Arab, Middle Eastern & Muslim

Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood, Ibtisam Barakat *NEW*

In this groundbreaking memoir set in Ramallah during the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War, Ibtisam Barakat captures what it is like to be a child whose world is shattered by war. Winner of the Arab American National Museum Book Award for Children's/YA Literature.

Where The Streets Had A Name, Randa Abdel-Fattah, *NEW* 

Thirteen-year-old Hayaat is on a mission. She believes a handful of soil from her grandmother's ancestral home in Jerusalem will save her beloved Sitti Zeynab's life. The only problem is the impenetrable wall that divides the West Bank, as well as the check points, the curfews, the permit system and Hayaat's best friend Samy, who is mainly interested in football and the latest elimination on X-Factor, but always manages to attract trouble. But luck is on their side. Hayaat and Samy have a curfew-free day to travel to Jerusalem. However, while their journey may only be a few kilometres long, it may take a lifetime to complete. The story, told through Hayaat’s eyes, provides readers with a clear window into a young teen’s life under the Israeli occupation.

Samir and Yonatan, Daniella Carmi *NEW*

When Samir, a young Palestinian boy, is scheduled to go to an Israeli hospital for an operation, he fears the worse, yet upon meeting a young Israeli boy, Yonatan, his fears begin to subside as they become friends through their talks about far away adventures. Suggested reading age 9-12. 

Ten Things I Hate About Me, Randa Abdel-Fattah *NEW*

A 16-year-old Australian-Muslim-Lebanese teen wonders who she really is as she straddles two cultural realities.  Randa Abdel-Fattah's award-winning novel (suggested for readers aged 11-18) is about finding your place in life and learning to accept yourself and your culture.

A Place at the Table, Faruqi Saadia Faruqi *NEW*
Sara, a Pakistani American girl, and Elizabeth, a white Jewish girl, bond in a cooking class in this story about sixth grade, food, friendship, family and what it means to belong.

Habibi, Naomi Shihab Nye *NEW*
When fourteen-year-old Liyana Abboud moves with her family from St. Louis to Jerusalem, she encounters an entirely new life, exploring Jerusalem, making mischief with her brother, and building a relationship with a Jewish boy.

Santa Claus in Baghdad: Stories About Teens in the Arab World: And Other Stories about Teens in the Arab World, Elsa Marsten *NEW*

This lively collection of eight short stories about Arab teenagers living in Iraq, Tunisia, Egypt, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and a Palestinian refugee camp engagingly depicts young people's experiences growing up in the Middle East. With accompanying notes that provide contextual information, Santa Claus in Baghdad brings a fresh perspective to youth literature about the Arab world.

 

A Stone in My Hand, Cathryn Clinton *NEW*

A Stone in My Hand is the haunting story of a sensitive, observant girl who finds her voice in 1988 Gaza City. 

The White Zone, Carolyn Marsden *NEW*

As American bombs fall on Baghdad during the Iraq War, ten-year-old cousins Nouri and Talib witness the growing violence between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. Suggested for readers aged 9-14. 

Wishtree, Katherine Applegate

The wise old oak tree, Red, decides to intervene to help a lonely girl named Samar, a Muslim girl, who is new to the neighborhood. Before he is cut down, he helps Samar find a friend.

 

Power Forward, Hena Khan

Fourth grader Zayd Saleem has serious dreams. He’s not just going to be a professional basketball player. He’s going to be a star. The first Pakistani-American kid in theNBA. 

 

Other Words for Home, Jasmine Warga

Written in verse,this book follows a young girl from her home in Syria as she moves with her mother to live with relatives in Cincinnati. 

 

Boy at the Back of the Class, Onjali Q Raúf

A child's perspective on the refugee crisis, highlighting the importance of friendship and kindness in a world that doesn't always make sense. 

 

The Red Pencil, Andrea Davis Pinkney

Life in Amira's Sudanese village is shattered when attackers arrive. She needs to find the strength to make the journey on foot to a refugee camp. The gift of a red pencil opens her mind.

