On the Radar: Five Books to Check Out in August

by vkovenmatasy

Get your library card handy and reserve your place in line for these new August releases! If you place a hold now, they can be in your hands before they even hit the shelf.

Please note: all summaries are taken from the Boston Public Library catalog unless otherwise noted. They may have been edited for length and clarity.


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Miles Morales by Jason Reynolds

Summary: Brooklyn Visions Academy student Miles Morales may not always want to be a super hero, but he must come to terms with his identity–and deal with a villainous teacher–as the new Spider Man.

Why We’re Excited: Jason Reynolds. Miles Morales, aka the version of Spider-Man (alongside Spider-Gwen) that I most hope to someday seen on a big screen. Did anyone else catch the quick hint in the most recent Spider-Man movie that Miles Morales may be coming to the Avengers universe soon? Let’s all keep our fingers crossed for a film with a writer as good as this book’s!


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Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Summary: Diana, Princess of the Amazons, journeys to the World of Man in this coming-of-age young adult story.

Why We’re Excited: While we’re on the subject of movie tie-ins with amazing authors — LEIGH BARDUGO (author of the wildly popular Grisha trilogy and the Six of Crows duology) is writing Wonder Woman. The quality of authors writing media tie-ins has increased exponentially since I was a kid reading Star Trek books…


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Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney Stevens

Summary: As the tomboy daughter of the town’s preacher, Billie McCaffrey has always struggled with fitting the mold of what everyone says she should be. She’d rather wear sweats, build furniture, and get into trouble with her solid group of friends: Woods, Mash, Davey, Fifty, and Janie Lee. But when Janie Lee confesses to Billie that she’s in love with Woods, Billie’s filled with a nagging sadness as she realizes that she is also in love with Woods… and maybe with Janie Lee, too. Always considered “one of the guys,” Billie doesn’t want anyone slapping a label on her sexuality before she can understand it herself. So she keeps her conflicting feelings to herself, for fear of ruining the group dynamic. Except it’s not just about keeping the peace, it’s about understanding love on her terms–this thing that has always been defined as a boy and a girl falling in love and living happily ever after. For Billie–a box-defying dynamo–it’s not that simple.

Why We’re Excited: A book about sexual (and maybe gender?) fluidity, set in a small town, that acknowledges the powerful and positive role that religion can have in teens’ lives? Featuring a group of friends who love and support each other even if they don’t always get it right? Yes please, sign me up.


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Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

Summary: Suzette returns home to Los Angeles from boarding school and grapples with her bisexual identity when she and her brother Lionel fall in love with the same girl, pushing Lionel’s bipolar disorder to spin out of control and forcing Suzette to confront her own demons.

Why We’re Excited: This book has been on my radar for a while now — there’s a shortage of books with a nuanced depiction of bipolar disorder, and Pointe, Brandy Colbert’s previous book, makes me think that she’ll get it right. I haven’t read Little & Lion yet myself, but I’ve seen it recommended as good representation by reviewers I trust.


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The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

Summary: The struggle to get into a top-tier college consumes sixteen-year-old Genie’s every waking thought. But when she discovers she’s a celestial spirit who’s powerful enough to bash through the gates of heaven with her fists, her perfectionist existence is shattered. Enter Quentin, a transfer student from China whose tone-deaf assertiveness beguiles Genie to the brink of madness. Quentin nurtures Genie’s outrageous transformation–sometimes gently, sometimes aggressively–as her sleepy suburb in the Bay Area comes under siege from hell-spawn.

Why We’re Excited: Uhhhh, so many reasons. I’ve been low-key obsessed with the Monkey King ever since I read the Dragon of the Lost Sea books (I’m gonna keep recommending them until you all read them, just FYI) back in the ’90s. The struggle to get into a top-tier college also consumed my every waking thought when I was sixteen, so I can definitely relate to Genie. And defending the Bay Area from demons??? Every aspect of this book sounds amazing.


icon of VeronicaDid I get you interested in reading one of these books? Just click the title of the one you want and the link will take you to the relevant page in the catalog. From there you can click the green “Place a Hold” button and you’re all set!

Need a library card? Wondering how long you can borrow a book? Borrowing and Circulation information can be found here.


*”On the Radar” features book previews by Veronica, the Teen Librarian at the Dudley Branch, on the last Tuesday or Friday of every month.