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  • Recommended for grade(s): College Plus

    A bold and gripping graphic history of the fight for women’s rights. The ongoing struggle for women’s rights has spanned human history, touched nearly every culture on Earth, and encompassed a wide range of issues, such as the right to vote, work, get an education, own property, exercise bodily autonomy, and beyond. Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists is a fun and fascinating graphic novel-style primer that covers the key figures and events that have advanced women’s rights from antiquity to the modern era. In addition, this compelling book illuminates the stories of notable women throughout history–from queens and freedom fighters to warriors and spies–and the progressive movements led by women that have shaped history, including abolition, suffrage, labor, civil rights, LGBTQ liberation, reproductive rights, and more. Examining where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going, Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists is an indispensable resource for people of all genders interested in the fight for a more liberated future.  –From Ten Speed Press

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  • As the Crow Flies

    By: Melanie Gillman
    Recommended for grade(s): 9, 10

    A queer, black teenager finds herself stranded in a dangerous and unfamiliar place: an all-white Christian youth backpacking camp. — From Iron Circus Comics

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  • Bad Feminist

    By: Roxane Gay
    Recommended for grade(s): 12, College Plus

    A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay. “Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to be cool, but it is pink—all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I’m not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue.” In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of color (The Help) while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years (Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown). The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture. Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better. –From the website at HarperCollins

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 8, 9

    Jazz Jennings is one of the youngest and most prominent voices in the national discussion about gender identity. At the age of five, Jazz transitioned to life as a girl, with the support of her parents. A year later, her parents allowed her to share her incredible journey in her first Barbara Walters interview, aired at a time when the public was much less knowledgeable or accepting of the transgender community. This groundbreaking interview was followed over the years by other high-profile interviews, a documentary, the launch of her YouTube channel, a picture book, and her own reality TV series–I Am Jazz–making her one of the most recognizable activists for transgender teens, children, and adults. In her remarkable memoir, Jazz reflects on these very public experiences and how they have helped shape the mainstream attitude toward the transgender community. But it hasn’t all been easy. Jazz has faced many challenges, bullying, discrimination, and rejection, yet she perseveres as she educates others about her life as a transgender teen. Through it all, her family has been beside her on this journey, standing together against those who don’t understand the true meaning of tolerance and unconditional love. Now Jazz must learn to navigate the physical, social, and emotional upheavals of adolescence–particularly high school–complicated by the unique challenges of being a transgender teen. Making the journey from girl to woman is never easy–especially when you began your life in a boy’s body.  –From Ember

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  • Bingo Love

    By: Tee Franklin
    Recommended for grade(s): 8

    When Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray met at church bingo in 1963, it was love at first sight. Forced apart by their families and society, Hazel and Mari both married young men and had families. Decades later, now in their mid-60s, Hazel and Mari reunite again at a church bingo hall. Realizing their love for each other is still alive, what these grandmothers do next takes absolute strength and courage. From TEE FRANKLIN (NAILBITER’S “THE OUTFIT,” Love is Love) and JENN ST-ONGE (Jem and The Misfits), BINGO LOVE is a touching story of love, family, and resiliency that spans over 60 years. — From Image Comics

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  • Camp So-and-So

    By: Mary McCoy
    Recommended for grade(s): 7

    The letters went out in mid-February. Each letter invited its recipient to spend a week at Camp So-and-So, a lakeside retreat for girls nestled high in the Starveling Mountains. Each letter came with a glossy brochure with photographs of young women climbing rocks, performing Shakespeare under the stars, and spiking volleyballs. By the end of the month, twenty-five applications had been completed, signed, and mailed. Had any of these girls tried to visit the camp for themselves on that day in February, they would have discovered that there was no such mountain, and that no one within a fifty-mile radius had ever heard of Camp So-and-So . . . — From Carolrhoda Lab

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  • Fresh Ink

    By: Lamar Giles
    Recommended for grade(s): 9

    Careful–you are holding fresh ink. And not hot-off-the-press, still-drying-in-your-hands ink. Instead, you are holding twelve stories with endings that are still being written–whose next chapters are up to you. Because these stories are meant to be read. And shared. Thirteen of the most accomplished YA authors deliver a label-defying anthology that includes ten short stories, a graphic novel, and a one-act play about topics like gentrification, acceptance, untimely death, coming out, and poverty and ranging in genre from contemporary realistic fiction to adventure and romance. This collection will inspire you to break conventions, bend the rules, and color outside the lines. All you need is fresh ink. AUTHORS INCLUDE: Schuyler Bailar, Melissa de la Cruz, Sara Farizan, Sharon G. Flake, Eric Gansworth, Malindo Lo, Walter Dean Myers, Daniel José Older, Thien Pham, Jason Reynolds, Aminah Mae Safi, Gene Luen Yang, Nicola Yoon — From Crown Books for Young Readers

