Front Desk

I was a big reader in middle grade but shamefully admit that most of my favorites (series like Nancy Drew and Sweet Valley High and anything by the still amazing Judy Blume) featured privileged, white characters. I realize only now what a narrow view of the world I had as a result. Diversity in children’s […]

Other Words for Home

On the surface, Other Words for Home is about Jude’s move from Syria to America with her mother. It beautifully portrays Jude’s love of Syria and her heart break over leaving. I felt every bit of her pain as she’s forced to leave behind her Babba and her older brother who is fighting for change […]

The Miraculous

The Miraculous is about 11-year-old Wunder, a self-proclaimed miracologist. From a young age, Wunder has believed in miracles and kept a notebook full of extraordinary stories. Then his baby sister dies at only 8 days of age and his mom goes into a major depression. Wunder’s belief in magic disappears. Because how can miracles exist […]

Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen!

When Vivy gets a chance to play on her first real baseball team – after years of watching her older brother play and practicing with him in their backyard – she encounters bullying from the coach’s son and lack of support from her mother (especially after she gets a concussion from being hit by the […]

Genesis Begins Again

This book broke my heart. Genesis – a 13-year-old, infinitely likable protagonist – hates her black skin so much that she injures herself trying to lighten it and steals her mom’s credit card to buy bleaching cream. She’s got a whole list of things she doesn’t like about herself (started by bullies at her old […]

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