The Star-touched Queen

Roshani Chokshi

Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Yet neither roles are what she expected. As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds friendship and warmth. But Akaran has its own secrets - thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Beneath Akaran's magic, Maya begins to suspect her life is in danger. When she ignores Amar's plea for patience, her discoveries put more than new love at risk - it threatens the balance of all realms, human and Otherworldly. Now, Maya must confront a secret that spans reincarnated lives and fight her way through the dangerous underbelly of the Otherworld if she wants to protect the people she loves. THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN is a lush, beautifully written and vividly imagined fantasy inspired by Indian mythology.

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The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm

Nancy Farmer

A powerful fantasy set in Zimbabwe a hundred years from now.

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Winter

Marissa Meyer

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana. Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won't approve of her feelings for her childhood friend--the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn't as weak as Levana believes her to be and she's been undermining her stepmother's wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that's been raging for far too long. Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer's national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.

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Zahrah the Windseeker

Nnedi Okorafor

Zahrah Tsami, a timid thirteen-year-old girl, undertakes a dangerous quest into the Forbidden Greeny Jungle to seek the antidote for her best friend after he is bitten by a snake, and finds knowledge, courage, and hidden powers along the way. Reprint.

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A Hero at the End of the World

Erin Claiborne, Jade Liebes

Sixteen year-old Ewan Mao knows one thing for certain: according to prophecy, it's his destiny to kill the evil tyrant whose dark reign has terrorized Britain for as long as he can remember. Although he's just a normal boy, deep down Ewan is confident that he has exactly what it takes to be a hero. But when Ewan's big moment comes and his best friend, the clever and talented Oliver Abrams, defeats the villain for him, Ewan's bright future crumbles before his eyes. Five years later, while Ewan is living at home and working a minimum wage job, Oliver has a job as an Unusual in the government's Serious Magical Crimes Agency, the life he and Ewan always dreamed of. A routine investigation leads him and his partner, Sophie Stuart, to uncover a dangerous and powerful cult... one that seems to have drawn his former best friend into a plot to end the world. A deftly plotted, hysterically funny journey through magical London and beyond, A Hero at the End of the World expertly walks the fine line between satire and sincerity. Its sensitive depiction of a broken friendship and wry takedown of unfairly great expectations will appeal to all readers of modern fantasy.

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Does My Head Look Big in This?

Randa Abdel-Fattah

Don't panic - I'm Islamic! Amal is a 16-year-old Melbourne teen with all the usual obsessions about boys, chocolate and Cosmo magazine. She's also a Muslim, struggling to honour the Islamic faith in a society that doesn't understand it. The story of her decision to "shawl up" is funny, surprising and touching by turns.

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Born Confused

Tanuja Desai Hidier

Seventeen-year-old Dimple, whose family is from India, discovers that she is not Indian enough for the Indians and not American enough for the Americans, as she sees her hypnotically beautiful, manipulative best friend taking possession of both her heritage and the boy she likes.

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Enter Title Here

Rahul Kanakia

I'm your protagonist-Reshma Kapoor-and if you have the free time to read this book, then you're probably nothing like me. Reshma is a college counselor's dream. She's the top-ranked senior at her ultra-competitive Silicon Valley high school, with a spotless academic record and a long roster of extracurriculars. But there are plenty of perfect students in the country, and if Reshma wants to get into Stanford, and into med school after that, she needs the hook to beat them all. What's a habitual over-achiever to do? Land herself a literary agent, of course. Which is exactly what Reshma does after agent Linda Montrose spots an article she wrote for Huffington Post. Linda wants to represent Reshma, and, with her new agent's help scoring a book deal, Reshma knows she'll finally have the key to Stanford. But she's convinced no one would want to read a novel about a study machine like her. To make herself a more relatable protagonist, she must start doing all the regular American girl stuff she normally ignores. For starters, she has to make a friend, then get a boyfriend. And she's already planned the perfect ending: after struggling for three hundred pages with her own perfectionism, Reshma will learn that meaningful relationships can be more important than success-a character arc librarians and critics alike will enjoy. Of course, even with a mastermind like Reshma in charge, things can't always go as planned. And when the valedictorian spot begins to slip from her grasp, she'll have to decide just how far she'll go for that satisfying ending. (Note: It's pretty far.) In this wholly unique, wickedly funny debut novel, Rahul Kanakia consciously uses the rules of storytelling-and then breaks them to pieces.

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Ink and Ashes

Valynne E. Maetani

Claire Takata has never known much about her father, who passed away ten years ago. But on the anniversary of his death, she finds a letter from her deceased father to her stepfather. Before now, Claire never had a reason to believe they even knew each other. Struggling to understand why her parents kept this surprising history hidden, Claire combs through anything that might give her information about her father . . . until she discovers that he was a member of the yakuza, a Japanese organized crime syndicate. The discovery opens a door that should have been left closed. The race to outrun her father’s legacy reveals secrets of his past that cast ominous shadows, threatening Claire, her friends and family, her newfound love, and ultimately her life. Winner of Tu Books’ New Visions Award, Ink and Ashes is a fascinating debut novel packed with romance, intrigue, and heart-stopping action.

