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NEST - 7th Grade Reading

New Books

Not Here to Be Liked

Eliza Quan is the perfect candidate for editor in chief of her school paper. That is, until ex-jock Len DiMartile decides on a whim to run against her. Suddenly her vast qualifications mean squat because inexperienced Len--who is tall, handsome, and male--just seems more like a leader. When Eliza's frustration spills out in a viral essay, she finds herself inspiring a feminist movement she never meant to start, caught between those who believe she's a gender equality champion and others who think she's simply crying misogyny. Amid this growing tension, the school asks Eliza and Len to work side by side to demonstrate civility. But as they get to know one another, Eliza feels increasingly trapped by a horrifying realization--she just might be falling for the face of the patriarchy himself.

Sanctuary

It's 2032, and in this near-future America, all citizens are chipped and everyone is tracked. It's almost impossible to survive as an undocumented immigrant, but that's exactly what sixteen-year-old Vali is doing. She and her family have carved out a stable, happy life in small-town Vermont, but when Vali's mother's counterfeit chip starts malfunctioning and the Deportation Forces raid their town, they are forced to flee. Now on the run, Vali and her family are desperately trying to make it to her tía Luna's in California, a sanctuary state that is currently being walled off from the rest of the country. But when Vali's mother is detained before their journey even really begins, Vali must carry on with her younger brother across the country to make it to safety before it's too late.

Kneel

This fearless debut novel explores racism, injustice, and self-expression through the story of a promising Black football star in Louisiana. The system is rigged. For guys like Russell Boudreaux, football is the only way out of their small town. As the team's varsity tight end, Rus has a singular goal: to get a scholarship and play on the national stage. But when his best friend is unfairly arrested and kicked off the team, Rus faces an impossible choice: speak up or live in fear. Desperate for change, Rus kneels during the national anthem. In one instant, he falls from local stardom and becomes a target for hatred. But he's not alone. With the help of his best friend and an unlikely ally, Rus will fight for his dreams, and for justice.

From Little Tokyo, with Love

If Rika's life seems like the beginning of a familiar fairy tale--being an orphan with two bossy cousins and working away in her aunts' business--she would be the first to reject that foolish notion. After all, she loves her family (even if her cousins were named after Disney characters), and with her biracial background, amazing judo skills and red-hot temper, she doesn't quite fit the princess mold. All that changes the instant she locks eyes with Grace Kimura, America's reigning rom-com sweetheart, during the Nikkei Week Festival. From there, Rika embarks on a madcap adventure of hope and happiness--searching for clues that Grace is her long-lost mother, exploring Little Tokyo's hidden treasures with cute actor Hank Chen, and maybe...finally finding a sense of belonging. But fairy tales are fiction and the real world isn't so kind. Rika knows she's setting herself up for disappointment, because happy endings don't happen to girls like her. Should she walk away before she gets in even deeper, or let herself be swept away?

Not So Pure and Simple

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. His dad thinks his wires are crossed, and his best friend, Qwan, doesn't believe any girl is worth the long game. But Del's not about to lose his dream girl, and that's where fellow pledger Jameer comes in. He can put in the good word. In exchange, Del just has to get answers to the Pledgers' questions...about sex ed. With other boys circling Kiera like sharks, Del needs to make his move fast. But as he plots and plans, he neglects to ask the most important question: What does Kiera want? He can't think about that too much, though, because once he gets the girl, it'll all sort itself out. Right?

Like a Love Story

It's 1989 in New York City, and for three teens, the world is changing. Reza is an Iranian boy who has just moved to the city with his mother to live with his stepfather and stepbrother. He's terrified that someone will guess the truth he can barely acknowledge about himself. Reza knows he's gay, but all he knows of gay life are the media's images of men dying of AIDS. Judy is an aspiring fashion designer who worships her uncle Stephen, a gay man with AIDS who devotes his time to activism as a member of ACT UP. Judy has never imagined finding romance...until she falls for Reza and they start dating. Art is Judy's best friend, their school's only out and proud teen. He'll never be who his conservative parents want him to be, so he rebels by documenting the AIDS crisis through his photographs. As Reza and Art grow closer, Reza struggles to find a way out of his deception that won't break Judy's heart--and destroy the most meaningful friendship he's ever known.

