books on prejudice

my 15 year old has to read 3 books with the main theme of prejudice for school.

any contemporary recommendations ?

she’s a big fan of crime and fantasy, and reads well.

thanks in advance

I was about that age when, off school due to illness, I found To Kill a Mockingbird in my parent’s bookcase. Attracted only by the title I read it in a day.

15 year old girls into fantasy seem to really love The Black Witch series, which uses mythical races as an allegory for real life prejudice. It also has a dreamy love triangle and dragons.

TBF, my friend wrote it, but it’s a YA bestseller and checks all those categories, and the third book just came out.

It’s very Brit-centric, but she might enjoy “Smash!” by Robert Swindells - I did around that age, and I think it holds up well today. It’s not too long and a page-turner, to boot. Don’t know how easy it will be to get hold of where you are.

I read When the Legends Die by Hal Borland when I was 15, and it had a profound effect on me.

Crisis in Black and White by Charles E Silberman and The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex “Roots” Haley are very compelling histories but still easy reading.

going to library tomorrow to look for this.

love this idea …thanks!

is Roots any good? I have read the first 5 pages …but no further yet.

thanks for the suggestion

Yes, it is. Haley was an exceptional writer, but you should approach the book from the perspective that it’s based on his family’s oral history. Haley himself called it “faction” (“What I *know *happened, and what I think *might *have happened.”)

Not only is To Kill A Mockingbird one of the great books on prejudice it’s also one of the top five American novels of all time. It’s that good. I thoroughly recommend it.

“Small Gods” by Terry Pratchett has a lot to say on religious persecution and bigotry. Heck, most of his work addresses prejudice and the poisonous nature thereof.

IsNumber the Starstoo much YA for her? It did win the Newbery Award.

I can think of lots of books I read when I was young about prejudice against girls, but I don’t k now whether this comes up much anymore. It’s, or course, quite present, but I don’t know that it gets written about much.

Another book that comes to mind which is old, but actually interesting for that reason, is Judy Blume’s Blubber. It’s a novel about bullying, from 1974, when “anti-bullying” wasn’t yet a thing-- and wouldn’t be for about 40 years. There’s an awful lot to say just about the novel being ahead of its time, and how bullying was perceived, and seen in the novel, vs. today-- even by the victim. You could practically write a master’s thesis on this book.

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas is contemporary and critically acclaimed.

Colson Whitehead has written a number of brilliant books recently on this topic: The Intuitionist, The Underground Railroad, and The Nickel Boys.

An older book I recommend is I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou

Feet of Clay and The Truth. But mainly Thud!

Nnedi Okorafor is really, really good, and her Akata Witch books are squarely in the YA wheelhouse of fantasy dealing with prejudice.

The protagonist is an albino girl born to black Nigerians who raised her in the United States before moving back to Nigeria when she’s twelve. “Akata” is a Nigerian slur used for black Americans, or black Africans who have adopted American culture. Then this girl turns out to be thoroughly magical in a thoroughly Nigerian magical world, and it’s delightful.

The author has an excerpt of the novel on her blog. It doesn’t really contain any spoilers, and it doesn’t touch on the magical world, but it’ll give you a sense of her writing style and the book’s tone.

If your daughter wants something fantasy that’s heavier, there’s The Fifth Season and its sequels, the only trilogy ever to win the Hugo for each book in the series and a true modern masterpiece. It centers around the orogenes, people with magical control over geology, tectonic plates, and heat transfer, and the overwhelming prejudice and oppression they face. It’s beautiful and devastating.

There are allegations plagiarized parts of two book when he wrote* Roots*—The African by Harold Courlander published in 1967 and Jubilee by Margaret Walker Alexander published in 1966. He settled with Courlander and acknowledged their were similarities. Walker’s suit was dismissed.

Greg Iles Natchez Burning Trilogy