Apple Yengko is the only immigrant in her south Louisiana middle school. She’s obsessed with the Beatles and dreams of running away to become a musician like her idol, George Harrison. When she’s voted the third ugliest girl in school, her life quickly falls apart. To pick up the pieces, she needs a little help from her friends — even those who are completely unexpected.

Best Book of 2015 (Kirkus)
Best Book of 2015 (SLJ)
Golden Kite Honor Book
ALSC Notable Book Award
Cybils Award Finalist
APALA Honor Book
2015 JLG Selection
SIBA Best Books Finalist
“a true triumph.” – PW
“Apple soars …” – LA Times

Soledad and Ming Madrid live with their evil stepmother in subsidized housing near New Orleans, Louisiana. Soledad is fiercely protective of her little sister and tells her grand and imaginative stories to help her cope with everyday challenges. Sol is ready to lead her to the land of forgotten girls. Are you?

2017 APALA Award for Children’s Literature
Best of 2016 (Bank Street Books)
Best of 2016 (Booklist)
Best of 2016 (SLJ)
2016 JLG Selection
2016 ALSC Notable Book Nominee
NAIBA Book of the Year Finalist
Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize Finalist
Gold Award, Parents Choice Foundation

In one day, four lives weave together in unexpected ways. Virgil Salinas is shy and kindhearted and feels out of place in his loud and boisterous family. Valencia Somerset, who is deaf, is smart, brave, and secretly lonely. Kaori Tanaka is a self-proclaimed psychic, whose little sister Gen is always following her around. And Chet Bullens thinks they’re all a bunch of weirdos. They aren’t friends — at least not until Chet pulls a prank that puts Virgil and his pet guinea pig in danger, leading the others on an epic quest to find him.

2017 Scholastic Brilliant Book Pick
ALSC Notable Nominee
2017 JLG Selection
Five Starred Reviews

April 2018

On the surface, the lives of Charlotte Lockard and Ben Boxer, both 12, seem vastly different — Charlotte lives near Philadelphia. Ben is in the small town of Lanester, Louisiana. Charlotte wants to be a geologist and has a rock collection. Ben is obsessed with Harry Potter, presidential history, and recycling. But they have more in common than they think. They’re both highly gifted. They’re both experiencing family turmoil. And they both sit alone at lunch.

Over the course of a week, Charlotte and Ben — online friends connected only by a Scrabble game —will intersect in unexpected ways as they struggle to navigate the turmoil of middle school. You Go First reminds us that no matter how hard it is to keep our heads above troubled water, we never struggle alone.