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  • Getting Mother’s Body

    By: Suzan Lori Parks
    Recommended for grade(s): 10, 11, 12, College Plus

    Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks’s wildly original debut novel,Getting Mother’s Body, follows pregnant, unmarried Billy Beede and her down-and-out family in 1960s Texas as they search for the storied jewels buried—or were they?—with Billy’s fast-running, six-years-dead mother, Willa Mae. Getting Mother’s Body is a true spiritual successor to the work of writers such as Zora Neale Hurston and Alice Walker—but when it comes to bringing hard-luck characters to ingenious, uproarious life, Suzan-Lori Parks shares the stage with no one. —from the website at Penguin Random House

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  • Recommended for grade(s): College Plus

    “I ate and ate and ate in the hopes that if I made myself big, my body would be safe. I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe.” New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and bodies, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. As a woman who describes her own body as “wildly undisciplined,” Roxane understands the tension between desire and denial, between self-comfort and self-care. In Hunger, she casts an insightful and critical eye on her childhood, teens, and twenties–including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life–and brings readers into the present and the realities, pains, and joys of her daily life. With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and authority that have made her one of the most admired voices of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to be overweight in a time when the bigger you are, the less you are seen. Hunger is a deeply personal memoir from one of our finest writers, and tells a story that hasn’t yet been told but needs to be. –From the website at HarperCollins

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  • Keesha’s House

    By: Helen Frost
    Recommended for grade(s): 9, 10

    An unforgettable narrative collage told in poems Keesha has found a safe place to live, and other kids gravitate to her house when they just can’t make it on their own. They are Stephie – pregnant, trying to make the right decisions for herself and those she cares about; Jason – Stephie’s boyfriend, torn between his responsibility to Stephie and the baby and the promise of a college basketball career; Dontay – in foster care while his parents are in prison, feeling unwanted both inside and outside the system; Carmen – arrested on a DUI charge, waiting in a juvenile detention center for a judge to hear her case; Harris – disowned by his father after disclosing that he’s gay, living in his car, and taking care of himself; Katie – angry at her mother’s loyalty to an abusive stepfather, losing herself in long hours of work and school. Stretching the boundaries of traditional poetic forms – sestinas and sonnets – Helen Frost’s extraordinary debut novel for young adults weaves together the stories of these seven teenagers as they courageously struggle to hold their lives together and overcome their difficulties. 2004 Michael Printz Honor Book. –from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12

    Like most university students, Kim works a part-time job to make ends meet. Unlike most university students, Kim’s job is pretty cool: she’s a grim reaper, tasked with guiding souls into the afterlife. Like most university students, Becka has a super intense crush. Unlike most university students, Becka’s crush is on a beautiful gothic angel that frequents the underworld. Of course, she doesn’t know that. Unaware of the ghoulish drama she’s about to step into, Becka finally gathers up the courage to ask Kim on a date! But when she falls into a ghostly portal and interrupts Kim at her job, she sets off a chain of events that will pit the two of them against angry cat-dads, vengeful zombies, and perhaps even the underworld itself. But if they work together, they just might make it… and maybe even get a smooch in the bargain. –From One Press

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  • Let’s Talk About Love

    By: Claire Kann
    Recommended for grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12

    Striking a perfect balance between heartfelt emotions and spot-on humor, this debut features a pop-culture enthusiast protagonist with an unforgettable voice sure to resonate with readers. Alice had her whole summer planned. Nonstop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting—working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating—no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done. But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!). When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library-employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood. Claire Kann’s debut novel Let’s Talk About Love, chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, gracefully explores the struggle with emerging adulthood and the complicated line between friendship and what it might mean to be something more. –From Swoon Reads

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  • Lies We Tell Ourselves

    By: Robin Talley
    Recommended for grade(s): 9, 10

    Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily. Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept “separate but equal.” Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and the fact that they may be falling for one another. Boldly realistic and emotionally compelling, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brave and stunning novel about finding truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it. Lambda Literary Award Honoree 2015 –From the website at HarperCollins

