Imagine an America very similar to our own. It’s got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream. There are some differences. This America has been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Seventeen-year-old Elatsoe (“Ellie” for short) lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered, in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect façade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family. You can also check out this title as an eBook on Overdrive/Libby, as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby, as an eBook on Hoopla or as eAudio on Hoopla.
“Each story matters. Every child counts.”
April 30th is Día! El día de los niños/El día de los libros, or Children’s Day/Book Day, is a celebration of children, books, and literacy. First observed in the US in 1997, Día was developed by children’s author Pat Mora to emphasize the importance of reading and representation for children from all backgrounds.
Reading about different cultures benefits school-age children in several ways. Research shows that students who read multicultural literature can experience:
- Increased understanding and appreciation of other cultures as well as their own
- A better sense of belonging and acceptance in society
- Increased empathy and feelings of connection
- Expanded knowledge of world history and traditions
- Elevated global awareness, interest and perspective
- Improved vocabulary and bilingual skills
We’re so excited to celebrate and share diverse books, languages and cultures this month—and all year long! The following titles are recommended for teens in grades 6-8.
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If you’re looking for more book suggestions, we’re happy to recommend them to you! Use this Book Recommendation form to send us some information about what you like to read and we’ll curate a list just for you.
Best friends Isaac and Marco face various challenges in sixth grade, such as Isaac getting better grades, Marco winning a spot on the basketball team, and both seeing their efforts make a change in their respective family lives. They hope their friendship and support for one another will be enough to help them from falling short. You can also check out this title as an eBook on OverDrive/Libby, as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby, as an eBook on Hoopla or as eAudio on Hoopla.
While twelve-year-old Andi has suffered from anxiety attacks ever since her mother died ten months ago, Zora starting hurting herself whenever she feels out of control. Both at Camp Harmony, an elite summer music camp, trying to deal with their problems and also the stress of competition–but as the summer passes they find themselves increasingly drawn to each other, and maybe not just as friends. You can also check out this title as an eBook on OverDrive/Libby.
When fourteen-year-old Karthik Raghavan is cast in a play about Leonard Bernstein, he can’t tell anyone because his parents need him to dedicate his time to making deliveries for their ailing Indian grocery store. You can also check out this title as an eBook on OverDrive/Libby or as an eBook on Hoopla.
Christina Soontornvat explores a young woman’s struggle to unburden herself of the past and chart her own destiny in a world of secrets. As assistant to Mangkon’s most celebrated mapmaker, twelve-year-old Sai plays the part of a well-bred young lady with a glittering future. In reality, her father is a conman–and in a kingdom where the status of one’s ancestors dictates their social position, the truth could ruin her. Sai seizes the chance to join an expedition to chart the southern seas, but she isn’t the only one aboard with secrets. When Sai learns that the ship might be heading for the fabled Sunderlands–a land of dragons, dangers, and riches beyond imagining–she must weigh the cost of her dreams. You can also check out this title as an eBook on OverDrive/Libby, as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby or as eAudio on Hoopla.