With the Fire on High
The author of The Poet X does it again, this time with a prose story of an Afro-Latina teen whose own dreams of being a chef always have to take second place to her responsibilities to her baby and her abuela.
Children of Blood and Bone
This fantasy tale in a West African-based fantasy world features a fierce female warrior on a quest to bring magic back to her land, despite the powerfully attractive prince pursuing her. The first in a series; the sequel is due to release in December.
In a horrific near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Muslim American Layla and her parents are forced into an internment camp.
The Weight of Our Sky
In 1969 Kuala Lumpur, sixteen-year-old Malay Melati has her OCD to contend with amidst the Chinese-Malay race war that breaks out while she’s at the movies, separating her from her mother.
The House of the Spirits
Mysticism mixes with socialism in this classic saga of the Chilean Trueba family, using constantly shifting viewpoints. [Recommended by Maribel Prieto]
The Handmaid’s Tale: The Graphic Novel
Margaret Atwood, adapted by Renée Nault
(Graphic Fiction) The bleak dystopian novel is about a young white woman living in a puritanical theocracy, stunningly adapted into graphic format.
If Beale Street Could Talk
In 1970s Harlem, nineteen-year-old Tish and twenty-two-year-old Fonny are in love and pregnant. When Fonny is falsely accused and imprisoned for rape, the two African American young adults’ families have tough decisions to make. [Recommended by Annie Thrower-Patterson]
The Only Great Harmless Thing
This short book presents a compelling and unique alternate imagined past and its future, when sentient elephants took on the jobs working with radioactive paint in the 1920s when the white women who work there start to sicken. [Recommended by Annie Thrower-Patterson]
(Series) A white small town girl comes to the big city during the Roaring Twenties and gets tangled up in solving bizarre murders with her occultist uncle. The series continues in Lair of Dreams and Before the Devil Breaks You. The final installment is due in February 2020. [Recommended by Emily Landau]
When white eighteen-year-old Jane visits an island mansion, the story could go many different directions, all of which are strange and unexpected. Cashore lets you choose in this book that Publisher’s Weekly calls “less Choose Your Own Adventure than Groundhog Day on acid.” [Recommended by Emily Landau]
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
This 2000 Pulitzer Prize winning book focuses on white, Jewish Brooklynite cousins Sammy and his cousin Josef, a refugee from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, as they create an iconic American comic book. [Recommended by Julia Fisher]
Cronopios and Famas
Short stories from one of Argentina’s most brilliant writers, examining the absurdities of human behavior. [Recommended by Maribel Prieto]
All the Light We Cannot See
Alternating voices, a white German boy and a white French girl who is blind tell their stories of survival in World War II. [Recommended by Russell Shaw]
Luminous Traitor: The Just and Daring Life of Roger Casement: A Novel
A novel based on the real life of the white, gay Irish nationalist Roger Casement, who was renowned for exposing atrocities in the British Congo and Peru in the 1910s, but who was sentenced for treason. [Recommended by the History Department]
This best-selling novel explores the relationship of slave and master, following the adventures of an enslaved Black boy from a sugar plantation in Barbados after he’s taken on by an eccentric scientist master. [Recommended by Russell Shaw]
This award-winning 1952 novel addresses many issues facing African Americans of the mid-century through the odyssey of an unnamed Black man. [Recommended by Julia Fisher]
American Road Trip
Three Mexican-American siblings take a road trip: one dealing with PTSD following his tour in Iraq, one trying to win the heart of a girl, and one just trying to save her family.
100 Years of Solitude
Gabriel García Márquez
100 years in the life of the Colombian Buendia family, echoing the scope of human history from genesis to apocalypse. Many consider this to be the beloved Colombian author’s best work. [Recommended by Maribel Prieto] Note from Maribel: If you can, try reading it in the original Spanish!
In eighteenth century Ghana, two Black girls will live very different lives: one to be married to a British officer and the other to be enslaved and sent to America. [Recommended by the History Department]
(Graphic Fiction) A companion to Hinds’ adaption of The Odyssey, here is the story of the Ancient Greek Trojan War retold in full color graphics.
Let Me Hear a Rhyme
Tiffany D. Jackson
In pre-gentrified 1990s Bedford-Stuyvesant (Brooklyn, New York), aspiring rapper Steph is shot and killed, but his sister and friends pretend he’s still alive to score him a record deal. Told from multiple points of view. All characters are Black.
Darius the Great Is Not Okay
Overweight, clinically depressed sophomore Darius feels like he’s constantly disappointing his Persian family, but on a trip to Iran he gets close to the boy next door, who changes his life.
Lost in the City
Edward P. Jones
Fourteen short stories about African American characters living in Washington, D.C. [Recommended by the History Department]
We Regret to Inform You: An Overachiever’s Guide to College Rejection
Who knew that a story about someone getting rejected from every college to which they applied could be really funny? Introducing white, Jewish senior Mischa, whose D.C. independent school might be plotting against her future success.
The Music of What Happens
One hot summer in Mesa, Arizona, two boys connect over a food truck and fall in love despite the homophobia and racism surrounding them. With Maximo being multiracial and Jordan white, race and class are definitely part of their story.
This wacky 1999 take-off on the classic hard-boiled detective genre features a white detective with Tourettes Syndrome, whose compulsions get him in and out of trouble. Coming to the big screen in November.
(Series) A wakes up every day in a different body, in some other teenager’s life. That’s A’s life… until the day A falls in love with A’s host’s girlfriend Rhiannon. A doesn’t have a gender, a race, or even an identity beyond those of the bodies A inhabits; this contributes significantly to the plot. The first of a series including Another Day and Someday.
