[Book List] 2018 Releases- Caribbean Children's & YA Books

It's that time of the year! As usual, we're curating a list of Caribbean children's and young adult (YA) books expected to be published in the coming year. Keep visiting this space as we continue to discover and gradually add more 2018 reads. Also check out our 2017 list and leave a comment if you know of a book that needs to be added to either list.

*All book synopses from the publisher's website. Inclusion in the list below does not constitute an endorsement by Anansesem or its editors.

by Junot Díaz (Author) and Leo Espinosa (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Penguin Group. Pub date: March 13, 2018

From New York Times bestseller and Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz comes a debut picture book about the magic of memory and the infinite power of the imagination.

Every kid in Lola’s school was from somewhere else. Hers was a school of faraway places.

So when Lola’s teacher asks the students to draw a picture of where their families immigrated from, all the kids are excited. Except Lola. She can’t remember The Island—she left when she was just a baby. But with the help of her family and friends, and their memories—joyous, fantastical, heartbreaking, and frightening—Lola’s imagination takes her on an extraordinary journey back to The Island. As she draws closer to the heart of her family’s story, Lola comes to understand the truth of her abuela’s words: “Just because you don’t remember a place doesn’t mean it’s not in you.”

Gloriously illustrated and lyrically written, Islandborn is a celebration of creativity, diversity, and our imagination’s boundless ability to connect us—to our families, to our past and to ourselves.

Hurricane Child
by Kheryn Callender
Middle grade novel. Scholastic Press. Pub date: March 27, 2018

Caroline Murphy is a Hurricane Child. Being born during a hurricane is unlucky, and twelve-year-old Caroline has had her share of bad luck lately. She's hated and bullied by everyone in her small school on St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands, a spirit only she can see won't stop following her, and —worst of all— Caroline's mother left home one day and never came back.

But when a new student named Kalinda arrives, Caroline's luck begins to turn around. Kalinda, a solemn girl from Barbados with a special smile for everyone, becomes Caroline's first and only friend— and the person for whom Caroline has begun to develop a crush. Now, Caroline must find the strength to confront her feelings for Kalinda, brave the spirit stalking her through the islands, and face the reason her mother abandoned her. Together, Caroline and Kalinda must set out in a hurricane to find Caroline's missing mother— before Caroline loses her forever.

Gone to Drft
by Diana McCaulay
YA novel. HarperCollins. Re-release edition. Pub date: April 3, 2018

From award-winning Jamaican author Diana McCaulay, Gone to Drift is a powerful voice-driven middle grade novel about family set in Jamaica.

Lloyd comes from a long line of fishermen. Growing up in Kingston, Jamaica, Lloyd feels most at home with the sea and his grandfather, Maas Conrad, at his side.

When his grandfather doesn’t return from a fishing trip, Lloyd fears he has gone to drift. The sea may be in Lloyd’s blood, but as he searches for his grandfather, he discovers a side of the ocean—and the people who use it—that he’s never known before.

Told in the alternating voices of Lloyd and Maas Conrad, Gone to Drift is a moving story of family, courage, and the wonders of the oceans we call home.

Turning Pages: My Life Story
by Sonia Sotomayor (Author) and Lulu Delacre (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Philomel Books. Pub date: September 4, 2018

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor tells her own story for young readers for the very first time!

As the first Latina Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor has inspired young people around the world to reach for their dreams. But what inspired her? For young Sonia, the answer was books! They were her mirrors, her maps, her friends, and her teachers. They helped her to connect with her family in New York and in Puerto Rico, to deal with her diabetes diagnosis, to cope with her father's death, to uncover the secrets of the world, and to dream of a future for herself in which anything was possible.

In Turning Pages, Justice Sotomayor shares that love of books with a new generation of readers, and inspires them to read and puzzle and dream for themselves. Accompanied by Lulu Delacre's vibrant art, this story of the Justice's life shows readers that the world is full of promise and possibility--all they need to do is turn the page.

The Flying Girl: How Aida de Acosta Learned to Soar
by Margarita Engle (Author) and Sara Palacios (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Atheneum Books for Young Readerss. Pub date: March 6, 2018

In this beautiful picture book filled with soaring words and buoyant illustrations, award-winners Margarita Engle and Sara Palacios tell the inspiring true story of Aída de Acosta, the first woman to fly a motorized aircraft.

