11 Excellent Books in the Brand-New Kirkus Collections

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No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, artwork by R. Gregory Christie

“A stirring and thought-provoking account of an unsung figure in 20th-century American history. (author’s notes, source notes, bibliography, index) (Fictional biography. 12-18)” Lewis Michaux provided a venue for his fellow African-Americans to have access to their own history and philosophy at a time when the very idea was revolutionary. Read full book review.

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

“This quiet read builds to a satisfying conclusion; readers will be glad to make space in their hearts—and bookshelves—for Janna Yusuf. (Fiction. 12-18)” Janna Yusuf has two major problems: the boy who assaults her at her friend’s party is well-respected in the local Muslim community, and now the boy from school she’s been crushing on likes her back. Read full book review.

“Conceptually sophisticated; especially inviting for young artists ready to explore new visual angles. (Picture book. 5-8)” What can sidewalk activity mean to someone high above on a balcony? Read full book review.

Save Me A Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan

“A novel treatment of a familiar situation delivered with fizz and aplomb. (Fiction. 8-12)” A refreshing spin on a story about fitting in and overcoming obstacles features two viewpoints written by two authors. Read full book review.

In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall III, illustrated by Jim Yellowhawk

“This powerful introduction to a great warrior and leader invites readers to ponder the meaning of “hero.” (author’s note, glossary, bibliography) (Fiction. 9-12)” School bullies claim Jimmy McClean’s blue eyes, fair hair, and Scottish surname mean he’s not a real Indian; to validate Jimmy’s Lakota heritage, Grandpa Nyles suggests a road trip in search of another Lakota with fair hair and skin: Crazy Horse. Read full book review.

Rani Patel In Full Effect by Sonia Patel

“A powerfully particular, 100 percent genuine character commands this gutsy debut. (Historical fiction. 14-18)” Rani Patel, daughter of Gujarati immigrants, feels isolated for more than one reason on the Hawaiian island of Molokai in 1991. Read full book review.

Shame the Stars by Guadalupe García McCall

“Pura Belpré winner McCall delivers an ambitious, sardonically relevant historical novel—a must-read, complex twist on a political Shakespearean tragedy. (cast of characters, author’s note, further reading, sources, glossary) (Historical fiction. 12 & up)” In the early 1900s in Texas, the Mexican Revolution crosses the border, dividing the brown-skinned gente(people) from the white authority of the Texas Rangers. Read full book review.

Lucia the Luchadora by Cynthia Leonor Garza, illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez

“A KA-POW kind of wonderful. (author’s note) (Picture book. 3-7)” Who says girls can’t be superheroes? Read full book review.

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

“Readers will empathize with Suzette as she explores both her sexuality and the tricky line between honesty and betrayal. (Fiction. 14-18)” Sixteen-year-old Suzette was sent to boarding school when her bookish older brother, Lionel, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but now she’s back in Los Angeles for the summer. Read full book review.

The Other Half of My Heart by Sundee T. Frazier

“An outstanding achievement. (Fiction. 9-12)” Funny and deeply affecting, this novel by the Steptoe Award winner for Brendan Buckley’s Universe and Everything in It (2007) revisits the still largely unexplored world of multiracial heritage. Read full book review.

Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar

“A poignant and relevant retelling of a child immigrant’s struggle to recover from an accident and feel at home in America. (Historical fiction. 10-13)” In the 1960s, Ruthie Mizrahi, a young Jewish Cuban immigrant to New York City, spends nearly a year observing her family and friends from her bed. Read full book review.

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