 

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Rick Riordan

Magnus is a smart, snarky kid living in the mythological Norse world because his dad is the god Frey. Friends help in his quest, including an ex-Valkyrie Islamic girl named Samirah Al-abbas

 

The Night Diary, Veera Hiranandani

Written in a diary as letters to her Mama, Nisha shares how her life is turned upside down when the British rule of India ends in 1947, splitting the country into two. 

 

Amina’s Voice, Hena Khan

A Pakistani-American Muslim girl struggles to stay true to her family’s vibrant culture while simultaneously blending in at school after tragedy strikes her community.

 

Nowhere Boy, Katherine Marsh

Ahmed is stuck in a city that wants nothing to do with him. Newly arrived in Brussels, Ahmed fled Aleppo, Syria, only to lose his father on the perilous journey. Now Ahmed’s struggling to get by on his own.

 

It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel, Firoozeh Dumas

Zomorod (Cindy) Yousefzadeh moves to California’s Newport Beach in the late 70s determined to shuck her brainy loner persona. Fitting in becomes more difficult as Iran makes headlines 

 

Amal Unbound, Aisha Saeed

The compelling story of a girl's fight to regain her life and dreams after being forced into indentured servitude.

 

Shooting Kabul, N.H. Senzai

Miriam gets left behind when her family flees Afghanistan. Her brother Fadi feels responsible and hopes to win a photography competition to take him to India so he can travel to find her.

 

Brave, Svetlana Chmakova

In his daydreams, Jensen is the biggest hero that ever was but his middle school reality is VERY different. He teams up with the school newspaper's dynamic duo, Jenny and Akilah

 

Ms.Marvel Volume 1: No Normal,  G Willow Wilson

The all-new Ms Marvel. Kamala Khan is just an ordinary girl from Jersey City until she is suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. 

 

Does my Head Look Big in This?, Randa Abdel-Fattah

Amal is a 16-year-old Melbourne teen with all the usual obsessions. She's also a Muslim. Tells the story of her decision to "shawl up" and its attendant anxieties.

 
 

Asian

The Henna Wars, Adiba Jaigirdar *New*
As one of the few brown girls in her Dublin Catholic school, Nishat holds her Bengali heritage dear. When Nishat sets up a business at school offering henna designs, she runs into competition from Flávia. Her outrage at Flávia’s appropriation of her culture is mingled with an increasing attraction.

That Asian Kid, Savita Kalhan *New*
Despite his hard work and brains, Jeevan, is doing badly in his GCSE English literature class. His teacher, Mrs Greaves, dislikes him intensely and Jeevan is convinced that he is the victim of racial prejudice. Can he stand up for what's right?

American Born Chinese, Gene Luen Yang

​​American Born Chinese is a graphic novel that masterfully weaves together three plotlines: Chinese folk hero Monkey King’s efforts to be respected as a god; lonely Asian American Jin Wang’s attempts to fit in with his white classmates; and All-American Danny’s embarrassment at his – purposefully stereotypical – Chinese cousin’s behaviour. This award-winning book explores the issues of identity and belonging, stereotypes and perceptions, love and friendship.

How Was That Built? The Stories Behind Awesome Structures, Roma Agrawal

Written by an award-winning Indian-British structural engineer who worked on the Shard, this book highlights amazing engineering achievements across all continents with a diverse range of role models.

Black Characters and Black History

Cane Warriors, Alex Wheatle *New*

Moa is fourteen. The only life he has ever known is toiling on the Frontier sugar cane plantation for endless hot days, fearing the vicious whips of the overseers. Then one night he learns of an uprising, led by the charismatic Tacky.

Young, Gifted and Black, Jamia Wilson *New*

This inspiring anthology invites young readers to discover and celebrate phenomenal forebears and contemporary catalysts, while encouraging them to blaze their own inimitable trails.

Raybearer series, Jordan Ifueko *New*

Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince's Council of Eleven. If she's picked, she'll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Mildred D. Taylor

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is a 1976 novel by Mildred D. Taylor, sequel to her 1975 novella Song of the Trees. It is a book about racism in America during the Great Depression and Jim Crow era. The novel won the 1977 Newbery Medal.

 

Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson

Brown Girl Dreaming is a 2014 adolescent novel told in verse by author Jacqueline Woodson. It discusses the author's childhood as an African American growing up in the 1960s in South Carolina and New York.

