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Walking in Two Worlds
By Wab Kinew. 2021
An Indigenous teen girl is caught between two worlds, both real and virtual, in the YA fantasy debut from bestselling…Indigenous author Wab Kinew. Perfect for fans of Ready Player One and the Otherworld series.Bugz is caught between two worlds. In the real world, she's a shy and self-conscious Indigenous teen who faces the stresses of teenage angst and life on the Rez. But in the virtual world, her alter ego is not just confident but dominant in a massively multiplayer video game universe. Feng is a teen boy who has been sent from China to live with his aunt, a doctor on the Rez, after his online activity suggests he may be developing extremist sympathies. Meeting each other in real life, as well as in the virtual world, Bugz and Feng immediately relate to each other as outsiders and as avid gamers. And as their connection is strengthened through their virtual adventures, they find that they have much in common in the real world, too: both must decide what to do in the face of temptations and pitfalls, and both must grapple with the impacts of family challenges and community trauma. But betrayal threatens everything Bugz has built in the virtual world, as well as her relationships in the real world, and it will take all her newfound strength to restore her friendship with Feng and reconcile the parallel aspects of her life: the traditional and the mainstream, the east and the west, the real and the virtual.
By Xiran Jay Zhao. 2021
Pacific Rim meets The Handmaid's Tale in this blend of Chinese history and mecha science fiction for YA readers.The boys…of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn't matter that the girls often die from the mental strain. When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it's to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister's death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead. To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way—and stop more girls from being sacrificed.
Meranda and the Legend of the Lake
By Meagan Mahoney. 2021
Eleven-year-old Meranda thought her life was complicated enough with physical challenges (she uses crutches to walk) and her helicopter parents.…But when her great-uncle Mark dies, Meranda and her family visit Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, where her parents grew up and where she hasn’t been since the age of three. Soon, secrets begin to unfold: Why does the newspaper headline say her great-uncle Mark’s death was suspicious? Why do strangers keep calling Meranda “miracle baby”? Why does her usually calm mother seem so panicky and scared? And what on earth does all this have to do with mermaids? Meranda and her new friend, Claire, decide to investigate on their own. But as Meranda begins to separate fact from fiction, she finds herself in very real danger.
Children of the fox: Thieves of shadow series, book 1 (Thieves of Shadow)
By Kevin Sands. 2021
An NPR Best Book of the Year! "This stunning tale of betrayal, trickery, and friendship takes the reader on a…wild ride." — School Library Journal Ocean's Eleven meets The False Prince in this thrilling heist story for young readers, in which five kids with unusual talents are brought together to commit an impossible crime. Failure is unacceptable ... but success could be deadly. From the bestselling author of the Blackthorn Key series, this magic-infused fantasy brings together a ragtag group of kids to pull off a crime so difficult, countless adults have already tried and failed. Lured by the promise of more money than they've ever dreamed of, five young criminals are hired to steal a heavily guarded treasure from the most powerful sorcerer in the city. There's Callan the con artist, Meriel the expert at acrobatics (and knives!), Gareth the researcher, Lachlan who can obtain anything, and Foxtail, whose mysterious eyeless mask doesn't hinder her ability to climb walls like a spider. Though their shadowy backgrounds mean that they've never trusted anyone but themselves, the five must learn to rely on each other in order to get the job done. But as Callan has been warned most of his life, it's best to stay away from magic. It can turn on you at any moment, and make you think you're the one running the con game, when in reality you're the one being fooled. Faced with these unsurmountable odds, can the friends pull off this legendary heist, or has their luck finally run out?
