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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Author: 
Sherman Alexie

Reading Level: Grades 7+

Life on a reservation isn't great to begin with, but when Arnold (Junior) sees his mother's name written in his geometry textbook, it's the last straw. He flings the book angrily across the classroom... hitting the teacher square in the face.

Realizing that as long as he stayed on the reservation, he was doomed to live a depressing, boring reservation life with no opportunities, Arnold tells his parents he is going to transfer schools - to the all-white, all-rich high school twenty-two miles away.

And so it begins.

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Dave the Potter

Author: 
Laban Carrick Hill

Reading Level: Ages 5-10

Get a simple, powerful glimpse of a skilled artisan creating pottery. This actual artist also happens to be a slave, Dave, who "belongs to Mr. Miles" in the early 1800s. Dave speaks directly to us with some of his words left behind as inscriptions on his work. Poetic text and lush illustrations further bring Dave to life.

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Roller Skates

Author: 
Ruth Sawyer

Reading Level: Grades 4 - 6

When ten-year-old Lucinda's parents decide to travel to Italy for a year, they drop Lucinda off at a sort of temporary orphanage in New York. Undaunted, Lucinda straps on her roller skates and begins skating around the city, making friends as she goes. Most of these friends would be frowned upon by her stuffy Aunt Emily (who Lucinda must spend every Saturday sewing with) because of either their age or their status in life, but cheerful Lucinda doesn't mind, and befriends anyone she meets.

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Carry On, Mr. Bowditch

Author: 
Jean Lee Latham

Reading Level:  Grades 4 and up

Our story begins in 1775. Nat Bowditch, a small boy for his age, loves arithmetic more than anything because the answers always come out the same. His eldest brother has just signed on with a ship leaving for the open ocean and Nat’s father, deciding that his son needs to begin a trade, has pulled Nat out of school.

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