SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
CANTORAS | Adult
by Carolina De Robertis (Knopf)
In 1977 Uruguay, a military government has crushed political dissent with ruthless force. In an environment where citizens are kidnapped, raped, and tortured, homosexuality is a dangerous transgression. And yet Romina, Flaca, Anita "La Venus," Paz, and Malena--five cantoras, women who "sing"--somehow, miraculously, find on another and then, together, discover an isolated, nearly uninhabited cape, Cabo Polonio, which they claim as their secret sanctuary. Over the next thirty-five years, their lives move back and forth between Cabo Polonio and Montevideo, the city they call home, as they return, sometimes together, sometimes in pairs, with lovers in tow, or alone. And throughout, again and again, the women will be tested--by their families, lovers, society, and one another--as they fight to live authentic lives.
A genre-defining novel and De Robertis's masterpiece, Cantoras is a breathtaking portrait of queer love, community, forgotten history, and the strength of the human spirit. At once timeless and groundbreaking, Cantoras is a tale about the fire in all our souls and those who make it burn.
DEAR HAITI, LOVE ALAINE | Young Adult
by Maika Moulite & Maritza Moulite (Inkyard Press)
You might ask the obvious question: What do I, a seventeen-year-old Haitian American from Miami with way too little life experience, have to say about anything? Actually, a lot.Thanks to “the incident” (don’t ask), I’m spending the next two months doing what my school is calling a “spring volunteer immersion project.” It’s definitely no vacation. I’m toiling away under the ever-watchful eyes of Tati Estelle at her new nonprofit. And my lean-in queen of a mother is even here to make sure I do things right. Or she might just be lying low to dodge the media sharks after a much more public incident of her own…and to hide a rather devastating secret.All things considered, there are some pretty nice perks…like flirting with Tati‘s distractingly cute intern, getting actual face time with my mom and experiencing Haiti for the first time. I’m even exploring my family’s history–which happens to be loaded with betrayals, superstitions and possibly even a family curse.You know, typical drama. But it’s nothing I can’t handle.
DOMINICANA: A NOVEL | Young Adult
by Angie Cruz (Flatiron Books)
Fifteen-year-old Ana Cancion never dreamed of moving to America, the way the girls she grew up with in the Dominican countryside did. But when Juan Ruiz proposes and promises to take her to New York City, she has to say yes. It doesn’t matter that he is twice her age, that there is no love between them. Their marriage is an opportunity for her entire close-knit family to eventually immigrate. So on New Year’s Day, 1965, Ana leaves behind everything she knows and becomes Ana Ruiz, a wife confined to a cold six-floor walk-up in Washington Heights. Lonely and miserable, Ana hatches a reckless plan to escape. But at the bus terminal, she is stopped by Cesar, Juan’s free-spirited younger brother, who convinces her to stay.
As the Dominican Republic slides into political turmoil, Juan returns to protect his family’s assets, leaving Cesar to take care of Ana. Suddenly, Ana is free to take English lessons at a local church, lie on the beach at Coney Island, see a movie at Radio City Music Hall, go dancing with Cesar, and imagine the possibility of a different kind of life in America. When Juan returns, Ana must decide once again between her heart and her duty to her family.
In bright, musical prose that reflects the energy of New York City, Angie Cruz's Dominicana is a vital portrait of the immigrant experience and the timeless coming-of-age story of a young woman finding her voice in the world.
JUST ASK!: BE DIFFERENT, BE BRAVE, BE YOU | Picture Book
by Sonia Sotomayor, illus. by Rafael López (Philomel)
Feeling different, especially as a kid, can be tough. But in the same way that different types of plants and flowers make a garden more beautiful and enjoyable, different types of people make our world more vibrant and wonderful.
In Just Ask, United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor celebrates the different abilities kids (and people of all ages) have. Using her own experience as a child who was diagnosed with diabetes, Justice Sotomayor writes about children with all sorts of challenges--and looks at the special powers those kids have as well. As the kids work together to build a community garden, asking questions of each other along the way, this book encourages readers to do the same: When we come across someone who is different from us but we're not sure why, all we have to do is Just Ask.
