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EMS Virtual Learning Commons 20-21: NEW BOOKS in our Learning Commons

An honors student at Jefferson Academy, seventeen-year-old Keira enjoys developing and playing Slay, a secret, multiplayer online role-playing game celebrating black culture, until the two worlds collide.

Del has had a crush on Kiera Westing since kindergarten. And now, during their junior year, she’s finally available. So when Kiera volunteers for an opportunity at their church, Del’s right behind her. Though he quickly realizes he’s inadvertently signed up for a Purity Pledge.

Malcolm does not enjoy sports and feels that he does not live up to his father's expectations because of his lack of interest. When he decides to start playing miniature golf, Malcolm discovers a sport that he enjoys, but soon his dad is signing him up for lessons and tournaments. When tension between his parents reaches the breaking point, Malcolm is not sure of anything in his life.

A collection of sixteen stories of fantasy, science fiction, and magic featuring black and gender non-conforming characters.

Knowing very little English, eleven-year-old Jingwen feels like an alien when his family immigrates to Australia, but he copes with loneliness and the loss of his father by baking elaborate cakes.

Raised in isolation, Tarisai yearns for the closeness she could have as one of the Crown Prince's Council of 11, but her mother, The Lady, has magically compelled Tarisai to kill the Crown Prince.

When middle school journalist Riley Dunne learns that an important and beloved club is being shut down, she uses the power of the pen to instigate much-needed social change.

Although Rick has never thought about his identity much, when he begins middle school, he attends the Rainbow Spectrum Club where he meets kids of all genders and identities, including a girl named Melissa. Rick wants to have his life all figured out like Melissa, so he begins a quest to find his place in the world, even if it means breaking some old friendships.

Seventh-grader Sara just wants to be normal, but instead she deals with panic attacks and other issues that make her avoid other people. When she starts group therapy, she meets talkative and outgoing Erin, who doesn't believe in "normal." Sara soon finds herself with an actual friend, but discovers that there's more to Erin than she lets on. In order to help Erin, Sara might have to sacrifice their friendship

A collection of forty illustrated poems celebrating the vulnerability and strength of black women and girls.

Before heading off to college in the fall, Rachel Walls decides to give in to the universe for the summer and say yes to everything, bringing her friendship, new experiences, and, if she lets her guard down, love.

Mary Lambert has felt safe and accepted on her beloved island of Martha's Vineyard, comforted by the fact that her great-great-grandfather was the first deaf islander and paved the way for many to learn sign language. However, when Mary's brother dies and her family shatters amidst land disputes with the English settlers and Wampanoag people, it paves the way for an opportunistic young scientist to come and study the island's prevalent deafness.

High school senior Salma Bakkioui, who has a connective tissue disorder, faces prejudice and hidden danger, especially after being framed for a Muslim terrorist act she did not commit.

When Jasmine de los Santos is presented the opportunity to be considered for a national scholarship award, her Filipino immigrant parents reveal the truth that their visas expired many years ago, making Jasmine an illegal alien. Now facing the threat of deportation rather than a full-ride to college, Jasmine rebels as she tries to understand her place in a world she may not be allowed to stay in.

Bethany C. Morrow's A Song Below Water is the story for today's readers -- a captivating modern fantasy about black mermaids, friendship, and self-discovery set against the challenges of today's racism and sexism.

Donovan Curtis has never been what anyone would call “gifted.” But his genius friend Noah Youkilis is actually supergifted, with one of the highest IQs around. After years at the Academy for Scholastic Distinction, all Noah dreams of is the opportunity to fail if he wants to. And he’s landed in the perfect place to do it—Donovan’s school.

When Theo marries Polly and they move their children, Abi, Max, and Louis to a large ivy-covered home in North London, their children begin to wonder about the magic present in the home. 

Thirteen-year-old Frankie is neurodivergent: she can't stand to be touched, loud noises bother her, she's easily distracted, and hates changes to her routine. It also means that she doesn't have a lot of friends. When Colette, her one friend, vanishes, Frankie is convinced that she left behind clues that only Frankie can decipher. 

In 1932, twelve-year-old Cal is forced to stop hopping trains with his hobo father and go to a Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school, where he begins learning about his history and heritage as a Creek Indian.

Inexplicably, eleven-year-old Mars Patel's friend Aurora goes missing, and the only ones who seem overly concerned about it are Mars and his friends. Soon the group discovers other kids have gone missing around the world, and clues seem to point to eccentric tech billionaire, 

In 2002, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl named Shirin starts over at yet another high school, having dealt with the prejudice and abuse that followed 9/11. She copes with the anti-Islamic animosity by turning to music and break-dancing. She meets Ocean James, who comes from a very different background, but really seems to want to get to know her. But she's had the walls up for so long, she doesn't know if she can really let him in.

Marva Sheridan is excited to vote in her first election; Duke Crenshaw just wants to get voting over so that he can get to his band's first paying gig. When Marva sees Duke turned away from their polling place, she's determined to see his vote counted. They cut school, rush from precinct to precinct, and wait in endless lines just to get Duke registered to vote. Over the course of one day, the two strangers find they have more in common than just a passion for democracy.

Even since before Papa died, half-Colombian Eddie Aguado has never truly felt Colombian, but now with only his Colombian Papa's third-place fishing trophy to remember him by, he feels even more displaced from his heritage. A chance comes to leave Minnesota and spend the summer in Colombia when his older half brother invites him to an adventure.

On January 20, 2021, Amanda Gorman became the sixth and youngest poet to deliver a poetry reading at a presidential inauguration. Taking the stage after the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden, Gorman captivated the nation and brought hope to viewers around the globe.

