Hot Reads

Books for High School Students That Celebrate Diversity

Book Cover Frida: Viva La Vida!/Long Live Life!
By Bernier-Grand, Carmen T.
Kahlo, Frida
2007/11 - Marshall Cavendish Children's Books
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Frida Kahlo, a native of Mexico, is described here in biographical poems accompanied by her own artwork. Both text and images reveal the anguish and joy of her two marriages to muralist Diego Rivera, her life-long suffering from a crippling bus accident, and her thirst for life, even as she tasted death. ...More

Book Cover A People's History of American Empire: A Graphic Adaptation
By Zinn, Howard
Konopacki, Mike
Buhle, Paul
2008/04 - Metropolitan Books
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Shifting from world-shattering events to one family's small revolutions, the story of America in the world is now told in vibrant comics form. This version opens with the events of 9/11 and then jumps back to explore the cycles of U.S. expansionism. ...More

Book Cover The Children of Topaz: The Story of a Japanese-American Internment Camp: Based on a Classroom Diary
By Tunnell, Michael O.
Chilcoat, George W.
Chilcoat, George W.
1996/04 - Holiday House>
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CCBC Choices - 1996
The diary of a third-grade class of Japanese-American children being held with their families in an internment camp during World War II. ...More

Book Cover Six Million Paper Clips: The Making of a Children's Holocaust Memorial
By Schroeder, Peter W.
2005/05 - Kar-Ben Publishing>
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Book Cover No Shame in My Game: The Working Poor in the Inner City
By Newman, Katherine S.
1999/03 - Alfred A. Knopf
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An inspiring story based on a two-year study conducted by the author and her graduate students who followed 300 job-seekers and workers at four fast-food restaurants in Harlem and attained results of their positive attitudes toward finding employment. ...More

Book Cover Framework for Understanding Poverty:
By Payne, Ruby K.
2005/01 - AHA! Process
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Book Cover Mexican Whiteboy
By Pena, Matt De La
2008/08 - Delacorte Press
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DANNY'S TALL AND skinny. Even though he's not built, his arms are long enough to give his pitch a power so fierce any college scout would sign him on the spot. A 95 mph fastball, but the boy's not even on a team. Every time he gets up on the mound he loses it.
But at his private school, they don't expect much else from him. Danny's brown. Half-Mexican brown. And growing up in San Diego that close to the border means everyone else knows exactly who he is before he even opens his mouth. Before they find out he can't speak Spanish, and before they realize his mom has blond hair and blue eyes, they've got him pegged. Danny's convinced it's his whiteness that sent his father back to Mexico. And that's why he's spending the summer with his dad's family. Only, to find himself, he might just have to face the demons he refuses to see right in ...More

Book Cover No Choirboy: Murder, Violence, and Teenagers on Death Row
By Kuklin, Susan
2008/08 - Henry Holt & Company>
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2009 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers Top Teen

"No Choirboy "takes readers inside America's prisons, and allows inmates sentenced to death as teenagers to speak for themselves. In their own voices--raw and uncensored--they talk about their lives in prison, and share their thoughts and feelings about how they ended up there. Susan Kuklin also gets inside the system, exploring capital punishment itself and the intricacies and inequities of criminal justice in the United States. >

This is a searing, unforgettable read, and one that could change the way we think about crime and punishment.> ...More

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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
By Alexie, Sherman
Forney, Ellen
2007/09 - Little, Brown Young Readers
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2008 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Winner
2008-2009 Tayshas Reading List
2007 National Book Award- Winner Young People's Literature

Based on the author's own experiences, this first young adult novel by bestselling author Alexie features poignant drawings by acclaimed artist Ellen Forney that reflect the character's art as it chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy attempting to break away from the life he was destined to live. ...More

Book Cover Mistik Lake
By Brooks, Martha
2007/08 - Melanie Kroupa Books
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Written in spare, elegant prose and told from multiple points of view, this novel explores the lives of three generations of women in one family, revealing what happens when each woman cannot find the courage to follow her heart--and what can happen when she does. ...More

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A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
By Beah, Ishmael
2007/02 - Farrar Straus Giroux
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Tayshas Reading List 2008-2009

BookPage Notable Title
In the more than 50 conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them. In a rare and mesmerizing account, Beah tells of his experience as a child fighting a war in Sierra Leone. ...More

Book Cover American Shaolin: Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch: An Odyssey in the New China
By Polly, Matthew
2007/02 - Gotham Books
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Alex Award Winner - 2008
Kansas Notable Book - 2008

Laced with humor and illuminated by cultural insight, this coming-of-age tale explores one young American's quest to become a kung fu master at China's legendary Shaolin Temple. 8-page photo insert. ...More

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The Long Road Home: A Story of War and Family
By Raddatz, Martha
2007/03 - Putnam Publishing Group
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From ABC White House correspondent Raddatz comes the story of a brutal 48-hour firefight that conveys in harrowing detail the effects of war not just on the soldiers, but also on the families waiting back at home. ...More

