Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes

The Blurb On The Back:

Disliked. Bullied. Framed. But I’m not going to let that stop me …

Most of the students at Middlesfield Prep don’t look like Donte. And they don’t like him either. When Donte is suspended from school and arrested, framed for something he didn’t do, he knows it would have never happened to high lighter-skinned brother, Trey.

Terrified, and searching for a place where he belongs, Donte discovered the sport of fencing. And he’s good at it. Very good.

But when he must fence the very boy who framed him, there is far more at stake than just a trophy. Donte must fight not only his bullies, but an entire system that has never treated him fairly because of the colour of his skin.

Powerful and emotionally gripping, this is a story about one boy’s path to finding his own voice in the fight against racism.

BLACK BROTHER, BLACK BROTHER was released in the United Kingdom on 13th May 2021. Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order BLACK BROTHER, BLACK BROTHER by Jewell Parker Rhodes from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK. I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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The Crossing by Manjeet Mann

The Blurb On The Back:

The boat sways and rocks.

Bodies pressed against bodies.

Holding on for our lives.

Natalie’s world is falling apart.  She’s just lost her mum, and her brother marches the streets of Dover with a far-right gang.  Swimming is her only refuge.

Sammy has fled his home and family in Eritrea for the chance of a new life in Europe.  Every step he takes is a step into an unknown and unwelcoming future.

A twist of fate brings them together and gives them both hope.

But is hope enough to mend a broken world? 

You can order THE CROSSING by Manjeet Mann from Amazon UKAmazon USA, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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Jaz Santos Vs. The World by Priscilla Mante

The Blurb On The Back:

Olá!  I’m Jasmina Santos-Campbell (but you can call me Jaz).  You’ve probably heard of me and my team the Bamrock Stars before.  No?  Well, you will soon because we’re almost famous!

Forming the Stars was my genius idea – you see I need to prove to Mãe (that’s my mum!) that I’m a football star so she’ll want to come back home.

The idea was the easy part, though.  Now I’ve got a team of seven very different girls and we need to work together, to be taken seriously as footballers.

We are the DREAM TEAM and we’re going to show the world that girls CAN plan football! 

You can pre-order JAZ SANTOS VS THE WORLD by Priscilla Mante from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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Nothing Ever Happens Here by Sarah Hagger-Holt

The Blurb On The Back:

”I wonder what people would think if they could take the front off our house, like a doll’s house, and watch us.  All in the same house, but everyone separate.  No one talking, but everyone thinking the same thing. Will we ever be a normal family again?”

Izzy’s family is under the spotlight when her dad comes out as Danielle, a trans woman.  Now shy Izzy must face her fears, find her voice, confront the bullies and stand up for her family.

Warm, honest and hopeful, this is a story about the power of family, friendship and being true to yourself.

You can buy NOTHING EVER HAPPENS HERE by Sarah Hagger-Holt from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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This Careless Life by Rachel McIntyre

The Blurb On The Back:

”In this job, festering skeletons have a nasty habit of tumbling out, sooner or later.  So think carefully – is there anything you need to tell me?”

Four best friends with perfect lives.

A once in a lifetime opportunity.

Who can resist the call of fame and fortune?

When Liv, Hetty, Jez and Duffy audition for a new reality TV show, they’re confident they can handle the pressure of being in the public eye.  After all, they don’t have anything to hide.  Do they?  But that’s before Cass produces the photo of the body …

You can buy THIS CARELESS LIFE by Rachel McIntyre from Amazon USA, Amazon UK and Waterstones.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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Agatha Oddly – Murder At The Museum by Lena Jones

The Blurb On The Back:

Agatha Oddly: No case too odd … 

Agatha Oddlow’s just stumbled across her next big case … a murder at the British Museum.

But as Agatha starts to dig beneath the surface she begins to suspect that a wider plot is afoot below London – a plot involving a disused Tube station, a huge fireworks display and five thousand tonnes of gold bullion.

Luckily, Agatha’s on the trail …

You can buy AGATHA ODDLY: MURDER AT THE MUSEUM by Lena Jones from Amazon USA, Amazon UKWaterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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Eight Pieces Of Silva by Patrice Lawrence

The Blurb On The Back:

Silva’s door is open.  My brain nudges me.  She’s not in there.  All the time I’ve been hanging around and trying not to disturb her, she wasn’t here at all …

Becks and Silva live under the same roof, but they couldn’t be less like sisters.

Becks likes watching loud superhero movies, girls, and chatting to anyone and everyone.  Silva likes privacy; her bedroom is her oasis, and she has an unspoken rule that none of her family are allowed inside.

But then Silva goes missing.

Becks enters Silva’s room.

And finds eight clues about Silva’s secret life.

Can Becks piece the jigsaw together and find her, before it’s too late? 

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Scavengers by Darren Simpson

The Blurb On The Back:

Follow the rules.

Babagoo’s always right.

Believe only Babagoo.

Respect your fear.

Never go looking outside.

Never rise above the wall.

Landfill has lived his whole life as a scavenger, running with wooflings, swimming with turtles and feasting on whatever he can catch.

