Both of these books employ the literary device of a voice, a "demon," speaking directly to the main character in her/ his mind, but they couldn't be more different, otherwise.
Imara is captured by rebels in the African Congo who believe she is a Spirit Child because of a scar that cuts across her face. They use her to "keep them safe" in their murderous attacks on rival villages.
What she believes is a demon speaks to her, keeping her safe and guiding her actions in horrific circumstances. But is it really a demon? Or is it something -- or the memory of someone -- else?
Bobo, a teenage boy, is trying to find his missing father, a game warden who ran afoul of the rebels when they tear a baby gorilla from his mother to sell to a white client.
As Imara takes care of the desperate baby gorilla, she begins to remember her own abduction, and realizes the voice she hears may not be demonic after all. Can she and Bobo team up to defeat the rebels and return the gorilla to his mother? Will their parents accept them back, once they return?
This series is set in the Northeast, with strong ties to its Puritan, colonial heritage, and includes references to Arthur Miller's The Crucible, which students generally don't experience (out here in the West) until high school, at least.
A "malefactor," a sort of prince of demons who hates people and seeks to enslave them with his contracts, inhabits the MC's mind / body due to the Redding family contract that is finally, after centuries, coming due for payment. Prosper Redding is rescued during a bizarre ritual in which his grandmother and other Redding relatives try to slice open his arms and legs with an iron blade.
He hides out at a new middle school, with a new name, and gets to reinvent himself due to a few free "boosts" of strength from the malefactor. He also ends up championing his "rescuer," fellow 7th grader and witch-in-training, Nell.
But if there's one lesson Prosper really must learn in this story, it's not to trust anyone, even his apparent rescuers, who have other, nefarious plans for him, and most definitely never to trust "Al," the malefactor trapped in his body.