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South Asian Kidlit Newsletter - Fall 2021


Hi Everyone,
First a BIG welcome to all the new members. So happy you can join us! I hope your Fourth of July weekend was relaxing and I hope you were able to share it with family and friends. Thank you to all the book sellers, librarians, and bloggers who have been promoting and "chatting up" HOW TO WEAR A SARI. You have my deepest appreciation.

Congratulations to South Asia Book Award Winners: Meera Sriram for A GIFT FOR AMMA: MARKET DAY IN INDIA and to Honor Winners Ameya Narvankar for RITU WEDS CHANDINI and to Saadia Faruqi for A THOUSAND QUESTIONS. Check out the full list of winners and highly commended books.

If you would like to see back issues from the last five years, you can find them on my South Asian Kidlit Page.

Happy Reading!
Author/Illustrator Spotlight
Leila Siddiqui is a Chicago-born Texan who calls New York home. She currently works in publishing in the marketing department. Leila spent a childhood fascinated by history and horror, and how intricately both can be entwined, and now wants to write the kind of fantastical and strange fiction she loved to read growing up. She is a horror film devotee and when not writing, spends her time fawning over her very floofy cat. She lives with her partner in Queens.
Q: Writers take in their surroundings and experiences and sometimes put it into their writing. What aspects of your South Asian culture have influenced your book?

The folkore that I grew up with that had stories about fearsome churails that lived in trees waiting to snatch you if you got too close. This definitely informed the horror aspects of my novel. I remembered hearing horror stories about alleged encounters with family members or family friends, so I wove that in with some personal facts from my grandparents’ lives during WWII and the Partition of 1947.

Q: In what ways do you hope readers will connect with HOUSE OF GLASS HEARTS? 

 I hope readers will connect with the folklore and history I’ve written about, which I don’t think has been fictionalized in YA before. I hope they come away with a richer history of how WWII and the Partition affected the Indian subcontinent while also getting a glimpse of the folklore associated with the subcontinent.

You can find out more about Leila on her Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Fall 2021 List
Today's list covers books releasing in September thru November of 2021, plus a few end of summer books I missed in the previous newsletter. The books listed below are traditionally published and are either by a South Asian author or illustrator, contains a South Asian main character, or involve South Asian culture. The books are organized by Category and then Publication Date.

For a list of today’s books, check out my South Asian Kidlit Fall 2021 list at Bookshop.org.
Title: Goodnight Ganesha
Author: Nadia Salomon
Illustrator: Poonam Mistry
Publisher: Philomel
Publication Date: August 31, 2021
ISBN: 9780593203613
Category-Genre: Picture Book
Community Represented: Indian
Synopsis:
As nighttime falls over the city, two children visiting their grandparents in India find there's so much fun to be had! Whether it's listening to epic stories or observing rituals in the puja room, there are many moments that make this time together special. In this beautiful, rhyming ode to bedtime, the only thing more universal than getting ready for bed and saying goodnight is the love between children and their grandparents.
Title: Tomatoes for Neela
Author: Padma Lakshmi
Illustrator: Juana Martinez-Neal 
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 31, 2021
ISBN: 9780593202708
Category-Genre: Picture Book
Community Represented: Indian-American
Synopsis:
Neela loves cooking with her amma and writing down the recipes in her notebook. It makes her feel closer to her paati who lives far away in India. On Saturdays, Neela and Amma go to the green market and today they are buying tomatoes to make Paati's famous sauce. But first, Neela needs to learn about all the different kinds of tomatoes they can pick from. And as Neela and Amma cook together, they find a way for Paati to share in both the love and the flavors of the day.
