The Suburban Mosaic Book of the Year Program seeks to confront issues of racial and social justice and promote cross-cultural understanding through literature.2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 |
This beautifully told and illustrated story shows the effects of a smile on everyone and everything.
The Riveras emigrate from Mexico to Delaware so that their beautiful but brain-damaged daughter, Maribel, can attend a special school. They are met with numerous obstacles, including a smitten teenager, loss of employment, and worse. Along with the Riveras, the book features other immigrants who give up everything to pursue their American dream.
The Printz Honor author tells the story of a girl coping with devastating loss. Glory O’Brien has no idea the future needs her, and that the present needs her more.
6th grader Grayson was born male but feels “he” was meant to be a girl. When Grayson wins the lead female role in the play and makes friends who accept her, she begins to embrace who she really is.
Rose Howard loves words that sound the same (like her name Rose and rows), rules, prime numbers and her dog. When a storm hits her rural town and the dog is loose, Rose's story unfolds into a powerful tale.
Marisol McDonald mixes and matches food (peanut butter and jelly burritos), patterns (green dots/purple stripes), and games (soccer playing pirates) just as she embodies her Peruvian-Scottish- American heritage). Bilingual book with exuberant illustrations.
Fourth grader Anna Wang frets about fitting in with friends and instead escapes into books. When a friend reaches out to her for help, Anna sets aside fictional friends and becomes a member of her community.
Fifth grader Aliya, the only Muslim in her school, does not want to stand out. The arrival of a second Muslim student who wears hijab in school makes Aliya second-guess her religious confusion and work through universal preteen struggles.
Author Deborah Ellis interviewed 27 Afghan children ages 10-17, recording their stories about life in violent and war-torn Afghanistan and the hardships they face. This work provides a glimpse into the poverty and aftermath of war.
When Badi Hessamizadeh continues to suffer intense racial bullying, he blows up the toilet where he was swirlied every day. Now considered a terrorist, his dad changes his son's name to Bud Hess and enrolls him in a different school.
Vianne Rochet, known for near-magical skills with chocolate, returns to the rural French village of Lansquenet and discovers a large Muslim population has grown. Tensions between cultures reach a boiling point when the resident priest is accused of a hate crime, and it will take an outsider to show the two communities how alike they really are.
A Medical doctor chronicles her life in Darfur, Sudan. Bashir's memoir tells of her early life as a black African Muslim from the Zaghawa tribe, her trials and tribulations in her Arab Muslim schools, and her and her family's subsequent involvement in the Darfur crisis.
Thirteen-year-old Lakshmi, though poor, enjoys her life until the Himalayan monsoons wash away her family's crops and she is sold to a brothel in India by her stepfather. She remembers her mother's wisdom, "Simply to endure is to triumph," until the day comes that she can reclaim her life.
When a school bus accident leaves sixteen-year-old Jessican an amputee, she returns to school with a prosthetic limb and her track team finds a wonderful way to help rekindle her dream of running again.
This novel in verse tells the story of ten-year-old Ha's journey from war-torn Vietnam to her new home in the United States. In America, Ha discovers the foreign world of Alabama. This is the story of her year of change: her dreams, grief, strength and healing as she journeys from one country to another, one life to the next.
Wangari Maathai is the first African woman and environmentalist to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Unlike most girls in Kenya, Wangari attended school where her love of plants and animals grew and her mind sprouted like a seed.
As Jane climbs trees, observes and reads about animals, and experiences the joys of nature in England, she dreams of Africa and of "a life living with, and helping, all animals." The story culminates in a striking photo of primatologist Jane Goodall in her twenties, living her dream in Africa, her hand extended to a chimpanzee.
Neither spoon nor fork, Spork did not fit in and neither a bowler hat nor a crown could win him a place at the table. Spork wondered about other misfits, until the morning "a messy thing arrived." Simple but expressive illustrations are muted but brought to life by the contrasting red, particularly the red of "the mess."
Miguel and Juanita's great-aunt, Tia Lola, is living with the family in Vermont. She is asked to teach Spanish at their school while learning English. Her visitor's visa is about to expire and the town rallies to extend her visa from the Dominican Republic. Everything Tia Lola does turns into an adventure.
A fifteen-year-old girl, fed up with Jim Crow segregation, refused to give up her seat to a white woman on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955. Claudette's arrest and conviction was the spark that led to the Montgomery bus boycott and led to the end of Jim Crow laws in the South.
