Bangladeshi-American high schooler Naeem is caught in a catch 22. The cops discover stolen goods that his so-called friend Ibrahim put in his backpack. Now, he has to choose between being prosecuted for a crime he didn’t commit or being an informant on his Muslim community. Tasked with reporting any suspicious activity in the area mosques and Muslim youth groups, Naeem feels increasingly conflicted about his role as a “watcher” and what that means for his family and those around him.
Ivy League-bound Justyce McAllister is one of the few African American students at his prep school. After being racially profiled while helping a friend, he decides to study Dr. Martin Luther King’s teachings to see how they apply to his life today. As he navigates the complex racial dynamics at his school, he is forced to confront the grim realities of being an African American male in the US - when every encounter with the police could lead to a life or death situation. Nic Stone’s debut novel shines a harsh light on the issues confronting young African American youth today from implicit bias, racial profiling, gang membership, multi-racial relationships, police brutality and more.
For Will, there are only 3 rules he needs to live by:
#1 - No crying
#2 - No snitching
#3 - Revenge: If someone you love gets killed, find the person who killed them and kill them. Now that his brother Shawn has been shot dead, Will is trying to decide how he’s going to live by these rules. With his brother’s gun tucked in his jeans, Will takes the longest elevator ride down. Stopping on each floor, the elevator is haunted by memories? Ghosts? of all the people around Will who have been shot. Each “talks” to Will as he tries make sense of who they are and why they are in the elevator. Before he reaches the lobby, Will will have to make a decision - is he going to be a rule breaker or get revenge.
Isma Pasha and her younger twin siblings, Parvaiz and Aneeka, are trying to carry on with their lives after the death of their mother. They never knew their father, who was accused of being a jihadi and supposedly died at Guantanamo. Both Isma and Aneeka are about to leave to pursue higher education - Isma in the US and Aneeka in the UK. This leaves Parvaiz who quickly becomes the target of a jihadi recruiter in the UK. Told from alternating points of view the Pashas’ lives become unwittingly linked to that of Eamonn, the well-to-do son of the first Muslim Home Secretary of the UK. Each of the four Muslim main characters is trying to navigate a world where they are seen as the enemy - whether they like it or not.
There are a lot of books about rape. Many of them give an intense portrayal of the aftermath, how the victim is increasingly isolated, blamed, falling apart. This book is kind of the opposite. It’s about strength, resilience, and the role of the supporting cast - the parents, the friends, the police investigator. Hermione Winter is a competitive cheerleader in the small town of Palermo Heights. Over the summer, she is assaulted at a cheer camp when her drink is drugged. She doesn’t remember much about what happened. She suffers many negative consequences as a result of the assault from having scary flashbacks, to people blaming her for it happening to not having enough evidence to find the perpetrator. However in this story, the people around her are all helping her, even as they are grappling with this despicable crime and its effect on Hermione. With their support, Hermione is able to start the process of healing. Now all they want is for the perpetrator to be brought to justice.
Starr Carter travels between two worlds. By day she goes to a fancy prep school where she is only one of a handful of African Americans. At night she returns home to a neighborhood that has been ravaged by drugs and gang violence. Her father, Maverick, a former gang member, runs a local grocery and wants the family to stay put, to be one of the few stabilizing influences in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, one night after a party, Starr and her best friend Khalil are stopped by a cop. Thinking that Khalil was reaching for a weapon, the cop shoots him. Starr is the only witness. Traumatized by the event, Starr is immediately thrown into a dilemma - does she speak out and risk endangering her family and friendships or let the media twist the events to paint Khalil as a thug. Ultimately, Starr’s decision will help her come to terms with the two worlds she is caught between.
Finley lives and breathes basketball. He and his girlfriend Erin, a star on the girl’s basketball team, are planning to leave Bellmont as soon as they graduate - hopefully each with a basketball scholarship. The town holds many secrets and is racked by violence, drugs, and racially motivated gang conflicts. As the only white kid on the school basketball team, Finley tries to stay out of trouble by not talking much and just playing ball. Enter Boy 21, aka Russ, a super talented basketball player from a private prep school. Russ moves to town to live with his grandparents after he unexpectedly loses his parents. Out of all the team members, Coach asks Finley to help Russ adjust to being at Bellmont High. More annoying is that Coach wants Finley to convince Russ to play for the team. Finley is worried that he will have to give up his number to Russ as well as his starting spot on the team. Russ does not seem ready for school much less basketball. His obsession with space and his insistence on being called Boy 21 alienates him from the rest of the team. However, as different as they are, Russ and Finley’s friendship deepens and one of them will question just how important is basketball in the grand scheme of things.
In a world where Silver bloods have always dominated and been considered the masters and Red bloods, the slaves and oppressed, Mare Barrow discovers she does not know where she fits in. The Silvers have always been worshipped and obeyed for their special X-men like powers such as super strength, the ability to mindread, manipulate fire, metal, or water, etc. The Reds have never been known to possess any special powers until now -- Mare, a Red, finds that she has the ability to absorb and manipulate electricity and lightning. As the lightning girl gets invited into the royal circles of Norta, she is slowly sucked into the intrigues and plots that threaten to topple the kingdom. Not only is there an internal struggle for power between the high Silver houses, there is a Red resistance which may hold the key to who Mare and other Reds like her are. Add to this the two crown princes of Norta - Cal and Maven, who are both seemingly smitten by Mare. In spite of her deadly powers, Mare still needs to fight her way out of the desperate battles for power surrounding her and decide what her true calling is and where the truth lies. These action-packed page-turner series will keep you guessing about what will happen to Mare. We can’t wait for the last installment of this fantasy series -- coming in 2018.
When Thi becomes a first time mother, she begins to wonder about how her own parents met and their decision to make the perilous journey from Vietnam to America. Tracing her parents’ history in war-torn Vietnam, Bui conjures a tale of the costly sacrifices her family made so that she and her siblings could have a chance to survive. In this debut illustrated graphic memoir, Bui explores issues of identity, loyalty, family and the legacy that we leave behind.