The Art of Secrets by James Klise (2014)

art-ofIslamophobia leads to victim-blaming in a mystery set in a Chicago high school.

Recommended grade level: 6 and up

Pages:   272 (for ISBN 9781616201951)

Genre(s) and keywords: mystery, diverse

Tone/Style: gritty

Pace: moderate

Topics: fires, art, fundraisers, crimes, Islam, islamophobia

Themes: trust, prejudice, greed

Summary: A fire destroys…A community unites…A treasure appears…A crime unfolds…

When Saba Khan’s family home burns in a mysterious fire (possibly a hate crime), her Chicago high school rallies around her. But then a piece of quirky art donated to a school fund-raising effort for the Khans is revealed to be worth a fortune, and Saba’s life turns upside down again. Continue reading

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (2012)

51DLkub2rOL._SX352_BO1,204,203,200_An unhappy but resigned gorilla uses art and inspiration from a new friend to fight for a brighter future in this quiet, thoughtful Newbery Medal winner.

Recommended grade level: 3-6

Pages: 307, with pictures (for ISBN 9780061992254)

Genre(s) and keywords: animal fiction, award winner

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