Lu (Atheneum, $16.99), the self-assured co-captain of the Defenders, unexpectedly faces some hurdles as the track season winds down: he’s about to become a big brother, he’s made a startling discovery about the relationship between his father and his coach, and he’s suddenly having difficulty jumping actual hurdles. It’s going to take more than a little lightning if Lu truly wants to win it all. Jason Reynolds triumphantly concludes his Track quartet with a humorous and heartfelt story about facing your fears and finding the family that you didn’t know you had. Ages 12-15.
After both a tragedy and a betrayal, the fi ve Dunbar brothers are left to raise themselves in a world they’re still struggling to understand. At the family’s center is Clay, the fourth oldest, who sets out to build a Bridge of Clay (Knopf, $26)—a structure that will be made of stone, of wood, and of himself. Through it all, the Dunbar boys seek answers, redemption, and hope. Masterfully plotted and executed, Markus Zusak's first novel since bestseller The Book Thief serves as a reminder that, no matter how winding, the stories we live and share possess indomitable value. Ages 15 and up.
Growing up in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Sylvia Acevedo realized her dreams and desires often diff ered from her peers. She wanted to fl y rockets, fi x cars, and play drums. Yet, as a young Mexican-American woman in the 1960s, Acevedo felt pressured by cultural expectations to conform to a more traditional role. In the Girl Scouts, Acevedo found a community that gave her the confi dence and skills to pursue her passions – all the way to becoming a rocket scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Her uplifting autobiography, Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist (Clarion, $17.99), will inspire a new generation’s bold dreams. Ages 9-12. Amy Dickinson and Cecilia Winter
Como niña en Las Cruces, Nuevo México, Sylvia Acevedo se dio cuenta de que sus sueños y deseos a veces diferían de sus compañeros. Quería volar cohetes, arreglar autos, y tocar la batería. Sin embargo, como joven mexicana-estadounidense en la década de 1960, Acevedo se sintió presionada por las expectativas culturales para conformar a un rol más tradicional. En Girl Scouts, Acevedo encontró una comunidad que le dio la confi anza y las habilidades para seguir sus pasiones, hasta convertirse en una ingeniera astronáutica en el Jet Propulsion Laboratory de la NASA. Su emocionante autobiografía, Camino a las estrellas: Mi recorrido de Girl Scout a ingeniera (Clarion, $17.99), inspirará los sueños audaces de una nueva generación. Edades 9-12. Amy Dickinson y Cecilia Winter