In a story drawn from actual events, Dick Lehr provides a starting point for more in-depth conversations on truth and justice as protagonist Trell (Candlewick, $17.99) hones her investigative journalism skills in an attempt to exonerate her father, who’s been incarcerated since she was a baby.
Jason Reynolds delivers a heart-pounding, emotional novel in verse that tells the story of Will, mourning the loss of his brother as he struggles with unspoken rules: 1) no crying, 2) no snitching, and 3) revenge. Long Way Down (Atheneum, $17.99) challenges our preconceptions and leaves us with a sense of urgency to talk about what happens next.
Fairyland series author Catherynne M. Valente takes inspiration from a classic source in her newest tale, reimagining fantasy stories written by the legendary Brontë sisters (and their rather less industrious brother, Branwell) in their childhood. Just as the teenaged Emily and Charlotte are about say farewell to Anne and Branwell before being shipped off to boarding school, all four siblings instead find themselves transported to their own imaginary world. Now they must all play The Glass Town Game (Margaret K. McElderry, $17.99) to perfection in order to return home. Absurdities such as Napoleon riding a rooster are sprinkled throughout the text, a risky gambit that Valente pulls off with characteristic aplomb. Ages 11-14.