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23 Stories That Explore Perspective and Experience

In this list, we’ve rounded up twenty-three powerful stories about hope, resilience, and perseverance that explore perspective and experience. Whether you love rom-com, fantasy, memoir, or contemporary fiction, there is something here for every reader.

This diverse list of books are what Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, renowned scholar and professor, calls windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors. She wrote, “Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created and re-created by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience. Reading, then, becomes a means of self-affirmation, and readers often seek their mirrors in books.”

We hope you enjoy reading and discussing these stories as much as we do!

10 Things I Can See From Here

10 Things I Can See From Here

Perfect for fans of John Green's Turtles All the Way Down and Nina LaCour's We Are Okay, this is the poignant and uplifting story of Maeve, who is dealing with anxiety while falling in love with a girl who is not afraid of anything.
 
Think positive.
Don’t worry; be happy.
Keep...

145th Street: Short Stories

145th Street: Short Stories

From the award-winning author of Monster, this collection of powerful and poignant stories about 145th Street—an unforgettable block in the heart of Harlem—celebrates African-American life in all of its glory.

"Myers is a master." —The New York Times Book Review

On Harlem's 145th Street...

Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card

Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card

In development as a television series from Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine production company and ABC Studios!

This hilarious, poignant and true story of one teen's experience growing up in America as an undocumented immigrant from the Middle East is an increasingly necessary read in today's divisive world. Perfec...

The Beauty That Remains

The Beauty That Remains

Told from three diverse points of view, this story of life and love after loss is one Angie Thomas, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Hate U Give, believes "will stay with you long after you put it down."

We've lost everything . . . and found ourselves.

Loss pulled Autumn, Shay, and Logan apa...

By

...

Color Me In

Color Me In

A powerful coming-of-age novel, pulled from personal experience, about the meaning of friendship, the joyful beginnings of romance, and the racism and religious intolerance that can both strain a family to the breaking point and strengthen its bonds.

Growing up in an affluent suburb of New York City, sixteen-year-old Nevaeh Levitz nev...

Date Me, Bryson Keller

Date Me, Bryson Keller

"One of the most adorable, big-hearted, charming books in existence." --Becky Albertalli, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

What If It's Us meets To All the Boys I've Loved Before in this upbeat and heartfelt boy-meets-boy romance that feels like a modern twist on ...

Dear Justyce

Dear Justyce

An NPR Best Book of the Year * The stunning sequel to the critically acclaimed,  #1 New York Times bestseller Dear Martin. An incarcerated teen writes letters to his best friend about his experiences in the American juvenile justice system.

An unflinching look into the tragically flawed practices and silenced...

Dear Martin

Dear Martin

"Powerful, wrenching.” –JOHN GREEN, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Turtles All the Way Down

"Raw and gripping." –JASON REYNOLDS, New York Times bestselling coauthor of All American Boys

"A must-read!” –...

Discovering Wes Moore

Discovering Wes Moore

For fans of The Wire and Unbroken comes a story of two fatherless boys from Baltimore, both named Wes Moore. One is in prison, serving a life sentence for murder. The other is a Rhodes Scholar, an army veteran, and an author whose book is being turned into a movie produced by Oprah Winfrey.
 
The story of “the other Wes...

Fresh Ink

Fresh Ink

All it takes to rewrite the rules is a little fresh ink in this remarkable YA collection from thirteen of the most recognizable diverse authors writing today including Nicola Yoon, Jason Reynolds, Melissa de la Cruz, and many more, and published in partnership with We Need Diverse Books. 

"This awesome anthology came together ...

Full Disclosure

Full Disclosure

"An unflinchingly honest, eye-opening, heartful story that's sure to keep readers talking." --Angie Thomas, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Hate U Give and On the Come Up

"Romantic, funny, hopeful, and unflinchingly real." --Becky Albertalli, New York Times bestselling author of Sim...

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • A “stunning” (America Ferrera) YA novel about a teenager coming to terms with losing her sister and finding herself amid the pressures, expectations, and stereotypes of growing up in a Mexican American home—from the author of Crying in the Bathroom

Being Jazz

Being Jazz

Get ready for season 4 of the popular TLC show I Am Jazz! Teen advocate and trailblazer Jazz Jennings--named one of "The 25 Most Influential Teens" of the year by Time--shares her very public transgender journey, as she inspires people to accept the differences in others while they embrace their own truths.

"[Jazz's] ...

Just Mercy (Movie Tie-In Edition, Adapted for Young Adults)

Just Mercy (Movie Tie-In Edition, Adapted for Young Adults)

Bryan Stevenson's incredible fight to end mass incarceration, excessive punishment, and racial inequality comes to life in this young adult adaptation of the acclaimed, #1 New York Times bestseller that was adapted into a major motion picture starring Michael B. Jordan, Jaime Foxx, and Brie Larson.

In this very personal work--a...

The Magic Fish

The Magic Fish

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by New York Public Library • Kirkus Reviews • Booklist • Publishers Weekly

In this gorgeous debut graphic novel, fairy tales are the only way one boy can communicate with his Vietnamese immigrant parents. But how will he find the words to tell them that he&rsquo...

Mexican WhiteBoy

Mexican WhiteBoy

Newbery Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Matt de la Peña's Mexican WhiteBoy is a story of friendship, acceptance, and the struggle to find your identity in a world of definitions.

Danny is tall and skinny. Even though he’s not built, his arms are long enough to give his pitch a power so f...

Nevertheless, We Persisted

Nevertheless, We Persisted

By Array

A powerful collection of essays from actors, activists, athletes, politicians, musicians, writers, and teens, including Senator Amy Klobuchar, actress Alia Shawkat, actor Maulik Pancholy, poet Azure Antoinette, teen activist Gavin Grimm, and many, many others, each writing about a time in their youth when they were held back because of their ...

Pet

Pet

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • STONEWALL BOOK AWARD WINNER • ONE OF TIME MAGAZINE’S 100 BEST YA BOOKS OF ALL TIME

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by The New York Times • Time • Buzzfeed • NPRNew York Public Library • Publishers Weekly • Schoo...

The Sun Is Also a Star Movie Tie-in Edition

The Sun Is Also a Star Movie Tie-in Edition

The #1 New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist from the bestselling author of Everything, Everything will have you falling in love with Natasha and Daniel as they fall in love with each other!

Natasha:
I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that wil...

This Is My America

This Is My America

"Incredible and searing." --Nic Stone, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin

The Hate U Give meets Just Mercy in this unflinching yet uplifting first novel that explores the racist injustices in the American justice system.


Every week, seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont wri...

Who Put This Song On?

Who Put This Song On?

"Unflinchingly irreverent, laugh-out-loud funny, and heartbreakingly honest." —Elizabeth Acevedo, National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author of The Poet X

In the vein of powerful reads like The Hate U Give and The Poet X, comes poet Morgan Parker's pitch-pe...

Walk Toward the Rising Sun

Walk Toward the Rising Sun

The amazing autobiography of a young Sudanese boy who went from a child soldier and struggling refugee to international peace activist and Hollywood actor.

Sudan, 1980s: Ger Duany knew what he wanted out of life--make his family proud, play with his brothers and sisters, maybe get an education like his brother Oder suggested, ...

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