One cold night, on a street corner in Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the production of history's most fabulous high school musical.
The chosen winner of a contest to design the memorial for victims of a terrorist attack is an American Muslim, and the judges hesitate. Personal grief and fear of public opinion undermine the healing message of the winning design. Whether or not to name a Muslim the winner creates a national outcry.
While Carmelita, her mother, and their dog Manny go to visit Abuela Rose, they run into friends and shopkeepers, and stop to greet them in different languages. Manny greets everyone with "woof." Textured paint and printed patterns invite readers to linger on each page. Text and illustrations provide clues for readers who may be learning these greetings for the first time.
Two friends love to play, draw, and spend time together. They eat lunch together at school. One day a comment is made about their different types of sandwiches being "gross." The girls have a falling out, which leads to a food fight. After spending time with the Principal, they decide to taste each other's sandwich. The girls organize a food festival at their school to celebrate our cultures and differences.
To avoid repeating the sixth grade, Abby (a girl from central Illinois) takes on an ambitious extra credit project: she writes letters to a pen pal in a foreign country. Abby thinks she is writing to a 10-year-old Afghani girl named Amira, but her letters are actually being answered by Sadeed, Amira's brother. As Abby and Sadeed exchange letters, they learn that they have far more in common than either could have predicted.
It's 1985 and Salva is ready for the school day to be over. As the school day ends, however, soldiers attack his village. The civil war has come to his part of the Sudan. In the year 2008, Nya is carrying water for her family to use. She makes 2 trips a day back and forth to the pond. It takes 8 hours of her time every day, in the parched land of the Sudan. Two narratives are told in alternating chapters. How the lives of these two people eventually come together is the heart of this compelling story, written by Newbery Medal winner Linda Sue Park and based on the true life story of Salva Dut.
Kimberly Chang is only eleven when she and her widowed mother immigrate to Brooklyn from Hong Kong, but she soon bears responsibilities beyond her years, working alongside her mother in a sweatshop when not in school. Although Kimberly struggles to find her way in a new country and culture, she is nevertheless determined to use her "knack for school" to lift her and her mother out of poverty.
This cartoon-like picture book will delight our youngest readers. Only tiny Will notices a bird, which broke its wing flying into a skyscraper, lying on the sidewalk. Will and his mom nurse the injured bird then set it free. Making a difference, indeed.
A remarkable story about Greg Mortenson's first building project in Pakistan is told through simple text and colorful collages. A scrapbook follows the story, displaying photographs of the events, the village's inhabitants, and key players who helped ensure the success of the project.
Finn is a loner and plans on spending his summer reading and not talking to a lot of people. His life changes when Johanna moves in next door. She is battling cancer and loves gardening. Johanna makes a difference in the lives of Finn, their families, and neighbors. Everyone pulls together to support Johanna and discovers something about themselves in the process.
The story follows an ordinary family forced to deal with an extraordinary loss and shows what battle-scarred families face when their wounded loved ones return home.
In 2015, global warming has done so much damage that the UK enacts severe carbon rationing. Now 16-year-old Laura must make decisions about daily life that she never imagined. Travel, cell phone use, and the toaster are now rationed. Laura's world is crumbling and disaster is becoming normal. Laura describes the first year of rationing through diary entries and emails to her cousin in the United States.
It's 1962 in Jackson, Mississippi, where maternal Aibileen and her outspoken best friend Minny work as maids for wealthy white families not unlike the one Eugenia ("Skeeter") grew up in. But together, this trio of "ordinary" women bring change to their community, undertaking a risky project to illuminate the experiences of Jackson'sAfrican-American maids and the indignities of segregation.
Jeremy, who longs to have the high tops that everyone at school seems to have but his grandmother cannot afford, is excited when he sees them for sale in a thrift shop and decides to buy them even though they are the wrong size.
Living in the family car in their North Carolina town after their father leaves, Georgina persuades her younger brother to get money by stealing a dog and claiming the reward that the owners are bound to offer.
When his Uncle Vernon dies, twelve-year-old Gabe, who grew up in foster care, tells no one for fear that he will go back into the system. However, when a strange note arrives in the mailbox and his uncle's body disappears, a unique correspondence begins.
A humorous account of a New York City teenager's battle with depression and his time spent in a psychiatric hospital.
