Spotlight On: Best of 2022
Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. A sweet and charming coming-of-age story that explores friendship, love, and coming out.
"Absolutely delightful. Sweet, romantic, kind. Beautifully paced. I loved this book." -- Rainbow Rowell, author of Carry On
Shy and softhearted Charlie Spring sits next to rugby player Nick Nelson in class one morning. A warm and intimate friendship follows, and that soon develops into something more for Charlie, who doesn't think he has a chance.
But Nick is struggling with feelings of his own, and as the two grow closer and take on the ups and downs of high school, they come to understand the surprising and delightful ways in which love works.
Flung Out of Space
A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW 100 NOTABLE BOOKS OF THE YEAR
A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITORS' CHOICE
NAMED A BOOK WE LOVED BY NPR
A fictional and complex portrait of bestselling author Patricia Highsmith caught up in the longing that would inspire her queer classic, The Price of Salt
Flung Out of Space is both a love letter to the essential lesbian novel, The Price of Salt, and an examination of its notorious author, Patricia Highsmith. Veteran comics creators Grace Ellis and Hannah Templer have teamed up to tell this story through Highsmith's eyes--reimagining the events that inspired her to write the story that would become a foundational piece of queer literature. Flung Out of Space opens with Pat begrudgingly writing low-brow comics. A drinker, a smoker, and a hater of life, Pat knows she can do better. Her brain churns with images of the great novel she could and should be writing--what will eventually be Strangers on a Train-- which would later be adapted into a classic film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951.
At the same time, Pat, a lesbian consumed with self-loathing, is in and out of conversion therapy, leaving a trail of sexual conquests and broken hearts in her wake. However, one of those very affairs and a chance encounter in a department store give Pat the idea for her soon-to-be beloved tale of homosexual love that was the first of its kind--it gave the lesbian protagonists a happy ending.
This is not just the story behind a classic queer book, but of a queer artist who was deeply flawed. It's a comic about what it was like to write comics in the 1950s, but also about what it means to be a writer at any time in history, struggling to find your voice.
Author Grace Ellis contextualizes Patricia Highsmith as both an unintentional queer icon and a figure whose problematic views and noted anti-Semitism have cemented her controversial legacy. Highsmith's life imitated her art with results as devastating as the plot twists that brought her fame and fortune.
Sea of Tranquility
NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • Longlisted for the 2023 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction
The award-winning, best-selling author of Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel returns with a novel of art, time travel, love, and plague that takes the reader from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a dark colony on the moon five hundred years later, unfurling a story of humanity across centuries and space.
“One of [Mandel’s] finest novels and one of her most satisfying forays into the arena of speculative fiction yet.” —The New York Times
Edwin St. Andrew is eighteen years old when he crosses the Atlantic by steamship, exiled from polite society following an ill-conceived diatribe at a dinner party. He enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and suddenly hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal—an experience that shocks him to his core.
Two centuries later a famous writer named Olive Llewellyn is on a book tour. She’s traveling all over Earth, but her home is the second moon colony, a place of white stone, spired towers, and artificial beauty. Within the text of Olive’s best-selling pandemic novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him.
When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the black-skied Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness, he uncovers a series of lives upended: The exiled son of an earl driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, and a childhood friend from the Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe.
A virtuoso performance that is as human and tender as it is intellectually playful, Sea of Tranquility is a novel of time travel and metaphysics that precisely captures the reality of our current moment.
I'm Glad My Mom Died
A heartbreaking and hilarious memoir by iCarly and Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy about her struggles as a former child actor—including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother—and how she retook control of her life.
Jennette McCurdy was six years old when she had her first acting audition. Her mother’s dream was for her only daughter to become a star, and Jennette would do anything to make her mother happy. So she went along with what Mom called “calorie restriction,” eating little and weighing herself five times a day. She endured extensive at-home makeovers while Mom chided, “Your eyelashes are invisible, okay? You think Dakota Fanning doesn’t tint hers?” She was even showered by Mom until age sixteen while sharing her diaries, email, and all her income.
