The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capital, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined — every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute… and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Sexual assault, implied
  • Child abuse & neglect
  • Emotional abuse
  • Drug use
  • Beheading
  • Cannibalism mentioned
  • Starvation
  • Death of a parent
  • Murder
  • Physical & psychological torture
  • Hanging
  • Poverty themes
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Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal by Anna Whateley

Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal by Anna Whateley

Peta Lyre is far from typical. The world she lives in isn’t designed for the way her mind works, but when she follows her therapist’s rules for ‘normal’ behaviour, she can almost fit in without attracting attention.

When a new girl, Sam, starts at school, Peta’s carefully structured routines start to crack. But on the school ski trip, with romance blooming and a newfound confidence, she starts to wonder if maybe she can have a normal life after all.

When things fall apart, Peta must decide whether all the old rules still matter.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Domestic violence
  • Poverty themes
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Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke

Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke

Ren Kolins is a silver wielder—a dangerous thing to be in the kingdom of Erdis, where magic has been outlawed for a century. Ren is just trying to survive, sticking to a life of petty thievery, card games, and pit fighting to get by. But when a wealthy rebel leader discovers her secret, he offers her a fortune to join his revolution. The caveat: she won’t see a single coin until they overthrow the King.

Behind the castle walls, a brutal group of warriors known as the King’s Children is engaged in a competition: the first to find the rebel leader will be made King’s Fang, the right hand of the King of Erdis. And Adley Farre is hunting down the rebels one by one, torturing her way to Ren and the rebel leader, and the coveted King’s Fang title… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Sexism
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Alcoholism
  • Physical injury, including eyeball trauma
  • Death of a parent mentioned
  • Executions
  • Gun violence
  • Stabbing
  • Poverty themes
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The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

The lonely young Appalachian woman joins the historical Pack Horse Library Project of Kentucky and becomes a librarian, riding across slippery creek beds and up treacherous mountains on her faithful mule to deliver books and other reading material to the impoverished hill people of Eastern Kentucky.

Along her dangerous route, Cussy, known to the mountain folk as Bluet, confronts those suspicious of her damselfly-blue skin and the government’s new book program. She befriends hardscrabble and complex fellow Kentuckians, and is fiercely determined to bring comfort and joy, instill literacy, and give to those who have nothing, a bookly respite, a fleeting retreat to faraway lands.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism
  • Rape
  • Suicide
  • Medical experimentation
  • Death of a child
  • Murder
  • Poverty themes
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City of Secrets by Victoria Ying

City of Secrets by Victoria Ying

Ever Barnes is a shy orphan guarding a secret in an amazing puzzle box of a building. Most of the young women who work at the building’s Switchboard Operating Facility, which connects the whole city of Oskar, look the other way as Ever roams around in the shadows. But one of them, Lisa, keeps an eye on the boy. So does the head of the Switchboard, Madame Alexander . . . a rather sharp eye.

Enter Hannah, the spunky daughter of the building’s owner. She thinks Ever needs a friend, even if he doesn’t know it yet. Lisa and Madame Alexander are each clearly up to something. Ever is beset by a menacing band of rogues looking to unlock the secret he holds–at any cost. And whatever is hidden deep in the Switchboard building will determine all of their futures.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Blood & physical injuries
  • Hospital
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a father recounted
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Death from a fall
  • War themes, including a missile strike
  • Homelessness
  • Poverty themes
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I Am Change by Suzy Zail

I Am Change by Suzy Zail

They told her that her body belonged to men and her mind didn’t matter. They were wrong.

“What if I don’t want to marry?” Lillian held her breath. She had never said the words out loud. “Not want to marry?” Her aunt frowned. “What else would you do?”

Set in a Ugandan village, Lilian has learned to shrink herself to fit other people’s ideas of what a girl is. In her village a girl is not meant to be smarter than her brother. A girl is not meant to go to school or enjoy her body or decide who to marry. Especially if she is poor.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Rape
  • Incest
  • Domestic violence
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Poverty themes
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Counting by Sevens by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life…until now.

Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Fatmisia & body shaming
  • Infertility & miscarriage mentioned
  • Blood depiction
  • Hospitalisation mentioned
  • Coma
  • Death of a parent in a car accident
  • Vietnam War mentioned
  • Poverty themes
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Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies – humans with extraordinary abilities – who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice – and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism & ableist language
  • Burns
  • Death of an infant
  • Death of a mother from a fall
  • Death of a sister
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Gun violence
  • Explosion
  • Fire & arson
  • Animal death
  • Animal cruelty
  • Poverty
  • Bullying
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Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story—until the next day, when Ingrid disappears… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Classism
  • Cheating recounted
  • Nightmares
  • Suicide (on-page & recounted)
  • Self harm by burning (on-page)
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Recreational drug use
  • Nonconsensual drugging
  • Blood & physical injuries depiction
  • Nonconsensual medical procedures & experimentation
  • Emesis
  • Hospital
  • Surgery
  • Needles & syringes
  • Cancer & terminal illness mentioned
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a mother & father mentioned
  • Death of a friend
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Knife violence
  • Gun violence
  • Graphic fire (on-page)
  • Kidnapping & captivity
  • Car accident
  • Disappearance of a friend (theme)
  • Death from a fall (on-page)
  • Poverty theme
  • Homelessness
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Adequate Yearly Progress by Roxanna Elden

Adequate Yearly Progress by Roxanna Elden

Adaquate Yearly Progress by Roxanna Elden book cover

Each new school year brings familiar challenges to Brae Hill Valley, a struggling high school in one the biggest cities in Texas. But the teachers also face plenty of personal challenges and this year, they may finally spill over into the classroom.

English teacher Lena Wright, a spoken-word poet, can never seem to truly connect with her students. Hernan D. Hernandez is confident in front of his biology classes, but tongue-tied around the woman he most wants to impress. Down the hall, math teacher Maybelline Galang focuses on the numbers as she struggles to parent her daughter, while Coach Ray hustles his troubled football team toward another winning season. Recording it all is idealistic second-year history teacher Kaytee Mahoney, whose anonymous blog gains new readers by the day as it drifts ever further from her in-class reality. And this year, a new superintendent is determined to leave his own mark on the school—even if that means shutting the whole place down.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny and sexism
  • Classim
  • Racism & racial slurs
  • Slut-shaming
  • Body-shaming
  • Victim blaming
  • Child sexual assault
  • Statutory rape
  • Adult-minor relationship
  • Verbal abuse
  • Workplace harassment
  • Estrangement
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Abortion
  • Physical injuries
  • Poverty themes
  • White supremacy
  • Blackmail
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