Social Issues

Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx

Author: 
Sonia Manzano

Reading Level: Grades 8 and older

Sonia Manzano, otherwise known as Maria on Sesame Street, tells the story of her childhood in the Bronx. Detailing everything from her mysteriously appearing older sister, through her father's drunken rages, to her first roll on Broadway, Sonia's story is not for younger, or more sensitive readers.

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New Shoes

Author: 
Susan Lynn Meyer
Illustrator: 
Eric Velasquez

Reading Level: Grades K - 5

Ella Mae needs new shoes so her mother takes her to the town shoe store. After waiting while a white girl tries on pair after pair of shoes Ella May is shocked to learn that she is not allowed to touch any shoes until after she buys them. Although she likes her new shoes, the humiliation of the shopping trip gnaws at her until she and her sister come up with a plan to bring a true shoe store experience to all her neighbors.

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Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress

Author: 
Christine Baldacchino
Illustrator: 
Isabelle Malenfant

Reading Level: Ages 3-7

Morris Micklewhite likes Sundays when his mother makes him pancakes. He also loves Mondays because he gets to to go school, and there are lots of activities he likes there: painting, singing, snack time, the list goes on. The very best thing about school is the dress up box, where he always finds his favorite bright tangerine dress to put on. The other kids aren't very accepting of Morris wearing a dress, but he is able to find solace at home where he paints pictures inspired by his dreams and imagination.

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Asylum

Author: 
Madeleine Roux

Reading Level: Grades 6 - 8

Sixteen-year-old Dan is thrilled to be spending the summer on a real college campus taking college courses with a bunch of kids who actually CARE about school. When he arrives he learns that the summer students are all going to be housed in an old asylum which is being converted to dorms. Camp start off normal enough, but after Dan and his new friends explore an off limit area, things start getting strange. Dan begins to have strange dreams involving doctors experimenting on mental patients, and then the blackouts start.

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