Spring for some people means looking at runway collections, new technology, or planning their spring break or summer vacations. For me, it means that there is a shiny new crop of books waiting to be published, and I get to share them with teens… I’ve pulled together 12 of my favorite March releases below. Additionally, in italics I’ve highlighted a couple of things that those who have more conservative populations or collection requirements might need to look out for, along with the publisher’s description.
Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara’s beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it’s too late.
Release date March 10, 2015 from HarperCollins. ISBN: 9780062224101.
Missouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician—not an easy thing if you’re a girl, and harder still if you’re Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life. With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier. But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past, and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the light-hearted troupe turn out to be unexpected allies. With the law closing in on them and new setbacks coming each day, the girls quickly learn that there are not many places to hide on the open trail.
Release date March 17, 2015 from Penguin. ISBN: 9780399168031
*historical look at racism & discrimination, including slave treatment which is not pretty*
Especially for those of us who ordinarily feel ignored, a spotlight is a circle of magic, with the strength to draw us from the darkness of our everyday lives.
Watch out, ex-boyfriends, and get out of the way, homophobic coaches. Tiny Cooper has something to say—and he’s going to say it in song. Tiny Cooper is finally taking center stage . . . and the world will never be the same again.
Release date March 17, 2015 by Penguin. ISBN: 9780525428848.
*GLBTQ content, harassment, bullying* Parallel to Will Grayson, Will Grayson by Levitahn and John Green, if this doesn’t end up on some of the GLBTQ lists next year, I’ll be very surprised.
Thanks to a bully in gym class, unpopular Nate suffers a broken finger—the middle one, splinted to flip off the world. It won’t be the last time a middle finger is raised on this day. Dreamer Claire envisions herself sitting in an artsy café, filling a journal, but fate has other plans. One cheerleader dates a closeted basketball star; another questions just how, as a “big girl,” she fits in. A group of boys scam drivers for beer money without remorse—or so it seems. Over the course of a single day, these voices and others speak loud and clear about the complex dance that is life in a small town. They resonate in a gritty and unflinching portrayal of a day like any other, with ordinary traumas, heartbreak, and revenge. But on any given day, the line where presentation and perception meet is a tenuous one, so hard to discern. Unless, of course, one looks a little closer—and reads between the lines.
Release date March 10, 2015 from Candlewick. ISBN: 9780763663872.
*bullying, obviously some language/jestures*
In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, seventeen-year-old Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most powerful and violent witch. Nathan is hunted from all sides: nowhere is safe and no one can be trusted. Now, Nathan has come into his own unique magical Gift, and he’s on the run—but the Hunters are close behind, and they will stop at nothing until they have captured Nathan and destroyed his father.
Release date March 24, 2015 by Penguin. ISBN: 9780670017133.
*second in trilogy, magic, violence*
Four hundred years in the future, the Earth has turned primitive following a nuclear fire that has laid waste to civilization and nature. Though the radiation fallout has ended, for some unknowable reason every person is born with a twin. Of each pair, one is an Alpha—physically perfect in every way; and the other an Omega—burdened with deformity, small or large. With the Council ruling an apartheid-like society, Omegas are branded and ostracized while the Alphas have gathered the world’s sparse resources for themselves. Though proclaiming their superiority, for all their effort Alphas cannot escape one harsh fact: Whenever one twin dies, so does the other.
Cass is a rare Omega, one burdened with psychic foresight. While her twin, Zach, gains power on the Alpha Council, she dares to dream the most dangerous dream of all: equality. For daring to envision a world in which Alphas and Omegas live side-by-side as equals, both the Council and the Resistance have her in their sights.
Release date March 10, 2015 by Gallery Books. ISBN: 9781476767185.
*first in a series, TWINS TREND ALERT (there’s a lot of those going around it seems this spring/summer*
It’s Midsummer Eve, and as Wintercombe Abbey is under siege by the Shee and their heartless faery queen, Jake and Sarah are snatched by a gang of time-traveling thieves and thrust into the chaos of the Reign of Terror. Meanwhile Janus, the tyrant of a dystopian future, is reaching back through the magical, inscrutable obsidian mirror to secure his power.
Release date March 24, 2015 by Penguin. ISBN: 9780803739710.
