Allie Velasco wants to be a trailblazer. A trendsetter. A winner. No better feeling exists in the world than stepping to the top of a winner's podium and hoisting a trophy high in the air. At least, that's what Allie thinks . . . she's never actually won anything before. Everyone in her family is special in some way — her younger sister is a rising TV star; her brother is a soccer prodigy; her great-grandfather is a Congressional Medal of Honor winner. With a family like this, Allie knows she has to make her mark or risk being left behind. She's determined to add a shiny medal, blue ribbon, or beautiful trophy to her family's award shelf.
When a prestigious school contest is announced, Allie has the perfect opportunity to take first — at last. There's just one small snag . . . her biggest competition is also her ex-best friend, Sara. Can Allie take top prize and win back a friend — or is she destined to lose it all?
The Apple Tart of Hope, by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald.
Fourteen-year-old Oscar Dunleavy is missing, presumed dead. His bike was found at sea, out past the end of the pier, and everyone in town seems to have accepted this as a teenage tragedy. But Oscar's best friend Meg knows he isn't dead. Oscar is an optimistic and kind boy who bakes the world's best apple tarts; he would never kill himself, and Meg is going to prove it.
Through interwoven narratives, the reader learns what really happened to Oscar. His sweet life had turned sour after Meg's family moved away. Though Meg didn't know it, Oscar had a manipulative bully plaguing him with toxic humiliation. Meg must confront the painful truth of Oscar's past six months—and the possibility that he might really be gone. Surrounded by grief and confusion, she starts to put the pieces back together. This story of love and friendship reminds us to keep hope in our hearts.
Dreaming of Antigone, by Robin Bridges.
Andria's twin sister, Iris, had adoring friends, a cool boyfriend, a wicked car, and a shelf full of soccer trophies. She had everything, in fact--including a drug problem. Six months after Iris's death, Andria is trying to keep her grades, her friends, and her family from falling apart. But stargazing and books aren't enough to ward off her guilt that she--the freak with the scary illness and all-black wardrobe--is still here when Iris isn't. And then there's Alex Hammond. The boy Andria blames for Iris's death. The boy she's unwittingly started swapping lines of poetry and secrets with, even as she tries to keep hating him.
Heartwrenching, smart, and bold, Dreaming of Antigone is a story about the jagged pieces that lie beneath the surface of the most seemingly perfect life...and how they can fit together to make something wholly unexpected.
The Great American Whatever, by Tim Federle. (Also available in audio.)
Quinn Roberts is a sixteen-year-old smart aleck and Hollywood hopeful whose only worry used to be writing convincing dialogue for the movies he made with his sister Annabeth. Of course, that was all before—before Quinn stopped going to school, before his mom started sleeping on the sofa...and before the car accident that changed everything.
Enter: Geoff, Quinn's best friend who insists it's time that Quinn came out—at least from hibernation. One haircut later, Geoff drags Quinn to his first college party, where instead of nursing his pain, he meets a guy—okay, a hot guy—and falls, hard. What follows is an upside-down week in which Quinn begins imagining his future as a screenplay that might actually have a happily-ever-after ending—if, that is, he can finally step back into the starring role of his own life story.
The Kid from Diamond Street, by Audrey Vernick. Illustrated by Steven Salerno.
Audrey Vernick and Steven Salerno have again collaborated to bring us a captivating picture book about a compelling but little-known piece of baseball history. Beginning in 1922, when Edith Houghton was only ten years old, she tried out for a women's professional baseball team, the Philadelphia Bobbies. Though she was the smallest on the field, soon reporters were talking about "The Kid" and her incredible skill, and crowds were packing the stands to see her play. Her story reminds us that baseball has never been about just men and boys. Baseball is also about talented girls willing to work hard to play any way they can.
Mission Mumbai: A Novel of Sacred Cows, Snakes, and Stolen Toilets, by Mahtab Narsimhan.
When aspiring photographer Dylan Moore is invited to join his best friend Rohit Lal on a family trip to India, he jumps at the chance to embark on an exciting journey just like their Lord of the Rings heroes, Frodo and Sam. But each boy comes to the trip with a problem: Rohit is desperate to convince his parents not to leave him behind in Mumbai to finish school, and Dylan is desperate to use his time in India to prove himself as a photographer and to avoid his parents' constant fighting. Keeping their struggles to themselves threatens to tear the boys apart. But when disaster strikes, Dylan and Rohit realize they have to set aside their differences to navigate India safely, confront their family issues, and salvage their friendship.
Summerlost, by Ally Condie. (Also available in audio.)
A tender and compelling contemporary novel for young readers about facing grief and finding friendship, from the international bestselling author of the Matched series.
It's the first real summer since the devastating accident that killed Cedar's father and younger brother, Ben. But now Cedar and what's left of her family are returning to the town of Iron Creek for the summer. They're just settling into their new house when a boy named Leo, dressed in costume, rides by on his bike. Intrigued, Cedar follows him to the renowned Summerlost theatre festival. Soon, she not only has a new friend in Leo and a job working concessions at the festival, she finds herself surrounded by mystery. The mystery of the tragic, too-short life of the Hollywood actress who haunts the halls of Summerlost. And the mystery of the strange gifts that keep appearing for Cedar.
(All descriptions from OverDrive.)