Quick Picks: What I’ve Been Reading

You know the feeling when you finish a good book and you want to tell someone about it?  Well, I've got that feeling. This list of books doesn’t fit on any of the upcoming book lists I have planned. I wanted to share them anyway.

If your kids are participating in the Young Book Love Bingo Reading Challenge, the books on this list will help them fill in the square “a book about someone who doesn’t look like you.” (The characters include people from Pakistan and India along with Americans with different shades of skin.) If your kids aren’t participating in the Reading Challenge and want to, you can find out more (and print off a free Bingo board) here.

Below are four books I read over the past month that I am excited to recommend. I hope your young reader will connect with them too.

Save Me a Seat

Save me a Seat is my favorite from this list. Chapters alternate between two perspectives: Joe, a kid whose best friends have moved and who feels set apart because of his APD (Auditory Processing Disorder) and Ravi, the new kid in school who just moved to the United States from India.

The book follows their first week of school as they deal with a bully, fitting in and adjusting to a new school. There is more than meets the eye with both of these characters and this book allows us to see that truth through two different perspectives. Well-written and entertaining, I hope your kids will consider giving this book a try.

Readers 8 and up


Technically this book made a recent book list on this blog in February, but I didn’t get a chance to say why you should read the book there, so I’m listing it here.

Courage is the story of a young boy on Chicago’s south side whose brother is coming home from prison. T’Shawn wants to be different than his brother, stay out of gangs, and make better choices. When he has an opportunity to join a diving club, he hopes to forge a new path. Covering themes of race, second chances and doing the right thing, Courage will give you lots to talk about with your tween or teen reader. It would be a quality book to read together.

Readers 10 and up


If you have any runners in your family, they should read this book. Patina is the second book in Jason Reynolds's Track series (I read the first book last year and plan to read books #3 and 4). Although these are sports-themed books, the stories are about much more. Patina deals with themes of family, friendship, fitting in, and what it means to be part of a team. This book (and series) is a great pick for middle schoolers and up.Readers 10 and up

Amal Unbound

Amal Unbound is the story of a young Pakistani girl who is forced into indentured servitude. Although the narrative is idealistic in covering a hard circumstance, it shares a good story with lots of food-for-thought. This is a story about courage, standing up for yourself and the gift of education. It is a book worth picking up. (And, if your young reader has read this story and loved it, they should consider grabbing a copy of the Young Reader's edition of I Am Malala. It would make a great companion book to read next.)

Readers 10 and up

These are a few books I have read lately. What are the books you and your kids are reading these days that you’d like to recommend?

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