Six Books to Kickstart April

We’ve got a wide range of books out this week! Which ones are on your TBR pile?

Around Harvard Square by C.J. Farley
Akashic Books / Black Sheep

It’s the nineties, and Tosh Livingston, straight-A student and superstar athlete, is living the dream—he’s made it out of upstate New York and into the incoming freshman class at Harvard University. But after an accident blows up his basketball-playing hopes, he discovers a new purpose in life—to win the frenzied competition for a spot on the staff of the Harvard Harpoon, the school’s legendary humor magazine.

Along with Lao, his pot-smoking roommate from China, their friend Meera, a passive-aggressive science major from India, and Zippa, a Jamaican student-activist with a flair for cartooning, Tosh finds that becoming a member of the Harpoon is weirder and more dangerous than anyone could have imagined. Success requires pushing themselves to their limits and unearthing long-buried secrets that will rock their school and change all of their lives forever.

With its whip-smart humor and fast-paced narrative, Around Harvard Square will appeal to readers of all ages interested in exploring the complicated roles that race and class play in higher education.

Mera: Tidebreaker by Danielle Paige
DC Ink

Mera is teenage royalty, heir to the throne of Xebel, the other not-so-lost colony under the sea. But Mera is destined to wear a different crown, that of Atlantis. When the inhabitants of Xebel plot to overthrow their homeland of Atlantis, Mera is sent to kill the heir to the throne, Arthur Curry. As the unrest between their colonies grows, Mera and Arthur unexpectedly fall in love…will Arthur Curry be the king at Mera’s side in Atlantis, or will he die under her blade?

Mera by Danielle Paige is an astonishing story that explores themes of duty, love, heroism and freedom, all through the eyes of readers’ favorite undersea royalty.

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He
Albert Whitman Company

Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant and alluring investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.

Forward Me Back to You by Mitali Perkins
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Katina King is the reigning teen jujitsu champion of Northern California, but she’s having trouble fighting off the secrets in her past.

Robin Thornton was adopted from an orphanage in Kolkata, India and is reluctant to take on his future. Since he knows nothing about his past, how is he supposed to figure out what comes next?

Robin and Kat meet in the most unlikely of places — a summer service trip to India to work with survivors of human trafficking. As bonds blossom between the travel-mates, Robin and Kat discover the healing superpowers of friendship.

At turns heart-wrenching, beautiful, and buoyant, Mitali Perkins’ new novel explores the ripple effects of violence — across borders and generations — and how small acts of heroism can break the cycle.

Defy Me (Shatter Me #5) by Tahereh Mafi
HarperTeen

The gripping fifth installment in the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling Shatter Me series. Will Juliette’s broken heart make her vulnerable to the strengthening darkness within her?

Juliette’s short tenure as the supreme commander of North America has been an utter disaster. When the children of the other world leaders show up on her doorstep, she wants nothing more than to turn to Warner for support and guidance. But he shatters her heart when he reveals that he’s been keeping secrets about her family and her identity from her—secrets that change everything.

Juliette is devastated, and the darkness that’s always dwelled within her threatens to consume her. An explosive encounter with unexpected visitors might be enough to push her over the edge.

Orange for the Sunsets by Tina Athaide
Katherine Tegen Books

A soaring tale of empathy, hope, and resilience, Tina Athaide’s unforgettable middle grade debut follows two friends whose lives are transformed by Idi Amin’s decision to expel Indians from Uganda in 1972.

Twelve-year-old Asha and her best friend, Yesofu, never cared about the differences between them: Indian. African. Girl. Boy. Short. Tall. But when Ugandan President Idi Amin announces that Indians have ninety days to leave the country, suddenly those differences are the only things that people in Entebbe can see—not the shared after-school samosas or Asha cheering for Yesofu at every cricket game.

Determined for her life to stay the same, Asha clings to her world tighter than ever before. But Yesofu is torn, pulled between his friends, his family, and a promise that could bring his dreams of university within reach. Now, as neighbors leave and soldiers line the streets, the two friends find that nothing seems sure—not even their friendship. And with only days before the deadline, Asha and Yesofu must decide if the bravest thing of all might be to let each other go.

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