YA books about race - any suggestions?

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YA books about race - any suggestions?

ag. 18, 2009, 4:43pm

any suggestions?

ag. 18, 2009, 8:40pm

Some that spring to mind are:

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing - there are two volumes told from the point of view of an African-American young man during the American Revolution.

The Treasure of Savage Island by Lenore Hart - examines slavery and racial prejudice during the American Revolution

Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith - about an African-American girl who passes for Caucasian during WWII to be allowed to fly airplanes.

White Lilacs by Carolyn Meyer - looks at racism in the 1920s in a small Texas town.

Most of Sharon Draper's books, especially Copper Sun and Romiette and Julio.

The Absolutely True Story of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie is about a Native American boy struggling to overcome poverty and prejudice.

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros - about a Hispanic community in Chicago

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet isn't strictly YA, but I think it would have crossover appeal. A story about a Chinese boy who falls in love with a Japanese girl in WWII.

Is there something in particular you're looking for?

ag. 18, 2009, 11:03pm

Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger about a girl who adjusts to being brown on the outside and white in the middle. Very well written.

ag. 19, 2009, 11:09am

Kindred by Octavia Butler

depending on the YA, Wild Seed by Octavia Butler

Flight by Sherman Alexie

the two Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing books are IMO astonishing, but not all will think so.

Burned Onions by Gary Soto

the books of Walter Dean Myers such as Monster, Shooter, Slam.

again, depending on the YA, Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson.

No No Boy the first Japanese-American novel, can't remember the author's name, it's about a young man in an internment camp who did not sign a loyalty oath to the US.

ag. 19, 2009, 5:03pm

This may not be on target for you, but it's such a good book I thought I'd mention it: A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park about life and artisans in 12th century Korea.

ag. 19, 2009, 7:03pm

Probably not what you're looking for as it isn't YA nor is it fiction, but Friday Night Lights is an amazing read. Set in the 80s in a Texan town to a backdrop of high school football. A real eye opener.

ag. 19, 2009, 7:13pm

Come a Stranger by Cynthia Voigt.

ag. 19, 2009, 7:30pm

The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles is a lovely picture book intended for younger students, but older kids can appreciate it as well.

ag. 20, 2009, 6:22am

I second the recommendation for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is a brilliant book for older teens about a boy caught between Native American and Anglo cultures. Walter Dean Myer's books are also very good.

For younger teens, Kira-Kira and Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata are both excellent.

In non-fiction, I'd recommend Freedom Riders by Ann Bausum.

Editat: ag. 21, 2009, 3:21pm

Also in non-fiction:
Warriors Don’t Cry: A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock’s Central High by Melba Pattillo Beals.


Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary D. Schmidt

ag. 21, 2009, 9:16pm

I'll second Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy. Gary D. Schmidt is an exceptional writer, one of my favorites. I'd also recommend books by Joseph Bruchac. He writes about Native American experiences. His novel Hidden Roots talks about a compulsory sterilization program in 1930s Vermont, a chilling chapter in American history

oct. 4, 2009, 4:27pm

I'd also add Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli.

oct. 5, 2009, 11:44am

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

It's a really great graphic novel - It won the ALA's 2007 Printz award, the first graphic novel to have done so.

oct. 23, 2009, 11:16am

YA books about race - Check the following authors: Walter Dean Myers, Gary Soto, J. California Cooper, Toni Morrison, Zora Neal Hurston, Ernest Gaines, Richard Wright, Isabel Allende, Gabriel Garcia Marquis, Maya Angelou, Nikki Grimes, Sharon Draper, Sharon Flake, Alice Walker, Gloria Naylor, Mildred Taylor, and Virginia Hamilton.

Barrio Boy by Ernesto Galarza, published in 1971, is still a good read.

oct. 23, 2009, 11:48am

Francisco Jimenez has written a series of books about Mexican immigrants that are very popular at our school. He is visiting today and the kids are looking forward to it!

oct. 23, 2009, 12:36pm

Don't forget the all-time classic, To Kill a Mockingbird.

feb. 10, 2010, 4:36pm

White Girl by Sylvia Olson. Though set in Canada on a First Nations reservation, is instructive for any teen, anywhere.

Note this book is definitely for 16 and up due to violence and kissing.

But through these trials she grows from a clueless, aimless mall-rat into a mature young woman with a bright future. I really loved this book.

feb. 20, 2010, 7:35pm

Witness by Karen Hesse is a beautiful, but sad book.

feb. 21, 2010, 1:54pm

For the older teen, I would also add The Color Purple even though it wasn't intended as YA, Celie is very young for most of it and the writing is deceptively simple and lyrical.

feb. 21, 2010, 2:18pm

And I'd second that. Fantastic book - don't know why I didn't think of it before.

març 2, 2010, 3:20pm

Can't believe nobody's mentioned Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry!

març 2, 2010, 3:49pm

I'd also recommend Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston. A memoir of her years in a US internment camp for Japanese Americans during World War II. She was a young girl at the time, so it really resonates.

març 2, 2010, 3:52pm

Molly Donnelly also deals with Japanese Americans during WWII, although it isn't the main story line.

març 2, 2010, 8:59pm

The Broken Bridge by Philip Pullman
(teen has white father, black mother)

Brass Ankle Blues by Rachel M. Harper
(teen has black father, white mother; not specifically YA, but does have teen characters and themes)

abr. 1, 2010, 10:23am

Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor won the Newbery Award. There was a sequel and one or two other titles. Story of a black, Southern U.S. family who owned their own land. Tells of their struggles with racism and the laws of the time, mid-twentieth century (I think). Told with the voice of the daughter.

abr. 1, 2010, 11:29am

The Black Canary by Jane Louise Curry is about a biracial boy who travels back and forth in time between Elizabethan London and the present - he's known as the Black Canary when he is made a part of the choir that will sing before Queen Elizabeth.

abr. 6, 2010, 10:41pm

noughts and crosses trilogy by malorie blackman. A very cool twist on the relationship between races.

