SLAV Online Book Club – September 9th 2021 – Culturally Diverse Books

Our thanks to those of you able to join us for our recent book club meeting to discuss Culturally Diverse titles. As always, so many of you had so many wonderful contributions to share with us, and it is very appreciated.

Below is the hugely diverse and broad list of titles and series shared and discussed. Some titles may have an indicated suitable age range next to each title, however this is merely a guide and we encourage you to use your own judgement, as you know your students best.

We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on October 14th for the topic: Murder, Mystery and Mayhem. From the classic whodunnit to the modern-day book about political intrigue, murder and mystery are everywhere in print, on the screen, both real and imagined. What are your students reading in this space? Is this a cross over genre for young readers?

Disclaimer: The lists generated as a result of Book Club discussions are not, by any means, an exhaustive list of all titles or authors for each genre/category discussed. Nor will all titles be suitable for all libraries. We advise staff discretion when referencing these lists, to properly confirm individual title suitability for individual libraries, school and students needs. These are suggested titles only, shared by our members and inclusion on, or exclusion from, a list does not suggest SLAV endorsement or rejection of a title.

Book List

The F Team by Rawah Arja’s
Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
The Poisoned Heart by Kalynn Bayron
Flock, First Nations Stories Then and Now. Curated by award-winning author Ellen van Neerven
The Firekeepers Daughter by Angeline Boulley
The Coconut Children by Vivian Pham
Future Girl by Asphyxia
You Must Be Layla by Yassmin Abdel-Magied
The Truths We Hold: An American Journey (Young Readers Edition) by Kamala Harris
Maxine Beneba Clarke – ALL Titles.
Yes, No, Maybe, So by Becky Albertalli with Aisha Saeed)
More to the Story by Hena Khan
The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim
Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah
Little People Big Dreams Series for very young students, covers a very diverse range of key people in history.

Please Don’t Hug Me by Kay Kerr
One Hundred Days by Alice Pung
The Boy Who Tried to Shrink His Name by Sandhya Parappukkaran and Michelle Pereira
Sugar Town Queens by Malia Nunn
Culturally Diverse Resources – Languages & Multicultural Education – Oliver (softlinkhosting.com.au)
Frankly in Love by David Yoon
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
The Katha Chest by Radhiah Chowdhury and Lavanya Naidu
The Capybaras by Alfredo Soderguit
Mask of Shadows and Ruin of Stars by Linsey Miller
Parvana by Deborah Ellis ( a graphic novel is also available)
George by Alex Gino
When Stars Are Scattered – Victoria Jamieson GN
Muddy People by Sara El Sayed
My Name is Sangoel by Karen Lynn Williams, Khadra Mohammed, Catherine Stock
Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal
The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi (available as eBook and picture books through LMERC)
My language, your language by Lisa Bullard
The book of languages : talk your way around the world by Mick Webb (2015)
Illegal – Eoin Colfer GN
When Stars Are Scattered – Victoria Jamieson GN
Stories for South Asian Supergirls by Khaira, Raj Kaur
The Ink Bridge by Neil Grant
When the Ground is Hard Malla Nunn
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo
Parachutes by Kelly Yang (Year 10 and above)
The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina
On Two Feet and Wings – Abbas Kazerooni
Land Beyond the Wall : An Immigration Story by Charles, Veronika Martenova
This is How We Do It by Mat Lamothe
Bindi by Kirli Saunders and Dub Leffler
Suri’s Wall by Lucy Estela
Escape From Syria by Kullab, Samya GN
Anthologies such as Growing up Asian/Aboriginal/African/Disabled edited by Various
Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina, Ezekiel Kwaymullina
Ghost Bird by Lisa Fuller
Paper boats: an anthology of short stories about journeys – great for EAL students with little English
After Story by Larissa Behrendt
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do
A Long Way Home by Saroo Bierley,
Sold by Patricia McCormick,
Her Father’s Daughter by Alice Pung
Nona & Me by Clare Atkins
My Two Blankets by Irena Kobald, Freya Blackwood
Crow Country by Kate Constable
Becoming Kirrali Lewis by Jane Harrison
Look to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation website for lists of titles
The Song of the Crocodile by Nardi Simpson (adult)
All Will Kostakis Novels
Multiversity which is Marvel but the first issue features an Aboriginal Australian superhero called Thunderer, named after an Aboriginal thunder god, Wandjina
Where We Begin by Christie Nieman
Ubby’s Underdogs by Brenton E. McKenna, Banjo Woorunmurra GN
Matty Forever by Elizabeth Fensham (middle to upper primary)
Shauna’s Great Expectations by Kathleen Loughnan
Metal Fish, Falling Snow by Cath Moore
Yinti Desert Child Trilogy by Pat Lowe & Jimmy Pike
ALL Remy Lai books – humorous – upper primary, lower secondary
The Tribe by Michael Mohammed Ahmad (adult)
The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Rauf, Pippa Curnick