Elatsoe—Ellie for short—lives in an alternate contemporary America shaped by the ancestral magics and knowledge of its Indigenous and immigrant groups. She can raise the spirits of dead animals—most importantly, her ghost dog Kirby. When her beloved cousin dies, all signs point to a car crash, but his ghost tells her otherwise: He was murdered.

ZJ's friends Ollie, Darry and Daniel help him cope when his father, a beloved professional football player, suffers severe headaches and memory loss that spell the end of his career.

Four years after extraterrestrials kidnapped everyone on Earth they deemed to be worthy--leaving behind the unintelligent, the old, and disabled--young Sam has found herself to be a pawn in an alien civil war. She and her new friend, Mia, however, think they have found a way to resist their captors and keep their humanity.

Eleven-year-old Tally is starting sixth grade at Kingswood Academy and she really wants to fit in, which means somehow hiding her autism, hypersensitivity to touch, and true self, and trying to act "normal". But as she records her thoughts and anxieties in her coping diary, Tally begins to wonder--what is "normal" anyway?

Yadriel, a trans boy, summons the angry spirit of his high school's bad boy, and agrees to help him learn how he died, thereby proving himself a brujo, not a bruja, to his conservative family.

From before her mother's first oncology appointment through the stages of her cancer to the funeral, sitting shiva, and afterward, when she must try to make sense of her life as a motherless daughter, Tyler Feder tells her story in this graphic novel that is full of piercing--but also often funny--details.

When Danny Constantino asks his old-friend-turned-Hollywood-movie-star, Natalie Flores Griffin, to his school dance and homecoming parade, she surprises him . . . by saying yes! Unfortunately, now everyone in Cuper Cove has something to say about Danny's love life--especially since Natalie is the hometown hero.

Exiled after a battle that left all five Clans devastated, ThunderClan’s loyal deputy, Squirrelflight, must bring to light an earth-shattering truth: the identity of the cat ruling ThunderClan while wearing Bramblestar’s face.

Patricia “Sweet Pea” DiMarco wasn’t sure what to expect when her parents announced they were getting a divorce. She never could have imagined that they would have the “brilliant” idea of living in nearly identical houses on the same street. In the one house between them lives their eccentric neighbor Miss Flora Mae, the famed local advice columnist behind “Miss Flora Mae I?”

Noemi Vidal is a 17-year-old soldier trained to defend her planet, Genesis, at any cost. Abel is a humanoid robot that was abandoned in space 30 years ago. When Noemi finds Abel on an unused research vessel, the two form an unlikely bond. 

What if you could bring your best friend back to life—but only for a short time?

Jamal’s best friend, Q, doesn’t know that he died, and that he’s about to die . . . again. He doesn’t know that Jamal tried to save him. And that the reason they haven’t been friends for two years is because Jamal blames Q for the accident that killed his parents.

Ellie’s family is forced to leave their home in town and start over in the untamed wilderness of nearby Echo Mountain. Ellie has found a welcome freedom, and a love of the natural world, in her new life on the mountain. But there is little joy after a terrible accident leaves her father in a coma. An accident unfairly blamed on Ellie.

When resentment surges during the Great Depression in a Texas border town, Estrella, fifteen, organizes a protest against the treatment of tejanos and soon finds herself witih her mother and baby brother in Mexico.

As Khosrou (whom everyone calls Daniel) stands in front of his Oklahoma middle school classmates, he tries to tell them his story from the jasmine-scented city of Isfahan to the terrifying journey out of Iran steps ahead of the secret police to the refugee camps of Italy.

It's the summer between middle school and high school, and Aiden Navarro is away at camp. Everyone's going through changes—but for Aiden, the stakes feel higher. As he navigates friendships, deals with bullies, and spends time with Elias (a boy he can't stop thinking about), he finds himself on a path of self-discovery and acceptance.

Florian is twelve years old and has just moved to Washington. He’s learning his way around using TOAST, which stands for the Theory of All Small Things. It’s a technique he invented to solve life’s little mysteries such as: where to sit on the on the first day of school, or which Chinese restaurant has the best eggrolls.

On her birthday, twelve-year-old aspiring baker Zoe Washington receives a letter from her biological father, who is in prison for murder, telling her he is actually innocent. Determined to discover the truth, Zoe tries to investigate herself, perform well in her baking internship, and achieve her dream of auditioning for the Food Network's Kids Bake Challenge.

Twelve-year-old Lydia, feeling threatened by the attention her changing body is getting from boys and men, finds a way to take control of her own skin.

A nail-biting tale of survival and brotherhood atop one of the deadliest mountains on Earth.

Ethan, who was raised in Washington state, is sent to live with his grandparents in Alabama for the summer. Ethan's eyes are opened to blatant racism for the first time, but also to kindness, when a young red-head named Juniper Jones befriends him and they spend the summer exploring the town and having adventures. Their friendship becomes a lifeline for Ethan when the town's ugliness turns deadly.

After his father's death, Isaiah feels that he is now the man of the house and it is his responsibility to take care of his Mama and little sister. When things get really tough at home, Isaiah depends on the stories in his daddy's journal in order to find his way out of the darkness.

A collection of poetry centered around themes related to mental health and personal well-being. The author reflects on her own experiences with love, happiness, depression, and hope.

The unexpected death of his father leaves Justin, 12, and his family facing financial hardship and the unchartered territory of grief. While his older brother and mother work long hours, Justin tries to make sense of what happened to his father and not to stand out at school. With the help of friends and a research paper that forces him to look into the town's history, he works his way towards reconciling the past with the present.

Lucas, small and unathletic, is obsessed with being powerful Trunkzilla in an online game, but after becoming a volunteer Senior Sitter and saving Isaac in real life, everything changes.