 

A Wreath for Emmett Till, Marilyn Nelson

A Coretta Scott King and Printz honor book now in paperback. A Wreath for Emmett Till is "A moving elegy," says The Bulletin.In 1955 people all over the United States knew that Emmett Louis Till was a fourteen-year-old African American boy lynched for supposedly whistling at a white woman in Mississippi.

The Story of the Windrush, K.N. Chimbiri

In June 1948, hundreds of Carribean men, women and children arrived in London on a ship called the HMT Empire Windrush.  This brilliantly informative book tells their story, combining facts with accounts from people who were there, archive photos, mini biographies, maps and a timeline.  

 

Disability

Coming soon!

 
 

Empathy and Kindness

Coming soon!

 

Jewish

The Way Back, Gavriel Savrit

From the author of the acclaimed crossover novel, Anna and the Swallow Man, a stand-alone literary fantasy based on Jewish folk lore and traditions, this is a story for fans of Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman and The Book Thief. 

The New Queer Conscience, Adam Eli 

In this very short book with big ideas, LGBTQIA activist Adam Eli offers a candid and compassionate introduction to queer responsibility. Eli calls on his Jewish faith to underline how kindness and support within the queer community can lead to a stronger global consciousness. 

The Length of a String, Elissa Brent Weissman

Imani is adopted and as the only black girl at Hebrew school, Imani's knows exactly what she wants as her big bat mitzvah gift: to find her birth parents. When her great-grandma, Anna,  passes away, Imani discovers an old journal among her books. It's Anna's diary from 1941  which recorded her journey to America when she fled Nazi-occupied Luxembourg at the age of 12. As Imani reads the diary, she beings to see her family, and her place in it, in a whole new way. 

Lucky Broken Girl, Ruth Behar

In this award-winning multicultural coming-of-age narrative - based on the author's childhood in the 1960s - a young Cuban-Jewish immigrant is adjusting to her new life in New York City when her American dream is suddenly derailed.  A story of resilience and strength which also gives a fascinating glimpse into the world of Jewish-Cuban immigrant life in 1960s New York. 

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

One of the most famous accounts of living under the Nazi regime from the diary of a thirteen year old Jewish girl, Anne Frank. A modern classic and must-read.

 

Latinx

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, Erika L Sánchez, 
A poignant but often laugh-out-loud funny contemporary YA about losing a sister and finding yourself amid the pressures, expectations, and stereotypes of growing up in a Mexican American home. 

Mexican WhiteBoy, Matt de la Peña
Danny is tall and skinny and at his private school, they don’t expect much else from him. Danny is brown. Half-Mexican brown. And growing up in San Diego that close to the border means everyone else knows exactly who he is before he opens his mouth. Before they find out he can’t speak Spanish, and before they realize his mom has blond hair and blue eyes, they’ve got him pegged. But it works the other way too. And Danny’s convinced it’s his whiteness that sent his father back to Mexico.

Furia, Yamile Saied Méndez, 
A powerful, contemporary YA set in Argentina, about a rising soccer star who must put everything on the line--even her blooming love story--to follow her dreams. 

The Poet X, Elizabeth Acevedo
The Poet X is a raw, effervescent debut novel about the power of language and speaking your own truth. Written entirely in verse, this book follows the trials and tribulations of Xiomara, a teenager growing up in a tough Harlem neighbourhood, and her creative release in the world of slam poetry.

Running, Natalia Sylvester 
When fifteen-year-old Cuban American Mariana Ruiz’s father runs for president, Mari starts to see him with new eyes. A novel about waking up and standing up, and what happens when you stop seeing your dad as your hero—while the whole country is watching.