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  • Little & Lion

    By: Brandy Colbert
    Recommended for grade(s): 10

    When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she’s isn’t sure if she’ll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (as well as her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support. But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new…the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel’s disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself–or worse. Stonewall Award Finalist 2018. — From Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

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  • Necessary Hunger

    By: Nina Revoyr
    Recommended for grade(s): 9, 10

    As a star basketball player in her last year of high school, Nancy Takahiro’s life is about to change forever. Facing the fear of leaving home and wondering where her skill will take her, Nancy is not prepared for the complications that arise when she meets Raina Webber, a devoted, ferocious athlete, whose love of basketball is matched only by her talent for it. —from the website of Simon & Schuster

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  • Odd One Out

    By: Nic Stone
    Recommended for grade(s): 9

    From the New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin comes this illuminating exploration of old friendships, new crushes, and the path to self-discovery. Told in three voices, Nic Stone’s new book is sure to please fans of Becky Albertalli, Nicola Yoon, and Jason Reynolds. Courtney “Coop” Cooper: Dumped. Again. And normally I wouldn’t mind. But right now, my best friend and source of solace, Jupiter Sanchez, is ignoring me to text some girl. Rae Evelyn Chin: I assumed “new girl” would be synonymous with “pariah,” but Jupiter and Courtney make me feel like I’m right where I belong. I also want to kiss him. And her. Which is . . . perplexing. Jupiter Charity-Sanchez: The only thing worse than losing the girl you love to a boy is losing her to your boy. That means losing him, too. I have to make a move. . . . One story. Three sides. No easy answers. — From Crown Books for Young Readers

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  • Ordinary Girls: A Memoir

    By: Jaquira Díaz
    Recommended for grade(s): 12, College Plus

    In this searing memoir, Jaquira Díaz writes fiercely and eloquently of her challenging girlhood and triumphant coming of age. While growing up in housing projects in Puerto Rico and Miami Beach, Díaz found herself caught between extremes. As her family split apart and her mother battled schizophrenia, she was supported by the love of her friends. As she longed for a family and home, her life was upended by violence. As she celebrated her Puerto Rican culture, she couldn’t find support for her burgeoning sexual identity. From her own struggles with depression and sexual assault to Puerto Rico’s history of colonialism, every page of Ordinary Girls vibrates with music and lyricism. Díaz writes with raw and refreshing honesty, triumphantly mapping a way out of despair toward love and hope, to become her version of the girl she always wanted to be. –From Algonquin

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 7, 8

    Like all A-Z books, this one illustrates the alphabet—but instead of “A is for Apple”, A is for Angela—as in Angela Davis, the iconic political activist. B is for Billie Jean King, who shattered the glass ceiling of sports; C is for Carol Burnett, who defied assumptions about women in comedy; D is for Dolores Huerta, who organized farmworkers; and E is for Ella Baker, who mentored Dr. Martin Luther King and helped shape the Civil Rights Movement. And the list of great women continues, spanning several centuries, multiple professions, and 26 diverse individuals. There are artists and abolitionists, scientists and suffragettes, rock stars and rabble-rousers, and agents of change of all kinds. The book includes an introduction that discusses what it means to be “rad” and “radical,” an afterword with 26 suggestions for how you can be “rad,” and a Resource Guide with ideas for further learning and reading. –from City Lights Publishers.

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  • Ramona Blue

    By: Julie Murphy
    Recommended for grade(s): 10, 11

    Ramona was only five years old when Hurricane Katrina changed her life forever. Since then, it’s been Ramona and her family against the world. Standing over six feet tall with unmistakable blue hair, Ramona is sure of three things: she likes girls, she’s fiercely devoted to her family, and she knows she’s destined for something bigger than the trailer she calls home in Eulogy, Mississippi. But juggling multiple jobs, her flaky mom, and her well-meaning but ineffectual dad forces her to be the adult of the family. Now, with her sister, Hattie, pregnant, responsibility weighs more heavily than ever. The return of her childhood friend Freddie brings a welcome distraction. Ramona’s friendship with the former competitive swimmer picks up exactly where it left off, and soon he’s talked her into joining him for laps at the pool. But as Ramona falls in love with swimming, her feelings for Freddie begin to shift too, which is the last thing she expected. With her growing affection for Freddie making her question her sexual identity, Ramona begins to wonder if perhaps she likes girls and guys or if this new attraction is just a fluke. Either way, Ramona will discover that, for her, life and love are more fluid than they seem. –from HarperCollins.

