Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
This book explores the lives and work of four African-American women who helped the institution that would become NASA advance their space program. At a time when women were not considered for work in mathematics and when segregation was still in place, these women were recruited to work for the aeronautics program. As some of the brightest people in the country, these women used their knowledge to advance the United States in the space race.
Scythe by Neal Schusterman
It is 2042 and disease and death have been eliminated. People can live forever, but in order to control the population, those trained as Scythes have the power to kill. Cita and Rowan are chosen for a year long apprenticeship with a Scythe, despite their distaste for the job, and whoever is chosen to take on the role must kill the other.
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova
Alex Mortiz is dreading her Deathday, a ceremony during which she will have to finally accept her powers as a witch. Although being a witch is part of her family’s heritage, she decides to reject this burden by attempting a spell that will rid her of magic. When the spell backfires and sends her family to Los Lagos, the underworld, she must join forces with her friends to find them again.
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
This story alternates between the perspectives of Rashad, an African-American teen, and Quinn, who is white. Quinn witnesses a police officer beat Rashad after he is mistakenly accused of stealing. Rashad is hospitalized for internal bleeding after the attack, and Quinn is challenged by his connection to the police officer, who is the older brother of one of his friends. The story of what happened soon spreads to the school and their community, and people must decide how to respond.
The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon
This book follows one day in New York City, told from the alternating perspectives of Daniel and Natasha. Natasha’s family is on the brink of being deported to Jamaica after her father is caught drunk driving. Daniel’s family is determined that he go to an Ivy League school and pursue a career in medicine, even though he prefers poetry. When the two meet in a record store, they are immediately drawn to each other.
Watched by Marina Budhos
The son of Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh, Naeem is a high school student living in Queens, New York. After hanging out with the wrong crowd, Naeem is arrested and is given a difficult decision. Naeem can either face charges and go to jail, or he can become an informant and watch people in his neighborhood to see if they are engaged in terrorism. This puts Naeem in the difficult position of betraying the trust of his own community, and he must face the consequences of his mistakes if he wants to get out of the deal.