The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Acclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero. Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous–it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Few other books in our time have touched so many readers

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings

  • Racism
  • Classism
  • Sexual assault
  • Domestic violence
  • Child abuse
  • Poverty
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Keep My Heart in San Francisco by Amelia Diane Coombs 

Keep My Heart in San Francisco by Amelia Diane Coombs

Caroline “Chuck” Wilson has big plans for spring break—hit up estate sales to score vintage fashion finds and tour the fashion school she dreams of attending. But her dad wrecks those plans when he asks her to spend vacation working the counter at Bigmouth’s Bowl, her family’s failing bowling alley. Making things astronomically worse, Chuck finds out her dad is way behind on back rent—meaning they might be losing Bigmouth’s, the only thing keeping Chuck’s family in San Francisco.

And the one person other than … Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings

  • Depression
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Death of a mother from suicide
  • Financial difficulties
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Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert

Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert

Since she was seven years old, Yvonne has had her trusted violin to keep her company, especially in those lonely days after her mother walked out on their family. But with graduation just around the corner, she is forced to face the hard truth that she just might not be good enough to attend a conservatory after high school.

Full of doubt about her future, and increasingly frustrated by her strained relationship with her successful but emotionally closed-off father… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings

  • Racist microaggressions discussed
  • Adult-minor relationship*
  • Parental abandonment & child neglect (theme)
  • Cheating
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Recreational drug use
  • Unplanned teen pregnancy
  • Abortion discussed, off-page
  • Homelessness mentioned
  • Financial struggles & poverty mentioned

* Note : Yvonne, the main character, turns eighteen during the story and her love interests are both adult men; one is a 21-year-old man and the sous chef at her father’s restaurant. She does not have penetrative sex with either of them until after her birthday but she was dating one of them when she was seventeen at the beginning of the book.

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I Kissed Alice by Anna Birch

I Kissed Alice by Anna Birch

Rhodes and Iliana couldn’t be more different, but that’s not why they hate each other. Hyper-gifted artist Rhodes has always excelled at Alabama’s Conservatory of the Arts despite a secret bout of creator’s block, while transfer student Iliana tries to outshine everyone with her intense, competitive work ethic. Since only one of them can get the coveted Capstone scholarship, the competition between them is fierce… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Recreational drug use
  • Bullying
  • Financial issues & bankruptcy
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Zoo City by Lauren Beukes 

Zoo City by Lauren Beukes

Zinzi has a Sloth on her back, a dirty 419 scam habit, and a talent for finding lost things. But when a little old lady turns up dead and the cops confiscate her last paycheck, she’s forced to take on her least favourite kind of job – missing persons.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings

  • Rape
  • Drug use
  • Child soldiers
  • Poverty
  • Refugee experiences
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The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry

The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry

Dolssa is an upper-crust city girl with an uncanny gift. Branded a heretic, she’s on the run from the monk who burned her mother at the stake and wants her executed. Botille is a matchmaker and a tavern-keeper, struggling to make a living and keep herself and her sisters in the good graces of their seaside town of Bajas.

When their lives collide in the forest, Botille rescues Dolssa and shelters her in the tavern, where an unlikely friendship blooms. Botille does her best to nurse Dolssa back from the brink… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings

  • Parent with alcoholism
  • Murder of a parent by fire
  • Physical assault
  • Poverty themes
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Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews

Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews

The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Walmart and magic is a fairytale–and the Weird, where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny…

The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Walmart and magic is a fairytale–and the Weird, where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings

  • Indentured servitude
  • Child abuse recounted
  • Drugging
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Body horror
  • Medical experimentation involving body modifications
  • Death of a parent
  • Kidnapping
  • Animal attack
  • Animal death
  • Poverty
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Losing Streak by Kristine Wyllys 

Losing Streak by Kristine Wyllys

Rosemary Young knows the Lane. It’s where she grew up, raising a brother barely younger than she was. It’s where she served drinks, wearing a gaudy uniform in a low-lit bar to support her mama. It’s where she fell for a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Brandon Williams might’ve had a taste for gambling and been headed nowhere fast, but something about him made her almost forget every promise she ever made.

These days when Rosie walks the Lane, it’s on the orders of the man who owns it. The man who owns her—Joshua King. A bet gone wrong ties her to him… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings

  • Parental abandonment
  • Slut-shaming
  • Sexual assault
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Smoking
  • Parent with myeloma (blood cancer)
  • Pregnancy from rape mentioned
  • Emesis
  • Murder
  • Physical assault
  • Arson
  • Poverty
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The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho 

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Along the way, he meets a Romany woman, a man who calls himself a king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the right direction for his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or whether Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles in his path; but what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of treasure within.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings

  • Sexism
  • Poverty
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Star Child by Ibi Zoboi

Star Child: A Biographical Constellation of Octavia Estelle Butler by Ibi Zoboi

Acclaimed novelist Ibi Zoboi illuminates the young life of the visionary storyteller Octavia E. Butler in poems and prose. Born into the Space Race, the Red Scare, and the dawning Civil Rights Movement, Butler expereinced an American childhood that shaped her into the groundbreaking science-fiction storyteller whose novels continue to challenge and delight readers fifteen years after her death.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings

  • Racism
  • Sexism
  • Miscarriage mentioned
  • Poverty
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