1. Kids Like Us, Hilary Reyl
"Martin is an American teen on the autism spectrum living in France with his mom and sister for the summer. He falls for a French girl who he thinks is a real-life incarnation of a character in his favorite book. Over time Martin comes to realize she is a real person and not a character in a novel while at the same time learning that love is not out of his reach just because he is autistic."
If you're looking for a heart-warming adventure to carry you through the holidays, this is it. Martin is a character you can't help but root for. (And who wouldn't want to spend the winter reading about a summer in France?)
2. Eight Days on Planet Earth, Cat Jordan
"How long does it take to travel 13 light-years to Earth? How long does it take to fall in love?
To the universe, eight days is a mere blip—but to Matty Jones, it may be just enough time to change his life. On the hot summer day Matty’s dad leaves for good, a strange girl suddenly appears in the empty field next to the Jones farm—the very field in rural Pennsylvania where a spaceship supposedly landed fifty years ago. She is uniquely beautiful, sweet, and smart, and she tells Matty she’s waiting for her spaceship to return to pick her up. Of course she is.
Matty has heard all the impossible UFO stories for all of his seventeen years: the conspiracy theories, the wild rumors, the crazy belief in life beyond the stars. As a kid, he searched the skies with his dad and studied the constellations. But all that is behind him now. Dad’s gone and Matty’s stuck. But now there is Priya. The self-proclaimed alien girl."
There is always more to people than meets the eye. Find exactly how much more with Matty and Priya and their interstellar adventures.
3. Weave a Circle Round, Kari Maaren
"Freddy wants desperately to not be noticed. She doesn't want to be seen as different or unusual, but her step-brother Roland gets attention because he's deaf, and her little sister Mel thinks she's a private detective. All Freddy wants to do is navigate high school with as little trouble as possible. Then someone moves into the house on Grosvenor Street. Two extremely odd someones. Cuerva Lachance and Josiah aren't . . . normal. When they move in next door, the house begins to exhibit some decidedly strange tendencies, like not obeying the laws of physics or reality. Just as Freddy thinks she's had enough of Josiah following her around, she's plunged into an adventure millennia in the making and discovers the truth about the new neighbors."
Every town has the creepy house down the street, but what do you do when the creepy house becomes home to even creepier people?
4. The Emerald Circus, Jane Yolen
"It’s time to go back to—and beyond—the treasured tales you thought you knew: The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and many more. Ringmaster and internationally bestselling author Jane Yolen (Briar Rose, Sister Emily’s Lightship) spins modern fantasy classics for delighted readers. A girl blown away from Kansas returns as a sophisticate with unusual gymnastic abilities. A talented apprentice, forging her first sword, is suddenly left to the mercies of Merlin. Alice’s infamous nemesis has jaws and claws, but also lacks the essential: a sense of humor."
These sixteen reimaginings of our favorite fairy tale characters, creatures, and places will change the way you look at old classics forever.
5. Here We Are Now, Jasmine Warga
"Despite sending him letters ever since she was thirteen, Taliah Abdallat never thought she'd ever really meet Julian Oliver. But one day, while her mother is out of the country, the famed rock star from Staring Into the Abyss shows up on her doorstep. This makes sense - kinda - because Julian Oliver is Taliah's father, even though her mother would never admit it to her.
Julian asks if Taliah if she will drop everything and go with him to his hometown of Oak Falls, Indiana, to meet his father - her grandfather - who is nearing the end of his life. Taliah, torn between betraying her mother's trust and meeting the family she has never known, goes.
With her best friend Harlow by her side, Taliah embarks on a three-day journey to find out everything about her 'father' and her family. But Julian isn't the father Taliah always hoped for, and revelations about her mother's past are seriously shaking her foundation. Through all these new experiences, Taliah will have to find new ways to be true to herself, honoring her past and her future."
Finding a long lost member of your family might seem like a miracle, but you can never really know someone by other people's descriptions - especially not if they're famous.