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.

Ginny Off the Map

Eleven-year-old Ginny’s dad is an army doctor. Ginny (white) and her older sister, Allie, are blindsided when they learn his posting to Afghanistan in the new year has been changed; he leaves shortly after their expected move from North Carolina to Maryland at the end of the school year.

We Still Belong

Twelve-year-old Wesley Wilder (Upper Skagit) starts the day nervous but excited on two fronts. Her poem, “We Still Belong,” is in the school newspaper for Indigenous Peoples’ Day, and she plans to ask a boy named Ryan Thomas, whom she’s gotten to know through gaming club, to the upcoming school dance.