All families are complicated, but some are more complicated than others. And some have witches, secret agents, and aliens in their ranks. Here’s a selection of 15 new #22Debuts about complex families and the secrets they keep.
THE TURNING POINTE by Vanessa Torres (Now Available from Knopf Books for Young Readers)
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. After her father announces their upcoming auditions for a concert with Prince, Rosa is more determined than ever to succeed. Then Nikki--the cross-dressing, funky boy who works in the dance shop--leaps into her life. Weighed down by family expectations, Rosa is at a crossroads, desperate to escape so she can show everyone what she can do when freed of her pointe shoes. Now is her chance to break away from a life in tulle, grooving to that unmistakable Minneapolis sound reverberating through every bone in her body.
The Château du Ciel was once the destination for the rich and famous to play, drink and ski—complete with a luxurious railway to shuttle those desiring extra privacy. Now, however, the guests are few and far between. The New Year's Eve party was supposed to hoist the rundown hotel back to its former status, until a massive blizzard hits, trapping the guests who've come to celebrate the grand hotel's last hurrah. The circumstances might even be romantic, if the Château wasn't reputed to be haunted. When hotel employee Mave Michael finds the resident artist dead, and shortly thereafter security finds Mave alone with the body, the reputation that Mave has fought long and hard to outrun comes back to haunt her: Her father is a notorious hitman serving multiple-life sentences in prison. She has changed her name and location dozens of times, but he somehow manages to track her down—even sending her a postcard on the eve of her birthday, January 1st. She's the perfect choice to frame for murder, and now the number one suspect. Mave can no longer deny the lessons in survival her father taught her, or her uncanny sixth-sense in “finding” lost objects. To save herself, she not only has to stop running from her own past, she must unearth the history of the hotel, its elite guests and buried secrets—one deadly sin at a time.
REMEMBER ME GONE by Stacy Stokes (Now Available from PRH/Viking)
At The Memory House, Lucy’s father can erase folks’ heartache and tragic memories. Lucy can’t wait to learn the family trade and help alleviate others’ pain. But everything is not as it seems. Lucy practices memory-taking on her dad, his memory won’t come loose, and in the bit that Lucy sees, there’s a flash of Mama on the day she died, tinged red with guilt. Then Lucy wakes up the next morning with a bruised knee, a pocketful of desert sand, and no memory of what happened. She has no choice but to listen to Marco Warman—a local boy she’s always wondered about who seems to know more than he should. As Lucy and Marco realize there are gaps in their own memories, they team up to fill in the missing pieces—to figure out what’s really going on in their town, and to uncover their own stolen history along the way. But as the mysteries pile up one thing becomes certain: there are some secrets in Tumble Tree people will do anything to keep.
SINGING LESSONS FOR THE STYLISH CANARY by Laura Stanfill (4/19/2022 at Lanternfish Press)
In sunny Mireville, France, Henri Blanchard grows up in his legendary father Georges’s shadow. Georges is a master serinette craftsman, building high-pitched barrel organs to train songbirds to sing human melodies—and village lore credits him with chasing off the clouds. Henri, alas, prefers making bobbin lace with the local girls to the workshop he’s supposed to inherit. But when he discovers a secret trove of letters that reveal a prodigy half-brother in America, his efforts to impress his father become increasingly outlandish—and ultimately dangerous.
JORDIE AND JOEY FELL FROM THE SKY by Judi Lauren (Now available from Jollyfish Press)
Twelve-year-old Jordie knows he’s descended from aliens. Not only were he and his twin brother, Joey, found abandoned in a field full of crop circles when they were babies, but they also can’t seem to fit in anywhere, least of all the foster homes they’re constantly moved in and out of. When Jordie and Joey are kicked out of their current home and faced with the possibility of being split up for the first time, they set off to find their birth parents. From Arizona to Roswell to Area 51 in the Nevada desert, the twins begin a search for where they truly belong. But Jordie’s about to discover that family isn’t always about the ones who bring you into the world, but the ones who help you survive.
THE MONSTERS CLUB by Lotté Jean Elliott (Now available from Northodox Press)
A model student at an exclusive private school, Junie Han is popular, bright and destined for Oxford University. But unbeknownst to her wealthy friends and family, Junie is also a gifted hacker, and is using her talents to make money as a means of escaping the life they have planned for her. As long as she can maintain her image of perfection, nothing will stop her. Whilst exploring the dark web, Junie and her fellow hacker, Yamazaki, discover a site called the Monsters Club, a place where murderers post pictures of their victims. After investigating the site, Yamazaki disappears. And Junie begins to receive alarming messages from an anonymous stranger... As Junie's two lives begin to unravel, she finds herself cracking under the pressure of keeping her secrets and her safety. Will she, or someone she loves, become the next victim posted on the Monsters Club's website?
