Thursday, June 02, 2016

Finding yourself in books for adults young *and* old

Loving Day
by Mat Johnson (author of Pym)

After his marriage fails and his father dies, Warren Duffy returns from Wales to Philadelphia and his inherited ramshackle mansion. At a comic book convention he discovers a teenage daughter he never knew he had--and that she has been raised unaware that her father is black. Loving Day is a wry and touching commentary on race, gender, and family that, while written for adults, will surely appeal to a young adult audience as well.

The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
by Junot Diaz

This magnificent bildungsroman is the tale of Oscar, an overweight young man living in NYC who dreams of someday becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien, and dreams of his first kiss, is cursed. One summer he decides to end his curse once and for all. Read this book (truly one of my all-time favorites) and Oscar will stay in your heart forever.

Alif the Unseen
by G. Willow Wilson

Young Arab-Indian hacker, Alif, loses his girl to "The Hand of God", the head of state security, and his computer is hacked, sending him on a wild journey. Alif discovers the powerful secret book of the Jinn, and his own power, in this fun and fresh YA-friendly novel that blends cyberpunk and fantasy with a little bit of romance.
We Love You, Charlie Freeman
by  Kaitlyn Greenidge

Set in the 90s at the fictional Toneybee Institute, an African-American family is invited into an experiment in raising a chimpanzee as a child. Teenage Charlotte uncovers ugly secrets about the institute's founders and confronts adult problems in this gripping debut novel.

RE Jane
by Patricia Park

Jane Re, Korean-American orphan raised by her aunt and uncle in Flushing, Queens, is sick and tired of working in her uncle's market. Ignoring her family's objections, she takes a job as a live in au pair for a Manhattan family after graduating college. A romantic affair with the father of her charge sends her on a journey of self-discovery that takes her to Korea where she hopes to learn the truth about her mother.

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