Forever birchwood: A novel
By Danielle Daniel. 2022
The middle-grade debut of star picture-book author and illustrator Danielle Daniel Adventurous, trail-blazing Wolf lives in a northern mining town…and spends her days exploring the mountains and wilderness with her three best friends Penny, Ann and Brandi. The girls' secret refuge is their tree-house hideaway, Birchwood, Wolf's favourite place on earth. When her beloved grandmother tells her that she is the great-granddaughter of a tree talker, Wolf knows that she is destined to protect the birch trees and wildlife that surround her. But Wolf's mother doesn't understand this connection at all. Not only is she reluctant to engage with their family's Indigenous roots, she seems suspiciously on the wrong side of the environmental protection efforts in their hometown. To make matters worse, she's just started dating an annoying new boyfriend named Roger, whose motives—and construction company—seem equally suspect. As summer arrives, so do bigger problems. Wolf and her friends discover orange plastic bands wrapped around the trees near their cherished hangout spot, and their once stable friendship seems on the verge of unravelling. Birchwood has given them so much—can they even stay together long enough to save this special place? With gorgeous yet understated language, Danielle Daniel beautifully captures an urgent and aching time in a young person's life. To read this astonishing middle-grade debut is to have your heart broken and then tenderly mended
The bear house: Bear house series, book 1 (Bear House)
By Meaghan McIsaac. 2021
Princess Aster and Princess Ursula are the only children of the Bear Major, high king and head of the royal…House of the Hemoth Bear. Rivals, both girls dream of becoming queen someday, although neither really deserve to—brilliant, spoiled, and difficult, they have little to recommend them. But everything changes when fire and murder come to their castle, and the crown is stolen from their family. Overnight, the girls are forced onto the run, along with the half-grown grizzly Alcor, the symbol of their house, and the lowly bearkeeper Dev. As a bitter struggle for the throne consumes the kingdom in civil war, dragging every family from the House of Hounds to the House of the Ox into chaos, the sisters must rely on Dev, Alcor, and each other to survive—and find wells of courage, cunning, and skill they never knew they had. From celebrated fantasist Meaghan McIsaac comes The Bear House, the first entry in a new middle-grade fantasy series set in a gritty medieval world where the ruling houses are based on the constellations—and the stakes are sky-high
Fifteen-year-old Fawad has big dreams about being the world's first Pakistani to be drafted into the NBA. A first-generation Pakistani…coming-of-age story for fans of David Yoon and Ben Philippe.Fifteen-year-old Fawad Chaudhry loves two things: basketball and his mother's potato and ground-beef stuffed parathas. Both are round and both help him forget about things like his father, who died two years ago, his mother’s desire to arrange a marriage to his first cousin, Nusrat, back home in Pakistan, and the tiny apartment in Regent Park he shares with his mom and sister. Not to mention his estranged best friend Yousuf, who's coping with the shooting death of his older brother. But Fawad has plans: like, asking out Ashley, even though she lives on the other, wealthier side of the tracks, and saving his friend Arif from being beaten into a pulp for being the school flirt, and making the school basketball team and dreaming of being the world’s first Pakistani to be drafted into the NBA. All he has to do now is convince his mother to let him try out for the basketball team. And let him date girls from his school. Not to mention somehow get Omar, the neighborhood bully, to leave him alone . .
