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      When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Peach Pie: The Great Peach Experiment #1

      by Erin Soderberg Downing

      Jun 2021

      Intermediate Readers Plus

      Mix together a used food truck, a road trip that doesn’t exactly go as planned, and a lot of pie, and you have the recipe for this sweet middle grade series starter brimming with humor, heart, and a family you’ll fall in love with. Perfect for readers who gobbled down The Penderwicks and The Vanderbeeks of 141st Street.

      Sweet summer has taken a rotten turn…

      After a tough year, Lucy, Freddy, and Herb Peach are ready for vacation. Lucy wants to read all of the books on the summer reading list. Freddy wants to work on his art projects (when he isn’t stuck in summer school). Herb wants to swim every day.

      Then their dad makes a big announcement: one of the inventions their mom came up with before she passed away has sold, and now they’re millionaires!

      But Dad has bigger plans than blowing the cash on fun stuff or investing it. He’s bought a used food truck. The Peaches are going to spend the summer traveling the country selling pies. It will be the Great Peach Experiment—a summer of bonding while living out one of Mom’s dreams. Summer plans, sunk. And there’s one more issue Dad’s neglected: none of them knows how to bake…

      A perfect blend of humor, heart, and family antics, When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Peach Pie is a delectable treat to be gobbled down or savored slowly. (Slice of pie on the side, optional, but highly recommended.)

      Strong as Fire, Fierce as Flame

      by Supriya Kelkar

      Jun 2021

      Realistic Fiction Middle Plus

      In 1857 India, 12-year-old Meera escapes a life she has no say in—and certain death on her husband's funeral pyre—only to end up a servant to a British general in the East India Company. When a rebellion against British colonizers spreads, she must choose between relative safety in a British household or standing up for herself and her people.

      India, 1857
      Meera’s future has been planned for her for as long as she can remember. As a child, her parents married her to a boy from a neighboring village whom she barely knows. Later, on the eve of her thirteenth birthday, she prepares to leave her family to live with her husband’s—just as her strict religion dictates. But that night, Indian soldiers mutiny against their British commanders and destroy the British ammunition depot, burning down parts of Delhi. Riots follow, and Meera’s husband is killed. Upon hearing the news, Meera’s father insists that she follow the dictates of their fringe religious sect: She must end her life by throwing herself on her husband’s funeral pyre.

      Risking everything, Meera runs away, escaping into the chaos of the rebellion. But her newfound freedom is short-lived, as she is forced to become a servant in the house of a high-ranking British East India Company captain. Slowly through her work, she gains confidence, new friends, new skills—and sometimes her life even feels peaceful. But one day, Meera stumbles upon the captain’s secret stock of ammunition, destined to be used by the British to continue colonizing India and control its citizens.

      Will Meera do her part to take down the British colonists and alert the rebellion of the stockpile? Or will she stay safe and let others make decisions for her? It really comes down to this: how much fire must a girl face to finally write her own destiny?

      These Unlucky Stars

      by Gillian McDunn

      Jun 2021

      Upper Elementary & Junior High Plus

      From the author of Caterpillar Summer comes a new heartfelt story of a girl’s unexpected friendship that changes her forever.

      Annie has always been the odd one out in her family. Her practical dad and brother just don’t understand the way she thinks. Ever since her mother left a few years ago, Annie has been reluctant to get close to anyone.

      When a poor decision lands Annie in hot water, she must make amends by watching her elderly neighbor’s weird dog all summer. As Annie begins to connect with her neighbor Gloria, it becomes clear that Gloria won’t be able to live on her own for much longer. But it’s this brief and important friendship that gives Annie the confidence to let people in, and see how rich life can be when you decide to make your own luck and chart your own path to happiness.

      Perfect for fans of Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Gillian McDunn has crafted another touching story that will remain in readers’ hearts.

      Love Is a Revolution

      by Renée Watson

      Jun 2021

      PG High Plus

      Award-winner Renée Watson’s love story about not only a relationship but how a girl finds and falls in love with who she really is.

      When Nala Robertson attends an open mic night for her cousin Imani’s birthday, she finds herself falling in instant love with Tye Brown, an activist who is spending the summer putting on events for the community. Nala would rather watch movies and try out new flavors at the local creamery. In order to impress Tye, Nala tells a few tiny lies to have more in common with him. When they spend time together, some of the lies get harder to keep up. But as Nala falls deeper into keeping up her lies and nto love, she’ll learn all the ways love is hard, and how self-love is revolutionary.

