The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater
This riveting nonfiction book for teens about race, class, gender, crime, and punishment tells the true story of an agender teen who was set on fire by another teen while riding a bus in Oakland, California. One teenager in a skirt. One teenager with a lighter. One moment that changes both of their lives forever. If it weren't for the 57 bus, Sasha and Richard never would have met. Both were high school students from Oakland, California, one of the most diverse cities in the country, but they inhabited different worlds. Sasha, a white teen, lived in the middle-class foothills and attended a small private school. Richard, a black teen, lived in the crime-plagued flatlands and attended a large public one. Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But one afternoon on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment. The case garnered international attention, thrusting both teenagers into the spotlight.
Monay's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
From the critically acclaimed author of Allegedly, Tiffany D. Jackson, comes a gripping new novel perfect for fans of E. Lockhart and Gillian Flynn about the mystery of one teenage girl’s disappearance and the traumatic effects of the truth.
Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried.
When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumors and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best—and only—friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.
As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?"
Have you read Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone and the second in the series, Children of Vice and Vengeance? They're the start of a fantasy series that takes place in Africa where wielders of magic ("magi") have been terribly oppressed. But a commoner, Zelie, teams up with some royals to end the oppression against the magi-- and end the fear of magic. Because it's not a stand-alone book, things go awry, and Children of Vice and Vengeance is a lot darker than Blood and Bone.
In January, Adeyemi was interviewed about the oppression, heavy topics, and the way Adeyemi utilizes diction (word choice) and the language of her characters. It's super interesting! You can read the article here.