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Tough Issues

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With The Fire On High
Acevedo, Elizabeth
Teen mother Emoni Santiago struggles with the challenges of finishing high school and her dream of working as a chef.
Internment
Ahmed, Samira
Rebellions are built on hope. It's been one year since the census landed seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her family on the registry. Five months since the attorney general argued that Korematsu v. United States established precedent for relocation of citizens during times of war. And one month since the president declared that "Muslims are a threat to America." And now, Layla and her parents are suddenly taken from their home and forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens. With the help of new friends also trapped within the detention center, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp's director and his guards.
Shout: A Poetry Memoir
Anderson, Laurie Halse
Bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson is known for the unflinching way she writes about, and advocates for, survivors of sexual assault. Now, inspired by her fans and enraged by how little in our culture has changed since her groundbreaking novel Speak was first published twenty years ago, she has written a poetry memoir that is as vulnerable as it is rallying, as timely as it is timeless. In free verse, Anderson shares reflections, rants, and calls to action woven between deeply personal stories from her life that she's never written about before. Searing and soul-searching, this important memoir is a denouncement of our society's failures and a love letter to all the people with the courage to say #MeToo and #TimesUp, whether aloud, online, or only in their own hearts. Shout speaks truth to power in a loud, clear voice-- and once you hear it, it is impossible to ignore.
Something In Between
De la Cruz, Melissa
After learning of her family's illegal immigrant status, Jasmine realizes that college may be impossible and that deportation is a real threat, uncertainties she endures as she falls for the son of a congressman who opposes an immigration reform bill.
I Wish You All The Best
Deaver, Mason
After coming out as nonbinary, Ben must leave home and goes to live with a sister and her husband to finish the last year of high school.
On The Edge Of Gone
Duyvis, Corinne
In Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 2034, a comet is due to hit the Earth within the hour. Denise, who's sixteen years old and autistic, must try to find her missing sister and also help her neglectful, undependable mother safely aboard a spaceship.
Full Disclosure
Garrett, Camryn
Simone Garcia-Hampton is starting over at a new school, making real friends, making a name for herself as student director of Rent, and making a play for Miles. The last thing she wants is for word to get out that she's HIV-positive, because last time things got ugly. As Simone and Miles start going out, as shy kisses escalate into much more, she knows she has to tell him that she's positive. But she's terrified of how he'll react. When she finds an anonymous note in her locker that threatens to expose her, she begins to wonder if the only way to rise above is to face the haters head-on.
Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir
Grimes, Nikki
Growing up with a mother suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and a mostly absent father, Nikki Grimes found herself terrorized by babysitters, shunted from foster family to foster family, and preyed upon by those she trusted. At the age of six, she poured her pain onto a piece of paper late one night - and discovered the magic and impact of writing. For many years, Nikki's notebooks were her most enduing companions. In this accessible and inspiring memoir that will resonate with young readers and adults alike, Nikki shows how the power of those words helped her conquer the hazards - ordinary and extraordinary - of her life.
And We Stay
Hubbard, Jenny
Sent to an Amherst, Massachusetts, boarding school after her ex-boyfriend shoots himself, seventeen-year-old Emily expresses herself through poetry as she relives their relationship, copes with her guilt, and begins to heal.
Brave Face: A Memoir
Hutchinson, Shaun David
Shaun David Hutchinson was nineteen. Confused. Struggling to find the vocabulary to understand and accept who he was and how he fit into a community in which he couldn't see himself. The voice of depression told him that he would never be loved or wanted, while powerful and hurtful messages from society told him that being gay meant love and happiness weren't for him. A million moments large and small over the years all came together to convince Shaun that he couldn't keep going, that he had no future. And so he followed through on trying to make that a reality. Thankfully Shaun survived, and over time, came to embrace how grateful he is and how to find self-acceptance. In this courageous and deeply honest memoir, Shaun takes readers through the journey of what brought him to the edge, and what has helped him truly believe that it does get better.
I'm Not Dying With You Tonight
Jones, Kimberly
Told from two viewpoints, Atlanta high school seniors Lena and Campbell, one black, one white, must rely on each other to survive after a football rivalry escalates into a riot.
Finding Audrey
Kinsella, Sophie
Fourteen-year-old Audrey is making slow but steady progress dealing with her anxiety disorder when Linus comes into the picture and her recovery gains momentum.
A Very Large Expanse Of Sea
Mafi, Tahereh
It's 2002, a year after 9/11, and Shirin has just started at yet another school. It's an extremely turbulent time for the world, but also for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who's tired of being stereotyped. She's tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments--even the physical violence--she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. She decided long ago not to trust anyone anymore, and she doesn't expect, or even try, to fit in anywhere or let anyone close enough to hurt her. But then she meets Ocean James. He's the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her--they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds--and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she's not sure she'll ever be able to let it down.
Burn Baby Burn
Medina, Meg
Nora Lopez is seventeen during the summer of 1977, when New York is besieged by arson, a massive blackout, and a serial killer named Son of Sam. Meg Medina transports us to a time when tempers and temperatures ran high to share the story of a young woman who discovers that the greatest dangers are often closer than we like to admit.
This Is Where It Ends
Nijkamp, Marieke
Minutes after the principal of Opportunity High School in Alabama finishes her speech welcoming the student body to a new semester, they discover that the auditorium doors will not open and someone starts shooting as four teens, each with a personal reason to fear the shooter, tell the tale from separate perspectives.
Out Of Darkness
Pérez, Ashley Hope
Loosely based on a school explosion that took place in New London, Texas in 1937, this is the story of two teenagers: Naomi, who is Mexican, and Wash, who is black, and their dealings with race, segregation, love, and the forces that destroy people.
Patron Saints Of Nothing
Ribay, Randy
Jay Reguero learns that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte's war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened. He travels to the Philippines, hoping to uncover more about Jun and the events that led to his death. Jay is forced to reckon with the many sides of his cousin before he can face the whole horrible truth-- and the part he played in it.
A List Of Cages
Roe, Robin
Adam, a high school senior, rescues Julian, a freshman, from an abusive situation.
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
Sánchez, Erika L.
Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents' house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family. But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga's role. Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.
Somebody Told Me
Siegert, Mia
After an assault at an anime convention, bigender seventeen-year-old Aleks/Alexis moves in with their uncle, a Catholic priest, and decides to help strangers anonymously after overhearing parishioners' confessions through their bedroom floor.
Dear Martin
Stone, Nic
Writing letters to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., seventeen-year-old college-bound Justyce McAllister struggles to face the reality of race relations today and how they are shaping him.
Falling Into Place
Zhang, Amy
One cold fall day, high school junior Liz Emerson steers her car into a tree. This haunting and heartbreaking story is told by a surprising and unexpected narrator and unfolds in nonlinear flashbacks even as Liz's friends, foes, and family gather at the hospital and Liz clings to life.