Blood scion: Blood scion series, book 1 (Blood Scion)
By Deborah Falaye. 2022
"Equal parts soaring fantasy, heart-pounding action, and bloody social commentary, Blood Scion is a triumph of a book." —Roseanne A.…Brown, New York Times bestselling author of A Song of Wraiths and Ruin This is what they deserve. They wanted me to be a monster. I will be the worst monster they ever created. Fifteen-year-old Sloane can incinerate an enemy at will—she is a Scion, a descendant of the ancient Orisha gods. Under the Lucis' brutal rule, her identity means her death if her powers are discovered. But when she is forcibly conscripted into the Lucis army on her fifteenth birthday, Sloane sees a new opportunity: to overcome the bloody challenges of Lucis training, and destroy them from within. Following one girl's journey of magic, injustice, power, and revenge, Deborah Falaye's debut novel, inspired by Yoruba-Nigerian mythology, is a magnetic combination of Children of Blood and Bone and An Ember in the Ashes
A magic steeped in poison: Book of tea series, book 1 (Book of Tea)
By Judy I Lin. 2022
Judy I. Lin's sweeping debut A Magic Steeped in Poison , first in a duology, is sure to enchant fans…of Adrienne Young and Leigh Bardugo. I used to look at my hands with pride. Now all I can think is, "These are the hands that buried my mother." For Ning, the only thing worse than losing her mother is knowing that it's her own fault. She was the one who unknowingly brewed the poison tea that killed her―the poison tea that now threatens to also take her sister, Shu. When Ning hears of a competition to find the kingdom's greatest shennong-shi―masters of the ancient and magical art of tea-making―she travels to the imperial city to compete. The winner will receive a favor from the princess, which may be Ning's only chance to save her sister's life. But between the backstabbing competitors, bloody court politics, and a mysterious (and handsome) boy with a shocking secret, Ning might actually be the one in more danger
Zachary ying and the dragon emperor (Zachary Ying)
By Xiran Jay Zhao. 2022
Percy Jackson meets Tristan Strong in this hilarious, action-packed middle grade contemporary fantasy that follows a young boy as he…journeys across China to seal the underworld shut and save the mortal realm. Zachary Ying never had many opportunities to learn about his Chinese heritage. His single mom was busy enough making sure they got by, and his schools never taught anything except Western history and myths. So Zack is woefully unprepared when he discovers he was born to host the spirit of the First Emperor of China for a vital mission: sealing the leaking portal to the Chinese underworld before the upcoming Ghost Month blows it wide open. The mission takes an immediate wrong turn when the First Emperor botches his attempt to possess Zack's body and binds to Zack's AR gaming headset instead, leading to a battle where Zack's mom's soul gets taken by demons. Now, with one of history's most infamous tyrants yapping in his headset, Zack must journey across China to heist magical artifacts and defeat figures from history and myth, all while learning to wield the emperor's incredible water dragon powers. And if Zack can't finish the mission in time, the spirits of the underworld will flood into the mortal realm, and he could lose his mom forever
The summer of bitter and sweet
By Jen Ferguson. 2022
In this complex and emotionally resonant novel about a Métis girl living on the Canadian prairies, debut author Jen Ferguson…serves up a powerful story about rage, secrets, and all the spectrums that make up a person—and the sweetness that can still live alongside the bitterest truth. Lou has enough confusion in front of her this summer. She'll be working in her family's ice-cream shack with her newly ex-boyfriend—whose kisses never made her feel desire, only discomfort—and her former best friend, King, who is back in their Canadian prairie town after disappearing three years ago without a word. But when she gets a letter from her biological father—a man she hoped would stay behind bars for the rest of his life—Lou immediately knows that she cannot meet him, no matter how much he insists. While King's friendship makes Lou feel safer and warmer than she would have thought possible, when her family's business comes under threat, she soon realizes that she can't ignore her father forever. The Heartdrum imprint centers a wide range of intertribal voices, visions, and stories while welcoming all young readers, with an emphasis on the present and future of Indian Country and on the strength of young Native heroes. In partnership with We Need Diverse Books
Meena's Mindful Moment
By Tina Athaide, Åsa Gilland. 2021
Meena is excited to visit Dada and explore all the exciting sights and sensations of his home with him. But…Meena has so much energy, it becomes a whole imaginary character she calls her hurly-burly hullabaloo. Wherever Meena goes, her hurly-burly hullabaloo goes too. Together they're never calm, as they run and cartwheel and make a lot of noise! But when Meena makes a mess, her grandfather is there to teach her how to handle it with deep breaths and meditative poses - after all, he has a hurly-burly hullabaloo too. With playful art and engaging characters (real and imagined), this charming story all about mindfulness will be wonderfully relatable to anyone with a rambunctious hurly-burly hullabaloo of their own.
