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  • Jennifer Croft

New fiction for the young, and young at heart!

Click the on the titles below to place your holds.

Amari and the night brothers / B. B. Alston.

New York Times bestseller! Artemis Fowl meets Men in Black in this exhilarating debut middle grade fantasy, the first in a trilogy filled with #blackgirlmagic. Perfect for fans of Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, the Percy Jackson series, and Nevermoor.

Amari Peters has never stopped believing her missing brother, Quinton, is alive. Not even when the police told her otherwise, or when she got in trouble for standing up to bullies who said he was gone for good.

So when she finds a ticking briefcase in his closet, containing a nomination for a summer tryout at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she's certain the secretive organization holds the key to locating Quinton--if only she can wrap her head around the idea of magicians, fairies, aliens, and other supernatural creatures all being real.

Now she must compete for a spot against kids who've known about magic their whole lives. No matter how hard she tries, Amari can't seem to escape their intense doubt and scrutiny--especially once her supernaturally enhanced talent is deemed "illegal." With an evil magician threatening the supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she's an enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn't stick it out and pass the tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton.


King and the dragonflies / Kacen Callender.

Winner of the 2020 National Book Award for Young People's Literature!

Winner of the 2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction and Poetry!


In a small but turbulent Louisiana town, one boy's grief takes him beyond the bayous of his backyard, to learn that there is no right way to be yourself.

Twelve-year-old Kingston James is sure his brother Khalid has turned into a dragonfly. When Khalid unexpectedly passed away, he shed what was his first skin for another to live down by the bayou in their small Louisiana town. Khalid still visits in dreams, and King must keep these secrets to himself as he watches grief transform his family.

It would be easier if King could talk with his best friend, Sandy Sanders. But just days before he died, Khalid told King to end their friendship, after overhearing a secret about Sandy-that he thinks he might be gay. You don't want anyone to think you're gay too, do you?

But when Sandy goes missing, sparking a town-wide search, and King finds his former best friend hiding in a tent in his backyard, he agrees to help Sandy escape from his abusive father, and the two begin an adventure as they build their own private paradise down by the bayou and among the dragonflies. As King's friendship with Sandy is reignited, he's forced to confront questions about himself and the reality of his brother's death.


Dragons in a bag / Zetta Elliott ; illustrations by Geneva B.

The dragon's out of the bag in this diverse, young urban fantasy from an award-winning author!

When Jaxon is sent to spend the day with a mean old lady his mother calls Ma, he finds out she's not his grandmother--but she is a witch! She needs his help delivering baby dragons to a magical world where they'll be safe. There are two rules when it comes to the dragons: don't let them out of the bag, and don't feed them anything sweet. Before he knows it, Jax and his friends Vikram and Kavita have broken both rules! Will Jax get the baby dragons delivered safe and sound? Or will they be lost in Brooklyn forever?


AN NPR BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

A CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

A KIRKUS REVIEWS BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR


Home is where the heart is / by Cam Higgins ; illustrated by Ariel Landy.

Meet the loveable and rambunctious puppy, Bo Davis, in this first book of the Good Dog series! When Bo loses something important, his search takes him all over the farm.

Springtime has arrived at the Davis Family Farm! Spring showers lead to muddy hijinks for a young pup named Bo. But when Bo loses his dog tag, he gets serious and enlists all of his barnyard pals to help him find it. From horse stalls to chicken coops to grazing fields and beyond, Bo's adventure takes him all over the farm, introducing a cast of friends and frenemies.

With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Good Dog chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.


Unplugged / Gordon Korman.

As the son of the world's most famous tech billionaire, spoiled Jett Baranov has always gotten what he wanted. So when his father's private jet drops him in the middle of a place called the Oasis, Jett can't believe it. He's forced to hand over his cell phone, eat grainy veggie patties, and participate in wholesome activities with the other kids whom he has absolutely no interest in hanging out with.

