The most realistic, edgy, multicultural young adult fiction books

Kelly Parra Author Of Graffiti Girl
By Kelly Parra

The Books I Picked & Why

Street Pharm

By Allison van Diepen

Book cover of Street Pharm

Why this book?

Street Pharm is a dark, cultural, and realistic look into Tyrone's life as a teenage drug dealer.  A raw and urban story of a teen who inherits a life of crime because of the situation he was born into and the harsh awakening that comes with it. An intense and page-turning read that had me glued till the very end.

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A Different Kind of Heat

By Antonio Pagliarulo

Book cover of A Different Kind of Heat

Why this book?

Luz Cordero lost her brother in a police shooting. Anger and grief burn within her for her brother's tragic death, and this young girl must battle through her emotional pain toward forgiveness during her stay at a Boys and Girls home. This is one girl's story as she pulls herself from the life of gangs and violence toward forgiveness and ultimately peace. I couldn't put it down. 

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By Coe Booth

Book cover of Tyrell

Why this book?

Tyrell is homeless with his mother and younger brother while working hard to pull himself out of the system. He feels the pressures of responsibility, drugs, sexuality, and the lure of breaking the law in order to survive his hardships. Like myself, readers will root for Tyrell as he battles against immeasurable odds.

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The Hate U Give

By Angie Thomas

Book cover of The Hate U Give

Why this book?

One fateful night shatters Starr's world when her best friend is shot by a police officer. Starr is faced with speaking her truth about what really happened that night. Filled with inspiring dialogue and the fight for justice, I feel this is a powerful book that shares many important messages.  

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Mexican WhiteBoy

By Matt de la Peña

Book cover of Mexican WhiteBoy

Why this book?

Half Mexican baseball athlete, Danny is trying to find his place between cultural identities. The writing is straight forward and the relationships and slang are real. This book deals with friendships, family, cultural identity, and dreams. An identifiable story for readers trying to find their place in a diverse world. I loved it!

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