A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliott
Gemma is having a pretty hard life in modern-day Brooklyn, until a wish she makes in the Botanical Gardens sends her back to Brooklyn during the Civil War. Intense and powerful.
The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard
A clandestine cross-class relationship ends with one character's death at the very beginning of the story, which takes us through the survivor's attempts to deal with her loss, particularly once he's been given her (equally secret) journal from that year.
Gringolandia by Lyn Miller-Lachmann
(Curbstone Press, $16.95)
A powerful coming-of-age story that portrays an immigrant teen's struggle to reach his tortured father, who has returned after five years of capture in Chile, and to find his own place in the world.
8th Grade Super Zero by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
(Arthur A. Levine, $16.99)
An excellent portrayal of the intricacies of school interactions, the complexities of community service, and the power you can find in negotiating the apparently vast gulfs between the ways you see yourself and the ways others see you. Truly engaging book.
Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger
(Margaret K McElderry, $16.99)
Samar (Sam) hasn't been taught -- or been particularly concerned -- about her family's Sikh Indian heritage, until after September 11, 2001, when her turbaned uncle shows up for a visit, and she becomes suddenly and startlingly aware of the ways others regard differences that she had thought insignificant.