Take Back the Block by Chrystal D. Giles
Random House Books for Young Readers/Penguin Random House
Publication Date: January 26, 2021
Wes is very familiar with two things in life: accompanying his parents to protests and loving his neighborhood. When a real estate developer rolls into Kensington Oaks offering to buy their homes, Wes and his friends must take things into their own hands to fight back against an issue even greater than they imagined.
Continue reading Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2022) Featured Review of Take Back the Block by Chrystal D. Giles
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Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes; narrated by Barrie Buckner
Hachette / Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 3, 2020
Moving from New York to Boston, and from a public school to private, Donte would love to be under the radar at his new elite prep school. Biracial, but darker skinned than his older brother, he finds that he really stands out at his mostly white school. After getting expelled for an infraction he didn’t commit, and experiencing bullying by the captain of the fencing team, he takes up fencing as a means to stand up to the racism he is experiencing. He seeks out a Black former Olympic fencer who agrees to coach him.
Continue reading Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2021) Nominees Round Up, October 14 Edition
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The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert
Publication Date: July 7, 2020
Marva rescues Duke and his little sister when his car won’t start. After this “meet cute” introduction, Marva and Duke spend an eventful day racing around Los Angeles to get Duke to the right polling place before it’s too late. Told in chapters alternating between the two main characters, the day begins with a debate of their different perspectives on citizenship and activism. As they get to know each other, they open up about more personal topics, like their plans and ambitions, families, friendships, and romantic relationships – both past and maybe-soon-to-be-past.
The action kicks off right away and keeps going as the clock ticks down to eight p.m., when the polls close. Current political issues are naturally part of a novel set on Election Day; rather than distracting from the story, these issues touch the characters’ lives in a way that raises the stakes and moves the plot forward.
This is a good choice for teens who like “rom coms” and stories like The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon and Just One Day by Gayle Forman.
Continue reading Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2021) Nominees Round Up, September 8 Edition
Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Little, Brown Book for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 17, 2018
Twelve-year-old Jerome is shot and killed by a white police officer who says he felt threatened by a big, scary black man (Jerome is 12, 5′ tall, 90 lbs) with a gun (plastic). As a ghost, Jerome learns from the ghost of Emmett Till about the history of racism in America that led to his death, and tries to help his family heal.
Continue reading #BFYA2019 Nominees Round Up, September 21 Edition
The Pros of Cons by Alison Cherry, Lindsay Ribar, and Michelle Schusterman
Publication Date: March 27, 2018
Three teens, Vanessa, Phoebe, and Callie, are attending three different conventions that are being held at the same hotel. A hilarious mix-up brings the three girls together. The Pros of Cons is a laugh out loud book about fandom, storytelling and life changing friendships.
Continue reading #QP2019 Nominees Round Up, July 24 Edition