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We're celebrating diversity with the theme of our 2021 Summer Challenge: Reading Colors Your World. We invite you to connect, design and inspire as you work toward earning badges and a final prize. This year, we'll also be making a contribution to support a local charity of your choice when you complete the adult or teen challenge. The more adults and teens who complete it, the more the Library can contribute!

If the challenge just isn't your thing, we also have our year-round Diverse Reads program, where you can find some ideas for books that you might have never picked up before. Of course, our librarians are always ready to give suggestions, too! 

Book River
Book River Title
Reading Colors Your World Staff Picks
Book River Items

You Should See Me in a Crown (2020)

by Johnson (Young adult author)

Liz Lighty usually avoids the spotlight. So she isn't happy when she is forced to compete for prom queen in order to earn a scholarship so she can attend her dream school, but she didn't expect to rekindle an old friendship, learn about herself, and find romance along the way. This heartfelt and adorable contemporary romance is a must-read for the summer. — Allison Riggs, Teen Librarian

Furia (2020)

by Yamile Saied Méndez

Camilla, known as Furia on the soccer field, wants nothing more than the chance to play soccer professionally, but that will be no easy feat. This book takes place in Argentina, has a lot going on so it’s never slow, and is just an all-around well-written coming-of-age story. — Allison Riggs, Teen Librarian

Mostly Dead Things (2019)

by Kristen N Arnett

After her father's suicide, Jessa-Lynn Morton not only takes over his taxidermy shop, but must also attempt to keep her already fragile family from falling apart completely. Between her unstable mother and withdrawn brother, Jessa-Lynn hardly has time to process the sharp turn her life has taken. Add to that her crush on the mysterious and elegant gallery owner Lucinda Fox and she can hardly take a breath in the oppressive Florida heat. This is unputdownable, darkly humorous story has a surprisingly big heart. — Emily Vinci, Fiction Manager

You Exist Too Much (2020)

by Zaina Arafat

Told in vignettes that take us from the Middle East to America and from childhood to adulthood, this is the story of an unnamed Palestinian-American narrator navigating her religion, her queerness, and her relationship with her mother, among other things. This is beautifully written quick-read is devastatingly relatable for anyone who's even wanted a place to call home. — Emily Vinci, Fiction Manager

Honeysmoke : a Story of Finding Your Color (2019)

by Monique Fields

Honeysmoke by Monique Fields is a picture book story about a multiracial young girl, Simone, whose skin color is like no one else she knows so she creates her own color name.  It's a heartwarming story about choosing your own identity. — Vicki Heller, Collection Development Librarian

Born Ready : the True Story of a Boy Named Penelope (2021)

by Jodie Patterson

Born Ready: The True Story of a Boy Named Penelope by Jodie Patterson is the story of a young, transgender child who shows the world no matter how you look on the outside, your inner truth will shine when you learn there are different ways a family can love.  Based on a mother's memoir of raising five children, unique in their own ways. — Vicki Heller, Collection Development Librarian

Last Night at the Telegraph Club (2021)

by Malinda Lo

Read what life is like for Lily in San Francisco in the 1950s as a Chinese-American teenager who falls in love with a girl. Lily's story is both hopeful and heart-wrenching. — Allison Riggs, Teen Librarian

The Cat I Never Named : a True Story of Love, War, and Survival (2020)

by Amra Sabic-El-Rayess

This moving memoir is the true story of Amra’s survival and experiences as a Muslim teenager living in Bosnia during the war/genocide in the 1990’s. She survived four years of horrors and privations of a siege with the emotional help of her cat Maci (Bosnian for cat). This is a story that shows how war brings out the best and worst of people that will stay with you. — Gail Tobin, Hanover Park Branch Manager

Moonlight (2017)

by A24

Follow the journey of a man named Chiron through three different stages of his life. A powerful and poignant movie about masculinity, race, adolescence, drug addition and his own sexuality. Moonlight won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2017. — Dina Ragano, Fiction, Movies & Music Department Coordinator

Eyes That Kiss in the Corners (2021)

by Joanna Ho

A wonderful picture book with beautiful illustrations that celebrates the diversity in our features. This is an empowering story of a little girl who realizes she looks different from everyone else and embraces her own beauty and that of her grandmother, mother and sister. — Gail Tobin, Hanover Park Branch Manager

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous (2019)

by Ocean Vuong

In this beautiful, heartbreaking debut novel, a young man named Little Dog writes a letter to his mother, who cannot read, investigating a family history begun in Vietnam and addressing stark issues of race, class, and masculinity. — Magan Szwarek, Reference Services Director

Hurricane Child (2018)

by Kheryn Callender

Twelve-year-old Caroline, a queer Black girl, was born during a hurricane--bad luck in the eyes of the islanders living on Water Island in Barbados. She is bullied at school, and lives with her dad as her mother left one day. When a new girl, Kalinda, joins Caroline at school, her luck begins to change. She finally has a friend, and develops a crush on Kalinda. Together, Kalinda and Caroline confront a hurricane to find the reason Caroline's mother left. Callender, a native of St. Thomas themselves, writes an award-winning book on grief, love, family, queer crushes, bullying, homophobia, and friendship. — Gretchen Schulz, Tween Librarian