As the weeks go on, Jett starts to get used to the unplugged life and even bonds with the other kids over their discovery of a baby-lizard-turned-pet, Needles. But he can't help noticing that the adults at the Oasis are acting really strange. Could it be all those suspicious "meditation" sessions?

Jett is determined to get to the bottom of things, but can he convince the other kids that he is no longer just a spoiled brat making trouble?


A wolf called Wander / by Rosanne Parry ; illustrated by Mónica Armiño.

A New York Times bestseller! "Don't miss this dazzling tour de force."--Katherine Applegate, Newbery Medal winning author of The One and Only Ivan

This gripping novel about survival and family is based on the real story of one wolf's incredible journey to find a safe place to call home. Illustrated throughout, this irresistible tale by award-winning author Rosanne Parry is for fans of Sara Pennypacker's Pax and Katherine Applegate's The One and Only Ivan.

Swift, a young wolf cub, lives with his pack in the mountains learning to hunt, competing with his brothers and sisters for hierarchy, and watching over a new litter of cubs. Then a rival pack attacks, and Swift and his family scatter.

Alone and scared, Swift must flee and find a new home. His journey takes him a remarkable one thousand miles across the Pacific Northwest. The trip is full of peril, and Swift encounters forest fires, hunters, highways, and hunger before he finds his new home.

Inspired by the extraordinary true story of a wolf named OR-7 (or Journey), this irresistible tale of survival invites readers to experience and imagine what it would be like to be one of the most misunderstood animals on earth. This gripping and appealing novel about family, courage, loyalty, and the natural world is for fans of Fred Gipson's Old Yeller and Katherine Applegate's Endling.


Angel of Greenwood / Randi Pink.

Randi Pink's The Angel of Greenwood is a historical YA novel that takes place during the Greenwood Massacre of 1921, in an area of Tulsa, OK, known as the Black Wall Street....

Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Wilson is, on the surface, a town troublemaker, but is hiding that he is an avid reader and secret poet, never leaving home without his journal. A passionate follower of W.E.B. Du Bois, he believes that black people should rise up to claim their place as equals.

Sixteen-year-old Angel Hill is a loner, mostly disregarded by her peers as a goody-goody. Her father is dying, and her family's financial situation is in turmoil. Also, as a loyal follower of Booker T. Washington, she believes, through education and tolerance, that black people should rise slowly and without forced conflict.

Though they've attended the same schools, Isaiah never noticed Angel as anything but a dorky, Bible toting church girl. Then their English teacher offers them a job on her mobile library, a three-wheel, two-seater bike. Angel can't turn down the money and Isaiah is soon eager to be in such close quarters with Angel every afternoon.

But life changes on May 31, 1921 when a vicious white mob storms the community of Greenwood, leaving the town destroyed and thousands of residents displaced. Only then, Isaiah, Angel, and their peers realize who their real enemies are.


The star outside my window / Onjali Q. Raúf.

From the award-winning author of The Boy at the Back of the Class comes a middle grade novel about the power of hope to sustain even when tragedy strikes.

Ten-year-old Aniyah and her little brother Noah find themselves living in foster care after the sudden disappearance of their mum. With her life in disarray, Aniyah knows just one thing for sure: her mum isn't gone forever.

Aniyah believes that the people with the brightest hearts never truly disappear. They become stars. When scientists discover a new star acting strangely, Aniyah knows it's really her mum. To make sure everyone else knows, too, she embarks on the adventure of a lifetime--one that involves breaking into the Royal Observatory of London, and meeting the biggest star in Hollywood.

This is an honest yet empathetic exploration of how people respond to difficult circumstances, told through the innocent voice of a ten-year-old girl.


The Ickabog / J.K. Rowling ; with illustrations by the winners of The Ickabog illustration competition.

From J.K. Rowling, a warm, fast-paced, funny fairy tale of a fearsome monster, thrilling adventure, and hope against all odds.