A self-made man with his own successful company, Richard LeMieux lived a very comfortable life. After losing everything, he spent two years living out of his van and learning to rely on others' generosity. His uplifting story cuts through stereotypes and offers a powerful look at homelessness in society.
Two girls, on white and one black, gradually get to know each other as they sit on the fence that divides their town.
Frustrated by her seeming lack of talent for anything, a young Taiwanese American girl sets out to apply the lessons of the Chinese Year of the Dog, those of making best friends and finding oneself, to her own life.
This graphic novel alternates three interrelated stories about the problems of young Chinese Americans trying to participate in popular culture.
This autobiography tells the story of Satrapi’s early life as a girl in late 1970s and early 1980s Iran. Through her young eyes, the reader sees the overthrow of the Shah, the Islamic fundamentalist rise to power, and the war with Iraq.
When American couple Bitsy and Brad Donaldson and Iranian-American couple Sami and Ziba Yazdan both adopt Korean infant girls, their chance encounter at the Baltimore airport the day their daughters arrive marks the start of a long, intense, and sometimes awkward friendship. A penetrating light on the American way as seen from two perspectives, those who are born here and those who are still struggling to fit in.
When Yoon moves from Koreas to America, she wants to keep her Korean name, Shining Wisdom, and writes her name using Korean symbols. Although everything seems different in American, Yoon finds ways to accept her new home and maintain her Korean heritage.
When nine-year-old Lowji Sanjana moves from busy Bombay to a small, rural town in Illinois, he has great hopes of having a pet and making friends. He creatively wins over his grumpy landlady as he accomplishes both.
When Julia's mother suggests a project raising silkworms as she did as a girl in Korea, Julia and her friend Patrick learn not just about silkworms but about tolerance, prejudice, friendship and patience.
In the months following September 11th many Muslim men were arrested, detained, and eventually deported along with their families. When her father is arrested, fourteen-year-old Nadira must find a way to bring her family back together, all the while feeling like a dangerous outsider in the country she thought was her home.
When Enrique was five years old, his single mother made the trek from Honduras to the United States in search of work, hoping to make enough money to come home for her children. When she doesn't return, Enrique decides to make the difficult and dangerous journey north to find her.
Lena, born in Guatemala, learns she is the color of cinnamon. She and her Mom go for a walk to observe many other sades of brown. Lena realizes that every shade is beautiful and paints portraits of each of her friends.
Mrs. Katz is a lonely Jewish widow and Larnel is a young African American boy. Their friendship begins when Larnel gives the old woman a scagly kitten. During their daily visits, Mrs. Katz tells stories of her life and of the similar experiences Jews and African Americans had in coming to this country.
Newly arrived in Seattle from China, nine-year-old Yangtao is tone deaf. His parents, both professional musicians, assume his problem is lack of practice and chide him for playing baseball. Yangtao and a musically gifted friend team up to solve the problem.
Kim, a Vietnamese girl mourning her dead father, plants six seeds in a vacant lot hoping to attract her father's spirit. Other neighbors become involved in the garden. The story illustrates how members of a multi-ethnic neighborhood overcome language barriers and prejudice to enrich one another's lives.
President Obama's mother was a white American and his father was a black Kenyan whom he never knew. After completing college, Obama went to Kenya to experience the world of his late father. Readers will find his search for identity both moving and familiar.
Margaret, who speaks only English, and Margarita, who speaks only Spanish, meet in the park and have fun plying together even though they speak different languages.
A Japanese American boy learns to play baseball when he and his family are forced to live in an internment camp during World War II. His ability to play helps him after the war is over.
The mindsets and daily routines of the Watsons, an African American family living in Flint, Michigan, change drastically after they go to visit their grandmother in Alabama in the summer of 1963.
Amir and Hassan are young boys growing up in Afghanistan in the 1970's. They are inseparable until an unspeakable event changes the nature of their relationship forever.
As Carrie travels from one of her neighbors' homes to the next, she is treated to samples of their ethnically divers dinners. She is surprised to find that although they all hail from different countries, there is one dish they have in common.
After the Taliban takes over Afghanistan, women are no longer allowed to go to school or to play in the streets, let alone work outside the home. When her father is arrested, Parvana must disguise herself as a boy in order to support her struggling family.
After her family moves to the Hispanic area of Chicago, Esperanza learns to empower herself through her writing. She uses poems and stories to express thoughts and emotions about her neighborhood environment.