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The Killer's Tears
By Bondoux, Anne-Laure
Maudet, Y.
2006/02 - Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
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Tayshas Reading List 2007-2008
On the afternoon when Angel Allegria arrives at the Poloverdos' farmhouse, he kills the farmer and his wife. But he spares their child, Paolo-a young boy who will claim this as the day on which he was born. Together the killer and the boy begin a new life on this remote and rugged stretch of land in Chile. Then Luis Secunda, a well-to-do and educated fellow from the city descends upon them. Paolo is caught in the paternal rivalry between the two men. But life resumes its course...until circumstances force the three to leave the farm. In doing so, Angel and Luis confront their pasts as well as their inevitable destinies-destinies that profoundly shape Paolo's own future. ...More

Book Cover Ask Me No Questions
By Budhos, Marina
2006/02 - Atheneum Books
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The author of "Remix: Conversations with Immigrant Teenagers" pens a moving story about two teenage sisters, originally from Bangladesh, whose family lives illegally in New York City. After 9/11, immigration regulations change, forcing the family to seek asylum. ...More

Book Cover Samurai Shortstop
By Gratz, Alan
2006/05 - Dial Books
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At its heart a novel about a boy who loves baseball, this suspenseful tale is about a boy who must choose between two ways of life--but finds a way to bridge them. ...More

Book Cover Over a Thousand Hills I Walk with You
By Jansen, Hanna
Crawford, Elizabeth D.
2006/04 - Carolrhoda Books
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Book Cover Sold
By McCormick, Patricia
2006/09 - Hyperion Books for Children
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Sold into prostitution, Lakshmi lives a nightmare and gradually forms friendships with the other girls that enable her to survive in this terrifying new world. Then the day comes when she must make a decision to risk everything for a chance to reclaim her life. ...More

Book Cover Deogratias, a Tale of Rwanda
By Stassen, Jean-Philippe
Stassen, Jean-Philippe
Siegel, Alexis
2006/05 - First Second
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Winner of the prestigious Goscinny Prize for outstanding script. Set in Rwanda before and after the Tutsi genocide, and seen through the eyes of a young Hutu boy named Deogratias, Stassen probes man's inhumanity to man and reveals the grip of madness and horror on one young man and his country. ...More

Book Cover American Born Chinese
By Yang, Gene Luen
2006/09 - First Second
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2007 Printz Award Winner
American Born Chinese tells the story of three apparently unrelated characters: Jin Wang, who moves to a new neighborhood with his family only to discover that he's the only Chinese-American student at his new school; the powerful Monkey King, subject of one of the oldest and greatest Chinese fables; and Chin-Kee, a personification of the ultimate negative Chinese stereotype, who is ruining his cousin Danny's life with his yearly visits. Their lives and stories come together with an unexpected twist in this action-packed modern fable. ...More

Book Cover Men of Salt: Crossing the Sahara on the Caravan of White Gold
By Benanav, Michael
2006/01 - Lyons Press
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Barnes & Noble "Discover Great New Writers" Seasonal Pick In fact, there was no road at all, just an endless stretch of desert sand called "The Land of Terror" by the nomads who cross it, and described by author Michael Benanav with startling insight in this compelling narrative.
Benanav joined what is known as the Caravan of White Gold - so-called because the salt was once literally worth its weight in gold - on its mission into the deadly heart of the Sahara to haul back gleaming slabs of solid salt for sale at market. He'd been seized by the idea after coming across an article about the dying days of the caravan: "It was that feeling known by those of us who don't so much take journeys as are taken by journeys: hearing the call of a particular place for a particular purpose that will not be denied. It was the kind of trip I was bor ...More

Book Cover Fax from Sarajevo
By Kubert, Joe
1998/10 - Dark Horse Comics
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In 1945, we told the world, "Never again". In 1992, the promise was broken into bloody shards. That was the year the war broke out in Sarajevo, Bosnia, the year that genocide revisited the planet. It was the year that Ervin Rustemagic -- an international businessman whose clients included author Joe Kubert -- found himself and his family trapped in a city under siege. When the shells and gunfire tore the city asunder, Ervin's only means of communication to the outside world was via his fax machine -- he sent messages to Joe which could be refaxed to his friends on the outside. As Joe began to receive these messages from Ervin, he did what he had done for years -- what he had become famous for doing -- what he put the story to paper. This full-color graphic non-fiction book is one that anyone can read, that everyone should read. What Maus ...More

Book Cover Persepolis 1
By Satrapi, Marjane
2004/06 - Norma Editorial Sa
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Originally published to wide critical acclaim in France, where it elicited comparisons to Art Spiegelman's Maus, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi's wise, funny, and heartbreaking memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. ...More

Book Cover La Perdida
By Abel, Jessica
2006/03 - Pantheon Books
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In this richly emotional, high-velocity tale, a young woman journeys to Mexico City in search of her true identity, only to discover a self she can hardly recognize. This is first full-length graphic novel from Jessica Abel, an acclaimed young comics artist. ...More

Book Cover Of Beetles & Angels: A Boy's Remarkable Journey from a Refugee Camp to Harvard
By Asgedom, Mawi
Berger, Dave
Mawi
2002/09 - Little Brown and Company
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This acclaimed memoir tells the unforgettable story of a young boy's journey from a refugee camp in Sudan to Chicago, where his family survived on welfare. Mawi followed his father's advice to "treat people . . . as though they were angels sent from heaven," and realized his dream of a full-tuition scholarship to Harvard University. ...More