      In Love Is a Revolution, plus size girls are beautiful and get the guys, the girl clique is not shallow but has convictions, and the ultimate love story is showing radical love to the people in your life, including to yourself.

      Destination Anywhere

      by Sara Barnard

      Jun 2021

      High-Interest High Plus

      Perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Sarah Dessen, this lushly written and heart-wrenching novel follows a teen girl on a one-way trip away from her life and slowly reveals what made her leave it all behind.

      Sometimes you have to leave your life behind to find your place in the world…

      Peyton King has always wanted to belong. She seizes the opportunity to start over at a new school and finally finds real connections with the friends she’s always dreamed of and even an actual boyfriend!

      But after flying high in her newfound happiness, Peyton comes crashing down when reality sets in and the ones she cares about let her down. Peyton’s friends can’t fix her and she can’t help them if they won’t let her. If she wants to find real, lasting happiness, Peyton will have to search somewhere else.

      With nothing but her sketchpad and a backpack, she buys a one-way ticket and gets on a plane. How far will she go to change her story?

      The Sky Blues

      by Robbie Couch

      Jun 2021

      Young Adults Plus

      Sky’s small town turns absolutely claustrophobic when his secret promposal plans get leaked to the entire school in this witty, heartfelt, and ultimately hopeful debut novel for fans of What if it’s Us? and I Wish You All the Best.

      Sky Baker may be openly gay, but in his small, insular town, making sure he was invisible has always been easier than being himself. Determined not to let anything ruin his senior year, Sky decides to make a splash at his high school’s annual beach bum party by asking his crush, Ali, to prom—and he has thirty days to do it.

      What better way to start living loud and proud than by pulling off the gayest promposal Rock Ledge, Michigan, has ever seen?

      Then, Sky’s plans are leaked by an anonymous hacker in a deeply homophobic e-blast that quickly goes viral. He’s fully prepared to drop out and skip town altogether—until his classmates give him a reason to fight back by turning his thirty-day promposal countdown into a school-wide hunt to expose the e-blast perpetrator.

      But what happens at the end of the thirty days? Will Sky get to keep his hard-won visibility? Or will his small-town blues stop him from being his true self?

      Where the Road Leads Us

      by Robin Reul

      Jun 2021

      Paperbacks High

      From the highly-acclaimed author of My Kind of Crazy comes an uplifting coming-of-age story about two teens who hit the road on a journey to forge their own paths.

      Jack has always wanted to follow in his father's footsteps, but when his dad suddenly dies, Jack's carefully thought out plans start to unravel. Longing for closure before he leaves for college, Jack decides to go to San Francisco and find his estranged brother, Alex. If he can heal things with Alex, he might be able to truly move forward.

      Hallie is sitting on huge news that she isn't ready to share with anyone. And she doesn't want to think about it, either, because a friend from her online cancer support group has taken a turn for the worst. There's a small window to travel to Oregon to say goodbye, so she buys a bus ticket and tells her parents she's going to a friend's for the weekend.

      Jack and Hallie had a class together years ago and haven't seen each other since, but fate puts them into the same rideshare to the bus terminal. When wildfires in Los Angeles cause major travel delays, Jack comes up with an unconventional way to get to their destinations. With the clock ticking and a lot on the line for both, the two set off on an unexpected adventure that may lead them to their own true selves…and maybe to each other.

      Things That Grow

      by Meredith Goldstein

      Jun 2021

      Young Adults

      After her grandmother dies, a girl travels to different gardens to scatter her ashes, learning about life and love along the way. From Love Letters advice columnist and podcast host Meredith Goldstein, this emotionally resonant novel with a touch of humor is perfect for fans of Robin Benway and Jenna Evans Welch.

      When Lori’s Dorothy Parker–loving grandmother dies, Lori’s world is turned upside down. Grandma Sheryl was everything to Lori—and not just because Sheryl raised Lori when Lori’s mom got a job out of town. Now Lori’s mom is insisting on moving her away from her beloved Boston right before senior year. Desperate to stay for as long as possible, Lori insists on honoring her grandmother’s last request before she moves: to scatter Sheryl’s ashes near things that grow.

