Trailers Looking for a great read over winter break? You can read these title without even getting off your couch (they're currently available in OverDrive).
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This is one of those books that I'm frantically pressing into everyone's hands -- it's a "must read." It's topped many "Best of 2017" books lists, and received lots of critical praise. The publisher says, "Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life."
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
This is another great book with a lot of buzz. Like The Hate U Give, it also examines violence in an urban, mostly African American community. The publisher says "...it's a stunning novel that takes place in sixty potent seconds--the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he's going to murder the guy who killed his brother... Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That's where Will's now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother's gun."
Saints and Misfits by S. K. Ali
I read this book a month ago, and I loved it. I haven't read many YA novels with Muslim main characters, so I really appreciated the "window" opportunity this book provided. The publisher says, "There are three kinds of people in my world:
1. Saints, those special people moving the world forward. Sometimes you glaze over them. Or, at least, I do. They're in your face so much, you can't see them, like how you can't see your nose. 2. Misfits, people who don't belong. Like me--the way I don't fit into Dad's brand-new family or in the leftover one composed of Mom and my older brother, Mama's-Boy-Muhammad. Also, there's Jeremy and me. Misfits. Because although, alliteratively speaking, Janna and Jeremy sound good together, we don't go together. Same planet, different worlds. But sometimes worlds collide and beautiful things happen, right? 3. Monsters. Well, monsters wearing saint masks, like in Flannery O'Connor's stories. Like the monster at my mosque. People think he's holy, untouchable, but nobody has seen under the mask. Except me."
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