Set on the beaches and back alleys of Los Angeles, The Prince of Venice Beach is the tale of a homeless runaway who lives an easy life off the grid—until his only means of income turns morally complex.
Seventeen-year-old Robert “Cali” Callahan ran away from an endless cycle of foster homes when he turned 14.
Developmentally disabled teens Biddy and Quincy have just graduated from high school. Biddy’s been living with her grandmother, and Quincy with various foster families, but now they need jobs and new living arrangements. A team of counselors arranges for the two graduates to share an apartment above a local widow’s garage. At first, Quincy and Biddy resent each other’s company, and mixed-race Quincy isn’t sure how she feels about interacting with a white landlady.
Nell Golden has been waiting for this moment for two years. She’s finally about to start high school with her beautiful older sister, Layla. Nell and Layla have always been close, and Nell is sure their bond will only grow deeper once they attend the same high school parties and play on the school’s varsity soccer team. But as soon as the school year starts, Nell feels Layla pulling away.
BookPage Teen Top Pick, June 2014
At just 18, Emi has parlayed a Hollywood internship into work as a production designer, a job for which she has natural talent. While prop shopping at an estate sale, she finds a letter from a deceased movie star that sends her and her best friend, Charlotte, on a quest to find the actor’s troubled granddaughter, Ava.
With books meant for younger readers, it can be far too easy to tell where a story is going. There are certain tropes that telegraph the ending, like evil being vanquished, the protagonist struggling with a quest and so on. One of the best things about Rebecca Hahn’s A Creature of Moonlight is that the story doesn’t go where you think it might, and yet it still flows naturally.
In 1951, adopted teenager Lily’s Chinese features attract the wrong kind of attention from classmates at her Kansas City high school. The United States is at war, defending South Korea from the invasion of Chinese Communists via North Korea. Propaganda designed to gain American support for the war features evil, slanted-eyed Commies eager to destroy any nation that blocks its path to supremacy, including the U.S. Lily wonders why her Chinese birth mother, whom she now thinks of as “Gone Mom,” could have abandoned her daughter to this fate of ethnic isolation.
Mermaid princess Serafina is nervous. Today’s the day she’ll prove herself a true descendant of her famous ancestor Merrow in the royal family’s traditional Dokimí ceremony. She’ll demonstrate her worthiness to rule through “songcasting” a complex musical spell, and the day will end with her formal betrothal to the handsome but rebellious crown prince Mahdi.
For Rose, summers at Awago Beach are a constant. She and her parents have been renting a cottage there for as long as she can remember, and none of the changes in her life can alter the yearly trip to the beach—not even her parents’ sudden surge of fights. She’s reunited with her best beach friend Windy, and at first everything falls into the usual rhythm. But her mother won’t join in the fun, no matter how hard Rose and her father try to pull her in, and the year-and-a-half age gap that separates Rose from Windy seems bigger than before.
BookPage Top Pick in Teen Books, May 2014
When 16-year-old Laureth receives an email stating that her writer father’s notebook (which he’s never without) has been found in New York, rather than in Switzerland or Austria (where she thought he was), she suspects that something very bad has happened to her dad.
Gretchen Müller is a Nazi darling. Ever since her father died protecting Adolf Hitler in 1923, Uncle “Dolf” and his National Socialist cronies look out for Gretchen and her family. It’s Uncle Dolf who gets Gretchen’s mother a job running a Munich boarding house and indoctrinates Gretchen’s brother into the Nazi party. And it’s Uncle Dolf whom Gretchen loves like a father.