I'll Be the One by Lyla Lee
Skye Shin has heard it all. Fat girls shouldn't dance. Wear bright colors. Shouldn't call attention to themselves. But Skye dreams of joining the glittering world of K-Pop, and to do that, she's about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for girls like her.
She'll challenge thousands of other performers in an internationally televised competition looking for the next K-pop star, and she'll do it better than anyone else.
When Skye nails her audition, she's immediately swept into a whirlwind of countless practices, shocking performances, and the drama that comes with reality TV. What she doesn't count on are the highly fat-phobic beauty standards of the Korean pop entertainment industry, her sudden media fame and scrutiny, or the sparks that soon fly with her fellow competitor, Henry Cho.
But Skye has her sights on becoming the world's first plus-sized K-pop star, and that means winning the competition -- without losing herself.
You Say It First by Katie Cotugno
Meg has her entire life set up perfectly: she and her best friend, Emily, plan to head to Cornell together in the fall, and she works at a voter registration call center in her Philadelphia suburb. But everything changes when one of those calls connects her to a stranger from small-town Ohio.
Colby is stuck in a rut, reeling from a family tragedy and working a dead-end job. The last thing he has time for is some privileged rich girl preaching the sanctity of the political process. So he says the worst thing he can think of and hangs up.
But things don't end there.
That night on the phone winds up being the first in a series of candid, sometimes heated, always surprising conversations that lead to a long-distance friendship and then -- slowly -- to something more. Across state lines and phone lines, Meg and Colby form a once-in-a-lifetime connection. But in the end, are they just too different to make it work?
Call Me American: The Extraordinary True Story of a Young Somali Immigrant by Abdi Nor Iftin
Abdi Nor Iftin grew up amidst a blend of cultures, far from the United States. At home in Somalia, his mother entertained him with vivid folktales and bold stories detailing her rural, nomadic upbrinding. As he grew older, he spent his days following his father, a basketball player, through the bustling street of the capital city of Mogadishu.
But when the threat of civil war reached Abdi's doorstep, his family was forced to flee to safety. Through the turbulent years of war, young Abdi found solace in popular American music and films. Nicknamed Abdi the American, he developed a proficiency for English that connected him--and his story--with news outlets and radio shows, and eventually gave him a shot at winning the annual U.S. visa lottery.
Abdi shares every part of his journey, and his courageous account reminds readers that everyone deserves the chance to build a brighter future for themselves.
The Circus Rose by Betsy Cornwell
Twins Rosie and Ivory have grown up at their ringmaster mother's knee, and after years on the road, they're returning to Port End, the closest place to home they know. Yet something has changed in the bustling city: fundamentalist flyers paper the walls and preachers fill the squares, warning of shadows falling over the land. The circus prepares a triumphant homecoming show, full of lights and spectacle that could chase away even the darkest shadow. But during Rosie's tightrope act, disaster strikes.
In this lush, sensuous novel interwoven with themes of social justice and found family, it's up to Ivory and her magician love -- with the help of a dancing bear -- to track down an evil priest and save their circus family before it's too late.
Smooth by Matt Burns
Fifteen-year-old Kevin has acne, and not just any acne. Stinging red welts, painful pustules, and massive whiteheads are ruining his life. In an act of desperation, he asks his dermatologist to prescribe him a drug with a dizzying list of possible side effects -- including depression -- and an obligatory monthly blood test. But when he meets Alex, a girl in the lab waiting room, blood test day quickly becomes his safe haven -- something he sorely needs, since everyone, including his two best friends, is trying his last nerve. But as Kevin's friendships slip further away and he discovers who Alex is outside of the lab, he realizes he's not sure about anything anymore. Are loneliness and self-doubt the side effects of his new acne meds? Or are they the side effects of being fifteen?