Bad Sister by Charise Mericle Harper; illustrated by Rory LuceyWhat it is: a colorful graphic novel about author Charise Mericle Harper's childhood and the challenges of being a big sister.
What happens: Awkward, impulsive Charise likes playing rowdy games with her little brother Daniel, but she feels guilty about treating him as a rival -- especially after he gets hurt on her watch.
For fans of: Jennifer Holm's Sunny Side Up, Raina Telgemeier's Sisters, and other stories about the strong but messy bonds between siblings.
Linked by Gordon KormanWhat it's about: After someone vandalizes a small-town middle school with swatiskas, the students find their own ways of responding.
How it's told: by six different characters, including Dana, who faces unwanted attention as the only Jewish student; Michael, who leads a Holocaust memorial art project; and Link, who's surprised to discover his Jewish heritage.
You might also like: Dana Alison Levy's It Wasn't Me, another school-based mystery that will leave you thinking about the impact of hate and the power of connection.
Fast Pitch by Nic StoneWhat it's about: The Fulton Firebirds are the first all-Black girls softball team in their league, and captain Shenice "Lightning" Lockwood is determined to take them to the championships -- just like she's determined to prove that her Great-Grampy JonJon, a baseball legend, was framed for the crime that ended his career.
Read it for: a gripping mystery, fast-paced sports action, and a main character you'll cheer for.
The Many Meanings of Meilan by Andrea WangStarring: creative 12-year-old Meilan, who uses storytelling to help her make sense of her life.
What happens: Meilan's Taiwanese American family moves from Boston's Chinatown to a mostly white town in Ohio where the school principal insists that she go by "Melanie," prompting Meilan to imagine stories about the different meanings of her real name.
Why you might like it: Many readers will relate to Meilan's hopes of fitting in and being herself.
This Was Our Pact by Ryan AndrewsWhat it’s about: Every year, during the Autumn Equinox Festival, the whole town gathers to send paper lanterns down the river. This year, a group of boys pledge to follow the lanterns and find out where they go.
What happens: The boys encounter odd sights (a telephone in the middle of a stream?) and meet even odder characters (a stylish talking fisherbear).
Art alert: Eerie blue and red illustrations highlight the dreamy, unreal feeling of this graphic novel.
Spark by Sarah Beth DurstWelcome to: Alorria, where dragon-like storm beasts and their human guardians make sure that the weather is always perfect.
What happens: While training at Mytris Lightning School, quiet guardian Mina and lightning beast Pixit accidentally discover that Alorria's controlled climate comes at a terrible, hidden cost. Mina knows she has to speak out about it...she just doesn't know how.
Who it's for: fantasy fans looking for exciting standalone stories, and anyone who dreams about having a magical animal companion.
A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne ParryWhat it is: the story of a lone wolf cub, separated from his pack, who goes on a dangerous, thousand-mile journey to find a new home.
Did you know? This vivid, illustrated survival story, told from the wolf's point of view, is based on the real life of a wolf named OR-7 (who you can read about at the end of the book).
You might also like: the companion book, A Whale of the Wild, which stars a young orca whale.
Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers by Celia C. PérezFeaturing: birdwatcher Cat, journalist Ofelia, foodie Aster, and rebellious newcomer Lane, the first members of a secret new club in Sabal Palms, Florida.
What happens: The four friends band together in an effort to convince the Floras, an old-fashioned girls club, to right a long-standing wrong.
Why you might like it: all four girls take turns telling this story of unlikely friendship, letting you get an up-close look at each girl’s problems, secrets, and hopes.
Contact your librarian for more great books!