Representation matters, especially when it comes to literature. For young readers, seeing characters who look and sound like them can be incredibly impactful. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 20 #OwnVoices books that every middle and high school kid should read. These books are written by authors who share the same marginalized identities as the characters in their stories, making them authentic and relatable.
- “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas
- “Aru Shah and the End of Time” by Roshani Chokshi
- “Brown Girl Dreaming” by Jacqueline Woodson
- “Front Desk” by Kelly Yang
- “I Am Alfonso Jones” by Tony Medina
- “The Poet X” by Elizabeth Acevedo
- “Piecing Me Together” by Renée Watson
- “Dear Martin” by Nic Stone
- “Ghost Boys” by Jewell Parker Rhodes
- “One Crazy Summer” by Rita Williams-Garcia
- “The Stars Beneath Our Feet” by David Barclay Moore
- “Inside Out & Back Again” by Thanhha Lai
- “Merci Suárez Changes Gears” by Meg Medina
- “When Dimple Met Rishi” by Sandhya Menon
- “George” by Alex Gino
- “Refugee” by Alan Gratz
- “Amina’s Voice” by Hena Khan
- “American Born Chinese” by Gene Luen Yang
- “The House That Lou Built” by Mae Respicio
- “The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963” by Christopher Paul Curtis
These books cover a wide range of themes and genres, from contemporary realistic fiction to historical fiction and fantasy. Middle and high school students will find themselves engrossed in stories that explore identity, cultural heritage, social justice, and personal growth. Moreover, these #OwnVoices books provide insight into diverse experiences and foster empathy among readers.
Introducing students to #OwnVoices literature not only allows them to see themselves represented in the pages of a book but also encourages them to appreciate and respect the experiences of others. These stories have the power to ignite curiosity, spark important conversations, and promote inclusivity in classrooms and beyond. So, grab a copy of these books and embark on a meaningful reading journey with your middle and high school kids. Together, let’s celebrate diverse voices and empower young readers!