I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (2014, Dial Books; 384 pages)
This, the second book by YA author Jandy Nelson was the Winner of the 2015 Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives, wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways ... until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else -- an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half of the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they'd have a chance to remake their world. This radiant novel from the acclaimed author of The Sky Is Everywhere will leave you breathless and teary and laughing -- often all at once.
Art and wonder occupy this book from the very beginning. I love this paragraph written in The New York Times about the book: "Art -- its creation, its importance, its impact on identity and freedom -- is perhaps the central theme of I'll Give You the Sun. The book celebrates art's capacity to heal, but it also shows us how we excavate meaning from the art we cherish, and how we find reflections of ourselves within it. I've always loved this line from Stendahl: 'A novel is a mirror carried down a high road.' Done well, it shows us ourselves even as it moves us forward into new places and new understandings. I'll Give You the Sun is a dazzling mirror, and many grateful teenagers are sure to find themselves reflected in and learning from its pages."
Find this title in our catalog: I'll Give You the Sun
Recommended by: Maite
THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN -- heartbreaking, funny tale of a Native American teen growing up on the rez
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
by Sherman Alexie (2007, Little, Brown Books For
Young Readers; 259 pages)
Alexie tells the story of Arnold Spirit, aka Junior, a budding cartoonist born with "water on the brain," growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Expecting disaster when he transfers from the reservation school to the rich, white school, Junior soon finds himself making friends with both geeky and popular students and starting on the basketball team. Meeting his old classmates on the court, Junior grapples with questions about what constitutes one's community, identity, and tribe. The daily struggles of reservation life and the tragic deaths of several in Junior's life would be all but unbearable without the humor and resilience of spirit with which he faces the world. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.
Find this title in our catalog: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Recommended by: Greg