Girls like Us (2015) Giles, Gail
This novel opens young adult readers’ eyes to the challenges facing people with intellectual disabilities — including high risk of sexual assault — and highlight the importance of support and understanding to their success in life. Grade 10-12.
Out of my Mind (2012) Draper, Sharon
Melody’s classmates and teachers dismiss her as mentally challenged, because her cerebral palsy leaves her unable to walk or speak. But the truth is that Melody’s mind is remarkable: deeply intelligent and with a photographic memory, she’s capable of much more than anyone expects. This thought-provoking novel will open readers’ eyes to the misconceptions about people with disabilities. Grade 8-10.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian (2007) Alexie, Sherman
This National Book Award winner presents a powerful look at the life of Native Americans on reservation, and the struggles one teen faces in an effort to escape. Grade 9-12.
American Born Chinese (2006) Yang, Gene Luen
American Born Chinese is the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award and the first to win the American Library Association’s Michael L. Printz Award, in addition to several other literary awards and honors. It’s easy to see why: The art, clever story lines, and thoughtful messages about tolerance and acceptance mark it as a winner. Grade 8-12.
A Moment Comes (2013) Bradbury, Jennifer
A Moment Comes is a vivid historical novel that puts a heartbreaking, human face on the events surrounding the creation of Pakistan in 1947. Grade 8-12.
Boy 21 (2012) Quick, Mathew
Boy21 in a gripping coming-of-age novel about love, friendship, madness, and basketball by Matthew Quirk, the author of Silver Linings Playbook, who adapts his interest in mental health issues for a teen audience. Grade 8-12.
The Skin I’m In (2007) Flake, Sharon
Maleeka suffers every day from the taunts of the other kids in her class. If they’re not getting at her about her homemade clothes or her good grades, it’s about her dark, black skin; When a new teacher, whose face is blotched with a startling white patch, starts at their school, Maleeka can see there is bound to be trouble for her too. But the new teacher’s attitude surprises Maleeka. Miss Saunders loves the skin she’s in. Can Maleeka learn to do the same? Grade 7-9.
Money Hungry (2007) Flake, Sharon
Determined never to be homeless again, Raspberry cares only about getting her hands on money. But money can’t solve the problems that keep her awake at night. Grade 8-10.