By Teresa Toten. 2022
Governor General’s award-winning author Teresa Toten’s story about one girl’s transformative eight-day road-trip to retrieve her mother’s body.How do you…face a heartbreaking past?One day at a time.Or as Aggie says, one crisis at a time.In Teresa Toten’s compelling new novel Eight Days, Samantha finds out that the mother she thought had died years ago has actually just passed away. Added to this charged secret is her recovering alcoholic grandfather’s strange behaviour and sudden insistence that he take Sami back to Chicago to retrieve her mother’s body.Luckily, Sami’s beloved neighbour and surrogate mother figure, Aggie, insists on coming on the road trip, bringing along her quirky sense of humour and fantastic wig collection.The eight-day journey takes us from Toronto to Chicago and back again, as Sami, an American living with her grandfather in a Muslim-dominated apartment complex in Toronto, struggles to find out who she is and where she belongs.Infused with warmth and love, even as family struggles and secrets are torn open, Eight Days is ultimately about forgiveness and strength in community. It is truly a novel for our times.
That's not my name!
By Anoosha Syed. 2022
A debut picture book, adapted for audio, about loving your name, finding your voice, and standing up for yourself from…the critically acclaimed illustrator of Bilal Cooks Daal and I Am Perfectly Designed . Mirha is so excited for her first day of school! She can't wait to learn, play, and make new friends. But when her classmates mispronounce her name, she goes home wondering if she shound find a new one. Maybe then she'd be able to find a monogrammed keychain at the gas station or order a hot chocolate at the cafe more easily. Mama helps Mirha to see how special her name is, and she returns to school the next day determined to help her classmates say it correctly—even if it takes a hundred tries
Twice as perfect
By Louisa Onom©♭. 2022
Netflix's Never Have I Ever meets Crazy Rich Asians with a Nigerian twist in this brilliant young-adult novel about being…caught in between worlds The only things worth doing are those that will lead to success. For seventeen-year-old Adanna Nkwachi, life is all about duty: to school and the debate team, to her Nigerian parents, and even to her cousin Genny as Ada helps prepare Genny's wedding to Afrobeats superstar Skeleboy. Because ever since her older brother, Sam, had a fight with their parents a few years ago and disappeared, somebody has to fill the void he left behind. Ada may never know what caused Sam to leave home, but the one thing she's certain of is that it's on her to make sure her parents' sacrifices aren't in vain. One day, chance brings the siblings back together and they start working to repair their bond. Although she fears how their parents will react if they find out, Ada is determined to get answers about the night Sam left—Sam, who was supposed to be an engineer but is now, what, a poet? The more she learns about Sam's poetry, the more Ada begins to wonder if maybe being happy is just as important as doing what's expected of her. Amid parental pressure, anxiety over the debate competition, a complicated love life, and the Nigerian wedding-to-end-all-weddings, can Ada learn, just this once, to put herself first?
The Stone Child: The Misewa Saga, Book Three (The Misewa Saga #3)
By David A. Robertson. 2022
It's a race against time to save Eli, in this third book in the award-winning, Narnia-inspired Indigenous middle-grade fantasy series.…After discovering a near-lifeless Eli at the base of the Great Tree, Morgan knows she doesn't have much time to save him. And it will mean asking for help — from friends old and new. Racing against the clock, and with Arik and Emily at her side, Morgan sets off to follow the trail away from the Great Tree to find Eli's soul before it's too late. As they journey deep into the northern woods, a place they've been warned never to enter, they face new challenges and life-threatening attacks from strange and horrifying creatures. But a surprise ally comes to their aid, and Morgan finds the strength to focus on what's most important: saving her brother's life.
