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SHS Virtual Learning Commons 20-21: NEW BOOKS in our Learning Commons

An honors student at Jefferson Academy, seventeen-year-old Keira enjoys developing and playing Slay, a secret, multiplayer online role-playing game celebrating black culture, until the two worlds collide.

Del has had a crush on Kiera Westing since kindergarten. And now, during their junior year, she’s finally available. So when Kiera volunteers for an opportunity at their church, Del’s right behind her. Though he quickly realizes he’s inadvertently signed up for a Purity Pledge.

A collection of sixteen stories of fantasy, science fiction, and magic featuring black and gender non-conforming characters.

Raised in isolation, Tarisai yearns for the closeness she could have as one of the Crown Prince's Council of 11, but her mother, The Lady, has magically compelled Tarisai to kill the Crown Prince.

A collection of forty illustrated poems celebrating the vulnerability and strength of black women and girls.

Before heading off to college in the fall, Rachel Walls decides to give in to the universe for the summer and say yes to everything, bringing her friendship, new experiences, and, if she lets her guard down, love.

High school senior Salma Bakkioui, who has a connective tissue disorder, faces prejudice and hidden danger, especially after being framed for a Muslim terrorist act she did not commit.

Bethany C. Morrow's A Song Below Water is the story for today's readers -- a captivating modern fantasy about black mermaids, friendship, and self-discovery set against the challenges of today's racism and sexism.

In 2002, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl named Shirin starts over at yet another high school, having dealt with the prejudice and abuse that followed 9/11. She copes with the anti-Islamic animosity by turning to music and break-dancing. She meets Ocean James, who comes from a very different background, but really seems to want to get to know her. But she's had the walls up for so long, she doesn't know if she can really let him in.

Marva Sheridan is excited to vote in her first election; Duke Crenshaw just wants to get voting over so that he can get to his band's first paying gig. When Marva sees Duke turned away from their polling place, she's determined to see his vote counted. They cut school, rush from precinct to precinct, and wait in endless lines just to get Duke registered to vote. Over the course of one day, the two strangers find they have more in common than just a passion for democracy.

On January 20, 2021, Amanda Gorman became the sixth and youngest poet to deliver a poetry reading at a presidential inauguration. Taking the stage after the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden, Gorman captivated the nation and brought hope to viewers around the globe.

Elatsoe—Ellie for short—lives in an alternate contemporary America shaped by the ancestral magics and knowledge of its Indigenous and immigrant groups. She can raise the spirits of dead animals—most importantly, her ghost dog Kirby. When her beloved cousin dies, all signs point to a car crash, but his ghost tells her otherwise: He was murdered.

Yadriel, a trans boy, summons the angry spirit of his high school's bad boy, and agrees to help him learn how he died, thereby proving himself a brujo, not a bruja, to his conservative family.

From before her mother's first oncology appointment through the stages of her cancer to the funeral, sitting shiva, and afterward, when she must try to make sense of her life as a motherless daughter, Tyler Feder tells her story in this graphic novel that is full of piercing--but also often funny--details.

Noemi Vidal is a 17-year-old soldier trained to defend her planet, Genesis, at any cost. Abel is a humanoid robot that was abandoned in space 30 years ago. When Noemi finds Abel on an unused research vessel, the two form an unlikely bond. 

When resentment surges during the Great Depression in a Texas border town, Estrella, fifteen, organizes a protest against the treatment of tejanos and soon finds herself witih her mother and baby brother in Mexico.

As Khosrou (whom everyone calls Daniel) stands in front of his Oklahoma middle school classmates, he tries to tell them his story from the jasmine-scented city of Isfahan to the terrifying journey out of Iran steps ahead of the secret police to the refugee camps of Italy.

It's the summer between middle school and high school, and Aiden Navarro is away at camp. Everyone's going through changes—but for Aiden, the stakes feel higher. As he navigates friendships, deals with bullies, and spends time with Elias (a boy he can't stop thinking about), he finds himself on a path of self-discovery and acceptance.

Ethan, who was raised in Washington state, is sent to live with his grandparents in Alabama for the summer. Ethan's eyes are opened to blatant racism for the first time, but also to kindness, when a young red-head named Juniper Jones befriends him and they spend the summer exploring the town and having adventures. Their friendship becomes a lifeline for Ethan when the town's ugliness turns deadly.

A collection of poetry centered around themes related to mental health and personal well-being. The author reflects on her own experiences with love, happiness, depression, and hope.