On a lively street in the lovely city of Paris, a girl named Aída glanced up and was dazzled by the sight of an airship. Oh, how she wished she could soar through the sky like that! The inventor of the airship, Alberto, invited Aída to ride with him, but she didn’t want to be a passenger. She wanted to be the pilot.

Aída was just a teenager, and no woman or girl had ever flown before. She didn’t let that stop her, though. All she needed was courage and a chance to try.

by Catherine Johnson (Author)
Middle grade novel. Scholastic. Pub date: August 2, 2018

An action-packed and pacey story about slavery in Britain. Nathaniel doesn't want to move to England with his master's family, leaving behind his mother and sister on the Jamaican plantation. But then he remembers what his mother told him: once a slave sets foot on English soil, they're free. Perhaps he can earn his fortune and buy his family's freedom, too. When Nat arrives in London, he soon discovers that his mother was wrong. Nat refuses to live like a caged bird, and seizes the first opportunity to escape. Alone on the streets of London, he hears the story of a nightmare ship, the Zong, where over a hundred slaves were thrown overboard. Now, those responsible face a trial. Will the world continue to turn a blind eye to the horrors of slavery? And can Nat really evade his masters forever?

The Poet X
by Elizabeth Acevedo
YA novel. Harper Collins. Pub date: March 6, 2018

Fans of Jacqueline Woodson, Meg Medina, and Jason Reynolds will fall hard for this astonishing #ownvoices novel-in-verse by an award-winning slam poet, about an Afro-Latina heroine who tells her story with blazing words and powerful truth.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about.

With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out. But she still can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

by Michelle Jana Chan
YA novel. Unbound/Penguin Random House. Pub date: June 24, 2018

Opening in the mid-nineteenth-century, this dazzling debut novel traces the voyage of Song, a boy who leaves his impoverished family in rural China to seek his fortune. Song may have survived the perilous journey to the colony of British Guiana in the Caribbean, but once there he discovers riches are hard to come by, as he finds himself working as an indentured plantation worker.

Between places, between peoples, and increasingly aware that circumstances of birth carry more weight than accomplishments or good deeds, Song fears he may live as an outsider forever. This is a far-reaching and atmospheric story spanning nearly half a century and half the globe, and though it is set in the past, Song’s story of emigration and the quest for opportunity is, in many ways, a very contemporary tale.

The Resolutions
by Mia Garcia
YA novel. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books. Pub date: Winter 2018

The book follows four friends who assign each other New Year's resolutions to try to change the course of their disastrous lives. *Full synopsis coming soon.

Marcus Vega Doesn't Speak Spanish
by Pablo Cartaya
YA novel. Viking Books for Young Readers. Pub date: August 21, 2018

One boy's search for his father leads him to Puerto Rico in this moving middle grade novel, for fans of Ghost and See You in the Cosmos.

Marcus Vega is six feet tall, 180 pounds, and the owner of a premature mustache. When you look like this and you're only in the eighth grade, you're both a threat and a target.

After a fight at school leaves Marcus facing suspension, Marcus's mom decides it's time for a change of environment. She takes Marcus and his younger brother to Puerto Rico to spend a week with relatives they don't remember or have never met. But Marcus can't focus knowing that his father —who walked out of their lives ten years ago— is somewhere on the island.

So begins Marcus's incredible journey, a series of misadventures that take him all over Puerto Rico in search of his elusive namesake. Marcus doesn't know if he'll ever find his father, but what he ultimately discovers changes his life. And he even learns a bit of Spanish along the way.

Learning to Breathe
by Janice Lynn Mather
YA novel. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Pub date: June 26, 2018

Sixteen-year-old Indy struggles to conceal her pregnancy while searching for a place to belong in this stunning debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Amber Smith and Sara Zarr.

Indira Ferguson has done her best to live by her Grammy’s rules—to study hard in school, be respectful, and to never let a boy take advantage of her. But it hasn’t always been easy, especially while living in her mother’s shadow.

When Indy is sent to live with distant relatives in Nassau, trouble follows her. Now she must hide an unwanted pregnancy from her aunt, who would rather throw Indy out onto the street than see the truth.

Completely broke with only a hand-me-down pregnancy book as a resource, Indy desperately looks for a safe space to call home. After stumbling upon a yoga retreat, she wonders if perhaps she’s found the place. But Indy is about to discover that home is much bigger than just four walls and a roof—it’s about the people she chooses to share it with.

by Ibi Zoboi
YA novel. Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins. Pub date: September 2018

Pride and Prejudice gets remixed in this smart, funny, gorgeous retelling of the classic, starring all characters of color, from Ibi Zoboi, National Book Award finalist and author of American Street.

Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable.

When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding.

But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.

In a timely update of Pride and Prejudice, critically acclaimed author Ibi Zoboi skillfully balances cultural identity, class, and gentrification against the heady magic of first love in her vibrant reimagining of this beloved classic.

Analee, in Real Life
by Janelle Milanes
YA novel. Simon Pulse. Pub date: September 2018

A Cuban-American teen navigates social anxiety, her father’s remarriage, and being torn between two very cute boys in this heartfelt and funny contemporary novel—perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Kasie West.

Ever since her mom died three years ago, Analee Echevarria has had trouble saying out loud the weird thoughts that sit in her head. With a best friend who hates her and a dad who’s marrying a yogi she can’t stand, Analee spends most of her time avoiding reality and role-playing as Kiri, the night elf hunter at the center of her favorite online game.

Through Kiri, Analee is able to express everything real-life Analee cannot: her bravery, her strength, her inner warrior. The one thing both Kiri and Analee can’t do, though, is work up the nerve to confess her romantic feelings for Kiri’s partner-in-crime, Xolkar—a.k.a. a teen boy named Harris whom Analee has never actually met in person.

So when high school heartthrob Seb Matias asks Analee to pose as his girlfriend in an attempt to make his ex jealous, Analee agrees. Sure, Seb seems kind of obnoxious, but Analee could use some practice connecting with people in real life. In fact, it’d maybe even help her with Harris.

But the more Seb tries to coax Analee out of her comfort zone, the more she starts to wonder if her anxious, invisible self is even ready for the real world. Can Analee figure it all out without losing herself in the process?

Plus Don't Miss These Titles from Indie Publishers!

Ana Maria Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle
by Hilda Burgos
Middle grade novel. TU Books. Pub date: Fall 2018

About 11-year-old Anamay, who is upset to discover that she will be getting a new sibling until she travels to her parents’ native Dominican Republic and learns that family and community are more important than material possessions. *Full synopsis coming soon.

Grandpa Bert and the Ghost Snatchers
by Malorie Blackman (Author)
Picturebook. Barrington Stoke Ltd. Pub date: July 15, 2018

Grandma Gertie is rather strange. With her big square glasses and a parrot on her hat, Anna and Kasper don't know what to make of her. But Grandma's got a secret... Grandpa Bert is a ghost and he's travelled all the way from Barbados squished inside her handbag! Even worse, they're being followed and Grandpa Bert could be in very grave danger... Can Anna and Kasper help their grandparents before it's too late? A hilarious family adventure filled with ghosts and laughs.

Auntie Luce’s Talking Paintings
by Francie Latour (Author) and Ken Daley (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Groundwood Books. Pub date: October 2, 2018

Every winter, a young girl flies to Haiti to visit her Auntie Luce, a painter.

The moment she steps off the plane, she feels a wall of heat, and familiar sights soon follow ― the boys selling water ice by the pink cathedral, the tap tap buses in the busy streets, the fog and steep winding road to her aunt’s home in the mountains.

The girl has always loved Auntie Luce’s paintings ― the houses tucked into the hillside, colorful fishing boats by the water, heroes who fought for and won the country’s independence. Through Haiti’s colors, the girl comes to understand this place her family calls home. And when the moment finally comes to have her own portrait painted for the first time, she begins to see herself in a new way, tracing her own history and identity through her aunt’s brush.

Includes an author’s note and a glossary.

The Season of Rebels and Roses
by Virginia Sánchez-Korrol
YA novel. Piñata Books/Arte Público Press. Pub date: May 31, 2018

At an assembly of liberals in Ponce, Puerto Rico, in 1887, Inocencia Martínez eagerly looks for Sotero Figueroa, a journalist and independence movement activist whose politics—and handsome visage—she finds extremely exciting. She is so intent on keeping him in her sights that, when he stops to speak to someone, she almost runs right into him!

Inocencia, the daughter of a Spanish bureaucrat, was 18 when she first heard Figueroa speak about freedom from colonial repression and an independent Puerto Rico. Hearing the speakers at the assembly fueled her dreams of becoming a leader in the movement.

