Salvage the Bones is Jesmyn Ward’s National Book Award-winning story of a 14-year-old African-American girl and her family living near the Mississippi coast in the days before, during and after Hurricane Katrina.
The Girl from Everywhere, the debut novel by Heidi Heilig, puts family drama, relationship drama and the thrill of adventure aboard a time-traveling pirate ship. It’s a setup for an exciting book full of tension and suspense, and the book doesn’t disappoint.
The Sun is Also a Star is Nicola Yoon’s National Book Award Finalist bestselling novel. It’s told over the course of a single NYC day from two perspectives, and is so good you’ll have a hard time putting it down. NOTE: it will also make you cry.
Don’t Read the Comments, by author and literary agent Eric Smith, is a heartwarming story about a teenaged female gamer fighting back against online trolls who move their attacks to the real world.
The Cheerleaders, by Kara Thomas, is a thriller about five cheerleaders killed the same tragic school year. It was inspired by a true story from about 30 years ago in Dryden, NY, not far from my hometown.
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You is Jason Reynolds’s remix of Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning. It makes Kendi’s vital 600-page history of racism in America much more accessible to a younger audience. I found it enlightening, both for the history I was unaware of, as well for casting a new perspective on the history I already knew.