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Wild Ginger

Anchee Min

The beautiful, iron-willed Wild Ginger is only in elementary school when we first meet her, but already she has been singled out by the Red Guards for her "foreign-colored eyes." Her classmate Maple is also a target of persecution. It is through the quieter, more skeptical Maple, a less than ardent Maoist whose father is languishing in prison for a minor crime, that we see this story to its tragic end. The Red Guards have branded Wild Ginger's deceased father a traitor and eventually drive her mother to a gruesome suicide, but she fervently embraces Maoism to save her spirit. She rises quickly through the ranks and is held up as a national model for Maoism. Wild Ginger now has everything, even a young man who vies for her heart. But Mao's prohibition on romantic love places her in an untenable position. Into this sexually charged situation steps Maple, creating an uneasy triangle that Min has portrayed with keen psychological insight and her characteristic gift for lyrical eroticism. Ultimately, WILD GINGER has the clean lines of a parable, the poignancy of a coming-of-age novel, the sexiness of a French blue movie, and the sadness of a truly tragic love story.

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Rani Patel in Full Effect

Sonia Patel

Almost seventeen, Rani Patel appears to be a kick-ass Indian girl breaking cultural norms as a hip-hop performer in full effect. But in truth, she's a nerdy flat-chested nobody who lives with her Gujarati immigrant parents on the remote Hawaiian island of Moloka'i, isolated from her high school peers by the unsettling norms of Indian culture where "husband is God." Her parents' traditionally arranged marriage is a sham. Her dad turns to her for all his needs even the intimate ones. When Rani catches him two-timing with a woman barely older than herself, she feels like a widow and, like widows in India are often made to do, she shaves off her hair. Her sexy bald head and hard-driving rhyming skills attract the attention of Mark, the hot older customer who frequents her parents' store and is closer in age to her dad than to her. Mark makes the moves on her and Rani goes with it. He leads Rani into 4eva Flowin', an underground hip hop crew and into other things she's never done. Rani ignores the red flags. Her naive choices look like they will undo her but ultimately give her the chance to discover her strengths and restore the things she thought she'd lost, including her mother.

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Climbing the Stairs

Padma Venkatraman

During World War II and the last days of British occupation in India, fifteen-year-old Vidya dreams of attending college. But when her forward-thinking father is beaten senseless by the British police, she is forced to live with her grandfather’s large traditional family, where the women live apart from the men and are meant to be married off as soon as possible. Vidya’s only refuge becomes her grandfather’s upstairs library, which is forbidden to women. There she meets Raman, a young man also living in the house who relishes her intellectual curiosity. But when Vidya’s brother makes a choice the family cannot condone, and when Raman seems to want more than friendship, Vidkya must question all she has believed in. Padma Venkatraman’s debut novel poignantly shows a girl struggling to find her place in a mixedup world. Climbing the Stairs is a powerful story about love and loss set against a fascinating historical backdrop.

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Boxers & Saints

Gene Luen Yang

Collects parallel stories, inspired by visions of Chinese gods, Little Bao recruites an army to fight for China against Western opressers; Vibinia, an unwanted fourth child, finds her first true home with Christian missionaries.

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TEEN FIC Reynolds

The Boy in the Black Suit

Jason Reynolds

A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor book. Just when seventeen-year-old Matt thinks he can’t handle one more piece of terrible news, he meets a girl who’s dealt with a lot more—and who just might be able to clue him in on how to rise up when life keeps knocking him down—in this “vivid, satisfying, and ultimately upbeat tale of grief, redemption, and grace” (Kirkus Reviews) from the Coretta Scott King – John Steptoe Award–winning author of When I Was the Greatest. Matt wears a black suit every day. No, not because his mom died—although she did, and it sucks. But he wears the suit for his gig at the local funeral home, which pays way better than the Cluck Bucket, and he needs the income since his dad can’t handle the bills (or anything, really) on his own. So while Dad’s snagging bottles of whiskey, Matt’s snagging fifteen bucks an hour. Not bad. But everything else? Not good. Then Matt meets Lovey. Crazy name, and she’s been through more crazy stuff than he can imagine. Yet Lovey never cries. She’s tough. Really tough. Tough in the way Matt wishes he could be. Which is maybe why he’s drawn to her, and definitely why he can’t seem to shake her. Because there’s nothing more hopeful than finding a person who understands your loneliness—and who can maybe even help take it away.

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TEEN FIC Watson

This Side of Home

Renée Watson

Identical twins Nikki and Maya have been on the same page for everything-friends, school, boys and starting off their adult lives at a historically African-American college. But as their neighborhood goes from rough-and-tumble to up-and-coming, suddenly filled with pretty coffee shops and boutiques, Nikki is thrilled while Maya feels like their home is slipping away. Suddenly, the sisters who had always shared everything must confront their dissenting feelings on the importance of their ethnic and cultural identities and, in the process, learn to separate themselves from the long shadow of their identity as twins. In her inspired YA debut, Renee Watson explores the experience of young African-American women navigating the traditions and expectations of their culture.

