All About Adolescent Literacy

All about adolescent literacy. Resources for parents and educators of kids in grades 4-12.
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Multicultural Stories

As the number of young adult literature books has grown, so has the number of quality titles featuring characters of diverse ethnicity, religion, and nationality, and compelling story lines about identity, prejudice, and understanding.

Feathers

Feathers

Age Level: 9-12

Narrator Frannie keenly observes the changing dynamics in her classroom when a new white student arrives. Frannie also frets about her family — her deaf brother isolated from the hearing world and her pregnant mother prone to miscarriages.

Black and White

Black and White

Age Level: 14-16

Marcus and Eddie are basketball teammates and best friends. But when they get involved in a crime, will the fact that Marcus is black and Eddie is white affect how they are treated? Great sports action and a compelling premise make this a page turner.

The Joy Luck Club

The Joy Luck Club

Age Level: 16-18

Intertwined Chinese-American families reflect upon and live out the immigrant experience, including the quest for a better life and assimilated children’s frustration with their outsider parents.

Buried Onions

Buried Onions

Age Level: 14-16

Product Description: Eddie's father, two uncles, and best friend are all dead, and it's a struggle for him not to end up the same way. Violence makes Fresno wallow in tears, as if a huge onion were buried beneath the city. Making an effort to walk a straight line despite constant temptations and frustrations, Eddie searches for answers — and discovers that his closest friends may actually be his worst enemies.

A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life

A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life

Age Level: 14-16

Simone was adopted and raised by a non-observant Jewish family. The arrival of her Orthodox birth mother leads her to question her own religious beliefs and to confront the fact that her birth mother may not be around much longer — she's been diagnosed with cancer.

Monster

Monster

Age Level: 14-16

This story of a young African-American man caught up in a robbery gone bad is a contemporary classic. The screenplay format makes it appealing to reluctant readers, but it's also well deserving of its honor as the first recipient of the Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult literature.

Born Confused

Born Confused

Age Level: 14-16

Dimple is an Indian-American girl trying desperately to assimilate in her New Jersey neighborhood, until she meets an attractive Indian guy who shows her the charms of her own heritage.

Ask Me No Questions

Ask Me No Questions

Age Level: 12-14

Nadira's family has lived a law-abiding—but illegal—existence since arriving in the U.S. from Bangladesh years ago. During a post-9/11 crackdown, her father is discovered and the possibility of deportation hangs heavy over their lives.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Age Level: 14-16

When Junior gets a chance to leave the reservation school and attend a far-away white high school, he must deal with prejudice not only from his new schoolmates, but from those he left behind.

Red Hot Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Being Young and Latino in the United States

Red Hot Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Being Young and Latino in the United States

Age Level: 14-16

A collection of poems from an array of seasoned poets and young Latino authors describing their experiences in the United States. These poems depict the reality and hardships some young Latinos have experienced in their search for identity, as well as the joy of family gatherings surrounded by food, customs, and culture. Introduction by Oscar Hijuelos.