Books have the all-important function of being an escape, allowing us to step outside of our own lives for a moment to be entertained and thrilled. However, often the books that stick with us are the ones that make us think. The ones that don’t take us outside of our world, but instead hold a mirror to our lives to make us re-think our outlook on society. Whether these are history books meant to re-shape the way we view the world, memoirs that tell the stories of those who have lived through remarkable circumstances, or fiction that reflect harsh realities, each of these books covers a variety of hard-hitting but necessary topics. They are the books that will help you dig in and think critically of your own life and the world around you.
This is NOT a history book.
A book to help us better understand why we are where we are.
A book about race.
The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. Racist ideas are woven into the fabric of this country, and the first step to building an antiracist America is acknowledging America's racist past and present. This book takes you on that journey, showing how racist ideas started and were spread, and how they can be discredited.
Through a gripping, fast-paced, and energizing narrative written by beloved award-winner Jason Reynolds with research from renowned author Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas—and on ways you can identify and stamp out racist thoughts, leading to a better future.
Now available for younger readers: Stamped (for Kids): Racism, Antiracism, and You
Rebellions are built on hope.
After her father was murdered, María escaped in the middle of the night with her mother.
Zaynab was out of school for two years as she fled war before landing in America. Her sister, Sabreen, survived a harrowing journey to Italy.
Ajida escaped horrific violence, but then found herself battling the elements to keep her family safe.
Malala's experiences visiting refugee camps caused her to reconsider her own displacement—first as an Internally Displaced Person when she was a young child in Pakistan, and then as an international activist who could travel anywhere in the world except to the home she loved. In We Are Displaced, Malala not only explores her own story, but she also shares the personal stories of some of the incredible girls she has met on her journeys—girls who have lost their community, relatives, and often the only world they've ever known.
In a time of immigration crises, war, and border conflicts, We Are Displaced is an important reminder from one of the world's most prominent activists that every single one of the 68.5 million currently displaced is a person—often a young person—with hopes and dreams.
"A stirring and timely book." —New York Times
A Time Magazine 100 Best YA Books of All Time Selection
A stunning, heartbreaking debut novel about grief, love, and family, perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson and Celeste Ng.
Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird.
Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life.
Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, The Astonishing Color of After is a stunning and heartbreaking novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love.
"Emily X.R. Pan's brilliantly crafted, harrowing first novel portrays the vast spectrum of love and grief with heart-wrenching beauty and candor. This is a very special book."– John Green, bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down
It can be hard for questioning teens to believe in a brighter future, let alone find any sense of community. Here, with clarity and compassion, Alex writes as a supportive older brother for transitioning teens, their allies, their parents, and anyone looking to better understand others -- and themselves.
A stunning novel on love, identity, loss, and redemption.
When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she's isn't sure if she'll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (as well as her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.
But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new...the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel's disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself--or worse.
"Little and Lion is beautifully insightful, honest, and compassionate. Brandy's ability to find larger meaning in small moments is nothing short of dazzling." -- Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything
But the deeper Zofia digs, the more impossible her search seems. How can she find one boy in a sea of the missing?