The Outsiders

by S.E. Hinton

The Outsiders


Themes



No one ever said life was easy. But Ponyboy is pretty sure that he’s got things figured out. He knows that he can count on his brothers, Darry and Sodapop. And he knows that he can count on his friends—true friends who would do anything for him, like Johnny and Two-Bit. But not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids whose idea of a good time is beating up on “greasers” like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect—until the night someone takes things too far.

  • Ages 14 & up

  • Approx. 1 hour to complete

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A Time To Dance

by Padma Venkatraman

A Time To Dance


Themes



Veda, a classical dance prodigy in India, lives and breathes dance—so when an accident leaves her a below-knee amputee, her dreams are shattered. For a girl who’s grown used to receiving applause for her dance prowess and flexibility, adjusting to a prosthetic leg is painful and humbling. But Veda refuses to let her disability rob her of her dreams, and she starts all over again, taking beginner classes with the youngest dancers. Then Veda meets Govinda, a young man who approaches dance as a spiritual pursuit. As their relationship deepens, Veda reconnects with the world around her, and begins to discover who she is and what dance truly means to her.

  • Ages 14 & up

  • Approx. 1 hour to complete

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower


Themes



Charlie is just starting high school, and writing singular, unique, hilarious, and devastating letters to an unknown recipient. Caught between trying to live his life and run from it, Charlie is set on a strange course. He must learn to navigate the world of first dates, mixtapes, family drama, new friends, sex, drugs, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show. This is a time when all he needs is the right song on a perfect drive to feel infinite. 

  • Ages 14 & up

  • Approx. 1 hour to complete

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The Poet X

by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Poet X


Themes



Xiomara Batista lives in Harlem, where she has just discovered slam poetry. She uses slam to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world, where she feels unheard and unable to hide. After growing new curves, Xiomara learns to let her fists do the talking — but she still feels like she has plenty to stay, and fills pages with poems. After Xiomara is invited to join the slam poetry club at her school, she’s afraid to join without her mami finding out, but she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

  • Ages 14 & up

  • Approx. 1 hour to complete

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Speak: The Graphic Novel

by Laurie Halse Anderson (Author), Emily Carroll (Illustrator)

Speak: The Graphic Novel


Themes



Melinda is an outcast because she busted a party by calling the cops. But nobody knows her secret: she was raped by an upperclassman who still attends her school. It’s only through her art project that she can finally face what happened that night. 

  • Ages 14 & up

  • Approx. 1 hour to complete

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Hearts Unbroken

by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Hearts Unbroken


Themes



Louise Wolfe has just broken up with her first real boyfriend after he disrespects Native people. She’d rather focus on family, friends, and working on her school’s newspaper. Along with photojournalist Joey Kairouz, Louise finds herself with a huge story: the school musical director’s inclusive casting of The Wizard of Oz sparks backlash in their mostly-white Kansas town. While tensions rise in town and at school, a romance between Lou and Joey emerges. But will Lou break Joey’s heart trying to protect her own?

  • Ages 14 & up

  • Approx. 1 hour to complete

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The Hate U Give

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter is barely balancing moving between two worlds: her poor neighborhood and the fancy prep school she attends in the suburbs. After Starr witnesses the shooting of her best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer, that balance is lost entirely. Starr finds herself in the middle of the situation after Khalil’s death becomes a national headline. Protesters take to the streets for Khalil, but cops and a local drug lord try to intimidate Starr while others call Khalil a thug. Starr is the only person who knows what really happened that night, but what she says could upend her community — or even endanger her life.

  • Ages 9-13

  • Approx. 1 hour to complete

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Saints and Misfits

by S.K. Ali

Saints and Misfits


Themes



Janna sees three types of people in her life: saints, who move the world forward, misfits, who just don’t fit in, and monsters, like the person at her mosque who everyone thinks is untouchable. Through this novel, Janna tries to navigate her place with her father’s “brand new family,” her mother and older brother, her crush Jeremy, and the secret that plagues her. 

  • Ages 9-13

  • Approx. 1 hour to complete

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