Shad Hadid and the Alchemists of Alexandria by George Jreije

Shad Hadid is a twelve-year-old Lebanese-American boy who lives with his grandma, is quick on his feet, loves to bake Lebanese dishes (especially desserts), and somehow makes hiding from school bullies seem like a game—until he’s attacked by a sinister shadow called a necromancer. Jreije’s debut novel then quickly launches into the fantastical world of alchemy, complete with an ancient school and a timeless war between alchemists and necromancers. Shad Hadid and the Alchemists of Alexandria is a non-stop thrill with plot twists up until the end. And while Hadid’s new friends each bring their own well-crafted story arcs, Hadid steals every scene with his fearless charm, innocent charisma, and unwavering loyalty. Jreije’s culture-rich novel is a very fast read, but with so much heart, it’s not an easily forgettable one.