LA FORMASOMBRAS (Shadowshaper Spanish edition) | Young Adult
by Daniel José Older (Scholastic en español)
Sierra Santiago planned an easy summer of making art and hanging out with her friends. But then a corpse crashes their first party. Her stroke-ridden grandfather starts apologizing over and over. And when the murals in her neighborhood begin to weep tears... Well, something more sinister than the usual Brooklyn ruckus is going on.
With the help of a fellow artist named Robbie, Sierra discovers shadowshaping, a magic that infuses ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and stories. But someone is killing the shadowshapers one by one. Now Sierra must unravel her family's past, take down the killer in the present, and save the future of shadowshaping for generations to come.
LITTLE LIBRARIES, BIG HEROES | Picture Book
by Miranda Paul, illus. by John Parra (Clarion)
Todd and his friends love heroes. But in school, Todd doesn’t feel heroic. Reading is hard for him, and he gets scolded for asking too many questions. How will he ever become the kind of hero he admires?
Featuring stunning illustrations that celebrate the diversity of the Little Free Library movement, here is the story of how its founder, Todd Bol, became a literacy superhero. Thanks to Todd and thousands of volunteers—many of whom are kids—millions of books have been enjoyed around the world.
This creative movement inspires a love of reading, strengthens communities, and provides meeting places where new friendships, ideas—and heroes!—spring to life.
PING | Picture Book
by Ani Castillo (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
In the era of social media, communication feels both more anxiety-producing, and more inescapable, than ever before. This clever, comforting picture book debut explores the challenges and joys of self-expression and social connection.
Using an imaginative visual metaphor to bring to life how we send out (ping!) and receive (pong!) communications, Ani Castillo's words and pictures will empower and inspire anyone who has experienced the fear of sharing themselves with the world.
With an artful, accessible package, an eloquent message, and a lot of heart, here is a new classic to bring courage and comfort to humans of all ages.
RATED | Young Adult
by Melissa Grey (Scholastic)
Societies thrive on order, and the Rating System is the ultimate symbol of organized social mobility.
The higher it soars, the more valued you are. The lower it plummets, the harder you must work to improve yourself. For the students at the prestigious Maplethorpe Academy, every single thing they do is reflected in their ratings, updated daily and available for all to see.
But when an act of vandalism sullies the front doors of the school, it sets off a chain reaction that will shake the lives of six special students — and the world beyond.
SOLDIER FOR EQUALITY: JOSÉ DE LA LUZ SÁENZ AND THE GREAT WAR | Picture Book
by Duncan Tonatiuh (Abrams)
José de la Luz Sáenz (1888–1953)—or Luz—believed in fighting for what was right. Although he was born in the United States, he and his family experienced prejudice because of their Mexican heritage. When World War I broke out, Luz volunteered to join the fight. Because of his ability to quickly learn languages, he became part of the Intelligence Office in Europe. However, despite his hard work and intellect, Luz often didn’t receive credit for his contributions. Upon his return to the US, he joined other Mexican-Americans whom he had met in the army to fight for equality. His contribution, along with others, ultimately led to the creation of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), which is the oldest Latino civil rights organization. Soldier for Equality is based in part on Luz’s diary during the war. It includes a biography of Luz’s later years, an author’s note, a timeline, a bibliography, and an index.
STRANGE BIRDS: A FIELD GUIDE TO RUFFLING FEATHERS | Middle Grade
by Celia C. Pérez (Kokila)
When three very different girls find a mysterious invitation to a lavish mansion, the promise of adventure and mischief is too intriguing to pass up.
Ofelia Castillo (a budding journalist), Aster Douglas (a bookish foodie), and Cat Garcia (a rule-abiding birdwatcher) meet the kid behind the invite, Lane DiSanti, and it isn’t love at first sight. But they soon bond over a shared mission to get the Floras, their local Scouts, to ditch an outdated tradition. In their quest for justice, independence, and an unforgettable summer, the girls form their own troop and find something they didn’t know they needed: sisterhood.