Title: Hamsters Make Terrible Roommates
Author: Cheryl Klein
Illustrator: Abhi Alwar
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: August 31, 2021
ISBN: 9780593324233
Category-Genre: Picture Book
Synopsis:
It's been two hundred and five days since Henry has had peace. That's because it's been two hundred and five days since Marvin has come to live with him. Marvin, who loves to talk in the tunnels, talk while they're eating, talk while they're running. Marvin, who drives Henry up the cage walls. But when Henry finally loses his cool and gets exactly what he wanted, both hamsters have to figure out a way to live together and work through their communication mishaps.
Title: Beautifully Me
Author: Nabela Noor
Illustrator: Nabi H. Ali
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 14, 2021
ISBN: 9781534485877
Category-Genre: Picture Book
Community Represented: Bangladeshi-American
Synopsis:
Meet Zubi: a joyful Bangladeshi girl excited about her first day of school. But when Zubi sees her mother frowning in the mirror and talking about being “too big,” she starts to worry about her own body and how she looks. As her day goes on, she hears more and more people being critical of each other’s and their own bodies, until her outburst over dinner leads her family to see what they’ve been doing wrong—and to help Zubi see that we can all make the world a more beautiful place by being beautifully ourselves.
Title: The Secret Code Inside You: All About Your DNA
Author: Rajani LaRocca
Illustrator: Steven Salerno
Publisher: little bee books
Publication Date: September 14, 2021
ISBN: 9781499810752
Category-Genre: Picture Book - Non-Fiction
Synopsis:
Why can't humans breathe underwater? Why are some people tall and others short? Why do we resemble our parents and grandparents? This book explores all this and more in flowing, rhyming text, explaining cells, DNA, and genetics in a way that is simple and easy for children to understand. Colorful and brilliantly illustrated, The Secret Code Inside You illustrates that while DNA may be the blueprint for how a person looks, what you choose to do with your body is entirely up to you!
Title: Between Two Worlds: The Art & Life of Amrita Sher-Gil
Author: Meera Sriram
Illustrator:  Ruchi Bakshi Sharma
Publisher: Penny Candy Books
Publication Date: September 14, 2021
ISBN: 9781734225945
Category-Genre: Picture Book - Non-Fiction
Synopsis:
Amrita Sher-Gil was always making art—as a little girl in Budapest, as a young woman in Northern India, and as an art student in Paris, she filled up notebooks with sketches and drawings—but what kind of artist would she grow up to be? Amrita was rebellious, brave, curious, and bold in her short life and in her paintings, and she became an important figure in the 20th century modern art movement.
Title: Bravo Anjali!
Author: Sheetal Sheth
Illustrator: Lucia Soto
Publisher: Mango & Marigold Press
Publication Date: September 15, 2021
ISBN: 9781737055013
Category-Genre: Picture Book
Community Represented: Indian-American
Synopsis:
For Anjali, playing the tabla is something that comes naturally. She loves the feel of the drum beneath her fingers and getting lost in the music. But when a boy in her class gives her a hard time for being better than him, she messes up on purpose. When her teacher announces a contest where the winner will get to perform with him at his next concert, Anjali is distraught. Winning the contest would be a dream for Anjali. But it seems like the better she gets, the meaner some of the kids are. In this follow up to the award winning Always Anjali, Anjali realizes that she should never let anyone make her feel bad for being good at something. An important story for all children to remember to ‘never dim their light.’
Title: Dumpling Day
Author: Meera Sriram
Illustrator:  Inés de Antuñano
Publisher: Barefoot Books
Publication Date: September 17, 2021
ISBN: 9781646862818
Category-Genre: Picture Book
Synopsis:
Savor a rhyming celebration of one of the world's most universal foods! Readers follow ten diverse families as they cook dumplings inside their homes in preparation for a neighborhood potluck. Dumplings are added to plates one by one, encouraging children to count with each new addition. Authentic recipes for all the dumplings and a map showing their regions of origin are included in the endnotes. Dumpling Day features dumplings from the following regions: India USA (Pennsylvania Dutch) China (Cantonese) Nigeria Japan Israel Mexico Syria Russia Italy
Title: Happy Diwali!
