Luba: The Angel of Bergen-Belsen by Luba Tryszynska-Frederick

When Luba finds children 54 abandoned children in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, she decides to rescue them. She brings them back to her barrack to care for them. She convinces the women in her barrack to take the risk to care for and save these children. She manages to find extra food for the children and medicine when needed. This is an amazing true story of a lesser-known heroine of the Holocaust.

Willy and Max: A Holocaust Story by Amy Littlesugar

Willy and Max are friends in Belgium when the Nazis invade.  Max and his father visit Willy’s family on the night they flee Belgium, asking the family to hide a painting. Willy hides the painting, and never sees Max again.  When Willy is an adult, he is contacted by an art curator who found the painting Willy hid. Willy and the curator try to find Max.

 

Grenade by Alan Gratz

It’s 1945 and the war in the Pacific between the United States and Japan continues.  Hideki lives on the Japanese occupied island of Okinawa.  The Americans are invading. The desperate Japanese soldiers demand that the Okinawan youth help defend the island.  They give Hideki and other Okinawan students two grenades each and direct them to kill the American invaders with one. Private Ray Majors, a young Marine experiencing his first time in combat, lands on an Okinawan beach.  Enemy Japanese soldiers are everywhere, but so are the Okinawan people. Ray and his squad make their way across the island hoping to gain control and move closer to ending World War II.

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol

Vera begs her mother to send her to summer sleepover camp.  When her mother finally makes it happen, Vera discovers that Russian camp isn’t everything she thought it would be.  The older girls aren’t very nice. She wants to go home but she can’t. She’s going to have to make the most of it until the summer is over.

From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon

Twinkle Mehra has a dream to be an award-winning film director. She wants to tell stories. Film geek, Sahil Roy, who has had a crush on her since elementary school, encourages Twinkle to enter the Midsummer Night arts festival. He offers to produce her film. Twinkle has had a long-time crush on Sahil’s popular twin brother Neil. She has a secret fantasy that someday Neil will notice her as girlfriend material, and move her from her perceived lower social status in her high school’s popularity rankings. As Twinkle and Sahil begin planning and organizing the film, Twinkle begins having feelings for Sahil. But emails from a secret admirer who signs his correspondence with N complicate matters for Twinkle.

Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman

The drought in Southern California continues to escalate. When Arizona and Nevada back out of the reservoir relief deal, the taps run dry.  Crowds rush to nearby stores to grab water off the shelves. Soon neighborhoods are without water except for those who prepared.  Alyssa and her younger brother, Garrett, find themselves in dire circumstances when their parents do not return from seeking water at a desalination station on the coast.  Their Eagle Scout neighbor, Kelton, offers to help Alyssa find answers.  The trio is thrown into chaotic situations as the SoCal population turns desperate for water.  When it becomes apparent that help will not arrive in time from government agencies, the trio must work together to survive the Tap-Out.

Projekt 1065: A Novel of World War II by Alan Gratz

Michael O’Shaunessy, originally from Ireland, lives in Nazi Germany with his parents. Michael has joined the Hitler Youth, but Michael has a secret.  Michael and his parents are spies for the Allies passing on information and occasionally assisting downed pilots to escape capture. Then Michael happens upon the plans for Projekt 1065, a Nazi secret plan that could change the outcome of the war. Michael is prepared to take even bigger risks to get the plans to the Allies!

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Elizabeth Acevedo’s award-winning book introduces Xiomara Batista, the Poet X.  Xiomara lives in Harlem with Twin, Mami, and Papi.  Mami is deeply religious and strict.  Xiomara is feisty and fierce.  She pours her thoughts and feelings out as poetry in the leatherbound notebook her twin, Xavier, gave to her.  Poetry is her passion, and Xiomara aches for a regular teenage life outside her mother’s strict boundaries. Xiomara is asked to join the Spoken Word Club at school, something she knows will directly confront Mami’s rules, and yet Xiomara isn’t sure she has the courage to speak her words out loud in front of others.

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

Aru Shah lives in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture in Atlanta with her mother.  Aru Shah fabricates information she shares with her peers to try to fit in.  When three of her classmates visit Aru Shah at the museum to catch her in a lie, Aru shows them the ancient, cursed Lamp of Bharata.  Even though her mother has warned her to never light the lamp, to impress the visiting trio, Aru lights the lamp. Lighting the lamp releases the ancient demon, the Sleeper, who has been trapped in the lamp for centuries.  The Sleeper freezes time and sets out to destroy the world.  It is up to Aru to find away to stop the destructive Sleeper, and return the world to the way it was.