Tag Archives: Schools

Bounce Back: Zayd Saleem, Chasing The Dream

This is the third in a series about Pakistani-American fourth-grade basketball player Zayd Saleem. An ankle injury leaves him on the sidelines just as he is about to become team captain of the Gold Team. He is on the bench for several weeks and worries about how he can help his team win the championship.  Meanwhile, at home, his family is preparing Pakistani wedding festivities for his uncle. Specific cultural information is smoothly integrated into this universal story.  Black and white drawings enhance the text. mjw
Title: Bounce Back: Zayd Saleem, Chasing The Dream
Author: Hena Khan
Illustrator
: Sally Wern Comport
Publisher
: Salaam Reads, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-534412057
Hardcover pages
: 144
Age range
: 7-11
Genre
: Fiction
Author’s ethnicity
: Pakistani-American
Author’s residence
: Rockville, Maryland. U.S.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: U.S.
Illustrator’s residence
: U.S.
Subjects
: Basketball, Family life,Leadership, Middle schools, Muslims, Urdu, Weddings

No Ballet Shoes In Syria

Eleven-year-old Aya has just arrived in Manchester, England, from Syria, with her Mumma and her baby brother.  She is an “asylum seeker, a would–be refugee, a poor little girl from Syria, a fatherless child from a war zone.” Her passion is dance.  One day she comes across a ballet class and the teacher recognizes her talent and thinks she might earn a position at the prestigious Northern Ballet School.  Aya is a powerful, brave character.  Her story engages in a series of flashbacks about her life in Syria.  There is a parallel story about her ballet teacher who had to flee the holocaust.  This incredibly moving, well-written story shows how dance transcends borders.  A map of Aya’s journey from Syria is included. mjw
Title: No Ballet Shoes In Syria
Author: Catherine Bruton
Publisher: Nosy Crow Ltd. U.K.
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English 
ISBN
: 978-1-78800-4-503
Paperback pages
: 272
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Syria, Turkey, Greece, England
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: England
Awards: 2020 Middle Eat Book Award for Youth Literature
Subjects
: Aleppo, Asylum seekers, Ballet, Dance, Prejudice and racism, Refugees

Rasha: Little Girl Big Heart

Feisty fourteen-year-old Rasha is abandoned by her mother in a village far from their cosmopolitan Dhaka home, where she is forced to live with her aged and probably mad grandmother. The village has no electricity, heavy rains, and nosy neighbors. Rasha has to attend a primitive school with a bullying teacher.  She rises against her circumstances and exposes the teacher, stops a child marriage from happening, builds a boat so that she can get to school, and teaches her new school friends how to use a computer.  She even wins a science Olympiad. mjw
Title: Rasha: Little Girl Big Heart
Author: Muhanned Zafar Iqbal
Publisher
: Puffin Books.  Penguin Random House India
Copyright
: 2016
Original Language
: Bengali
Translator
: Arunava Sinha
Original Title
: Rashed Amar Bondhu
Original Publisher
: Tamralipi, Dhaka
Original Copyright
: 2010
ISBN
: 978-780143434887
Paperback pages
: 240
Age range
: 12-15
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Bangladesh
Author’s ethnicity
: Bangladeshi
Author’s residence
: Bangladesh
Translator’s ethnicity
: Bangladeshi
Translator’s residence
: Bangladesh
Awards
: Translator has won the Crossword Prize for Translated Books.  The book is on the 2019 Global Literature in Libraries Initiative Award Shortlist
Subjects
: Bangladesh liberation war, Dhaka, East Pakistan, Freedom, Freedom fighters, Intergenerational

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

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