A whole slew of books to start our summer off right. Which of these is your first summer read?
Northranger by Rey Terciero illustrated by Bre Indigo
Cade has always loved to escape into the world of a good horror movie. After all, horror movies are scary–but to Cade, a closeted queer Latino teen growing up in rural Texas–real life can be way scarier.
When Cade is sent to spend the summer working as a ranch hand to help earn extra money for his family, he is horrified. Cade hates everything about the ranch, from the early mornings to the mountains of horse poop he has to clean up. The only silver lining is the company of the two teens who live there–in particular, the ruggedly handsome and enigmatic Henry.
But as unexpected sparks begin to fly between Cade and Henry, things get… complicated. Henry is reluctant to share the details of his mother’s death, and Cade begins to wonder what else he might be hiding. Inspired by the gothic romance of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey and perfect for fans of Heartstopper and Bloom comes a modern love story so romantic it’s scary.
Pedro & Daniel by Federico Erebia illustrated by Julie Kwon
Pedro and Daniel are Mexican American brothers growing up in 1970s Ohio. Their mother resents that Pedro is a spitting image of their darker-skinned father; that Daniel likes dolls; that neither boy plays sports. Both are gay and neurodivergent. They are alike, but they are dissimilar in their struggles, their dreams, their approach to life.
Pedro & Daniel is a sweeping and deeply personal novel that spans from childhood, through their teen years, and into adulthood. Theirs is a bond that won’t be broken. Together they endure an abusive home life, coming out, first loves, first jobs, and the AIDS pandemic, in a coming-of-age story unlike any other.
Despite everything, there is much joy in the stories in the book. Their resilience and special bond help the boys face one evil after another. While Pedro suffers more at home, Daniel is particularly susceptible to the malevolence of the outside world.
They are similar: gay, neurodivergent Latinos in love with all things Mexico.
Son tal para cual.
They are cut from the same cloth.
They are different: Pedro is darker-skinned, oppressed, repressed, introverted, and agnostic. Daniel is precocious, carefree, mischievous, religious, and unguarded.
Mismo perro, distinto collar.
Same dog, different collar.
When it All Syncs Up by Maya Ameyaw
Ballet is Aisha’s life. So when she’s denied yet another lead at her elite academy because she doesn’t “look” the part, she knows something has to change–the constant discrimination is harming her mental health. Switching to her best friend Neil’s art school seems like the perfect plan at first. But she soon discovers racism and bullying are entrenched in the ballet program here, too, and there’s a new, troubling distance between her and Neil. And as past traumas surface, pressure from friends and family, a new romance, and questions about her dance career threaten to overwhelm her. There’s no choreography to follow–for high school or for healing. Aisha will have to find the strength within herself–and place her trust in others–to make her next move.
Good as Gold by Candace Buford
Casey’s life in Langston has been charmed. She’s the queen bee of her prep school, a shoe-in for prom queen, and on her way to the Ivy League come fall. She can’t wait to leave the whole town of Langston behind her. That is until her father loses his job and she finds herself on the brink of losing her ticket out of town.
The town of Langston is known for its picturesque lake and robust summer tourism. Everyone who lives in town has heard the rumors at some point– there is a treasure buried deep below the surface that no one has ever been able to find. Few people actually believe in the treasure, and even fewer have searched for it. But some have tried . . .
Suddenly an outcast from her popular squad, Casey falls in with a new group of friends who are exactly the opposite of her usual crowd, but are more accepting. Together they devise a plan to find the elusive treasure, in a quest to get the money and save Casey’s family and her future. But what they find is much more complicated than just a pile of gold. With thrilling twists and turns and high stakes adventure, fans of Outer Banks will devour this summer adventure.
The Dos and Donuts of Love by Adiba Jaigirdar
Feiwel & Friends
“Welcome to the first ever Junior Irish Baking Show!”
Shireen Malik is still reeling from the breakup with her ex-girlfriend, Chris, when she receives news that she’s been accepted as a contestant on a new televised baking competition show. This is Shireen’s dream come true! Because winning will not only mean prize money, but it will also bring some much-needed attention to You Drive Me Glazy, her parents’ beloved donut shop.
Things get complicated, though, because Chris is also a contestant on the show. Then there’s the very outgoing Niamh, a fellow contestant who is becoming fast friends with Shireen. Things are heating up between them, and not just in the kitchen.
As the competition intensifies , Shireen will have to ignore all these factors and more― including potential sabotage―if she wants a sweet victory!
The Grimoire of Grave Fates edited by Hanna Alkaf & Margaret Owen
Professor of Magical History Septimius Dropwort has just been murdered, and now everyone at the Galileo Academy for the Extraordinary is a suspect.
A prestigious school for young magicians, the Galileo Academy has recently undergone a comprehensive overhaul, reinventing itself as a roaming academy in which students of all cultures and identities are celebrated. In this new Galileo, every pupil is welcome—but there are some who aren’t so happy with the recent changes. That includes everyone’s least favorite professor, Septimius Dropwort, a stodgy old man known for his harsh rules and harsher punishments. But when the professor’s body is discovered on school grounds with a mysterious note clenched in his lifeless hand, the Academy’s students must solve the murder themselves, because everyone’s a suspect.
