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Mississippi Public Broadcasting has partnered with the National Education Association and the Mississippi Association of Educators to feature three books—for young, middle grade and young adult readers—each month that explore a topic related to diversity and inclusion.

September 2021 Book Picks - Embrace New Beginnings


El Cucuy Is Scared, Too!

by Donna Barba Higuera

Ramón’s worries and fears about his new home, new school, and making new friends are bigger than his old fear of the Mexican Boogeyman El Cucuy, who confides in Ramón that he has similar fears of his own.

Middle Grade

Pahua and the Soul Stealer

by Lori M. Lee

Pahua Moua is an eleven-year-old Hmong girl with a unique ability to see spirits. After she accidentally releases an angry spirit which takes her beloved brother’s soul, Pahua teams up with Zhong, a student at the School for Shamanic Arts, on a near-impossible quest to rescue her brother from the Spirit Realm.

Young Adult

Tigers, Not Daughters

by Samantha Mabry

Still processing their grief and guilt over the death of their oldest sister Ana, Latina sisters Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa must reconnect with each other to understand why Ana has come back to their dysfunctional home as a ghost.

August 2021 Book Picks - Spread Your Wings 


My First Day

by Phung Nguyen Quang and Huynh Kim Lien

An, a young Vietnamese boy who lives on the Mekong Delta, has to paddle his small wooden boat to school all by himself for the very first time.

Middle Grade

The Chance to Fly

by Ali Stroker & Stacy Davidowitz

New to New Jersey, White thirteen-year-old musical theater enthusiast Nat Beacon lands a role in a local production of Wickedover the objections of her overprotective parents who want her to continue to focus on wheelchair racing.

Young Adult

Wings of Ebony

by J. Elle

Rue, a Black teen from inner-city Houston, learns to use her ancestral magic to protect her sister and her East Row neighborhood and bring the truth about the origins of magic to the people of Ghizon.

July 2021 Book Picks - Build Community 


A New Kind of Wild                        

by Zara González Hoang

Ren discovers the magic and wonder of his new home in the city, thanks to his new friend Ava.

Middle Grade

The Bridge Home

by Padma Venkatraman

When Viji runs away with her sister Rukku, who has a developmental disability, they find shelter on an abandoned bridge in Chennai; work scavenging the city's trash heaps; and a form a family of sorts with Muthi and Arul, two boys who are homeless.

Young Adult

The Everything I Have Lost

by Sylvia Zéleny

In her diary about her life growing up in Juarez, Mexico, Julia keeps lists of those things that she loses, which eventually include her father and her home when Julia and her brother are sent to live with her aunt in El Paso.

June 2021 Book Picks - Promote Respect


Ho’onani: Hula Warrior

by Heather Gale

Ho'onani, who doesn’t see herself as wahine (girl) or kāne (boy), is happy to be in the middle and eager to lead a school performance of a traditional kāne hula chant even though she knows that some may get upset that a wahine is leading.

Middle Grade

A High Five for Glenn Burke

by Phil Bildner

For Silas, his presentation on the the first professional baseball player to come out as gay is more than another school report—it’s his first step toward telling his family, friends, and teammates about who he is.

Young Adult

The Music of What Happens

by Bill Konigsberg

When 17-year-old Max signs on to help fellow high school student Jordan run the food truck that may save Jordan and his mom from homelessnes, the boys find themselves strongly attracted to each other — but their romance is threatened by the secrets they are hiding.

May 2021 Book Picks - Develop Passion & Perseverance


Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando

by Andrea Wang                         

Following World War II, Momofuku Ando struggles to perfect his recipe for a noodle soup that is delicious, inexpensive, and a quick way to feed the hungry.

Middle Grade

When You Trap a Tiger

by Tae Keller

Lily takes on a quest from the tiger from her grandmother’s Korean folktales in the hopes it will heal her sick grandmother.

Young Adult

Frankly in Love

by David Yoon

Frank’s parents insist that he only date Koreans, so when he falls for Brit, who is white, he teams up with Joy so they can pretend to date each other in order to have the freedom to spend time to date who they like.

April 2021 Book Picks - Inspire Stewardship


We Are Water Protectors         

by Carole Lindstrom

A young girl learns from her Nokomis (grandmother) about protecting our shared planet and invites all to become stewards of Earth.

Middle Grade

The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez 

by Adrianna Cuevas

When Nestor and his mother move in with his grandmother, Nestor is forced to use his secret ability to communicate with animals to save the inhabitants of his new home town when they are threatened by a tule vieja, a witch that transforms into animals.

Young Adult

Butterfly Yellow 

by Thanhha Lai

Hang, a refugee from Viet Nam who has traveled to Texas to find her little brother who was taken from her years ago, is helped by LeeRoy, a city boy with big rodeo dreams.

March 2021 Book Picks - Cultivate Compassion


Tiara’s Hat Parade

by Kelly Starling Lyons

When a new store opens that sells cheaper hats, Tiara—and the community she rallies—help revive her mother’s hat-making business.

Middle Grade

Each Tiny Spark

by Pablo Cartaya

Emilia, who has ADHD, is trying to focus on rebuilding her relationship with her father, who is back from his deployment, and avoiding her overbearing grandmother. At the same time, she’s deciding how to handle the injustice and prejudice she discovers in her Atlanta suburb while working on her school project about the town’s history.

Young Adult

They Called Us Enemy

by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott

This autobiographical graphic novel follows a young George Takei and his family during the U.S. government's incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Book Activities