The Fault in Our Stars

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The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Call #: TEEN GREEN
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Movie: The Fault in Our Stars (2014)
→Call #: DVD DRAMA FAULT
Review by Martin O.

 

The Fault in Our Stars follows Hazel Grace, a cancer patient, as she is forced to go to a church youth group with other people with cancer. She doesn’t want to go, but once she’s there she meets a boy, Augustus Waters, and they become friends. They start to hang out more, and slowly they start to fall in love with each other. They would do anything for each other despite their serious illness of cancer and their unknown futures.

I read this book in 8th grade for a school assignment, and I am happy to say that I really enjoyed it and I feel that it deserves to be read. I really enjoyed this book because it isn’t your typical book that has a happy ending; it has many plot twists that made me sit on the edge of my seat and kept me wanting to read page after page. This book also really goes in-depth with the characters and their personalities, and it gave a clear understanding of its characters and why they did the things that they did.

This book made me feel many different emotions throughout the whole story. At one point, I would be filled with joy but at another point, I would feel so incredibly sad. This book in general just was so well executed; all of the events made sense, and it was not difficult to follow along at all. I would recommend this book to anyone, as I feel it is such a good read! It made me read some of John Green other books, and I found him to be great author that makes reading enjoyable! In the end, you should read this book because it’s not your typical romance, and it is really interesting with all of its plot twists and character developments!

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Staff New Release Picks: May 2019

teen staff new release picks

This year, the Teen Staff will be starting something new: New Release Picks! Looking for a new book and a guaranteed good read? Look no farther than our monthly New Release Picks! There are just too many good books coming out in May, so we expanded our list from 10 to 15 titles!  Here are our picks for May new releases (all summaries provided by Goodreads):

May 7th Releases

81eO1uJkpuLWith the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
Verse Novel
With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.

71MM6tEiglLLivewire, Vol. 1: Fugitive by Vita Ayala, Raul Allen, & Patricia Martin
Graphic Novel
For the first time, Livewire takes center stage!

Accomplice. Mentor. Savior. And now, Enemy of the State. Seeking to protect other vulnerable super-powered psiots like herself, Livewire plunged the United States into a nationwide blackout with her technopathic abilities, causing untold devastation. After choosing the few over the many, she must now outrun the government she served – and those she once called allies. With the whole world hunting her, what kind of hero will Livewire be…or will she be one at all?

kings-queens-and-in-betweens-9781534430655_hrKings, Queens, and In-Betweens by Tanya Boteju
Contemporary
Perpetually awkward Nima Kumara-Clark is bored with her insular community of Bridgeton, in love with her straight girlfriend, and trying to move past her mother’s unexpected departure. After a bewildering encounter at a local festival, Nima finds herself suddenly immersed in the drag scene on the other side of town.

Macho drag kings, magical queens, new love interests, and surprising allies propel Nima both painfully and hilariously closer to a self she never knew she could be—one that can confidently express and accept love. But she’ll have to learn to accept lost love to get there.

ThisIsNotaLoveSceneThis is Not a Love Scene by S.C. Megale
Contemporary
Lights, camera—all Maeve needs is action. But at eighteen, a rare form of muscular dystrophy usually stands in the way of romance. She’s got her friends, her humor, and a passion for filmmaking to keep her focus off consistent rejection…and the hot older guy starring in her senior film project.

Tall, bearded, and always swaying, Cole Stone is everything Maeve can’t be. And she likes it. Between takes, their chemistry is shockingly electric.

Suddenly Maeve gets a taste of typical teenage dating life, but girls in wheelchairs don’t get the hot guy—right? Cole’s attention challenges everything she once believed about her self-image and hopes for love. But figuring this out, both emotionally and physically, won’t be easy for either of them. Maeve must choose between what she needs and what she wants, while Cole has a tendency to avoid decisions altogether. And her failing lungs might not wait for either.

91jMrhCnsILLaura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki & Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
Graphic Novel
Laura Dean, the most popular girl in high school, was Frederica Riley’s dream girl: charming, confident, and SO cute. There’s just one problem: Laura Dean is maybe not the greatest girlfriend.

Reeling from her latest break up, Freddy’s best friend, Doodle, introduces her to the Seek-Her, a mysterious medium, who leaves Freddy some cryptic parting words: break up with her. But Laura Dean keeps coming back, and as their relationship spirals further out of her control, Freddy has to wonder if it’s really Laura Dean that’s the problem. Maybe it’s Freddy, who is rapidly losing her friends, including Doodle, who needs her now more than ever. Fortunately for Freddy, there are new friends, and the insight of advice columnists like Anna Vice to help her through being a teenager in love.

Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell bring to life a sweet and spirited tale of young love that asks us to consider what happens when we ditch the toxic relationships we crave to embrace the healthy ones we need.

May 14th Releases

710JuVYBjYLThe Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad
Fantasy
Fatima lives in the city of Noor, a thriving stop along the Silk Road. There the music of myriad languages fills the air, and people of all faiths weave their lives together. However, the city bears scars of its recent past, when the chaotic tribe of Shayateen djinn slaughtered its entire population — except for Fatima and two other humans. Now ruled by a new maharajah, Noor is protected from the Shayateen by the Ifrit, djinn of order and reason, and by their commander, Zulfikar.

But when one of the most potent of the Ifrit dies, Fatima is changed in ways she cannot fathom, ways that scare even those who love her. Oud in hand, Fatima is drawn into the intrigues of the maharajah and his sister, the affairs of Zulfikar and the djinn, and the dangers of a magical battlefield.

Nafiza Azad weaves an immersive tale of magic and the importance of names; fiercely independent women; and, perhaps most importantly, the work for harmony within a city of a thousand cultures and cadences.

caa18eec-b3a7-45d6-8be7-30d7fef1af3b_1.70c585a88e6b0c3a8398454ca6fc17c5I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver
Contemporary
When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.

But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.

81l-n8555TLWe Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
Fantasy
People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.

81izHwEtUWLThe Things She’s Seen by Ambelin & Ezekial Kwaymullina
Mystery/Thriller
Nothing’s been the same for Beth Teller since the day she died.

Her dad is drowning in grief. He’s also the only one who has been able to see and hear her since the accident. But now she’s got a mystery to solve, a mystery that will hopefully remind her detective father that he is still alive, that there is a life after Beth that is still worth living.

Who is Isobel Catching, and why is she able to see Beth, too? What is her connection to the crime Beth’s father has been sent to investigate–a gruesome fire at a home for troubled youth that left an unidentifiable body behind? What happened to the people who haven’t been seen since the fire?

As Beth and her father unravel the mystery, they find a shocking and heartbreaking story lurking beneath the surface of a small town, and a friendship that lasts beyond one life and into another…

1368039707Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno
Contemporary
Rosa Santos is cursed by the sea-at least, that’s what they say. Dating her is bad news, especially if you’re a boy with a boat.

But Rosa feels more caught than cursed. Caught between cultures and choices. Between her abuela, a beloved healer and pillar of their community, and her mother, an artist who crashes in and out of her life like a hurricane. Between Port Coral, the quirky South Florida town they call home, and Cuba, the island her abuela refuses to talk about.
As her college decision looms, Rosa collides-literally-with Alex Aquino, the mysterious boy with tattoos of the ocean whose family owns the marina. With her heart, her family, and her future on the line, can Rosa break a curse and find her place beyond the horizon?

 

May 21st Releases

81599HceM7LBrave Face by Shaun David Hutchinson
Memoir
Shaun David Hutchinson was nineteen. Confused. Struggling to find the vocabulary to understand and accept who he was and how he fit into a community in which he couldn’t see himself. The voice of depression told him that he would never be loved or wanted, while powerful and hurtful messages from society told him that being gay meant love and happiness weren’t for him.

A million moments large and small over the years all came together to convince Shaun that he couldn’t keep going, that he had no future. And so he followed through on trying to make that a reality.

Thankfully Shaun survived, and over time, came to embrace how grateful he is and how to find self-acceptance. In this courageous and deeply honest memoir, Shaun takes readers through the journey of what brought him to the edge, and what has helped him truly believe that it does get better.

8109WcQljqLLet Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson
Historical Fiction
Brooklyn 1998.

Biggie Smalls was right. Things done changed. But that doesn’t mean that Quadir and Jarrell are okay letting their best friend Steph’s tracks lie forgotten in his bedroom after he’s killed—not when his beats could turn any Bed-Stuy corner into a celebration, not after years of having each other’s backs.

Enlisting the help of Steph’s younger sister, Jasmine, Quadir and Jarrell come up with a plan to promote Steph’s music under a new rap name: The Architect. Soon, everyone in Brooklyn is dancing to Steph’s voice. But then his mixtape catches the attention of a hotheaded music rep and—with just hours on the clock—the trio must race to prove Steph’s talent from beyond the grave.

