Jo Kuan is a Chinese-American girl living in Atlanta in the late 1800s. While racial tensions between black and white are rising in the South, Jo as Chinese, isn't quite sure where she fits in. Then she starts writing an advice column anonymously as Miss Sweetie, for one of the local papers and find her voice. Not everyone likes what she has to say, however.
Written during a time of great change, the suffragettes marching for the right to vote and Jim Crow laws beginning to go into effect, this book tells a story of a part of history we rarely see, and from the point of view of a young girl trying to find her place in a society that isn't sure what to do with her. Jo is such a captivating character that you can't help but root for her. She will be in your head long after the book is done. There is a horse race, racial tensions, mysterious liaisons and a swindler. Plot twists abound and the writing is superior. Everyone should read this fantastic story. Recommended for grades 8 and up.
Nina and Artemis are twins who live in a secret conclave of Watchers. Artemis gets all her mom's attention and all the training, while Nina becomes a medic, and dwells in the fact that her mother hates her and doesn't understand why. Everything changes the day that Nina realizes she is a Slayer and the last Slayer at that, because of what Buffy did. Now she needs to figure out how to be a Slayer and fast, because something evil is out there killing people and she needs to stop it.
Based in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe, this book is a nonstop action filled thriller of a ride. You don't have to have knowledge of the Buffy show to enjoy this book. The action is solid, the characters are interesting. Nina can get a little too whiny at times, but overall the book is fun and you will want to continue the series. Recommended for grades 7 and up.
When a royal messenger shows up at their shop looking for her father, a once reknowned tailor, to become the new Imperial tailor, Maia decides to dress as a boy and take his place. You see, she is the best tailor in their shop, but only boys are allowed that title.
When she gets to the palace she discovers she is one of twelve tailors vying for the job. Soon she is dragged into a fierce battle for the title, and not everyone is playing fair. An unlikely ally, a reluctant bride and mysterious scissors all come into play, in this lush fantasy steeped in Chinese culture. Recommended for grades 7 and up.
This follow up to Before She Ignites find Mira and her friends escaping from The Pit and heading out to find a way to rescue the ailing dragons. With a shaky alliance among the escapees will they be able to find the dragons in time, or will they be recaptured by Altan and made prisoners again?
This second book is full of action and adventure as Mira and her compatriots run from one close call to another. The world building is fantastic and you get to know the characters better in this second book. When it is done you are going to want to go straight to the next book to find out what happens.
Recommended for grades 7 and up.
Raquel and Sasha have been best friends since Kindergarten when they bonded over a pair of plastic shoes. Then cancer happens and Sasha is terminal. They spend all her last days together, and then just like that Sasha is gone. However, Sasha had been planning for this and she send Rockie a letter and asks her to go on an adventure with Elijah a complete stranger and secret Sasha had kept from Rockie. The letters keep coming and as they adventure together they get to know one another.
I loved this book. Sasha's character and the supportive family throughout the story were so wonderful. The adventures are heartfelt and while some may question all that happened, overall this is a sweet story about a remarkable girl whose life was cut way too short. Recommended for grades 7 and up
Zuri and her sisters have always lived in Bushwick. They love their neighborhood. So when the house across the street is renovated to be a mini mansion and a new family moves in, Zuri knows right away they don't belong. She can't stand them, especially arrogant Darius. But as her world opens up so does her heart. Is there room in there for the Darcy boy?
I loved this retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in the author's childhood hometown. The characters are well developed, the story is beautifully told and I highly suggest you listen to the audiobook narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo. Recommended for grades 7 and up.
Jess is the son of a book smuggler in a world where books as we know them are forbidden by the Great Library of Alexandria. Keepers of the world's knowledge, the Great Library was once noble and inclusive. Now power hungry, they have become cruel and oppressive. Into this world, Jess is thrust as a spy for his family. What begins as a mission to infiltrate the library and share knowledge, changes as he gets to know his fellow classmates. Full of action and really cool elements, like Greek fire and lion automatons, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat. Recommended for grades 7 and up.
Emeline lives in a small village at the edge of the kingdom. When her brother breaks a village rule and crosses the moat, she goes after him. A dark and sinister creature tries to grab them, a creature everyone thought was a myth. Now they must go to the capital to tell the King an Ithin has been seen.
The journey will take them many days and there is much danger on the way. With political unrest in the kingdom with one side firmly backing science, and one backing magic, the information that they carry will make them targets to both parties. Will they be able to navigate not only their way there, but a way to stay safe amongst the political backbiting as well?
A beautifully told story with many moving pieces. Emeline is a strong character with a good moral compass who is devoted to her family. The story is subtle but delivers a powerful message. Recommended for grades 6 and up.
Rumi and Lea are as close as sisters can be. They love writing songs together and were in the middle of creating a new one when a car crash changes everything. Now, Lea is dead and Rumi has been sent to Hawaii to live with an aunt she barely knows as she tries to deal with the hole that has been left in her life. Angry and confused she struggles to move forward.
Beautifully written, with some memorable characters and a beautiful setting. This book doesn't flinch from the raw grief Rumi and other characters are dealing with and is intense in its honesty. This is a book that stays with you long after you finished reading. Recommended for grades 7 and up.
City of Ghosts was the perfect amount of spooky atmospheric location plus terrifying ghost story. When Cassidy goes to Edinburgh, Scotland to shoot on location with her parents, "The Inspectors", she gets more than she bargained for. Her parents are ghost experts and are filming their new show there. What they don't realize is that Cassidy can really see ghosts, and not all ghosts are friendly. When she meets another girl who can also see ghosts, she gets tangled up with a ghost that preys on children. I loved this story and can't wait for the next installment. Recommended for grades 5 and up.