Blackout

A summer heatwave blankets New York City in darkness. But as the city is thrown into confusion, a different kind of electricity sparks... A first meeting. Long-time friends. Bitter exes. And maybe the beginning of something new. When the lights go out, people reveal hidden truths. Love blossoms, friendship transforms, and new possibilities take flight. Beloved authors--Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon--celebrate the beauty of six couples and the unforgettable magic that can be found on a sweltering starry night in the city.

Small Town Monsters

This is the terrifying story of a girl, a dark angel, and the cult hellbent on taking over her small, coastal town. Vera Martinez wants nothing more than to escape Roaring Creek and her parents' reputation as demonologists. Not to mention she's the family outcast, lacking her parents' innate abilities, and is terrified of the occult things lurking in their basement. Maxwell Oliver is supposed to be enjoying the summer before his senior year, spending his days thinking about parties and friends. Instead he's taking care of his little sister while his mom slowly becomes someone he doesn't recognize. Soon he suspects that what he thought was grief over his father's death might be something more...sinister. When Maxwell and Vera join forces, they come face to face with deeply disturbing true stories of cults, death worship, and the very nature that drives people to evil. "With death cults, possession, exorcism, and demons, Small Town Monsters is like all of my favorite horror movies rolled up into one unputdownable book!"-Gretchen McNeil, author of Ten and #murdertrending

The Stars and the Blackness Between Them

Port of Spain, Trinidad. Sixteen-year-old Audre is despondent, having just found out she's going to be sent to live in America with her father because her strictly religious mother caught her with her secret girlfriend, the pastor's daughter. Audre's grandmother Queenie (a former dancer who drives a white convertible Cadillac and who has a few secrets of her own) tries to reassure her granddaughter that she won't lose her roots, not even in some place called Minneapolis. "America have dey spirits too, believe me," she tells Audre. Minneapolis, USA. Sixteen-year-old Mabel is lying on her bed, staring at the ceiling and trying to figure out why she feels the way she feels--about her ex Terrell, about her girl Jada and that moment they had in the woods, and about the vague feeling of illness that's plagued her all summer. Mabel's reverie is cut short when her father announces that his best friend and his just-arrived-from-Trinidad daughter are coming for dinner. Mabel quickly falls hard for Audre and is determined to take care of her as she tries to navigate an American high school. But their romance takes a turn when test results reveal exactly why Mabel has been feeling low-key sick all summer and suddenly it's Audre who is caring for Mabel as she faces a deeply uncertain future.

Dreaming in Color

Jennifer McCaffrey has been working hard on her art for years and is thrilled when she is accepted to a prestigious art school. The school is everything she always thought it would be, mostly. There is one group of kids who seem to resent her and say she only got in because of her skin color. Jen, who loves to create new pieces of artwork that incorporate her Indigenous heritage, finds herself a target when the group tells her to stop being "so Indian". The night before the big art show at school, Jen's beading art project is defaced. Jen has to find a way not to let the haters win.

Asian, Pacific Islander, South East Asian, Asian American

Asian/Pacific Literature Award 

The Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature is to honor and recognize individual work about Asian/Pacific Americans and their heritage, based on literary and artistic merit.

South Asia Book Award 

The South Asia Book Award is awarded yearly by the South Asia National Outreach Consortium (SANOC) to call attention to outstanding works on South Asia and to encourage and commend authors and publishers who produce such books, and to provide librarians and teachers with recommendations for educational use.

Afoma Umesi's 63 Best Asian Middle-Grade Books 

Lit CelebrAsian 

Bi/Multiracial, Mixed Race

Black, African American

First/Native Nations, American Indian, Indigenous

Latinx, Hispanic, Latin American

Middle Eastern, North African, Arab

South Asian