Please welcome Khadijah VanBrakle with her list of 8 Diverse YA Titles You May Have Missed. We are also giving away the entire set of books that Khadijah has recommended here. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom.
8 Diverse YA Titles You May Have Missed
Fatima Tate Takes the Cake by Khadijah VanBrakle
Giving voice to young Black American Muslim teens, this is a riveting Contemporary YA coming-of-age novel set in Albuquerque, NM. It tells the story of Fatima Tate, a high school senior and aspiring pastry chef whose parents arrange a marriage to a wealthy young man that threatens to rob her off her dreams. Fatima must navigate the difficulties of courtship, first love, and sky-high parental expectations to develop and then summon enough inner strength to fight for her future, without losing everything important to her in the process. [young adult, ages 14 and up]
All You Have To Do by Autumn Allen
Gorgeous prose and a tightly constructed plot make this historical fiction read as propulsive as it is educational. In this page-turning drama, two Black teens at prestigious, historically white schools advocate for Black liberation on and off campus. Their alternating stories, set during divisive national events in 1995 and 1968, are interwoven around a family mystery that comes together by the end for a satisfying note of hope amidst continued struggle. [young adult, ages 12 and up]
The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad
The richness of this amazing fantasy novel features complex multi-dimensional characters living along the Silk Road. It follows a fierce teenage protagonist who must fight to survive an epic battle capable of destroying the only world she knows. The themes of family, loss, and community combined with magical elements meld perfectly while the beautiful setting adds an additional pull into the story. [young adult, ages 12 and up]
True True by Don P. Hopper
Afro-Caribbean culture, STEM, and a fight to find your voice and expose the truth. TRUE TRUE is a coming-of-age tale about a black teen who transfers to a Manhattan prep school to pursue robotics. Friendships are tested, family ties are strained, and time is rarely on Gil’s side in this fast-paced story about building community, while having the tough conversations we all need to grow. [young adult, ages 12 and up]
American Betiya by Anuradha D. Rajurkar
This poignant coming-of-age novel follows Rani, a rule-following high school senior who starts questioning everything in her life when she begins dating in secret someone her parents would never approve. She’s pulled in opposite directions, not sure of how to navigate her first crush and her immigrant family’s expectations. When a personal loss hits too close, Rani must discover who she is and what is truly most important to herself. [young adult, ages 14 and up]
Briarcliff Prep by Brianna Peppins
Fourteen-year-old Avielle LeBeau is starting her freshman year at Briarcliff Preparatory School for Girls, one of the few remaining Historically Black Boarding Schools. She has dreams of fitting in with kids who look like her, continuing her family legacy, and joining the school newspaper – and she definitely wants to catch the eye of a certain sophomore math whiz who attends Preston Academy across the street. But all of these wants become obsolete when Avi discovers a devastating secret about her big sister’s boyfriend. [young adult, ages 14 and up]
I’d Rather Burn Than Bloom by Shannon C.F. Rogers
I’D RATHER BURN THAN BLOOM is a contemporary YA novel set in Albuquerque, NM, about a Filipina-American teen, Marisol Martin, as she grieved the traumatic and sudden loss of her mother. This story is concerned with how it feels to lose someone who is your only tie to your cultural heritage, and far too soon. It explores biracial identity, family, and friendship, as readers follow Marisol sneaking into underground punk shows, learning to drive, and coming back to life. [young adult, ages 14 and up]
Theft of Sunlight by Intisar Khanani
An action-packed story of a country girl who teams up with a foreign princess to investigate what happened to her best friend’s sister, only to discover a human trafficking conspiracy reaching from the thief-ridden backstreets to the highest echelons of society. Perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince and Sorcery of Thorns, this exhilarating fantasy will pull readers into a lush and stunning world where nothing—and no one—can be trusted. [young adult, ages 13 and up]
Set of all 8 YA Books on this List to One Winner GIVEAWAY!
We are giving away the entire set of books that Khadijah has recommended here. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter below. We can only mail to U.S. and A.F.O. addresses.
Khadijah VanBrakle is a Muslim woman of color. As someone born and raised in Canada to American parents, she writes to ensure teens who share her Black & American Muslim dual marginalization see themselves on the printed page. Her debut Contemporary YA novel, FATIMA TATE TAKES THE CAKE, was released June 13, 2023, from Holiday House. Khadijah is represented by Kristina Pérez of Pérez Literary & Entertainment Ltd. To learn more, check out her website and follow her on Instagram.
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