Told from alternating perspectives, Bunny takes a basketball scholarship to an elite private school to help his family, leaving behind Nasir, his best friend, in their tough Philadelphia neighborhood.

When sixteen-year-old Rashad is mistakenly accused of stealing, classmate Quinn witnesses his brutal beating at the hands of a police officer who happens to be the older brother of his best friend.

When Miri, Soleil, Penny, and Jonah befriend their favorite young adult novelist, Fatima Ro, they share their deepest secrets with her. When they find their secrets in the pages of Fatima's new book, they have to deal with the devastating consequences.

Graphic novel in which a South Korean girl named Chun and her single mother leave for America on vacation and end up staying after her mother announces she's getting married. Chun changes her name to Robin and tries to fit in at her local high school where she doesn't know the language. When her mother enrolls her in a comics drawing class, she begins to feel more at home in the United States.

Eric Gansworth is telling his story in Apple (Skin to the Core). The story of his family, of Onondaga among Tuscaroras, of Native folks everywhere. From the horrible legacy of the government boarding schools, to a boy watching his siblings leave and return and leave again, to a young man fighting to be an artist who balances multiple worlds.

During South Korea's Fifth Republic from 1981 to 1987, Kim Hyun Sook convinces her traditional mother that women should go to college. In 1983, Sook looks forward to immersing herself in Western literature, but she finds out that reading can be a life-or-death activity under a totalitarian regime. A young man invites Sook to a reading group, which she learns is actually a secretive group reading banned books in a basement.

Michael Angeli, a mixed-race gay teen living in London, tells his story in lyrical verse, describing his struggles with self-acceptance and identity as he grows up without a father. When he moves away from home to attend university, he discovers the drag community, where he finally finds acceptance and a new persona as the Black Flamingo.

Four years after extraterrestrials kidnapped everyone on Earth they deemed to be worthy--leaving behind the unintelligent, the old, and disabled--young Sam has found herself to be a pawn in an alien civil war. She and her new friend, Mia, however, think they have found a way to resist their captors and keep their humanity. Meanwhile on Earth, Sam's twin, Wyatt, has launched a resistance army, a ragtag group of the elderly, old, young, and disabled--and Wyatt has a plan to bring the aliens down.

Camino Rios, a talented swimmer and midwife assistant, lives in the Dominican Republic and wants to go to Columbia University in New York City, where her father works most of the year. Her very different half-sister, Yahaira Rios, a dark-skinned, lesbian, chess champion, lives in Manhattan but quit speaking to their father when she learned he had another wife in the Dominican Republic. The lives of the two girls collide when their father dies in an airplane crash. 

This modern, groundbreaking YA anthology explores the complexity and beauty of interracial and LGBTQ+ relationships where differences are front and center.

Presents a collection of short stories that explore the joys and heartbreaks of immigration, from TSA detentions, language barriers, family celebrations, and discovering a new life.

Darius Kellner is having a bit of a year. Since his trip to Iran, a lot has changed. He's getting along with his dad, and his best friend Sohrab is only a Skype call away. Between his first boyfriend, Landon, varsity soccer practices, and an internship at his favorite tea shop, things are falling into place.

Sisters Rozenn and Dahut have grown estranged after the death of their mother, Lady Malgven. Rozenn, the elder, has shirked court duties to care for animals on the moor, while her sister wields powerful magic to keep the kingdom from being swallowed up by the nearby sea. But as both daughters come to realize the harmful effects of the magic, they have to choose between their kingdom and unleashing hellish sea creatures kept at bay.

Vernell LaQuan Banks and Justyce McAllister grew up a block apart in the Southwest Atlanta neighborhood of Wynwood Heights. Years later, though, Justyce walks the illustrious halls of Yale University . . . and Quan sits behind bars at the Fulton Regional Youth Detention Center.

A century ago, an astronomer discovered an Earth-like planet orbiting a nearby star. She predicted that one day humans would travel there to build a utopia. Today, ten astronauts are leaving everything behind to find it. Four are veterans of the twentieth century’s space-race.

And six are teenagers who’ve trained for this mission most of their lives.

By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady's maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, \"Dear Miss Sweetie.\" When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society's ills, but she's not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender. 

Some bodies won't stay buried.

Some stories need to be told.

When seventeen-year-old Rowan Chase finds a skeleton on her family's property, she has no idea that investigating the brutal century-old murder will lead to a summer of painful discoveries about the present and the past.

