Hector has always minded his own business, working hard to make his way to a better life someday. He’s the chess team champion, helps the family with his job at the grocery, and teaches his little sister to shoot hoops overhand.
Until Joey singles him out. Joey, whose older brother, Chavo, is head of the Discípulos gang, tells Hector that he’s going to kill him: maybe not today, or tomorrow, but someday. And Hector, frozen with fear, does nothing. From that day forward, Hector’s death is hanging over his head every time he leaves the house. He tries to fade into the shadows — to drop off Joey’s radar — to become no one.
But when a fight between Chavo and Hector’s brother Fili escalates, Hector is left with no choice but to take a stand.
The violent confrontation will take Hector places he never expected, including a reform school where he has to live side-by-side with his enemy, Joey. It’s up to Hector to choose whether he’s going to lose himself to revenge or get back to the hard work of living.
Two brothers bound together by affection and responsibility. Jadran is five years older than Josh and huge enough to be nicknamed Giant. Josh is younger, and smaller; but his sweet and stubborn brother thinks in a way that would be more typical of a small child. They are both dealing with changes to their newly blended, Muslim family. So Josh looks after Jadran and they both adjust. When the brothers find an injured young crane, Jadran wants to bring it back to their small apartment and teach it to fly at any cost. And it turns out the cost is high.
Violet and Daisy. They were as sweet and pretty as their names would suggest, the pair of them as alike as two flower buds on a single stem. They were also joined, back-to-back, at the base of their spine.
In this magical middle-grade novel, ten-year-old Gabrielle finds out that America isn’t the perfect place she imagined when she moves from Haiti to Brooklyn. With the help of a clever witch, Gabrielle becomes the perfect American — but will she lose herself in the process?
Mercy lives in modern-day Pietermaritzburg, South Africa with her eccentric foster aunts―two elderly sisters so poor, they can only afford one lightbulb. A nasty housing developer is eying their house. And that same house suddenly starts falling apart―just as Aunt Flora starts falling apart. She’s forgetting words, names, and even how to behave in public. Mercy tries to keep her head down at school so nobody notices her. But when a classmate frames her for stealing the school’s raffle money, Mercy’s teachers decide to take a closer look at her home life.
Small Mercies has been discussed in My Take/Your Take for December 2020.
It’s been three years since ICE raids and phone calls from Mexico and an ill-fated walk across the Sonoran. Three years since Sia Martinez’s mom disappeared. Sia wants to move on, but it’s hard in her tiny Arizona town where people refer to her mom’s deportation as “an unfortunate incident.”
Nobody knew, nobody dreamed, nobody even considered the possibility that a bird that fits in your hand might fly halfway around the world looking for a place to nest . . . or that a young girl from northern Africa might flee halfway around the world looking for safety. This is the story of Bird. This is the story of Leila. This is the story of a chance encounter and a long journey home.
“Usha lives in a town where the sun hasn’t shone for as long as anyone can remember. Only her grandfather remembers its brilliance, and tells Usha stories about the time before other people took the sun away, building a wall to keep it all to themselves. So Usha decides to do something, and sets off in search of the sun. When at last Usha reaches the wall, she tries to kick it down, climb it, yell her way through it-but the bricks don’t budge. It’s only after hearing voices on the other side of the wall that Usha changes her plan. She sings, shares her grandfather’s stories, and piques the curiosity of the people on the other side until they are inspired to remove the bricks, one by one. Together, they bring the wall down. Inspired by the idea of peaceful protest, this book offers a timely message of cooperation and empathy”–
Omar and his younger brother Hassan live in a refugee camp, and when an opportunity for Omar to get an education comes along, he must decide between going to school every day or caring for his nonverbal brother in this intimate and touching portrayal of family and daily life in a refugee camp.