MANI SEMILLA FINDS HER QUETZAL VOICE
by Anna Lapera
This upper middle-grade novel follows Manuela "Mani" Semilla, a 12-year-old Filipina-Guatemalan girl who just wants two things--get her period and thwart her mother's plan of taking her to Guatemala on her birthday. But when she discovers letters between her mother and her disappeared-journalist aunt, Mani is transformed from quiet bystander into budding activist.
Levine Querido, March 5, 2024
THINGS THAT SHIMMER
by Deborah Lakritz
Set in 1973, Melanie has always dreamed of being part of the cool-girl clique, the Shimmers. But when she gets what she wants, it's at the cost of her friendship with Ronit, the new girl from Israel. Dealing with family troubles, the war in Israel, and now navigating school trauma, Melanie finds that popularity isn't all that it's cracked up to be.
Kar-Ben, April 2, 2024
THE UNBEATABLE LILY HONG
by Diana Ma
Twelve-year-old Lily Hong enters a talent show with her friends in a desperate bid to save the struggling community center that houses her family's Chinese school.
Clarion Books, January 2, 2024
MAMA’S CHICKEN & DUMPLINGS
by Dionna L. Mann
Set in a thriving Black Southern community during the Jim Crow era, Allie wants more than anything to have an unbroken life, and so she devises a Man-for-Mama Plan, a scheme to find her Mama a good man to marry. With her Daddy Map in one hand and a jar of chicken and dumplings in the other, she sets on a quest within her neighborhood to locate the perfect fix-it-man–one who kind-smiles, who knows how to sing, and who loves her mama’s chicken and dumplings. But when Mama starts having eyes for Mr. Rawls, her band teacher and uncle of her NOT-friend Gwen, Allie realizes it may be her plan that’s broken.
Margaret Ferguson Books, August 6, 2024
by Jennifer Ann Richter
Eleven-year-old Nyla Braun often gets mocked for being nerdy, but that doesn’t stop her from pursuing her nerdy interests. This time it’s birding, a hobby she recently picked up from her beloved granddad. When a spring birding tournament between her urban fifth-grade class and a class from the suburbs is announced, Nyla’s not only excited about the birding, but for the chance to lead her class to victory. But once the contest is in full swing, changing friendship dynamics pose an unexpected challenge. Will she be able to pull out a victory while still remaining true to her best friend?
Holiday House, October 22, 2024
SING IT LIKE CELIA
by Mónica Mancillas
Twelve-year-old Salva Sanchez is on her quest to find her voice and herself with the help of her estranged father, a motley group of trailer park friends, and Salva's role model and icon, Celia Cruz.
Penguin Workshop, April 2, 2024
LION OF THE SKY
by Ritu Hemnani
Twelve-year-old Raj is happiest flying kites with his best friend, Iqbal. When his kite soars, he forgets about Papa’s disappointment in him. He’s free, like India will be, and can’t wait for the independence celebrations. Raj’s grandfather, Nanu, explains that the true colors of the Indian flag are courage, faith, and peace. But when a British lawyer draws a line on a map, splitting India in two, Raj is thrust into a world where he must fend for himself, find the sister he lost, and lift his family from despair, before the bully at his new school pushes him past breaking point. Lonely and broken, and sure he’s lost everything, Raj must summon the courage, faith, and peace to survive the brutal Partition of both his country and his heart.
HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, May 7, 2024