Inocencia’s parents are initially horrified that a mulatto, someone of African descent, wants to court their daughter. Ultimately, just before the couple’s seditious activities force them into exile, her parents give approval for their marriage. While living in New York City, Inocencia starts her own women’s group to aid the revolutionaries.

Ranging from Puerto Rico to Cuba and the United States, this engaging novel for teens follows historical figures that were instrumental in the fight for self-determination in Puerto Rico. Addressing issues that remain relevant today—racism, women’s rights and Puerto Rico’s status—The Season of Rebels and Roses also sheds light on women’s involvement in their nations’ liberation—and their own.

The Vienna Cake Mystery
by Charlene Abramson Joseph (Author) and Danica David (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Little Bell Caribbean. Pub date: May 1, 2018

One day, Tilda Turtle has so many guavaberries she decides to make a delicious vienna cake. It isn't long before everyone in the yard notices the beautifully frosted cake glistening in the windowsill, their mouths watering over the buttery aroma. But things don't go exactly as planned for Tilda Turtle and her irresistible vienna cake. A book filled with lovable characters, colorful illustrations, and a mystery to solve! Includes a traditional Crucian vienna cake recipe.

Giraffe Hears the Drum
by Mario Picayo (Author) and Anabel Alfonso (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Little Bell Caribbean. Pub date: June 1, 2018

One day a young giraffe hears music coming from somewhere across the ocean, and decides to go and and out who is making the beautiful sounds. What she discovers will surprise her more than she could ever imagine. A fun, humorous tale in rhyme celebrating cultural bonds that neither time nor distance can destroy.

Where I Live
by Rick Grant (Author) and Galih Sakti (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Little Bell Caribbean. Pub date: June 1, 2018

Where do you live? In a cold place, a hot place? In a house, an apartment? Maybe in a tent! Read and discover some of the many places that people and animals love to call home.

Broo 'Nansi and Sis Iwana
by Yohance Henley (Author) and Unknown (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Little Bell Caribbean. Pub date: May 1, 2018

Broo Nansi (that good for nothing fellow) has a dilemma. He and Sis Iwana are such good friends, they never leave each other s side. But when it comes to the feast under the river, Broo Nansi is determined not to share any food, and he ll go to any length to make sure he has it all to himself! However, Sis Iwana knows Broo Nansi well and does not fall for his trick that easily. Another great Broo Nansi story filled with the humor and wisdom that only this ancient little spider can impart.

Close to Nature: Dolphins of the Caribbean
by Mario Picayo (Author) and Unknown (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Little Bell Caribbean. Pub date: May 1, 2018

Meet the Very Smart Dolphin! A fun and educational book filled with information about one of our favorite animals. With over 50 photographs and interesting information, this is a book that readers of all ages will enjoy. Dolphins of the Caribbean is the third book in the Close to Nature series dedicated to teaching children about the Caribbean's natural world.

Lights, Camera, Carmen!
by Anika Denise (Author) and Lorena Alvarez Gómez (Illustrator)
Picturebook. Abrams Books for Young Readers. Pub date: September 11, 2018

In the vein of Eloise, Olivia, and Fancy Nancy, Carmen is a little girl with a BIG personality. She loves the spotlight and fame that comes with being an actress, and she only grudgingly shares attention with her adoring little brother, Eduardo - especially when the prize is a starring role in a commercial. Carmen and her family speak a mix of English and Spanish, inspired the author’s loving exchanges with her father as a little girl.

Puerto Rico Strong
by various authors and illustrators
Comic book anthology. Lion Forge. Pub date: March 27, 2018

Puerto Rico Strong is a comics anthology that explores what it means to be Puerto Rican and the diversity that exists within that concept, from today's most exciting Puerto Rican comics creators. All proceeds go to UNIDOS Disaster Relief & Recovery Program to Support Puerto Rico. Despite being a US territory, Puerto Rico is often thought of as a foreign land, if it's even a thought in the mind of the average American at all. Its people exist in all corners of America; some of them have parents who immigrated from the home island, others are a part of families that have been on the mainland for generations. Then there are those who have come to the states in search of a dream but struggle to integrate into an unfamiliar culture, while there are those who have lived in the United States all of their lives but still have the same struggle because of the color of their skin or their sexual identity.

