Zenobia July by Lisa Bunker. 313 p. Viking/ Penguin Young Reader's Group, May 21, 2019. 9780451479402.
Publisher synopsis: Zenobia July is starting a new life. She used to live in Arizona with her father; now she's in Maine with her aunts. She used to spend most of her time behind a computer screen, improving her impressive coding and hacking skills; now she's coming out of her shell and discovering a community of friends at Monarch Middle School. People used to tell her she was a boy; now she's able to live openly as the girl she always knew she was.
When someone anonymously posts hateful memes on her school's website, Zenobia knows she's the one with the abilities to solve the mystery, all while wrestling with the challenges of a new school, a new family, and coming to grips with presenting her true gender for the first time. Timely and touching, Zenobia July is, at its heart, a story about finding home.
The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee. 372 p. G.P. Putnam's Sons/ Penguin Young Readers Group, August 13, 2019. 9781524740955.
Publisher synopsis: By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady's maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, "Dear Miss Sweetie." When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society's ills, but she's not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender. While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta's most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light. With prose that is witty, insightful, and at times heartbreaking, Stacey Lee masterfully crafts an extraordinary social drama set in the New South.
Purchased: I went to Words in Maplewood on Thursday night for the Versify Book Tour. It was just about a year ago to the day that I put up with terrible rain and terrible traffic to attend Kwame Alexander's Rebound Tour.
The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander. Illustrated by Kadir Nelson. unpgd. Versify/ Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April 2, 2019. 9781328780966.
Publisher synopsis: Originally performed for ESPN's The Undefeated, this poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world's greatest heroes. The text is also peppered with references to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others, offering deeper insights into the accomplishments of the past, while bringing stark attention to the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present. Robust back matter at the end provides valuable historical context and additional detail for those wishing to learn more.
¡Vamos! Let's Go to Market by Raul the Third. unpgd. Versify/ Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April 2, 2019. 9781328557261.
Publisher synopsis: Bilingual in a new way, this paper over board book teaches readers simple words in Spanish as they experience the bustling life of a border town. Follow Little Lobo and his dog Bernabe as they deliver supplies to a variety of vendors, selling everything from sweets to sombreros, portraits to piñatas, carved masks to comic books!
The Last Last Day of Summer by Lamar Giles. 289 p. Versify/ Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April 2, 2019. 9781328460837.
I actually already read and reviewed this one here. I can't wait to view the finished interior art and get it on the shelf!
White Rose by Kip Wilson. 358 p. Versify/ Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April 2, 2019. 978328594433.
Publisher synopsis: Disillusioned by the propaganda of Nazi Germany, Sophie Scholl, her brother, and his fellow soldiers formed the White Rose, a group that wrote and distributed anonymous letters criticizing the Nazi regime and calling for action from their fellow German citizens. The following year, Sophie and her brother were arrested for treason and interrogated for information about their collaborators. This debut novel recounts the lives of Sophie and her friends and highlights their brave stand against fascism in Nazi Germany.
If you leave a comment, I will definitely stop by and try to comment back - unless commenters have to sign onto Discus or whatever that's called. But I will check out your stack!