Author: Sanyukta Mathur
Illustrator: Courtney Pippin-Mathur
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 28, 2021
ISBN: 9781250257468
Category-Genre: Picture Book
Community Represented: Indian-American
Synopsis:
This joyful family story follows a little girl from dawn to dusk as she draws rangolis to welcome guests, prepares food with her family including pani puri and chana masala, dresses up in colorful clothing, participates in the puja, and lights the diyas in honor of Diwali: the Hindu festival of lights. Excitement, history, and traditions abound in this vibrant celebration of Diwali, complete with a glossary, and delicious recipes for mango lassi, sukhe aloo, and puri.
Title: My Mindful A to Zen: 26 Well-Being Haiku for Happy Little Minds
Author/Illustrator: Krina Patel-Sage
Publisher: Lantana Publishing
Publication Date: October 5, 2021
ISBN: 9781911373803
Category-Genre: Picture Book - Poetry
Synopsis:
These haiku poems for the soul gently introduce children to mindfulness concepts like Om, Yoga and Zen, as well as goals for mindful living like Gratitude and Positivity. With its delightful cast of inclusive characters, this inspirational poetry collection promotes well-being with every letter.
Title: My Words Flew Away Like Birds 
Author: Debora Pearson
Illustrator: Shrija Jain 
Publisher: Kids Can Pres
Publication Date: October 5, 2021
ISBN: 9781525303180
Category-Genre: Picture Book
Synopsis:
A poetically told immigration story that fosters understanding and beautifully articulates how the desire to belong and the need for human connection are universal.
Title: Meena’s Mindful Moment
Author: Tina Athaide 
Illustrator: Åsa Gilland 
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Publication Date: October 5, 2021
ISBN: 9781645672869
Category-Genre: Picture Book
Community Represented: Indian
Synopsis:
Meena is excited to visit Dada and explore all the exciting sights and sensations of his home with him. But Meena has so much energy, it becomes a whole imaginary character she calls her hurly-burly hullabaloo. Wherever Meena goes, her hurly-burly hullabaloo goes too. Together they’re never calm, as they run and cartwheel and make a lot of noise! But when Meena makes a mess, her grandfather is there to teach her how to handle it with deep breaths and meditative poses―after all, he has a hurly-burly hullabaloo too.
Title: Chaiwala!
Author: Priti Birla Maheshwari
Illustrator: Ashley Barron
Publisher: Owlkids
Publication Date: October 15, 2021
ISBN: 9781771473682
Category-Genre: Picture Book
Community Represented: Indian
Synopsis:
When their train makes a 10-minute stop at the station in Jaipur, a young girl and her mother hurry to get in line for a cup of chai. While the girl waits for her mug of milky spiced tea, readers are treated to the sights, sounds, and smells of the Chaiwala’s cart. The aroma of ginger, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon sticks swirls in the air. Tea leaves rustle, milk bubbles, and the hot drink is poured back and forth until―clink!―the cups are filled and placed on the stand. With a biscuit and a rusk added to their order, it’s time to find a spot to sit and enjoy!
Title: Little Seeds of Promise
Author: Sana Rafi
Illustrator: Renia Metallinou
Publisher: The Innovation Press
Publication Date: October 26, 2021
ISBN: 9781943147939
Category-Genre: Picture Book
Community Represented: South Asian-American
Synopsis:
When Maya moves to a different country, she feels lonely and lost. Everything―and everyone―seems so unfamiliar here, and she wonders if she will ever find a way to fit in. Longing for her home, she holds tightly to the special seeds her grandmother gave her, afraid to plant them. Can she take the risk that they―and she―might grow and bloom in this new place?
Title: What Will My Story Be?
Author/Illustrator: Nidhi Chanani
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 26, 2021
ISBN: 9780593205068
Category-Genre: Picture Book
Synopsis:
After spending an afternoon listening to her aunties tell her stories from their pasts, a young girl ruminates on all of the tales that she can create using her imagination and begins to feel as if the possibilities for her future are endless.