In I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette recounts all this in unflinching detail—just as she chronicles what happens when the dream finally comes true. Cast in a new Nickelodeon series called iCarly, she is thrust into fame. Though Mom is ecstatic, emailing fan club moderators and getting on a first-name basis with the paparazzi (“Hi Gale!”), Jennette is riddled with anxiety, shame, and self-loathing, which manifest into eating disorders, addiction, and a series of unhealthy relationships. These issues only get worse when, soon after taking the lead in the iCarly spinoff Sam & Cat alongside Ariana Grande, her mother dies of cancer. Finally, after discovering therapy and quitting acting, Jennette embarks on recovery and decides for the first time in her life what she really wants.
Told with refreshing candor and dark humor, I’m Glad My Mom Died is an inspiring story of resilience, independence, and the joy of shampooing your own hair.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Who killed Brooke Donovan? It’s the biggest mystery of the summer, and everyone in Castle Cove thinks they know what happened. But they're wrong. Two unlikely friends come together to solve the case in this fast-paced, fun, modern Agatha Christie inspired thriller.
"Part Agatha Christie, part Veronica Mars, and completely entertaining." —Karen M. McManus, #1 New York Times bestselling author of One Of Us Is Lying
A PEOPLE MAGAZINE BEST BOOK OF SUMMER
Last summer, Alice Ogilvie’s basketball-star boyfriend Steve dumped her. Then she disappeared for five days. She's not talking, so where she went and what happened to her is the biggest mystery in Castle Cove. Or it was, at least. But now, another one of Steve’s girlfriends has vanished: Brooke Donovan, Alice’s ex–best friend. And it doesn’t look like Brooke will be coming back. . .
Enter Iris Adams, Alice’s tutor. Iris has her own reasons for wanting to disappear, though unlike Alice, she doesn’t have the money or the means. That could be changed by the hefty reward Brooke’s grandmother is offering to anyone who can share information about her granddaughter’s whereabouts. The police are convinced Steve is the culprit, but Alice isn’t so sure, and with Iris on her side, she just might be able to prove her theory.
In order to get the reward and prove Steve’s innocence, they need to figure out who killed Brooke Donovan. And luckily Alice has exactly what they need—the complete works of Agatha Christie. If there’s anyone that can teach the girls how to solve a mystery it’s the master herself. But the town of Castle Cove holds many secrets, and Alice and Iris have no idea how much danger they're about to walk into.
The Weight of Blood
* AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * INDIE BESTSELLER * JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD SELECTION * KIDS' INDIE NEXT LIST PICK * PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
New York Times bestselling author Tiffany D. Jackson ramps up the horror and tackles America’s history and legacy of racism in this suspenseful YA novel following a biracial teenager as her Georgia high school hosts its first integrated prom.
When Springville residents—at least the ones still alive—are questioned about what happened on prom night, they all have the same explanation . . . Maddy did it.
An outcast at her small-town Georgia high school, Madison Washington has always been a teasing target for bullies. And she's dealt with it because she has more pressing problems to manage. Until the morning a surprise rainstorm reveals her most closely kept secret: Maddy is biracial. She has been passing for white her entire life at the behest of her fanatical white father, Thomas Washington.
After a viral bullying video pulls back the curtain on Springville High's racist roots, student leaders come up with a plan to change their image: host the school's first integrated prom as a show of unity. The popular white class president convinces her Black superstar quarterback boyfriend to ask Maddy to be his date, leaving Maddy wondering if it's possible to have a normal life.
But some of her classmates aren't done with her just yet. And what they don't know is that Maddy still has another secret . . . one that will cost them all their lives.
Only a Monster
The sweeping romance of Passenger meets the dark fantasy edge of This Savage Song in this stunning contemporary fantasy debut from Vanessa Len, where the line between monster and hero is razor thin.