Old Babagoo has always looked after him – on one condition.  Follow Babagoo’s rules.  And the most important rule of all is NEVER go beyond the wall.

But Landfill longs to venture Outside.  And some rules are made to be broken.

You can order SCAVENGERS by Darren Simpson from Amazon USAAmazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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Blood Moon by Lucy Cuthew

The Blurb On The Back:

During Frankie’s first sexual experience with the quiet and lovely Benjamin, she gets her period.  It’s only blood, they agree.  But soon a graphic meme goes viral, turning their fun, intimate afternoon into something disgusting, mortifying and damaging.  As the online shaming takes on a horrifying life of its own, Frankie begins to wonder: is her real life over?

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The Girl With Space In Her Heart by Lara Williamson

The Blurb On The Back:

Mabel Mynt knows a lot about space …

… like how we feel connected to the stars because we are all made of stardust.

And that Mum’s new boyfriend, Galactic Gavin, has eyes that twinkle like Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky.

And that sometimes the perfect place for her sister, Terrible Topaz, would be a black hole.

But Mabel doesn’t know how to fill the space in her heart that Dad left when he walked out.

And so she sets out on a mission of discovery …

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The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

The Blurb On The Back:

This is Michael’s story.

Join him as he enters the world with tiny feather eyelashes.  Travel from school to college, where he discovers his flock, and comes to terms with his identity as a mixed-race gay teen.  At university, take a seat in the audience and watch him find his wings as a drag artist, The Black Flamingo.

A bold story about discovering that only YOU get the privilege of choosing who you are.  There is power in embracing your uniqueness.  What’s your story?  

You can order THE BLACK FLAMINGO by Dean Atta from Amazon USAAmazon UKWaterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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Where Do You Go, Birdy Jones? by Joanna Nadin

The Blurb On The Back:

Birdy Jones is all alone.

Dad’s new family means there’s no room left for Birdy.  The only place that feels like home is Grandpa’s pigeon loft, amongst the warmth of the birds she loves to race. It’s also where she meets Dogger – her only real friend.

When Birdy uncovers a message from the past, she thinks it explains why she doesn’t ‘fit’ in her family.  But the closer she gets to the truth, the further apart she becomes from Dogger.  Why is he drifting away when she needs him the most?

Sometimes it’s those we know best who may be hiding the biggest secrets … 

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Slay by Brittney Morris

The Blurb On The Back:

We are different ages, genders and traditions … but tonight we all SLAY

By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is a college student, and one of the only black kids at Jefferson Academy.  By night, she joins hundreds of thousands of black gamers who duel worldwide in the secret online VR game, SLAY.

No one knows Kiera is the game developer – not even her boyfriend, Malcolm.  But when a teenager is murdered of a dispute in the SLAY world, the media labels it an exclusion isn’t, racist hub for thugs.

With threats coming from both inside and outside the game, Kiera must fight to save the safe space she’s created.  But can she protect SLAY without losing herself?

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A Strange Kind Of Brave by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald

The Blurb On The Back:

What doesn’t kill you makes you … stronger?

Jake McCormack is the villain of Clanfedden.  He’s just killed a boy – deliberately run him over with his truck, in front of everyone.  And he knows he’ll get away with it. 

Luca Spinelli, 14, is the new boy in town.  He’s looking for a fresh start after what happened at his old school.

Allie Redmond has lived in Clanfedden all her life.  Luca’s friendship is the bright spark she needs.

But more than anyone, Allie knows the danger of Jake McCormack.  She needs to warn Luca.  She needs to prevent disaster.  At least, she needs to try …

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Swimming Against The Storm by Jess Butterworth

The Blurb On The Back:

Our land is sinking.  It’s disappearing into the water.  And no one knows how to save it

Twelve-year-old Eliza and her younger sister Avery have lived their entire lives in a small fishing village on the coast of Louisiana, growing up alongside turtles, pelicans and porpoises.  But now, with sea levels rising, their home is at risk of being swept away.

Determined to save the land, Eliza and Avery secretly go searching in the swamp for the dangerous, wolf-life loup-garou.  If they can prove this legendary creature exists, they’re sure that the government will have to protect its habitat – and their community.

But there’s one problem: the loup-garou has never been seen before.  And with a tropical storm approaching and the sisters deep, deep in the swampland, soon it’s not just their home at risk, but their lives as well …

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Rose, Interrupted by Patrice Lawrence

The Blurb On The Back:

Her life has changed and no one’s told her the new rules.

So she’ll just have to make up her own …

Eighteen months ago, seventeen-year-old Rose and thirteen-year-old Rudder escaped a strict religious sect with their mum.  

While Rudder gorges on once-taboo Harry Potters, Rose swaps ankle skirts for Japanese-cute fairy dress and her new boyfriend, Kye.  Kye, who she wants with all her being.  But there’s loads of stuff that Rose has no idea how to handle – it’s normal for girls to let their boyfriends take naked pictures of them, right?

When Rudder accidentally sets a devastating chain of events in action, Rose must decide whether to sacrifice everything and go back to the life she hates, in order to save the people she loves. 