Now, as the pressure—and danger—of keeping their secret grows, Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine are forced to confront the truth about what happened to Steph. Only each has something to hide. And with everything riding on Steph’s fame, together they need to decide what they stand for before they lose everything they’ve worked so hard to hold on to—including each other.

81ql9Gd+JDLBirthday by Meredith Russo
Contemporary
Two best friends. A shared birthday. Six years…

ERIC: There was the day we were born. There was the minute Morgan and I decided we were best friends for life. The years where we stuck by each other’s side―as Morgan’s mom died, as he moved across town, as I joined the football team, as my parents started fighting. But sometimes I worry that Morgan and I won’t be best friends forever. That there’ll be a day, a minute, a second, where it all falls apart and there’s no turning back the clock.

MORGAN: I know that every birthday should feel like a new beginning, but I’m trapped in this mixed-up body, in this wrong life, in Nowheresville, Tennessee, on repeat. With a dad who cares about his football team more than me, a mom I miss more than anything, and a best friend who can never know my biggest secret. Maybe one day I’ll be ready to become the person I am inside. To become her. To tell the world. To tell Eric. But when?

Six years of birthdays reveal Eric and Morgan’s destiny as they come together, drift apart, fall in love, and discover who they’re meant to be―and if they’re meant to be together. From the award-winning author of If I Was Your Girl, Meredith Russo, comes a heart-wrenching and universal story of identity, first love, and fate.

May 28th Releases

39828159._UY1024_SS1024_I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn
Contemporary
Kimi Nakamura loves a good fashion statement. She’s obsessed with transforming everyday ephemera into Kimi Originals: bold outfits that make her and her friends feel brave, fabulous, and like the Ultimate versions of themselves. But her mother sees this as a distraction from working on her portfolio paintings for the prestigious fine art academy where she’s been accepted for college. So when a surprise letter comes in the mail from Kimi’s estranged grandparents, inviting her to Kyoto for spring break, she seizes the opportunity to get away from the disaster of her life.

When she arrives in Japan, she loses herself in Kyoto’s outdoor markets, art installations, and cherry blossom festival–and meets Akira, a cute med student who moonlights as a costumed mochi mascot. What begins as a trip to escape her problems quickly becomes a way for Kimi to learn more about the mother she left behind, and to figure out where her own heart lies.

36484081._UY1024_SS1024_These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling
Paranormal
Hannah’s a witch, but not the kind you’re thinking of. She’s the real deal, an Elemental with the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. But even though she lives in Salem, Massachusetts, her magic is a secret she has to keep to herself. If she’s ever caught using it in front of a Reg (read: non-witch), she could lose it. For good. So, Hannah spends most of her time avoiding her ex-girlfriend (and fellow Elemental Witch) Veronica, hanging out with her best friend, and working at the Fly by Night Cauldron selling candles and crystals to tourists, goths, and local Wiccans.

But dealing with her ex is the least of Hannah’s concerns when a terrifying blood ritual interrupts the end-of-school-year bonfire. Evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, and Hannah’s sure it’s the work of a deadly Blood Witch. The issue is, her coven is less than convinced, forcing Hannah to team up with the last person she wants to see: Veronica.

While the pair attempt to smoke out the Blood Witch at a house party, Hannah meets Morgan, a cute new ballerina in town. But trying to date amid a supernatural crisis is easier said than done, and Hannah will have to test the limits of her power if she’s going to save her coven and get the girl, especially when the attacks on Salem’s witches become deadlier by the day.

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The Crucible by Arthur Miller

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The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Call #: 812 MIL
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Movie: The Crucible (1996)
→Call #: DVD DRAMA CRUCIBLE
Review by Christian G.

The Crucible by Arthur Miller is a book that started off as a play, and later became a movie. It takes place in the times of The Salem Witch Trials in The Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1692 to 1693, and it centers on a reverend who finds a few girls, along with his daughter and niece, doing strange activities in the woods. The town later hears about these events and resort to the idea that witchcraft is at play. The book revolves around how people in the town try and solve the situation.