TAÍNA | Young Adult
by Ernesto Quiñonez (Vintage)
When Julio, a teenager living in Spanish Harlem, hears that Taina, a pregnant fifteen-year-old from his high school claims to be a virgin, he decides to believe her. Julio has a history of strange visions and his blind and unrequited love for Taina will unleash a whirlpool of emotions that will bring him to question his hard-working Puerto Rican mother and his communist Ecuadorian father, his beliefs and even the building blocks of modern science (after seeing the conception of Taina’s baby as a revolution in nature).
After meeting Taína's uncle, "El Vejigante", an ex-con with a dark past, he accepts his proposal to support her during her pregnancy and becomes entangled in a web of crime that, while taking him closer to Taína, ultimately reveals a family secret that will not leave him unscathed.
THE EVERYTHING I HAVE LOST | Middle Grade
by Sylvia Zéleny (Cinco Puntos Press)
12-year-old Julia keeps a diary about her life growing up in Juarez, Mexico. Life in Juarez is strange. People say its the murder capital of the world. Dad’s gone a lot. They can’t play outside because it isn’t safe. Drug cartels rule the streets. Cars and people disappear, leaving behind pet cats. Then Dad disappears and Julia and her brother go live with her aunt in El Paso. What’s happened to her Dad? Julia wonders. Is he going to disappear forever? A coming-of-age story set in today’s Juarez.
THE TRUTH IS | Young Adult
by NoNieqa Ramos (Lemer/Carolrhoda)
Fifteen-year-old Verdad doesn’t think she has time for love. She’s still struggling to process the recent death of her best friend, Blanca; dealing with the high expectations of her hardworking Puerto Rican mother and the absence of her remarried father; and keeping everyone at a distance. But when she meets Danny, a new guy at school–who happens to be trans–all bets are off. Verdad suddenly has to deal with her mother’s disapproval of her relationship with Danny as well as her own prejudices and questions about her identity, and Danny himself, who is comfortable in his skin but keeping plenty of other secrets.
WE REALLY DO CARE | Picture Book
by Tami Lewis Brown, illus. by Tania de Regil (Philomel Books)
Inspired by current events, this picture book shows the importance of compassion, empathy, and demonstrates how even the smallest act of kindness can make a difference.
A little boy has a ball. It’s his, and he really doesn’t care if nobody else has a ball. He’s not sharing. He’s not sharing his pets either. Or his family. Especially not his brother. But then he realizes that both he and the new little girl he meets–the one who’s all alone without a ball or a pet or a family of her own–are actually quite similiar. And when he sees their similarities instead of their differences, he’s happy to share. Even his little brother.
With gentle text from Tami Lewis Brown and sweet illustrations from Tania de Regil, this poignant and touching picture book challenges each and every one of us to to lend a helping hand. Because we really should care. Perfect for fans of Be Kind and All Are Welcome.
SEPTEMBER 10, 2019
BETWEEN US AND ABUELA | Picture Book
by Mitali Perkins, illus. by Sara Palacios (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)
It’s almost time for Christmas, and Maria is traveling with her mother and younger brother, Juan, to visit their grandmother on the border of California and Mexico.
For the few minutes they can share together along the fence, Maria and her brother plan to exchange stories and Christmas gifts with the grandmother they haven’t seen in years. But when Juan’s gift is too big to fit through the slats in the fence, Maria has a brilliant idea. She makes it into a kite that soars over the top of the iron bars.
MIRROR BOUND | Young Adult
by Monica Sanz (Entangled Publishing)
Conspirator. Failure. Murderer. Seraphina Dovetail is used to being called all these things. As the seventh-born daughter to a witch, and the cause of her mother losing both her powers and her life, Sera has always felt isolated. Until Nikolai Barrington.
