Safiyyah’s War

In Nazi-occupied France, Safiyyah and her family (Algerian French) live in an apartment in the Grand Mosque of Paris, where her father, Baba, and uncle, Ammo Kader, work. The presence of German soldiers in the city streets has everyone on edge, but Baba is particularly tense. His efforts with the Resistance—hiding injured Allied soldiers and making fake identity papers for Jews, saying they’re Muslim—puts his family at great risk.


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.

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.

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.

Code Red

Eden (white) is struggling to find her middle school footing after an injury ended the gymnastics career that once consumed her life. Although Eden is proud of her mom’s rags-to-riches story as the founder and CEO of a menstrual products company, she’s dismayed when her mom is invited to give a talk on Career Day and humiliated by the unpredictable period jokes and teasing that ensue.