The Hazel Wood by Melissa AlbertWhat it's about: After years on the road with her mother, running from their freakishly bad luck, Alice is resourceful, tough, and angry -- qualities she'll need after her mom is kidnapped. Desperate to rescue her, Alice looks for clues from a forbidden source: Tales from the Hinterland, the cult-classic book of sinister fairy tales written by her grandmother.
Who it's for: readers who relish dreamy, disturbing, and sophisticated fantasy.
Book buzz: This debut novel had a movie deal before it even hit bookshelves.
American Panda by Gloria ChaoStarring: 17-year-old MIT freshman Mei, whose future has been planned by her traditional Taiwanese parents: medical school, marriage to a Taiwanese guy, babies. With such heavy expectations, how can Mei tell her parents that she hates germs, loves dancing, and might be falling for her Japanese-American classmate?
Why you might like it: It's a funny, even-handed look at a teen girl's struggle to define herself without losing her family.
Read this next: Erika L. Sanchez's I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter or Samira Ahmed's Love, Hate, & Other Filters.
Between the Lines by Nikki GrimesWhat it is: a follow-up to Bronx Masquerade, similarly packed with authentic first-person poems that offer glimpses into the lives of the diverse students in Mr. Ward's high school poetry class.
Featuring: Darrian, who's grieving his mom's death while dreaming of being a journalist; Jenesis, who's worried about aging out of foster care; Marcel, whose dad shouldn't have gone to jail; and Freddie, who's tired of being the responsible caretaker in her family.
When My Heart Joins the Thousand by A.J. SteigerWhat it's about: Surviving the foster care system as a person on the autism spectrum hasn't been easy for Alvie, but she's got an apartment, a job, and soon she'll be 18 and emancipated. She doesn't need any complications -- complications like Stanley, a guy with a rare medical condition who understands Alvie like no one else.
Reviewers say: "A gorgeous love story of depth and raw emotion" (Kirkus Reviews).
Giant Days, Volume One by John Allison; illustrated by Lissa Treiman Starring: Susan, Esther, and Daisy, three unlikely friends trying navigate their first year of college. Because whether you're having awkward personal revelations, dealing with gross dudebros, or surviving the flu in a dorm room, it's easier when you don't have to do it alone.
Who it's for: older teens looking for a snarky and relatable slice of university life.
Series alert: This collection is just the 1st of many: Volume 7 is due out later this month, and the series is still in progress.
Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony CliffIntroducing: Selim, a thoughtful, tea-drinking soldier, and Delilah Dirk, the infamous adventurer who sweeps him away into a world of swordfights, stealing, and intrigue.
Why you might like it: With sharp dialogue, an unconventional friendship, a swashbuckling heroine, and sumptuous illustrations, this historical adventure is hard to resist.
Series alert: Delilah and Selim's travels (and troubles) continue in Delilah Dirk and the King's Shilling.
Nimona by Noelle StevensonWhat it's about: When gleefully violent Nimona first offers to be his sidekick, villainous Lord Ballister Blackheart turns her down. Once she reveals that she's a shapeshifter, however, Blackheart is intrigued. Nimona could be useful for overthrowing Blackheart's archenemies...but does she really have her powers under control?
Why you might like it: Adorably edgy cartoons provide the perfect visuals for this witty, heartfelt fantasy that defies stereotypes about good and evil.
Book buzz: An animated Nimona movie is already in the works.
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