Don’t forget the rule. No one can know what you are. What we are. You must never tell anyone about monsters.
Joan has just learned the truth: her family are monsters, with terrifying, hidden powers.
And the cute boy at work isn’t just a boy: he’s a legendary monster slayer, who will do anything to destroy her family.
To save herself and her family, Joan will have to do what she fears most: embrace her own monstrousness. Because in this story…she is not the hero.
Dive deep into the world of Only a Monster: hidden worlds dwell in the shadows, beautiful monsters with untold powers walk among humans, and secrets are the most powerful weapon of all.
From Susan Dennard, the New York Times bestselling author of the Witchlands series, comes a haunting and high-octane contemporary fantasy, about the magic it takes to face your fears in a nightmare-filled forest, and the mettle required to face the secrets hiding in the dark corners of your own family.
An Instant New York Times Bestseller
A Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Pick
An Indigo Best Teen Book of 2022
A Junior Library Guild Pick
An Indie Next Pick
A Goodreads Most Anticipated YA Book
Hemlock Falls isn't like other towns. You won't find it on a map, your phone won't work here, and the forest outside town might just kill you.
Winnie Wednesday wants nothing more than to join the Luminaries, the ancient order that protects Winnie's town—and the rest of humanity—from the monsters and nightmares that rise in the forest of Hemlock Falls every night.
Ever since her father was exposed as a witch and a traitor, Winnie and her family have been shunned. But on her sixteenth birthday, she can take the deadly Luminary hunter trials and prove herself true and loyal—and restore her family's good name. Or die trying.
But in order to survive, Winnie enlists the help of the one person who can help her train: Jay Friday, resident bad boy and Winnie’s ex-best friend. While Jay might be the most promising new hunter in Hemlock Falls, he also seems to know more about the nightmares of the forest than he should. Together, he and Winnie will discover a danger lurking in the forest no one in Hemlock Falls is prepared for.
Not all monsters can be slain, and not all nightmares are confined to the dark.
"You'll want to get lost in the world of The Luminaries again and again.”—Leigh Bardugo, #1 New York Times bestselling author
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
All My Rage
National Book Award WINNER
An INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
An INSTANT INDIE BESTSELLER!
"All My Rage is a love story, a tragedy and an infectious teenage fever dream about what home means when you feel you don’t fit in." — New York Times Book Review
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sabaa Tahir comes a brilliant, unforgettable, and heart-wrenching contemporary novel about family and forgiveness, love and loss, in a sweeping story that crosses generations and continents.
Lahore, Pakistan. Then.
Misbah is a dreamer and storyteller, newly married to Toufiq in an arranged match. After their young life is shaken by tragedy, they come to the United States and open the Clouds' Rest Inn Motel, hoping for a new start.
Juniper, California. Now.
Salahudin and Noor are more than best friends; they are family. Growing up as outcasts in the small desert town of Juniper, California, they understand each other the way no one else does. Until The Fight, which destroys their bond with the swift fury of a star exploding.
Now, Sal scrambles to run the family motel as his mother Misbah’s health fails and his grieving father loses himself to alcoholism. Noor, meanwhile, walks a harrowing tightrope: working at her wrathful uncle’s liquor store while hiding the fact that she’s applying to college so she can escape him—and Juniper—forever.
When Sal’s attempts to save the motel spiral out of control, he and Noor must ask themselves what friendship is worth—and what it takes to defeat the monsters in their pasts and the ones in their midst.
From one of today’s most cherished and bestselling young adult authors comes a breathtaking novel of young love, old regrets, and forgiveness—one that’s both tragic and poignant in its tender ferocity.
Those Kids from Fawn Creek
"A powerful and thought-provoking story."--Shelf Awareness (starred review)
"An emotionally resonant story about authenticity and belonging."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A raw, real exploration of belonging that's also sweetly hopeful."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Every day in Fawn Creek, Louisiana, is exactly the same--until Orchid Mason arrives. From Erin Entrada Kelly, the winner of the Newbery Medal for Hello, Universe and a Newbery Honor for We Dream of Space, this contemporary school story set in small-town Louisiana is about friendship, family, deception, and being true to yourself and your dreams.
