After a fight at school leaves Marcus facing suspension, Marcus’s mother takes him and his younger brother, who has Down syndrome, to Puerto Rico to visit relatives they do not remember or have never met, and while there Marcus starts searching for his father, who left their family ten years ago and is somewhere on the island.
This book has been included in WOW’s Language and Learning: Children’s and Young Adult Fiction Booklist. For our current list, visit our Booklist page under Resources in the green navigation bar.
Alaine Beauparlant has heard about Haiti all her life. But the stories were always passed down from her dad—and her mom, when she wasn’t too busy with her high-profile newscaster gig. But when Alaine’s life goes a bit sideways, it’s time to finally visit Haiti herself. What she learns about Haiti’s proud history as the world’s first black republic (with its even prouder people) is one thing, but what she learns about her own family is another. Suddenly, the secrets Alaine’s mom has been keeping, including a family curse that has spanned generations, can no longer be avoided. It’s a lot to handle, without even mentioning that Alaine is also working for her aunt’s nonprofit, which sends underprivileged kids to school and boasts one annoyingly charming intern.But if anyone can do it all…it’s Alaine.
When 12-year-old Edie finds letters and photographs in her attic that change everything she thought she knew about her Native American mother’s adoption, she realizes she has a lot to learn about her family’s history and her own identity.
American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor Book
A very small boy in a bear suit and a very large bear in a boy suit share the fun of pretending, adventuring in the woods, and a honey sandwich next to a warm fire on a cold day. Which is really the boy, and which is the bear? It doesn’t matter—you are who you say you are. With minimal text and bold, dramatic illustrations, this picture book offers a thought-provoking take on identity and brings a fresh vision to the theme of finding connections hidden behind visual differences.
Julia was a happy girl, until one day everything went away, leaving her a big “vacío.” Her “vacío” was huge; cold came through it, and monsters emerged from it. She tried to fill it with food, social media and medicine, but nothing helped. In a moment of extreme frustration and tiredness, Julia collapsed and cried without comfort until falling asleep. Suddenly, a voice coming from the ground told her to look through her “vacío.” When she did, she saw and felt colors, melodies and magic worlds that gave her a sense of connection to herself, to others and to nature. She began approaching people differently and noticed that they also had their own “vacíos” and wonderful worlds. Julia’s “vacío” started to shrink, but rather than disappearing, it remained as a window into Julia’s magical worlds; a reminder of the importance of feeling connected to the world.
Lola was just a baby when her family left the Island, so when she has to draw it for a school assignment, she asks her family, friends, and neighbors about their memories of her homeland…and in the process, comes up with a new way of understanding her own heritage.
Blade never asked for a life of the rich and famous. In fact, he’d give anything not to be the son of Rutherford Morrison, a washed-up rock star and drug addict with delusions of a comeback. Or to no longer be part of a family known most for lost potential, failure, and tragedy, including the loss of his mother. The one true light is his girlfriend, Chapel, but her parents have forbidden their relationship, assuming Blade will become just like his father.
Twelve-year-old María Luisa O’Neill-Morales (who really prefers to be called Malú) reluctantly moves with her Mexican-American mother to Chicago and starts seventh grade with a bang–violating the dress code with her punk rock aesthetic and spurning the middle school’s most popular girl in favor of starting a band with a group of like-minded weirdos.