I personally enjoyed the book because of the plot twists and all of the unexpected turns it takes; the book was very unpredictable, and I liked that because a lot of the events that take place impact the plot in an extraordinary way. I also related to some of the characters like Reverend Parris, who finds his own daughter and niece doing suspicious acts. The whole town starts to go against the girls, but Reverend Parris stays by their side. I could relate to this because it seems like we both have the same mindset when family comes first.I decided to read this book because I’ve heard good things about it, and I had to choose a book for a school project; I definitely don’t regret the decision. I would recommend this book to a more sophisticated reader, due to the old English language that is used and the complexity of the plot. The book is relatively short, but I found it pretty difficult. The book also provides a lot of details on how life was like in the colonies even before becoming a country now known as the United States, so I would also recommend it to those who enjoy history and portrayals of history.

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Painted Sharpie Mugs

Haven’t been by the Teen Room in awhile? You may have missed our pop-up craft programs, but you’re in luck: we’re putting our craft instructions on our blog so you can make them from home! First up, sharpie mugs!

Materials

  • Paint
  • Ceramic mug (easily obtained at the Dollar Store)
  • Rubbing alcohol (optional)

Instructions

  1. Grab a mug and wrap a rim of masking tape around the opening of the mug.
  2. Then sketch out the design you’d like to make on the cup or just start drawing onto it using a paint marker. (Google examples of Sharpie mug projects online if you’re stuck!)
  3. Use rubbing alcohol whenever you want to erase anything from the mug.
  4. Once you are happy with the design, Let your mug dry for a few hours or overnight before placing it into the oven.
  5. Place the mug in the oven before preheating the oven to 350°F, once it’s reached that temperature you can set a timer of 30 minutes and after it goes off you can turn off the oven and keep the mug inside there. Do not take it out as it will likely crack.
  6. Always hand-wash the mug whenever its done being used as gently instead of throwing it in the dishwasher, as a machine washer will ruin the design.

If you try this at home, let us know how it works out!

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Renegades by Marissa Meyer

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Renegades by Marissa Meyer
Call #: TEEN MEYER
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Review by Jocelyn D.

Much like Meyers’ other series The Lunar Chronicles, Renegades pulls you into the life of Nova, also known as Nightmare. She and the other villains, or Renegades, are against the Council, a team of superheroes dedicated to keeping people safe. The Renegades want things to go back as they were before the Council was established, where anyone could do anything with no repercussions. To bring them down, Nova chooses to enter the academy training superheroes, keeping her identity as a villain a secret. She plans to learn the Council’s secrets and use it to benefit her team. But the longer she stays, the closer she becomes to her enemies, including (and especially) one of the Council’s sons. Her judgment becomes clouded, forgetting that she’s not an actual superhero…

Once I heard that Marissa Meyer was releasing her new series Renegades, I was ecstatic to read it; I have been a fan of her work since her other hit series, The Lunar Chronicles, and here she had created another whimsical world, this time filled with heroes and villains (as opposed to fairy tale characters…with a twist). Anyone interested in superheroes would absolutely fall for this book. The cover alone conveys so much mystery about the characters and setting that it can only be fully understood after reading the book. The high stakes found in every chapter is enough to make you want to finish this tale in one sitting, and there is no doubt that I loved this book; I can’t wait to read the next two installments of this series!

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All About Slime!

Did you miss our week of slime this fall? You’re in luck! Here’s the step-by-step instructions of how to make all the recipes, and they’re also ALL borax free!

User-Completed-Image-Make-Glow-in-the-Dark-Slime-2015.06.20-04.48.20.0

Glow in the Dark Slime

Materials:

  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup white or clear school glue
  • A few drops of glow-in-the-dark craft paint

Instructions:

  1. Combine the water and Epsom salt in a medium bowl. Stir until most of the Epsom salt has dissolved into the water.
  2. Add the liquid glue and stir to combine. Clear glue will result in a brighter color of slime than will white glue.
  3. Add the craft paint. Stir the mixture to combine and continue stirring until the desired consistency is achieved.
  4. Finished! Enjoy your glow-in-the-dark slime!

laundry-detergent-slime-700x1050

Laundry Detergent Slime

Materials:

  • 1/2 cup white school glue
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup laundry detergent
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Glitter (optional)
  • A few drops of an essential oil of your choice (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Mix together equal amounts of white school glue and water. Pour 1/2 cup of water into a bowl. Next, stir in 1/2 cup of white school glue. Make sure that you get all of the glue out of the measuring cup.
  2. Add some food coloring or glitter, if desired. Use only 2 drops of food coloring. Give the mixture a stir. If you want to make your slime sparkly, add 1 teaspoon of glitter. Give the mixture a stir.
  3. Stir in 1/4 cup of liquid laundry detergent with a fork. As you stir the laundry detergent into the glue, the mixture will begin to stick together. Keep stirring until you have a glob.
  4. Knead the slime with your hands for 1 to 2 minutes. The more you knead the slime, the firmer and less watery it will become. This will take about 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Play with the slime, then store it in an airtight container. A zippered sandwich baggie will work the best for this. Keep in mind that the slime will eventually dry out after a couple of days and turn hard, especially if you play with it ‘too much’.

