Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet

Laekan Zea Kemp

I'm Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter meets Emergency Contact in this stunning story of first love, familial expectations, the power of food, and finding where you belong.

Penelope Prado has always dreamed of opening her own pastelería next to her father's restaurant, Nacho's Tacos. But her mom and dad have different plans—leaving Pen to choose between not disappointing her traditional Mexican American parents or following her own path. When she confesses a secret she's been keeping, her world is sent into a tailspin. But then she meets a cute new hire at Nacho's who sees through her hard exterior and asks the questions she's been too afraid to ask herself.

Xander Amaro has been searching for home since he was a little boy. For him, a job at Nacho's is an opportunity for just that—a chance at a normal life, to settle in at his abuelo's, and to find the father who left him behind. But when both the restaurant and Xander's immigrant status are threatened, he will do whatever it takes to protect his newfound family and himself.

Together, Pen and Xander must navigate first love and discovering where they belong in order to save the place they all call home.

This stunning and poignant novel from debut author Laekan Zea Kemp explores identity, found families and the power of food, all nestled within a courageous and intensely loyal Chicanx community.

Indivisible

Daniel Aleman

This timely, moving debut novel follows a teen's efforts to keep his family together as his parents face deportation.

Mateo Garcia and his younger sister, Sophie, have been taught to fear one word for as long as they can remember: deportation. Over the past few years, however, the fear that their undocumented immigrant parents could be sent back to Mexico started to fade. Ma and Pa have been in the United States for so long, they have American-born children, and they're hard workers and good neighbors. When Mateo returns from school one day to find that his parents have been taken by ICE, he realizes that his family's worst nightmare has become a reality. With his parents' fate and his own future hanging in the balance, Mateo must figure out who he is and what he is capable of, even as he's forced to question what it means to be an American.

Daniel Aleman's Indivisible is a remarkable story—both powerful in its explorations of immigration in America and deeply intimate in its portrait of a teen boy driven by his fierce, protective love for his parents and his sister.

XO, Exoplanet

Deborah Underwood

From bestselling author Deborah Underwood comes a lively and heartwarming letter writing exchange between all the planets in outer space to show the power of perspective.

It was an ordinary day for Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, (and don't forget Pluto, the dwarf planet). The planets were circling the Sun, staring into space, until suddenly they spot something else in their Solar System. What could it be? Who could it be? The planets have no idea but they're circling to find out. Whatever it is that something is most definitely, absolutely, without a doubt NOT a planet.
 
So begins an out-of-this-world pen pal exchange between the planets and an exoplanet:
 
Dear Exoplanet,
We are excited to have you in the galaxy!
XO,
Planets
 
Dear Planets,
It is nice to hear from you! But what is an exoplanet? Does it mean "excellent planet"?
XO,
Exoplanet
 
Paired with vibrant illustrations from Jorge Lacera, this STEM-friendly story, told mainly through letters, reminds readers what happens when we consider another person's point of view.

The Fresh New Face of Griselda

Jennifer Torres

A moving coming-of-age novel about one girl's struggles after her parents lose their home, and her journey to find hope in family and friendship.

Griselda "Geez" Zaragoza has a love for beautiful things, like her collection of vintage teacups and the flower garden she and her dad planted in the front yard. But when his business fails, Griselda loses not just her home, but also her confidence and her trust in her unflappable parents.

Tagging along with big sister Maribel, who postponed college for a job selling Alma Cosmetics, Geez dreams up a way to reclaim the life she thinks she lost. If she can sell enough tubes of glistening, glittery Alma lip gloss, she'll win a cash prize that could help jump start her dad's business.

With ups and downs along the way, Geez will discover that beauty isn't just lost or found, but made and remade.

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