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 9, 10

    A young adult anthology featuring fictional stories of everyday resistance. You might be the kind of person who stands up to online trolls. Or who marches to protest injustice. Perhaps you are #DisabledAndCute and dancing around your living room, alive and proud. Or perhaps you are the trans mentor that you wish you had when you were younger. Maybe you call out false allies, or stand up to loved ones. Maybe you speak your truth and drop the mic, or maybe you take it with you when you leave. This anthology features fictional stories–in poems, prose, and art–that reflect a slice of the varied and limitless ways that readers like you resist every day. Take the Mic‘s powerful collection of stories features work by literary luminaries and emerging talent alike, including Newbery-winner Jason Reynolds, New York Times bestseller Samira Ahmed, anthologist and contributor Bethany C. Morrow, Darcie Little Badger, Keah Brown, Laura Silverman, L.D. Lewis, Sofia Quintero, Ray Stoeve, Yamile Mendez, and Connie Sun, with cover and interior art by Richie Pope.  –From Scholastic

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 10, 11, 12

    One teenager in a skirt. One teenager with a lighter. One moment that changes both of their lives forever. If it weren’t for the 57 bus, Sasha and Richard never would have met. Both were high school students from Oakland, California, one of the most diverse cities in the country, but they inhabited different worlds. Sasha, a white teen, lived in the middle-class foothills and attended a small private school. Richard, a black teen, lived in the crime-plagued flatlands and attended a large public one. Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But one afternoon on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment. The 57 Bus is Dashka Slater’s true account of the case that garnered international attention and thrust both teenagers into the spotlight. Stonewall Book Award Winner 2018.  Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist. –from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

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  • The Color Purple

    By: Alice Walker
    Recommended for grade(s): College Plus

    Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to “Mister,” a brutal man who terrorizes her. Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sister’s letters from her and the rage she feels, combined with an example of love and independence provided by her close friend Shug, pushes her finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self. Winner of the National Book Award. —from the website at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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  • The Dear One

    By: Jacqueline Woodson
    Recommended for grade(s): 7, 8

    Feni is furious when she finds out that her mother has agreed to take a fifteen-year-old pregnant girl into their home until her baby is born. What kind of girl would let herself get into so much trouble? How can Feni live under the same roof as someone like that? Her worst fears are confirmed when Rebecca arrives: she is mean, bossy, and uneducated. Feni decided she will have nothing to do with her. But it’s hard not to be curious about a girl so close to her own age who seems so different… –from Penguin.

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  • The House You Pass on the Way

    By: Jacqueline Woodson
    Recommended for grade(s): 7, 8, 9

    Thirteen-year-old Staggerlee used to be called Evangeline, but she took on a fiercer name. She’s always been different-set apart by the tragic deaths of her grandparents in an anti-civil rights bombing, by her parents’ interracial marriage, and by her family’s retreat from the world. This summer she has a new reason to feel set apart-her confused longing for her friend Hazel. When cousin Trout comes to stay, she gives Staggerlee a first glimpse of her possible future selves and the world beyond childhood. —from the website at Penguin Random House

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  • Trumpet

    By: Jackie Kay
    Recommended for grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12

    The death of legendary jazz trumpeter Joss Moody exposes an extraordinary secret, one that enrages his adopted son, Colman, leading him to collude with a tabloid journalist. Besieged by the press, his widow Millie flees to a remote Scottish village, where she seeks solace in memories of their marriage. The reminiscences of those who knew Joss Moody render a moving portrait of a shared life founded on an intricate lie, one that preserved a rare, unconditional love. In her starkly beautiful and wholly unexpected tale, Jackie Kay delves into the most intimate workings of the human heart and mind and offers a triumphant tale of loving deception and lasting devotion. —From Knopf Doubleday

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 9, 10, 11

    College relationships are tough for everyone, but they’re extra hard for Kim. Her grumpy grim reaper bosses are always making her work overtime, her girlfriend Becka’s roommate keeps hanging around, and for some reason, she’s going on an awkward group date to Vampire Island! But when she stumbles into a long-lost friend, Kim accidentally finds herself in the middle of a vampire grudge, plus a new strain on her relationship. Surely she can figure out how to study, be a good girlfriend, maintain her social life, and still pay rent? She just might need a little help. –From One Press

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