Social Issues

Pink

Author: 
Lili Wilkinson

Reading Level: Grades 7+

What does pink mean to you? Does it mean a little girl’s bedroom, wallpapered with ponies, princesses, ballerinas and unicorns? A color occasionally featured in your wardrobe? A bonafide, lip-glossed, perfect 'Plastic' a la Mean Girls? Or is pink a color you hate with every dark black fiber of your being?

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The Unidentified

Author: 
Rae Mariz

Reading Level: Grade 7-9

15-year-old Kid is a student in the Game, a franchised high school that occupies an old mall. The students at the school spend their days playing "games" that are closely monitored by corporate sponsors. Almost every kid in the Game hopes to stand out enough to get "Branded."

Kit is horrified when someone is pushed over the fifth floor railing into "the Pit" where most of the kids hang out. The person turns out to be a dummy with the sign "Unidentified. Choose your suicide" taped to its sweater.

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Tutored

Author: 
Whittenberg, Allison

Reading Level: Grades 8+

"Are you a minority?  Unemployed, underemployed, or economically disadvantaged?  We serve the entire West Side, and we have services that can assist you to a new FUTURE!  Stop by today."

Hakiam didn't believe the lame sign. He just stopped by to get extra credit for his GED class. He went back the second time because of the girl behind the desk. Even with her rich girl clothes and fancy way of talking...there was something about her.

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Deadly

Author: 
Julie Chibbaro

Reading Level: Grades 7-9

16-year-old Prudence Galewski knows she should be grateful to be a scholarship student at Mrs. Browning's School for Girls but she finds her lessons in typing, literature and deportment oppressive. Prudence doesn't want to be a wife and mother or a secretary at a bank. She wants to know what causes diseases and how to prevent them even though girls in the early 19th century were not supposed to be interested in such unladylike things.

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The Star Maker

Author: 
Laurence Yep

Reading Level: Grades 2-4

When Artie promises his mean cousin that he will give everyone firecrackers on the next Chinese New Year celebration, he immediately regrets it. How will he ever come up with enough money to buy all those firecrackers? Sympathetic to Artie's problem is Uncle Chester - a fun loving everyman who is wildly popular in Chinatown where Artie's family lives. Uncle Chester promises Artie that he will help - but when Uncle Chester's seemingly endless money starts to run out, Artie begins to worry.

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A Small Free Kiss in the Dark

Author: 
Glenda Millard

Reading Level: Grades 7+

When you’re a homeless eleven year-old named Skip, there isn’t anywhere for you to go, because all the shelters are either for women with children, or for men, which you aren’t.  When you’re homeless, a runaway, you never sleep in the same place twice, otherwise someone might be able to figure out where you are and take you back to where you ran away from.

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Ruth and the Green Book

Author: 
Calvin Alexander Ramsey
Illustrator: 
Floyd Cooper

Reading Level: Grades K - 4

Ruth and her parents take a road trip during the Jim Crow era and encounter discrimination at every turn, until they are given a copy of The Negro Motorist Green Book which lists the safe places for African-Americans to eat, visit and stay.

Check the availability of this book.

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The Ghost and the Goth

Author: 
Stacey Kade

Reading Level: Grades 6 - 8

Alona Dare is a "first tier" high school girl. She is the leader of the popular crowd, a cheerleader, the girl all the other girls want to be and the boys want to date. Then she gets hit by a bus and becomes a ghost seemingly doomed to haunt the school. To make matters worse she discovers that the only person who can see and hear her is the school's biggest loser, Will Killian. Will dresses in black, always looks at the floor, and has been diagnosed as schizophrenic because he sees and hears things nobody else does.

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Me & Death: An Afterlife Adventure

Author: 
Richard Scrimger

Reading Level: Grades 7 - 9

Jim is proud to be a thug, a bully and a thief, until he stumbles off a curb and gets run over by a car. That is when he learns that souls with unfinished business (and punks like him always have unfinished business) are doomed to spend eternity haunting their old neighborhoods or hanging out at the Jordan Arms, an otherworldly fleabag hotel. Can he prevent his body from dying and change his ways before it is too late?

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