Emoni has always understood food. She knows what flavors go well together and what spice will add just the right amount of kick. So when her school offers a culinary course taught by a real chef, she's thrilled. Except it's a lot to juggle her dreams of running a restaurant with the reality of raising a daughter and working a part-time job to help 'Buela. Elizabeth Acevedo, author of last year's National Book Award-winning The Poet X, is back with another powerhouse novel in With The Fire On High, out May 17.
If this sounds like your kind of book, here are some other suggestions you might like.
Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert follows another teen as she discovers a love of cooking and deals with an unplanned pregnancy. Yvonne faces her future with a courage and conviction that makes me think she and Emoni would be good friends.
Far From the Tree by Robin Benway is about three half-siblings, raised apart, and the ties that bind them together. Grace, Maya and Joaquin are all looking for something and just might find it in each other. Like Emoni, they learn that family is sometimes about blood, but always about love.
Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero gives us Gabi's journal through her senior year of high school as she deals with friends, family and the pressure of the future that sometimes makes her want to hide and sometimes makes her want to scream.
In Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson, Jade searches for a way out of her neighborhood, convinced it's the only way she'll ever make anything of herself. But through the novel she's forced to confront the idea of home and what it means to be a black girl in this world.