There are twelve kids in the seventh grade at Fawn Creek Middle School. They've been together all their lives. And in this small factory town where everyone knows everything about everyone, that's not necessarily a great thing.
There are thirteen desks in the seventh-grade classroom. That's because Renni Dean's father got a promotion, and the family moved to Grand Saintlodge, the nearest big town. Renni's desk is empty, but Renni still knows their secrets; is still pulling their strings.
When Orchid Mason arrives and slips gracefully into Renni's chair, the other seventh graders don't know what to think. Orchid--who was born in New York City but just moved to Fawn Creek from Paris--seems to float. Her dress skims the floor. She's wearing a flower behind her ear.
Fawn Creek Middle might be small, but it has its tightly knit groups--the self-proclaimed "God Squad," the jocks, the outsiders--just like anyplace else. Who will claim Orchid Mason? Who will save Orchid Mason? Or will Orchid Mason save them?
Newbery Medal and Newbery Honor winner Erin Entrada Kelly explores complex themes centered on family, friendships, and staying true to yourself. Those Kids from Fawn Creek will enchant fans of Rebecca Stead, Jerry Spinelli, and Kate DiCamillo.
The Door of No Return
Dreams are today's answers for tomorrow's questions.
11-year-old Kofi Offin dreams of water. Its mysterious, immersive quality. The rich, earthy scent of the current. The clearness, its urgent whisper that beckons with promises and secrets...
Kofi has heard the call on the banks of Upper Kwanta, in the village where he lives. He loves these things above all else: his family, the fireside tales of his father's father, a girl named Ama, and, of course, swimming. Some say he moves like a minnow, not just an ordinary boy so he's hoping to finally prove himself in front of Ama and his friends in a swimming contest against his older, stronger cousin.
But before this can take place, a festival comes to the villages of Upper and Lower Kwanta and Kofi's brother is chosen to represent Upper Kwanta in the wrestling contest. Encircled by cheering spectators and sounding drums, the two wrestlers from different villages kneel, ready to fight.
You are only fine, until you are not.
The match is over before it has barely begun, when the unthinkable-a sudden death-occurs...
The river does not care how grown you are.
As his world turns upside down, Kofi soon ends up in a fight for his life. What happens next will send him on a harrowing journey across land and sea, and away from everything he loves.
Freddie Vs. the Family Curse
In this thrilling and hilarious middle grade adventure, a young Filipino-American boy must team up with his ancestor to break the curse that's haunted their family for generations . . . or be trapped in an amulet forever.
Freddie Ruiz is cursed.
While other people may have bad days, Freddie and his family have had bad generations: from bird poop splatting on him during picture day to the many tumbles and trips that earned him the nickname Faceplant Freddie. He's learned to lay low and keep himself out of trouble--which means no fun, no friends, and definitely no risks.
But when he discovers a family heirloom, a century-old amulet from the Philippines that's supposed to bring good fortune, Freddie thinks his luck is finally about to change.
He couldn't be more wrong. Because the spirit of Freddie's cranky great-granduncle Ramon is trapped in the heirloom, and the evil spirits responsible for his death have returned with a vengeance. Now, Freddie and his cousin, Sharkey, have thirteen days to break the curse, or Freddie will join Ramon for an untimely afterlife in the amulet.
Celebrated poets Ted Kooser along with Connie Wanek, and illustrator Richard Jones, explore figures of speech in a spirited and magical way—and invite our imaginations out to play.