FREDDIE VS. THE FAMILY CURSE by Tracy Badua (5/3/2022 at Clarion)
In this thrilling and hilarious middle grade adventure, a young Filipino-American boy must team up with his ancestor to break the curse that’s haunted their family for generations… or be trapped in an amulet forever.
OUR LITTLE WORLD by Karen Winn (5/3/2022 at Dutton/PRH)
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. As the families in her close-knit community turn inward, suspicious, and protective, things in Bee’s own home become increasingly strained, most of all with Audrina, when a shameful secret surfaces. With everything changed, Bee and Audrina’s already-fraught sisterhood is pushed to the limit as they grow up—and apart—in the wake of an innocence lost too soon.
THE GRAVITY OF MISSING THINGS by Marisa Urgo (6/7/2022)
This #OwnVoices debut contemporary YA novel follows a bi teen who has to juggle first love and a family secret when her pilot mother's plane mysteriously vanishes, leaving her mother as the prime suspect.
THE LOST RYŪ by Emi Watanabe Cohen (6/7/2022 at Levine Querido)
In post-WWII Japan, Kohei must team up with his new neighbor, a mixed Jewish/Japanese girl, to search for the truth behind his family history and the disappearance of the giant dragons that fought in the war.
ONYEKA AND THE ACADEMY OF THE SUN by Tọlá Okogwu (6/9/2022 at S&S)
Onyeka has a lot of hair—the kind that makes strangers stop in the street and her peers whisper behind her back. Even with the support of her best friend, Cheyenne, who couldn’t care less what other people think, Onyeka can’t help but wish she could tame her vibrant curls. Then, Cheyenne almost drowns and Onyeka’s hair inexplicably takes on a life of its own, pulling Cheyenne from the water. Onyeka’s mother reveals the shocking truth: Onyeka’s has psychokinetic powers and is a Solari, one of a secret group of mutants unique to Nigeria. Her mother quickly whisks her off to the Academy of the Sun, a school in Nigeria where Solari are trained. But Onyeka and her new friends at the Academy soon have to put their powers to the test as they find themselves embroiled in a momentous battle between truth and lies.
HANA HSU AND THE GHOST CRAB NATION by Sylvia Liu (6/21/2022 at PRH/Razorbill)
If she can beat out half her classmates at Start-Up, a tech school for the city’s most talented twelve-year-olds, Hana Hsu will be meshed to the multiweb through a neural implant like her mom and sister. But the competition is fierce, and when her passion for tinkering with bots gets her mixed up with dangerous junkyard rebels, she knows her future in the program is at risk. Even scarier, she starts to notice that something’s not right at Start-Up—some of her friends are getting sick, and no matter what she does, her tech never seems to work right. With an ominous warning from her grandmother about being meshed, Hana begins to wonder if getting the implant early is really a good idea. Desperate to figure out what’s going on, Hana and her friends find themselves spying on one of the most powerful corporations in the country—and the answers about the mystery at Start-Up could be closer to home than Hana’s willing to accept. Will she be able to save her friends—and herself— from a conspiracy that threatens everything she knows?
LIA PARK AND THE MISSING JEWEL by Jenna Yoon (6/28/2022 at Aladdin/S&S)
Twelve-year-old Lia Park has spent her whole life dreaming of becoming a monster hunter with IMA, the secret organization where her parents work. There's only one problem: Lia doesn't have any magic. Or so she thinks. Turns out, Lia's parents have been keeping some pretty big secrets from her, including the nature of her true powers. When her family is kidnapped by an ancient diviner spirit, Lia and her friend Joon must follow a series mysterious clues to rescue them.
GOTH GIRL, QUEEN OF THE UNIVERSE by Lindsay S. Zrull (7/19/2022 at Flux)
Jessica was claimed by the state when her bio mom’s mental illness made her unstable. But while their relationship is far from traditional, blood ties are hard to break. When a woman claiming to be Jess’ biological mother barges into her DMs, Jess wants to meet her. There’s only one problem: Jess can’t reunite with her mom in New York City without a bunch of paperwork and she worries her social worker will never approve the trip. That’s when she remembers her classmate Oscar’s cosplay group, who are aiming for that big convention in New York… So Jess joins Oscar’s team—with every intention of using them to get to her mom. But her plan gets complicated when she discovers that, actually, cosplay is pretty great, and so is having friends. And Oscar, who Jess thought was just a shy nerd, can be as gallant and charming as the heroes he pretends to be. As the big convention draws near, Jess will have to decide whether or not chasing a dream of “family” is worth risking the family she’s built for herself.
IN THE SHADOW GARDEN by Liz Parker (11/13/2022 at Grand Central Publishing/Hachette)
In this debut novel by Liz Parker, three generations of witchy women who have the ability to make people forget their pain are coming to a reckoning with a rival family 20 years after their town forgot an entire summer.