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Guest Post: Ari from Reading in Color Talks “Required” Reading

I had the pleasure of meeting (in some cases, shyly waving at)  some fellow book bloggers at the NCTE/ALAN annual convention: The Reading Zone, Crazy Quilts, The Pirate Tree, Mr. Schu Reads, Professor Nana, The Book Whisperer, and many others (all of whom are listed on my blogroll).

One blogger I was lucky enough to meet and share some ideas with was Ari from Reading in Color. She is the winner of the 2011 Black Weblog Award’s Best Teen Blog and reviews YA/MG books about people of color. After talking about a couple of different ideas, Ari agreed to write my first Guest Post. I asked her to think about all of the books about people of color she’s enjoyed and make a list of the books about people of color that every high school student should read. I think she’s made excellent choices so without further ado, here is her list.

Top 5 Books Every High School Student Should Read that aren’t ‘Classics’

In the spirit of many high school students in America, and even around the world, I described each book in 140 characters a la Twitter

  1. Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher – The main character, T.J., is witty & this is the first book I cried over. I dare you to read this & not shed tears of laughter or sadness.
  2. Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco Stork – Has Asperger’s, may offend, may be awkward, may overwhelm with brilliance but will most likely dazzle. Stupendous book about life in general.
  3. A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliott – Covers a plethora of complex topics deftly that relate to the 1860s and early2000s. Re-read in order to find all hidden gems in the text.
  4. Devil’s Kiss by Sarwat Chadda (Billi SanGreal series) – Billi, struggles with her duty of protecting the world by killing those who are evil. Not all heroes are golden & villains make valid points.
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie – Constantly banned from schools because while it talks about books, racism, reservation life, poverty and art, it also talks about boners.

Other Notables: Jazz in Love by Neesha Meminger, Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier, Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel Fattah, We Were Here by Matt de la Pena, What Can’t Wait by Ashley Hope Perez


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