Tag Archives: Schools

Step Up To The Plate, Maria Singh

It is 1945, and with World War II going on, fifth-grader Maria Singh wants to play baseball.  When her teacher starts an all-girls team at her school, Maria is thrilled.  However she meets many challenges. Her father from India doesn’t want her wearing shorts.  Her mother form Mexico wants her to stay home to watch her younger brother.  Maria also wants to work to get the city council to approve a baseball field for her neighborhood.  And because her father isn’t a U.S. citizen, he can’t own their farm and the family is in danger of losing it.  As she learns about teamwork and baseball, she also learns about prejudice and racism in her community.  And most importantly, she learns to speak up and make a difference in her world.  This well-written, fascinating book, that covers a lot of social history, has great potential for the classroom.  mjw
Title: Step Up To The Plate, Maria Singh
Author: Uma Krishnaswami
Publisher
: Tu Books, an imprint of Lee and Low Books.  New York
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-600602-61-0
Hardcover pages
: 288
Age range
: 9-12
Genre
: Historical fiction
Book setting
: California
Author’s ethnicity
: born in New Delhi
Author’s residence
: Victoria, British Columbia
Awards
: 018 South Asia Book Award
Subjects
:East Indian Americans, Farm life, Mexican Americans, Prejudice, Racially mixed people, Racism, Sexism, Softball, World War II

This Is Me, Mayil

This is the diary of spirited sixteen-year-old Mayil Ganeshan.  She is curious and intelligent and wants to be a writer.  Also included are her rhymes and doodles.  The diary feels natural and is third in a series. mjw
Title: This Is Me, Mayil
Author: Niveditha Subramaniam and Sowmya Rajendran
Illustrator
: Niveditha Subramaniam
Publisher
: Tulika Publishers.  Chennai, India
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-93-5046-996-5
Paperback pages
: 124
Age range
: 13 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: India
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Author’s residence
: India
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Indian
Illustrator’s residence
: India
Subjects
: Autobiography, Diary, Humor, Rhyme, Verse, Young adult

The Fox Girl And The White Gazelle

Twelve-year-old Reema is a Syrian refugee trying to find her place in Glasgow.  She struggles with a new language and culture and misses her older brother who got left behind in Aleppo.  Caylin feels completely alone.  She has to look after her alcoholic mother.  She bullies the other kids and steals from them so that she can eat. Reema and Caylin become friends when they discover an injured fox and her babies. The girls also discover that they both like to run. Told in alternating perspectives, this is a great story of friendship. mjw
Title: The Fox Girl And The White Gazelle
Author: Victoria Williamson
Publisher
: Kelpies, an imprint of Floris Books. Edinburgh, Scotland
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English 
ISBN
: 978-178250-490-0
Paperback pages
: 272
Age range
: 10-12
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Scotland
Author’s ethnicity
: Scottish
Author’s residence
: U.K.
Subjects
: Foxes, Glasgow, Poetry, Prejudice and racism, Refugees, Running, Syria

Someone Like Me: How One Undocumented Girl Fought For Her American Dream

National bestselling author Julissa Arce tells of her journey from Taxco, Mexico, to growing up undocumented in Texas.  As a young girl, she, her two sisters, her nanny, and her grandmother were left behind in Taxco for months at a time, while her parents worked in America, hoping to build a home for the family.  At age eleven, her parents brought her to Texas where she secretly lived as an undocumented immigrant.  She worked tirelessly, achieved academic excellence, overcame cultural barriers, and ultimately climbed to a successful career on Wall Street. Eight pages of black and white photographs complement this compelling story. mjw
Title: Someone Like Me: How One Undocumented Girl Fought For Her American Dream
Author: Julissa Arce
Publisher
: Little, Brown and Company
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-316-48174-8
Hardcover pages
: 240
Age range
: 11-14
Genre
: Autobiography
Book setting
: Mexico, Texas
Author’s ethnicity
: Mexican
Author’s residence
: Los Angeles, U.S.
Subjects
: Biography, Illegal aliens, Immigrants, Mexican American women, Social justice, Texas

Nimesh the Adventurer

School is over for the day and young South Asian Nimesh starts his walk home.  He meets a dragon and sharks and skates across the ice at the North Pole.  He encounters a guardsman for the Indian Maharaja.  And then, he happens upon  pirates and a princess.  Nimesh’s BIG imagination is complemented by vivid collage like images. mjw
Title: Names The Adventurer
Author: Ranjit Singh
Illustrator
: Mehrdokht Amini
Publisher
: Lantana Publishing Ltd. U.K.
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English 
ISBN
: 978-1-911373-24-7
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-7
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: India
Author’s ethnicity
: British, of East Indian Heritage
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Iranian
Awards
: Illustrator has won the Africana Best Book Award
Subjects
: Fantasy, Imagination, Magic, Multicultural

Buried Beneath The Baobab Tree

Based on interviews with young women who were kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014, this powerful novel tells the story of young YaTa and her dreams that became nightmares.  The terrorist group attacked her village and killed most of her family.  Before the abduction, she had a promising future of getting a university scholarship and becoming a teacher.  The book is written in poetic vignettes that tell how the girls were forced to follow their captors’ radical beliefs.  The narrator was forced to marry a man who used her for her body. But she refused to be brainwashed.  An enlightening afterword by Italian journalist Viviana Mazza gives more information about the kidnapping.  References and resources are also included. mjw
Title: Buried Beneath The Baobab Tree
Author: Adobe Tricia Nwaubani
Publisher
: Harper Collins Publishers
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-06-269672-4
Hardcover pages
: 336
Age range
: 14 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Nigeria
Author’s ethnicity
: Nigerian
Author’s residence
: Abuja, Nigeria
Subjects
: Africa, Girls, Human rights, Prejudice and racism, Survival, Violence

When Morning Comes

It is Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1976, and there is a secret movement of students plotting against the apartheid government.  This compelling account is written from the points of view of four young people in Soweto, the black township.  Zanele is the black female student organizer.  She works as a nightclub singer.  Meena is a South Asian girl who works in her father’s shop.  Jack is an affluent white student, who is about to go to Oxford and Thabo is a teen gang member.  The Soweto Uprising was the beginning of the end of apartheid.  A historical note and a glossary are very helpful. mjw
Title: When Morning Comes
Author: Arushi Raina
Publisher
: Tradewind Books, Vancouver
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: English 
Original Publisher
: Tradewind Books
Original Copyright
: 2016
ISBN
: 978-1-926890-14-2
Paperback pages
: 232
Age range
: 14 up
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa
Author’s ethnicity
: Grew up in Johannesburg
Author’s residence
: Canada
Awards
: 2018 Children’s Africana Book Award for Older Readers
Subjects
: Ant-apartheid movements, High school students, Race relations, Resistance to government