Brand new by Mac Barnett: Square
It's hard to create something perfect but Square is determined to try! This is a fun read-aloud with a lovely message about friendship and creativity.
(side note: Mac Barnett visited Cover to Cover, the bookstore where I work, and we all adored him. Somehow 100+ people packed themselves into our very small store and Mac read stories and held babies and was an all around awesome author guest.)
Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed.
Twelve year-old Amal dreams of being a teacher, but when she accidentally insults a powerful man in her Pakistani village, she's sent away as punishment. Basically, she's given to the wealthy family to pay off the debt and expected to serve in their household forever. But Amal is resourceful and figures a way out.
Riveting and inspiring story of a young girl finding her voice and fighting back against injustice.
The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
This book won the Newbery Honor a few years ago but came on my radar because the sequel is now out and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
Ten-year old Ada is neglected and abused by her cruel mother and hidden away in an apartment in 1940's London. When war is imminent and transports of kids are sent to the countryside, Ada sees her chance to escape. Taken in by a crochety older woman, Ada finds happiness-- making friends, learning to ride a horse, and experiencing real nurturing for the first time in her life.
But will it last... or will she be sent home when the war is over?
The sequel, The War I Finally Won, is up next on my TBR list.
Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson
High school junior Jade knows she lucky. The honor roll student and artist has a scholarship to attend an elite private school in the suburbs of Portland. But it's not always easy navigating her different worlds.
Watson does a masterful job exploring class, race, and sex in 2018 America. What does it feel like to be a black girl in a mostly white school? To be the smart girl in the neighborhood? To be an artist?
This book blew me away. A must-read.