Night Watch by Terry Pratchett

Night Watch by Terry Pratchett

Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch had it all. But now he’s back in his own rough, tough past without even the clothes he was standing up in when the lightning struck…

Living in the past is hard. Dying in the past is incredibly easy. But he must survive, because he has a job to do. He must track down a murderer, teach his younger self how to be a good copper and change the outcome of a bloody rebellion.

There’s a problem:if he wins, he’s got no wife, no child, no future… 

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Police brutality & violence
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Ghost Wood Song by Erica Waters

Ghost Wood Song by Erica Waters

If I could have a fiddle made of Daddy’s bones, I’d play it. I’d learn all the secrets he kept.

Shady Grove inherited her father’s ability to call ghosts from the grave with his fiddle, but she also knows the fiddle’s tunes bring nothing but trouble and darkness.

But when her brother is accused of murder, she can’t let the dead keep their secrets.

In order to clear his name, she’s going to have to make those ghosts sing.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableist language
  • Attempted rape recounted (chp. 23)
  • Child abuse recounted, including being locked in the attics for extended periods of tie
  • Agoraphobia
  • Panic attack (chp. 24)
  • Death of a mother to suicide recounted
  • Recreational drug use (on-page in chp. 5 & mentioned otherwise)
  • Hospital (chp. 5 & 24)
  • Grief & loss (theme)
  • Death of a father recounted
  • Death of a stepfather (off-page)
  • Death of a sister recounted
  • Gun violence (chp. 28)
  • Police violence (chp. 28)
  • Hanging mentioned (chp. 9)
  • Near-drowning incident
  • Car accident (on-page, chp. 23-24)
  • Death of a child to a wasp attack recounted
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Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

Jade believes she must get out of her neighborhood if she’s ever going to succeed. Her mother says she has to take every opportunity. She has. She accepted a scholarship to a mostly-white private school and even Saturday morning test prep opportunities. But some opportunities feel more demeaning than helpful. Like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for “at-risk” girls. Except really, it’s for black girls. From “bad” neighborhoods.

But Jade doesn’t need support. And just because her mentor is black doesn’t mean she understands Jade. And maybe there are some things Jade could show these successful women about the real world and finding ways to make a real difference.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Classism
  • Fatmisia
  • Racism
  • Sexual harassment
  • Graphic police violence
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Dear Justyce by Nic Stone

Dear Justyce by Nic Stone

Shortly after teenager Quan enters a not guilty plea for the shooting death of a police officer, he is placed in a holding cell to await trial. Through a series of flashbacks and letters to Justyce, the protagonist of Dear Martin, Quan’s story unravels.

From a troubled childhood and bad timing to a coerced confession and prejudiced police work, Nic Stone’s newest novel takes an unflinching look at the flawed practices and ideologies that discriminate against African American boys and minorities in the American justice system. 

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism
  • Domestic violence
  • Child abuse
  • PTSD
    Anxiety & panic attacks
  • Nightmares
  • Cancer mentioned
  • Police brutality & racial profiling
  • Murder
  • Gun violence
  • Incarceration (theme)
  • Poverty themes
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Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism
  • Domestic violence
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a friend
  • Police brutality & racial profiling
  • Murder
  • Gun violence
  • Incarceration
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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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Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Mia Tang has a lot of secrets.

Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests.

Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean motel owner, Mr. Yao, finds out they’ve been letting them stay in the empty rooms for free, the Tangs will be doomed.

Number 3: She wants to be a writer. But how can she when her mom thinks she should stick to math because English is not her first language?

It will take all of Mia’s courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & anti-Blackness
  • Police brutality
  • Hospital
  • Physical assault
  • Poverty themes
  • Bullying
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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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If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson

If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson

Jeremiah feels good inside his own skin. That is, when he’s in his own Brooklyn neighborhood. But now he’s going to be attending a fancy prep school in Manhattan, and black teenage boys don’t exactly fit in there. So it’s a surprise when he meets Ellie the first week of school. In one frozen moment their eyes lock, and after that they know they fit together—even though she’s Jewish and he’s black. Their worlds are so different, but to them that’s not what matters. Too bad the rest of the world has to get in their way.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism
  • Death of a child due to police shooting
  • Gun violence
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