Ferris

Emma Phineas Wilkey, 11, born beneath a Ferris wheel on the county fairgrounds, has been “Ferris” ever since. “Every good story is a love story,” says Ferris’s grandmother, Charisse, who delivered her. But Charisse has heart problems and is spending more and more time resting, which worries Ferris. Charisse is also communicating with a ghost.

The Blue Pickup

Ju-Girl (Black) loves spending time with her granddad, who runs a garage. “I help him fix radiators, switch out batteries, and even change a car’s oil.” Her favorite thing is organizing Granddad’s socket wrench set. When they take a break, they sit on the gate of his old Blue Pickup, where she drinks Ting and listens to Granddad’s stories of when he—and the truck–were both younger, and he drove to jobs around the island.

Out of Body

A former sci-fi nerd becomes the latest test subject of a terrifying technology she thought existed only on television. When Megan meets LC at a coffee shop, the girls (both Black) develop a friendship almost instantly. Fast forward a few weeks, to LC persuading Megan to take molly at a party. Megan wakes up on the lawn a few hours later—in LC’s body.

Drawing Deena

An emotionally resonant novel explores anxiety, social media, and finding one’s voice as a young artist. As much as Pakistani American Deena enjoys her seventh grade art class, she’s eager to improve her creative skills with additional training. Classes are expensive, though, and Deena has overheard her parents arguing about finances.

When Rosie Walks George

“George is old and deaf in one ear, and he doesn’t run fast anymore.” The brown-spotted white dog, clearly beloved, still needs to go for walks, however. Rosie is too little to walk George alone but sometimes the whole family walks him along the beach near their home.

Shark Teeth

Recently back home after a stint in foster care, twelve-year-old Sharkita (Black) lives in fear of again being separated from her precocious sister, Lilli, and developmentally disabled brother, Lamar. While Mama goes out—sometimes for days at a time—Kita cooks dinner, pays the bills, cleans the house, and cares for her younger siblings.