realistic and contemporary fiction

Grades 7+

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The Hate U Give

By Angie Thomas

2017- Balzer & Bray

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Keywords: Activism, Gangs, Justice, Media, Police, Protest, Race Relations, Urban

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The Sun is Also a Star

By Nicola Yoon

2016- Delacorte Press

Natasha, whose family is hours away from being deported from the United States, meets Daniel, a first generation Korean American who strives to live up to his parents' expectations. Natasha is unfailingly logical; Daniel, hopelessly romantic. Together, they navigate the most important day of their lives, while coincidences (or fate) interweave their experiences with countless others across New York City.

Keywords: Destiny and Fate, Diversity, Immigration, Jamaican Americans, Korean Americans, Logic, New York City, Romance.

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Long Way Down

By Jason Reynolds

2017- Atheneum

There are three rules in the neighborhood: Don't cry; Don't snitch; Get revenge. Will takes his dead brother Shawn's gun, and gets in the elevator on the 7th floor. As the elevator stops on each floor, someone connected to Shawn gets on. Someone already dead. And each has something to share with Will before he joins a vicious cycle of violence.

Keywords: Brothers, Ghost Stories, Gun Violence, Morality, Revenge , Verse novels