The young professor not only took an interest in Sera—he took her into his home, hired her for his moonlighting detective agency, and gave her the one thing she’d always dreamed of: a chance. Under Barrington’s tutelage, Sera can finally take the School of Continuing Magic entrance exam to become an inspector and find her family. Now if only she could stop her growing attraction to her maddening boss—which is about as easy as this fiery elementalist quitting setting things on fire.
But when ghosts start dragging Sera into possessions so deep she can barely escape, and then the souls of lost witches and wizards appear trapped in mirrors, these two opposites will have to work together to uncover a much deeper secret that could destroy the Witchling world.
SEPTEMBER 17, 2019
ACROSS THE BAY | Picture Book
by Carlos Aponte (Penguin)
Aponte takes readers on a journey to the heart of Puerto Rico in this enchanting picture book set in Old San Juan.
Carlitos lives in a happy home with his mother, his abuela, and Coco the cat. Life in his hometown is cozy as can be, but the call of the capital city pulls Carlitos across the bay in search of his father. Jolly piragüeros, mischievous cats, and costumed musicians color this tale of love, family, and the true meaning of home.
BECOMING BEATRIZ | Young Adult
by Tami Charles (Charlesbridge Teen)
Up until her fifteenth birthday, the most important thing in the world to Beatriz Mendez had been her dream of becoming a professional dancer and getting herself and her family far from the gang life that defined their days–that and meeting her dance idol Debbie Allen on the set of her favorite TV show, Fame. But after the latest battle in a constant turf war leaves her gang leader brother, Junito, dead and her mother grieving, Beatriz has a new set of priorities. How is she supposed to feel the rhythm when her gang needs running, when her mami can’t brush her own teeth, and when the last thing she can remember of her old self is dancing with her brother, followed by running and gunshots? When the class brainiac reminds Beatriz of her love of the dance floor, her banished dreams sneak back in. Now the only question is: will the gang let her go?
CHILLING EFFECT | Adult
by Valerie Valdes (Harper Voyager)
Captain Eva Innocente and the crew of La Sirena Negra cruise the galaxy delivering small cargo for even smaller profits. When her sister Mari is kidnapped by The Fridge, a shadowy syndicate that holds people hostage in cryostasis, Eva must undergo a series of unpleasant, dangerous missions to pay the ransom.
But Eva may lose her mind before she can raise the money. The ship’s hold is full of psychic cats, an amorous fish-faced emperor wants her dead after she rejects his advances, and her sweet engineer is giving her a pesky case of feelings. The worse things get, the more she lies, raising suspicions and testing her loyalty to her found family.
To free her sister, Eva will risk everything: her crew, her ship, and the life she’s built on the ashes of her past misdeeds. But when the dominoes start to fall and she finds the real threat is greater than she imagined, she must decide whether to play it cool or burn it all down.
RAFI AND ROSI MUSIC! | Picture Book
by Lulu Delacre (Lee & Low Books)
In this new book in the popular Dive Into Reading: Rafi and Rosi chapter book series, Rafi and his younger sister, Rosi, are excited to learn about and participate in the traditional forms of music of their native Puerto Rico. They drum and dance to the rolling and rippling beats of bomba instruments. They sing and sway with the rhythms of plena songs. And they attend a party where they eat paella and warm corn fritters and dance to the hot, spicy beat of la salsa. Engaging and informative, the book is perfect for independent readers in grade 2. Children will enjoy joining Rafi and Rosi on their new adventures while they learn about Puerto Rico’s musical traditions and culture.
SARAÍ Y LA FERIA ALREDEDOR DEL MUNDO (SARAI AND THE AROUND THE WORLD FAIR Spanish Edition) | Middle Grade
by Sarai Gonzalez & Monica Brown, illus. by Christine Almeda (Lee & Low Books)
When Sarai outgrows her bike, she worries she’ll never get to travel anywhere. But, when Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary hosts their first Around the World Fair, Sarai learns that with a little imagination, you can go anywhere you want!
