Self-discovery can be a struggle and spark deep emotions. How do you make sense of it all? Twelve-year-old Malu uses zines and music to stay connected with her parents while also learning to embrace her individuality in The First Rule of Punk (Viking, $16.99) by Celia C. Pérez.
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.