This collection, edited by the cofounder of the We Need Diverse Books movement, gathers stories from some of my favorite authors. In these stories characters who were rarely seen in American stories for youth, or only as sidekicks, are the stars. These realistic stories tackle a diverse range of subjects and tones from serious to light-hearted. But they all give you a glimpse into someone's life. Great for fans of realistic fiction looking for more diverse stories.
Fresh Ink: An Anthology edited by Lamar Giles Erica's Picks 7th & 8th tags: contemporary fiction, issues fiction, LGBTQ, People of Color, short stories, social justice
A coder trying to save her city from a devastating attack. An actor who accidentally summons the spirit of a villain. A girl cursed to fulfill others' wishes. 13 teens living with disabilities and with their own unique stories to tell. With a range of genres and diverse cast of characters, this story collection has something for everyone.
What I loved most about this collection was the variety. Not only in disabilities represented from mental to physical, but in every aspect: genre, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation. This was a buffet with every kind of dish you could want. My favorite story was "Found Objects" by William Alexander but it is a close call and there are many runners-up. Highly recommended.
Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens edited by Marieke Nijkamp Erica's Picks 8th grade Tags: contemporary fiction, disability, short stories
This may be my favorite book of the year. As a foodie and a cook, I love reading about food and its creators. Here we have a trip to so many ethnic and cultural cuisines that symbolize so much more than nourishing the body. Take a trip to Hungry Heart Row, a few square blocks of multicultural restaurants, food trucks and small businesses. You will meet a shy teen who bakes feelings into her pastry and gives them to people who need them. Visit a Chinese establishment with gang connections. Grab a taste at a Muslim food truck with the best halal meat (look that up if you don’t know what it is). Meet a boy who puts his soul into his food to win a contest that will save his mother’s life. And so much more Here are 13 stories by some of my favorite YA authors, all interconnected by setting and characters. When they magically appear in the next story, you ask,” How did they do that?” With magic, food and love! Love, family, culture, belonging and the meaning of life. It all awaits you on Hungry Heart Row. Come for a stroll and stay for the food.
Tessa's Pick, 5th-8th grade, Character driven, Contemporary fiction, Global perspectives, People of Color, Short stories
Whether you love or loathe the holidays everyone can agree that it's a time of year when emotions run high. That's why they make such a great backdrop for these short, romantic stories. An all-star cast of authors brings variety to this collection from serious to sweet to laugh-out loud funny. The only thing they all have in common is a holiday setting and a romantic plot. A perfect pick to get into the holiday spirit any time of year.
Erica's Picks 7th & 8th
Tags: LGBTQ, People of Color, Romance, Short Stories
It's rare for me to find a story collection by various authors where I don't skip a single one. Which is why I was so surprised that I enjoyed all the stories in this book. The stories were wide-ranging in their settings, topics, and tones but fit well together. I enjoyed the references to Winnie-the-Pooh, Where the Wild Things Are, and Icarus in the stories but I appreciated the lessons learned by the relatable teen characters even more.
A Starfarer’s Dozen: Stories of Things to Come edited by Michael Stearns
Erica's Picks 5th-8th Tags: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Short Stories