by Corabel Shofner
Life takes a tumble for sassy, sage Ruby when her mother winds up in jail. Forced to live with her aunt, an Episcopalian nun, Ruby wrestles with heartfelt beliefs in a story featuring unique characters and strong voices.
by Ibi Zoboi
by Nic Stone
On his way to an Ivy League college career, Justyce is shocked when a police officer gets away with mistreating him. He turns to the writings of Dr. King for clarity in this vivid and powerful debut.
Cilla Lee Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire
by Susan Tan, Illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns
by Julie C. Dao
Even the Darkest Stars
by Heather Fawcett
by Jimmy Cajoleas
Girls Made of Snow and Glass
by Melissa Bashardoust
by Keely Hutton
The story of Ugandan boys kidnapped by the Lord’s Resistance Army is a visceral indictment of man’s inhumanity to man while also celebrating people’s ability to empathize and rescue those who desperately need saving.
The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas
The worlds of 16-year-old Starr, who lives in an urban neighborhood but goes to a tony school, collide when she’s the only witness to a police shooting. This is both a searing indictment of injustice and a clear-eyed examination of the complexities of race in America.
Ilene Cooper spends most of her day looking at, assigning, and reviewing (some) of the 7,000 children's books that are published each year in her role as contributing editor at Booklist. Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_Ilene.