Grey Lore by Jean Knight Pace and Jacob Kennedy:
Ella’s life has never been great. But it’s never been terrible either. Until her mother dies unexpectedly in a car crash and the aunt she’s never known whisks her away to a tiny town called Napper, Indiana. Napper is a country club of a city–a town full of retired businessmen and rich environmentalists–so basically a place where Ella will never belong. She expects to be the only oddity in Napper until she meets Sam, another poor implant to the wealthy town, and Sarah–a girl who would do anything to ex-plant herself and land someplace more exciting.
Making friends is pretty strange for Ella…but not nearly as strange as some of the other things that start happening. Hidden compartments in her dead mother’s jewelry box, bedtime clues about a world that once was, strange voices in the night, and silver bullet shootings across the country. Crazy as it seems, Napper might be at the center of something, something big. Even stranger, Ella begins to realize that she might have a place in Napper after all, though she’s not sure it’s the place she wants to have. Because some of the oddest things look the most normal. On the outside.
Click by Jean Knight Pace:
When twins, Joel and Eli, wander off school grounds to play an interactive game on their phones, their mother punishes them by taking away their phones until they complete a 200-piece puzzle. Seems easy enough. Except that it’s not a normal puzzle. Created and hand-painted by a local artist, the puzzle pieces are hidden throughout the town.
But then the artist who created the puzzle turns up missing.
When bodies start surfacing in a local pond, and the twins’ mother takes in a foster girl who spends most of her time drawing–making pictures of the same things that are in the puzzle only with precise and elaborate details, the twins begin to wonder if piecing together the puzzle will mean more than just getting their phones back.
The Determiner by Jean Knight Pace and Jacob Kennedy:
Henry is just a normal kid. Well, if being the son of the next U.S. president can be called normal. Yet even though his parents and siblings seem perfectly amazing and, well, presidential, Henry knows he’s not. When his family moves from Michigan to D.C., Henry misses his old town, old school, and his best friend. He misses living in a place where he felt he could kind of blend in. Because blending in is not what is happening for him at the White House. Between the ushers and antiques, his father’s political foes, and the principal who gives him chills–and not the kind where you’re inspired to see your bright future–Henry feels even more lost than usual.
Until he makes a friend named Willie and starts to find his place in the ancient house with its tight-lipped staff, terrifying pets, and a history so rich Henry might even want to wind his way through it. Yet, as he and his friends dig into the dregs of history and intrigue that marked the beginning of the country, Henry finds more than he planned on–starting with information about a plot to use the aging airforce planes to assassinate his father.
If he tells what he knows, the plot will simply be changed, and another assassination plan created to take its place. But if Henry keeps it a secret, there’s a chance that he and his new friends will be able to stop it, saving his father, the country, and the secrets held in the White House grounds.
Dust by Laura Andrade with Jean Knight Pace:
“I’m not going to try it,” I said.
“You’ll like it,” she argued, all sweet good nature.
“I know I’ll like it,” I said, “that’s why I’m not going to try it.”
“Oh, just try it,” she said just like she did almost every day, but this time she added, “Try it just this once and I’ll never ask you to do it again.”
That was a deal. I just wanted to get to the concert since we were already late; I wanted to get Pam out of my car and off my back. “You promise,” I asked.
“Promise,” she said. I slipped back into the driver’s seat while Pam corn-rowed two neat lines of the silky white powder on the back of a plastic cassette tape cover.
Looking back it seems strange how I was willing to trade my life to be on time to the Jackson Five Reunion concert. If I were to have asked someone in 1981 what they would give to go to a Jackson Five Reunion concert, they probably wouldn’t have said $1500 every month, getting beat up by an abusive boyfriend, having a baby with that abusive boyfriend, running away from the abusive boyfriend, having your child molested by that boyfriend’s brother-in-law, dealing drugs in California to pay for your child to live, losing your child to foster care, losing contact with your family, having cops track you down by name, living in hotels because you have to hide, wrecking your leg jumping from a window while running from the cops, spending weeks in a jail cell next to a woman who screamed all night long and spit all over her cell, having a gun held to your head by a Mexican dealer who was supposed to be your friend, being kidnapped and held in a house by white supremacists who beat you demanding that you call your supplier to bring a half pound of meth, showing up for Christmas at your child’s foster family beaten and black-eyed, never be invited to Christmas at their house again. You probably wouldn’t have given that to be on time for a Jackson Five Reunion concert. But I did. It only took a minute.
In her beautiful debut memoir, Andrade tells of her years with cocaine and crystal methamphetamines–using, then selling, until all she had left of the life she wanted was a chalk outline and a pack of cigarettes. This is the story of her use and recovery, of the people who frustrated and inspired her, of the decision to leave the drug world. It is the story of her slow, often unsteady walk home.