Library Essentials

If someone asked you what POC books belong in core collection for teens, what titles would you give them? You want to give them titles that in include Native, Latino, Asian Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern and African American and you’ll need to include fiction, nonfiction and poetry. But they need to be essentials. What would you list?

I’m trying to create an essential list. Let’s see what we can come up with.

And graphic novels! Don’t forget graphic novels!


9 thoughts on “Library Essentials

  1. Great question: Gary Soto; Julia Alvarez; Walter Dean Myers; Veronica Chambers; Maya Angelou; Sherman Alexie… those are the ones that come to mind instantly. I hope you’ll post a list when you get everyone’s input

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  3. I know why the caged bird sings (angelou)
    Baseball in April, Buried Onions, Pacific Corssing (Soto)
    Once upon a quinceanera (Alvarez)
    Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Alexie)
    Marisol and Magdalena books (Veronica Chambers)
    Akeelah and the bee (James Ellison)
    Secret Life of Bees (Monk Kidd)
    Black and White (Paul Volponi)
    Sunrise over Fallujah, Monster (Dean Myers)
    Always Running (non-fiction, Luis J. Rodriguez)
    Breaking Through (and the sequels by Francisco Jimenez)
    Goal (I, II, and III by Robert Rigby)
    House on Mango Street (Cisneros)
    Like Water for chocolate (Esquival)
    Mexican White Boy, Ball Don’t Lie (Matt de la Pena)
    Farewell to Manzanar (Houston)
    Joy Luck Club (Amy Tan)
    Snow Falling on Cedars (Guterson)
    Memoirs of a Geisha (Golding)

    Hope that’s better

  4. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (I’m betting on it winning the Newbery.)
    The Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus
    Locomotion – Jacqueline Woodson
    Peace, Locomotion by Woodson
    Chameleon by Charles R. Smith Jr.
    We are the Ship by Kadir Nelson
    Bayou by Jeremy Love (graphic novel)
    Trickster by Matt Dembicki (graphic novel)
    poetry by Nikki Giovanni and Audre Lorde
    poetry by Pablo Neruda like Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair
    Poetry Speaks Who I Am
    Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork

    I definitely agree with Helen on House on Mango Street, I Know the Caged Bird Sings,
    and Like Water for Chocolate.

  5. I second a lot of the recommendations already listed. In addition to PoC authors, though, I’ve also listed some authors that deal with GLBTQ issues, non-dominant religions, adoption, etc. Some of these might be more middle grade than YA, but they’re still great.

    In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord
    The Skirt by Gary Soto
    Nightjohn by Gary Paulsen
    Hush by Eishes Chayil
    The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
    Shabanu by Suzanne Fisher Staples
    Haveli by Suzanne Fisher Staples
    Real For Sure Sister by Ann Angel
    Find a Stranger, Say Goodbye by Lois Lowry
    Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans
    Empress of the World by Sara Ryan
    Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
    The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
    Caucasia by Danzy Senna
    The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi

  6. These are great. Truly awesome! @mcclicious: If I were trying to do diversity, I’d definitely have to add religion, LGBQT and differently-abled. My cause is promote books by authors of color for teens of color. Religion, sexual preference and abilities are issues that affect do affect people of color and issues within that realm have to be promoted as well.
    @Vasilly I’m struggling with Locomotion right now. I so don’t do poetry! I’m looking for character development, plot… not happening here! The poetry gets to school like and really turns me off in the beginning.

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