 

Fluffy-Slime.jpg

Shaving Cream Slime

Materials:

  • 4 ounces of school glue
  • 4 ounces of warm water
  • 1/2 cup shaving cream
  • 1/2 cup laundry detergent
  • Food coloring (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Pour the glue into a bowl.
  2. Combine the warm water with the glue. Don’t add too much water or it’ll be very runny.
  3. Add in your food coloring and mix thoroughly. If the food coloring is a particularly potent one, start by adding two drops, so you don’t stain your hands.
  4. Add in the shaving cream and mix thoroughly. When it’s fully combined in, the texture should resemble marshmallow cream.
  5. Slowly add a few drops of the liquid laundry detergent while still continuously stirring the mixture. Don’t add it all at once-you risk your slime hardening.
  6. Knead your slime. Once the slime has become too solid to stir, use your hands to start kneading it to make it less sticky.
  7. Play with your slime! Store it in an airtight container.

 

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Styrofoam Slime

Materials:

  • 4 ounces of school glue
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • Foam balls
  • 1/2 cup of liquid starch
  • Food coloring (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a medium-size bowl, pour out 4 oz of glue.
  2. Carefully pour ⅓ cup of water into the bowl of glue. Stir.
  3. Add a few drops of food coloring to mixture and combine ingredients. Once thoroughly mixed, set aside.
  4. Grab a handful of foam balls and pour into the bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Add half a cup of liquid starch into the mixture and stir. The mixture should start to become stringy.
  6. Knead until all the ingredients have combined.
  7. Stretch and bounce the slime to see how the mixture reacts!

 

Enjoy all of your slime creations, and keep an eye on the Teen Events Calendar to see all of our programs coming up!

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Author Spotlight: Jason Reynolds

Author Spotlight (1)

Starting in April, we’re beginning a new monthly post where we talk about certain authors we love and the excellent books they’re publishing! For our inaugural author spotlight, we’re highlighting one of our favorite authors of all time, Jason Reynolds.

Jason has been writing poetry since he was nine years old, inspired by rap music (he particularly credits Queen Latifah). He didn’t read his first novel cover-to-cover until he was 17 because he said he could not see himself or his community in the books he was given, so his mission is to provide that slice-of-life point of view to his books for kids like him. Hailing originally from the Washington D.C. metro area, Jason now lives in Brooklyn!

Teen Services Librarian Hannah especially loves Jason’s novels, particularly All-American Boys and Long Way Down, and can’t wait for his next book! Here are Jason’s books that you can find in the Teen Room; all summaries are taken from Goodreads:

 

when-i-was-the-greatest-9781442459489_hrWhen I Was the Greatest

A lot of the stuff that gives my neighborhood a bad name, I don’t really mess with. The guns and drugs and all that, not really my thing.

Nah, not his thing. Ali’s got enough going on, between school and boxing and helping out at home. His best friend Noodles, though. Now there’s a dude looking for trouble—and, somehow, it’s always Ali around to pick up the pieces. But, hey, a guy’s gotta look out for his boys, right? Besides, it’s all small potatoes; it’s not like anyone’s getting hurt.

And then there’s Needles. Needles is Noodles’s brother. He’s got a syndrome, and gets these ticks and blurts out the wildest, craziest things. It’s cool, though: everyone on their street knows he doesn’t mean anything by it.

Yeah, it’s cool…until Ali and Noodles and Needles find themselves somewhere they never expected to be…somewhere they never should’ve been—where the people aren’t so friendly, and even less forgiving.

 

91PoPyc390LThe Boy in the Black Suit

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 wry, gritty novel from the 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. She’s got a crazy name, and she’s been through more crazy 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.

 

81ftDvCaEtLAll-American Boys, cowritten with Brendan Kiely

Rashad is absent again today.

