Results matching “diversity”

The One Memory of Flora Banks

memory of flora banks.jpgThe One Memory of Flora Banks/big> (Philomel, 2017) by Emily Barr is such a heart-breaking story. Here's the opening line: "I am at the top of a hill, and although I know I have done something terrible, I have no idea what it is."

Flora has memory problems. She writes herself reminders on sticky notes, and on her arm to help her navigate the world. But often she is surprised that she is not ten--the age she was when she had surgery to remove a brain tumor--but seventeen and wondering why she is in an adult body. However, the night she kisses Drake, her best friend's boyfriend, everything changes. She can remember this memory without written reminders. Of course, her best friend Paige is angry at her. Flora lets her parents leave for Paris to go take care of her brother with them thinking Paige will be with her, but Paige isn't coming. Flora keeps reading "be brave" on this journey that changes her life.

This is British author Emily Barr's first novel. The book is available in 26 languages! Her second novel for young adults, The Truth and Lies of Ella Black, is a thriller that came out in 2018.

Emily Barr is also an adult book novelist. Read more about her on her website.

The Sun Is Also a Star

sunisalsoastar.jpgThe Sun Is Also a Star (Delacorte Press, 2016) by Nicola Yoon is an impactful book that covers a very short time period in the two protagonists lives. The book is mainly told from the viewpoints of two teens from immigrant families. We also get some insight with viewpoints of some other characters.

First, we meet Daniel who feels like he has to accept his destiny and become a doctor because his oldest brother has screwed up. Daniel's family is from Korea.

Then we met Natascha who is angry at her father. Her mother says she should give up on trying to keep them in America. Her little brother thinks Jamaica will be better.

The two meet on the day Natascha's family is being deported and the day Daniel is being interviewed for Yale. And what an amazing, frustrating, busy day they have. These two couldn't be more different. One is a romantic, the other a scientist--you'll have to read it to see which is which.

How could a story like this have a satisfactory ending? Well, it does.

This book is a National Book Award Finalist, Michael L. Printz Honor Book, and New York Times Best Seller.

Nicola's unofficial bio makes me smile. I haven't yet read her book Everything, Everything. I hope she keeps writing.


The Only Road

TheOnlyRoad.jpegThe Only Road (Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2016) by Alexandra Diaz is a book I wish I could get everyone to read.

After the murder of his cousin Miguel, twelve-year-old Jaime and his fifteen-year-old cousin Angela either have to join the destructive gangs in their village or leave Guatemala. To keep them safe their families spend everything they have to get the two the United States where Jaime's brother Tomas lives. But once the two are on their way, they are on their own. They face discovery by la migra, gang violence, death by train, hunger, thievery, thirst all in their quest for a safe place to live.

The Only Road is inspired by true events (not the author's) and is a Pura Belpré Honor book!

Alexandra Diaz has this at the head of her website: "Writing: to experience life in someone else's shoes." That's one of the reasons we read and why I'd like others to read this book.

Alexandra is also the author of Good Girls Don't Lie--a YA novel--and other books. On her bio page there are lots of links to interviews, too.


The Wolf's Boy

wolf'sboy.jpegThe Wolf's Boy (Disney-Hyperion, 2016) by Susan Williams Beckhorn is a touching tale of a boy who struggles because he doesn't fit in.

Twelve-year-old Kai has a club foot, so he's not allowed to touch weapons, or hunt. When Kai rescues a motherless wolf club, he's warned that she can't eat the People's food. As the yellow cub grows, the People look on her as a threat. With winter approaching Kai and Uff leave the village. How can a boy who can't even hunt survive on his own?

This book is a Junior Library Guild Selection and a 2017 Notable Children's Book. I love the cover too.

Read about Susan here where you can also see a picture of the stone house that she and her husband built themselves. And read about her other books here. She's also an illustrator.

The Water Princess

Perfect Picture Book Friday

waterprincess.pngI love The Water Princess (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2016) by Susan Verde and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds so much. It's beautiful--it's sad. The book clearly shows how water, something we take for granted in our country, is not so accessible elsewhere. The book is based on the childhood experience of Georgie Badiel in Africa. This experience is not limited to Africa--I've seen it in Haiti, too. What a good story for kids everywhere to experience.

Listen to the opening words: "I am Princess Gie Gie. My Kingdom . . . the African sky, so wide and so close. I can almost touch the sharp edges of the stars."

You can see Susan's books here and read her bio here. Susan's next book My Kicks, illustrated by Katie Kath, comes out in April.

Peter's illustrations make you feel what Gie Gie is experiencing. You may recognize some of the titles where he is both author and illustrator: The Dot, Ish. He's illustrated a lot of books, which you can start seeing here. Meet Peter here.


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