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May 15, 2018 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Diverse Fiction for Older and Middle Readers
The 10 books here are a mix of grittiness and fantasy, hardship and love. They were reviewed in Booklist between February 1, 2017, and January 2018.
The Authentics. By Abdi Nazemian. 2017. HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, $17.99 (9780062486462). Gr. 9–12.
Daria is proud of her Iranian heritage. But when a DNA test reveals she is half Mexican, she must reevaluate the meaning of identity and authenticity.
City of Saints & Thieves. By Natalie C. Anderson. 2017. Putnam, $18.99 (9780399547584). Gr. 8–11.
Tina, a Congo refugee and Kenyan street gang member, provides a gripping first-person narrative to describe her life and presents a wonderfully twisted puzzle of a murder mystery.
Clayton Byrd Goes Underground. By Rita Williams-Garcia. Illus. by Frank Morrison. 2017. Amistad, $16.99 (9780062215918). Gr. 5–8.
After the death of Clayton’s beloved jazz-playing grandfather, Cool Papa Byrd, the boy must figure out a way to live without him and keep the music close.
Crossing Ebenezer Creek. By Tonya Bolden. 2017. Bloomsbury, $17.99 (9781599903194). Gr. 8–11.
In the waning days of the Civil War, recently emancipated Mariah meets Caleb, a young free black man. Told in alternating chapters, this powerful story lays bare their different life experiences.
Dear Martin. By Nic Stone. 2017. Crown, $17.99 (9781101939505). Gr. 9–12.
Justyce McAllister is on his way to an Ivy League school, but that means little when he’s handcuffed by a police officer while trying to help a friend. He turns to the writings of Dr. King for direction, inspiration, and therapy.
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns. By Julie. C. Dao. 2017. Philomel, $18.99 (9781524738297). Gr. 9–12.
Set in an Asian-inspired fantasy realm, this follows Xifeng, who has suffered near starvation and years of abuse. But she believes her magnificent destiny is to become Empress of Feng Lu. A powerful reimagining of the Snow White story.
Rebel Seoul. By Axie Oh. 2017. Lee & Low/Tu, $19.95 (9781620142998). Gr. 8–11.
Equal parts Korean drama and sci-fi blockbuster, this complex and engrossing story of star-crossed lovers blends futuristic tech, authentic Korean culture, and romance.
Saints and Misfits. By S. K. Ali. 2017. Simon & Schuster/Salaam Reads $18.99 (9781481499248). Gr. 9–12.
Janna, an Arab American hijabi teen, is being harassed by “the Monster,” a man revered at her mosque. Janna’s wry narrative offers important perspectives on a girl whose religion is pivotal but who finds strength in other places, too.
The Serpent’s Secret. By Sayantani DasGupta. 2018. Scholastic, $18.99 (9781338185706). Gr. 4–7.
Steeped in Bengali folklore, this story introduces Kiran, who is leading a normal New Jersey life until her twelfth birthday, when her parents are kidnapped by a rakkhosh demon, and Kiran must rescue them.
Us, in Progress: Short Stories about Young Latinos. By Lulu Delacre. 2017. Harper, $16.99 (9780062392145). Gr. 3–7.
Delacre offers 12 short stories, written with candor, honesty, and perfect brevity, that explore what it means to be Latinx in the U.S. today.
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