Monday, September 18, 2017

YA Books Based on Real Events

I love history. I love YA books. And I love a combination of those things.  Recently I've come across three books based on real events.  They are all pretty different from each other, but I enjoyed each of them.  

No Saints in Kansas by Amy Brashear- this is a fictionalized retelling of In Cold Blood by Truman Capote.  Brashear allows Carly, a girl new to Holcomb, Kansas, and trying to befriend Nancy Clutter to tell the story.  After Nancy's death she becomes curious enough to uncover some clues herself.  I especially liked Carly's encounter with Truman Capote who is in Holcomb to investigate the crime. And there's a brief appearance by Jack Kennedy who is planning on running for president, but who visits Kansas and catches up briefly with an old friend (who happens to be Carly's mom). To be published in November.

The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater - this is a true story of two teenagers whose chance encounter changes both of their lives.  Sasha and Richard both happened to be on the same bus one day in Oakland, California, despite coming from different worlds.  Sasha was a middle class white girl, and Richard was a black teen living in a crime-infested area of the city.  For eight minutes their lives intersect and after that time has passed, Sasha is seriously burned and Richard is charged with hate crimes.  I first heard about this book at Book Expo and am excited to have my middle school kids get their hands on it.  To be published in October.

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside of Shorty by G. Neri- This is a graphic novel (way outside my comfort zone) depicting the real life story of an eleven year old boy, Yummy, and his involvement in a Chicago gang.  This book is one our eighth grade teachers use and I can see why the students love it. Because it is a graphic novel they are initially drawn in, but the story is intense and thought provoking and something they can relate to.  I probably wouldn't have picked it up on my own, but last week two people asked for it within a matter of minutes, so I decided I needed to see for myself what this book was all about.

What other books would you add to this list?

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