Welcome to the Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander Resource


We have older boys very interested in sport biographies–Majak Daw, Marlion Pickett (upper secondary)
Sister of the Bollywood Bride by Nandini Bajpai
Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington
Freedom Ride by Digger J Jones
Little Jiany by Shirley Marr
From the Chat:
Proudest Blue is gorgeous picture book about wearing first hijab
When Dimple Met Rishi is good = has a Netflix tie in.
Noughts and crosses by Malorie Blackman explores a fantastic dystopian world – a Foxtel series
Henna Wars is fantastic – Latinx, Indian, LGBTIQA rep and discusses cultural appropriation
Basketball manga set in high schools in Japan… Kuroko’s basketball by Tadatoshi Fujimaki and another Slam Dunk by Takehiko Inoue He has also wrote another that is about Wheelchair Basketball
Living On Hope Street by Demet Divaroren
Cloudwish by Fiona Wood (CBCA Winner 2016). Between Us by Clare Atkins (pub. 2018) is excellent.
Becoming Muhammad Ali is a hit with a great cover by James Patterson
Young adult version of the Trevor Noah biography
Born a Crime
Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. Graphic version is Nya’s Long Walk
I Am Malala- Malala Yousafzai. Different format of the story- Picture book, Biography
The Mediterranean- Armin Greder- Picture book older readers, quite confronting
The Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Sister Heart by Sally Morgan
Eric by Shaun Tan
The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku
The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna – fantasy – fantastic cover and wonderful story
Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Hello! illustrated by Tony Flowers
Russian folklore – The Republic of Birds and The Girl Who Speaks Bear
Rick Riordan Presents imprint – mythologies from diverse cultures told from the POV of people from those cultures. The ones I’ve read and LOVED are Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, and Sal & Gabi Break the Universe
Fantasy – Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko (Redemptor – book 2 – has just been published). West-African based
The Monkey King’s Daughter is a series of books by author Todd DeBonis
Ms Marvel – Kamala Khan – Muslim teen superhero
Buttons my cat does not have boundaries
Adib Khorram – Darius the Great is not OK
Mazin Grace by Dylan Colemen
Last Gate of the Emperor by Kwame Mbalia and Joel David Makonnen
Our library has a learnpath page with info about culturally diverse literature https://lmerc.softlinkhosting.com.au/oliver/learnpath/guide/CulturallyDiverseResources
Kwame Alexander titles
Kicking Goals by Adam Goodes
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Anime_and_manga
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson is a great verse memoir

Adult Book List – What We Are Reading
Wild Abandon by Emily Bitto
I Am Change by Suzy Zail
The Mad Women’s Ball by Victoria Mas
Punching the air Zoboi, Ibi Aanu
Beautiful World Where Are You? by Sally Rooney
The Locksmith’s Daughter by Karen Brooks
I read The Auschwitz photographer, haunting
Just Mercy-biography about black lawyer in modern America fighting for justice in Alabama
Big sister, Little sister, Red sister about the Soong sisters in pre rev. China,
Emotional Female by Yumiko Kadota. Memoir about training to be a surgeon.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (pub. 2015).
Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy
I read the new Haruki Murakami short story collection.
The Book Ninja by Ali Berg
Salt Creek by Lisa Treloar
Wolf island by Lisa Treloar
The Mountains Sing by Nguyen Phan Que Mai
Anything But Fine – Tobias Madden
Muddy People by Sara El Sayed
Escape from Manus by Jaivet Ealom
One Hundred Days by Alice Pung
The Last Guests by J.P. Pomare
The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Hellar
Songbirds by Christy Lefteri
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