Title: A Sari for Ammi
Author: Mamta Nainy
Illustrator: Sandhya Prabhat 
Publisher: Amazon Crossing Kids
Publication Date: November 9, 2021
ISBN: 9781542035071
Category-Genre: Picture Book
Community Represented: Indian
Synopsis:
Ammi weaves the most beautiful saris but never gets to wear any of them. Her two little daughters decide to do something about it—break their piggy bank! But when there isn’t enough money to buy Ammi a sari, the two girls must work together to find a solution. Will they be able to buy Ammi the gift she so deserves? With a text full of heart, and bright, cheerful artwork, this story brings readers into the home of a weaver’s family in Kaithoon, India, where the creation of saris is an art form. The book includes a glossary of Indian terms and a note about the saris made in this region.
Title: Nina Soni, Halloween Queen
Author: Kashmira Sheth 
Illustrator: Jenn Kocsmiersky 
Publisher: Peachtree Publishing
Publication Date: September 1, 2021
ISBN: 9781682632277
Category-Genre: Chapter Book
Community Represented: Indian-American
Synopsis:
Halloween brings out Nina Soni's competitive spirit. Her friend Jay has a great costume planned, so--of course--Nina has to come up with an even better idea. A bunch of old boxes in the basement inspires her to create an impressively scary haunted house, for which she can charge admission. So what could possibly go wrong for the Halloween Queen?
Title: Sona Sharma, Very Best Big Sister?
Author: Chitra Soundar
Illustrator: Jen Khatun
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: September 14, 2021
ISBN: 9781536214826
Category-Genre: Chapter Book
Community Represented: Indian
Synopsis:
Sona Sharma's house is full of three generations of people who joke often and argue sometimes. Relatives come over unannounced, the phone rings frequently, and friends drop by all the time. Then one day Amma tells Sona that she is going to have a baby. Is that good? Sona isn’t so sure. She doesn’t want to share her room or her things with a new baby, not to mention the attention of Amma, Appa, Thatha, and Paatti. And despite Amma's assurance that the sky always has room for new stars, Sona doesn’t feel stretchy or bighearted like the sky. But when she learns there will be a baby-naming ceremony, she’s determined to find the best name for her new brother or sister—one as nice as her own, a Hindi word for “gold.” Perfectly pitched to young readers, this tale of warming up to change is followed by a glossary of words from India to explore in the story.
Title: Bobo and Pup-Pup: We Love Bubbles! / Let's Make Cake!
Author: Vikram Madan
Illustrator: Nicola Slater
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 21, 2021
ISBNs:
We Love Bubbles!: 9780593120651
Let's Make Cake!:  9780593120651
Category-Genre: Early Chapter Books Graphic Novel
Synopsis:
We Love Bubbles!
Did you ever have a friend who likes doing something that you find completely annoying? Well, Bobo and Pup-Pup both LOVE bubbles. Bubbles are the absolute best--on that they can agree! While Pup-Pup loves blowing them, Bobo LOVES popping them...way too much for Pup-Pup's taste. It's getting frustrating! Pup-Pup has a clever idea to stop Bobo from popping them. But, then Bobo gets carried away...literally!

We Love Cake!
Bobo and Pup-Pup are making a cake! Pup-Pup reads the ingredients and Bobo gathers them. Sugar and butter, no problem! Bobo brings salt and lemons. But wait, those are not on the ingredient list! Bobo nabs a lot of things that are not in the recipe. Well, it's an experiment! It will still taste great...won't it? Even if the result isn't perfect, Bobo and Pup-Pup are happy to spend time together. Doing things with your best friend is always fun!
