Read all the non-fiction about the school to prison pipeline. It's important to know the facts about what is happening to so many children of color in this moment, but to really understand, to feel the confusion, self-doubt, crushing anger, the debilitating pain of what it means to try so hard and be constantly told it is not enough, that you are not enough, read Dear Justyce. We met Quan in Dear Martin, but in this book we come to know his struggles and the unrelenting racism that narrows his choices until the thin line he walks leads to incarceration. But hope lives in these pages as well, in believing in people we have been told to discard. Through her beautiful, powerful writing, Stone grants you access to Quan's world; open your heart and destroy this pipeline.
Mia Tang has the gumption of Scout, the fortitude of Lyra, and the insight and wisdom of one much older than her years. Mia and her parents immigrated to the U.S. from China two years ago, but their dreams and their reality have little in common, so when they are offered a job running a hotel in Anaheim for little pay but a place to call home, they take it. Mia's work at the front desk reveals much to her, not only about the trials of immigrants but those of Black Americans, and Mia is not one to accept injustice meekly. The power of the written word, the power of a community, no matter how poor, gathered to support each other, and the power of kindness will make you... well, want to jump in a pool. Thank you, Kelly Yang!
It's 1992 and Ashley Bennett is in her senior year at a mostly white private school in L.A. She's grown up in this wealthy neighborhood with her four best friends and silently endured the shards of racism casually dropped by her friends, firefighters, police, and others surprised by her Black family's presence. When the acquittal of the officers who beat Rodney King throws Los Angeles into violent protests, Ashley's world of privilege begins to unravel. She discovers the horrors of racism in her own family history and in her own perceptions of the Black kids at her school who don't share her economic privilege. Twenty-eight years later, so little has changed. This book gives powerful insight into the struggles of a family to overcome structural racism, the struggles of a teen to find a place to belong, and the need for change.
It is difficult enough to be a seventh grader, but Tristan has an additional burden; his best friend, Eddie, has died and Tristan feels responsible for his death. A month with his grandparents is supposed to help, but when Gum Baby, a carved doll who throws sap and has serious attitude, steals the only thing he has of Eddie's (a journal of stories), Tristan chases her into a world of African-American folklore and mythology at war. John Henry, Brer Rabbit, High John, and the people and creatures of Mid-Pass battle iron monsters, old alliances, and a new and powerful threat that Tristan may have released. This is a great adventure illuminated by the power, wisdom, and humor of African-American folklore, a tribute to the power of story! Enjoy!
Family, mothers, daughters, grandmothers, and the stories that bind them beyond borders, planets, and even death give breath to this beautiful story of a young girl trying to make sense of a world in which hatred and racism are lauded in the name of law and order. Three years ago, Sia's mother was arrested by ICE and sent to Mexico. In a desperate attempt to return to her daughter and husband, she crossed the Sonoran desert and disappeared - but now she's returned with super-human powers and stories of government experimentation on refugees and aliens from other planets. Beautiful mix of anger, love, Mexican spirituality, and great alien adventure!