A freewheeling romp through the world of imagery and metaphor, this quietly startling collection of thirty poems, framed by the four elements, is about art and reality, fact and fancy. Look around: what do you see? A clown balancing a pie in a tree, or an empty nest perched on a leafless branch? As poet Connie Wanek alludes to in her afterword—a lively dialogue with former US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser—sometimes the simplest sights and sounds “summon our imaginations” and cry out to be clothed in the alchemical language of poetry. This compendium of the fleeting and unexpected turns the everyday—turtles, trees, and tadpoles; cow pies, lazy afternoons, and pillowy white marshmallows—into poetic gold. A brilliant and timeless collaboration that evokes both the mystery and grandeur of the natural world and the cozy, mundane moments of daily life, this exquisitely illustrated collection is the go-to gift book of the season for poetry fans of all ages.
King of the Ice #1
From the award-winning author of the Jada Jones chapter books comes an illustrated spinoff series perfect for STEM fans!
Miles Lewis loves science and sports. But when his teacher announces a class field trip to an ice skating rink to learn about physics, he isn't so excited. He's never ice skated before, and his friend RJ won't let him forget it. RJ even challenges him to a bet: If Miles skates without falling, RJ will put a “Miles is the man” sign on his backpack. But if Miles falls, he has to put one on his that says the same about RJ. Miles can barely focus on the bet, though, because he suspects his beloved Nana has plans to move out of his family's house—and that's just too much to bear. Can he keep his cool with all the pressure from RJ while finding a way to make his grandma stay?
Shine On, Luz Véliz!
A beautiful coming-of-age story for fans of Front Desk and Merci Suárez Changes Gears, this book celebrates identity, language, heritage, family, and the determination to follow one's own inner light.
Have you ever been the best at something . . . only to lose it all?
Luz Véliz is a soccer star-or rather, she was a soccer star. With her serious knee injury, it's unlikely she'll be back on the field anytime soon. But without soccer, who is she? Even her dad treats her differently now--like he doesn't know her or, worse, like he doesn't even like her. When Luz discovers she has a knack for coding, it feels like a lifeline to a better self. If she can just ace the May Showcase, she'll not only skip a level in her coding courses and impress Ms. Freeman and intriguing, brilliant Trevor--she'll have her parents cheering her on from the sidelines, just the way she likes it.
But something--someone--is about to enter the Vélizes' life. And when Solana arrives, nothing will be the same, ever again.
Unforgettable characters, family drama, and dauntless determination illuminate Luz's journey as she summons her inner strength and learns to accept others and embrace the enduring connection of family. Through it all, Luz's light is a constant--a guide for others, a path forward through the dark, and an ineffable celebration of her own eternal self.
This is the second novel by Pure Belpré Honor winner Rebecca Balcárcel!
FAST-PACED FAMILY DRAMA: Fast-paced, deeply felt, and with all the high highs and low lows of adolescence, this story is downright fun--a page-turner even while it's dealing with serious issues.
WHO AM I? This book grapples with a topic so many young people deal with daily: one's relationship to heritage and culture. Luz confronts her ties to her home country, the place of her father's birth, and her family itself in a thoughtful, emotional journey filled with humor, urgency, and grace.
CODING IS COOL!: Coding is a language many kids enjoy learning and are encouraged to master. The way this book frames coding and computer programming as an opportunity for communication, bonding, and building fun, practical skills will speak loudly to kids already interested in the field while also resonating with those who aren't.
AN ALL-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: This is an important book for its thought-provoking, empathetic look at immigration in the United States and at how the threat of deportation informs the experiences of some of our country's most vulnerable communities. With lyrical prose, deeply felt characters, and a relatable story, Shine On, Luz V&eacaute;liz! adds substantively to our fraught discussion about immigration and opens it to young readers.
AUTHOR ON THE RISE: Rebecca Balcárcel won the Pura Belpré Author Honor, which recognizes literature for children or youth that best portrays the Latino cultural experience, for her first book, The Other Half of Happy. She is a beloved presence in the children's literature community and is making her mark as a writer to watch.
* Kids who love reading about family and friend drama
* Kids who love coding
* Fans of Meg Medina, Rebecca Stead, and Kelly Yang