THE FIRE KEEPER | Middle Grade
by J. C. Cervantes (Disney Hyperion Rick Riordan Presents)
Zane Obispo’s new life on a beautiful secluded tropical island, complete with his family and closest friends, should be perfect. But he can’t control his newfound fire skills yet (inherited from his father, the Maya god Hurakan); there’s a painful rift between him and his dog ever since she became a hell hound; and he doesn’t know what to do with his feelings for Brooks. One day he discovers that by writing the book about his misadventures with the Maya gods, he unintentionally put other godborn children at risk. Unless Zane can find the godborns before the gods do, they will be killed. To make matters worse, Zane learns that Hurakan is scheduled to be executed. Zane knows he must rescue him, no matter the cost. Can he accomplish both tasks without the gods detecting him, or will he end up a permanent resident of the underworld? In this cleverly plotted sequel to The Storm Runner, the gang is back together again with spirited new characters, sneaky gods, Aztec royalty, unlikely alliances, and secrets darker than Zane could ever have imagined. Secrets that will change him forever.
THE LIARS OF MARIPOSA ISLAND | Young Adult
by Jennifer Mathieu (Macmillan/Imprint)
Every year, summer begins when the Callahans arrive on Mariposa Island. That’s when Elena Finney gets to escape her unstable, controlling mother by babysitting for their two children. And the summer of 1986 promises to be extra special when she meets J.C., the new boy in town, whose kisses make Elena feel like she’s been transported to a new world.
Joaquin Finney can’t imagine why anyone would want to come to Mariposa Island. He just graduated from high school and dreams about going to California to find his father and escape his mother’s manipulation.
The Liars of Mariposa Island follows siblings Elena and Joaquin, with flashbacks to their mother's experience as a teenage refugee fleeing the Cuban revolution.
SEPTEMBER 24, 2019
HOW TO CODE A ROLLERCOASTER | Picture Book
by Josh Funk, illus. by Sara Palacios (Viking)
Pearl and her trusty rust-proof robot, Pascal, are enjoying a day out at the amusement park. Spinning teacups, ice cream, and of course: rollercoasters! Through the use of code, Pearl and Pascal can keep track of their ride tokens and calculate when the line is short enough to get a spot on the biggest ride of them all--the Python Coaster. Variables, if-then-else sequences, and a hunt for a secret hidden code make this a humorous, code-tastic day at the amusement park!
THE TENTH GIRL | Young Adult
by Sara Faring (Imprint)
Simmering in Patagonian myth, The Tenth Girl is a gothic psychological thriller with a haunting twist.
At the very southern tip of South America looms an isolated finishing school. Legend has it that the land will curse those who settle there. But for Mavi—a bold Buenos Aires native fleeing the military regime that took her mother—it offers an escape to a new life as a young teacher to Argentina’s elite girls.
Mavi tries to embrace the strangeness of the imposing house—despite warnings not to roam at night, threats from an enigmatic young man, and rumors of mysterious Others. But one of Mavi’s ten students is missing, and when students and teachers alike begin to behave as if possessed, the forces haunting this unholy cliff will no longer be ignored.
One of these spirits holds a secret that could unravel Mavi’s existence. In order to survive she must solve a cosmic mystery—and then fight for her life.
SEPTEMBER 27, 2019
MALCRIADA & OTHER STORIES | Adult
by Lorraine Avila, illus. by Crystal Rodriguez (DWA Press)
In the middle of the Caribbean Sea, aboard an illegal voyage from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico, a twelve year old learns her name; a former cacao farmer finds a constellation on his lover’s thighs; best friends become strangers and find the essence of themselves in the face of deception; an old man exchanges his homeland for a New York City bodega storefront; preteen boys grapple with authority; female cousins come to terms with their first shared sexual experience; an alcoholic woman finds serenity at the bottom of the sea; feminism is deconstructed by opposing views; on the back of a motorcycle, self-awareness is found; and a woman discovers that healing is a series of choices.