Monday’s Not Coming

By: Tiffany D. Jackson

Publisher: HarperCollins/Tegen,
ISBN: 978-0-06-242267-5

Jackson’s sophomore novel, following 2017’s acclaimed Allegedly, features another ripped-from-the-headlines premise that will keep readers guessing through the final pages.
After a summer in Georgia with her grandmother, Claudia returns to Washington, D.C., ready to take on eighth grade with her best friend, Monday, even though Monday didn’t respond to any of Claudia’s letters over the past two months. Claudia soon finds, though, that Monday is gone. Stories about where she is don’t add up and no one seems concerned, but Claudia can’t shake the feeling that Monday might be in real trouble.
Time shifts—in chapters such as “Before the Before,” “The Before,” and “The After”—create a measured and intense buildup as Claudia realizes that Monday was keeping painful and potentially dangerous secrets. Claudia’s mother’s frequent reminder to check in at home—“Breadcrumbs, Claudia. Always good to leave breadcrumbs”—prompts both Claudia and the reader to remain vigilant.
Jackson’s characters and their heart-wrenching story linger long after the final page, urging readers to advocate for those who are disenfranchised and forgotten by society and the system.
Ages 13–up.

Natalie Lakosil, Bradford Literary Agency. (June)


Illegal

By: Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin

Illustrations by: Giovanni Rigano.
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky 
ISBN 978-1-4926-6214-3
This achingly poignant graphic novel by Colfer and Donkin, collaborators on the Artemis Fowl graphic novels, imagines how one Ghanaian orphan ends up adrift in the Mediterranean.
Ebo’s older sister Sisi is already in Europe, and he knows his brother Kwame is headed there, too, so Ebo sets out to find him. It’s clear that he succeeds, because the story opens on a scene of the two brothers drifting without food or water on the ocean. But in flashbacks, they see Ebo searching for Kwame in a teeming refugee hub in Niger. Punchy dialogue and wistful narration note both Ebo’s poverty and his gifts: optimism (“I’m stronger than I look,” he tells a boss), a talent for singing, and initiative (he parlays a box of wet wipes into cash by selling them one by one). Water is precious, and Ebo and Kwame endure periods of intense thirst. Rigano brings the brothers’ struggle close, but his magnificent panels include moments of beauty, too. Clouds tower above the ocean, and starry skies light the desert.
Refugees, readers will understand, are not statistics; everyone is an individual.
Ages 10–up.

Susannah Palfrey, Hachette Children’s Group. (Aug.)


How I Resist: Activism and Hope for a New Generation

Edited by Maureen Johnson
Publisher: Wednesday Books
ISBN 978-1-250-16836-8

Candor and passion radiate from the 30 voices raised in this trenchant and timely compendium of interviews, essays, reflections, illustrations, and poems.
Representing a range of ethnicities, sexual orientations, professional achievements, and—most intriguingly—personalities, the contributors share their own experiences encountering, and countering, various forms of injustice, and encourage readers to speak out and act against the same.
The collection encompasses the contemplative (novelist Rebecca Roanhorse writes, “Live authentic to who you are…. Because you being you is the most powerful kind of resistance of all”) to the practical (Rock the Vote’s president Carolyn DeWitt pinpoints five ways that teens can engage in politics before they turn 18). Profound frustration with the Trump administration stokes the emotional quotient of numerous entries, including that of Javier Muñoz, who played the title role in Hamilton on Broadway.
Readers will also hear notes of hope about their generation’s power to effect change, expressed eloquently, if conditionally, by author Jason Reynolds: “there’s a generational groundswell of young people who together are impenetrable—if all of us are doing our jobs by giving them the necessary legs.”
This volume takes an assured step in that direction.
Ages 12–up.

Kate Testerman, KT Literary. (May)


See the whole list of Summer Reads 2018 by Publishers Weekly, here….