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Race and Diversity Reads

Wed, 06/17/2020 - 1:55pm -- seclark

Hey Teens! The world is changing everyday and impacts everyone in their own way. It's important to see the world through different points of view. A great way to learn more about our neighbors is through reading! There are plenty of titles on Overdrive with diverse characters and authors. Dive into their stories with the audio & ebook selections below, or place a hold on books available through our Library Takeout Service. 

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

National Book Award winner Sherman Alexie delivers a captivating, semi-autobiographical account of oneSpokane Indian's struggle against incredible obstacles. Born poor and hydrocephalic, Arnold Spirit survives brain surgery. But his enormous skull, lopsided eyes, profound stuttering, and frequent seizures target him for abuse on his Indian reservation. Protected by a formidable friend, the book-loving artist survives childhood. And then—convinced his future lies off the rez—the bright 14-year-old enrolls in an all-white high school 22 miles away. "... delivers a positive message ..."—School Library Journal, starred review



Anger Is a Gift by Mark Oshiro

Moss Jeffries is many things—considerate student, devoted son, loyal friend and affectionate boyfriend, enthusiastic nerd.

But sometimes Moss still wishes he could be someone else—someone without panic attacks, someone whose father was still alive, someone who hadn't become a rallying point for a community because of one horrible night.

And most of all, he wishes he didn't feel so stuck.

Moss can't even escape at school—he and his friends are subject to the lack of funds and crumbling infrastructure at West Oakland High, as well as constant intimidation by the resource officer stationed in their halls. That was even before the new regulations—it seems sometimes that the students are treated more like criminals.

Something will have to change—but who will listen to a group of teens?

When tensions hit a fever pitch and tragedy strikes again, Moss must face a difficult choice: give in to fear and hate or realize that anger can actually be a gift.

Ashes in the Snow (Movie-Tie In) by Ruta Sepetys

"Few books are beautifully written, fewer still are important; this novel is both." —The Washington Post

Fifteen-year-old Lina is a Lithuanian girl living an ordinary life — until Soviet officers invade her home and tear her family apart. Separated from her father and forced onto a crowded train, Lina, her mother, and her young brother make their way to a Siberian work camp, where they are forced to fight for their lives. Lina finds solace in her art, documenting these events by drawing. Risking everything, she imbeds clues in her drawings of their location and secretly passes them along, hoping her drawings will make their way to her father's prison camp. But will strength, love, and hope be enough for Lina and her family to survive?
A moving and haunting novel perfect for readers of The Book Thief.
Praise for Between Shades of Gray:
"Superlative. A hefty emotional punch." —The New York Times Book Review
"Heart-wrenching . . . an eye-opening reimagination of a very real tragedy written with grace and heart." —The Los Angeles Times
"At once a suspenseful, drama-packed survival story, a romance, and an intricately researched work of historial fiction." —The Wall Street Journal

Barely Missing Everything by Matt Mendez

In the tradition of Jason Reynolds and Matt de la Peña, this heartbreaking, no-holds-barred debut novel told from three points of view explores how difficult it is to make it in life when you—your life, brown lives—don't matter.
Juan has plans. He's going to get out of El Paso, Texas, on a basketball scholarship and make something of himself—or at least find something better than his mom Fabi's cruddy apartment, her string of loser boyfriends, and a dead dad. Basketball is going to be his ticket out, his ticket up. He just needs to make it happen.

His best friend JD has plans, too. He's going to be a filmmaker one day, like Quinten Tarantino or Guillermo del Toro (NOT Steven Spielberg). He's got a camera and he's got passion—what else could he need?

Fabi doesn't have a plan anymore. When you get pregnant at sixteen and have been stuck bartending to make ends meet for the past seventeen years, you realize plans don't always pan out, and that there some things you just can't plan for...

Like Juan's run-in with the police, like a sprained ankle, and a tanking math grade that will likely ruin his chance at a scholarship. Like JD causing the implosion of his family. Like letters from a man named Mando on death row. Like finding out this man could be the father your mother said was dead.

Soon Juan and JD are embarking on a Thelma and Louise­–like road trip to visit Mando. Juan will finally meet his dad, JD has a perfect subject for his documentary, and Fabi is desperate to stop them. But, as we already know, there are some things you just can't plan for...

Because They Marched by Russell Freedman

In the early 1960s, tired of reprisals for attempting to register to vote, Selma's black community began to protest. The struggle received nationwide attention when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a voting rights march in January, 1965, and was attacked by a segregationist. In February, the shooting of an unarmed demonstrator by an Alabama state trooper inspired a march from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery. The march got off to a horrific start on March 7 as law officers attacked peaceful demonstrators. Broadcast throughout the world, the violence attracted widespread outrage and spurred demonstrators to complete the march at any cost. On March 25, after several setbacks, protesters completed the fifty-four-mile march to a cheering crowd of 25,000 supporters.

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