Title: Yusuf Azeem is Not a Hero
Author: Saadia Faruqi
Publisher: Quill Tree Books
Publication Date: September 7, 2021
ISBN: 9780062943255
Category-Genre: Middle-Grade - Contemporary
Community Represented: Muslim-American
Synopsis:
Yusuf Azeem has spent all his life in the small town of Frey, Texas—and nearly that long waiting for the chance to participate in the regional robotics competition, which he just knows he can win. Only, this year is going to be more difficult than he thought. Because this year is the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, an anniversary that has everyone in his Muslim community on edge. With “Never Forget” banners everywhere and a hostile group of townspeople protesting the new mosque, Yusuf realizes that the country’s anger from two decades ago hasn’t gone away. Can he hold onto his joy—and his friendships—in the face of heartache and prejudice?
Title: Born Behind Bars
Author: Padma Venkatraman
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Publication Date: September 7, 2021
ISBN: 9780593112472
Category-Genre: Middle-Grade
Community Represented: Indian
Synopsis:
Kabir has been in jail since the day he was born, because his mom is serving time for a crime she didn't commit. He's never met his dad, so the only family he's got are their cellmates, and the only place he feels the least bit free is in the classroom, where his kind teacher regales him with stories of the wonders of the outside world. Then one day a new warden arrives and announces Kabir is too old to stay. He gets handed over to a long-lost "uncle" who unfortunately turns out to be a fraud, and intends to sell Kabir. So Kabir does the only thing he can--run away as fast as his legs will take him. How does a boy with nowhere to go and no connections make his way? Fortunately, he befriends Rani, another street kid, and she takes him under her wing. But plotting their next move is hard--and fraught with danger--in a world that cares little for homeless, low caste children. This is not the world Kabir dreamed of--but he's discovered he's not the type to give up. Kabir is ready to show the world that he--and his mother--deserve a place in it.
Title: How to Find What You're Not Looking For
Author: Veera Hiranandani
Publisher: Kokila
Publication Date: September 14, 2021
ISBN: 9780525555032
Category-Genre: Middle-Grade - Historical Fiction
Community Represented: Jewish-American
Synopsis:
Twelve-year-old Ariel Goldberg's life feels like the moment after the final guest leaves the party. Her family's Jewish bakery runs into financial trouble, and her older sister has eloped with a young man from India following the Supreme Court decision that strikes down laws banning interracial marriage. As change becomes Ariel's only constant, she's left to hone something that will be with her always--her own voice.
Title: Piece by Piece: The Story of Nisrin's Hijab
Author/Illustrator: Priya Huq
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: September 14, 2021
ISBN: 9781419740169
Category-Genre: Middle-Grade Graphic Novel - Contemporary 
Community Represented: Bangladeshi-American
Synopsis:
Nisrin is a 13-year-old Bangladeshi-American girl living in Milwaukie, Oregon, in 2002. As she nears the end of eighth grade, she gives a presentation for World Culture Day about Bangladesh while wearing a traditional cultural dress. On her way home, she is the victim of a hate crime when a man violently attacks her for wearing a headscarf.