Xochitl is destined to wander the desert alone, speaking her troubled village's stories into its arid winds. Her only companions are the blessed stars above and enigmatic lines of poetry magically strewn across dusty dunes.

Sixteen-year-old figure skater Olivia Kennedy’s Olympic dreams have ended. She’s bitter, but enjoying life as a regular teenager instead of trying to live up to expectations of being the daughter of Olympians Michael Kennedy and Midori Nakashima...until Jonah Choi starts training at her family's struggling rink.

As she tries to enjoy her senior year and choose which college she will attend, Korean American Ellen Sung must deal with the prejudice of some of her classmates and pressure from her parents to get good grades.

In 2014, Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em.

In this provocative book, sixteen of Minnesota's best writers provide a range of perspectives on what it is like to live as a person of color in Minnesota. They give readers a splendid gift: the gift of touching another human being's inner reality, behind masks and veils and politeness. They bring us generously into experiences that we must understand if we are to come together in real relationships. Minnesota communities struggle with some of the nation's worst racial disparities. As its authors confront and consider the realities that lie beneath the numbers, this book provides an important tool to those who want to be part of closing those gaps.

Louise dumps her popular, jock boyfriend after he makes some insensitive remarks about his brother's Native American fiancée without regard for the fact that she is also Native American. As a reporter for her school newspaper, she finds herself working on the story of the year alongside Joey. A story that involves racism, blackmail, and bullying centered around the cast of the school play--a cast that includes Louise's younger brother.

Fleeing to Rome in the wake of coming out to his Muslim family, a failed relationship, and blackmail, eighteen-year-old Amir Azadi embarks on a more authentic life with new friends and dates in the Sistine Chapel before an encounter with a U.S. Customs officer places his hard-won freedom at risk.

The author's first encounter with a racialized America came at age seven, when her parents told her they named her Austin to deceive future employers into thinking she was a white man. She grew up in majority-white schools, organizations, and churches, and has spent her life navigating America's racial divide as a writer, a speaker, and an expert helping organizations practice genuine inclusion. While so many institutions claim to value diversity in their mission statements, many fall short of matching actions to words. Brown highlights how white middle-class evangelicalism has participated in the rise of racial hostility, and encourages the reader to confront apathy and recognize God's ongoing work in the world.

Presents the history of the African American women who fought for the right to vote even as they faced racism, rejection from white suffragists, and danger. Describes the historical line from abolition, to suffrage, to civil rights, and to activism today.

Sixteen-year-old Ellie Dante is desperate for something in her life to finally go right. Her father was a famous stage magician until he attempted an epic illusion on live TV—and failed. Now Ellie lives with her dad in a beat-up RV, attending high school online and performing with him at birthday parties and bars across the Midwest to make ends meet. But when the gigs dry up, their insurance lapses, leaving Dad’s heart condition unchecked and forcing Ellie to battle her bipolar II disorder without medication.

Seventeen-year-old Khayyam Maquet is spending the summer in Paris with her parents, but she'd rather be in Chicago dealing with her maybe-ex-boyfriend and her blown chance at getting into her dream college. After a chance meeting with a cute descendant of Alexandre Dumas, Khayyam tries to track down the real-life nineteenth-century Muslim woman who inspired Alexandre Dumas, Eugène Delacroix, and Lord Byron with her tragic love story.

Tien, the son of two Vietnamese refugees, is struggling with the right way to come out to his parents. With a language barrier, Tien wonders how he will ever tell his parents the truth. As he helps them with their English, Tien realizes he may be able to use fairy tales to get his message across.

Provides a twenty-eight day program that asks persons of white privilege to examine racist thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in order to promote greater equality among races. Includes discussion questions, a glossary and information on how to start a book circle.

Presents a history of graphic design, from the first alphabets--like Egyptian hieroglyphics and Sumerian cuneiform--to the advent of the digital age, the Internet, and interactive design possibilities.

In an alternate-reality world under the shadow of a magical government bent on transmuting the fabric of reality, two alchemical twins, one skilled with language and the other with math, become catalysts in their creator's grab for power.

Eighteen-year-old Amani has been kidnapped and forced to live as the body double for Princess Maram. Hated by the people her family rules, Maram is at risk of being assassinated when she appears in public. Though Amani enjoys the beauty of the palace and spending time with Maram's fiance, she is determined to escape her captivity and return to her family on her own moon.

