Black Sunday by Tola Abraham: following the fate of one family over the course of two decades in Nigeria, this debut novel tells the story of each sibling’s search for agency, love, and meaning in a society rife with hypocrisy but also endless life.
Everywhere You Don’t Belong by Gabriel Bump, a visceral, vivid, and urgent novel about a young black man growing up on Chicago’s South Side—an arresting debut from a sparkling new literary talent.
Twenty by Debra Landwehr Engle, defiantly upliftng, Twenty is a transformative story about making peace with the past and allowing joy to bloom in our daily lives.
Martin McLean, Middle School Queen by Alyssa Zaczek, in this bighearted middle-grade debut, Martin McLean struggles to find his voice—and his inner diva—as he navigates friendship, family, first crushes, and a whole lot of glitter.
January Picks: Once More to the Rodeo, The Gimmicks, The Heap, Such a Fun Age A personal story of white father and his mixed race son, an immigrant story about three Europeans finding their way to and in the U.S., an into-the-future story about the aftermath of the collapse of a 500-story building, and a debut novel about a black baby-sitter and her white-family employer. All three books have engaging premises.
DECEMBER PICKS: A thought provoking YA thriller involving the internet and AI, a children’s book about a waterfall on the Mississippi, a children’s picture book exploring color, and a boy’s coming-of-age novel.
November Picks: After the Flood, The Twenty-Ninth Day, A River of Royal Blood, Suicide Woods that represent science fiction, fantasy, crime fiction, and a true-life survival story.
Picks for October: A novel based on how language shapes things, a collection of WI hauntings, a YA novel about loners and misfits bonding after a destructive storm, a children’s book about a girl seeking beauty and connections in a busy world.
September Picks: This Tender Land is a wonderful story about the resilience of kids with a tribute to Twain and Dickens built in. My Footprints is a picture book about a little girl find a way out of bullying. Strange Birds is about kids navigating adolescence and finally The Reckless Oath We Made takes a serious turn.