Forever Birchwood: A Novel
By Danielle Daniel. 2022
The middle-grade debut of star picture-book author and illustrator Danielle DanielAdventurous, trail-blazing Wolf lives in a northern mining town and…spends her days exploring the mountains and wilderness with her three best friends Penny, Ann and Brandi. The girls’ secret refuge is their tree-house hideaway, Birchwood, Wolf’s favourite place on earth. When her beloved grandmother tells her that she is the great-granddaughter of a tree talker, Wolf knows that she is destined to protect the birch trees and wildlife that surround her.But Wolf’s mother doesn’t understand this connection at all. Not only is she reluctant to engage with their family’s Indigenous roots, she seems suspiciously on the wrong side of the environmental protection efforts in their hometown. To make matters worse, she’s just started dating an annoying new boyfriend named Roger, whose motives—and construction company—seem equally suspect.As summer arrives, so do bigger problems. Wolf and her friends discover orange plastic bands wrapped around the trees near their cherished hangout spot, and their once stable friendship seems on the verge of unravelling. Birchwood has given them so much—can they even stay together long enough to save this special place?With gorgeous yet understated language, Danielle Daniel beautifully captures an urgent and aching time in a young person’s life. To read this astonishing middle-grade debut is to have your heart broken and then tenderly mended.
Fifteen-year-old Fawad has big dreams about being the world's first Pakistani to be drafted into the NBA. A first-generation Pakistani…coming-of-age story for fans of David Yoon and Ben Philippe.Fifteen-year-old Fawad Chaudhry loves two things: basketball and his mother's potato and ground beef stuffed parathas. Both are round and both help him forget about things like his father, who died two years ago, his mother’s desire to arrange a marriage to his first cousin, Nusrat, back home in Pakistan, and the tiny apartment in Regent Park he shares with his mom and sister. Not to mention his estranged best friend Yousuf, who's coping with the shooting death of his older brother. But Fawad has plans: like, asking out Ashley, even though she lives on the other, wealthier side of the tracks, and saving his friend Arif from being beaten into a pulp for being the school flirt, and making the school basketball team and dreaming of being the world’s first Pakistani to be drafted into the NBA. All he has to do now is convince his mother to let him try out for the basketball team. And let him date girls from his school. Not to mention somehow get Omar, the neighborhood bully, to leave him alone . . .
Pink, Blue, and You!: Questions for Kids about Gender Stereotypes
By Elise Gravel, Mykaell Blais. 2022
Simple, accessible, and direct, this picture book is perfect for kids and parents or teachers to read together, opening the…door to conversations about gender stereotypes and everyone's right to be their true selves. Is it okay for boys to cry? Can girls be strong? Should girls and boys be given different toys to play with and different clothes to wear? Should we all feel free to love whoever we choose to love? In this incredibly kid-friendly and easy-to-grasp picture book, author-illustrator Elise Gravel and transgender collaborator Mykaell Blais raise these questions and others relating to gender roles, acceptance, and stereotyping.With its simple language, colorful illustrations, engaging backmatter that showcases how "appropriate" male and female fashion has changed through history, and even a poster kids can hang on their wall, here is the ideal tool to help in conversations about a multi-layered and important topic.
Bharatanatyam in Ballet Shoes
By Mahak Jain, Anu Chouhan. 2022
“A necessary tool for helping children understand and develop cultural competency and compassion early on.” —School Library Journal A girl…explores her love of dancing and her cultural identity in a lively picture book with echoes of the real-life collaboration between Bharatanatyam icon Rukmini Devi Arundale and ballerina Anna Pavlova. Paro comes from a dancing family. At home, she dances Bharatanatyam with her mom, and now she’s excited to learn ballet. But what if she can’t dance like the other kids in her class? Ballerinas move like fairies, while Bharatanatyam dancers seem like queens. Paro can’t be both...can she? Anu Chouhan’s vibrant, energetic illustrations emphasize themes of creative flexibility and navigating the intersections of different cultural identities. The book’s backmatter includes an author’s note describing the inspiration behind the story, (the real-life meeting and collaboration of Bharatanatyam dancer Rukmini Devi and ballerina Anna Pavlova), a DIY ghungroo (ankle bell) activity, and a pronunciation and etymology guide.