These stories follow individuals from diverse walks of life but are all part of the culture that is Puerto Rico.Puerto Rico Strong features art and writing by Rosa Colon, Vita Ayala, Naomi Franquiz, Javier Cruz Winnick, Sabrina Cintron, Ronnie Garcia, Fabian Nicieza, Joamette Gil, and many more!

The Field
by Paul Baptiste (Author) and Jacqueline Alcántara (Illustrator)
Picturebook. NorthSouth Books. Pub date: March 6, 2018

A soccer story—for boy and girls alike—just in time for the World Cup!

Vini! Come! The field calls!” cries a girl as she and her younger brother rouse their community—family, friends, and the local fruit vendor—for a pickup soccer (futbol) game. Boys and girls, young and old, players and spectators come running—bearing balls, shoes, goals, and a love of the sport.

“Friends versus friends” teams are formed, the field is cleared of cows, and the game begins! But will a tropical rainstorm threaten their plans?

The world’s most popular and inclusive sport has found its spirited, poetic, and authentic voice in Baptiste Paul’s debut picture book—highlighting the joys of the game along with its universal themes: teamwork, leadership, diversity, and acceptance. Creole words (as spoken in St. Lucia, the author’s birthplace island in the Caribbean) add spice to the story and are a strong reminder of the sport’s world fame. Bright and brilliant illustrations by debut children’s book illustrator Jacqueline Alcántara—winner of the We Need Diverse Books Illustration Mentorship Award—capture the grit and glory of the game and the beauty of the island setting where this particular field was inspired.

Soccer fan or not, the call of The Field is irresistible.

The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary
by Nonieqa Ramos
YA novel. Carolrhoda Lab. Pub date: February 1, 2018

Macy's school officially classifies her as "disturbed," but Macy isn't interested in how others define her. She's got more pressing problems: her mom can't move off the couch, her dad's in prison, her brother's been kidnapped by Child Protective Services, and now her best friend isn't speaking to her. Writing in a dictionary format, Macy explains the world in her own termscomplete with gritty characters and outrageous endeavors. With an honesty that's both hilarious and fearsome, slowly Macy reveals why she acts out, why she can't tell her incarcerated father that her mom's cheating on him, and why her best friend needs protection . . . the kind of protection that involves Macy's machete.

Ti Koko and Kush Kush
by Patricia G. Turnbull (Author) and Reuben Vanterpoo (Illustrator)
Picturebook. House of Nehesi Publishers. Pub date: January 15, 2018

TI KOKO AND KUSH KUSH is a brilliantly crafted story about a happy little coconut tree and a friendly, wise yam and the power of friendship and camaraderie in a small community. *Full synopsis coming soon.

Home Home
by Lisa Allen-Agostini
YA novel. Papillote Press. Pub date: Spring 2018

A coming-of-age tale with a twist: a clinically depressed Trinidadian, who has attempted suicide, is banished by her mother to Canada to live with her aunt. She feels lonely and in exile. Adding to this estrangement is the fact that her aunt is a lesbian - which is deemed shameful in Trinidad. But with the help of a boy and her Skyping best friend "back home" in Trinidad, she beings to accept her new family and her illness. Then her mother arrives and threatens to take her back to Trinidad. Where then is home?

Trinidadian Lisa Allen-Agostini won third place in the 2017 Burt Award for Caribbean Literature with Home Home which looks at important and often unspoken themes: mental illness and sexuality. According to the Burt Award judges, “This story of a young woman’s journey to “home home” is a poignant tale for anyone who has ever felt displaced by family, illness or migration, and goes beyond the obvious issues of depression to examine carefully the concepts of home and family.”

The Art of White Roses
by Viviana Prado-Núñez
YA novel. Papillote Press. Pub date: Spring 2018

Set in a suburb of Havana in the last days of Batista's Cuba with Castro's revolution gathering momentum, this is the story of a 13-year-old girl's witness of violence as her country and family suffer from the fallout of repression and revolution. An insight into what it means to be young when the world is betraying you.

US-based Puerto Rican-Cuban author Viviana Prado-Núñez won first place in the 2017 Burt Award for Caribbean Literature with The Art of White Roses. The book is set in Cuba in 1957 and explores what it’s like to witness political and emotional upheaval when you are young and helpless. “In strong, evocative and emotional prose, Viviana tells the story of a girl discovering truths about her family, and her country, that force her to grow in unexpected ways,” said the Burt Award judges.

