In As If on Cue, sworn frenemies Natalie and Reid are forced to work together on a musical to save their school’s art programs after a prank by Natalie goes wrong. Reid is a band kid while Natalie is a scriptwriter, who used to play the clarinet (even before Reid). Natalie prefers to do the arts as a “fun hobby” — or so she tells herself — whereas Reid is serious about his music and wants to become a composer. The two are close family friends, their tween sisters are best friends, and Natalie’s dad teaches Reid how to play the clarinet. But as they work as co-directors, Natalie’s years-long resentment of Reid and his bond with her dad continues to rear it’s ugly head. Will their musical see the light of day?
Hugo’s family has moved from Denver to a smaller skiing town in Colorado after his father quit his job as a computer engineer to become a ski instructor. For Hugo, this is a terrible development as he’s only just found his people in his former city and now has to start from scratch. Thankfully, his cousin Vijay is somewhat popular and brings Hugo into his friend group — the kids who run the school newsletter. But when the kids in his school realize that Hugo can tell a lot about a person from their trash, Hugo finds new popularity that threatens to upturn his new friendships.
Elfie Oster is ready to leave Cottonwood Elementary. She doesn’t have any friends at the school and she’s tired of having to do group projects all by herself. It doesn’t help that her super popular cousin, Jenna, whom everyone likes, is also in Cottonwood — and also not Elfie’s friend. Thankfully, she’s been admitted at Hampshire Academy, a swanky private school where she knows everything will be different. Unfortunately, after a misunderstanding, Elfie is swiftly expelled from Hampshire and has to return to Cottonwood.
Chunky is a new graphic memoir in which Yehudi (Hudi) conjures an imaginary friend/mascot, Chunky to support him through a challenging time in his life. Hudi is a funny kid with a serious interest in comedy Because of childhood illness, Hudi has had one lung removed. He is also chubby with zero athletic prowess, in a family of athletic people. His dad won so many sports trophies in school and encourages Hudi to pick a sport. His mother thinks sports will also help Hudi regulate his weight. And so Hudi begins to try sport after sport — with hilarious results, and Chunky cheering him all the way.
Simone Thibodeau is in her senior year of high school and is ready for some freedom from her strict Haitian parents (especially her mother). She’s been dreaming of her perfect prom experience with long-time crush, Gavin as her prom date, but the dream is threatened when her mom arranges a prom date (just as they did for Simone’s older sister) for her. But Simone isn’t backing down easily this time. She joins forces with two other daughters of protective immigrant parents: Amita and Kira. Together, they make a bucket list of sorts, including items like “spend a day in NYC” and “go to the club.” The girls are determined to take charge of their lives.
In Shh! The Baby’s Asleep, an entire family tries their hardest to keep the house quiet for their sleeping baby. How hard can it be? It seems impossible! Not while the dog is howling, the neighbor is mowing her lawn, Grandma is trying to wash by hand, and Mom’s shoes are noisy on the squeaky hardwood floors! On top of that, one of the kids is trying to unjam the wheels of his toy car. Will the baby stay asleep?
Made in Korea is Sarah Suk’s debut YA novel. Valerie Kwon is a business-savvy Korean-American teen who runs V&C K-Beauty with her cousin, Charlie, out of her high school locker. She’s saving up so that she can take her halmeoni to Paris on a memorable vacation. Valerie is also misunderstood by her mother because she’s not as dutiful, math/science smart or organized as her older sister. Valerie’s dreams face a huge obstacle when a new, good looking Korean-American student Wes Jung unwittingly starts his own competing K-beauty business in their school.
Calliope (Callie), her brother Jax, and her parents have moved across the pond to Scotland after they inherited a castle from an older woman whose small cottage they lived in as university students. Callie is hoping for a fresh start after a falling out with her friends back in the States. However, she quickly realizes that fresh starts aren’t automatic, even when you move countries.
Starfish features Ellie, a fat girl who has been bullied for her weight since she wore a whale swimsuit and made a big splash in the pool. Even her older brother and sister make fun of her weight. Her mom controls her diet, monitoring her portions and choosing lackluster “healthy” alternatives. Ellie is feeling more disheartened because her friend Viv who is also plus-sized is moving away.
In J.D. and the Great Barber Battle, eight-year-old J.D. has to devise a means to correct a haircut gone wrong. His mom obviously doesn’t care much about lining his cut evenly, and J.D. gets laughed at school by his friends. Eventually, after using his little brother as a subject, J.D. figures out how to cut his own hair — and he does a fantastic job!
Grant Falloon is a super fast track runner, so it’s a no brainer when he gets the chance to sign up for the million dollar race organized by Babblemoney. The mega-rich sneaker company wants to give back a million dollars to the winning kids from their international contest. Unfortunately Grant runs into a couple of snags.
In Luna’s Yum Yum Dim Sum, Luna and her family go out for dim sum on her birthday. When the mouthwatering meal arrives, the kids have six buns which they can share equally, but in her excitement, Luna drops one pork bun, leaving the three kids only five buns to share. As they negotiate using the Lunar calendar, common sense, and math skills, they find a surprising solution to their dilemma.