Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. AlstonWhat it's about: Certain that her missing brother Quinton is alive, Amari Peters follows his trail to the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, where she uncovers more clues, as well as her own dangerously powerful magic.
Featuring: fairies, aliens, a were-dragon named Elsie, a hidden world, and plenty of #BlackGirlMagic.
Series alert: If you don't want to say goodbye to Amari, you don't have to -- this is the 1st in an enchanting, fast-paced fantasy series.
Katie the Catsitter by Colleen AF Venable; illustrated by Stephanie YueWhat it's about: When NYC kid Katie takes a job caring for her neighbor's 217 mischievous cats, she discovers that the cats all have special skills, such as lock-picking, mixed martial arts, and computer hacking. Could these kitties be in league with the Mousetress, the city's most famous supervillain?
Read it for: a unique superhero story filled with funny, memorable characters both human and feline.
For fans of: cats (of course!), as well as graphic novels by Victoria Jamieson and Raina Telgemeier.
The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla MagoonStarring: ten-year-old Caleb, who's tired of spending every summer stuck in his boring Indiana town.
What happens: Styx Malone -- 16 years old and impossibly cool -- moves to the neighborhood and introduces Caleb and his brother Bobby Gene to a risky scheme that could earn them the freedom Caleb dreams about.
Who it's for: readers looking for a funny, realistic story about a summer full of excitement and trouble.
From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae MarksStarring: twelve-year-old Zoe, whose summer plan (practicing for the Food Network’s Kids Bake Challenge) is derailed after she receives a letter from the father she’s never met, and she decides to prove that he’s innocent of the crime that sent him to prison.
Who it’s for: readers who like realistic stories that are both fun and deep.
Try this next: C.C. Payne’s The Thing About Leftovers, another believable, moving book about a foodie kid dealing with complicated family stuff.
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 8-11!