 

SLAV Online Book Club – August 11th 2021 – Strategies and Titles to Engage Reluctant Readers

Our thanks to those of you able to join us for our recent book club meeting to discuss strategies and titles that have worked with reluctant readers. As we discussed in the meeting, there is an important difference between readers who are reluctant because of barriers to reading (low literacy levels, learning difficulties, etc.) and readers who are simply reluctant to read, despite being good readers. Readers who need to be encouraged and engaged. As always, so many of you had so many wonderful contributions to share with us, and it is very appreciated.

Below is the hugely diverse and broad list of titles and series shared and discussed. Some titles may have an indicated suitable age range next to each title, however this is merely a guide and we encourage you to use your own judgement, as you know your students best.

We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on September 9th 2021 to discuss Culturally Diverse books.

Disclaimer: The lists generated as a result of Book Club discussions are not, by any means, an exhaustive list of all titles or authors for each genre/category discussed. Nor will all titles be suitable for all libraries. We advise staff discretion when referencing these lists, to properly confirm individual title suitability for individual libraries, school and students needs. These are suggested titles only, shared by our members and inclusion on, or exclusion from, a list does not suggest SLAV endorsement or rejection of a title.

Books for Reluctant Readers
Subjects/ formats of current interest –
DK Guide to Rocks and Gems
Science Comics, I Survived Series are good non-fiction graphic novels
Magazines
Non-Fiction Choose Your Own Adventure
Almost anything about cars
World War 1 & 2 nonfiction
The “Who is…?” and “Who was…?” biographies
Sporting/Athlete Biographies
Secondary – AFL and Cricket biographies are popular
Non-Fiction about sustainable living is really popular with secondary students
Younger format Biographies such as the Little People Big Dreams
All things Minecraft – guides and fictional stories to support the world building
National Geographic Weird but True
Dylan Alcott Biography
Anything about Skateboarding
We’ve had some interested in books about the share market
Recipe Books
Anything diary related is also popular.
We have had a huge resurgence in reading Stephen King novels (Secondary students)
Horror
Choose Your Own Adventure
True Crime

Strategies shared
Borrowing out both an audiobook and text version of the same book can be a great support. We’ve done that for struggling readers that want to take part in our Readers Cup challenge
Create a List of Dyslexia Friendly Books.
We’re trialling a Read Aloud option with our Year 9 boys who struggle. So far it’s working well with the boys keen to start each week… and others in the larger reading cohort wanting to join
We are doing the Premier’s Reading Challenge and we have a “quick reads” trolley with short and sharp novellas.
Build up a short story collection
For teachers: Jim Trelease’s The Read-aloud Handbook has great suggestions across all ages for books with a vibrant narrative voice(s). I’ve consulted it over the years — now in its 8th edition.
We have moved our books on film to the DVD stands
I’ve been working on pairing books with audio books that are exactly the same
My favourite thing to say “you won’t believe that will happen in Chapter 4” and the kids come back saying “OMG, you won’t believe it”.
Have Students recommend books. Display these face out with a tick on them (spine & front cover)
We do book chats in groups and students recommend books to other. The power of the friendship recommendation is strong.

Book Suggestions and Chat Discussion
Verse Novels
Steven Herrick
One and Also We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan
Love that Dog and Hate that Cat (great read aloud)
Bindi by Kirli Saunders

Graphic novels can be helpful
Alex Rider
James Patterson
Maximum Ride
Macbeth
Bartolo
The I Survived Series by Scholastic
Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone
New Kid by Jerry Craft

