BLOGS  >  AUGUST 10, 2021

Promote Equity in Your Classroom or Library

To ensure you have what you need to support your students and make sure they feel affirmed and included, we’ve partnered with Penguin Young Readers Group to offer culturally responsive titles with educator guides. You will find our essential reading list and free downloadable resources below.

Watch our virtual panel discussion featuring four of these popular authors: Speaking Up & Speaking Out: Using Your Voice to Demand Justice. 

Featured Titles

Darius the Great Is Not Okay (Darius the Great, Book 1)
by Adib Khorram 
Curriculum Tie-Ins: Family History, Biracial Identity, Coming of Age, Social and Emotional Learning, Mental Health  
Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He's about to take his first-ever trip to Iran, and it's pretty overwhelming – especially when he's also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom's family for the first time. And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everything. 
Download Discussion Guide Watch Adib Khorram’s Author Takeover

by A.S. King 
Curriculum Tie-Ins: White Privilege, Racism, Class & Gender, Coming of Age, Social and Emotional Learning, Mental Health 
Five estranged cousins are lost in a maze of their family’s tangled secrets. Their grandparents, former potato farmers Gottfried and Marla Hemmings, managed to trade digging spuds for developing subdivisions and now they sit atop a million-dollar bank account ­– wealth they’ve refused to pass on to their adult children or their five teenage grandchildren. “Because we want them to thrive,” Marla always says. But for the Hemmings cousins, “thriving” feels a lot like slowly dying of a poison they started taking the moment they were born. As the rot beneath the surface of the Hemmings’ white suburban respectability destroys the family from within, the cousins find their ways back to one another, just in time to uncover the terrible cost of maintaining the family name. 

Download Educator Guide

Frankly in Love
by David Yoon 
Curriculum Tie-Ins: Racism, Class & Gender, Coming of Age, Social and Emotional Learning, Parental Expectations 

Frank Li has two names. There's Frank Li, his American name. Then there's Sung-Min Li, his Korean name. No one uses his Korean name, not even his parents. Frank was born and raised in Southern California and barely speaks any Korean. Even so, his parents still expect him to end up with a nice Korean girl. As Frank falls in love with the girl of his dreams, who is white, he's forced to confront the fact that while his parents sacrificed everything to raise him in the land of opportunity, their traditional expectations don't leave a lot of room for him to be a regular American teen. Just when Frank thinks he's found the solution to all his problems, life throws him a curveball, and he's left wondering whether he ever really knew anything about love or himself.
Download Educator Guide Read a Chapter Excerpt

Patron Saints of Nothing
by Randy Ribay 
Curriculum Tie-Ins: Family History, Biracial Identity, Coming of Age, Drug Addiction, Toxic Masculinity 

Jay Reguero plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte's war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story. Hoping to uncover more about Jun and the events that led to his death, Jay is forced to reckon with the many sides of his cousin before he can face the whole horrible truth and the part he played in it. 
Download Educator Guide Read a Chapter Excerpt

A Phoenix First Must Burn: Sixteen Stories of Black Girl Magic, Resistance, and Hope
Edited by Patrice Caldwell 
Curriculum Tie-Ins: Racism, Class & Gender, Coming of Age, Social and Emotional Learning, Mental Health 

A Phoenix First Must Burn will take you on a journey from folktales retold to futuristic societies and everything in between. Filled with stories of love and betrayal, strength and resistance, this collection contains an array of complex and true-to-life characters in which you cannot help but see yourself reflected. This book features sixteen tales by best-selling and award-winning authors that explore the Black experience through fantasy, science fiction, and magic. 
Download Discussion Guide Watch Author Video

by Laurie Halse Anderson 
Curriculum Tie-Ins: Racism, Class & Gender, Consent, Poetry, Social and Emotional Learning, Mental Health 
Best-selling author Laurie Halse Anderson is known for the unflinching way she writes about and advocates for survivors of sexual assault. Now, inspired by her fans and enraged by how little in our culture has changed since her groundbreaking novel Speak was first published twenty years ago, she has written a poetry memoir that is as vulnerable as it is rallying, as timely as it is timeless. In free verse, Anderson shares reflections, rants, and calls to action woven between deeply personal stories from her life that she's never written about before. Searing and soul-searching, this important memoir is a denouncement of society's failures and a love letter to all the people with the courage to say #metoo and #timesup, whether aloud, online, or only in their own hearts.  
Download Educator Guide Watch Author Takeover

Change Begins with You
As you strive to promote equity in your classroom or library, consider adding some or all of the featured titles to your curriculum. While resources for building a diverse and inclusive library can be scarce, Follett offers essential titles and educator resources to help you develop the minds of young adults, impacting society for the better. Shop Titlewave® today to purchase the titles listed above and other curated books.

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