Accidental Archaeologists: True Stories of Unexpected Discoveries by Sarah Albee; illustrated by Nathan HackettWhat it is: true stories about how ordinary people stumbled across extraordinary finds that changed how we understand history.
Including: the Black cowboy who found giant bison fossils; the Bedouin shepherds who explored the caves containing the Dead Sea Scrolls; the French soldier who unearthed the Rosetta Stone.
Finders keepers? In addition to thrilling moments of discovery, author Sarah Albee also digs into the "dirt on archaeology," tackling questions of who has the right to keep ancient artifacts.
Peacemaker by Joseph BruchacWhat it's about: For 12-year-old Okwaho, the war between the Five Nations of the Iroquois seems endless, especially after his best friend is kidnapped and Okwaho is left burning for revenge. Then a visitor arrives with tales of a Great League of Peace, and a future Okwaho never dared to hope for.
Why you might like it: This historical fiction book by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac invites you to experience the founding of the Iroquois Confederacy from a kid's point of view.
City of the Plague God by Sarwat ChaddaWhat it's about: Mesopotamian mythology comes to modern-day NYC is this action-packed story starring 13-year-old Sikander Aziz, a funny, sarcastic, Iraqi American kid who's caught up in the fight against an ancient plague god spreading mystical disease.
Featuring: a talking sword, some seriously gross demons, and legendary hero Gilgamesh (now a vegan baker).
Who it's for: mythology fans, readers looking for Muslim heroes, and anyone who wants to escape the real-life pandemic in favor of an exciting imaginary one.
Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy by Melissa de la CruzIntroducing: Filomena Jefferson-Cho, who abandons her life as a bullied suburban sixth-grader when she learns that her favorite fairy tale fantasy series is true, and she has a part to play in saving the Fairy tribes from the evil queen.
Series alert: There's more to come in this new series filled with magic, danger, witty in-jokes, and page-turning adventure.
For fans of: Chris Colfer's Land of Stories series and Michael Buckley's Sisters Grimm books.
Just Like That by Gary D. SchmidtWelcome to: Maine, 1968, where private school student Meryl Lee Kowalski is grieving for a friend while adjusting to stuck-up classmates, and runaway Matt Coffin is hiding in a lobster shack with the ghosts of his past and a pillowcase of stolen cash.
Series alert: While you can read this funny yet heartwrenching story as a standalone, fans of The Wednesday Wars and Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy can look forward to revisiting familiar characters and places.
Marcus Vega Doesn't Speak Spanish by Pablo CartayaStarring: 14-year-old Marcus Vega, six feet tall and already sporting a mustache.
What happens: After Marcus punches a bully who insulted his brother, his mom takes their multiracial family to Puerto Rico, where Marcus begins searching for his long-absent father.
Why you might like it: Whether or not you're familiar with Puerto Rico, you'll feel like you're there with Marcus as he explores the music, food, places, and people of the island.
Sauerkraut by Kelly Jones; illustrated by Paul DaveyStarring: HD Schenk, an imaginative 12-year-old maker and German American "black geek."
What happens: After HD discovers a pickling crock that's haunted by his ambitious great-great-grandmother, he and his family agree to enter her signature sauerkraut recipe in the county fair so she can finally achieve her dream of becoming Pickle Queen.
You might also like: Rajani LaRocca's Midsummer's Mayhem, another whimsical book about a kid entering a food competition with some supernatural assistance.
When You Trap a Tiger by Tae KellerWhat it’s about: Having grown up with her halmoni’s Korean folkales, multiracial Korean American Lily knows better than to make a deal with a magical talking tiger. But when the tiger offers to heal Halmoni’s illness in return for Lily releasing the stories Halmoni stole years ago, Lily can’t say no.
Why you might like it: Combining Lily’s spellbinding quest with her everyday family life, When You Trap a Tiger is a good choice for fantasy fans who enjoy getting to know authentic characters.
Free Lunch by Rex OgleWhat it is: biracial author Rex Ogle's memories of his sixth-grade year, when he has to figure out confusing friendships, endure his volatile mom and stepdad, and deal with the public embarrassment of being on his school's free lunch program.
Is it for you? Rex's un-sugarcoated descriptions of abuse are upsetting, but many readers may recognize his raw, honest feelings of anger, frustration, and hope.
Try this next: Jarrett J. Krosoczka's Hey, Kiddo, another true story of growing up with an untrustworthy parent.
Gloom Town by Ronald L. SmithWelcome to: Gloom, a poky seaside town where young Rory, hoping to help make ends meet at home, takes a job at the fancy Foxglove Manor.
What happens: Realizing that his new boss plans to harvest the townspeople's shadows for some sinister, supernatural purpose, Rory and his friend Isabella undertake a high-stakes scheme to protect their town (and the world).
Read it for: eerie atmosphere, moments of spine-tingling horror, a brave biracial main character, and plenty of intrigue.
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 10-13!