Editat: abr. 8, 2010, 6:28pm

Exposure by Mal Peet, a modern twist on the Othello story that has Othello and Desdemona reworked as the Beckhams of South America.

abr. 9, 2010, 5:32am

I've just finished (and enjoyed almost to the point of delerium) Steinbeck's Ghost which ends up being very much about race although that isn't apparent until quite a long way through. It makes reference throughout to Steinbeck and his books (fairly obviously) and so a Steinbeck fan can get more out of it that someone who hasn't read him but I think it also works well as an intro to his books and it isn't vital to have read them first.

Editat: abr. 29, 2010, 12:01am

One I just read a couple weeks ago and highly recommend is Heidi Durrow's The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, a semi-autobiographical novel of a biracial girl (Swedish mother, African-American GI father) who, after her mother's death, goes to live with her Black grandmother. The novel won the Bellweather Prize, and Durrow is a LibraryThing Author.

ETA: This isn't really a "YA book" and that's not where you'll find it shelved in the chains, but it's definitely readable by older teens.

abr. 29, 2010, 12:11pm

Push is an brutally raw story about a black girl who is surprised by the discovery that girls of every race have problems. She has fantasies of being thin with long blond hair. The language and subject matter of this book may not be in everyone's comfort level but are part and parcel of this girl's life and not gratuitous.

The Secret Life of Bees is an adult book about a white teenaged girl abused by her father. The book highlights the events that occurred when black people tried to register to vote.

abr. 29, 2010, 2:53pm

The Skin I'm In by Sharon Flake is YA, or The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrisson for a bit of an older read. Bronx Masquerade looks at race and stereotypes through interspersed fiction and poetry. All very good books.

maig 17, 2020, 8:53pm

Aquest missatge ha estat marcat com abús per més d'un usuari i ja no es pot veure (mostra)
The Parkour Club by Pam Withers

Editat: jul. 21, 2020, 2:13pm

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Starr lives in a poverty-stricken, mostly black neighborhood but attends a prep school in a suburban, mostly white neighborhood. She tries to maintain a balancing act while feeling like she doesn't fully fit in either place. After witnessing the police shooting of an unarmed black teen, Starr is suddenly thrust into an even harder position of what each "side" expects from her. Does she protect her community or herself?

The Heartbeats of Wing Jones by Katherine Webber

A mixed-race teenage girl (African and Chinese) deals with growing up with her identity straddling two cultures and there is a lot of emphasis on how people are treated based on how other people see them. Oftentimes, mixed-race kids can be seen as only one race and outsiders treat them differently based on whatever racial stereotypes or prejudices they've pre-assigned.

Black Dove White Raven by Elizabeth Wein

This is historical fiction involving a black woman and white woman who are best friends/lovers in the 1930s. When one of them dies, the other is left to raise both of their children - a white girl and a black boy - who have been raised like siblings for years. To escape the racial prejudice of America, Rhoda moves to Ethiopia (one of two - it's debatable - African nations to never be colonized) to begin a life free from discrimination and hate. But their peace is shattered when the threat of war looms.

Zora & Nicky: A Novel in Black and White Inter-racial Romance. Very PG /Christian Fiction, but brings up some topics of race and family.
Zora and Nicky are both Preacher's kids, but from very different backgrounds. Zora is wealthy, spoiled, and protected by her daddy. She's a virgin and a "good girl," but feels disconnected from God. Nicky is more progressive and a little wild, but with a Southern Baptist, racist father. He's avoided church for a while, and is also feeling lost. Then he meets Zora.

jul. 21, 2020, 2:31pm

>35 originalslicey: You did notice that this topic started in 2009, and that the only message since 2010 was spam, didn't you?

jul. 21, 2020, 3:58pm

No, I didn't pay attention to the last message, just saw it at the top of the list.

Well, it's bumped now, so others might be interested.

jul. 22, 2020, 5:55am

>37 originalslicey: Seems like a good time for book recommendations on this topic!

I liked Wing Jones a lot. The magical realism mixed well with some serious issues, and I thought the brother's situation was very well explored.

set. 20, 2020, 4:33pm

I'm always interested in this theme.
Lately I've read several outstanding YA novels dealing with the African-American experience/racial violence/immigration.

piecing me together by Renee Watson.
prairie lotus, Linda Sue Park.
brown girl dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson.
if you come softly, J. Woodson.
all American boys, Jason Reynolds.
inside out & back again, Thanhha Lai.
jackpot, Nic Stone.