Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr): Vroom! by Barbara McClintock

Birthday

Born on the same day during a freak September blizzard in Tennessee, Eric and Morgan--and their families--"became friends for life." The shared birthday anchors them through life's most dramatic changes: Morgan's mother dies and Morgan's father shuts down, while Eric's once-perfect family implodes. At 13, Morgan desperately needs to tell Eric, "I'm supposed to be a girl," while Eric struggles to understand who Morgan really is--especially to him. Over the next six birthdays, the BFFs will reevaluate, redefine and reinvent their bond as they mature together toward adulthood.

#OwnVoices author Meredith Russo's follow-up to her 2017 Stonewall Award-winning debut, If I Was Your Girl, is another affecting examination of teens grappling with relationships, socioeconomic disparities, school challenges and mental and physical abuse--with an added layer of affirming gender identity. Russo seamlessly melds difficulties with joy and impossibilities with solutions, to create a resonating "love story eighteen years in the making." --Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon