5 Diverse YA Books…Straight from History, Straight from the Headlines

by Aisha Saeed, Ashley Hope Perez, Brendan Kiely, Jason Reynolds, Shyima Hall, Stacey Lee
Also by this author: The Secret of a Heart Note
Genres: Children's Fiction (Tween), Coming of Age, Young Adult

diversebooks

#WeNeedDiverseBooks

We need to see ourselves in books…

We need to know we are not alone…

We need to teach tolerance & acceptance…

We need to learn about each other without prejudice…

We need to seek understanding…

 

 

Out Of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez

outofdarkness“This is East Texas, and there’s lines. Lines you cross, lines you don’t cross. That clear?”

New London, Texas. 1937. Naomi Vargas and Wash Fuller know about the lines in East Texas as well as anyone. They know the signs that mark them. They know the people who enforce them. But sometimes the attraction between two people is so powerful it breaks through even the most entrenched color lines. And the consequences can be explosive.

Ashley Hope Pérez takes the facts of the 1937 New London school explosion the worst school disaster in American history as a backdrop for a riveting novel about segregation, love, family, and the forces that destroy people.

Buy Out of Darkness (Fiction – Young Adult)

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

allamericanboys

In an unforgettable new novel from award-winning authors Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, two teens—one black, one white—grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension.

A bag of chips. That’s all sixteen-year-old Rashad is looking for at the corner bodega. What he finds instead is a fist-happy cop, Paul Galluzzo, who mistakes Rashad for a shoplifter, mistakes Rashad’s pleadings that he’s stolen nothing for belligerence, mistakes Rashad’s resistance to leave the bodega as resisting arrest, mistakes Rashad’s every flinch at every punch the cop throws as further resistance and refusal to STAY STILL as ordered. But how can you stay still when someone is pounding your face into the concrete pavement?

But there were witnesses: Quinn Collins—a varsity basketball player and Rashad’s classmate who has been raised by Paul since his own father died in Afghanistan—and a video camera. Soon the beating is all over the news and Paul is getting threatened with accusations of prejudice and racial brutality. Quinn refuses to believe that the man who has basically been his savior could possibly be guilty. But then Rashad is absent. And absent again. And again. And the basketball team—half of whom are Rashad’s best friends—start to take sides. As does the school. And the town. Simmering tensions threaten to explode as Rashad and Quinn are forced to face decisions and consequences they had never considered before.

Written in tandem by two award-winning authors, this tour de force shares the alternating perspectives of Rashad and Quinn as the complications from that single violent moment, the type taken from the headlines, unfold and reverberate to highlight an unwelcome truth.

Buy All American Boys

Written In the Stars by Aisha Saeed

writteninthestarsThis heart-wrenching novel explores what it is like to be thrust into an unwanted marriage. Has Naila’s fate been written in the stars? Or can she still make her own destiny?
 
Naila’s conservative immigrant parents have always said the same thing: She may choose what to study, how to wear her hair, and what to be when she grows up—but they will choose her husband. Following their cultural tradition, they will plan an arranged marriage for her. And until then, dating—even friendship with a boy—is forbidden. When Naila breaks their rule by falling in love with Saif, her parents are livid. Convinced she has forgotten who she truly is, they travel to Pakistan to visit relatives and explore their roots. But Naila’s vacation turns into a nightmare when she learns that plans have changed—her parents have found her a husband and they want her to marry him, now! Despite her greatest efforts, Naila is aghast to find herself cut off from everything and everyone she once knew. Her only hope of escape is Saif . . . if he can find her before it’s too late.

Buy Written in the Stars

Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

underpainedskyMissouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a
professional musician–not an easy thing if you’re a girl, and harder
still if you’re Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of
fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life.
With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town
for the unknown frontier. But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for
two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys
headed for the California gold rush.

Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to
their past, and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when
they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the light-hearted troupe turn
out to be unexpected allies. With the law closing in on them and new
setbacks coming each day, the girls quickly learn that there are not
many places to hide on the open trail.

Buy Under a Painted Sky

Hidden Girl by Shyima Hall

hiddengirlAn inspiring and compelling memoir from a young woman who lost her childhood to slavery—and built a new life grounded in determination and justice.

Shyima Hall was born in Egypt on September 29, 1989, the seventh child of desperately poor parents. When she was eight, her parents sold her into slavery. Shyima then moved two hours away to Egypt’s capitol city of Cairo to live with a wealthy family and serve them eighteen hours a day, seven days a week. When she was ten, her captors moved to Orange County, California, and smuggled Shyima with them. Two years later, an anonymous call from a neighbor brought about the end of Shyima’s servitude—but her journey to true freedom was far from over.

A volunteer at her local police department since she was a teenager, Shyima is passionate about helping to rescue others who are in bondage. Now a US citizen, she regularly speaks out about human trafficking and intends to one day become an immigration officer. In Hidden Girl, Shyima candidly reveals how she overcame her harrowing circumstances and brings vital awareness to a timely and relevant topic.

Buy Hidden Girl: The True Story of a Modern-Day Child Slave

librariansnote

Each book mentioned here will get you thinking, teach you something & will leave a permanent mark on your heart.  This is YA Literature at its ABSOLUTE BEST!

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