*part of a series, dystopian, magical science*
Twelve-year-old Pete Collison is a regular kid who loves Sam Spade detective books and radio crime dramas, but when an FBI agent shows up at Pete’s doorstep accusing his father of being a Communist, Pete finds himself caught in a real-life mystery. Could there really be Commies in Pete’s family? At the same time, Pete’s class turns against him, thanks to similar rumors spread by his own teacher; even Kat, Pete’s best friend, feels the pressure to ditch him. As Pete follows the quickly accumulating clues, he begins to wonder if the truth could put his family’s livelihood—and even their freedom—at risk.
Release date March 10, 2015 by Algonquin. ISBN: 9781616203597.
*Middle Grade awesomeness, historical fiction, discrimination, bullying*
After escaping Internment, Morgan and her fellow fugitives land on the ground to finally learn about the world beneath their floating island home. The ground is a strange place where water falls from the sky as snow, and people watch moving pictures and visit speakeasies. A place where families can have as many children as they want, their dead are buried in vast gardens of bodies, and Internment is the feature of an amusement park.
It is also a land at war. Everyone who fled Internment had their own reasons to escape their corrupt haven, but now they’re caught under the watchful eye of another king who wants to dominate his world. They may have made it to the ground, but have they dragged Internment with them?
Release date March 10, 2015 by Simon & Schuster. ISBN: 9781442480643.
*second in series, death and treatment of the dead issues*
Ariel, a 14-year-old orphan caught up in a civil war in an unnamed foreign nation, has been brought to the U.S. by an executive from the mysterious Merrie-Seymour Research Group. Soon after, Ariel and his new stepbrother, Max, are shipped off to Camp Merrie-Seymour for Boys, “a sort of disciplinarian’s boot camp—a detox center for kids who were unable to disconnect from cell phones and technology.” Ariel and Max aren’t tech addicts, but their father is one of the Merrie-Seymour’s chief scientists so the camp is free, and Ariel’s stepparents hope it will help the boys bond. Meanwhile a deranged bomber meanders across the U.S. in a van holding a dangerously radioactive homemade bomb, and a horned monster, the Dumpling Man, is rumored to haunt the woods outside the camp.
Release date March 10, 2015 by Penguin.
*language, profanity, war terror*
Lara just got told off on Facebook.
She thought that Christian liked her, that he was finally going to ask her to his school’s homecoming dance. It’s been a long time since Lara’s felt this bad, this depressed. She’s worked really hard since starting high school to be happy and make new friends.
Bree used to be BBFs with overweight, depressed Lara in middle school, but constantly listening to Lara’s problems got to be too much. Bree’s secretly glad that Christian’s pointed out Lara’s flaws to the world. Lara’s not nearly as great as everyone thinks.
After weeks of talking online, Lara thought she knew Christian, so what’s with this sudden change? And where does he get off saying horrible things on her wall? Even worse – are they true?
But no one realized just how far Christian’s harsh comments would push Lara. Not even Bree.
As online life collides with real life, the truth starts to come together and the backlash is even more devastating than than anyone could have imagined.
Release date March 31, 2015 by Scholastic. ISBN: 9780545651264.
*depression, suicide attempt, cyberbullying*
Fly to the last drop of fuel. Fight to the last drop of blood.
Showoff. Reckless. Maverick. Chase Harcourt, call sign “Nyx”, isn’t one to play it safe. In the year 2048, America is locked in a cold war — and the country’s best hope is the elite teen fighter pilots of the United Star Academy. Chase is one of only two daredevil pilots chosen to fly an experimental “Streaker” jet. But few know the pain and loneliness of her past. All anyone cares about is that Chase aces the upcoming Streaker trials, proving the prototype jet can knock the enemy out of the sky.
But as the world tilts toward war, Chase cracks open a military secret. There’s a third Streaker, whose young hotshot pilot, Tristan, can match her on the ground and in the clouds. And Chase doesn’t play well with others. But to save her country, she may just have to put her life in the hands of the competition.
Release date March 10, 2015 from Sourcebooks. ISBN: 9781492601418.
*war violence, sexual relationships*
Steps on rant platform-
Chase has sex, she’s a teen, and teens have sex. They do now, they did historically, and they will in 2048, no matter if we are at war or not. It didn’t bother me or teens who have taken a review copy of this out of my hands. What bothers me is the Publisher’s Weekly review that calls her promiscuous. If the author had written Chase as a male character, I don’t think it would have caught the reviewer’s attention at all- the fact that she’s considered promiscuous by a reviewer because she’s had multiple sexual relationships in a dystopian post-apocolyptic war novel bothers me. It’s not the book. It’s the review.
Steps off platform.