Once upon a time there was a tiny kingdom called Cornucopia, as rich in happiness as it was in gold, and famous for its food. From the delicate cream cheeses of Kurdsburg to the Hopes-of-Heaven pastries of Chouxville, each was so delicious that people wept with joy as they ate them.

But even in this happy kingdom, a monster lurks. Legend tells of a fearsome creature living far to the north in the Marshlands... the Ickabog. Some say it breathes fire, spits poison, and roars through the mist as it carries off wayward sheep and children alike. Some say it's just a myth...

And when that myth takes on a life of its own, casting a shadow over the kingdom, two children - best friends Bert and Daisy - embark on a great adventure to untangle the truth and find out where the real monster lies, bringing hope and happiness to Cornucopia once more.

Featuring full color illustrations by children from across the United States and Canada, this original fairy tale from one of the world's most celebrated storytellers will captivate readers of all ages.


Concrete rose / Angie Thomas.

International phenomenon Angie Thomas revisits Garden Heights seventeen years before the events of The Hate U Give in this searing and poignant exploration of Black boyhood and manhood.

If there's one thing seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter knows, it's that a real man takes care of his family. As the son of a former gang legend, Mav does that the only way he knows how: dealing for the King Lords. With this money he can help his mom, who works two jobs while his dad's in prison.

Life's not perfect, but with a fly girlfriend and a cousin who always has his back, Mav's got everything under control. Until, that is, Maverick finds out he's a father.

Suddenly he has a baby, Seven, who depends on him for everything. But it's not so easy to sling dope, finish school, and raise a child. So when he's offered the chance to go straight, he takes it. In a world where he's expected to amount to nothing, maybe Mav can prove he's different.

When King Lord blood runs through your veins, though, you can't just walk away. Loyalty, revenge, and responsibility threaten to tear Mav apart, especially after the brutal murder of a loved one. He'll have to figure out for himself what it really means to be a man.


The ash house / Angharad Walker ; illustrations by Corey Brickley.

An unsettling, gripping middle grade debut about searching for a sense of belonging in the wrong places, and the bravery it takes to defy those who seek to control us. This is Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children meets Lord of the Flies for fans of Neil Gaiman and Holly Black.

When Eleven-year-old Sol arrives at the Ash House, desperate for a cure for his complex pain syndrome, he finds a community of strange children long abandoned by their mysterious Headmaster.

The children at the Ash House want the new boy to love their home as much as they do. They give him a name like theirs. They show him the dorms and tell him about the wonderful oasis that the Headmaster has created for them. But the new boy already has a name. Doesn't he? At least he did before he walked through those gates...

This was supposed to be a healing refuge for children like him. Something between a school and a summer camp. With kids like him. With pain like his. But no one is allowed to get sick at the Ash House. NO ONE.

And then The Doctor arrives...

Strange things are about to happen at the mysterious Ash House. And the longer Sol spends on the mysterious grounds, the more he begins to forget who he is, the more the other children begin to distrust him, and the worse his pain becomes. But can he hold onto reality long enough to find an escape? And better yet, can he convince the others?


I am defiance / Jenni L. Walsh.

Jenni L. Walsh delivers a gripping story about a real-life youth resistance group in World War II Germany, and about the power of thinking for yourself in the fight against hatred.

Brigitte tries not to ask questions. They don't seem very welcome at her League of German Girls meetings, where she and her friends learn about their duties to Hitler's war effort. But she can't help asking questions when a mysterious pamphlet appears in her mailbox: a pamphlet full of words like resistance and freedom, from a group that calls itself the White Rose. Brigitte's father and older sister, Angelika, seem to agree with the forbidden papers -- an opinion that is dangerous even to whisper at home. And when Angelika becomes involved with secret resistance efforts, Brigitte's questions only bloom.

Could Angelika be connected to the White Rose? Is Brigitte's family in danger of being arrested? And if she chooses a side, will Brigitte be able to take a stand?

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