Tag Archives: Schools

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

40 Things I Want To Tell You

Amy (a.k.a. Bird) writes an online advice column full of top tips for teens.  She has trouble taking her own advice.  She seems to have the perfect boyfriend, best friend, parents, and future at Oxford University.  But after one mistake, everything falls apart and her life changes forever. The book is beautifully written and hard to put down. mjw
Title: 40 Things I Want To Tell You
Author: Alice Kuipers
Publisher
: Harper Trophy, Canada
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-44340-588-1
Paperback pages
: 304
Age range
: 14 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: London, England
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Saskatoon
Awards
: Saskatchewan Book Award for Young Adult Literature 
Subjects
: Blogs, Teenagers, Teen pregnancy

Island Born

Lola goes to a school where all the students are from faraway places.  Lola is from the Dominican Republic.  Her teacher wants the class to draw pictures of where their families immigrated from, but Lola can’t remember.  She was just a baby when she came here.  With the help of family and friends and their memories, she draws a lively picture of La Isla.  She also discovers a lot about her culture and heritage.  The digitally created illustrations are vibrant and bold. There is a Spanish edition called Lolamjw
Title: Island Born
Author: Junot Diaz
Illustrator
: Leo Espinosa
Publisher
: Dial Books for Young Readers, NY
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
Spanish Title
: Lola
ISBN
: 978-0735-2298-60
Hardcover pages
: 48 
Age range
: 5-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in the Dominican Republic
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Bogota, Colombia
Illustrator’s residence
: U.S.
Awards
: Author has won a Pulitzer Prize
Subjects
: Central and South America, Hispanic and Latino, Multigenerational, School

The Truth Commission

Normandy Pale is a high school junior at the Green Pastures Academy of Art and Applied Design.  This is the year she is supposed to come into her own and come out from under the shadow of her brilliant older sister Keira, who as a teen became a best-selling graphic novelist.  Normandy turns to her writing, her needlework, and the “truth commission.”  Her friends have started the project because they believe the theory that the truth can heal.  So they begin asking people truths about things that other people already suspect. Things go well until it leads straight back to Keira and her dysfunctional family.  The book is Normandy’s “narrative nonfiction” project at school, complete with footnotes, drawings, and notes to her creative writing teacher.  The characters are real and the language is witty. mjw
Title: The Truth Commission
Author: Susan Juby
Illustrator
: Trevor Cooper
Publisher
: Penguin Teen, Canada Books, Inc.
Copyright
: 2017
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Razorbill.  Toronto, Canada
Original Copyright
: 2105
ISBN
: 978-0-14-318916-9
Paperback pages
: 320
Age range
: 14 up
Genre
: Narrative Nonfiction
Book setting
: Vancouver Island
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
Awards
: Sheila A. Egoff Award for Children’s Literature, Amy Mothers Teen Book Award
Subjects
: Art students, High school, Humor, Siblings, Values and virtues, Writing

Kakuma Girls: Sharing Stories Of Hardship And Hope From Kakuma Refugee Camp

Clare Morneau is a 17-year-old author and speaker who lives in Toronto and is committed to working for real change.  As a student at Havergal College, she founded the Kakuma Toronto Girls Education Partnership. This illuminating book is a compilation of letters of hardship and hope from the girls in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya to girls at a high school in Canada.  The Kakuma girls have incredible hopes and dreams for their future.  They are fighting for their education and will do anything to go to university.  They dream of becoming doctors, engineers, pilots, or journalists and improving their families’ lives.  The book includes beautiful photographs, maps, a chronology, a glossary, and a list of ways to get involved. mjw
Title: Kakuma Girls: Sharing Stories Of Hardship And Hope From Kakuma Refugee Camp
Author: Clare Morneau and contributors
Publisher
: Barlow Books, Toronto
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-988025-14-8
Hardcover pages
: 184
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Nonfiction, Information Book
Book setting
: Kenya
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Toronto
Subjects
: Refugee children. Refugees, Sudan, Women

Inkling

Ethan’s dad is a comic artist with writer’s block and Ethan has a graphic novel project at school that is giving him trouble.  When an ink blot from his dad’s sketchbook comes to life, it makes quite an impact on Ethan’s family and friends.  This is a funny and interesting story.  How can an ink blot be such a lovable character? mjw
Title: Inkling
Author: Kenneth Oppel
Illustrator
: Sydney Smith
Publisher
: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-5247-7282-6
Hardcover pages
: 256
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Toronto
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Toronto
Awards
: Both author and illustrator have won the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature. The illustrator has won the Kate Greenaway Award.
Subjects
: Books, Creativity, Drawing, Humor

The Breadwinner

 

Eleven-year-old Parvana lives with her family in one room of a bombed out apartment building in Kabul, Afghanistan.  Her father is a history teacher.  He is arrested by the Taliban for having a foreign education and put in prison. This leaves the family without anyone who can earn money and buy food, since according to Taliban rules, women cannot go out on their own.  Parvana cuts her hair and wears boys’ clothes so that she can become the family’s breadwinner.  This is the fifteenth anniversary edition of the four-volume story. It includes a new forward by the author, a new map, and a glossary.  There is also an animated, award-winning movie and a graphic novel based on this inspiring novel. mjw
Title: The Breadwinner
Author: Deborah Ellis
Publisher
: Groundwood Books, House of Anansi Press. Toronto
Copyright
: 2015
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Groundwood Books
Original Copyright
: 2000
ISBN
: 978-1-55498-767-8
Paperback pages
: 176
Age range
: 10-14
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Afghanistan
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Ontario
Awards: Middle East Book Award
Subjects
: Afghanistan, Girls and women, Taliban. Refugees