Though I pay for it in the morning, lately I have happily been staying up way too late reading. And while I’m making an admirable dent in my to-read list, my to-be-reviewed list is getting longer and longer and longer! So instead, here is a list of some of the powerful, sweet, funny, and very-highly recommended #ownvoices MG and YA titles I have read (and LOVED!) this spring. Check them out and judge for yourself!
Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2018) –Pakistani
Amal’s dreams of becoming a teacher are interrupted by an accident that lands her as the indentured servant of a cruel and corrupt landlord. She must learn to work with the other unhappy inhabitants of his household to expose the truth of his misdeeds and return to her family.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt and Co., 2018) –West African
As a descendant of the maji, Zélie will use the power of family, will, and the magic of her clan to fight a brutal and oppressive monarchy bent on destroying her people, and magic, forever.
Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callendar (Scholastic, 2018) –US Virgin Islands/LGBTQ
Abandoned by her mother and bullied by nearly everyone else, Caroline finds comfort in a new classmate—Kalinda. She will fight her community, her emotions, and Mother Nature herself to find her mother and save her friendship.
Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya (Viking, 2018) –Latin cultures
When a school suspension sends Marcus, his mother and brother to Puerto Rico to “hit the reset button,” his mishap-filled search for his father helps him discover that fatherhood and family can look different than he ever imagined.
The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson (Arthur A. Levine, 2018) –African American/US South
Two inquisitive kids spend the summer solving a mystery from the past, facing racism then and now, in a small South Carolina town that hides both terrible secrets of racial violence and a multi-million dollar treasure.
So until the next list (picture books, maybe?)… Here’s to late nights with a good book and early mornings with a big cup of coffee!