Curator & blogger: Susan Azim Boyer
The philosopher, Cher, once wondered, what would happen if she could turn back time? She would immerse herself in these absorbing historical novels by 2022 debut authors that span the 20th century through the 1990s (yes, the 90s are considered historical)!
THE TURNING POINTE by Vanessa L. Torres
Knopf Books For Young Readers - 2.22.22
When sixteen-year-old Rosa Dominguez pirouettes, she is poetry in pointe shoes. And as the daughter of a tyrant ballet Master, Rosa seems destined to become the star principal dancer of her studio. But Rosa would do anything for one hour in the dance studio upstairs where Prince, the Purple One himself, is in the house. A bold and emotionally gripping novel about a teenage Latinx girl finding freedom through dance and breaking expectations in 1980s Minnesota.
ONLY A MONSTER by Vanessa Len
HarperTeen - February 22, 2022
Sent to stay with her late mother’s eccentric family in London, sixteen-year-old Joan is determined to enjoy herself. She loves her nerdy job at the historic Holland House, and when her super cute co-worker Nick asks her on a date, it feels like everything is falling into place. But she soon learns the truth. Her family aren’t just eccentric: they’re monsters, with terrifying, hidden powers. And Nick isn’t just a cute boy: he’s a legendary monster slayer, who will do anything to bring them down in this tale of time travel, partially set in 1993.
THE CICADA TREE by Robert Gwaltney
Moonshine Cove Publishing 2.22.22
It’s the summer of 1956, and a brood of cicadas descends upon Providence, Georgia. It’s a natural event with supernatural repercussions, and unhinges the life of Analeise Newell, an eleven-year-old piano prodigy. Amidst this emergence, dark obsessions are stirred, uncanny gifts provoked, and secrets unearthed.
THE LOST SON by Stephanie Vanderslice
Regal House Publishing - 3.14.22
After her husband and the baby’s nurse kidnap her infant son, Nicholas, and take him back to their native Germany, Julia Kruse must completely rebuild her life in America. The Lost Son chronicles Julia’s journey from Depression-Era Queens, NY through World War II as she struggles to provide for herself and her older son, Johannes. Over the years her search for Nicholas is thwarted at every turn, until she falls in love with chauffeur Paul Burns, whose boss might have the political connections that will find her son and bring him home from the German front during the last days of the Third Reich, where Johannes is also fighting for the Allies.
ISLA TO ISLAND by Alexis Castellanos
Atheneum Books for Young Readers - 3.15.22
This stunning wordless graphic novel follows a young girl in the 1960s who immigrates from Cuba to the United States and must redefine what home means to her.
ALL THE WHITE SPACES by Ally Wilkes
Atria/Emily Bestler Books - 3.22.22
In the wake of the First World War, Jonathan Morgan stows away on an Antarctic expedition, determined to find his rightful place in the world of men. Aboard the expeditionary ship of his hero, the world-famous explorer James “Australis” Randall, Jonathan may live as his true self—and true gender—and have the adventures he has always been denied. But not all is smooth sailing: the war casts its long shadow over them all, and grief, guilt, and mistrust skulk among the explorers.
OUR LITTLE WORLD by Karen Winn
Dutton/Penguin Random House - 5.3.22
July 1985. It’s a normal, sweltering New Jersey summer for soon-to-be seventh grader Bee Kocsis. Her thoughts center only on sunny days spent at Deer Chase Lake, evenings chasing fireflies around her cul-de-sac with the neighborhood kids, and Max, the boy who just moved in across the street. That and the burgeoning worry that she’ll never be as special as her younger sister, Audrina, who seems to effortlessly dazzle wherever she goes. But when Max’s little sister, Sally, goes missing at the lake, Bee’s long-held illusion of stability is shattered in an instant.
THE BANGALORE DETECTIVES CLUB by Harini Nagendra
Pegasus Books - 5.3.22
The first in a charming, joyful cozy crime series set in 1920s Bangalore, featuring sari-wearing detective Kaveri and her husband Ramu. Perfect for fans of Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. When clever, headstrong Kaveri moves to Bangalore to marry handsome young doctor Ramu, she's resigned herself to a quiet life. But that all changes the night of the party at the Century Club, where she escapes to the garden for some peace and quiet—and instead spots an uninvited guest in the shadows. Half an hour later, the party turns into a murder scene.
MOLLY AND THE MACHINE by Erik Jon Slangerup
Alladin/Simon & Schuster - 6.7.22
It’s the summer of 1983, and one by one, the kids of Far Flung Falls are disappearing. With sheer drop-offs at every turn, the woods behind Molly McQuirter’s house have always been a dangerous place—even before something big and metal started lurking in them. But when Molly’s little brother is snatched up before her eyes, she has no choice but to follow. Sure, Wally tends to ruin everything, and his finger practically lives up his nose, but she isn’t about to let him be abducted by some unknown enemy, especially since their mom ran off to Florida two years ago and their dad, who’s slowly morphing into a couch potato, won’t be any help. If Molly wants to protect the family she has left, Wally’s rescue is going to be up to her. So aided by a crew of unusually determined pets, Molly sets off on Pink Lightning—her tricked-out bicycle—on a chase through the hills of southern Ohio. Finding the kidnapper only creates more questions, however, and when the unlikely mastermind behind the abductions is uncovered, a new story begins to unfold—one of lost love, family bonds, and some seriously strange science.
GROUPIES by Sarah Priscus
William Morrow/HarperCollins 7.12.22
It’s 1977, and Faun Novak is in love with rock ‘n’ roll. After her mother’s death, Faun, a naïve college dropout, grabs her Polaroid and hops a Greyhound to Los Angeles. In the City of Angels, she reconnects with her charismatic childhood friend Josie, now an up-and-coming model and muse. To make their reunion even sweeter, Josie is now dating Cal Holiday, the frontman of the superstar rock band Holiday Sun, and Faun is positively mesmerized. Except it’s not just the band she can’t get enough of. It’s also the proud groupies who support them in myriad ways. Faun obsessively photographs every aspect of this dazzling new world, struggling to balance her artistic ambitions with the band’s expectations. But just as everything is going great and her boring, old life is falling away, Faun realizes just how blind she has been to the darkest corners of this glamorous musical dreamland as the summer heats up and everything spirals out of control . . .
THE PRINCE OF STEEL PIER by Stacy Nockowitz
Lerner/Kar-Ben - 8.1.22
The Atlantic City Boardwalk in the summer of 1975 is no place for a kid like 13-year-old Joey Goodman: anxious, fearful, prone to puking at any moment. On his way to a Boardwalk arcade, Joey confronts a group of unsavory men who have stolen his bag of prize tickets, demanding that they return his belongings. With this bold act, Joey impresses the so-called King of Steel Pier, kingpin Artie Bishop. As Joey enters Artie’s world on the Boardwalk, he finds a place to belong, to feel important. But running with Artie and his crew means questioning everything he sees and deceiving the people he loves most. And when Artie asks Joey for a very dangerous favor that puts his family’s lives at risk, Joey must learn where strength really comes from before it’s too late.
JASMINE ZUMIDEH NEEDS A WIN by Susan Azim Boyer
Wednesday Books - 11.1.22
A bitingly funny, Mindy Kaling-esque, Iranian American heroine makes messy, complicated choices that snowball into an avalanche when the 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis intrudes on her high school election, forcing her to reckon with her identity in a way she never has before.
UNCOMMON CHARM by Emily Bergslien & Kat Weaver
Neon Hemlock Press - 5.17.22
In the 1920s gothic comedy Uncommon Charm, bright young socialite Julia and shy Jewish magician Simon decide they aren’t beholden to their families’ unhappy history. Together they confront such horrors as murdered ghosts, alive children, magic philosophy, a milieu that slides far too easily into surrealist metaphor, and, worst of all, serious adult conversation.