Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

Jude never thought she’d be leaving her beloved older brother and father behind, all the way across the ocean in Syria. But when things in her hometown start becoming volatile, Jude and her mother are sent to live in Cincinnati with relatives.

At first, everything in America seems too fast and too loud. The American movies that Jude has always loved haven’t quite prepared her for starting school in the US—and her new label of “Middle Eastern,” an identity she’s never known before. But this life also brings unexpected surprises—there are new friends, a whole new family, and a school musical that Jude might just try out for. Maybe America, too, is a place where Jude can be seen as she really is. 

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism
  • Islamophobia
  • Hate crimes
  • Pregnancy
  • Blood depiction
  • War themes
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Ziggy, Stardust and Me by James Brandon

Ziggy, Stardust and Me by James Brandon

ZIggy, Stardust and Me by James Brandon book cover

The year is 1973. The Watergate hearings are in full swing. The Vietnam War is still raging. And homosexuality is still officially considered a mental illness. In the midst of these trying times is sixteen-year-old Jonathan Collins, a bullied, anxious, asthmatic kid, who aside from an alcoholic father and his sympathetic neighbor and friend Starla, is completely alone. To cope, Jonathan escapes to the safe haven of his imagination, where his hero David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and dead relatives, including his mother, guide him through the rough terrain of his life. In his alternate reality, Jonathan can be anything: a superhero, an astronaut, Ziggy Stardust, himself, or completely “normal” and not a boy who likes other boys. When he completes his treatments, he will be normal—at least he hopes. But before that can happen, Web stumbles into his life. Web is everything Jonathan wishes he could be: fearless, fearsome and, most importantly, not ashamed of being gay.

Jonathan doesn’t want to like brooding Web, who has secrets all his own. Jonathan wants nothing more than to be “fixed” once and for all. But he’s drawn to Web anyway. Web is the first person in the real world to see Jonathan completely and think he’s perfect. Web is a kind of escape Jonathan has never known. For the first time in his life, he may finally feel free enough to love and accept himself as he is.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Homomisia and homomisic slurs
  • Conversion therapy
  • Racism and racist slurs
  • Hate crimes
  • Sexual assault
  • Alcoholism
  • Anxiety
  • Suicide, mentioned
  • Death of a parent, recounted
  • Police brutality
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Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler

Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler

Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler book cover

This Nebula Award-winning sequel to Parable of the Sower continues the story of Lauren Olamina in socially and economically depressed California in the 2030s. Convinced that her community should colonize the stars, Lauren and her followers make preparations. But the collapse of society and rise of fanatics result in Lauren’s followers being enslaved, and her daughter stolen from her. Now, Lauren must fight back to save the new world order.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Classism
  • Hate crimes
  • Victim blaming
  • Misogyny, sexism and gendered slurs
  • Racism and racial slurs
  • White supremacy and the Ku Klux Klan (KKK)
  • Child sexual assault and rape
  • Grooming behaviour and paedophilia
  • Rape and rape by coercion
  • Sex trafficking and sex slavery
  • Abuse, neglect and abandonment
  • Child abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Family estrangement
  • Adult-minor relationships
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Suicide and attempted suicide
  • Infertility themes
  • Pregnancy
  • Non-consensual pregnancy
  • Teenage and child pregnancy
  • Amnesia
  • Blood and gore depiction
  • Body horror
  • Emesis
  • Physical injuries and wounds
  • Scars
  • Starvation and dehydration depiction
  • Dead bodies and body parts
  • Death of a child
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a parent/guardians
  • Death of a sibling
  • Death of a partner/spouse
  • Disappearance of a loved one
  • Grief and loss depiction
  • Flogging and whippings
  • Gun violence
  • Hanging and lynching
  • Murder and attempted murder
  • Torture
  • Avalanche
  • Chemical gassing and warfare
  • Cults
  • Home invasion
  • Exile
  • Indentured servitude
  • Imprisonment, incarceration and captivity
  • Kidnapping
  • Persecution for witchcraft
  • Police brutality and violence
  • Religious persecution
  • Terrorism
  • War and military themes
  • Homelessness
  • Poverty themes

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Nubia by L.L. McKinney

Nubia: Real One by L.L. McKinney

Nubia has always been a little bit…different. As a baby she showcased Amazonian-like strength by pushing over a tree to rescue her neighbor’s cat. But, despite having similar abilities, the world has no problem telling her that she’s no Wonder Woman. And even if she was, they wouldn’t want her. Every time she comes to the rescue, she’s reminded of how people see her; as a threat. Her moms do their best to keep her safe, but Nubia can’t deny the fire within her, even if she’s a little awkward about it sometimes. Even if it means people assume the worst.

When Nubia’s best friend, Quisha, is threatened by a boy who thinks he owns the town, Nubia will risk it all–her safety, her home, and her crush on that cute kid in English class–to become the hero society tells her she isn’t.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism, racial slurs, anti-Blackness & hate crime
  • Homomisia & sexism
  • Attempted sexual assault
  • Police brutality & racial profiling
  • School shooting and gun violence
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Bullying
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Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed

Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed

Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed book cover

YES
Jamie Goldberg is cool with volunteering for his local state senate candidate—as long as he’s behind the scenes. When it comes to speaking to strangers (or, let’s face it, speaking at all to almost anyone), Jamie’s a choke artist. There’s no way he’d ever knock on doors to ask people for their votes…until he meets Maya.