Max: Chill. Sports. Video games. Gay and not a big deal, not to him, not to his mom, not to his buddies. And a secret: An encounter with an older kid that makes it hard to breathe, one that he doesn't want to think about, ever.Jordan: The opposite of chill. Poetry. His \"wives\" and the Chandler Mall. Never been kissed and searching for Mr. Right, who probably won't like him anyway. And a secret: A spiraling out of control mother, and the knowledge that he's the only one who can keep the family from falling apart.

When her Filipino father enters a coma after an accident, seventeen-year-old Cory Tagubio leans on the only one she thinks understands her--her history teacher at her Catholic school, Ms. Holden. As a Catholic, Cory knows that her feelings for Ms. Holden are forbidden, so when their relationship turns intimate and she's caught by her mother, Cory is sent away to live with a half-brother named Jun in the Philippines. Heartbroken and alone, Cory must come to terms with her identity, her family's roots, and what she wants for her future.

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 . . .

By the time he was twenty-seven years old, Kwame Onwuachi had opened—and closed—one of the most talked about restaurants in America. He had sold drugs in New York and been shipped off to rural Nigeria to “learn respect.” He had launched his own catering company with twenty thousand dollars made from selling candy on the subway and starred on Top Chef. Through it all, Onwuachi’s love of food and cooking remained a constant, even when, as a young chef, he was forced to grapple with just how unwelcoming the food world can be for people of color.

Aspiring choreographer Sophie Orenstein would do anything for Peter Rosenthal-Porter, who’s been on the kidney transplant list as long as she’s known him. Peter, a gifted pianist, is everything to Sophie: best friend, musical collaborator, secret crush. When she learns she’s a match, donating a kidney is an easy, obvious choice. She can’t help wondering if after the transplant, he’ll love her back the way she’s always wanted.

Claire Wang is a "parachute," a wealthy teenager from Shanghai sent to the United States to live with a host family and attend a prestigious high school. Dani De La Cruz is Claire's host sister and attends the same high school on scholarship. She resents the privilege of students like Claire, while she cleans houses part-time and works for every success she attains. Both girls merely tolerate each other, until a series of traumatic events caused by male counterparts bring them together.

Each day African American teen Jade Butler shuttles to a private, mostly white school where she's accepted a scholarship. Intent on taking advantage of every opportunity she can to rise above the poverty in which she lives, Jade tries to find her place in a world where she teeters between the privilege of her classmates and the racial tension and fear of her neighborhood. “Jade's narrative offers compelling reflections on the complexities of race and gender, class and privilege, fear and courage, while conveying the conflicted emotions of an ambitious, loyal girl.

In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency—a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

Even though Amal Shahid is an artist and poet, he's still viewed as disruptive and unmotivated at his diverse art school. One fateful night at a local park, a fight breaks out between Amal and his friends and a group of white boys from a nearby gentrified neighborhood, leaving one of the white boys in a coma. Amal is convicted of the attack and sent to prison, even though he's not the one who put the boy in a coma. His despair and rage at having his bright future destroyed threaten to overcome him until he discovers the refuge and hope that his words and art give him.

For most of America’s history, rural people and culture have been casually mocked, stereotyped, and, in general, deeply misunderstood. Now an array of short stories, poetry, graphic short stories, and personal essays, along with anecdotes from the authors’ real lives, dives deep into the complexity and diversity of rural America and the people who call it home. Fifteen extraordinary authors—diverse in ethnic background, sexual orientation, geographic location, and socioeconomic status—explore the challenges, beauty, and nuances of growing up in rural America.

Since the revolution-turned-civil war in Syria began in 2011, over 500,000 civilians have been killed and more than 12 million Syrians have been displaced. Rania Abouzeid, one of the foremost journalists on the topic, follows two pairs of sisters from opposite sides of the conflict to give readers a firsthand glimpse of the turmoil and devastation this strife has wrought. Sunni Muslim Ruha and her younger sister Alaa withstand constant attacks by the Syrian government in rebel-held territory. Alawite sisters Hanin and Jawa try to carry on as normal in the police state of regime-held Syria. The girls grow up in a world where nightly bombings are routine and shrapnel counts as toys. They bear witness to arrests, killings, demolished homes, and further atrocities most adults could not even imagine. Still, war does not dampen their sense of hope.

When Sunny meets Cirrus, he can't believe how cool and confident she is. So when Cirrus mistakenly thinks Sunny plays guitar, he accidentally winds up telling her he's the front man of a rock band.

