I have read three excellent Teen/Middle Grade novels this summer, that all feature children with an unusual way of looking at the world.
Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart, out now.
Lily and Dunkin is a charming upper Middle Grade story featuring Lily, a transgender girl who is forced to hide her true nature from both her father and her peers, and Dunkin, a new guy at school who happens to have bipolar disorder, and who hides a dark secret about his past. The two meet by chance just before the start of school, and, while they follow different crowds in the middle-school environment, happen to orbit each other from afar until a crisis drives them together.
Tornado Brain by Cat Patrick, out now.
Tornado Brain is an upper middle grade mystery with a twist – the main character, Frankie, has Asperger’s and ADHD. She and her twin sister must solve the mystery of their classmate’s and best friend’s disappearance – before it’s too late! This book does an excellent depiction of how a neurodivergent person thinks, and no detail of her wandering mind is spared as we, along with her, try to sort through the fogginess of her mind and work with her spurned twin sister to save the day. Will they be able to step in where the police have failed? Read and find out!
The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary by NoNieqa Ramos, out now.
A novel, not for the faint of heart, about a teenage girl who navigates her dangerous and disturbed world. Whether at school, home, or with her peers, one thing is guaranteed – this girl has an attitude! The format of the book is interesting unto itself, as it is written in the form of (mostly) alphabetical “Dictionary” entries. But what really makes this a great book are the fascinating characters and the gritty storyline. But beware, this book does indeed get quite disturbing at times.