You're Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner

The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. The 2018 winner of this award is Whitney Gardner for her novel, You’re Welcome, Universe. After reading it, I can say that it is wholly deserving of the honor. Julia is deaf. She has no interest in using hearing aids or in getting a cochlear implant. Her moms are also deaf and neither of them uses any type of hearing assistance. The three of them are a part of and are proud of their deaf culture. Julia is also an artist. Unfortunately, the type of art that Julia prefers creating is illegal. Julia is a street

Broken Beautiful Hearts by Kami Garcia

When her MMA fighter boyfriend pushes her down the stairs after she confronts him about his steroid use, Peyton’s world is thrown into the biggest tailspin since her father died in Afghanistan a little over a year ago. Earlier that day, she got word that she’ll be playing soccer at her dream college. Now that her knee is busted, she’s in jeopardy of losing her spot and her dream of playing pro soccer. And now that her EX-boyfriend (good girl, Peyton) is stalking her, and accusing her of lying about his pushing her down the stairs, she no longer feels safe in her hometown. Mom takes her to live with her uncle and his twin boys the same age as Peyton. Peyton immediately fits in at her new

Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee

Tash is such a fangirl. Her current obsession isn’t a fictional character from a novel or a hottie from a boy band or a mysterious loner dude from a CW show like you might expect from most fangirls. Tash is in love with Leo Tolstoy, the dead author of famous classics. His poster hangs on her wall (thankfully, it’s the one below, not the old nasty dude on the cover of this book). Being in love with Count Tolstoy means she has read all of his books. Her favorite is Anna Karenina. She loves it so much that she and her like-minded, super-creative, uber-talented, BFF, Jack, decide to write a web series inspired by Anna Karenina. They call it Unhappy Families. They host auditions, hire acto

The 57 Bus: a True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives

In 2013, agender teen, Sasha Fleischmann, a senior at a small, private school in Oakland, fell asleep on the 57 bus. They (Sasha’s preferred pronoun) were wearing a skirt. Richard Thomas, a sixteen-year-old junior at Oakland High, was goofing around with some friends on the same bus. Richard saw a dude in a white, gauzy skirt asleep on the bus. Richard had a lighter in his pocket. He thought it would be funny to light that skirt on fire. So he did. Sasha became engulfed in flames. They were able to escape the bus, was eventually assisted by a good samaritan, and ended up with third degree burns on 20% percent of their body, mainly on their legs. The book, The 57 Bus, tells the full

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

Would you just look at this gorgeous cover?! A beautiful and fierce girl of color looking flawless and ready to take care of business. More of this, please, publishers! Camellia is a Belle in the world of Orleans. Except for the Belles, the people in this world are Gris - “skin pallid, gray, and shriveled, eyes cherry-red, hair like straw - as if all the color was leached out of them, leaving behind the shade of freshly picked bones and ash” (14). If they have enough money (spintria), they can pay for one of the Belles to temporarily change their appearance. See, the bloodline of the Belles has been blessed by the Goddess of Beauty, giving them the gift of being able to color skin, chan

The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia

Don't forget, author Kami Garcia will be at West High on Tuesday, February 13. Check this link for more details! There’s just something about a bad boy that makes most good girls go weak in the knees, but one with a heart of gold too? It’s like Kryptonite. Frankie is a stranger to bad boys and most bad things in general. She grew up in the Heights, a swanky upper crust neighborhood where the kids all drive new cars, show up to their private school with their hands full of Starbucks, and attend galas for charity. Frankie used to be like that, but she hasn’t gotten over the brutal death of her boyfriend Noah, only three months ago. He died in front of her, beaten to death, and she can’t help t

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