New Novels in Poems

Unlocked by Ryan G. Van Cleave

Reading Level: Grades 7+

When you're the janitor's kid, you don't have many friends. You don't have any friends. Andy is no different, but when he hears a rumor that the school outcast, Blake, has a gun in his locker, he decides to make friends with Blake. When the boys do become friends, Andy must choose between protecting his only friend and protecting a school full of kids who could care less about him?

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More books by Ryan G. Van Cleave



Just Another Hero by Sharon Draper

Shooter by Walter Dean Myers

Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia

Echo by Kate Morgenroth

Give a Boy a Gun by Todd Strasser

Where the Steps Were by Andrea Cheng

For older readers:

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku by Lee Wardlaw

Reading Level: Ages 4-8

Won Ton is a shelter cat who is pretty skeptical of his new home and family. Like most cats, he pretends not to care about any of the new toys or food his adoptive family gives him... but sneaks just a peek. A cute story told in perfect haiku that everyone will enjoy.

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Karma by Kathy Ostlere

Reading Level: Grades 7+

The year is 1984. Fifteen year old Maya packs a suitcase for a trip to India with her father. They are going to lay Maya's recently deceased Hindu mother to rest. Not long after they arrive, however, tumultuous religious differences between the Sikhs and Hindus explode into violence when prime minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated.

Maya and her father, a Sikh, are caught in the middle of the clash and separated when their hotel is attacked. Afraid for her safety because of her Hindu-Sikh parents and her sex, Maya quickly hacks off her long ponytail with a pair of scissors and runs, forgetting her mother's ashes in the hotel room.

The next hours are harrowing for Maya as the riots swell around her, Sikhs and Hindus fighting unrelentingly around her. When she finally emerges from the violence, rescued by a kind desert family but traumatized into muteness, it is only the 17-year old son, Sandeep, devoted to helping Maya find her father, that can save her again.

This historical fiction romance in diary-format free verse will have you turning pages back again and again to reread Maya and Sandeep's words and longing for more after the end. Karma is fraught with emotion, culture, violence, religion fear, but most importantly, family.

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Other novels you might like:

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger

Keeping Corner by Kashmira Sheth

For older readers:

Sold by Patricia McCormick