This list is a great way to start your Westmont Reads experience. WPL librarians have selected titles for all ages by authors from a wide range of communities, backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. Pick one out today and start your Westmont Reads journey into One Community, Many Voices.

A Phoenix First Must Burn edited by Patrice Caldwell

Sixteen tales by bestselling and award-winning authors that explore the Black experience through fantasy, science fiction, and magic.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (cloudLibrary), Audiobook (Hoopla)






All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories Of Queer Teens Throughout The Ages edited by Saundra Mitchell

Seventeen young adult authors across the queer spectrum have come together to create a collection of beautifully written diverse historical fiction for teens. Take a journey through time and genres to discover stories where queer teens live, love, and shape the world around them.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Hoopla)




With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks. Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s not worth her time to pursue the impossible. But once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free. Author Elizabeth Acevedo is Dominican-American like the protagonist.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Hoopla), Audiobook (Hoopla), Ebook (Media on Demand by OverDrive), Audiobook (Media on Demand by OverDrive)



A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

A year after 9/11, it’s an extremely turbulent time politically for Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped. She’s tired of the rude stares and degrading comments as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. When she meets Ocean James, they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds — and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down. Based on author Tahereah Mafi’s own experiences as a Muslim American.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Hoopla), Audiobook (Hoopla), Ebook (Media on Demand by OverDrive), Audiobook (Media on Demand by OverDrive), Audiobook (cloudLibrary)



Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Darius has never really fit in at home, and he’s sure things are going to be the same in Iran. When Darius meets Sohrab, the boy next door, everything changes. Soon, they’re spending their days together talking for hours on a secret rooftop overlooking the city’s skyline. Sohrab calls him Darioush–the original Persian version of his name–and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab. Author Adib Khorram is an Iranian-American like the protagonist.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Media on Demand by OverDrive), Audiobook (Media on Demand by OverDrive)



The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health. Author Kwame Alexander is an African-American male like the protagonists.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Media on Demand by OverDrive), Audiobook (Media on Demand by OverDrive)




Internment by Samira Ahmed

A terrifying, futuristic United States where Muslim-Americans are forced into internment camps, and seventeen-year-old Layla Amin must lead a revolution to fight for freedom against the internment camp’s director and his guards. Author Samira Ahmed wrote this book for the Americans, immigrants, and Muslims just like her.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Media on Demand by OverDrive), Audiobook (Media on Demand by OverDrive), Audiobook (cloudLibrary)




Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Yadriel, a trans boy, summons the angry spirit of his high school’s bad boy, and agrees to help him learn how he died, thereby proving himself a brujo, not a bruja, to his conservative family. Aiden Thomas is a queer, trans Latinx like the protagonist.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Media on Demand by OverDrive), Audiobook (Media on Demand by OverDrive)




You Should See me in a Crown by Leah Johnson 

Liz Lighty has always done her best to avoid the spotlight in her small, wealthy, and prom-obsessed midwestern high school. After all, her family is black and rather poor, especially since her mother died. When a scholarship falls through to elite Pennington College, she is forced to turn to her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen, which plunges her into the gauntlet of social media and leads her to discoveries about her own identity. Author Leah Johnson is a queer person of color like the protagonist.

Available formats: Book, Audibook (Hoopla), Ebook (Media on Demand by OverDrive), Ebook (cloudLibrary)



Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

In a near-future society that claims to have gotten rid of all monstrous people, a creature emerges from a painting seventeen-year-old Jam’s mother created, a hunter from another world seeking a real-life monster. Author Akwaeke Emezi is a non-binary transgender person of color like the protagonist Jam, who is a transgender female person of color.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Media on Demand by OverDrive), Audiobook (Media on Demand by OverDrive)




Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow

Tavia is already at odds with the world, forced to keep her siren identity under wraps in a society that wants to keep her kind under lock and key. Nevermind she’s also stuck in Portland, Oregon, a city with only a handful of black folk and even fewer of those with magical powers. At least she has her bestie Effie by her side as they tackle high school drama, family secrets, and unrequited crushes. Author Bethany Morrow is a Black female like the protagonists.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Media on Demand by OverDrive)




Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson

When legendary R&B artist Korey Fields spots Enchanted Jones at an audition, her dreams of being a famous singer take flight. Until Enchanted wakes up with blood on her hands and zero memory of the previous night. Now Korey is dead and all signs point to Enchanted. Author Tiffany Jackson is Black like the protagonist, but also like Enchanted, she was sexually abused while she was in her teens. This is an important message and brings authenticity to this story.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Media on Demand by OverDrive)




Lobizona by Romina Garber

When her mother is arrested by ICE, sixteen-year-old Argentinian Manu — who thinks she is hiding in a Miami apartment because she is an undocumented immigrant — discovers that her entire existence is illegal. Author Romina Garber was born in Argentina and raised in Miami, Florida like the protagonist.

Available formats: Book





We Are Not Free by Traci Chee

The collective account of a fourteen teens who have grown up together in Japantown, San Francisco as a tight-knit group of young Nisei, second-generation Japanese American citizens, as their lives are irrevocably changed by the mass U.S. incarcerations of World War II. Author Traci Chee pulls from her own family history in this novel.

Available formats: Book




I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn

When a surprise letter comes in the mail from Kimi’s estranged grandparents, inviting her to Kyoto for spring break, she seizes the opportunity to get away from the disaster of her life. When she arrives in Japan, she’s met with a culture both familiar and completely foreign to her — and meets Akira, a cute aspiring med student who moonlights as a costumed mochi mascot. Author Sarah is a third-generation Japanese American like the protagonist.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Hoopla)



Spinning by Tillie Walden

For ten years, figure skating was Tillie Walden’s life. But as she switched schools, got into art, and fell in love with her first girlfriend, she began to question how the close-minded world of figure skating fit in with the rest of her life, and whether all the work was worth it given the reality: that she, and her friends on the team, were nowhere close to Olympic hopefuls. Author Tillie Walden’s graphic memoir captures what it’s like to come of age and come out.

Available formats: Book




Flamer by Mike Curato

It’s the summer between middle school and high school, and Aiden Navarro is away at camp. As he navigates friendships, deals with bullies, and spends time with Elias (a boy he can’t stop thinking about), he finds himself on a path of self-discovery and acceptance. Author and artist Mike Curato draws on his own experiences in this debut graphic novel, telling a difficult story with humor, compassion, and love.

Available formats: Book




Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

When Ever Wong’s parents sent her away for the summer, she’s expecting Chien Tan: a strict, educational immersion program in Taiwan. Instead, she finds the infamous “Loveboat.” For the first time ever, Ever is discovering what freedom tastes like and it’s exhilarating. But summer will end and Ever will be back to her parents and the future they’ve planned for her. Author Abigail Hing Wen was born to a family of immigrants and  attended the actual Loveboat program in Taipei as a young adult.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Media on Demand by OverDrive), Audiobook (Hoopla)



Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith

When Louise Wolfe’s first real boyfriend mocks and disrespects Native people in front of her, she breaks things off and dumps him. While spending her time working on the school newspaper she finds a major story to cover: the school musical director’s inclusive approach to casting The Wizard of Oz has been provoking backlash in their mostly white, middle-class Kansas town. Author Cynthia Leitich Smith is a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation.

Available formats: Book, Audiobook (Hoopla)




Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From by Jennifer De Leon

First-generation American LatinX Liliana Cruz does what it takes to fit in at her new nearly all-white school. But when family secrets spill out and racism at school ramps up, she must decide what she believes in and take a stand. Author Jennifer De Leon wrote this novel based on her own experiences in a local high school and is LatinX like the protagonist.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Media on Demand by OverDrive)

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