Barrington Stoke Series
Other Suggestions

Guinness Book of Records
Factopedia
Amulet Series
Wings of Fire Series
My Hero Academia (Manga) The Boy Who Became a Dragon: Bruce Lee Story – Jim Di
Onjali Rauf, The Boy at the Back of the Class (refugee story).
Jack Heath’s short stories 200, 300 minutes of….
All Manga
High Interest Publishing – Canada – can be great for VCAL seniors, Literature Circles, class novel. Short snappy novels.
Horrible Histories
The Little Bookroom’s Recommendations for Reluctant Readers
Tried and true: Wonder Compendium by R.J Palacio (a boy I taught once said “This book feels like it’s reading itself to me”).
George Ivanoff’s Survival Series
Science Comics, I Survived series are good non-fiction graphic novels As well as: They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, The Best We Can Do by Thi Bui
Dropping In by Geoff Havel
Bubble Wrap Boy by Phil Earle
Biographies such as the Little People Big Dreams and the DK books. Students don’t have to commit too much time and can be used as a launching pad for more
Wonder is great and there are a few other titles that we market as ‘read alikes’ such as Ugly by Robert Hoge.
Bad Guys Series by Aaron Blabey
Anh Do’s Series – Wolf Girl, E-Boy, Sky Dragon all work well with Year 7 struggling readers
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Real Pigeons Fight Crime Series – by Andrew McDonald and Ben Wood – this is being adapted for an animated series on Nickelodeon
Primary School: try the Little Gem books by Anna Zobel they’re also good for children who have dyslexia. Billie. B. Brown and Hey Jack by Sally Rippin. School of Monsters by Sally Rippin
Our Australian Girl Series
Anything by Raina Telgemeier, Babysitters Club
Leigh Hobbs Old Tom which is a compilation of 4 to 5 picture books also works well with EAL readers. It is simple but looks like a big fat book.
The Cherub Series by Robert Muchamore is really popular with year 7 and 8 boys. Also Ultimate & Classic Football heroes books are very popular with boys who don’t usually like to read
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo is great for older readers
Babysitters Club very popular. Start with the Graphic Novels and then show them the actual novels . Under 150 pages, good size text and easy language.
Anything by Gary Paulsen
F.L.Y. Financially Literate Youth is a good one for finance interests
Neal Shusterman – Unwind, Dry Lex Thomas – Quarantine good for reluctant but capable readers
Once Series by Morris Gleitzman
Dork Diaries, Tom Gates, Geronimo Stilton/Thea Stilton, and Adventure Time books also good for reluctant and/or EAL kids + early teens
I have students wanting to read about real stories / murder mystery e.g. OJ Simpson
Counting by 7s Holly Goldberg Sloan
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Geek Girl got one of our reluctant readers started. Also agree with verse novels
Keeper of the Lost Cities’ Series by Shannon Messenger great for Harry Potter fans
Becoming Muhammad Ali by James Patterson is very popular. More inclusive books seem to work with our school community.
Quick Reads that connect to their interest area – Soccer (Ultimate Football Heroes)
Parvana is also available in Graphic Novel
My son loves The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander’s
Daughter couldn’t put down Highway Bodies by Alison Evans
Anything Roald Dahl is really popular in my school at the moment
Scythe by Neal Shusterman walks off the shelf after book talking
My little sister started reading more in Year 12, she has read: My Best Friend’s Exorcism, Lonely Castle in the Mirror, Before the Coffee Gets Cold, and Convenience Store Woman. But not sure how some of these would do in high school libraries
We have had a huge resurgence in reading Stephen King novels with reluctant readers…the more horror the better
We had a book called ‘Crime Time: Australians behaving badly’ that was a collection of chapters timelining the history of Australian criminals. That was very popular when students were aware of it! Not so recent, but goes back to Ned Kelly times etc.
Risk by Ferris Fleur with students who don’t identify as readers. Mysteries such as One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus
Great Escape by Felice Arena is great to get kids interested in historical fiction.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Minecraft novels appeal to players
Five Nights at Freddies Series is based on a video game. Quite scary.
We’re bringing in more Legend of Zelda Manga into the collection for the primary school children
D&D is very popular
Gamer trilogy by Chris Bradford (short, gritty, dystopian video gaming future). Chris Bradford, amazing author
Cry Blue Murder by Kim Kane & Marion Roberts also appeals because it breaks up the text
The Road to Winter by Mark Smith is very popular for year 9 very topical and fast moving. Any student that liked Tomorrow when the War Began by John Marsden will love it!!
