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Diverse Characters

Aristotle and Dante dive into the waters of the world book cover

Aristotle and Dante dive into the waters of the world

Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Diverse Characters, Young Adult

High school seniors Aristotle and Dante find ways to spend time together despite being at different schools, having to keep their love secret, and nightly news of gay men dying from AIDS.

Victoria's picture

This second novel is equally as eloquent, captivating and heart-wrenching as the first. Characters are beautifully life-like, multi-faceted and layered and the story is realistic, thought-provoking and well worth waiting nine years for! -Victoria

Hani and Ishu's guide to fake dating book cover

Hani and Ishu's guide to fake dating

Adiba Jaigirdar

Diverse Characters, Young Adult, LGBTQ+

Everyone likes Humaira 'Hani' Khan, she's easy going and one of the most popular girls at school. But when she comes out to her friends as bisexual, they invalidate her identity, saying she can't be bi if she's only dated guys. Panicked, Hani blurts out that she's in a relationship, with a girl her friends absolutely hate. Shita 'Ishu' Dey. Ishu is the complete opposite of Hani. She's an academic overachiever who hopes that becoming head girl will set her on the right track for college. But Ishita agrees to help Hani, if Hani will help her become more popular so that she stands a chance of being elected head girl.

Victoria's picture

This is a lovely story of questioning our identities and comparing ourselves to our family expectations and more importantly having the courage to be authentic. -Victoria

Furia book cover


Yamile Saied Méndez

Diverse Characters, Sports, Young Adult

Rosario, Argentina. At home Camila Hassan lives within her mother's narrow expectations, her soccer-star brother's shadow, and under the abusive rule of her short-tempered father. On the field, she is La Furia, a powerhouse of skill and talent. When her team qualifies for the South American tournament, Camila dreams of getting an athletic scholarship to a North American university. But her parents wouldn't allow a girl to play fúbol-- and she needs their permission to go any farther. Can she make her way in a world with no place for the dreams and ambition of a girl like her? -- adapted from jacket

Victoria's picture

Furia is passionate, driven and a character I think many will be able to identify with. This is a story of defying expectations and rising about to become your best self! -Victoria

This is my brain in love book cover

This is my brain in love

I. W. Gregorio

Diverse Characters, Young Adult

Rising high school juniors Jocelyn Wu and Will Domenici fall in love while trying to save the Wu family restaurant, A-Plus Chinese Garden.

Victoria's picture

This book was recommended to me by a Teen patron. Not usually one for romance, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The author manages to successfully and more importantly honestly navigate conversations about mental health and different cultural lived experiences of Americans. -Victoria

Bodies are cool book cover

Bodies are cool

Tyler Feder

jE Feder
Picture Books, Read Woke, Diverse Characters

Illustrations and easy-to-read, rhyming text celebrate bodies of all shapes, sizes, ages, and colors, with different kinds of hair, eyes, spots, scars, and more.

Casey's picture

Bodies Are Cool! Unashamedly all bodies positive and I am definitely here for it. -Casey

The happiness of a dog with a ball in its mouth book cover

The happiness of a dog with a ball in its mouth

Bruce Handy

jE Handy
Picture Books, Diverse Characters

"Starting from the happiness of waking up into a brand-new day, the picture book goes on to explore the kinds of relationships and contrasts that play out between our feelings and experiences every single day. Whether it's the nervousness of a beginning paired with the happiness of a middle; the indignity of a cut against the happiness of a scab; the boredom of nothing to do contrasted with the happiness of nothing to do; or the divide of mine against the happiness of our, these pages challenge the reader to think about daily activities and experiences and the feelings they conjure. The Happiness of a Dog with a Ball in Its Mouth is a gentle, fun, and philosophical read"--

Casey's picture

What a nice exploration of opposites and how they are often fluid. This is a perfect book for savoring together. -Casey

City of the plague god book cover

City of the plague god

Sarwat Chadda

jFICTION Chadda Sarwat
Diverse Characters, Read Woke, Fantasy

"Thirteen-year-old Sikander Aziz has to team up with the hero Gilgamesh in order to stop Nergal, the ancient god of plagues, from wiping out the population of Manhattan in this adventure based on Mesopotamian mythology"--

Casey's picture

This is the first of the Rick Riordan Presents imprint that I have read, and I am impressed! Going back for round two with Sikander and Gilgamesh soon, as the first time around was a whirlwind. -Casey

I sang you down from the stars book cover

I sang you down from the stars

Tasha Spillett-Sumner

jE Spillett
Picture Books, Read Woke, Diverse Characters

A Native American woman describes how she loved her child before it was born and, throughout her pregnancy, gathered a bundle of gifts to welcome the newborn.

Casey's picture

Tasha Spillet-Sumner's poetry and Michaela Goade's illustrations are a beautiful pairing not to be missed. -Casey

Darius the Great is Not Okay book cover

Darius the Great is Not Okay

Adib Khorram

Diverse Characters, Young Adult

Clinically-depressed Darius Kellner, a high school sophomore, travels to Iran to meet his grandparents, but it is their next-door neighbor, Sohrab, who changes his life.

Victoria's picture

A great story about friendship, finding value, purpose and acceptance of yourself for who you really are at your core. I really loved how this book realistically tackled mental illness and the interactions Darius has with his family and friends about it. Soccer, Iran, bullying, depression, and tea; this book has it all! -Victoria

Our little kitchen book cover

Our little kitchen

Jillian Tamaki

jE Tamaki
Picture Books, Diverse Characters, Poetry

"A crew of resourceful neighbors comes together to prepare a meal for their community. Includes a recipe and an author's note about the volunteering experience that inspired the book"--

Casey's picture

Picture book perfection, made to be shared! -Casey