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      You Don’t Live Here

      by Robyn Schneider

      Aug 2020

      Young Adults

      In Southern California, no one lives more than thirty miles from the nearest fault line. Sasha Bloom is standing right on top of one when her world literally crumbles around her. With her mother now dead and father out of the picture, Sasha moves in with her estranged grandparents. Living in her mom’s old bedroom, Sasha has no idea who she is anymore. Luckily, her grandparents are certain they know who she should be: A lawyer in the making. Ten pounds skinnier. In a socially advantageous relationship with a boy from a good family—a boy like Cole Edwards. And Cole has ideas for who Sasha should be, too. His plus-one at lunch. His girlfriend. His.

      Sasha tries to make everything work, but that means folding away her love of photography, her grief for her mother, and the growing interest in the magnificently clever Lily Chen. Sasha wants to follow Lily off the beaten path, to discover hidden beaches, secret menus, and the truth about dinosaur pee. But being friends with Lily might lead somewhere new. Is Sasha willing to stop being the girl everyone expects and let the girl beneath the surface break through?

      The Ballad of Ami Miles

      by Kristy Dallas Alley

      Jul 2020

      Young Adults

      Raised in isolation at Heavenly Shepherd, her family’s trailer-dealership-turned-survival compound, Ami Miles knows that she was lucky to be born into a place of safety after the old world ended and the chaos began. But when her grandfather arranges a marriage to a cold-eyed stranger, she realizes that her “destiny” as one of the few females capable of still bearing children isn’t something she’s ready to face.

      With the help of one of her aunts, she flees the only life she’s ever known and sets off on a quest to find her long-lost mother (and hopefully a mate of her own choosing). But as she journeys, Ami discovers many new things about the world—and about herself.

      When You Were Everything

      by Ashley Woodfolk

      Jun 2020

      Young Adults

      You can’t rewrite the past, but you can always choose to start again.

      It’s been twenty-seven days since Cleo and Layla’s friendship imploded.

      Nearly a month since Cleo realized they’ll never be besties again.

      Now Cleo wants to erase every memory, good or bad, that tethers her to her ex-best friend. But pretending Layla doesn’t exist isn’t as easy as Cleo hoped, especially after she’s assigned to be Layla’s tutor. Despite budding friendships with other classmates—and a raging crush on a gorgeous boy named Dom—Cleo’s turbulent past with Layla comes back to haunt them both.

      Only Mostly Devastated

      by Sophie Gonzales

      May 2020

      Young Adults

      Will Tavares is the dream summer fling—he’s fun, affectionate, kind—but just when Ollie thinks he’s found his Happily Ever After, summer vacation ends and Will stops texting Ollie back. Now Ollie is one prince short of his fairytale ending, and to complicate the fairytale further, a family emergency sees Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school across the country. Which he minds a little less when he realizes it’s the same school Will goes to…except Ollie finds that the sweet, comfortably queer guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High. This Will is a class clown, closeted—and, to be honest, a bit of a jerk.

      Ollie has no intention of pining after a guy who clearly isn’t ready for a relationship, especially since this new, bro-y jock version of Will seems to go from hot to cold every other week. But then Will starts “coincidentally” popping up in every area of Ollie’s life, from music class to the lunch table, and Ollie finds his resolve weakening.

      The last time he gave Will his heart, Will handed it back to him trampled and battered. Ollie would have to be an idiot to trust him with it again. Right? Right.

      Layoverland

      by Gabby Noone

      Apr 2020

      Young Adults

      Beatrice Fox deserves to go straight to hell. At least, that’s what she believes. Her last day on Earth, she ruined the life of the person she loves most—her little sister, Emmy. So when Bea awakens from a fatal car accident to find herself on an airplane headed who knows where, she’s confused, to say the least.

      Once on the ground, Bea receives some truly harrowing news: she’s in purgatory. If she ever wants to catch a flight to heaven, she’ll have to help five thousand souls figure out what’s keeping them from moving on. But one of Bea’s first assignments is Caleb, the boy who caused her accident, and the last person Bea would ever want to send to the pearly gates. And as much as Bea would love to see Caleb suffer for dooming her to a seemingly endless future of eating bad airport food and listening to other people’s problems, she can’t help but notice that he’s kind of cute, and sort of sweet, and that maybe, despite her best efforts, she’s totally falling for him.

      A Constellation of Roses

      by Miranda Asebedo

      Mar 2020

      Young Adults

      Ever since her troubled mother abandoned her, Trix McCabe has preferred to stay on the move. But when she lands with her long-lost relatives, there’s something special about the McCabe women, something almost magical about their mysterious talents that reminds Trix of her own ability to steal things without anyone noticing, and almost makes her want to stay put for once. Her aunt’s pies seem to cure all ills, her greataunt’s palm-reading never misses the mark, and her cousin’s ability to uncover a person’s deepest secrets by simply touching them is uncanny.

      Before long, Trix feels like she might finally belong with this special group of women in this tiny town in Kansas. But when her past comes back to haunt her, she’ll have to decide whether to take a chance on this new life…or keep running from the one she’s always known.

      Dangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance

      by Jennieke Cohen

      Feb 2020

      Young Adults

      Lady Victoria Aston has everything she could want: with an older sister happily wed, and the future of her family estate secure, she has few obligations and ample opportunity to while her time away in the fields around her home. But Vicky’s comfortable, idyllic life is overturned, and she must quickly marry—or find herself and her family destitute. Armed only with the wisdom she has gained from her beloved novels by Jane Austen, Vicky enters society’s season in a flutter of silks, dances, and pretty words.

      Jane Austen meets The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue in this winking, witty stand-alone historical romance with a dash of mystery.

      Historical note.

      Crying Laughing

      by Lance Rubin

      Jan 2020

      Young Adults

      Winnie Friedman has been waiting for the world to catch on to what she already knows: she’s hilarious. It might be a long wait, though. After bombing a stand-up set at her own bat mitzvah, Winnie has kept her jokes to herself. Well, to herself and her dad, a former comedian and her inspiration. Then, on the second day of tenth grade, the funniest guy in school actually laughs at a comment she makes in the lunch line and asks her to join the improv troupe. Maybe he’s even…flirting?

      Just when Winnie’s ready to say yes to comedy again, her father reveals that he’s been diagnosed with ALS. That is…not funny. Her dad’s still making jokes, though, which feels like a good thing. And Winnie’s prepared to be his straight man if that’s what he wants. But is it what he needs?

      The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan

      by Sherry Thomas

      Dec 2019

      Young Adults

      CHINA, 484 A.D.
      All her life, Mulan has trained for one purpose: to win the duel that every generation in her family must fight. If she prevails, she can reunite a pair of priceless heirloom swords separated decades earlier, and avenge her father, who was paralyzed in his own duel. Then a messenger from the Emperor arrives, demanding that all families send one soldier to fight the Rouran invaders in the north. Mulan’s father cannot go. Her brother is just a child. So she ties up her hair, takes up her sword, and joins the army as a man.

      Thanks to her martial arts skills, Mulan is chosen for an elite team under the command of the princeling—the royal duke’s son, who is also the handsomest man she’s ever seen. But the princeling has secrets of his own, which explode into Mulan’s life and shake up everything she knows. As they cross the Great Wall to face the enemy beyond, Mulan and the princeling must find a way to unwind their past, unmask a traitor, and uncover the plans for the Rouran invasion…before it’s too late.

      Author’s note. Further information on China in the 400s and on Chinese words used.

      Becoming Beatriz

      by Tami Charles

      Nov 2019

      Young Adults

      Up until her fifteenth birthday, the most important thing in the world to Beatriz Mendez was her dream of becoming a professional dancer and getting herself and her family far from the gang life that defined their days—that, and meeting her dance idol Debbie Allen on the set of her favorite TV show, Fame. But after the latest battle in a constant turf war leaves her gang leader brother, Junito, dead and her mother grieving, Beatriz has a new set of priorities. How is she supposed to feel the rhythm when her gang needs running, when her mami can’t brush her own teeth, and when the last thing she can remember of her old self is dancing with her brother, followed by running and gunshots? When the class brainiac reminds Beatriz of her love of the dance floor, her banished dreams sneak back in. Now the only question is: will the gang let her go?

      Author’s note. Further information about gangs and drug dealing in 1980s Newark, the ACT-SO contest, and Debbie Allen.

      Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love

      by Elsie Chapman

      Oct 2019

      Young Adults

      A shy teenager attempts to express how she really feels through the confections she makes at her family’s pasteleria. A tourist from Montenegro desperately seeks a magic soup dumpling that could cure his fear of death. An aspiring chef realizes that butter and soul are the key ingredients to win a cooking competition that could win him the money to save his mother’s life.

      Welcome to Hungry Hearts Row, where the answers to most of life’s hard questions are kneaded, rolled, baked. Where a typical greeting is, “Have you had anything to eat?” Where magic and food and love are sometimes one and the same.

      told in interconnected short stories, Hungry Hearts explores the many meanings food can take on beyond mere nourishment. It can symbolize love and despair, family and culture, belonging and home.

      Map. Contributor bios.

      The Grief Keeper

      by Alexandra Villasante

      Sep 2019

      Young Adults

      Seventeen-year-old Marisol has always dreamed of being American, learning what Americans and the US are like from television and Mrs. Rosen, an elderly expat who had employed Marisol’s mother as a maid. When she pictured an American life for herself, she dreamed of a life like Aimee and Amber’s, the title characters of her favorite American TV show. She never pictured fleeing her home in El Salvador under threat of death and stealing across the US border as “an illegal”, but after her brother is murdered and her younger sister, Gabi’s, life is also placed in equal jeopardy, she has no choice, especially because she knows everything is her fault. If she had never fallen for the charms of a beautiful girl named Liliana, Pablo might still be alive, her mother wouldn’t be in hiding and she and Gabi wouldn’t have been caught crossing the border.
      But they have been caught and their asylum request will most certainly be denied. With truly no options remaining, Marisol jumps at an unusual opportunity to stay in the United States. She’s asked to become a grief keeper, taking the grief of another into her own body to save a life. It’s a risky, experimental study, but if it means Marisol can keep her sister safe, she will risk anything. She just never imagined one of the risks would be falling in love, a love that may even be powerful enough to finally help her face her own crushing grief.
      The Grief Keeper is a tender tale that explores the heartbreak and consequences of when both love and human beings are branded illegal.

      Resources.
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