NO
Maya Rehman’s having the worst Ramadan ever. Her best friend is too busy to hang out, her summer trip is canceled, and now her parents are separating. Why her mother thinks the solution to her problems is political canvassing—with some awkward dude she hardly knows—is beyond her.

MAYBE SO
Going door to door isn’t exactly glamorous, but maybeit’s not the worst thing in the world. After all, the polls are getting closer—and so are Maya and Jamie. Mastering local activism is one thing. Navigating the cross-cultural romance of the century is another thing entirely.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism, misogyny, islamophobia, anti-semitism and hate crimes (off-page)
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Emesis recounted
  • Minor grief depiction and death of a grandfather recounted
  • Cyberharassment

*A major plot point involves characters taking pictures of the main characters almost kissing and posting them online without their consent (discussed in-depth)

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Caroline’s Heart

Caroline’s Heart by Austin Chant

Cecily lost her soulmate years ago, leaving her with nothing but the clockwork heart that once beat in Caroline’s chest. They say it’s impossible to bring back the dead, yet Cecily’s resurrection spell is nearly complete and grows more powerful by the day.

But when a cowboy she barely knows is fatally injured, the only way to save him is by sacrificing an essential piece of the resurrection spell—and all possibility of seeing her lover again.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Queermisia
  • Transmisia & internalised transmisia
  • Persecution for witchcraft
  • Hate crimes
  • Misgendering and deadnaming*
  • Coming out themes*
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a girlfriend recounted
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Blood depiction & physical injuries, including amputations & gunshot wounds
  • Gun violence
  • Bar fight & attempted murder
  • Hanging mentioned
  • Strangulation

*Context: The main character is told a transgender character’s deadname & incorrect pronouns and uses them unintentionally until he is corrected. A closeted trans character is ‘outed’ to the main character when he is undressed for medical treatment while unconcious (off-page).

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The Silence of Bones

The Silence of Bones by June Hur

Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman.

As they delve deeper into the dead woman’s secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder. But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Religious persecution & hate crimes (central theme)
  • Misogyny & gendered slurs
  • Slut-shaming
  • Ableist language
  • Indentured servitude
  • Sexual assault (unwanted touching) mentioned (chp 9)
  • Suicide, attempted suicide & suicidal ideation recounted and discussed (multiple times)
  • Suicide from a fall mentioned (chp 1)
  • Suicide from hanging mentioned (chp 16)
  • Alcohol consumption mentioned
  • Pregnancy & childbirth mentioned
  • Death of a baby and infanticide recounted
  • Graphic blood & gore depiction
  • Graphic dead bodies and autopsy scene
  • Graphic physical injuries, illness & wound descriptions
  • Needles
  • Nonconsensual branding and resulting scars recounted
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a brother (on-page)
  • Death of a father recounted
  • Death of a mother recounted
  • Death of a sister recounted
  • Death from starvation & exposure to the cold mentioned
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Regicide (off-page)
  • Torture (one on-page scene, otherwise discussed or recounted)
  • Kidnapping & hostage situation
  • Whipping mentioned (chp 3)
  • Police brutality and violence
  • Drowning mentioned & near-drowning incident
  • Animal attack (chp 2)
  • Animal injuries mentioned (chp 9)
  • Animal death, hunting, & animal butchering mentioned
  • Poverty themes

King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender

King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender

Twelve-year-old Kingston James is sure his brother Khalid has turned into a dragonfly. When Khalid unexpectedly passed away, he shed what was his first skin for another to live down by the bayou in their small Louisiana town. Khalid still visits in dreams, and King must keep these secrets to himself as he watches grief transform his family.

It would be easier if King could talk with his best friend, Sandy Sanders. But just days before he died, Khalid told King to end their friendship, after overhearing a secret about Sandy-that he thinks he might be gay. “You don’t want anyone to think you’re gay too, do you?”

But when Sandy goes missing, sparking a town-wide search, and King finds his former best friend hiding in a tent in his backyard, he agrees to help Sandy escape from his abusive father, and the two begin an adventure as they build their own private paradise down by the bayou and among the dragonflies. As King’s friendship with Sandy is reignited, he’s forced to confront questions about himself and the reality of his brother’s death.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Homomisia (including homomisic language & slurs) and internalised homomisia (central theme)
  • Racism, racist language, and racial slurs
  • White supremacy discussed
  • Toxic masculinity discussed
  • Hate crimes recounted
  • Coming out themes
  • Physical & emotional child abuse (off-page but discussed)
  • Parental abandonment recounted
  • Domestic abuse mentioned
  • Recreational drug use mentioned
  • Death from a heart attack mentioned
  • Grief & loss depiction (central theme)
  • Death of a brother, son & child recounted
  • Murder mentioned
  • Animal death
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Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan

Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan

Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, Soojin. Except now that she’s in middle school everything feels different. Soojin is suddenly hanging out with Emily, one of the “cool” girls in the class, and even talking about changing her name to something more “American.”

Does Amina need to start changing too? Or hiding who she is to fit in? While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Islamophobia
  • Racism
  • Hate crimes
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