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TEEN FIC Waltman

Slump

Kevin Waltman

D-Bow's back--with a sophomore slump. Still, with some help, he just might find more basketball magic.

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TEEN PBK FIC SIN

Coffee Will Make You Black

April Sinclair

An African American girl comes of age during the civil rights movement in April Sinclair’s hilarious, insightful novel that was named Book of the Year (Young Adult Fiction) for 1994 by the American Library Association Jean “Stevie” Stevenson lives in Chicago’s South Side, a neighborhood that acutely feels the social changes of the 1960s. Curious and witty, bold but naïve, Stevie ponders questions such as what makes good hair, and which skin shade is better in light of “Black Is Beautiful.” Amid the War on Poverty, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., race riots, and the Black Power movement, Stevie grows into a socially aware young adult with a burgeoning sexuality and pride in her identity. Learning as much from her mother’s strictness, her father’s steady encouragement, and her grandmother’s strength as she does from her wild friend Carla and her white teacher Nurse Horne, Stevie makes the sometimes harrowing, often hilarious, always enthralling journey into adulthood. Coffee Will Make You Black received the Carl Sandburg Award from the Friends of the Chicago Public Library.

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TEEN FIC MYERS

All the Right Stuff

Walter Dean Myers

New York Times bestselling author Walter Dean Myers tackles the social contract from a teen’s perspective in his novel All the Right Stuff. In one of his most thought-provoking novels to date, Myers weaves together political philosophy, basketball, and making soup in Harlem, with the depth that defines his writing career. After his father is shot and killed, Paul Dupree finds a summer job at a Harlem soup kitchen. Elijah, the soup man, questions Paul about tough life choices, even though Paul would rather be playing basketball. Over the summer, Paul begins to understand the importance of taking control of your life. All the Right Stuff includes a Q&A between Walter Dean Myers and Ross Workman, coauthor of Kick.

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TEEN FIC LaMarche

Like No Other

Una LaMarche

Living on opposite sides of their Brooklyn neighborhood, strict Hasidic Devorah and fun-loving nerd Jaxon forge an unexpected connection when they become trapped in an elevator during a hurricane, after which they pursue a secret romance. Simultaneous eBook.

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TEEN RL MAG

Fire in the Streets

Kekla Magoon

What means more, shared values or shared blood? Maxie’s choice changes everything in this acclaimed companion to The Rock and the River. Bad things happen in the heat, they say. Maxie knows all about how fire can erupt at a moment’s notice, especially now, in the sweltering Chicago summer of 1968. She is a Black Panther—or at least she wants to be one. Maxie believes in the movement. She wants to belong. She wants to join the struggle. But everyone keeps telling her she’s too young. At fourteen, she’s allowed to help out in the office, but she certainly can’t help patrol the streets. Then Maxie realizes that there is a traitor in their midst, and if she can figure out who it is, it may be her ticket to becoming a real Panther. But when she learns the truth, the knowledge threatens to destroy her world. Maxie must decide: Is becoming a Panther worth paying the ultimate price?

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TEEN FIC Emond

Bright Lights, Dark Nights

Stephen Emond

Walter Wilcox's first love, Naomi, happens to be African American, so when Walter's policeman father is caught in a racial profiling scandal, the teens' bond and mutual love of the Foo Fighters may not be enough to keep them together through the pressures they face at school, at home, and online.

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TEEN FIC Magoon

How It Went Down

Kekla Magoon

When sixteen-year-old Tariq Johnson dies from two gunshot wounds, his community is thrown into an uproar. Tariq was black. The shooter, Jack Franklin, is white. In the aftermath of Tariq's death, everyone has something to say, but no two accounts of the events line up. Day by day, new twists further obscure the truth. Tariq's friends, family, and community struggle to make sense of the tragedy, and to cope with the hole left behind when a life is cut short. In their own words, they grapple for a way to say with certainty: This is how it went down.

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TEEN FIC Reynolds

All American Boys

Jason Reynolds, Brendan Kiely

When sixteen-year-old Rashad is mistakenly accused of stealing, classmate Quinn witnesses his brutal beating at the hands of a police officer who happens to be the older brother of his best friend. Told through Rashad and Quinn's alternating viewpoints.

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TEEN FIC Alexander

The Crossover

Kwame Alexander

A middle-grade novel in verse follows the experiences of twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan, who struggle with challenges on and off the court while their father ignores his declining health. 20,000 first printing.

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The Diviners

Libba Bray

Do you believe there are ghosts and demons and Diviners among us? Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It's 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfield girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her Uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult. Evie worries he'll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer. As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.... Printz Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray opens a brand-new historical series with The Diviners, where the glittering surface of the Roaring Twenties hides a mystical horror creeping across the country.

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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Sherman Alexie

Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. 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. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live. With a forward by Markus Zusak, interviews with Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney, and four-color interior art throughout, this edition is perfect for fans and collectors alike.

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