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RED4844 & RED4519 - Professor Santiago

Course Reading Titles

cover of book efren divided

Title: Efren Divided

Author: Ernesto Cisneros

Reader Level: Grade 4-9, Ages 8-12 

Genre/ Themes/ Interests: Mexican-American characters; Hispanic-American characters; deportation; undocumented children and families; twins; brothers and sisters 


Title: The Crossover

Author: Kwame Alexander

Reader Level: 10-12 years or grades 5-7 

Genre/ Themes/ Interests: Realistic Fiction, Poetry (free verse), Sports (basketball), African-American, Brothers 

Awards and/or Recognition: 
  • New York Times bestseller
  • Newbery Medal Winner
  • Coretta Scott King Honor Award
  • YALSA 2015 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults
  • YALSA  2015 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
  • Publishers Weekly Best Book
  • School Library Journal Best Book
  • Kirkus Best Book

Title: Ghost

Author: Jayson Reynolds

Reader Level: 10-12 years or grades 5-7 

Genre/ Themes/ Interests: Realistic fiction, Sports (track), African-American, Identity/ coming of age 

Awards and/or Recognition: 
  • National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature
  • Nominated for PBS’s The Great American Read

Title: The Night Diary

Author: Veera Hiranandani

Reader Level: 8-12 years or grades 3-7

Genre/ Themes/ Interests: Historical fiction (1940s Pakistan & India), religious identity (Hindu, Muslim), family relationships, loss, diary/ epistolary fiction 

Awards and/or Recognition:

  • 2019 Newbery Honor Book
  • Walter Dean Myers Honor Winner 
  • ALA Notable Book 
  • Malka Penn Award Recipient 
  • New York Times Editor's Choice Pick 
  • Junior Library Guild Selection 
  • Best Book of the Year by Amazon, Kirkus Reviews, The New York Times, NPR, School Library Journal, and The Washington Post

Title: Hurricane Child

Author: Kacen Callender (formerly Kheryn Callender)

Reader Level: Grades 4-6

Genre/ Themes/ Interests: Caribbean literature, realistic fiction, family relationships, coming of age, LGBTQ+ experience, bullying

Awards and/or Recognition:

  • Winner of the Stonewall Book Award
  • Winner of the Lambda Literary Award


Title: Esperanza Rising

Author: Pam Munoz Ryan

Reader Level: 8+ years or grades 6-8

Genre/ Themes/ Interests: Historical fiction (1900s America, Great Depression), poverty & homelessness, migration, Hispanic-American literature, Mexican-American literature

Awards and/or Recognition:

  • Pura Belpré Award Winner
  • Américas Award Honor Book
  • Jane Addams Children's Book Award Winner
  • Willa Cather Award Winner
  • Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist
  • ILA Notable Book for a Global Society
  • ALA Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults
  • New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
  • A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year


Title: Long Way Down

Author: Jason Reynolds

Reader Level: Grades 7+, Ages 12+

Genre/ Themes/ Interests: African-American boyhood/ teenagers; Poetry; Narrative verse; Gun violence; Coming of age

Awards and/or Recognition

  • A Newbery Honor Book
  • A Coretta Scott King Honor Book
  • A Printz Honor Book
  • Los Angeles Times Book Prize Winner for Young Adult Literature
  • Longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature
  • Winner of the Walter Dean Myers Award
  • An Edgar Award Winner for Best Young Adult Fiction


Title: Some Places More than Others

Author: Renee Watson

Reader Level: Grades 4-6

Genre/ Themes/ Interests: African-American girlhood; Coming of age; Travel; Urban life/ exploration/ adventure; Family; New York City; Harlem

Awards and/or Recognition

  • Author's previous work earned Coretta Scott King Award and Newbery Honor

Title: Free Lunch

Author: Rex Ogle

Reader Level: Grade 6-9, Ages 9-12 

Genre/ Themes/ Interests: Memoir/ biography; Children's non-fiction; Homelessness; Poverty; Domestic violence

Awards and/or Recognition

  • 2020 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award

Title: Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism, and You

Author: Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

Reader Level: 13+ years or grades 9-12 (tagged as Young Adult Non-fiction)

Genre/ Themes/ Interests: US History, African-American History, Civil Rights, Politics & US Government

Awards and/or Recognition

  • New York Times best seller
  • USA Today best seller