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Under-Told Histories of Racism and Immigration

By Quetzalli Cortez

"Why isn't this taught in our history books?!" Adults and children alike cry out when they learn about an injustice that the historical canon often does not discuss. While these injustices may not be taught in history books, they are being discussed today by many different authors. These books examine specific events in our time and in the recent past that deserve our attention. For kids ranging from about 7 to 17 and their families.

  • Stolen Words

    2017 by Florence, Melanie

    Canada's residential system of schools for indigenous children stripped a little girl's grandfather of his language. When the little girl learns this, she sets out to help him regain his language.

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  • Islandborn

    2018 by Díaz, Junot

    Lola has to draw a picture of the island she where she was born for class. The only problem is that she doesn't remember it. So she asks her family and neighbors what they remember about the island, learning both the good and the bad things about her homeland.

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  • Lubna and Pebble

    2019 by Meddour, Wendy

    Lubna is a refugee. She lives in a world of tents with her best friend Pebble. Pebble is always there for Lubna and gives her strength when she needs it. One day, when a boy arrives to the world of tents, Lubna realizes that he may need Pebble more than she does.

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  • The Night Diary

    2018 by Hiranandani, Veera

    During the partition of India, 12-year-old Nisha is forced to flee with her Hindu family and make sense of the new chaotic world she finds herself in by writing to her deceased Muslim mother in her diary.

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  • Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story

    2016 by Stelson, Caren Barzelay

    Sachiko is just six years old when the bombs are dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. She and some other kids are only a half mile away from the hypocenter of the Nagasaki bomb drop. As Sachiko grows up, the effects of the bomb remain with her, her family, and her country for the rest of their lives.

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  • Surviving the City

    2018 by Spillett, Tasha

    Two Native American girls--Dez and Miikwan--try to survive in an unforgiving city in which native women go missing with regularity. When Dez learns that her grandmother is too sick to continue taking care of her, Dez disappears. Miikwan is devastated remembering the disappearance of her own mother. It is now up to Miikwan and the rest of the community to find Dez before it is too late.

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  • The Other Side: Stories of Central American Teen Refugees Who Dream of Crossing the Border

    2019 by Villalobos, Juan Pablo

    These stories depict the experiences of 10 Central American teens who crossed the border. To protect their identities, the names of the teens have been changed. Each experience is written in a narrative format that highlights the struggles the teens had to endure in their home countries as well as their experiences traveling across the border and in immigration detention centers.

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  • A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919

    2018 by Hartfield, Claire

    In July 1919, five black kids swimming in Lake Michigan unintentionally float too close to the "white" beach. After an angry white man throws stones at them, killing one, racial conflicts across the city erupt, shaking Chicago to its core.

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  • The Weight of Our Sky

    2019 by Hanna Alkaf

    On May 13, 1969, Melati is thrown into a world of chaos when the race riots between the Chinese and Malays begin. The violence of the riots sends Melati’s OCD into overdrive, making it nearly impossible for her to do anything but count (her compulsive tick). She is forced to find her inner strength in order to stand up for what she believes in, find her mother, and protect the people she loves.

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