Title: Amira & Hamza: The War to Save the Worlds
Author: Samira Ahmed
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 21, 2021
ISBN: 9780316540469
Category-Genre: Middle-Grade - Fantasy
Synopsis:
On the day of a rare super blue blood moon eclipse, twelve-year-old Amira and her little brother, Hamza, can’t stop their bickering while attending a special exhibit on medieval Islamic astronomy. While stargazer Amira is wowed by the amazing gadgets, a bored Hamza wanders off, stumbling across the mesmerizing and forbidden Box of the Moon. Amira can only watch in horror as Hamza grabs the defunct box and it springs to life, setting off a series of events that could shatter their world—literally. Suddenly, day turns to night, everyone around Amira and Hamza falls under a sleep spell, and a chunk of the moon breaks off, hurtling toward them at lightning speed, as they come face-to-face with two otherworldly creatures: jinn. The jinn reveal that the siblings have a role to play in an ancient prophecy. Together, they must journey to the mystical land of Qaf, battle a great evil, and end a civil war to prevent the moon—the stopper between realms—from breaking apart and unleashing terrifying jinn, devs, and ghuls onto earth. Or they might have to say goodbye to their parents and life as they know it, forever.…
Title: Welcome Back, Maple Mehta-Cohen
Author: Kate McGovern
Publisher: Candlewick
Publication Date: October 12, 2021
ISBN: 9781536215588
Category-Genre: Middle-Grade - Contemporary
Community Represented: Indian-Jewish-American
Synopsis:
Maple Mehta-Cohen has been keeping a secret: she can’t read all that well. She has an impressive vocabulary and loves dictating stories into her recorder—especially the adventures of a daring sleuth who’s half Indian and half Jewish like Maple herself—but words on the page just don’t seem to make sense to her. Despite all Maple’s clever tricks to hide her troubles with reading, her teacher is on to her, and now Maple has to repeat fifth grade. Maple is devastated—what will her friends think? Will they forget about her? She uses her storytelling skills to convince her classmates that she's staying back as a special teacher’s assistant (because of budget cuts, you know). But as Maple navigates the loss of old friendships, the possibility of new ones, and facing her reading challenges head-on, her deception becomes harder to keep up. Can Maple begin to recognize her own strengths, and to love herself—and her brain—just the way she is? Readers who have faced their own trials with school and friendships will enjoy this heartwarming story and its bright, creative heroine.
Title: The Interplanetary Expedition of Mars Patel 
Author: Sheela Chari
Publisher: Walker Books US 
Publication Date: October 12, 2021
ISBN: 9781536209570
Category-Genre: Middle-Grade - Mystery
Community Represented: Indian-American
Synopsis:
Six months ago, Mars Patel boarded a spaceship to travel to Oliver Pruitt’s colony on the planet Mars, and now he’s finally there. The journey gave Mars lots of time to bond with his copilots, but Mars and his new friends soon discover that Pruitt’s colonists aren’t the only people living on the inhospitable planet. A splinter group, led by the mysterious Fang, are desperate to go back to Earth—and they don’t care who they hurt in the process. Amid the slick subterranean colony filled with rules and giant, terrifying tardigrades who poop a lot, Mars searches for answers about Oliver Pruitt’s supposed plans—and the real reason the eccentric billionaire has been so invested in him all this time.
Title: Barakah Beats
Author: Maleeha Siddiqui
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: October 19, 2021
ISBN: 9781338702064
Category-Genre: Middle-Grade - Contemporary
Community Represented: Muslim-American
Synopsis:
Twelve-year-old Nimra Sharif has spent her whole life in Islamic school, but now it's time to go to "real school." Nimra's nervous, but as long as she has Jenna, her best friend who already goes to the public school, she figures she can take on just about anything. Unfortunately, middle school is hard. The teachers are mean, the schedule is confusing, and Jenna starts giving hijab-wearing Nimra the cold shoulder around the other kids. Desperate to fit in and get back in Jenna's good graces, Nimra accepts an unlikely invitation to join the school's popular 8th grade boy band, Barakah Beats. The only problem is, Nimra was taught that music isn't allowed in Islam, and she knows her parents would be disappointed if they found out. So she devises a simple plan: join the band, win Jenna back, then quietly drop out before her parents find out. But dropping out of the band proves harder than expected. Not only is her plan to get Jenna back working, but Nimra really likes hanging out with the band -- they value her contributions and respect how important her faith is to her. Then Barakah Beats signs up for a talent show to benefit refugees, and Nimra's lies start to unravel. With the show only a few weeks away and Jenna's friendship hanging in the balance, Nimra has to decide whether to betray her bandmates -- or herself.
