- All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
- The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
- As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
- The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
- Wonder by R. J. Palacio
- Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
- Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
- Long Way Down by Jason reynolds
- Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
- A Corner of the Universe by Ann M. Martin
Obviously my favorite books change all the time, but these are the books that have been on my list for a long time. I am just going to describe the books, and give a little reason as to why I think everyone should read these books or just to give them some recognition from me.
All The Bright Places is a romance book that focuses on two teenagers that are both having a hard time with living. While they don’t seem like a likely pair they are able to bond over the things that they are not able to tell anyone else. I have read this book multiple multiple times and I cry every single time I read it.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz gives the story of a man that tattooed the numbers on the new people coming into Auschwitz. This story is try, while it is not written from him he had Heather Morris write down his story so that other people could understand what they went through while in concentration camps. This book is short, but so impactful.
As I Lay Dying is a book that I just really enjoy reading, with all of the different characters and depths within the book. It is a very fun read from so many points of views.
The Poet X follows a Latina girl that is fighting with her identity as she is living in a Catholic household but she isn’t comfortable with it. She wants to be a poet, and finds herself hiding a part of herself no matter who she is with. This is such a good read, it is written in prose and I love books written in prose. It is a great coming of age story.
Wonder is such an important read to me. We follow August who was born looking not like anyone else. He has been made fun of and people tend to ignore him so when his parents tell him he’s going to go to an in person school he has a lot of anxiety about it. We see August grow as a character, and the people around him also grow as they realize that he is just like everyone else.
Hey, Kiddo is a graphic novel that is also a memoir that deals with substance abuse. We follow the main character who is now living with his grandparents since his parents are both having issues with substances. We see the heartbreaking moments when his mother comes back only to leave again. This book puts substance abuse in a graphic way that is easy to understand what is happening, but it also makes the reader feel for the child and all that he has experienced in his life.
Speak is about a girl that was sexually abused and now has to go to school with the person that did it. It shows how people victim blame, and don’t want to believe that the popular guy would do something like that. It is such a sad realization that this does happen a lot. This book gives a voice to so many victims and has actually got people to reach out to this author and be able to talk about what has happened to them.
Long Way Down follows a young boy who has just lost someone he loved to a shooting after a drug deal. As he is on his way to get revenge for the death he gets into an elevator and has conversations of other people that have also died from gunshots due to drugs and how they wish they hadn’t. This makes the main character really think about what he was planning on doing. This book was so impactful because it is loosely based on the author’s own experiences.
Persepolis is also a graphic novel and has a part two that is also one of my favorite books, but for this I am pairing them together. This is a memoir as we follow Marjane in her life pre and post-revolutionary Iran. We see the struggles her family went through before and after. We also see what her life was like when her parents sent her to Europe to escape Iran and how hard it was for her to fit in. This was a subject that I never learned much about and it really gave great background.
A Corner of the Universe is a book I read in middle school and it still breaks my heart when I think about it. When Hattie’s uncle Adam comes to visit she realizes he is not what she was expecting. Adam has the mind of a child and has problems processing ques. The reader and Hattie is able to see all of the struggles Adam goes through when communicating and how differently people treat him.
Have you read any of my favorite books? What would you add to the list? Marygrace’s Goodreads