Powerful, riveting, and real. Sixteen celebrated authors bring us raw, insightful stories that explore guns and teens in a fiction collection that is thought provoking and emotionally gripping. For fans of Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock and Give a Boy a Gun, and with an array of YA talent like the late great Walter Dean Myers, the poetic Joyce Carol Oates, the prophetic Elizabeth Wein, and the gritty Chris Crutcher, these are evocative voices that each has a different perspective to give. Capturing the hurt and the healing, victims and perpetrators, these stories get to the heart of the matter.

Eighteen-year-old Zofia Lederman, a Holocaust survivor, travels across post-war Europe as she searches for her younger brother, Abek, and seeks to rebuild her shattered life.

While writing letters to Innocence X, a justice-seeking project, asking them to help her father, an innocent black man on death row, teenaged Tracy takes on another case when her brother is accused of killing his white girlfriend.

The Torres sisters dream of escape. Escape from their needy and despotic widowed father, and from their San Antonio neighborhood, full of old San Antonio families and all the traditions and expectations that go along with them. In the summer after her senior year of high school, Ana, the oldest sister, falls to her death from her bedroom window. A year later, her three younger sisters, Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa, are still consumed by grief and haunted by their sister’s memory. Their dream of leaving Southtown now seems out of reach. But then strange things start happening around the house: mysterious laughter, mysterious shadows, mysterious writing on the walls. The sisters begin to wonder if Ana really is haunting them, trying to send them a message—and what exactly she’s trying to say.

When Marvin Johnson's twin, Tyler, goes to a party, Marvin decides to tag along to keep an eye on his brother. But what starts as harmless fun turns into a shooting, followed by a police raid. The next day Tyler is missing, and it's up to Marvin to find him. But when Tyler is found dead, a video leaked online tells an even more chilling story: Tyler has been shot and killed by a police officer. Terrified as his mother unravels, mourning a brother who is now a hashtag, Marvin must learn what justice and freedom really mean.

Three teenage immigrants risk the trip from Guatemala through Mexico to the United States southern border in search of a better life.

Omar and his younger brother, Hassan, have spent most of their lives in Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya. Life is hard there: never enough food, achingly dull, and without access to the medical care Omar knows his nonverbal brother needs. So when Omar has the opportunity to go to school, he knows it might be a chance to change their future . . . but it would also mean leaving his brother, the only family member he has left, every day.

A memoir by the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement explains the movement's position of love, humanity, and justice, challenging perspectives that have negatively labeled the movement's activists while calling for essential political changes.

Micah and Sesame are true best friends. They safeguard each other’s secrets and share their dreams. Micah wants to save his parents from the cult leader who calls himself “the Prophet.” Sesame recently lost the last of her own family—her grandmother—and plans to keep a low profile until she turns eighteen to avoid foster care. Together, they never doubt they can build the futures they want.

In this groundbreaking and timely book, antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility. Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo explores how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides. These topics have only become more urgent as the national conversation about race is increasingly acrimonious. This fully revised edition is essential listening for anyone seeking to understand the dynamics of race in America.

Year of the Rabbit tells the true story of one family’s desperate struggle to survive the murderous reign of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. In 1975, the Khmer Rouge seized power in the capital city of Phnom Penh. Immediately after declaring victory in the war, they set about evacuating the country’s major cities with the brutal ruthlessness and disregard for humanity that characterized the regime ultimately responsible for the deaths of one million citizens.

In this tender-hearted debut, set against the tumultuous backdrop of life in 1973, when homosexuality is still considered a mental illness, two boys defy all the odds and fall in love.

Dark secrets and forbidden love threaten the very survival of the Shadowhunters in Cassandra Clare’s Queen of Air and Darkness, the final novel in The Dark Artifices trilogy.

Tsov tom, or tiger bite—an insult in Hmong culture—means you were stupid enough to approach a tiger and get bitten. In this remarkable new book, Hmong American women reclaim that phrase, showing in prose and poetry that they are strong enough and brave enough to stare down the tiger.

As long as racist ideas persist, families will continue to have the difficult and necessary conversations with their young ones on the subject. In this inspiring collection, literary all-stars such as Renée Watson (Piecing Me Together), Grace Lin (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon), Meg Medina (Merci Suárez Changes Gears), Adam Gidwitz (The Inquisitor's Tale), and many more engage young people in frank conversations about race, identity, and self-esteem.

Highlights the history of Pride. Shares its roots, how it's celebrated today, and how others around the world celebrate Pride. Includes a glossary, resources for further information, and color photographs.