Title: It All Comes Back to You
Author: Farah Naz Rishi
Publisher: Quill Tree Books
Publication Date: September 14, 2021
ISBN: 9780062741486
Category-Genre: Young Adult - Contemporary
Community Represented: Pakistani - American
Synopsis:
After Kiran Noorani’s mom died, Kiran vowed to keep her dad and sister, Amira, close—to keep her family together. But when Amira announces that she’s dating someone, Kiran’s world is turned upside down. Deen Malik is thrilled that his brother, Faisal, has found a great girlfriend. Maybe a new love will give Faisal a new lease on life, and Deen can stop feeling guilty for the reason that Faisal needs a do-over in the first place. When the families meet, Deen and Kiran find themselves face to face. Again. Three years ago—before Amira and Faisal met—Kiran and Deen dated in secret. Until Deen ghosted Kiran. And now, after discovering hints of Faisal’s shady past, Kiran will stop at nothing to find answers. Deen just wants his brother to be happy—and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep Kiran from reaching the truth. Though the chemistry between Kiran and Deen is undeniable, can either of them take down their walls?
Title: House of Glass Hearts
Author: Leila Siddiqui 
Publisher: Yali Books
Publication Date: September 30, 2021
ISBN: 9781949528787
Category-Genre: Young Adult
Community Represented: Pakistani-American
Synopsis:
Maera and her ammi never talk about the Past, a place where they've banished their family's heartache and grief forever. They especially never mention the night Maera's older brother Asad disappeared from her naana's house in Karachi ten years ago. But when her grandfather dies and his derelict greenhouse appears in her backyard from thousands of miles away, Maera is forced to confront the horrors of her grandfather's past. To find out what happened to her brother, she must face the keepers of her family's secrets-the monsters that live inside her grandfather's mysterious house of glass.
Title: Journey to the Heart of the Abyss (Light the Abyss, 2)
Author: London Shah
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 26, 2021
ISBN: 9780759555075
Category-Genre: Young Adult - Fantasy
Synopsis:
Leyla McQueen has finally reunited with her father after breaking him out of Broadmoor, the illegal government prison—but his freedom comes at a terrible cost. As Leyla celebrates his return, she must grapple with the pain of losing Ari. Now separated from the boy who has her heart and labeled the nation’s number one enemy, Leyla must risk illegal travel through unchartered waters in her quest for the truth behind her father's arrest. Across Britain, the fallout from Leyla's actions has escalated tensions between Anthropoid and non-Anthropoid communities, bringing them to an all-time high. And, as Leyla and her friends fight to uncover the startling truths about their world, she discovers her own shocking past—and the horrifying secrets behind her father’s abduction and arrest. But as these long-buried truths finally begin to surface, so, too, do the authorities’ terrible future plans. And if the ever-pervasive fear prevents the people from taking a stand now, the abyss could stay in the dark forever.
 
Title: Tahira in Bloom
Author: Farah Heron
Publisher: Skyscape
Publication Date: November 1, 2021
ISBN: 9781542030373
Category-Genre: Young Adult
Community Represented: South Asian - Canadian
Synopsis:
When seventeen-year-old aspiring designer Tahira Janmohammad’s coveted fashion internship falls through, her parents have a Plan B. Tahira will work in her aunt’s boutique in the small town of Bakewell, the flower capital of Ontario. It’s only for the summer, and she’ll get the experience she needs for her college application. Plus her best friend is coming along. It won’t be that bad. But she just can’t deal with Rowan Johnston, the rude, totally obsessive garden-nerd next door with frayed cutoffs and terrible shoes. Not to mention his sharp jawline, smoldering eyes, and soft lips. So irritating. Rowan is also just the plant-boy Tahira needs to help win the Bakewell flower-arranging contest―an event that carries clout in New York City, of all places. And with designers, of all people. Connections that she needs! No one is more surprised than Tahira to learn that floral design is almost as great as fashion design. And Rowan? Turns out he’s more than ironic shirts and soil under the fingernails. Tahira’s about to find out what she’s really made of―and made for. Because here in the middle of nowhere, Tahira is just beginning to bloom.
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