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The Boy Who Steals Houses by C. G. Drews

The Blurb On The Back:

Sam breaks into strangers’ houses every night.

But it’s not about stealing from houses, it’s about stealing THE houses.

He tricks locks and sleeps in stolen beds, because he just wants to find a home

Can two broken boys find their perfect home?

Sam is only fifteen but he and his autistic older brother, Avery, have been abandoned by every relative he’s ever known.  Now Sam’s trying to build a new life for them.  He survives by breaking into empty houses when their owners are away, until one day he’s caught out when a family returns home.  To his amazement this large, chaotic family takes him under their wing – each teenager assuming Sam is a friend of another sibling.  Sam finds himself inextricably caught up in their life, and falling for teenager daughter, Moxie.

But Sam has a secret, and his past is about to catch up with him.

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The Boxer by Nikesh Shukla

The Blurb On The Back:

When life knocks you down, can you learn to fight back?

Told over the course of the ten rounds of his first fight, this is the story of amateur boxer Sunny.  A seventeen-year-old feeling isolated and disconnected in the city he’s just moved to, Sunny joins a boxing club to learn to protect himself after a racist attack.  He finds the community he’s been desperately seeking at the club, and a mentor in trainer Shobu, who helps him find his place in the world.

But racial tensions are rising in the city, and when a Far Right march through Bristol turns violent, Sunny is faced with losing his new best friend to radicalisation. 

You can order THE BOXER by Nikesh Shukla from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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The Closest Thing To Flying by Gill Lewis

The Blurb On The Back:

When Semira discovers a diary written by Hen, a girl living over one hundred years ago, she finds the friend she has been desperately seeking. A friend who reaches through time to bring not just comfort but inspiration to be brave, to fight for her place in the world, and maybe even to uncover the secrets of her own past …

Writing the diary changed one girl’s life. Reading it changes another’s. 

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To Night Owl From Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer

The Blurb On The Back:

Avery, you don’t know me but I’m writing to you anyway.  This is awkward but I’m just going to say it.  Your dad + my dad ARE NOW A COUPLE.  That isn’t my business, only it IS my business because my dad wants to send me to a summer camp that you’re going to.

– Bett Devlin

Bett, I think you are confused and have the wrong person.  If my papa was in a relationship with your dad, there is a one hundred per cent chance I would know about it.  We’re very close, and it’s been just the two of us almost my whole life, so we’re best friends and he tells me everything.

– Avery A. Bloom

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The La’lun by J N Harris

The Blurb On The Back:

Every family has a secret – this one is the last of its kind.

When Camille discovers the secret her grandmother has protected for decades, she knows that to tell anyone would be to tell everyone – with terrible consequences.

But it could also bring the rest of her family back into her life. 

This is a story about love and loyalty, truth and lies.  Real news, fake news and how far you’d go to protect what you love.

It’s a story for now with its roots in ancient folklore. 

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A Story About Cancer (With A Happy Ending) by India Desjardins and Marianne Ferrer

The Blurb On The Back:

”I think about everything I’ll miss if they tell me I’m going to die … my mum, my dad, my sister, cookies, TV shows I’ll never get to see the end of, the starry sky on a full moon, my grandparents, my grandpa’s lasagne, kissing Victor, Victor’s eyes, Victor’s voice, Victor’s smell, Victor’s hands … Victor.”

This is a story about cancer with a happy ending. It’s about life, love and, especially, hope.

For the past few years, a teenage girl has endured many hospital treatments, wearing a bandanna, people giving her ‘that look’, and her dad’s embarrassing jokes with the nurses.  But she’s also fallen in love.

Now she’s on her way to the hospital, where they’re going to tell her how much time she’s got to live.

A few years ago, author India Desjardins met a young girl with leukaemia who asked her to write a story about cancer with a happy ending.  This is that story. 

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Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet by Zanib Mian

The Blurb On The Back:

My name is Omar.

I have a huge imagination.

I hate marshmallows.

And this is the first book all abut me!

You might not know me yet, but once you open the pages of this book you’ll laugh so hard that snot will come out of your nose (plus you might meet a dragon and a zombie – what more could you want?).

My parents decided it would be a good idea to move house and move me to a new school at the same time.  As if I didn’t have a hard enough time staying out of trouble at home, now I’ve also got to try and make new friends.  What’s worse, the class bully seems to think I’m the perfect target.

At least Eid’s around the corner which means a feast (yay) and presents (double yay).  Well, as long as I can stay in mum and dad’s good books long enough … 

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Rosie Loves Jack by Mel Darbon

The Blurb On The Back:

They can’t send you away. What will we do? We need us. I stop your angry, Jack. And you make me strong. You make me Rosie.

Rosie loves Jack. Jack loves Rosie.

So when they’re separated, Rosie will do anything to find the boy who makes the sun shine in her head.

Even run away from home.

Even struggle across London and travel to Brighton, though the trains are cancelled and the snow is falling.

Even though people might think a girl with Down’s syndrome could never survive on her own.

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