We’ve been reading a lot of books…

…so we reviewed them on Goodreads! Here are a few of our favorites.

Bird – written by Zetta Elliot and illustrated by Shadra Strickland

Bird is the story of young Mehkai, whose grandfather nicknamed him “Bird.” He is a budding artist, and he works hard at his craft – he draws pictures every day, and tries to get better with each drawing. Throughout the book, we explore the relationships Bird has with his brother, grandfather, and his grandfather’s best friend, whom he refers to as Uncle Son, and we learn a lot about the importance of healthy relationships and the benefits of creative outlets in times of personal struggle. The writing in Bird is simply magnificent, and the pictures are really fun, too!

Ask Me No Questions – written by Marina Budhos

Ask Me No Questions tells the story of Nadira and her family. When they are identified as illegal Bangladeshi immigrants and her father is arrested, her family is turned upside down. Things only get worse after 9/11 – and that’s where the real story begins. Ask Me No Questions raises important questions about the way we view undocumented immigrants, and the way that view has changed since 9/11. Nadira and her family also explore what it means to be Muslim in an intolerant society, and how importance it really is to establish an identity. What’s most important, however, is what Nadira learns about growing up when her older sister proves uncharacteristically incapable of carrying her family through this tragedy. Marina Budhos captivates readers with Nadira’s strong voice, and holds on to their attention by making expert use of suspense.

Tyrell – written by Coe Booth

Tyrell is the amazing story of our fifteen-year-old titular character. After his family hits hard times and his mother proves incapable of doing anything to help her children or herself while her husband is in jail, Tyrell realizes that he must step up his game and take matters into his own hands. On top of this, Tyrell meets the challenge of heightened demands from his girlfriend Novisha, and undue pressure from his mother. Coe Booth writes in Tyrell’s own honest and uncouth voice, and this helps build the reality of his situation.

Head on over to our Goodreads page using the link in the sidebar (or this one right here) to see what else we’ve reviewed! Happy reading!

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Check out our Spring Newsletter!

In this newsletter, you’ll find a bit of information about how eleventh graders at Community Health Academy of the Heights worked with author Patricia McCormick to create nonfiction pieces related to war in the Middle East.

You’ll also find a letter from Executive Director Jo Umans detailing our progress over the last ten years and thanking everyone for their invaluable support.

We are also very grateful to Harrison and Star’s Caring Hands for their incredible generosity in sponsoring the printing of our newsletter!

You can read the newsletter here.