Told from more than a dozen alternating and diverse perspectives, The Grimoire of Grave Fates follows Galileo’s best and brightest young magicians as they race to discover the truth behind Dropwort’s mysterious death. Each one of them is confident that only they have the skills needed to unravel the web of secrets hidden within Galileo’s halls. But they’re about to discover that even for straight-A students, magic doesn’t always play by the rules. . . .
Contributors include: Cam Montgomery, Darcie Little Badger, Hafsah Faizal, Jessica Lewis, Julian Winters, Karuna Riazi, Kat Cho, Kayla Whaley, Kwame Mbalia, L. L. McKinney, Marieke Nijkamp, Mason Deaver, Natasha Díaz, Preeti Chhibber, Randy Ribay, Tehlor Kay Mejia, Victoria Lee, and Yamile Saied Méndez
Secret of the Moon Conch by David Bowles and Guadalupe Garcia McCall
In modern-day Mexico, Sitlali has no family left and has caught the attention of a dangerous gang leader. She has no choice but to make the perilous trip to the US border and track down her long-absent father. The night before her journey, she finds a beautiful conch shell detailed with ancient markings.
In 1521, Calizto is an Aztec young warrior in Tenochtitlan, fighting desperately to save his city from Spanish imperialists. With his family dead and the horrors of war surrounding him, Calizto asks a sacred moon conch for guidance.
Connected by the magical conch, Sitlali and Calizto can communicate across centuries, finding comfort in each other as they fight to survive. With each conversation, they fall deeper in love, but will they be able to find a way to each other?
Ride or Die by Gail-Agnes Musikavanhu
Best friends Loli Crawford and Ryan Pope have earned their nickname, the “Bonnie and Clyde of Woolridge High.” From illegal snack swapping in kindergarten to reckless car surfing in high school, they have been causing trouble in their uptight California town forever. Everyone knows that the mischief starts with Loli. When it comes to chasing thrills, drama, and adventure, no one is on her level.
At least until Loli throws the wildest party Woolridge High has ever seen just to steal a necklace and meets X, a strange, unidentified boy in a coat closet, who challenges her to a game she can’t refuse—one that promises to put her love of danger to the ultimate test.
Loli and X begin an anonymous correspondence, exchanging increasingly risky missions. Loli’s fun has always been free and easy, but things spin out of control as she attempts to one-up X’s every move. As Loli risks losing everything—including her oldest friend—she’ll face the most dangerous thing of all: falling for someone she shouldn’t.
The Queens of New York by E.L. Shen
Best friends Jia Lee, Ariel Kim, and Everett Hoang are inseparable. But this summer, they won’t be together.
Everett, aspiring Broadway star, hopes to nab the lead role in an Ohio theater production, but soon realizes that talent and drive can only get her so far. Brainy Ariel is flying to San Francisco for a prestigious STEM scholarship, even though her heart is in South Korea, where her sister died last year. And stable, solid Jia will be home in Flushing, juggling her parents’ Chinatown restaurant, a cute new neighbor, and dreams for an uncertain future.
As the girls navigate heartbreaking surprises and shocking self-discoveries, they find that even though they’re physically apart, they are still mighty together.
Always Isn’t Forever by J.C. Cervantes
Best friends and soul mates since they were kids, Hart Augusto and Ruby Armenta were poised to take on senior year together when Hart tragically drowns in a boating accident. Absolutely shattered, Ruby struggles to move on from the person she knows was her forever love.
Hart can’t let go of Ruby either…. Due to some divine intervention, he’s offered a second chance. Only it won’t be as simple as bringing him back to life—instead, Hart’s soul is transferred to the body of local bad boy.
When Hart returns to town as Jameson, he realizes that winning Ruby back will be more challenging than he’d imagined. For one, he’s forbidden from telling Ruby the truth. And with each day he spends as Jameson, memories of his life as Hart begin to fade away.
Though Ruby still mourns Hart, she can’t deny that something is drawing her to Jameson. As much as she doesn’t understand the sudden pull, it can’t be ignored. And why does he remind her so much of Hart? Desperate to see if the connection she feels is real, Ruby begins to open her heart to Jameson—but will their love be enough to bridge the distance between them?
Something More by Jackie Khalilieh
Fifteen-year-old Jessie, a quirky loner obsessed with the nineties, is diagnosed as autistic just weeks before starting high school. Determined to make a fresh start and keep her diagnosis a secret, Jessie creates a list of goals that range from acquiring two distinct eyebrows to getting a magical first kiss and landing a spot in the school play. Within the halls of Holy Trinity High, she finds a world where things are no longer black and white and quickly learns that living in color is much more fun. But Jessie gets more than she bargained for when two very different boys steal her heart, forcing her to go off-script.