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Little & Lion

Little & Lion cover

Little & Lion

By Brandy Colbert

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Mental Illness; LGBT; Alternative Family; Siblings; Girls & Women; Prejudice & Racism

Grades: 10 & up

 

When Suzette returns to Los Angeles from the boarding school where she was forced to spend the past semester, she’s uncertain of whether she wants to return to Massachusetts or stay in California. CA is where her friends and family are (as well as her crush, Emil); and her step-brother Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support. When Suzette and Lionel begin to fall in love with the same girl, however, Lionel’s disorder takes a turn for the worse and spirals out of control, forcing Suzette to confront her own demons. Having betrayed a secret girlfriend in her boarding school, allowing her to take the brunt of homophobic bullying, Suzette must face her own past mistakes, come to terms with her bisexuality, and find a way to help her brother, before he hurts himself–or worse.

The Memory Book

memory bookThe Memory Book

By Lara Avery

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Family Life: Parents/Siblings/Babies, Personal Development: Loss, Teen Life: Relationships/Sexuality

Grades: 10th & up

 

Sammie McCoy is a girl with a plan: graduate at the top of her class and get out of her small town as soon as possible. Nothing will stand in her way—not even the rare genetic disorder the doctors say will slowly steal her memories and then her health.

 

So the memory book is born: a journal written to Sammie’s future self, so she can remember everything from where she stashed her study guides to just how great it feels to have a best friend again. It’s where she’ll record every perfect detail of her first date with longtime-crush Stuart, a gifted young writer home for the summer. And where she’ll admit how much she’s missed her childhood friend Cooper, and the ridiculous lengths he will go to make her laugh. The memory book will ensure Sammie never forgets the most important parts of her life—the people who have broken her heart, those who have mended it–and most of all, that if she’s going to die, she’s going to die living.

 

This moving and remarkable novel introduces an inspiring character you’re sure to remember, long after the last page.

 

PRAISE

★ “[Sammie’s] narrative voice is sardonic, distinctive, wildly intelligent, and sometimes hilarious…  Readers will feel her mind and heart shifting with the illness. Indelible.” —Kirkus

 

★ “Avery crafts an emotionally charged story about a young woman who has kept her eyes trained on the future, only to learn that all she has is now…  Avery’s novel stands out for its strong characters, a heartbreaking narrative that shifts to reflect Sammie’s condition, and a love story that will leave many readers in tears.” —Publishers Weekly

 

★ “Sammie’s voice is a bright, relatable, and uncompromising one, and when her inevitable decline begins, readers will be surprised and pained by it, right along with the book’s fiercely undeterred protagonist. Strengths abound in Avery’s touching novel, and Sammie’s relationships, both friendly and romantic, are no exception.” —School Library Journal

 

★ “Avery brings an emotional honesty to Sammie’s narrative…  Teens will be inspired by Avery’s heart-rending story about a special and intelligent young woman coping with a devastating disease—a story buoyed by the strong love of family flowing through Sammie’s narrative and by an exquisite love story in which Sammie experiences happiness with Coop.” —VOYA

Every Exquisite Thing

Every Exquisite Thing coverEvery Exquisite Thing

By Matthew Quick

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Teen Life: Personal Development & Identity; Poetry; Vocabulary; Mental Health

Grades: 10th & up

 

Listen to Author Interview

 

Nanette O’Hare is an unassuming teen who has played the role of dutiful daughter, hardworking student, and star athlete for as long as she can remember. But when a beloved teacher gives her his worn copy of The Bubblegum Reaper–a mysterious, out-of-print cult classic–the rebel within Nanette awakens.

 

As she befriends the reclusive author, falls in love with a young but troubled poet, and attempts to insert her true self into the world with wild abandon, Nanette learns the hard way that rebellion sometimes comes at a high price.

 

A celebration of the self and the formidable power of story, Every Exquisite Thing is Matthew Quick at his finest.

 

PRAISE

★ “Quick continues to excel at writing thought-provoking stories about nonconformity.” —Publishers Weekly

 

★ “This will find a dedicated audience among teen readers.” —School Library Journal

 

★ “All of the elements of this novel work together to make this an outstanding coming-of-age story…This is a book that readers will want to read twice to take it all in.” —VOYA

 

VIDEO

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful

tragic-kind-of-wonderfulA Tragic Kind of Wonderful

By Eric Lindstrom

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Social Issues: Friendship; Depression & Mental Illness; Family

Grades: 10 & up

 

For sixteen-year-old Mel Hannigan, bipolar disorder makes life unpredictable. Her latest struggle is balancing her growing feelings in a new relationship with her instinct to conceal her diagnosis by keeping everyone at arm’s length. But when a former friend confronts Mel with the truth about the way their relationship ended, deeply buried secrets threaten to come out and upend her shaky equilibrium.

 

As the walls of Mel’s compartmentalized world crumble, she fears the worst–that no one will accept her if they discover what she’s been hiding. But would her friends really abandon her if they learned the truth? More importantly, can Mel bring herself to risk everything to find out?

 

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