      Along with her uncle Seth and Chris, best friend and love-of-her-life crush, Lori sets off on a road trip to visit her grandmother’s favorite gardens. Dodging forest bathers, scandalized volunteers, and angry homeowners, they come to terms with the shape of life after Grandma Sheryl. Saying goodbye isn’t easy, but Lori might just find a way to move forward surrounded by the people she loves.

      Merci Suarez Can't Dance

      by Meg Medina

      Jun 2021

      PG Middle Plus

      In Meg Medina’s follow-up to her Newbery Medal–winning novel, Merci takes on seventh grade, with all its travails of friendship, family, love—and finding your rhythm.

      Seventh grade is going to be a real trial for Merci Suárez. For science she’s got no-nonsense Mr. Ellis, who expects her to be a smart as her brother, Roli. She’s been assigned to co-manage the tiny school store with Wilson Bellevue, a boy she barely knows, but whom she might actually like. And she’s tangling again with classmate Edna Santos, who is bossier and more obnoxious than ever now that she is in charge of the annual Heart Ball.

      One thing is for sure, though: Merci Suárez can’t dance—not at the Heart Ball or anywhere else. Dancing makes her almost as queasy as love does, especially now that Tía Inés, her merengue-teaching aunt, has a new man in her life. Unfortunately, Merci can’t seem to avoid love or dance for very long. She used to talk about everything with her grandfather, Lolo, but with his Alzheimer’s getting worse each day, whom can she trust to help her make sense of all the new things happening in her life? The Suárez family is back in a touching, funny story about growing up and discovering love’s many forms, including how we learn to love and believe in ourselves.

      All You Knead Is Love

      by Tanya Guerrero

      Jun 2021

      Advanced Readers Plus

      A contemporary middle grade coming-of-age novel about a twelve-year-old girl who goes to live with her grandmother for the summer and gains confidence through a newly discovered passion for baking.

      Sometimes you find home where you least expect it.

      Twelve-year-old Alba doesn't want to live with her estranged grandmother in Barcelona. She wants to stay with her mom, even if that means enduring her dad's cutting comments to them both.

      But in her new home, Alba forms a close relationship with her grandmother, gains a supportive father figure and new friends, and even discovers a passion and talent for baking. And through getting to know the city her mother used to call home, Alba starts to understand her mother better. When her beloved bakery is threatened with closure, Alba is determined to find a way to save it—and at the same time, she may just come up with a plan to make her family whole again.

      Love Is for Losers

      by Wibke Brueggemann

      Jun 2021

      Mature Young Adults Plus

      In this wry and hilarious queer romantic comedy, fifteen-year-old Phoebe realizes that falling in love is maybe not just for losers.

      Did you know you can marry yourself? How strange / brilliant is that?

      Fifteen-year-old Phoebe thinks falling in love is vile and degrading, and vows never to do it. Then, due to circumstances not entirely in her control, she finds herself volunteering at a local thrift shop. There she meets Emma … who might unwittingly upend her whole theory on life.

      This is a laugh-out-loud exploration of sexuality, family, female friendship, grief, and community. With the heart and hilarity of Netflix's critically-acclaimed Sex Education, Wibke Brueggemann's sex positive debut is required reading for Generation Z teens. Think of this as Bridget Jones' Diary, if it were written by Bridget's daughter.

      Breathing Underwater

      by Sarah Allen

      Jun 2021

      Advanced Readers

      A heartwarming, relevant middle grade novel about a twelve-year-old girl who wants to be a photographer going on a road trip with her older sister recovering from depression, and learning that loving someone doesn't come with its own map.

      Olivia is on the cross-country road trip of her dreams, complete with her favorite aunt and uncle, National Geographic magazines, and her big sister, Ruth. Once they reach San Diego, they have a plan to uncover a time capsule they buried when they moved away three years ago. Olivia can't wait to take pictures of the sights, adventures, and memories—but what she wants most is to make her sister happy again. Ruth has depression, and it seems to Olivia, who knows Ruth's signs, things are getting worse. But as the road winds on and they get closer to their old home, she'll realize that love, not fixing, is all she can give. Breathing Underwater is the second novel from Sarah Allen, and a big-hearted exploration of sisterhood, dreams, and what it means to be there for someone you love.
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