Black Beach
by Glynis Guevara
YA novel. Inanna Publications. Pub date: Fall 2018

Sixteen-year-old Tamera lives in La Cresta, a rural fishing community on a Caribbean island. Despite having the support of relatives, including her dad, Earl, her elder sister, Mary and her best friend and first cousin, Jan, she struggles to deal with her mom's mental health issues and the absence of her boyfriend, Dalton who moves out of the village to work. Tamera's life is further complicated after one of her classmates disappears, and weeks turn to months without any word of the missing girl's whereabouts. Life gets even more challenging after Tamera suffers a personal loss. This difficulty draws her and Dalton closer, but his long absences remain a test the young couple must contend with. Tamera doesn't know what she wants to do with her life, but she feels as if her closest friends are moving ahead and leaving her behind.

After an environmental disaster wreaks havoc in Tamera's hometown, she longs to help, but doesn't have any of the required skills to make an impact. With time on her hands to soul search, she makes a life changing decision that leads her in the path of potential danger. Tamera finds herself at the centre of the mystery of her classmate's disappearance, the resolution of which shocks the people of La Cresta.

Little Lenty
by Phillis Gershator (Author and Illustrator)
Picturebook. Little Bell Caribbean. Pub date: Spring 2018

In the Caribbean, all the frogs sing, all except one. He’s a tiny frog with a long name, Eleutherodactylus lentus, and he lives in the Virgin Islands. Lenty can’t sing like the other frogs, no matter how hard he tries. But when Señor Coquí shows up and leads the little frogs in song, Lenty discovers there is something he can do.

Merci Suarez Changes Gears
by Meg Medina
Middle grade novel. Candlewick Press. Pub date: September 11, 2018

Thoughtful, strong-willed sixth-grader Merci Suarez navigates difficult changes with friends, family and everyone in between in a resonant new novel from Meg Medina.

Merci Suarez knew that sixth grade would be different, but she had no idea just how different. For starters, Merci has never been like the other kids at her private school, because she and her older brother, Roli, are scholarship students. At home, Merci's grandfather and most trusted ally, Lolo, has been acting strangely lately— forgetting important things, falling from his bike, and getting angry over nothing at all. No one in her family will tell Merci anything, so she's left to her own worries. In a coming-of-age tale full of humor and wisdom, award-winning author Med Medina gets to the heart of the confusion and constant change that defines middle school and the steadfast connection that defines family.

Tata and the Big Bad Bull
by Juleus Ghunta (Author) and Ann-Cathrine Loo (Illustrator)
Picturebook. CaribbeanReads. Pub date: May 2018

Tata loves going to school, but the only way he can get there is through Pellken Pasture, which is fiercely guarded by the Big Bad Bull. Can Tata figure out how to get past the angry bull and make it to school on time?

Dance Quadrille and Play Quelbe
by Opal Palmer Adisa (Author)
Picturebook. CaribbeanReads. Pub date: November 5, 2018

The annual Quadrille and Quelbe Festival is finally here and Jasmine and Justin are excited to be dancing and playing music in the colourful Virgin Islands festival.

Join Justin and Jasmine in celebrating this exciting tradition.

Marcus Garvey and the Tainos in Canoe Valley
by Denise Salmon (Author) and Unknown (Illustrator)
Picturebook. LMH Publishing. Pub date: November 29, 2018

Learn about the Tainos and Marcus Garvey, Jamaica's first National Hero, as Shari and Grandpa Tom go fishing in Gut River.

A fun book that shows the bond between a little girl and her grandfather, and one that will gently inspire children to greatness.

The Same Blood
by M. Azmitia (Author)
YA novel. West 44 Books. Pub date: August 1, 2018

Twin sisters Elena and Marianella couldn't be more different. Marianella goes out of her way to actively participate in their Puerto Rican culture, whereas Elena is embarrassed by their traditions. Marianella is also fighting a very private battle with mental illness, and takes her own life not long after their fifteenth birthday. As Elena mourns her sister, she tries to live her life without the limitations and rules Marianella set for her. When her life spirals out of control, Elena realizes the depth of her roots and the guilt of not helping her sister before it was too late.

About the Author

Summer Edward is the Editor-in-Chief here at Anansesem. Her writing and art have been published in various literary magazines and anthologies. Her home on the web is

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About Anansesem

Anansesem is an online magazine of Caribbean children's and young adult literature by adults and children. We strive to bring you the best in news, reviews and creative content from the world of Caribbean children's publishing.
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