None Shall Sleep by Ellie Marney
Red Eye Series, scary, thrilling, horror
They Both Die in the End Adam Silvera
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
Making Friends by Kirsten Gudsnuk
Heartstopper GN Series by Alice Oseman
Reluctant readers have shown to like or seek books like Bro – similar background Lebanese
This is Where it Ends Marieke Nijkamp
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo is moving through our Year 8’s at the moment.
Carousel by Brendan Ritchie is popular
Wilder Girls by Rory Powers
One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus – I would recommend for year 8-9 and good year 7s
After Wings of Fire – for primary, junior sec – The Dragon Prince by Aaron and Melanie Ehasz
Animorphs Graphic Novels
Warriors GN
Lumberjanes GN
This is How We Change the Ending by Vikki Wakefield
Kids are loving medical supernatural mysteries – Whisper/Weapon, The Program/The Treatment/The Remedy
A Trio of Sophies by Eileen Merriman is another one that I’ve had success with for students who have liked the one of us is lying series
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
We can’t keep Fleur Ferris books on our shelves, always being borrowed.
Lightfall: the girl & the Galdurian by Tim Probert is another good graphic novel
Robert Cormier’s novels: oldies but goodies. We all Fall Down for Year 9+
Starters and Enders has had a resurgence at my school
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Attack on Titan!! Love them
Manga readers are not reluctant and highly sophisticated in my view.
Manga most popular in my school – shelves always empty
Dog Man is really popular and really funny – Dav Pilkey
Captain Underpants, Toffle Towers, Nat Amoore’s books, Dog Man are all good humour
I know that there was a written anthology of short stories around “Attack on Titan” Manga, however I don’t know what reading level it is.
The Tokyo Ghoul manga series also has some companion novels, I have had some students use them as a bridge
Treehouse Series by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
Mercy Watson for the Preps and Year 1s
Atticus Von Tasticus by Andrew Daddo and Stephen Michael King
I have found the kids who read Manga are often interested in Art/Gaming so have spent money on the ‘Art of Manga’ and some have moved onto these nonfiction
The Bolds Series by Julian Clary
Some manga that’s popular in primary: Spirited Away, Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, Haikyuu!, Sailor Moon, Card Captor Sakura: Clear Card, Yuzu the Pet Vet, Chi’s Sweet Home,
Robert Muchamore’s CHERUB series and Henderson’s Boys series
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer is funny too
The Funny KId by Matt Stanton series for lower/mid primary
Don’t Call Me Ishmael by Michael Gerard Bauer is very funny.
I agree that our Manga readers are thinkers and will happily bridge to a chapter book if it complements what they are reading in their Manga.
I think we often focus on “wide reading” and this lends to us trying to move readers “off Manga” rather than the skills of the student or the content of the Manga.
A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron
A Million Things by Emily Spurr – more adult but mature readers would probably like it too
Marley and Me by John Grogon
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DeCamillo is good
Aussie Nibbles, Bites, Chunks collections.
Pawcasso by Remy Lai
Warriors Series by Erin Hunter
Middle Grade Read -Living Next Door to Doctor Death – Spider Lee. Great short cliff hanging chapters. Both boys and girls love it.

What We Are Reading/ Adult Reading
Migrations and Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy
The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni (YA)
The Dressmakers of Yarrandarra Prison by Meredith Jaffe
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
The Paris Library by Janet Skelian Charles
Locust Summer by David Allan-Petale:
The Deep by Kyle Perry
Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips
Lonely Castle In the Mirror by Mizuki Tsujimura
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth
The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman
Codebreakers by Alli Sinclair
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
A Good Girls Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson (YA)
Penguin Bloom by Bradley Trevor Greive
Before You Knew My Name – by Jacqueline Bublitz
Who Gets To Be Smart by Bri Lee
Songlines – Lynne Kelly
Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim
Women and Other Monsters by Jess Zimmerman
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
Ariadne by Jennifer Saint
Nemesis by Roth
The Golden Age by Joan London
Silent Footsteps by Sally Hepworth
The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue
Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams