cover image Simone Breaks All the Rules

Simone Breaks All the Rules

Debbie Rigaud. Scholastic Press, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-338-68172-7

New Jersey high school senior Simone Thibodeaux, 18, wants to live life on her own terms, but it’s an uphill battle against her strict Haitian immigrant parents. Determined to enjoy her final year at her Catholic all-girls’ high school, she recruits Indian American lab partner Amita Nadar, and white Kira Gifford, the victim of a media frenzy surrounding her family. Together, they create a joint bucket list called Senior Playlist, plotting how they’ll help each other achieve every item before graduation. After witnessing her parents pick her sister’s Haitian American prom date, Simone vehemently refuses to date his younger brother, Ben. Though the connection between them slowly grows, Simone’s biggest concern is getting her crush, Gavin Stackhouse, to notice her. As Simone tries to find herself, she also draws closer to her Haitian identity. Rigaud (Truly Madly Royally) infuses a delightfully funny narrative with a diaspora-specific lesson—Simone learning to value the sacrifices of her immigrant parents—within a universally relatable tale of seeking oneself and independence amid warm relationships with family, friends, and community. Ages 12–up. Agent: Laura Dail, Laura Dail Literary. (June)