Audacity by Melanie Crowder (Speak paperback, 5 January 2016).
Inspired by the real-life story of Clara Lemlich, a spirited young woman who emigrated from Russia to New York at the turn of the twentieth century and fought tenaciously for equal rights. Bucking the norms of both her traditional Jewish family and societal conventions, Clara refuses to accept substandard working conditions in the factories on Manhattan's Lower East Side. For years, Clara devotes herself to the labor fight, speaking up for those who suffer in silence. In time, Clara convinces the women in the factories to strike, organize, and unionize, culminating in the famous Uprising of the 20,000. Shakespeare Makes the Playoffs by Ron Koertge (Candlewick paperback, 13 March 2012).
Fourteen-year-old Kevin Boland has a passion for playing baseball, a knack for writing poetry — and a cute girlfriend named Mira who’s not much interested in either. But then, Kevin doesn’t exactly share Mira’s newfound fervor for all things green. So when Kevin signs up for open mike night at Bungalow Books and meets Amy, a girl who knows a sonnet from a sestina and can match his emails verse for verse, things start to get sticky. Should he stay with Mira? Or risk spoiling his friendship with Amy by asking her out? The You I've Never Known by Ellen Hopkins (Margaret K. McElderry trade paperback, 30 January 2018). For as long as she can remember, it’s been just Ariel and Dad. Ariel’s mom disappeared when she was a baby. Dad says home is wherever the two of them are, but Ariel is now seventeen and after years of new apartments, new schools, and new faces, all she wants is to put down some roots. Complicating things are Monica and Gabe, both of whom have stirred a different kind of desire.
Maya’s a teenager who’s run from an abusive mother right into the arms of an older man she thinks she can trust. But now she’s isolated with a baby on the way, and life’s getting more complicated than Maya ever could have imagined.
Ariel and Maya’s lives collide unexpectedly when Ariel’s mother shows up out of the blue with wild accusations: Ariel wasn’t abandoned. Her father kidnapped her fourteen years ago.
Loving vs. Virginia by Patricia Hruby Powell (Chronicle Books hardcover, 31 January 2017). In 1955, in Caroline County, Virginia, amidst segregation and prejudice, injustice and cruelty, two teenagers fell in love. Their life together broke the law, but their determination would change it. Richard and Mildred Loving were at the heart of a Supreme Court case that legalized marriage between races, and a story of the devoted couple who faced discrimination, fought it, and won. A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman (Speak paperback, 12 May 2015).
Veda loves to dance, and she is incredible at it—just ask anyone who has ever seen her perform. But then, one day, her life changes: An unexpected tragedy forces her to undergo an amputation below the knee, and she struggles to dance with her new prosthetic leg. But Veda is determined to keep dancing, and relearns the steps and technique from the very beginning. Along the way, Veda befriends Govinda, and falls even more in love with the Bharatanatyam dance form.
Thou shalt have an everlasting Monday and stand in the moon.
The moon’s man stands in his shell, Bent under a bundle Of sticks. The light falls chalk and cold Upon our bedspread. His teeth are chattering among the leprous Peaks and craters of those extinct volcanoes.
He also against black frost Would pick sticks, would not rest Until his own lit room outshone Sunday’s ghost of sun; Now works his hell of Mondays in the moon’s ball, Fireless, seven chill seas chained to his ankle.
If you are superstitious you’ll never step on cracks. When you see a ladder you will never walk beneath it. And if you ever spill some salt you’ll throw some ‘cross your back, And carry’ round a rabbit’s foot just in case you need it. You’ll pick up any pin that you find lying on the ground, And never, never, ever throw your hat upon the bed, Or open an umbrella when you are in the house. You’ll bite your tongue each time you say A thing you shouldn’t have said. You’ll hold your breath and cross your fingers Walkin’ by a graveyard, And number thirteen’s never gonna do you any good. Black cats will all look vicious, if you’re superstitious, But I’m not superstitious (knock on wood).