 

Never Look Back, Lilliam Rivera 
Eury comes to the Bronx as a girl haunted. Haunted by losing everything in Hurricane Maria--and by an evil spirit, Ato. She fully expects the tragedy that befell her and her family in Puerto Rico to catch up with her in New York. Yet, for a time, she can almost set this fear aside, because there's this boy

 

Undocumented: A Worker’s Fight by Duncan Tonatiuh
The story is told via the ancient Mixtec codex—accordion fold—format. Juan grew up in Mexico working in the fields to help provide for his family. Struggling for money, Juan crosses over into the United States and becomes an undocumented worker. Juan risks everything and stands up for himself and the rest of the community

 

LGBTQ+

The Henna Wars, Adiba Jaigirdar *New*

As one of the few brown girls in her Dublin Catholic school, Nishat holds her Bengali heritage dear. When Nishat sets up a business at school offering henna designs, she runs into competition from Flávia. Her outrage at Flávia’s appropriation of her culture is mingled with an increasing attraction.

Lizard Radio, Pat Schmatz

In a futuristic society, Kivali is a Bender - not quite boy or girl. Sent to CropCamp, a commune meant to steer teens toward a lifetime of good citizenship and “proper” gender roles, Kivali, called Lizard, wrestles with friendship, love, and the price of being true to oneself.

 

Gracefully Grayson, Ami Polonsky

Grayson has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: "he" is a girl on the inside. Will new strength from an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher's wisdom be enough to help Grayson?

 

Felix Yz, Lisa Bunker

When Felix Yz was three he is accidentally fused with a fourth-dimensional being. Now he’s on the brink of a risky procedure that will free him. With an awkward crush on a boy at school, a gender fluid grandparent and a Bi mom, family, bullying and identity are woven into the story.

 

Not Your Sidekick, C.B. Lee

Welcome to Andover, where superpowers are common, but internships are complicated. On the upside, Jessica gets to work with her longtime secret crush, Abby. With a sudden and dangerous turn, she uncovers a plot larger than heroes and villains altogether. Also see: Not Your Villain.

 

Zenobia July, Lisa Bunker

Zenobia July is starting a new life in Maine with her aunts. People used to tell her she was a boy; now she's able to live openly as the girl she always knew she was. When someone anonymously posts hateful memes on her school's website, Zenobia knows she's the one with the hacking skills to solve the mystery.

The New Queer Conscience, Adam Eli 

In this very short book with big ideas, LGBTQIA activist Adam Eli offers a candid and compassionate introduction to queer responsibility. Eli calls on his Jewish faith to underline how kindness and support within the queer community can lead to a stronger global consciousness. 

 

Neurodiversity

Coming soon!

 

Race and Representation

Windrush Child, Benjamin Zephaniah *New*

In this heart-stopping adventure based on real historical events, Benjamin Zephaniah shows us an important and intriguing time in Britain that's sure to fascinate young readers.

Talking Turkeys, Benjamin Zephaniah *New*

An unconventional collection of straight-talking poems about heroes, revolutions, racism, love and animal rights, among other subjects, that will entice many new readers to poetry.

Noughts & Crosses, Malorie Blackman *New*

A speculative fiction series describing an alternative 21st-century Britain in which native African people had colonised the European people, rather than the other way around, with Africans having made Europeans their slaves.

A Good Kind of Trouble, Lisa Moore Ramé

From debut author Lisa Moore Ramée comes this funny and big-hearted debut middle grade novel about friendship, family, and standing up for what’s right, perfect for fans of Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give and the novels of Renée Watson and Jason Reynolds.

 

Refugee

Santa Claus in Baghdad: Stories About Teens in the Arab World: And Other Stories about Teens in the Arab World, Elsa Marsten 

This lively collection of eight short stories about Arab teenagers living in Iraq, Tunisia, Egypt, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and a Palestinian refugee camp engagingly depicts young people's experiences growing up in the Middle East. With accompanying notes that provide contextual information, Santa Claus in Baghdad brings a fresh perspective to youth literature about the Arab world.

 

Strong Female Characters

The Sound of Everything, Rebecca Henry *New*

Complex, challenging Kadie has been bounced from foster home to foster home. But though the noise of the everyday often threatens to overwhelm her, she has a talent for music – one that prompts her to forge an unlikely alliance with Dayan, also a gifted musician.

Raybearer series, Jordan Ifueko *New*

Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince's Council of Eleven. If she's picked, she'll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood.

How Was That Built? The Stories Behind Awesome Structures, Roma Agrawal

Written by an award-winning Indian-British structural engineer who worked on the Shard, this book highlights amazing engineering achievements across all continents with a diverse range of role models