All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir Manifesto

This memoir manifesto is a must read.  George M. Johnson takes us through growing up as a Black Queer boy and how different moments and people in his young life shaped who he is today.  George shares very intimate moments of this life; from traumas he experienced, his first time having sex and to his deep relationship with his grandmother.  He discusses his Black and Queer identities and how in some situations he minimized aspects of them.  George’s candidness, passion and honesty create a very thought provoking and engaging read. 

A Blade So Black

A thrilling adventure into a re-imagined Wonderland.  Shortly after her dad passed, Alice was pulled into a whole new world where dark creatures called Nightmares (from Wonderland) can creep into our world and wreak havoc.  Now she’s a dreamwalker, a skilled warrior, trained to defeat the Nightmares before they ever cross to our world.  Alice struggles balancing her new role with the rest of her life. She still has classes, friends and her mom to keep in the balance.  As Alice is completing her dreamwalker training she’s unexpectedly pulled into the middle of a terrible and dangerous scheme that might just destroy both of her worlds.

The Best Lies

The love of Remy’s life has been murdered by her best friend.  Now Remy must decide what the truth is. Her best friend Elise is the only person who really understood and empowered her and so it must have been a mistake when Elise shot Jack.  Bouncing back and forth through Remy’s life; different memories help tell the story of Elise and Remy’s friendship and what really caused Elise to pull the trigger.

Fear of Missing Out by Kate McGovern

Astrid’s almost in her final year of high school, but that’s something she’s not focusing on at all. Astrid has a brain tumor.  A few years ago the tumor showed up and with treatment it went away, but now it’s back with a vengeance. Astrid’s mom, really wants her to sign up for a new experimental treatment, but Astrid isn’t sure that’s the best option for her.  Astrid knows deep down she’s not going to make it this time. Astrid starts exploring her treatment options and she learns about cryopreservation. The chance of waking up some time in the future when there’s a cure available for her tumor is appealing.  In order to learn more and seize control of her life Astrid, her boyfriend Mohit and her best friend Chloe go on a life changing road trip to the cryopreservation research center. Fear of Missing Out is great realistic fiction that looks closely at death and decisions surrounding it. 

Agony House by Cherie Priest

Denise and her parents have returned to their home town in Louisiana after being relocated to the Houston area after hurricane Katrina.   Her parents decided it would be a great idea to purchase an old house and fix it up to be a bed and breakfast.  The house is known as the Argonne House, but the second Denise steps inside she knows that Agony House is a much better name.  The house just feels off. There are odd smells, strange noises and foot prints that appear on the dirty floors out of nowhere.   Denise starts to dig into the past surrounding her new pad and is freaked to find out that someone may have been murdered there! Things get even more bizarre when Denise and her new neighbor discover an unfinished comic in the attic and the creepy events in the comic start to connect with crazy occurrences in the house. Agony House is half novel and half graphic novel.  It’s a ghoulishly good read.


Thea, a Hevetz intern, and a small crew are hurtling through space responding to a distress call.  After two months of space travel and they land at a research site, they thought was long abandoned until now.  Once they arrive, the crew isn’t sure what they’ve stumbled upon, with blood smears and the dead bodies of the research crew around each corner.  Now the small team, with no easy way back to safety, realizes they’ve uncovered a terrible a deadly secret they must escape before it devours them too.

Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World

This is an epic collection of graphic  stories of women from different time periods, races and experiences using their strengths and skills to impact the world in a multitude of ways.  There’s the bearded lady, Clementine Delait, who used her intriguing beauty and entrepreneurial skills to build a business or Josephine Baker, whose dancing and personality allowed her to get close to anybody, which was key during the French Resistance during WWII.  This graphic novel story collection has names you may have seen before, but many of the stories are a change of pace from the usual characters and bring these women’s empowering and exciting adventures alive.


Vango: Between Sky and Earth by Timothee de Fombelle

Murder, forbidden islands, Zeppelins, Vango, is nonstop thrill ride. Set in pre-World War II Europe, we first meet Vango as he is about to become priest. But, the outdoor ceremony is interrupted as the police storm in looking to arrest Vango for murder. Before the police can grab him Vango is on the run, or more like on the climb. He scales the cathedral and then makes his way to safety. Soon, we find that Vango is on the run not just from the police, but from other agents as well. As a small child, Vango and his nanny washed up on the shore of a small Italian island. The nanny and Vango have no memory of their past or where they came from. All Vango knows is that he’s always felt followed, paranoid and now all his fears are coming true. As Vango is escaping, you read about a Zeppelin flying overhead, a girl wiping a tear from her eye the crowd as she spies a mysterious man she’s seen before. All of these pieces come together in this tale which, jumps between characters, time and locations to make a brilliant story full of twists, turns and mysteries.

Solo by Kwame Alexander

Blade is trying to escape his life.  Born into a family of musicians, his dad Rutherford is in the headlines every other day for his drunken antics.  Rutherford even crashed Blade’s graduation, where he was planning to perform an original song for the first time.  Blade’s beginning to realize the love of his life, Chapel, might not be feeling the same way. To top things off in the midst of huge family fight Blade’s sister Storm announces that Blade is actually adopted.  Blade decides he’s done with his family and he sets off to find his real mom in Ghana, but has no idea what truths await him there.  Solo is written in verse and filled with music; including original pieces written by Blade (if you listen to the audio you can hear them too).

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F. C. Lee

Super powers, hilarity, demon spawn and Chinese mythology make  The Epic Crush of Genie Lo an awesome book.  Genie is busting her butt trying to get into a great college and get out of the community she lives in outside of San Francisco.  Everything is going to plan until Quentin shows up and strange things start to happen, like demons arriving and the possibility of the whole city being destroyed.

Here’s the abridged version; turns out Quentin is actually the Monkey King and Genie is the Monkey King’s former all powerful weapon, the Ruyi Jingu Bang, reincarnated as a human.  Of course this takes Genie some time to wrap her head around.  Turns out being the Ruyi Jingu Bang also means she has awesome super powers. Since the Ruyi Jingu Bang, is incredibly powerful everyone is after Genie because they want to harness her power.  Genie has no interest in belonging to someone else.  Genie and Quentin begin to train together, because of those aforementioned demons.  There are over 100 demons that have escaped from hell and Genie and Quentin need to take them all down to save the day. Note – that is not a simple task.  While all that is going on Genie is still trying to manage her day to day life including applying for colleges, friendships, crushes and her divorced parents.  She has her hands full to say the least.

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