That’s the sidewalk graffiti that started it all…

Well, no, actually, a lady tripping over Rashad at the store, making him drop a bag of chips, was what started it all. Because it didn’t matter what Rashad said next—that it was an accident, that he wasn’t stealing—the cop just kept pounding him. Over and over, pummeling him into the pavement. So then Rashad, an ROTC kid with mad art skills, was absent again…and again…stuck in a hospital room. Why? Because it looked like he was stealing. And he was a black kid in baggy clothes. So he must have been stealing.

And that’s how it started.

And that’s what Quinn, a white kid, saw. He saw his best friend’s older brother beating the daylights out of a classmate. At first Quinn doesn’t tell a soul…He’s not even sure he understands it. And does it matter? The whole thing was caught on camera, anyway. But when the school—and nation—start to divide on what happens, blame spreads like wildfire fed by ugly words like “racism” and “police brutality.” Quinn realizes he’s got to understand it, because, bystander or not, he’s a part of history. He just has to figure out what side of history that will be.

Rashad and Quinn—one black, one white, both American—face the unspeakable truth that racism and prejudice didn’t die after the civil rights movement. There’s a future at stake, a future where no one else will have to be absent because of police brutality. They just have to risk everything to change the world.

Cuz that’s how it can end.

 

jason-reynolds-spidermanMiles Morales: Spider-Man

Miles Morales is just your average teenager. Dinner every Sunday with his parents, chilling out playing old-school video games with his best friend, Ganke, crushing on brainy, beautiful poet Alicia. He’s even got a scholarship spot at the prestigious Brooklyn Visions Academy. Oh yeah, and he’s Spider Man.

But lately, Miles’s spidey-sense has been on the fritz. When a misunderstanding leads to his suspension from school, Miles begins to question his abilities. After all, his dad and uncle were Brooklyn jack-boys with criminal records. Maybe kids like Miles aren’t meant to be superheroes. Maybe Miles should take his dad’s advice and focus on saving himself.

As Miles tries to get his school life back on track, he can’t shake the vivid nightmares that continue to haunt him. Nor can he avoid the relentless buzz of his spidey-sense every day in history class, amidst his teacher’s lectures on the historical “benefits” of slavery and the modern-day prison system. But after his scholarship is threatened, Miles uncovers a chilling plot, one that puts his friends, his neighborhood, and himself at risk. It’s time for Miles to suit up.

 

8181KH0VR7LLong Way Down

An ode to Put the Damn Guns Down, this is New York Times bestseller Jason Reynolds’s fiercely stunning novel that takes place in sixty potent seconds—the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother.

A cannon. A strap.
A piece. A biscuit.
A burner. A heater.
A chopper. A gat.
A hammer
A tool
for RULE

Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother’s gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he? As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And that’s when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the only one who could have fired Shawn’s gun was Shawn. Huh. Will didn’t know that Shawn had ever actually USED his gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buck’s in the elevator? Just as Will’s trying to think this through, the door to the next floor opens. A teenage girl gets on, waves away the smoke from Dead Buck’s cigarette. Will doesn’t know her, but she knew him. Knew. When they were eight. And stray bullets had cut through the playground, and Will had tried to cover her, but she was hit anyway, and so what she wants to know, on that fifth floor elevator stop, is, what if Will, Will with the gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, MISSES.

And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END…if WILL gets off that elevator.

 

71XKPJDTAOLFor Everyone

Originally performed at the Kennedy Center for the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and later as a tribute to Walter Dean Myers, this stirring and inspirational poem is New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist Jason Reynolds’s rallying cry to the dreamers of the world.

For Every One is just that: for every one. For every one person. For every one dream. But especially for every one kid. The kids who dream of being better than they are. Kids who dream of doing more than they almost dare to dream. Kids who are like Jason Reynolds, a self-professed dreamer. Jason does not claim to know how to make dreams come true; he has, in fact, been fighting on the front line of his own battle to make his own dreams a reality. He expected to make it when he was sixteen. Then eighteen. Then twenty-five. Now, some of those expectations have been realized. But others, the most important ones, lay ahead, and a lot of them involve kids, how to inspire them. All the kids who are scared to dream, or don’t know how to dream, or don’t dare to dream because they’ve NEVER seen a dream come true. Jason wants kids to know that dreams take time. They involve countless struggles. But no matter how many times a dreamer gets beat down, the drive and the passion and the hope never fully extinguish—because just having the dream is the start you need, or you won’t get anywhere anyway, and that is when you have to take a leap of faith.

 

For more information about Jason and his upcoming work, visit his website at https://www.jasonwritesbooks.com/.

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