Instead of posting my summer book recommendations for you, I’m directing you to my friend Tracie’s blog because she’s a teacher-librarian. She’s reading her way through 60 books this calendar year and includes 18 of them in the post I linked.
I haven’t read all of the books Tracie reviews, but I would definitely echo her recommendations of Wishtree and The 57 Bus. Both of these are YA books but with messages meant for all ages. Here is a New York Times article with some background about the fire on Bus 57 in Oakland.
I want to find a way to bring this story into my classroom because I’ll be thinking about this book for a long time. Students have confided in me they are gay or bisexual, but I felt like this was the first book that really helped me understand asexual and the difference in gender vs. sex. If you don’t know what questions to ask and want to read a piece of history, this book will grab your heart, give you a look at the criminal justice system, and remind you just how important it is to have compassion for every single person you meet.