Diversity in MG Lit #44 Aug & Sept 2023

The fall book season is upon us. There are many new diverse books to highlight. As always my selection is shaped by the ARCs I receive at the bookshop and the ones I find on in conversations in person and on line. I try to highlight debuts and newer authors and the most underserved topics & communities. As always, if I’ve missed a diverse book coming out in August or September, please mention it in the comments below.
book cover MascotFirst up is a book with heaps of potential for classroom study. Mascot by Chareles Waters and Traci Sorell is the story of a school considering what to do about their Indian mascot. It is told in 6 points of view and captures  the many angles of the arguments pro and con in brisk vignettes which say volumes very economically. This would be a great read aloud. It would be a fabulous conversation starter in MG social studies classes. I can’t wait to see it adapted as a play. (Charlesbridge)
The second installment in the Once Upon A Horse series is The Jockey and her Horse by Sarah Maslin Nir and Raymond White Jr. It’s the story of Cheryl White, the first black female  jockey in American horse racing. Set in the 1960s, readers will love the inside view of horse racing and the grit of this remarkable girl. The story is written by Cheryl’s brother and an award winning journalist and equestrian. (Abrams)
book cover Finch HouseSpooky reading season is on the way. I’m happy to see Finch House by debut author Ciera Burch filling the role of eerie but enlightening story about haunted houses, gentrification, and mysterious grandpas. Great for fans of Encanto and Coraline. (Simon & Schuster)
This Indian Kid: a Native American memoir by Eddie Chuculate is a much needed look at the world of off reservation Indians. Most Indigenous American’s live in predominantly white cities and towns. Chuculate’s memoir is a window into one boy’s journey his grandparent’s home in Oklahoma to his current home in Minneapolis. (Scholastic Focus)
book cover MexikidMexikid by Pedro Martin is an epic road trip story about a family of eleven who take a motor home from California to Mexico to bring their Abuelito home. It’s a fun and funny window into Mexican history, large family dynamics, and American childhood in the 70s. (Dial)
Wildfire by Breena Bard is not by a diverse author, but her subject–displacement by wildfire and the aftermath is a topic which disproportionally effects the rural poor and black and brown people. Those who have recently survived a fire will be glad to know there is just one page with flames and one with a burned out community. All the rest is the family adjusting to a new environment. Lots here to talk about as climate triggered wildfires become more common. (LB Ink)
New books by well-established diverse authors
book cover We Still BelongThe Shape of Time by Ryan Calejo (Amulet)
Fury of the Dragon Goddess by Sarwat Chadda (Disney Hyperion, Rick Riorden Presents)
We Still Belong by Christine Day (HarperCollins Heartdrum)
Top Story by Kelly Yang (Scholastic Press)
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Rosanne Parry
Rosanne Parry is the author of 8 MG novels including best sellers A Wolf Called Wander, A Whale of the Wild and her newest A Horse Named Sky. She sells books at Annie Blooms Bookstore in Multnomah Village and writes books in her treehouse in Portland, Oregon.