While the following texts represent several rings of culture authentically, they illuminate the themes, issues, situations and identities related to authentic age culture particularly well.
Nino Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales
Fwap! Slish! Bloop! Krunch! He takes down his competition in a single move!
No opponent is too big a challenge for the cunning skills of Niño―popsicle eater, toy lover, somersault expert, and world champion lucha libre competitor!
Niño Wrestles the World is in English with Spanish vocabulary, and is a fun, colorful story about a boy wrestling with imaginary monsters (including an Olmec Head and La Llorona) and adversaries like his younger sisters. This is a joyful picture book about imagination, play, and siblings.
Planet Middle School by Nikki Grimes
For twelve years, Joylin Johnson's life has been just fine, thank you very much. A game of basketball with the boys-especially her friend Jake-was all it took to put a smile on her face. Baggy jeans, T-shirt, and hair in a ponytail were easy choices. Then suddenly the world seemed to turn upside down, and everything changed at once. Her best girl friend is now flirting with her best guy friend. Her clothes seem all wrong. Jake is acting weird, and basketball isn't the same. And worst of all, there is this guy, Santiago, who appears from . . . where? What lengths will Joy go to-and whom will she become-to attract his attention?
In short poems that perfectly capture the crazy feelings of adolescence and first crushes, award-winning author Nikki Grimes has crafted a delightful, often hilarious, hearttugging story.
The First Part Last by angela Johnson
Bobby is your classic urban teenaged boy -- impulsive, eager, restless. On his sixteenth birthday he gets some news from his girlfriend, Nia, that changes his life forever. She's pregnant. Bobby's going to be a father. Suddenly things like school and house parties and hanging with friends no longer seem important as they're replaced by visits to Nia's obstetrician and a social worker who says that the only way for Nia and Bobby to lead a normal life is to put their baby up for adoption.
With powerful language and keen insight, Johnson looks at the male side of teen pregnancy as she delves into one young man's struggle to figure out what "the right thing" is and then to do it. No matter what the cost.