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Twelve-year-old Jaden, an emotionally damaged adopted boy fascinated by electricity, feels a connection to a small, weak toddler with special needs in Kazakhstan, where Jaden's family is trying to adopt a "normal" baby.
Adopted from Korea by Italian parents, fourteen-year-old Joseph Calderaro begins to make important self-discoveries about race and family after his social studies teacher assigns an essay on cultural heritage and tracing the past.
Twelve-year-old Imani, the only black girl in Hebrew school, is preparing for her bat mitzvah and hoping to find her birthparents when she discovers the history of adoption in her own family through her great-grandma Anna's Holocaust-era diary.
When cell phones are banned at Branton Middle School, Frost and his friends Deedee, Wolf, and Bench come up with a new way to communicate: leaving sticky notes for each other all around the school. It catches on, and soon all the kids in school are leaving notes -- though for every kind and friendly one, there is a cutting and cruel one as well. In the middle of this, a new girl named Rose arrives at school. Rose is not like anyone else at Branton Middle School. As the sticky-note war escalates, and the pressure to choose sides mounts, Frost soon realizes that after this year, nothing will ever be the same.
Seventh-grader Joseph Friedman is friendless and puny, with ADD to boot. He spends most of his time avoiding the class bully and hiding out in the Resource Room. But the Resource Room teacher encourages (i.e., practically forces) him to join the school cross country team, and he meets Heather, a new student who's tough and athletic and refuses to be pushed around by anybody.
When a list appears online ranking the top fifty prettiest girls in the eighth grade, everything turns upside down. Eve Hoffman, ranked number one, can't ignore how everyone is suddenly talking about her looks. Sophie, the most popular girl in school, feels lower than ever when she's bullied for being ranked number two. Nessa Flores-Brady didn't even make the list, but she doesn't care -- or does she? The three girls ban together to find out who made the list but their journey doesn't lead them where they expect.
Omar and his younger brother Hassan live in a refugee camp, and when an opportunity for Omar to get an education comes along, he must decide between going to school every day or caring for his nonverbal brother in this intimate and touching portrayal of family and daily life in a refugee camp
A Pakistani-American Muslim girl struggles to stay true to her family's vibrant culture while simultaneously blending in at school. After her local mosque is vandalized, she is devastated. Her friend Soojin is talking about changing her name. Does Amina need to become more "American" and hide who she really is?
At the front of a middle school classroom in Oklahoma, a boy named Khosrou (whom everyone calls "Daniel") stands, trying to tell a story. His story. But no one believes a word he says. To them he is a dark-skinned, hairy-armed boy with a big butt whose lunch smells funny; who makes things up and talks about poop too much. But Khosrou's stories, stretching back years, and decades, and centuries, are beautiful, and terrifying, from the moment his family fled Iran in the middle of the night with the secret police moments behind them, back to the sad, cement refugee camps of Italy.and further back to the fields near the river Aras, where rain-soaked flowers bled red like the yolk of sunset burst over everything, and further back still to the Jasmine-scented city of Isfahan.
Lauren and Tara have always done everything together so it is only natural that they both try out for their middle school musical play, about an "all-American" girl in 1958; Tara gets the lead role, as usual, because in the teacher's mind Lauren, half-Jewish and half-Chinese, does not fit the image of all-American girl--Lauren is hurt but resolved to support her friend, but her two grandmothers are furious and they intend to do something about it.