Telepathic twins, both with extraordinary powers, one with math and one with words, are the products of a long-running alchemical experiment. In this fast-paced sci-fi fantasy adventure, the genetically engineered pair are unaware of their role in someone else’s game. Characters are presumed white.
A Blade So Black
Alice, a Black girl living in Atlanta, juggles an overprotective mother, a crazy best friend, her slipping GPA, and (of course!) battling monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland. An action-packed modern version of Lewis Carroll’s classic.
There’s Something About Sweetie
In this companion novel to her award-winning When Dimple Met Rishi, two Indian American high schoolers alternate chapters to tell about how Sweetie, who considers herself fat, agrees to an arranged set of dates with the popular and athletic Ashish, despite her parents’ objections.
Don’t Date Rosa Santos
Love is never easy, especially for a Cuban American small-town Florida girl carrying a family curse about never going on the sea when the boy she likes has a boat.
Come Find Me
A captivating thriller about two teens who connect when each discovers a mysterious radio frequency, which suggests their family tragedies are mysteriously connected. Characters are presumed white.
All the Bright Places
This story about depression and suicide alternates between Theodore and Violet, two teenagers who meet when each is considering suicide at the same water tower and embark upon an unlikely relationship. In the book both characters are white; not so in the movie releasing this fall!
An Orchestra of Minorities
Narrated by a “chi,” a guardian spirit, this book tells about a Black Nigerian poultry farmer who sacrifices everything to win the woman he loves. Class and social status clash in this epic romance.
Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau
(Graphic Fiction) In this sweet romance, Greek American Ari doesn’t want to work at his father’s struggling family bakery in the summer after high school, but cooking school drop-out Hector, of Samoan heritage, and his baking skills, may just change his attitude.
Opposite of Always
Justin A. Reynolds
Time travel and romance collide; Jack and Kate are meant to be, so when she dies he is flung back to the start of their relationship… over and over, while everything else goes by the wayside. Both characters are Black.
If We Were Villains
Suspense meets Shakespeare in this mystery, in which the tensions rise among group of white actors at an elite college drama program until someone is murdered.
The Affairs of the Falcóns
A family of undocumented Peruvian immigrants find 1990s New York City complex, confusing, and at times nearly impossible to navigate.
This book, long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, follows Connell and Marianne, two white teens in a small Irish town, who start a secret romantic relationship. As the social dynamics around them change over the next four years at college, they break apart, together, apart, together, etc.
Tell Me How You Really Feel
Aminah Mae Safi
This smart lesbian romance features two high school seniors, white Jewish filmmaker Rachel and Persian-South Asian Muslim cheerleader Sana, who get stuck together on a school project, and fight against an inevitable romantic conclusion.
The 57 Bus
A fictionalization of a real event, when a young Black man impulsively committed a hate crime against a gender queer white teen on a bus in Oakland, California, and what happened next.
Cynthia Leitich Smith
The race-blind casting of a school production creates waves in seventeen-year-old Mvskoke Indian Louise’s small Kansas town, where she’s already dealing with an ex-boyfriend who spouts ignorant anti-Nativist sentiments.
Deogratias: A Tale of Rwanda
(Graphic Fiction) A Black Tutsi boy named Deogratias shows the reader his experiences of the genocide of his people in Rwanda, before and after the killings. This book is a translation and reissue of the original, which came out in French in 2000.
Heads of the Colored People
DC’s One Read for 2019 is a short story collection confronting archetypes of identity head-on in sometimes very dark and funny ways.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
This epic tale of young, white Huckleberry and his Black companion, the escaped slave Jim, on the Mississippi River, is considered by many to be the greatest of all great American novels. [Recommended by Julia Fisher]
Kiss Number 8
Colleen AF Venable and Ellen T. Crenshaw
(Graphic Fiction) Maddie, a white Catholic, thinks she’s happy until she learns a family secret that upends her acceptance of the rigid gender binary system, her own sexuality, and her feelings for her female best friend.
On a Sunbeam
(Graphic Fiction) Originally written as a webcomic, this 533-paged anti-capitalist queer sci-fi novel alternates between Mia’s life and romance with fellow student Grace at an elite boarding school and the life she lives now on an interplanetary journey. Mia is assumed white, Grace is inked with darker skin.
The Prince and the Dressmaker
(Graphic Fiction) Prince Sebastian is supposed to be looking for a bride, but he’s too busy being the drag queen Lady Crystallia, with the secret help of his friend and dressmaker Frances. Characters are all white in this Eurocentric kingdom.
Code Name Verity
A Scottish spy, being tortured by the Gestapo during World War II, weaves a tale of how she got there. A remarkable story of friendship in a time of inhumanity. All characters are white. [Recommended by the History Department]
Stranded on Mars, white astronaut Mark Watney must use every bit of his scientific knowledge and personal strength to survive in this suspenseful novel.
You met the modern day Bigger on HBO. Now read the original 1940 classic about this young African American man on the South Side of Chicago who murders a white woman.
The Kidney Hypothetical: Or How to Ruin Your Life in Seven Days
This angst-filled but funny book features Harvard-bound Chinese-American senior Higgs Boson Biggs, whose whole life falls apart over a hypothetical question: would he give his girlfriend a kidney? [Recommended by Emily Landau]
One summer morning in New York City, Korean-American Daniel and African American Natasha meet and change both of their destinies forever. Read the book before you see the movie!